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Katherine

Georgetown, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2011

136
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 130 reviews
  • 133 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
11

  • Death of a Village: A Hamish Macbeth Mystery, Book 19

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (105)

    The aromas of wild thyme and Highland heather waft through Lochdubh, home to M. C. Beaton's eccentric policeman, Hamish Macbeth. Yet what the irascible constable smells in his latest case is the acrid scent of fear as an entire town is entrapped in something dark and deadly.... Yet as he deftly investigates the summer's high crimes and misdemeanors, he attracts the attention of his superiors. They feel a promotion and transfer will give him a larger playing field than Lochdubh. That's the last thing Macbeth wants.

    Jessica says: "Comfort Reading"
    "Didn't enjoy it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read quite a few Hamish Macbeth mysteries and enjoy them as light refreshment between longer and weightier books. This time I didn't. The narrator, Graeme Malcolm, was new to me and Hamish came across more churlish and less charming for me with his reading. There seemed to be few lovable characters and the mysteries seemed forced. I have a pet peeve about seeing religion as the source of people's problems and, as that is an aspect of this book, that turned me off too! It may be awhile before I try another one of the series. I do miss Davina Porter for the Hamish Macbeth books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Victor Sebestyen
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    Overall
    (136)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (86)

    For more than 40 years, communism held eight European nations in its iron fist. Yet by the end of 1989, all of these nations had thrown off communism, declared independence, and embarked on the road to democracy.

    Mike From Mesa says: "Unsurpassed"
    "Top notch popular history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're interested in this topic in a general way, you can't go wrong with this book. It was very readable, with great characterizations of the principals involved, plus lots of subtle humour. If it ever dragged slightly, it was never for long. By necessity, it had to jump from one country to another to cover them all and their interactions, but the descriptions of each were so vivid, I didn't find it hard to keep track. The fall of the Berlin Wall wasn't as emotional to me in its portrayal as it had been in another book, but that's fine too. The other book, one of fiction, works well as a companion piece to this one. The fiction one that I read first was Ken Follett's final book in the Century Trilogy, called the "Edge of Eternity". They each have their place, but really I'd say this one, 1989, is a stronger book, with no bias to speak of and entertaining enough to hold one's interest. Ken Follett's book covers a broader topic than eastern Europe, of course, with a major focus on the civil rights struggle. They are both great for casual history buffs who aren't really willing to slog through anything too dry in their free time!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Edge of Eternity: The Century Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2507)
    Performance
    (2240)
    Story
    (2245)

    Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution - and rock and roll.

    Elisa says: "Some good, some bad"
    "Enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I did enjoy this, despite some evidence of bias, as others have said. When I expected the bias ahead of time from the reviews, it didn't bother me as much. For me, I prefer less explicit sex too, but I made it through those fairly brief scenes and I suppose it represents the times! The ending was startling and sad, at Obama's first election, (no spoiler there) in light of what has gone on in recent months related to Ferguson and more. The force impeding progress for blacks is no longer white racists, but race baiters and they can even be in high office (IMHO)! But, all in all, the book was great and it has inspired me to read a non-fiction book on a related theme, which is Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire by Victor Sebastyen, also available here in Audible. I'm half way through and it's fantastic. The two fit very well together and the second is very readable history. If Sebastyen has a bias, I can't really find it. The author himself fled Hungary as a child with his parents in the Soviet crackdown, so there is an additional dimension. There are some individuals and events mentioned in the Revolution book that clearly were the inspiration for some of Follett's characters, which makes the Edge of Eternity that much more plausible. I was not as disappointed as some others were by this book, despite it probably not being his very best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Espresso Tales

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Robert Ian Mackenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (300)
    Performance
    (165)
    Story
    (162)

    Between glances in the mirror, vain Bruce contemplates a new career as a wine merchant. His troubled flatmate, Pat, finds himself looking for true love at a nudist picnic. Precocious Bertie, now six years old, prepares for kindergarten despite the horror of being forced to wear pink overalls. Meanwhile, his domineering mother, Irene, and his psychologist, Dr. Fairbarn, struggle with dark secrets as Bertie plots his rebellion against them.

