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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

92
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 169 reviews
  • 170 ratings
  • 413 titles in library
  • 82 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
15

  • Blessed Child: The Caleb Books, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Ted Dekker, Bill Bright
    • Narrated By Benjamin L. Darcie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (110)

    A young orphaned boy was abandoned and raised in an Ethiopian monastery. He has never seen outside its walls - at least, not the way most people see. Now he must flee or die. But the world beyond is hardly ready for a boy like Caleb. When relief expert Jason Marker agrees to rescue Caleb from the monastery, he unwittingly opens humanity’s doors to an incredible journey filled with political intrigue and peril. Jason and Leiah - the French-Canadian nurse who escapes the monastery with him - quickly realize Caleb’s supernatural power to heal. But so do the boy’s enemies, who will stop at nothing to destroy him.

    Kay says: "Moving Experience"
    "The Miracle of Healing the Human Heart"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like faith based fiction, and this one is particularly good. I appreciate that it depicts religious leaders as human beings, flawed and not always as they appear to be or should be. Evil is present in all places, even churches and sometimes ESPECIALLY churches, when those who call themselves Christians fail to humble themselves and instead become like everyone else around them, seeking all the things that this world offers, instead of walking with Him. It is a daily struggle to follow Christ, and we fail many, many times. But as Caleb said, the healing of a heart is as much a miracle as regaining sight or healing a shriveled limb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Candle in the Darkness

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Lynn Austin
    • Narrated By Christina Moore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (292)
    Performance
    (161)
    Story
    (162)

    Winner of the 2001 Christy Award, Lynn Austin captures the turmoil of the Civil War in this stirring novel. From vast plantations to the cramped closets of the Underground Railroad, it follows one young woman's inspiring journey of risk and sacrifice.

    Terry says: "A different look at the Civil War"
    "Best Story of North/South & Struggles of Slavery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read (and loved) many historical novels about the civil war, the struggles between the northern and southern states, the ways of the Yankees and the Rebels, and the issue of slavery. This one is the best by far, because it is the only one that has broken down the barriers and prejudices into simple terms. Basic right and wrong. As I listened to this audio book, it became clear to me that the entire civil war, beginning to end, was a GOD THING. And I really have never thought of it in that way at all. I began to grasp the fact that the prayers and actions of a few simple, obedient, God fearing people really does matter. I gained not just head knowledge, but heart knowledge. So many things in this book are absolutely true. The racial prejudices of the north are still much worse than in the south. Yet the southern states are the ones that owned the slaves. Abraham Lincoln, (born in my home state of Kentucky, a state that remained neutral during the civil war), was, I believe a man sent by God to abolish slavery. Yet he was so hated that he was murdered while in office, not long after slavery was abolished. I will not soon forget this book and the simple truths that it brings. Love thy neighbor as thy self. Be a servant, as Christ was also a servant. Forgive others, as Christ has also forgiven you. This book is based on Christian principles, but it never preaches, never judges, never sees just one side. The losses suffered by both the north and south in the civil war was enormous. Many high school students would greatly benefit from reading and studying this in their history classes to gain a better understanding of what the war between the states really was about.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Izzy and Lenore

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Jon Katz
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    Overall
    (128)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (73)

    Jon Katz is the New York Times best-selling author of numerous nonfiction tales of man's best friend. Here he presents the story of two dogs that profoundly affected his life and work. Skittish border collie Izzy pushes him into rewarding work with Hospice. And black lab Lenore's gentle spirit helps remind him why he wanted to work with animals in the first place.

    peabozzle says: "excellent"
    "Searching, Learning, Healing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The simplicity with which dogs love and accept us is one of the most amazing and healing gifts that we humans will ever encounter. I can't begin to tell you how this audio book by Jon Katz blessed me. The narration is perfect, soothing, calming, gentle . . . like a pup nuzzling up to you in the night. The story of Izzy, the border collie left wild in the fields to his own devices, with no one to call his own, abandoned by his owners . . . then adopted by Jon and joining him and the animals on his farm, learning to be a hospice dog . . . well, it is a story of healing, for Izzy, for the hospice patients, and for Jon . . . I think what I appreciated most of all is the honesty with which this story is written . . . the story of the valleys that all people encounter, whether in middle age or not, the ghosts of our pasts, which pop out of no where and suck the joy out of our lives, and threaten our future . . . the choice we all must make is to WALK THROUGH that valley and confront the ghosts . . . oh, and the comforts of having a pup to journey through it with us . . . a pup that never judges,never questions, just comes right along with us, come what may, until we come out whole on the other side.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dreams of Joy: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Lisa See
    • Narrated By Janet Song
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (859)
    Performance
    (595)
    Story
    (590)

