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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

ratings
412
REVIEWS
198
FOLLOWING
53
FOLLOWERS
72
HELPFUL VOTES
487

  • The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Bruce D. Perry, Maia Szalavitz
    • Narrated By Danny Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (408)
    Performance
    (356)
    Story
    (358)

    What happens when a young child is traumatized? How does terror affect a child's mind---and how can that mind recover? Child psychiatrist Bruce Perry has treated children faced with unimaginable horror: genocide survivors, witnesses to their own parents' murders, children raised in closets and cages, the Branch Davidian children, and victims of family violence. In The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, he tells their stories of trauma and transformation.

    Marilyn says: "Changed a Sixth-Grade Teacher's Life"
    "For me, riveting!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book immensely. I spent nearly 20 years working for Child Protective Services and saw so many children who appeared to be beyond help. I am talking about the seriously disturbed children who reside in group homes, as they can not be safely maintained in foster care. I have also done alot of reading about the problems adopted children with unknown backgrounds present. Bruce Perry's case histories and his brain development theories certainly offer hope that there may be a way of helping these children function in the real world.

    Each child he wrote about was at the extreme end of the spectrum of neglect/abuse and with most of these, he did make progress. He clearly explained how the abuse or neglect affected the brain and the techniques that might be used to treat the "brain deficiencies" and therefore, the children themselves.

    Perry treats and writes about a variety of children that have suffered circumstances that are hard to even imagine. They are fascinating stories, sometimes hard to comprehend or believe. I think perhaps that this book should be mandatory reading for anyone who is prepared to adopt a child, particularly from foster care or from overseas. It offers a great deal of promise for those that either unwittingly or knowingly, adopt a damaged child. Even if you are not adopting, I think this is a fascinating subject.

    In addition, the book was very well-narrated. I highly recommend it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Watching You

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Michael Robotham
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    Overall
    (365)
    Performance
    (331)
    Story
    (331)

    Marnie Logan often feels like she's being watched: A warm breath on the back of her neck, or a shadow in the corner of her eye that vanishes when she turns her head. She has reason to be frightened. Her husband Daniel has inexplicably vanished, and the police have no leads in the case. Without proof of death or evidence of foul play, she can't access his bank accounts or his life insurance. Depressed and increasingly desperate, she seeks the help of clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin.

    bernadette says: "Wow!"
    "Take Care and Don't Mess With Marnie!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It didn't take long for me to become totally immersed in this mystery. And what a mystery it is! About half way into the book, a light bulb went on and I thought I had it figured out. How wrong I was, as there are twists and turns that are totally unexpected. This is a really good story that keeps you holding your breath til the end.

    Sean Barrett's narration was amazing. It was truly a performance that I will long remember and it added greatly to the enjoyability of the story. Barrett did all the characters so well and had such a variety of voices and accents. His interpretation of one particular character certainly added immensely to the creepiness factor which made the experience such fun for me.

    Collateral characters,while not as well described and developed, were also believable and interesting. This is a series and I think Watching You is the last one that was released. While it was a stand alone story, I imagine you might feel more at home with having previous experience with Joe O'Loughlin, the criminal psychologist. Still, despite entering the series in this later book, I found it thoroughly enjoyable and I highly recommend it.

    (I have not described the story as Audible gives a good summary, certainly enough for you to decide if the plot interests you.)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Age of Innocence

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Edith Wharton
    • Narrated By David Horovitch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (222)
    Performance
    (172)
    Story
    (174)

    Countess Olenska, separated from her European husband, returns to old New York society. She bears with her an independence and anawareness of life which stirs the educated sensitivity of Newland Archer, engaged to be married to May Welland.

    Ilana says: "Narrated to Perfection"
    "An Unexpected and Very Pleasant Surprise!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Age of Innocence was a daily deal and really not something that would interest me, but the reviews were all so enthusiastic that I had to give it a try.

    Horovitch narrated it so wonderfully, I wasn't the least bit bothered by his English accent for New York characters. I will admit I did laugh out loud at another reviewer's comment about Countess Oleska sounding like she was from Transylvania. Despite that little blip, it was a perfect narration.