    Dorothea says: "Brilliant, as usual."
    "Super! I'm in for the whole series now"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Delightful social commentary with just believable characters that you come to care about. I'm back looking for Number 3 and I just can't picture listening to anything else right now.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hunting Shadows: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery, Book 16

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Charles Todd
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (243)
    Performance
    (215)
    Story
    (213)

    A society wedding at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire becomes a crime scene when a man is murdered. After another body is found, the baffled local constabulary turns to Scotland Yard. Though the second crime had a witness, her description of the killer is so strange it's unbelievable. Despite his experience, Inspector Ian Rutledge has few answers of his own. The victims are so different that there is no rhyme or reason to their deaths. Nothing logically seems to connect them - except the killer. As the investigation widens, a clear suspect emerges. But for Rutledge, the facts still don't add up, leaving him to question his own judgment.

    Kathi says: "Another great Ian Rutledge book!"
    "Not sure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my first Inspector Rutledge mystery and I'm still deciding if I would try another. I enjoyed the period, exploring the personal fall-out after World War 1 through a range of different characters. It seemed to move rather slowly for me, plus be busy with creating moods, which weren't necessarily relevant to the plot. Not my favourite, but I definitely wanted to finish it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death of a Hussy: A Hamish Macbeth Mystery, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 1 min)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Shaun Grindell
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    About the best that can be said of wealthy Maggie Baird is that inside her middle-aged body, there still beats the heart of a beautiful tart. So when her car catches fire with Maggie in it, there are five likely suspects right on the premises of her luxurious Highlands cottage. Lochdubh police constable Hamish Macbeth has to question Maggie's timid niece and four former lovers, one of whom Maggie had intended to pick for her husband. All five are equally poor - with ample motive and opportunity to monkey with Maggie's car.

    Katherine says: "Made me appreciate the other narrators"
    "Made me appreciate the other narrators"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book probably completes the series for me. I enjoyed it, but the narrator's attempt at all the voices and accents was very laboured. I found it distracting all through the book. I understand how very difficult it is to 'act' all these different parts and make them believable and hearing someone, who technically is probably getting close to the right accent, yet makes it sound awful, helps you to appreciate the others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Colder War

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Charles Cumming
    • Narrated By Jot Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (40)

    A top-ranking Iranian military official is blown up while trying to defect to the West. An investigative journalist is arrested and imprisoned for writing an article critical of the Turkish government. An Iranian nuclear scientist is assassinated on the streets of Tehran. These three incidents, seemingly unrelated, have one crucial link. Each of the three had been recently recruited by Western intelligence, before being removed or killed.

    Linnsey says: "Loved it"
    "Pretty good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As I love the spy genre, I'm always happy to find authors who explore it. I can't say I love the 2 Charles Cumming books I've read, but I am happy they were there and I'll read more. Thinking about A Colder War, there's something missing and I'm not sure what it is, but overall, I wanted to keep listening and some sections were exciting. The characters seem somewhat believable and the less-than-heroic lead character is no more annoying than many others.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Thereby Hangs a Tail: A Chet and Bernie Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Spencer Quinn
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (688)
    Performance
    (459)
    Story
    (461)

    While Bernie continues his struggle to pay the bills, Chet - with his sharp nose and even sharper teeth - keeps bringing down the perps. Told from Chet's perspective and featuring the humorous ramblings of a dog, Thereby Hangs a Tail is another winner.

    Deborah says: "I laughed out loud throughout this book"
    "Endearing stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The main thing about these books is clearly how endearing the dog is and what it's like to see things from his point of view. It stays with me for days, thinking I understand dogs especially well afterwards. But there was enough story to keep me interested here, which I didn't expect when I started. It's so sweetly written and perfectly narrated by Jim Frangione. It's the second of the series I've read and I'm sure every now and then, I'll pick up other ones. The titles alone make them tempting!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Operation Shakespeare: The True Story of an Elite International Sting

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By John Shiffman
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    In Operation Shakespeare, investigative journalist John Shiffman traces a high-risk undercover operation launched by an elite undercover Homeland Security unit created to stop the Iranians, Russians, Chinese, Pakistanis, and North Koreans from acquiring sophisticated American-made electronics capable of guiding missiles, jamming radar, and triggering countless weapons - from wireless IEDs to nuclear bombs.