    In her beloved New York Times best sellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and, most recently, Shanghai Girls, Lisa See has brilliantly illuminated the potent bonds of mother love, romantic love, and love of country. Now, in her most powerful novel yet, she returns to these timeless themes, continuing the story of sisters Pearl and May from Shanghai Girls, and Pearl’s strong-willed 19-year-old daughter, Joy.

    Maida says: "Dreams of Joy and all of Lisa See's books"
    "What it is to be Chinese, What it is to be free"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After listening to Shanghai Girls, I couldn't wait to start the sequel. The story of young idealistic Joy, sweet innocent daughter of Pearl who flees INTO communist China is absolutely engrossing, and like so many young people who get caught up in a dream. And the lives of May and Pearl also continue, as they face heartbreaking truths about themselves and their past. The historical facts included in this fictional story about what happened inside China during the early years of Mao are chilling, eye opening, even to us who think we know the evils of communism. The first hand accounts of the suffering and death of the Chinese people at the hands of this regime are horrifying, and the shift from glorious hope in equality to eventual utter despair of these proud, resilient people . . . well, it is evil in it's purest form. It is about power. It isn't and never was about equality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shanghai Girls: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Lisa See
    • Narrated By Janet Song
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1348)
    Performance
    (579)
    Story
    (588)

    Hoping to improve their social standing, May and Pearl's parents arrange for their daughters to "Gold Mountain men" who have come from Los Angeles to find brides. But when the sisters leave China and arrive at Angel's Island (the Ellis Island of the West, where they are detained, interrogated, and humiliated for months) they feel the harsh reality of leaving home. And when May discovers she's pregnant, the situation becomes even more desperate. The sisters make a pact that no one can ever know.

    Frances says: "Touching, sad, and enjoyable"
    "Amazing Story of Resilient, Family-Oriented People"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Historical fiction at it's best . . . this novel of two sisters, their family, and the old China of the early 1900's is beautifully written and narrated. This is a China and Shanghai that I really knew nothing about, since I was born in 1955. The American Chinese that I have been privileged to know have been some of the most honest and hard working people I would ever want to meet. This story which tells the hardships facing the early immigrants of the Chinese to America, makes me understand how these wonderful people came to be who they are. I did know that missionaries served in China prior to the communist regime, though I knew little else. The customs, the tight family framework, the sacrifices that generations of Chinese people endured for their offspring impacted me as I listened, as well as the exploitation of those virtues by fellow Chinese citizens. It is clear that evil preys on the most innocent in our society. As the two sisters, Pearl and May eventually escape from China to the United States, and enter through Angel's Island (also unknown to me) in California, I am amazed to learn at the interrogation they endure upon entry to America. I had never heard of "paper sons". I can't wait to listen to the next book by Lisa See, "Dreams of Joy". I am totally intrigued by the determination, love, and sacrifice of these people who are frugal, humble, and put the love of their family above all else. Their appreciation of America and the freedoms that many of us take for granted is refreshing and is a lesson for us all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Steve Lopez
    • Narrated By William Hughes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (378)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (176)

    When journalist Steve Lopez sees Nathaniel Ayers playing his heart out on a two-string violin on Los Angeles' skid row, he finds it impossible to walk away. More than 30 years ago, Ayers was a promising classical bass student at Juilliard - ambitious, charming, and also one of the few African-Americans there - until he gradually lost his ability to function, overcome by schizophrenia.

    Over time, the two men form a bond and Lopez imagines that he might be able to change Ayers' life. The Soloist is a beautifully told story of devotion in the face of seemingly unbeatable challenges.

