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Kathy

Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy

Davis, CA, United States | Member Since 2008

824
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 238 reviews
  • 452 ratings
  • 887 titles in library
  • 46 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
37
FOLLOWERS
108

  • Follow the River

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James Alexander Thom
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (382)
    Performance
    (322)
    Story
    (323)

    Mary Ingles was 23, happily married, and pregnant with her third child when Shawnee Indians invaded her peaceful Virginia settlement in 1755 and kidnapped her, leaving behind a bloody massacre. For months they held her captive. But nothing could imprison her spirit. With the rushing Ohio River as her guide, Mary Ingles walked one thousand miles through an untamed wilderness no white woman had ever seen.

    Marie L Walker says: "Amazing tale of survival"
    "Worthwhile, amazing story you won't soon forget"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A few spoilers, perhaps.

    Mary Ingles' escape from the Shawnee Indians in 1755 is such an incredible true story. The beginning of her story is a tough read, as it describes an Indian massacre in detail. Although I thought I was prepared for this telling, it was still disturbing. Mary's time spent in captivity, although only several months, also is a fair chunk of the story, very interesting yet not quite as disturbing.

    I was fascinated her trip to freedom. It is written in a manner that you feel you are right there with her day after tortuous day. The relationship that progressed between Mary and her companion, in all its developments, rang true and certainly seemed believable. It seemed the obstacles would never cease as Mary plodded along following various rivers, starving and naked. While the story sometimes seemed beyond belief, I have read other true survival tales and continue to be amazed at what a human body can go through when determined to survive.

    I especially appreciated the author's comments at the end of the book.

    Highly recommended.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Great Masters: Beethoven - His Life and Music

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (303)
    Performance
    (274)
    Story
    (268)

    Have you ever wondered how the lives of great composers-especially when set against the social, political, and cultural context of their world-influences their music?After listening to this perceptive series of eight lectures on the life and music of Ludwig van Beethoven, you will likely find that you hear his work in an entirely different way, your insight informed by new knowledge of how Beethoven was able to create masterpieces from the crises of his life.You'll learn about the years of progressive hearing loss-ultimately to produce total deafness-and the understandable agony and rage such a fate would bring upon a composer. About his deep depression over the end of his relationship with the woman he calls his Immortal Beloved. About his pathological hatred of authority, his persecution complex, even delusional behaviors.But you'll also learn how each of these crises, and many others, served to drive Beethoven inward, to reinvent himself and redeem his suffering through art, creating disruptive works of profound passion and beauty that reinvented the nature of musical expression in the Western world.

    Daniel Neal says: "The strangest rabbit hole yet!"
    "He Certainly Brings Beethoven to Life!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't think you can be disappointed with a Robert Greenberg lecture unless you are a terrible stuffed shirt. He is so full of enthusiasm and knowledgeable about his subject you can't help but be drawn in. Just knowing these interesting tidbits of information about Beethoven makes listening to his amazing music that Greenberg samples for us so much more enjoyable.

    I listened to the lectures with my daughter while on a recent working vacation helping her out with her new business in Hawaii. So many times we caught each others eyes and smiled or outright laughed at Greenberg's enthusiastic descriptions of the composer's life. This is educational entertainment at its best. I came to purchase this current offering after listening to Greenberg's much longer course, How To Listen To And Understand Great Music, a spectacular experience of a much bigger scope, of 36 plus hours.

    So, of course, I am recommending this audio lecture.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lost

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Michael Robotham
    • Narrated By Ray Lonnen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (793)
    Performance
    (427)
    Story
    (429)

    Michael Robotham's Suspect, hailed as "a lightning-paced debut" by Entertainment Weekly, was an international best seller that raised the bar for thrillers. Now two characters from that acclaimed novel, Detective Vincent Ruiz and psychologist Joe O'Loughlin, return for the electrifying Lost. When Detective Ruiz is pulled from the Thames, he has a bullet in his leg, a photograph of a missing (and presumed dead) girl in his pocket, and absolutely no memory of what happened.

    Lauren says: "EXCELLENT"
    "Robotham's Dive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you read my reviews, you know I am a big fan of Robotham, so you can imagine how I was looking forward to this book. Therefore, it came as quite a surprise and disappointment for me to feel so ambivalent toward it.

    I listened to it through to the end, although it felt like much too long a plod for me. I felt the story line was somewhat farfetched, also. This is a very dark and gritty novel that explores the seamiest and seediest side of life imaginable. Picture a child molester, picture traveling through sewers flowing with feces, add a missing and presumed dead little girl and a very damaged and deteriorating investigator, our own Vincent Ruiz.

