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Debbie

Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.

Toney, Alabama | Member Since 2009

82
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 159 reviews
  • 160 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 76 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
16

  • Velva Jean Learns to Drive

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jennifer Niven
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia
    Overall
    (269)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (170)

    Set in Appalachia in the years before World War II, Velva Jean Learns to Drive is a poignant story of a spirited young girl growing up in the gold-mining and moonshining South. Before she dies, Velva Jean's mother urges her to "live out there in the great wide world." Velva Jean dreams of becoming a big-time singer in Nashville until she falls in love with Harley Bright, a handsome juvenile delinquent turned revival preacher.

    Susan says: "GREAT!"
    "Singin', Preachin', and Livin' in the South"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the best of the best of southern fiction, set before WWII, at a time in our history when women weren't supposed to have dreams of their own. The narration MAKES this audio book . . . the story is there, poignant and sweet . . . Velva Jean is still a kid when she loses her mama . . . and her daddy can't stop his wandering for nothing . . . Some people may think that the book makes light of Christianity, but not me . . . it pretty much tells it like it is here in the south . . . God is real, but not all His followers ARE FOR REAL. Guess it's pretty much like that all over. All the things that happen in the mountains during the depression, how a moonshiner's son, turned preacher steals Velva Jean's heart, and then her dreams . . . well, it makes for such a rich and varied tale of greed, pride, selfishness, wisdom and love . . . you sure don't wanna miss it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Homesman: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Glendon Swarthout
    • Narrated By Candace Thaxton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (98)
    Story
    (100)

    Soon to be a major motion picture directed by Tommy Lee Jones, The Homesman is a devastating story of early pioneers in 1850s American West. It celebrates the ones we hear nothing of: the brave women whose hearts and minds were broken by a life of bitter hardship. A "homesman" must be found to escort a handful of them back East to a sanitarium. When none of the county’s men steps up, the job falls to Mary Bee Cuddy - ex-teacher, spinster, indomitable and resourceful.

    Sharon says: "Wait, What? The story disintegrates 3/4 way in."
    "Could've Been Great, Ended Up Barely Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had been looking forward to listening to this story about four pioneer women who lost their minds out west after enduring horrifying hardships. I totally "bought into" the story, loved it, felt for the women and the men who loved them and had to send them back east, back home to heal. Mary Bee, a strong homesteader, who offers to take the mad women back east when the husband who drew lots refuses to go, is ahead of her time, knows how to shoot and defend herself, cares for her livestock, and is independent and unafraid. A woman of strong character, who loves the women she is transporting, respects them, and cares for them with dignity, and is traveling along with a man whom she has hired to help her . . . a man who is self-serving, a claim jumper, who failed to complete his service to his country, but who perhaps deep down has a shred of decency . . . all I can say is that it's a dirty rotten shame that the author decided to go off on a wild goose chase and take the story out "in the weeds" and rob the book of GREATNESS. It left me disgusted, not fulfilled. This one did not meet my criteria of providing an ending worth waiting for . . . it was a dud.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wonderland Creek

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Lynn Austin
    • Narrated By Kate Forbes
    Overall
    (174)
    Performance
    (154)
    Story
    (154)

    Six-time Christy Award winner Lynn Austin has won a loyal following for her inspiring historical fiction. In Wonderland Creek, young Chicago-area librarian Alice Grace Ripley is left heartbroken when her fiancé breaks up with her just as the Great Depression forces her out of a job. To escape the local gossip, Alice volunteers to deliver donated books to a library in rural Kentucky. There she discovers that God still has a plan for her after all.

    Sara says: "Depression Era Kentucky as a Librarian"
    "Story of Contrasts During the Great Depression"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wonderland Creek is an amazingly truthful look at Christianity and humanity. I enjoyed it from the beginning, identifying with Alice Grace Ripley's love of books and libraries. I remember carrying home 8 to 10 books a week from our school library when I was in middle school and escaping into them, one at a time. I also understood the order and peace of working in a library, since I volunteered in the school library, getting first pick over all the new and returned books. I had to laugh at Alice's unrealistic view of life and love when her first romance turned south, and her boyfriend "dumps" her for reading a book at a funeral. An over protected youngest child of a minister and his very straight laced wife, Alice found safety in reading, and was very much the center of her own universe. Sweet and innocent and unbeknownst to her, of course. Life cannot be learned from a book. Her journey to the rural Kentucky to deliver donated books to their tiny library is the BEGINNING of life for Alice, of finding out who God really is, and of seeing His hand at work. In a place where there's no indoor plumbing, no electricity, no telephones, no niceties, only reality . . . and the quiet of the creek, the birds, and having no choice but to help others, Alice is renewed . . . and she hears from God.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Road to Reckoning: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Robert Lautner
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    In the spirit of The Sisters Brothers and True Grit, this spare, elegant, and emotionally resonant story conveys, through a boy’s eyes, a beautiful father-son story, as well as the fascinating history of how the birth of the revolver changed the course of violence in America. Road to Reckoning offers a window into the history of the American West and the heart of a boy yearning for love.