    Andy says: "under our noses"
    "Outstanding!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a well-told and highly relevant exploration of the shadowy world of black market arms trading, focussing on one particular case. It was so well written, it puts the issue of stealing high-tech military secrets and hardware front and center as an important issue of our time. The technical details are easy to handle, set amongst the rich characters and riveting storyline. Apparently, it is going to be adapted into a movie, but I highly recommend reading it anyway, as the minor characters and rich contextual details won't make it into that format. Most exciting, scary and fascinating book I've read for ages. It fits well with Manhunt: the Ten Year Search for Bin Laden by Peter Bergen, as they both cover enormously relevant recent history through recounting the capture of one individual. Excellent storytelling of real, but covert, events.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden - from 9-11 to Abbottabad

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Peter L. Bergen
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    Overall
    (248)
    Performance
    (217)
    Story
    (214)

    From the author of the New York Times best-selling Holy War, Inc., this is the definitive account of the decade-long manhunt for the world’s most wanted man, Osama bin Laden. Al Qaeda expert and CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen paints a multidimensional picture of the hunt for bin Laden over the past decade, including the operation that killed him.

    Betty says: "DO NOT MISS THIS ONE!"
    "Fascinating! Don't miss this one."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is great storytelling, with just the right amount of detail and well told. I hadn't really realized how interesting each part of it would be, peeking behind the scenes at every stage of the process. I found the coverage balanced, not favouring any particular outlook or presidency. It IS a great success of the Obama presidency and, even though I don't support him overall, we all can celebrate successes by any president, hopefully. After all, we're all Americans! (I'm actually Canadian, but you know what I mean).

    Women especially, haven't you wondered how his wives fit into all of this, what kind of people they were, how they lived? In this book, you find out.

    In the epilogue of the book, he relates the other threats of militant Islam besides Al Qaida, which by this point in time, after he wrote the book, have proved to be very troubling indeed. Bergen doesn't see the whole movement as a threat overall to the West, comparable to Communism or Nazism, and I hope he's right. Time only will tell. I think it's better to take it seriously though and I think the real story is NOT that Bush screwed up in Iraq and Afghanistan, but that there aren't easy answers to this threat and no president would likely have been able to 'fix' it. I think it should be clear it's a long struggle, dating perhaps from 1979, and obviously still with us.

    But this book is a riveting account of every stage of this particular mission and for anyone even slightly interested, a very enjoyable book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Well-Mannered Assassin

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs)
    • By Aline, Countess of Romanones
    • Narrated By Susam O'Malley
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    The New Yorker raved that her bestselling memoir, The Spy Wore Red, "reads like a perfect thriller." Now the real-life model-turend-spy presents a thirlling novel of suspense -- based on the true intrigues of Carlos the Jackal. One of the most infamous names in the history of espionage, Carlos managed to elude his enemies for decades...until his recent arrest made headlines across the world. This exciting ficitonal account reveals the insidious methods -- and brilliant genius -- behind his international maneuvers. It is the story of a man whose smooth, cultured charm hides a secret identity and a shattering plot -- and the one woman who discovers he is actually the notorious Carlos the Jackal.The inspiration for the Countess of Romanones' novel was her own actual meeting with Carlos the Jackal in 1977, when he delivered documents to her home in Madrid; and her experience as a consultant with a wide variety of world specialists on international terrorism.

    Vicki G says: "Intriguing"
    "Not up to the other books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the Spy Wore Red many years ago and one other of her books, so I thought this might be an almost-as-good additional journey into her world. It wasn't. There isn't much of a story and I'm not continuing with it. I should have trusted the other reviews!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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