    Ruiz has spent the greater part of his life as an honest and successful criminal investigator and yet for some reason, he has no credibility and is distrusted and held in contempt by his superiors in this story. Just how did that happen? And going along with the current trend of very damaged law enforcement "heroes", he is several times divorced and alienated with his own children. Is this really supposed to endear us to him or make him somehow more interesting? I am getting sick and tired of broken and deteriorating detectives with wretched personal lives. Enough already!

    On the bright side, Robotham has a very unique writing style that should not be discounted. It is effectively and very simply descriptive. You feel almost like you have been shrunken and put in the protagonist's shirt pocket. You can smell things he smells, you see what he sees, you hear what he hears. Little details that paint a picture for you. Robotham really has a knack for this. I only wish he would come up a little way from the dark shadows and sewers once in a while.

    Ray Lonnen did a fine and very credible narration which is on a par with narrations by Sean Barrett, who has performed a number of the other books by this author.

    While this isn't my favorite Robotham mystery, I am not giving it a thumbs down. I'm leaving it up to you to decide whether you want to dive in.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Language of Hoofbeats

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Catherine Ryan Hyde
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd, Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (50)

    New to a small town, Jackie and Paula envision a quiet life for their kids: a young adopted son and two teenage foster children, including the troubled Star. However, they quickly butt heads with their neighbor, Clementine, who disapproves of their lifestyle and is incensed when Star befriends her spirited horse, Comet. Haunted by past tragedy and unable to properly care for Comet, Clem nevertheless resents the bond Star soon shares with the horse.

    Kathy says: "Happily ever after . . . ."
    "Happily ever after . . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story was not as good as the two previous Ryan Hyde books I read/listened to. It had some parts that dragged a bit but I found myself more drawn in by the second half of the story. No sense in me summarizing the plot, Audible did an adequate job of it. Oh, okay, I will. Two lesbian foster parents deal with a messed up teen girl who steals the curmudgeon neighbor lady's neglected horse and threatens the happiness of their two other children (who are like no children I ever knew from the foster care system, saintly almost.)

    You might enjoy this book if you like chick lit, you like kids and horses, you are a lesbian, or you have loved some of the authors other books. (It's really not a bad book.)

    Additionally, the narrators did an excellent job which always adds to the listening experience.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Breakfast with Buddha: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Roland Merullo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1201)
    Performance
    (1030)
    Story
    (1028)

    When his sister tricks him into taking her guru on a trip to their childhood home, Otto Ringling, a confirmed skeptic, is not amused. Six days on the road with an enigmatic holy man who answers every question with a riddle is not what he'd planned. But in an effort to westernize his passenger---and amuse himself---he decides to show the monk some "American fun" along the way.

    Mary McCarthy says: "a thoughtful and often hilarious journey"
    "WOWZER!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I hesitantly started this book the other day, not having any idea if I would like it. No worry, I told myself, if it's awful, you will get your money back. I realized immediately that was not going to happen.

    This is a fun and very enjoyable book. It grabbed me from the start and I loved each and every minute of it. It elicited quite a few chuckles and even a tear or two. It is more serious than funny, quite introspective, but the Rinpoche is just so endearing and amusing and Otto has many life lessons to learn. If I could be overly flowery I would say it made my heart sing.

    Audible provides a nice summary. Basically, a husband/father is tricked into traveling cross country, not with his flaky sister as planned, but with her guru, as he travels to wrap up things in North Dakota after his parents' sudden and unexpected death in a car accident.

    That's all you need to know. Take the leap and get this book. I have a feeling it is an easy to miss experience, that you just might feel you have no interest in gurus or Buddhism. Neither did I. What a loss it would have been if I didn't take a chance and get it. Such a nice surprise.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Impasse: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Royce Scott Buckingham
    • Narrated By Allan Robertson
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (58)

    Forty and facing a midlife crisis, Stu Stark has lost his mojo. He simply gave up after being fired from his prestigious job as a prosecuting attorney for losing the biggest case of his career. So when Stu's best friend gifts him a one-week trip into the Alaskan wilderness to rediscover his manhood, Stu thinks it just might do him some good. But after a horrible week, Stu is crushed when he realizes no one is coming back for him.

    Marci says: "Really great with just a couple of flaws"
    ". . . intrigue, murder, adventure, sex, and more!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I took a chance, putting my trust in several of the nice listeners I follow, and purchased this audiobook. All I can say is thanks, folks, for pointing me in the right direction! What a fun, compelling listen. This is a author I will definitely be looking for more from.

    You have a once up-and-coming attorney who made a colossal blunder on a big case. He seemingly lost his way, getting fired from a great job and having to open a private practice with someone he didn't know all that well, someone he went to law school with but didn't pal around with. No worries, he had a beautiful wife and was working hard to redeem his name, slowly but ever so surely. Until, that is, he is put in a life and death predicament in the wilds of Alaska. This part of the book, the time in Alaska, fighting for his life and finding his manhood, was one of my favorite parts.

