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  • The Buffalo Soldier

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Chris Bohjalian
    • Narrated By Alison Fraser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From the best selling and critically acclaimed author of Trans-Sister Radio comes a hauntingly beautiful story of the ties that bind families - and the strains that pull them apart. "Bohjalian writes honestly and often movingly," says Publishers Weekly, and Library Journal calls it "tender...[written] with poetic skill."

    A.W. Nadine says: "Touching, and Sincere"
    "The Buffalo Soldier"

    What a wonderful book. Sometimes, in listening to it, I could hardly breathe waiting for what happened next. There is an edge of tragedy here, starting with the real tragedy of the death of twin girls. Death, renewal, the way families are formed and changed, marriage and love affairs - this book tackles large ideas. On top of that, one of the main characterw, a foster child, is a child of color, and that is handled especially gracefully, with a focus on him as a person, not as an icon of his race.

    I liked the characters very much - they seemed real and the way they dealt with life rang surprisingly true to me. The only thing I didn't like was the narrator's cloying and breathy voice. She often trails off as she reaches the end of a sentence, in an annoying way. Her voice seemed wrong for this book.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • My Life

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Bill Clinton
    • Narrated By Bill Clinton

    President Bill Clinton's My Life is the strikingly candid portrait of a global leader who decided early in life to devote his intellectual and political gifts, and his extraordinary capacity for hard work, to serving the public. It is the fullest, most concretely detailed, most nuanced account of a presidency ever written, and a testament to the positive impact on America and on the world of his work and his ideals.

    Drayton says: "Less than I expected"
    "I loved it!"

    Listening to Bill Clinton read his autobiography is kind of like having him sit down next to you because you said, "So, Bill, tell me about your life." It's a history lesson, a fascinating personal story, and an interesting political take on what's happening in this country. And yes, there is plenty about his failings, since I have to admit to prurience, as well as plenty about his amazing strengths, tempered by great humility on his part.

    I don't usually like abridged books, but I had read that some critics considered the book too long and rambling, and thought this would work. It absolutely does. Hearing his familiar voice telling his own story is riveting. I'm so glad that I listened to this on audio.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Beginner's Guide to Healthy Eating

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 11 mins)
    • By Dr. Andrew Weil
    • Narrated By Dr. Andrew Weil

    Is it possible to eat what you want and remain healthy, happy, and energetic? In The Beginner's Guide to Healthy Eating, Dr. Andrew Weil - America's most trusted natural health physician - teaches the essentials of how to eat for optimum health and pleasure, distilled into one information-packed and easy-to-absorb audio course.

    Ninip says: "Beginner's Guide to Healthy Eating"
    "Beginner's Guide to Healthy Eating"

    Andrew Weil has built a kingdom on his advice on healthy eating. Ordinarily I stay away from people who are advice gurus, but his style is so no-nonsense, and he explains so many issues so well (I never understood what insulin does before), that I not only learn a lot, I really enjoy listening to him.

    Dr Weil is the narrator/speaker, and it sounds a lot as if he is giving a lecture. The content is so interesting that the rapid fire way in which he gives information is a little disconcerting. Surely if people are listening to an audiobook, the chances are pretty good that they are not somewhere where they can take notes? I was walking in the woods as I was listening, and I think I missed a lot because I didn't write it down. Oh well. He's still worth it.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson

    In A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson takes his ultimate journey - into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer. It's a dazzling quest, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization.

    Brent says: "This audio edition is abridged!"
    "A Short History of Nearly Everything"

    As a great fan of Bill Bryson, I missed his wry and self deprecating sense of humor in this book, Although it was interesting, I didn't find it easy to listen to, because it was dry. I know this is an abridged version, and it felt like that to me. There was a choppy feeling, and not enough of his trademark interesting little tidbits. Still, I probably wouldn't have chosen it if it hadn't been a Bryson book because it isn't an area of great interest to me, and I did learn a lot about what is clearly a fascinating field. I just would have liked it to tbe a little more personal.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Harriet Lerner
    • Narrated By Harriet Lerner

    While anger deserves our attention and respect, women still learn to silence our anger, to deny it entirely, or to vent it in a way that leaves us feeling helpless and powerless.