    I particularly enjoyed the setting, 1870's New York City. The upper class families with their restrictive societal-driven behaviors fascinated me. I loved the description by Wharton of May and Ellen's grandmother, Mrs. Manson Mingott. It had me chuckling to myself as she described in detail Mingott's utterly fleshy state!

    I had hopes for different decisions on Newland Archer's part, but it seems he was greatly limited by societal restraints of the day and of his class as mentioned above. It was a very unusual threesome, something that would never play out in this day and age of immediate gratification. And yet, I loved every minute of this book. It was an enjoyable and amusing listen for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Wrong: Joanna Brady Series, Book 12

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By J. A. Jance
    • Narrated By Stephanie Brush
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (44)

    Juggling a family and a career is never easy, and it's becoming a real challenge for Sheriff Joanna Brady. Coping with the impending delivery of her second child as well as a staff shortage, the last thing Joanna needs are two serious crimes.

    Lori says: "A Great Listen"
    "Dead Wrong and Dead Awful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are so many things wrong with this book, I'm not sure where to begin. The thing that stands out the most for me is the skills of the narrator, which are seriously lacking. Stephanie Brush has a lovely pleasant voice and she does Joanna Brady nicely. However, she cannot do anyone else in a decent, convincing voice. When she does males, she uses a throaty, shrill voice that makes them instantly annoying and unlikeable. At first, I felt her husband had aphasia or a mental deficiency, the halting way he spoke. She was equally awful at doing crying children or crying women--ferociously awful! She needs to go to Narrator School, for sure! No, I would NOT listen to another of her narrations, even if it was for a favorite author.

    Then, on to the story which was sorely lacking in credibility. We are to believe that a 9 months pregnant Joanna, only a week away from her due date, is working full-time, late into the evening, AND weekends in dangerous situations with no worries, no aching tiredness, or fears of doing damage to her unborn son? We are to believe her husband is perfectly okay with this, too? We are to believe she can fly down onto the ground, lie on her 9-months pregnant stomach, and shoot a bad guy from under her car? And the old tired cliche that parents must be inconsiderate, obnoxious idiots--both Joanna's AND also her husband's?

    The story was not very believable, either, and much too easily wrapped up in the end. Oh yes, Joanna was perky and fine right after the delivery and continued to work from her hospital bed! It leads us to speculate that the baby will enter daycare immediately and perhaps never see his mother again.

    I thought I really enjoyed Jance's books. I am thinking she is either resting on her laurels, relying on formula stories, or not using editors anymore. Too bad. I really like her settings and have even spent time in the Huachuca Mountains . . . .

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Just One Damned Thing After Another: The Chronicles of St Mary's, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated By Zara Ramm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (245)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (220)

    Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time-travel' - they 'investigate major historical events in contemporary time'. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power - especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet. Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary's Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History.

    Carolyn says: "Book Lovers Nirvana"
    "Adventures in Time Travel!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I know there are folks who buy a book because of its cover. I got this one because of its title--I just couldn't resist it! Besides, time travel is 'in' right now and often can be very entertaining.

    Over all, I found the story enjoyable and a fun read. The heroine is surprisingly able and competent to handle herself in difficult situations and to save the day for her colleagues. I found this a bit incongruous with the narrator's particular British accent, in that I just could not imagine someone who talked like that punching someone in the face or being rough and tough enough to carry the story. Yet, Max was just that kind of heroine. I guess you just can't judge a book by its accent!

    In contrast to a previous reviewer, I enjoyed this book much more than Connie Willis' two World War II time travel books, which I found very unsatisfying and frustrating. Jodi Tayor's character, Max, has actual relationships with other characters and all these characters are more developed. I found Max's adventures in time travel into the past much more engaging. The Willis books, while expertly researched, were pure drudgery for me.

    If you love time travel books and are happy with a very British sounding heroine, this book will be a fun read for you. Go for it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Atul Gawande
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (378)
    Performance
    (113)
    Story
    (118)

    Atul Gawande explores how doctors strive for best performance in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. His stories of diligence and ingenuity take us to battlefield surgical tents in Iraq, to labor and delivery rooms in Boston, to a polio outbreak in India, and to malpractice courtrooms around the country. He discusses the ethical dilemmas of doctors' participation in lethal injections, examines the influence of money on medicine, and recounts the astoundingly contentious history of hand washing.

