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Heather

I listen to audiobooks as I have a brain injury which makes it hard for me to read for more than 10--15 minutes. Jewish grandmother to twins

Member Since 2014

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 178 ratings
  • 419 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2015
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  • Wisdom of the Talmud

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ben Zion Bokser
    • Narrated By Allen O'Reilly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    This is a highly comprehensive introduction to the Talmud, the age-old storehouse of Jewish wisdom. Bokser covers the long history of the Talmud, from its origin in the Babylonian exile, its growth through the five centuries after the Roman destruction of the Temple, and the later persecution of the Talmud. The book covers a number of high-level topics, including social ethics and personal morality, with numerous examples from the Talmud. Ben Zion Bokser was one of the major Conservative rabbis of America.

    Heather says: "bad narration can ruin a book"
    "bad narration can ruin a book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book is okay, but the volume is ruined by a narrator who is not familiar with the subject matter: many of the Hebrew words, surnames, places, holiday names, etc. were horribly mispronounced.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Golem and the Jinni Part 3: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Helene Wecker
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

    Y. R. says: "A magical story brought to life."
    "Great fable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wonderful story of an unlikely friendship between a golem and a jinni. Jewish terms but not overly religious for anyone who likes fables but not religion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Mists of Avalon

    • UNABRIDGED (50 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Marion Zimmer Bradley
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (778)
    Performance
    (684)
    Story
    (703)

    A posthumous recipient of the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, Marion Zimmer Bradley reinvented - and rejuvenated - the King Arthur mythos with her extraordinary Mists of Avalon series. In this epic work, Bradley follows the arc of the timeless tale from the perspective of its previously marginalized female characters: Celtic priestess Morgaine, Gwenhwyfar, and High Priestess Viviane.

    Carolina says: "Davina Porter brings an old favorite back to life!"
    "starts good, ends very poorly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story shows a lot of promise through most of the book, but ends very poorly, like the author ran out of interest in writing the story. The last several chapters each have a climatic-like summary going on, so by the time you get to the final end, it feels like the story has ended 5 or 6 times already, but still is not satisfying.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Seduce Me at Sunrise

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Lisa Kleypas
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (845)
    Performance
    (514)
    Story
    (513)

    Kev Merripen has longed for the beautiful, well-bred Winnifred Hathaway ever since her family rescued him from the brink of death when he was just a boy. But this handsome Gypsy is a man of mysterious origins - and he fears that the darkness of his past could crush delicate, luminous Win. So Kev refuses to submit to temptation...and before long Win is torn from him by a devastating twist of fate.

    Queen Squared says: "OMG! This series is amazing!"
    "Poor Naration spoils the plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The plot sounds great, but the narration is so rough and stilted that it is incredibly hard to get into this novel. It has taken me 8 tries so far, and it is still not grabbing me. It might be time to re-record this one Audible.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Casual Vacancy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By J. K. Rowling
    • Narrated By Tom Hollander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3158)
    Performance
    (2769)
    Story
    (2796)

    When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

    cristina says: "I was surprised by how much I liked it"
    "Nothing but a soap opera"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think the only reason this book was published was the author's prior history: if it had been written by a first time author it would likely have been put in the trash can. It is a horrible piece of writting not worth the listen. While there is a semblence of plot and storyline, it is not worthy of the hype and certainly is not worth the price of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Deborah Feldman
    • Narrated By Rachel Botchan
    Overall
    (362)
    Performance
    (306)
    Story
    (304)

    In this captivating memoir, Deborah Feldman takes listeners on an eye-opening journey into Orthodox Jewish culture. Raised in the suffocating world of Brooklyn’s Satmar Hasidim, Feldman was told what to read and who she was allowed to talk to. Married off at 17, she suffered from anxiety and was shamed by an inability to please her older husband. But after giving birth to a son at age 19, Feldman realized it was time to tear up her roots and make her own path in life.

    Ella says: "A one-sided glimpse into a secretive world"
    "A Very Sad Portait of Young Narcissism"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Unorthodox?

    I enjoyed learning more about this particular sect of the Orthodox culture, but the author does misrepresent some aspects of it in her bias against it.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Deborah Feldman again?

    No. I do not think she has anything rational to say in terms of Orthodox writing, and her writing is not sophisticatied enough enough to warrant another listen.


    Which character – as performed by Rachel Botchan – was your favorite?

    Zayde.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No -- I had to put it away and come back to it, as the book made me angry at times, with the selfishness and complete disregard for anyone else's feelings and perspective.


    Any additional comments?

    To anyone who reads this book: please do not think this is what the Orthodox culture is like. Not by a long shot. She paints a horrible picture of what is in tuth a very loving culture that focuses on learning, family and yes, religious life. This is a book that seems to be written out of revenge against the people she grew up with. It is written in such a way that it can only be an exaggeration at points, so cannot really be honest autobiography.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By James Carroll
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    In James Carroll's provocative reading of the deep past, the Bible's brutality responded to the violence that threatened Jerusalem from the start. Centuries later, the mounting European fixation on a heavenly Jerusalem sparked both anti-Semitism and racist colonial contempt. The holy wars of the Knights Templar burned apocalyptic mayhem into the Western mind. Carroll's brilliant and original leap is to show how, as Christopher Columbus carried his own Jerusalem-centric worldview to the West, America too was powerfully shaped by the dream of the City on a Hill....

    History says: "Good book, provocative"
    "Good listen for introductory Middle East History."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Very easy to listen to overview of the history of Jerusalem, from the perspective of a Catholic. Unfortunately some of his facts are not entirely accurate in the Jewish portion of the book, (from the perspective of an Orthodox Jew), which leads me to doubt some of the accuracy on some of the other facts of the less-known sects of Christianity and their views on Jerusalem. Overall though, it is a nice listen, written in a fairly balanced approach showing all sides of the land ownership over the ages.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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