    Debbie says: "Good Story but with Unexpected Ideas"
    "Good Story but with Unexpected Ideas"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am particularly drawn to historical fiction, and when I saw this one about a father and son going westward to sell the Colt pistol together, I couldn't resist. There wasn't really any hint that the book was written by a Brit who would interject his anti-gun rhetoric into an otherwise wonderful coming-of-age story of a twelve year old boy. "I, to this day, hold to only one truth: if a man chooses to carry a gun he will get shot. My father agreed to carry twelve." . . . one of the first lines of the book . . . yet those same guns saved his life later in the story, when Henry Stands shot those who would have killed Thomas and him otherwise. These parts of the story are not the MOST important and do not ruin the flavor of the overall tale of Thomas, his father, and the relationship between Thomas and Henry Stands. I do recommend the book. In the story, Thomas grows up to marry and becomes a Menonite, who are pacifists. I appreciate that in many places scripture is quoted in the book, as I, too, am a Christian. It is harsh, sweet, thought provoking, and it's fiction. So Robert Lautner has written a novel from his own perspective and his own heart. Give it a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Man Called Blessed: The Caleb Books, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Ted Dekker, Bill Bright
    • Narrated By Benjamin L. Darcie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (72)

    One man holds the key to locating the Ark of the Covenant - but he’s hidden deep in the desert and no one has seen him since he was a boy. In this explosive sequel to Blessed Child, Jewish soldier-turned-archaeologist Rebecca Soloman leads a team deep into the Ethiopian desert to find the one man who may know the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. Such a discovery would bring hope back to her people. Her search brings excitement and danger - including unexpected love and a discovery far more powerful than even the holy artifact.

    W. says: "A Man Called Blessed"
    "Unleashing of God's Mighty Power and Freedom"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the second of the Caleb books, and Caleb is 25 years old now in the deserts of Ethiopia. He and his parents have rebuilt the monastery where he grew up as a child. They live there together and minister to a leper colony, and even though Caleb still believes, he has lost his zeal and fire for Christ. This book, though fictional, explores the need for childlike faith, for trusting when we can't see the road ahead, for joyous dancing and spending time in the presence of God, all the things that we veer away from after the newness of our salvation starts to wear off. I would say that I'm not sure that the turn of events in the book are totally biblically correct as they pertain to end time prophecy, however, there are many trains of thought regarding that. And a fictional book is just that, fiction. The book blessed me and brought about self examination about my walk with the Savior.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Karl Marlantes
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4190)
    Performance
    (2360)
    Story
    (2361)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A performance so poignant, we gave Bronson Pinchot (yes, Balki from Perfect Strangers) our inaugural Narrator of the Year award.... In the monsoon season of 1968-69 at a fire support base called Matterhorn, located in the remote mountains of Vietnam, a young and ambitious Marine lieutenant wants to command a company to further his civilian political ambitions. But two people stand in his way.

    Zachary says: "Matterhorn"
    "Raw, In the Jungle Account of Vietnam War"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My husband and I listened to this audio book together on two long car trips. If you are offended by the language that soldiers and marines use, be forewarned, this book is full of it. At the same time, know that's how it really is and was. To think that God didn't walk with these brave men then or now in the heat of the battle, I believe is a wrong assumption. For God is surely with us all in the valley. The soldiers of Vietnam, for the most part were kids, just out of high school, naive, just out of boot camp, ready to be marines and win the war. Then they were dropped into a mess that no one ever could have prepared them for. My husband came into the army at the end of the Vietnam war, and thank God, and over his 22 year career never saw combat. Many of our friends were killed in Vietnam or had brothers who were killed or who came back completely changed after the war. This book is a book that every American needs to read or listen to. The truth about what politicians do when they send our young people to war is absolutely gut wrenching. And it continues to happen over and over, and the United States never seems to learn. I'm a mother of two soldiers who have served in Iraq. One of our boys is in Afghanistan right now. I am as patriotic and American as apple pie. But something has happened in America that is absolutely frightening. We don't know who the enemy is anymore.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Framed in Lace

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Monica Ferris
    • Narrated By Susan Boyce
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (88)

    When the historic Hopkins ferry was raised from the bottom of the lake, who would have thought they were literally raising the dead! But there it was—a skeleton—right before their eyes. Unfortunately, the evidence is slim and soggy: the boat sank in 1949, the victim on board was a woman, and near the body is a piece of unidentifiable lacelike fabric. Sounds like a job for Betsy Devonshire. Betsy knows there's more to this story than what’s on the surface.

    betty says: "Great book!"
    "Mystery, History, Murder AND Needle Work!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the second in this series that combines murder mysteries with the goings on of a needlework shop, Crewel World and all those in the small town of Excelsior, Minnesota. I've grown to love the funny, experienced, as well as the fearful "I will never be able to do this" needle crafters, which by the way, include the shop's owner, Betsy, who inherited the shop from her sister. This audio book focuses on an old murder from 1949 when a boat sank in the harbor, and when they pull it up, a skeleton is found. The twists and turns in solving this very COLD CASE, are quirky, and will absolutely keep you listening and entertained. I didn't suspect who the murderer was until the very end. I will be listening to the next book in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Dick Couch, George Galdorisi
    • Narrated By Steven Weber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1270)
    Performance
    (1118)
    Story
    (1118)

    Act of Valor takes audiences deep into the secretive world of the most elite, highly trained group of warriors in the modern world. When the rescue of a kidnapped CIA operative leads to the discovery of a deadly terrorist plot against the U.S., a team of SEALs is dispatched on a worldwide manhunt. As the valiant men of Bandito Platoon race to stop a coordinated attack that could kill and wound thousands of American civilians, they must balance their commitment to country, team and their families back home.