    David says: "Fascinating true story"
    "Hope, Illusion, Schizophrenia"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is seldom that I choose nonfiction books, and when I do I am often disappointed. Not this time. I haven't seen the movie . . . doubt if I will . . . they usually come no where near the book. I am one of those people who have really been angered by the laws which put the mentally ill out on the streets many years ago, when "in their best interest" the mental institutions were eventually all closed down, along with all the other institutional placements for the severely handicapped. You see, I am the mother of a severely mentally retarded, severely autistic adult, who only through the grace of God, lots of work on our part (mine and my husband's), and constantly advocating for her, is now in an appropriate group home close to us, where she is safe. Mental illness is very different. But I'm not entirely sure that we've done these precious people any service by closing all the facilities which once housed them. There are so many ethical questions, so many questions of safety, not only of the mentally ill themselves, but that of the family members who spend years trying their best to care for their loved ones, many of which end up injured and sometimes killed by the person they are trying to take care of. One of the saddest stories happened here in Alabama when a teenage boy killed both his parents, and severely injured his siblings, several years ago. This family could not get any help from authorities or physicians, because the boy "had not actually harmed them" YET. The Soloist is a hauntingly beautiful, deeply moving story of a gifted musician who is unable to make health, cleanliness or other basic choices in life. Therefore he is "free". But everyone around him, everyone who loves him is TRAPPED in a vicious cycle of needing to help him, of continuing to hope, and of fighting the illusion that he CAN be helped. Nathaniel Ayers life has VALUE. God created Nathaniel. God created our sweet daughter. What we learned, over many, many years, is that God also created these special people to be adults, in whatever shape or form that is. And that God releases us, as their parents, as their caretakers, to also take care of ourselves. I fear that our society and our nation have not done well by those who truly need help the most, and cannot help themselves, while continuing to subsidize those who are ABLE BODIED. And the answers are not simple. But they are WORTH seeking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Persuader

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2896)
    Performance
    (2107)
    Story
    (2094)

    Jack Reacher. The ultimate loner. An elite ex-military cop who left the service years ago, he's moved from place to place...without family...without possessions...without commitments.

    Joanna says: "Child at His Best! A Must Read for Reacher Fans!"
    "Action Packed, Edge of Your Seat Nail Biter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was the first Lee Child audio book I've listened to, although it is in the middle of the series. It's still a great stand-alone story, and caught my attention from the start, kept it until the end. I'm a sucker for ex-military types and love it when they are the good guys, and this one is full of ex-military guys, good and bad. The back story (ten years prior when Reacher was still in the army) was very interesting and central to the current story, and if you don't listen carefully, near the end of the book, you may get confused. I didn't. Great story, great narration. I will be listening to more of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Night Music

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett
    Overall
    (262)
    Performance
    (237)
    Story
    (231)

    The Spanish House is a mixture of designs, Georgian, Gothic and Moorish, as if whoever started it had simply got bored. It has long been known as an architectural folly to locals, and is now nearly derelict to boot. When its reclusive owner dies intestate, the Spanish House is left to his city-dwelling niece. For Isabel, recently widowed, the house is a potential lifeline - the only hope she has of providing for her two children without having to sell her most treasured possession.

    Kelly says: "Jojo Moyes is my favorite."
    "Hauntingly Beautiful Story of Human, Flawed People"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked this story of a widow with two children who inherited a huge Spanish house in the country. Isabella, the young widow, whose deep passion for her violin and music, perhaps is too high a priority, has to learn a totally new way of life. But what I appreciated and most loved about the story was the honesty in which it was written. People DO have to go through hardships and work through grief in order to value what is most important in their lives. This isn't a cheap or tawdry tale, although there are some in the small town who make some unfortunate and selfish choices. There are MORE that make better choices and are loyal and end up doing right by their neighbors. The novel is hauntingly beautiful and meets my criteria of having an ending worth the wait.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hiding Place

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Corrie ten Boom, John Sherrill, Elizabeth Sherrill
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (297)
    Performance
    (267)
    Story
    (270)

    At one time, Corrie ten Boom would have laughed at the idea that she had a story to tell. For the first 50 years of her life, nothing out of the ordinary ever happened to her. She was a spinster watchmaker living contentedly with her sister and their elderly father in the tiny house over their shop in Haarlem. Their uneventful days, as regulated as their own watches, revolved around their abiding love for one another. But with the Nazi invasion and occupation of Holland, everything changed....