    Bonneville says: "Unfocused & Rambling"
    "A MUST read . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    for anyone interested in the current state of health care and the medical field, for professionals, and those like me who aspire to be a doctor in my next life.

    Seriously, this is an excellent book that covers very interesting and surprising issues related to improving medical care and outcomes. A few of the things Dr. Gawande touches on are cleanliness, battle injuries, eradicating polio, doctors' salaries, hospital excellence (or lack of), and practice of medicine in impoverished areas of India. Each topic had surprising information and was compellingly interesting to me. The author's intelligence, clear-thinking, and caring came through as the book progressed. He has a great deal to offer medical professionals and also the non-medical, average person, too.

    John Bedford Lloyd did a fabulous narration. I never felt that he was reading someone elses book. He read it like it was his own. His voice is simply wonderful, too.

    Highly recommended if the topic is of interest to you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anthony Doerr
    • Narrated By Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (693)
    Performance
    (635)
    Story
    (633)

    Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

    Hank Reads! says: "Completely absorbing!"
    "EXCELLENT!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a really wonderful book--I realized this more and more as the novel proceeded. It is such a different take on World War II and the Nazis, focusing on two youths on different sides. This said, I really don't see this as a YA novel but rather, for all age readers.

    Marie Laure is a French girl who became blind at age 6. She lives in France with her beloved father. After the war begins, they flee to St. Malo to live with her father's brother who is an agoraphobic. Werner, on the other hand, is a young German orphan who comes of age in Hitler's Youth, being sent to fight at a very early age and staying alive due to his uncanny skills with radios.

    This is a very touching, beautifully written story that I will remember and think about for a long time. The ending is not what I hoped for or expected, but we all know that a WW II story is unlikely to have a fairytale ending. This ending, however, was very satisfying and left me with good feelings.

    Zach Appleman should be commended for his excellent and consistently sensitive narration. It is perfect for this story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Billy Crystal
    • Narrated By Billy Crystal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1594)
    Performance
    (1451)
    Story
    (1447)

    Billy Crystal is 65, and he's not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt. In humorous chapters like ""Buying the Plot"" and ""Nodding Off,"" Crystal not only catalogues his physical gripes, but offers a road map to his 77 million fellow baby boomers who are arriving at this milestone age with him. He also looks back at the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, from entertaining his relatives as a kid in Long Beach, Long Island, and his years doing stand-up in the Village, up through his legendary stint at Saturday Night Live, When Harry Met Sally, and his long run as host of the Academy Awards. Listeners get a front-row seat to his one-day career with the New York Yankees (he was the first player to ever ""test positive for Maalox""), his love affair with Sophia Loren, and his enduring friendships with several of his idols, including Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali. He lends a light touch to more serious topics like religion (""the aging friends I know have turned to the Holy Trinity: Advil, bourbon, and Prozac""); grandparenting; and, of course, dentistry. As wise and poignant as they are funny, Crystal's reflections are an unforgettable look at an extraordinary life well lived.

    Pamela says: "Growing up with Billy Crystal"
    "Funny and interesting and moving!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn't sure, at first, if I could enjoy 8 hours of Billy Crystal. The beginning of the book had many laugh-out loud moments as Billy discussed growing old. It particularly resonated with me, as Billy and I are very close in age and grew up in nearby Long Island towns. Billy alternated chapters of his autobiography with standup comedy routines about the joys (or horrors!) of getting old. He also ranted about people's behaviors that frustrated him, many of which I could identify with.

    Billy is a very likeable guy. He couldn't have made so many wonderful and amazing friends without having a genuinely great personality. I really liked his ability to look on the bright side of life and not focus on the negative. I also found it amazing that Billy has been married to his sweetheart, Janice, since 1970! You just don't see this happening in Hollywood any more.

    This was a fun, easy listen for me, and I am glad I purchased this book. It was an unexpectedly pleasant listening experience.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Involuntary Witness: Guido Guerrieri Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Gianrico Carofiglio
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (709)
    Performance
    (624)
    Story
    (624)

    A nine-year-old boy is found murdered at the bottom of a well near a popular beach resort in southern Italy. In what looks like a hopeless case for Guido Guerrieri, a Senegalese peddler is accused of the crime. Faced with small-town racism, Guido attempts to exploit the esoteric workings of the Italian courts. The voice of Sean Barrett brings this gritty Italian detective series to life.

    dumbclub says: "Excellence"
    "A Fabulous Find!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was such a surprise for me. I didn't expect to be so riveted to the mp3 player--I finished the book in a day and a half! This is an audiobook I really hated to end and it is a hard act to follow for my next book.

