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Mary Ann

St. Louis, MO, USA | Member Since 2004

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 22 reviews
  • 64 ratings
  • 355 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2014
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  • Vanished: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Karen Robards
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
    (183)
    Story
    (182)

    Seven years ago, Sarah Mason's five-year-old daughter vanished during an outing at a park in Beaufort, South Carolina. Despite a frantic search, little Lexie was never found, and Sarah was left to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and go on the best she could. Then, one hot August night, Sarah comes home to hear the phone ringing. When she picks it up, a child's terrified voice whispers, "Mommy, help, come and get me . . ." The call is cut off, but not before Sarah's heart goes into overdrive.

    Valerie says: "Great listen"
    "A Sad Bodice Ripper"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The book's heroine is deep in grief. Her colleague is in love with her. I listened to find out what happened to the little girl, but even that plot didn't hold together too well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Zora Neale Hurston: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Zora Neale Hurston
    • Narrated By Renee Joshua-Porter
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (12)

    As powerful as Zora Neale Hurston is in print, hearing her as narrated by Renee Joshua-Porter makes her work dance and soar with an unfettered vigor. Hurston's best known work is the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, but her short stories are a sort of spontaneous combustion of energy, emotion, and provocation - like the author herself.

    Monica says: "A Good Collection of Hurston's Short Stories"
    "There's a Reason Classics Are Classics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    These are great short stories. They explore motives in the human heart. That they are about African Americans 80 years ago matters because the stories are a window into history and they are a window into a culture American whites have little access to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Becoming Shakespeare: The Unlikely Afterlife That Turned a Provincial Playwright into the Bard

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Jack Lynch
    • Narrated By James Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    Becoming Shakespeare begins with his death in 1616 and relates the fascinating story of his unlikely transformation from provincial playwright to universal Bard. Unlike later literary giants, Shakespeare created no stir when he died. Though he'd once had a string of hit plays, he had been retired in the country for six years, and only his family, friends, and business partners seemed to care that he was gone.

    C. Telfair says: "Underwhelmed"
    "And it all happened after he died"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Becoming Shakespeare the most enjoyable?

    This is solid history and solid literary criticism made into entertainment. It's how small minds and great minds, plus the accidents of history propelled greatness into human consciousness.

    If you have any literary curiosity, if you've studied some Shakespeare along the way, if you wonder if Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare and whether that matters, read this book. It's both fun and interesting.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hamlet

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By William Faulkner
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (83)

    The Hamlet, the first novel of Faulkner's Snopes trilogy, is both an ironic take on classical tragedy and a mordant commentary on the grand pretensions of the antebellum South and the depths of its decay in the aftermath of war and Reconstruction. It tells of the advent and the rise of the Snopes family in Frenchman's Bend, a small town built on the ruins of a once-stately plantation.

    Shannon says: "Great narrator, great book, better read than heard"
    "And We Thought Control Freaks Were a New Phenom"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Hamlet?

    I did not "love" The Hamlet. I was fascinated by it, kind of like being fascinated by a snake. These are mostly not nice people Faulkner writes about. He's not mocking them. He's reporting.

    The images are vivid and the language is a treasure. I loved listening to the words. But it is not a comfortable book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Heilemann, Mark Halperin
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1920)
    Performance
    (768)
    Story
    (773)

    Based on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Game Change is a reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, this is the occasion-ally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of the campaign of a lifetime.

    Sara says: "Out Dated Even When It Was Current"
    "Catching History as It's Made"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I'm a political animal but I did not know much within the book. Most fascinating to me were the internal discussions in the campaigns, the development of strategy, and then the evaluation of whether the strategy was effective -- or in some cases whether it ever got tried.

    If you have any interest in how candidates decide to run and get chosen by their parties, read this book.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Richard Rohr
    • Narrated By Richard Rohr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (236)
    Performance
    (192)
    Story
    (192)

    In the first half of life, we are naturally preoccupied with establishing ourselves; climbing, achieving, and performing. But as we grow older and encounter challenges and mistakes, we need to see ourselves in a different and more life-giving way. This message of falling down - that is in fact moving upward - is the most resisted and counterintuitive of messages in the world's religions. Falling Upward offers a new paradigm for understanding one of the most profound of life's mysteries: how those who have fallen down are the only ones who understand "up".

    William says: "Life Changing Once You Are Ready"
    "Not just aging but getting wiser"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is a spiritual reflection on unlearning in the second half of life what we learned in the first half -- about achieving success, making something of ourselves, accomplishing whatever. Rohr invites us to go deeper, get wiser. It's a simple book in many ways, Easy to understand. Lots of food for thought, though.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Childhood's End

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Arthur C. Clarke
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3186)
    Performance
    (2193)
    Story
    (2229)

    The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city - intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: unify earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, humankind agreed, and a golden age began.

    A User says: "Food for Thought"
    "a blast from the past into the future"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Childhood's End?

    What's fun about Childhood's End is what Arthur Clarke gets wrong about the future. What's thought provoking is what he gets right.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not much of a fan of "god out of the machine" stories. But most things are not in our control. No getting around that. It's what the humans make of their situation that's the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the 20th Century

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Alex Ross
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (238)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (87)

    The Rest Is Noise takes the listener inside the labyrinth of modern music, from turn-of-the-century Vienna to downtown New York in the '60s and '70s. We meet the maverick personalities and follow the rise of mass culture on this sweeping tour of 20th-century history through its music.

    Paula says: "Learned so much!"
    "He Writes What He Cares About and So I Care"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Rest Is Noise in three words, what would they be?

    How fusty old composers overcame life's vicissitudes to produce meaning in sound -- Alex Ross's prose makes his critical ear accessible to me. Walking in the park, listening to his words, I could almost hear the tension of the notes that made the first listeners uneasy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Michelle Alexander
    • Narrated By Karen Chilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (430)
    Performance
    (370)
    Story
    (371)

    In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. Yet, as legal star Michelle Alexander reveals, today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans.

    Jeremy says: "An essential read. A horrifying reality."
    "Compelling Statistics Make a Compelling Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The New Jim Crow in three words, what would they be?

    At first I was sorry Michelle Alexander was relying on statistics and accounts of court judgments to make her case. I was expecting heart-rending personal stories. But her clarity is riveting. She demonstrates, period by period in recent history, case by case in law, how African Americans have come to be imprisoned unjustly and without recourse.

    I've begun giving this book to state legislators and following up with discussion about it. Our prisons are overcrowded and The New Jim Crow provides a rationale for reducing felonies, reducing sentences, shielding sentences and expunging them.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • State of Wonder: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4340)
    Performance
    (3150)
    Story
    (3148)

    Research scientist Dr. Marina Singh is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have disappeared in the Amazon while working on an extremely valuable new drug. The last person who was sent to find her died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding answers to the questions about her friend's death, her company's future, and her own past.

    F. B. Herron says: "Do yourself a favor and listen to this book!"
    "Deep in the Jungle, Deep in the Heart"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    Ann Patchett takes us deep into the heroine's psyche, her loves, her failures, her competencies, her human warmth. And Ann Patchett takes Dr. Marina Singh deep into the Amazon jungle to find a colleague, to study a pharmaceutical discovery and to gain peer status with an old, intimidating professor.

    It takes time to go deep in the jungle. Patchett is never hurried. She slowly reveals Marina Singh's soul, testing her and illuminating her goodness, even as Patchett illuminates the jungle as a source of the mysteries of life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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