    Also enjoyable was his slow dawning that what happened to him might not be a terrible mistake but an attempt on his life. How he comes to his realization and what he does is pure fun and makes that little mp3 player so hard to put down. I had the ear-buds on at the crack of dawn this morning in bed! I never do that.

    I just want to add a few things. IMHO, this book has nothing to do with David Copperfield, which I also listened to not that long ago. This is a modern, up to date story that races to its conclusion; it's thrilling almost every moment of the way. While they are both great listens, I would by no means put them in the same category or compare them.

    Additionally, Allan Robertson, as narrator, does an expert job, adding even more to a very enjoyable listen. Impasse has everything--intrigue, murder, adventure, sex, and maybe even redemption. I say, go for it!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition

    • ORIGINAL (36 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (567)
    Performance
    (505)
    Story
    (496)

    Great music is a language unto its own, a means of communication of unmatched beauty and genius. And it has an undeniable power to move us in ways that enrich our lives-provided it is understood.If you have ever longed to appreciate great concert music, to learn its glorious language and share in its sublime pleasures, the way is now open to you, through this series of 48 wonderful lectures designed to make music accessible to everyone who yearns to know it, regardless of prior training or knowledge.

    Lee the reader says: "Wonderful, I've wanted this for so long...but..."
    "It Doesn't Get Any Better!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've spent the last four weeks immersed in this Great Course. I feel like I am coming away a changed, better person--enlightened, with my interest in classical music rekindled. I took an elective course in college many years ago, music listening, but I haven't experienced this type of music since then, with very few exceptions. This course changed all that.

    Professor Greenberg is simply amazing. I feel really privileged to have the chance to listen to his 48 lectures. He is sharp as a tack--brilliant, actually. And he brings to it such enthusiasm and such a love of music! Add to this a sharp sense of humor that is ever-present and which gave me so many little bursts of laughter through out this marathon listen.

    To add to the enjoyment of listening to great music excerpts, Professor Greenberg tells anecdotes of the individual composers' lives. This made them come alive for me--they were not just names to associate with music but actual people struggling with life like all of us. Very colorful people, indeed. How can I ever forget the story of Hector Berlioz' lusting romance with his "Henriette?" How can I not want to listen to the music of Liszt after learning his story?

    Greenberg has succeeded here. I strongly recommended this audiobook if you want to reignite your interest in great music. It is educational but also pure fun!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Judy Melinek, MD, T. J. Mitchell
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (697)
    Performance
    (625)
    Story
    (619)

    Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. With her husband and their toddler holding down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation-performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, and counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy's two years of training, taking listeners behind the police tape of some of the most harrowing deaths in the Big Apple.

    R. Milam says: "Great story - but not for the faint of heart!"
    "Dead Body Soup!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is very interesting but be forewarned. It is not for the faint of heart. There are in-depth descriptions of dead bodies, mangled and marred by accidents, suicides, criminal activity, or just plain old time. That is, they weren't found right away. Ever wondered what happened to a decaying body? No, I didn't either, but now I have an idea! Some of the author's depictions of autopsies come with an interesting story, others are just about the autopsy. It is interesting how cause of death is determined--or not determined. It was unsettling to learn of how often the NY law enforcement were uninterested in learning a death might be non-accidental because they were just too lazy to do a criminal investigation. Ugh.

    I found the 9-11 story fascinating in a ghoulish way. Actually, most of the book was ghoulish, but that didn't make it bad. You just have to be prepared for what is being presented.

    I was taken aback when I first started listening to the author's description of her autopsies, which were presented in great detail and with great glee. Then, I had to remind myself the glee was coming from the narrator, not the author. The author is a medical doctor and the narrator is versed in chick-lit books, for heaven sakes! How does that compute? And once again, there were those renditions of buffoonish male voices. I knew I would persevere and keep on listening but am left wondering who picked this narrator for a very serious topic and why? Does an author have any say in the matter? I can't believe Melinek was very happy when she listened to her own book.

    (As to my review title, this has always stuck in my mind. A very rude co-worker once asked her cubicle neighbor, who brought in an apparently aromatic ethnic soup for lunch, "What are you eating? Dead body soup?" Ugh, again.)

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Neil deGrasse Tyson
    • Narrated By Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson
    Overall
    (1527)
    Performance
    (1325)
    Story
    (1306)

    Everything we now know about the universe - from the behavior of quarks to the birth of galaxies - has come from people who've been willing to ponder the unanswerable. And with the advent of modern science, great minds have turned to testing and experimentation rather than mere thought as a way of grappling with some of the universe's most vexing dilemmas. So what is our latest picture of some of the most inexplicable features of the universe? What still remains to be uncovered and explored by today's scientists?