    Sara says: "Inspiring"
    "Humble, Quiet, Active FAITH"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although this book has been around for many, many years, I had never actually read it. I had heard quotes from it, little snippets of it, but the book in it's entirely is so much more. And very different than I expected. I cannot begin to tell how "The Hiding Place" blessed me as I listened. Although it is a wonderful story of a Christian family helping and hiding Jews during WWII, the foundation of the book begins many years prior to the war in the home and town of a humble watchmaker. A watchmaker who "forgets" to bill his customers, who takes pleasure in his daily work, who loves his family, and who passes down to them the treasures of God's knowledge that will sustain them in the years to come. It is with a quiet courage that this family eventually answers the call to help their Jewish friends and neighbors. The work that Corrie ten Boom continued following the war is also miraculous and something that isn't as commonly spoken of. Instead of being BITTER, she chose to become even BETTER, following her imprisonment. She chose Jesus. She chose to serve. I cannot recommend this book enough. It will bless you beyond measure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Trustee from the Toolroom

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (646)
    Performance
    (582)
    Story
    (583)

    Keith Stewart, a retiring and ingenious engineer, could not have been happier in his little house in the shabby London suburb of Ealing. There he invented the mini-motor, the six-volt generator, and the tiny Congreve clock. Then a chain of events sweeps him into deep waters and leads him to his happiest discovery yet.

    Paula says: "Just Simply a Great Story!"
    "Joy, Humility, and Just Pure Goodness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just become more and more impressed with the writing of Nevil Shute. I'm not an engineer or a skilled craftsman. But I VALUE that which a person puts their mind and heart into and strives to do their best at. And I fully understand and appreciate a person who does not build their self worth on material things. As for readers/listeners who were bored because they were not engineers, I find that a bit odd, because this wonderful book, though it includes some technical data, is so very much MORE than a procedural manual. It is the story of a simple man, who is full of skill and talent, yet chooses family, joy, and the simple goodness of continued work with his hands in lieu of selling himself to the highest bidder. I couldn't foresee the outcome of his journey, but oh, how I enjoyed traveling along, as Keith Stewart, humbly accepted new responsibilities and sailed half way around the world to fulfill them. The flow of the book, the narration, and the culmination were absolutely perfect. So satisfying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sold

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Patricia McCormick
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    Overall
    (451)
    Performance
    (394)
    Story
    (387)

    Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut on a mountain in Nepal. Though she is desperately poor, her life is full of simple pleasures, like playing hopscotch with her best friend from school and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp. But when the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of the family's crops, Lakshmi's stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family.

    AudioAddict says: "My name is Lakshmi. I am from Nepal. I am 13."
    "Could Be MY Child, YOUR Child"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I hear of or read a book like "Sold", the first thing that goes through my mind is this, "There but for the grace of God, go we." Though this book is fictional and supposedly geared toward a teen audience, it's a book that EVERYONE needs to read/hear. We, as Americans, have gotten so comfortable in our living rooms with our electronic gadgets, in our fancy SUVs and cars, living in a world where our bellies are full and sometimes our spirits are empty. Even when we HEAR about girls like Lakshmi who are sold in order to work and provide money for their families, it's all too easy to push those unpleasant thoughts back out of our tidy little minds. And it's too easy to say, "Oh, we could never do such a thing . . ." This story of 13 year old Lakshmi, whose step father decided she must be sold to provide money for the family, made me once again re-examine my own values, my own pride and status. I was NOT born in Nepal, Praise God for that. My own parents, though far from perfect, didn't have to decide whether or not to sell me. I was not forced into prostitution as a child. I am humbled by these facts,and I KNOW they are not mistakes. We are NOT given gifts to be squandered. We are not shown the truth to cover it back up again. "Sold" is a mighty story of strength and love, of depravity and abuse. Let's not allow this book to go into one ear and out the other.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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