    Ann says: "Best of America, honor and character astounding"
    "Extreme Personal Sacrifice, Patriotism and Bravery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Few people know the inside story of what Navy Seals do, day in and day out for our country; even fewer have an inkling of the concept of what it takes for these men to put the mission FIRST, above their own safety, and even above their families. The tight brotherhood of the seal team is a bond that is like no other, sacred to the men on the team, understood and shared only by them. My husband (a retired army SGM) and I listened to this audio book together while driving to visit our son who works at the Ordnance School at Fort Lee, Virginia. Having two sons who served in the Iraqi war, and one now in Afghanistan, we are both very in tune to what goes on behind the scenes in defense of our country. Yet we cannot imagine being parents of a Navy seal . . . yes, we would be proud . . . but wartime service is hard enough for families . . . constant covert missions would be a nightmare. Thank God for these men, and their families who also sign on for whatever the MISSION brings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Moon Underfoot: A Jake Crosby Thriller, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Bobby Cole
    • Narrated By Jeremy Arthur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (53)

    Eighteen months have passed since Jake and his daughter endured a harrowing ordeal in the Alabama woods. To save his child, Jake killed two men working with notorious drug runner Ethan “Moon Pie” Daniels. Jake’s grateful that they survived, but can’t shake the feeling that the horror isn’t over and that retribution is coming. His actions cost Moon Pie his best friends and nearly two years of business.

    Angela itzKat says: "Another good one!"
    "Mississippi Mad Man Meets His Match"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When the book first started off, I wasn't sure I was going to like it as much as the first one, but oh, as it went on, I did, I SURE did! Some of the tale is a little far fetched, but hey, who's to say it couldn't happen in the south . . . As for old Moon Pie, there's plenty of redneck, criminals running around down here, all hyped up on drugs, alcohol and their own puffed up image of themselves. And thank God, there are plenty of the good guys, too . . . the good old Bible belt . . . this is a thriller, but also a really GOOD listen with an ending worth the wait . . . and this southern, country gal LOVES an ending she can sink her teeth into.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By John Hagee
    • Narrated By Dean Gallagher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (135)
    Performance
    (120)
    Story
    (118)

    Over the last 500 years, blood-red moons have fallen on the first day of Passover three separate times. These occurrences were connected to some of the most significant days in Jewish history: 1492 (the final year of the Spanish Inquisition when Jews were expelled from Spain), 1948 (statehood for Israel and the War of Independence) and 1967 (the Six-Day War). Every heavenly body is controlled by the unseen hand of God, which signals coming events to humanity. There are no solar or lunar accidents.

    Debbie says: "Great Study about Israel and Current Times"
    "Great Study about Israel and Current Times"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Our Sunday School classes is doing this study. It is eye-opening. As a Christian, I have been aware that Israel is God's chosen people, and that God is, indeed in control of the sun, stars, and moon that he set into motion. But this in depth study of God's timing and the four blood moons, really helped me to see that we are to be watching for the signs that the Lord sends to us. God does not "forget" his promises or his people. No one knows the time, not even the Son who sits at the right hand of God, but we are commanded to watch and wait. If you are serious about watching for the signs, and loving God's chosen people, the Jewish nation of Israel, you will gain much from this audio book. I would suggest buying the kindle book and audio book together for an additional savings.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Keepers of the House

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Shirley Ann Grau
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (254)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (132)

    Abigail was the last keeper of the house, the last to know the Howland family's secrets. Now, in the name of all her brothers and sisters, she must take her bitter revenge on the small-minded Southern town that shamed them, persecuted them, but could never destroy them.

    Chimigi says: "very enjoyable"
    "Good Story, Insufficient Conclusion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book has been compared to "The Help" by other readers/listeners. There IS NO comparison. It is a well written story and I liked it just fine. There is no discrimination, no abuse of blacks, and I found that refreshing. Abigail grew up playing with and loving the children that her grandfather had with Margaret, a black woman that he lived with after his wife died. Not only did she love the three children, she loved Margaret. The story of Margaret is one of grace and kindness, and the selfless choices that she made for her three children out of love are the best parts of the book. William Howland, Abigail's grandfather, was a simple and good man, wealthy beyond anything that Abigail could have imagined. Overall, the book is low key. The narration is reflective, not passionate. And when it is all said and done, there's no revelation or tying up of loose ends at the conclusion of the book. The ending of a book is a big deal to me, and this one just didn't quite END, it just stopped.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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