    Kristi Richardson says: ""The Universe is in us!""
    "Greate Mysteries--Solved, Unsolved, Unimaginable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mysteries of the universe, solved and unsolved. . . hmm.

    Neil deGrasse Tyson is such an enthusiastic lecturer, I can imagine he could make just about any topic fascinating. He talks about some of the greatest mysteries of our universe, a few that have been already solved and others that we are currently struggling with and may never in our lifetimes find the answers to. He talks about mysteries that keep him up at night and some that defy current imagination. He talks about the existence of mysteries that we don't even have the intelligence or current knowledge to wonder about.

    Should we even worry or fret or care about mysteries we cannot solve or even imagine? What was it like when the universe was formed? How about when it will eventually die? Are there parallel universes? What in the heck is dark matter or dark energy? Why should we even care?

    If any of these questions interest you, I suggest you get this selection from The Great Courses. It is guaranteed to feel too short for you, no matter what your knowledge base or curiosity index is. It is guaranteed to be fascinating, anyway.

    Now, I have to check and see if I can find any other books by deGrasse Tyson. He is a wonderful lecturer! He is worth pursuing further.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Yellow Crocus

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Laila Ibrahim
    • Narrated By Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (974)
    Performance
    (885)
    Story
    (889)

    Moments after Lisbeth is born, she’s taken from her mother and handed over to an enslaved wet nurse, Mattie, a young mother separated from her own infant son in order to care for her tiny charge. Thus begins an intense relationship that will shape both of their lives for decades to come. Though Lisbeth leads a life of privilege, she finds nothing but loneliness in the company of her overwhelmed mother and her distant, slave-owning father.

    Kathy says: "A rare find, a 5 star book!"
    "A rare find, a 5 star book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't rate all good books with 5 stars, but I have absolutely nothing to nitpick about this audiobook. I enjoyed everything about it, and I am sure it will remain in my memory for a long time to come.

    I am often wary of reading a "slave" book, just like I am of a "holocaust" book. It takes some emotional bracing and mental preparation beforehand, but I will not avoid these two heartrending and important subjects.

    This book was beautifully written. The characters were well-developed and all very believable. Whether I loved them or hated them, I could surely understand their motivations and behaviors based on the times and the setting they resided in. The slavery period can make for very sad and uncomfortable reading, but author Ibrahim handled this with finesse, neither appealing to or manipulating our emotions and our guilt, nor glossing over it to make it more palatable. I feel the story was well-balanced and the facts of the period were presented in a non-preachy and non-exaggerated manner.

    The story was engrossing to me. I really cared what happened to the two main characters, Mattie and Lisbeth. I held my breath at times when they exhibited behaviors that would likely put them in real danger, and I sighed with relief when it seemed that they would be all right. The ending was very intense and emotional--I listened with rapt attention, even though I believed I knew what was going to happen. This book is an example of what I refer to as "an author taking care of their readers."

    The narration, in case you are wondering, was just perfect. I hope to find more audiobooks narrated by Turpin in the future.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Walk

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Richard Paul Evans
    • Narrated By Richard Paul Evans
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (353)
    Performance
    (289)
    Story
    (289)

    What would you do if you lost everything - your job, your home, and the love of your life - all at the same time? When it happens to Seattle ad executive Alan Christoffersen, he's tempted by his darkest thoughts. A bottle of pills in his hand and nothing left to live for, he plans to end his misery. Instead, he decides to take a walk. But not any ordinary walk. Taking with him only the barest of essentials, Al leaves behind all that he's known and heads for the farthest point on his map.

    Beth says: "A story of Hope"
    "Great listen but why is it so SHORT?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this short story and am left wondering, since there are at least five books in the series, why oh why are they so short? It is totally unnecessary and I am left with a slight negative feeling from a book that I otherwise loved listening to.

    Alan Christoffersen's life falls apart in a matter of weeks. Everything that he knew and loved is gone, and he has to make some pretty serious decisions. His first decision is whether he even wants to go on living. Well, there wouldn't be any book at all if he did himself in, so that is no spoiler. Besides, you already know he is going on a long, long walk (5 books worth, so far).

    Alan's walk becomes what I might call a spiritual endeavor (but not really religious) and I feel he is going to learn some of life's deeper and more important lessons as he continues on his cross country trek. This is a very gentle, sweet book that moves along at a walker's pace. I enjoyed it immensely and I do look forward to continuing the journey .

    This is an author-narrated book. Authors are not necessarily the best narrators, I think we all would agree, but sometimes that can acceptable. Evan's tells his story in a quiet, believable fashion, so much so that I had to do some research to find out if this was a novel or true story at the beginning.

    So, all in all, this was a very positive listening experience for me despite the above-mentioned shortness of the audiobook.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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