    Firstly, the narration is the best! Sean Barrett nails the main character, Guido Guerrieri, but without even needing an Italian accent. He also portrays the defendent, Abdou Thiam, impeccably. I will definitely seek our more books by this narrator.

    I really like this sort of story. I felt I really got into the head of the main character, that he was actually speaking to me. What some other reviewers found "tedious", I found compelling. I could have listened to the character, Guido, musing on about his life for a really long time; I found myself interested in it all! I loved his incidental relationships, too. Perhaps this is an indication of the narrator's skill and the author's talent combined. The author and the narrator are an unbeatable combination for me.

    I liked the story very much too. I could not imagine how all the circumstantial evidence and prejudices of the main players could be overcome. It certainly wasn't how I expected it to turn out. I also found the Italian justice system very interesting.

    All in all, this was a fun listening experience for me, much to soon over. I am definitely wanting more of Carofiglio and Barrett!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Insignia

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By S. J. Kincaid
    • Narrated By Lincoln Hoppe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (83)

    More than anything, Tom Raines wants to be important, though his shadowy life is anything but that. For years, Tom's drifted from casino to casino with his unlucky gambler of a dad, gaming for their survival. Keeping a roof over their heads depends on a careful combination of skill, luck, con artistry, and staying invisible. Then one day, Tom stops being invisible. Someone's been watching his virtual-reality prowess, and he's offered the incredible - a place at the Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy. There, Tom's instincts for combat will be put to the test and if he passes, he'll become a member of the Intrasolar Forces.

    Wendy says: "YA Novel with Adult Appeal"
    "Definitely for YA audiences!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had hopes this book would be similar to Card's Ender series, in that they had wide appeal to adults and YA audiences, alike. However, I feel this book was written mainly for young adults, which is certainly understandable and reasonable. Therefore, I am not deducting stars because I was not the target audience.

    I felt that this book was lacking in action, that is, too much time was spent in setting up the story and characters. Yet, there was very little description of the characters and in my mind, I couldn't begin to visualize them. This was a relatively easy listen but towards the end, I was just wanting to finish. I already figured out what was going to happen and when it did, it was just ho-hum for me. I guess this book was missing a sense of excitement for me. Perhaps I look for something else than a younger audience--actually, there is little doubt about this.

    As for the narration, Lincoln Hoppe has always been a favorite of mine. I think he usually does a great job of narrating YA books. One problem, however, was that his voices sounded truly adult and not teen at all. I had difficulty with this and had to keep reminding myself they were teens, with the exception of the times they were creating fart viruses!

    I am a bit concerned about this review as I always want to be fair to an author. I'd say, if you are a lover of YA literature and this sounds like a book you'd like, go for it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Coroner’s Lunch: The Dr. Siri Investigations, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Colin Cotterill
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (412)
    Performance
    (348)
    Story
    (345)

    Laos, 1975: The Communist Pathet Lao has taken over this former French colony. Dr. Siri Paiboun, a 72-year-old Paris-trained doctor, is appointed national coroner. Although he has no training for the job, there is no one else: the rest of the educated class have fled.

    Jane says: "a splendid story"
    "Alot to like in this unusual mystery!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There's a great deal to like about this book. It is a very unusual setting, a very unusual protagonist, and delightful collateral characters. As is mentioned in many other reviews and the description, the story takes place in Laos after the Communist takeover in the 1970's. Siri Paiboun is the 72 year old coroner, the only coroner in the country, who investigates a series of deaths. Siri would really like to retire after being a doctor for many years but it just isn't in the picture for him. He has been deemed to be a coroner and that is that.

    For me, this is a book that you really have to listen to very carefully due to the unfamiliar sounding names, the many characters, and different plot lines. I got lost somewhere toward the end, and I had to listen to the last chapters over a couple of times. Thus, I rated it 3 stars and no higher. I think this book would be more enjoyed by a listener who can devote all their attention to it. My concurrent activities left me feeling lost in the story several times and this I can't really blame on the author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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