    Sharon says: "Very helpful audiobook"
    "The Dance of Anger"

    This is probably a must-read (or must-listen) for every woman. As with all things in psychology, it is the study of the obvious, except that human beings don't see the obvious when it is right in front of our noses. I found it remarkably helpful, and will listen to it again.

    The book has different stories used as examples, and moves quickly. It is read by the author, who has a somewhat flat voice, but one could easily imagine sitting listening to her, a real person, giving a talk on this, and she often interjects comments which sound as if they are not in the script.

    After I heard this, I felt buoyant, because she so clearly described feelings that I have struggled with, and gave straightforward suggestions for dealing with those feelings. She is not talking about mental illness here, but about the way women in our society do not deal with anger in a way that helps us to better negotiate our lives. I thought her ideas and presentation were terrific.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Life of Bees

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia

    Lily Owens has shaped her entire life around one devastating memory - the day her mother was killed. When she and her "stand-in-mother," a fierce-hearted black woman named Rosaleen, are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily enters a secret world of bees and honey, and of the Black Madonna who presides over this household of strong, wise women.

    France says: "Secret Life of Bees"
    "The Secret Life of Bees"

    I hated to have this end. Although it could be considered a coming-of-age story, as someone who came of age long ago, I loved it. Beautifully written with a range of complex characters, it is a wonderful story. I especially liked the voice of the reader, and the way she gave each character his or her own voice. An exceptional choice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Zora Neale Hurston
    • Narrated By Ruby Dee

    This recently rediscovered and critically acclaimed 1937 novel tells the story of Janie Crawford, a long-legged, articulate, and fiercely independent African-American woman of the 1930s. Janie's quest for identity includes three marriages and a return to her roots. Despite her struggles, Janie never defines herself by regret, fear, or unrealistic dreams, and refuses to be anything but her own person.

    Jammie says: "A lovely performance!"
    "Their Eyes were Watching God"

    Brief, but poignant. Really worth hearing, although occasionally a little hard to understand the accents, for us northerners. This is already heading towards being considered a classic. An ideal audio selection.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Stones from the River

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Ursula Hegi
    • Narrated By Ursula Hegi

    Trudi Montag is a Zwerg - a dwarf - short, undesirable, different, the voice of anyone who has ever tried to fit in. Eventually she learns that being different is a secret that all humans share, from her mother who flees into madness, to her friend Georg whose parents pretend he's a girl, to the Jews Trudi harbors in her cellar. Hegi's timeless story weaves together a profound tapestry of emotional power, humanity, and truth.

    Victoria says: "unbearable"
    "Stones From the River"

    Although it is uneven and occasionally it rambles on too long, I found this book riveting. To see the world through the eyes of someone with a disability which cannot be changed, has altered my view of many things - I will never look at a small person again without compassion and without trying to see him or her as a normal person, with dignity. And then the wartime setting is also extraordinary - I was especially fascinated by the short memories of the townspeople she lives with. I often think of this book. A really compelling read.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Bondwoman's Narrative

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Hannah Crafts, edited by Henry Louis Gates
    • Narrated By Anna Deavere Smith

    An unprecedented historical and literary event, this tale written in the 1850s is the only known novel by a female African American slave, and quite possibly the first novel written by a black woman anywhere. A work recently uncovered by renowned scholar and professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., it is a stirring tale of "passing" and the adventures of a young slave as she makes her way to freedom.

    Hilary says: "Poor reading of an important book"
    "The Bondwoman's Narratve"

    Although the protagonist speaks with a remarkably cultured voice for a slave, the cloying and often flat descriptions do sound authentic to the period. I loved the mystery of this book - was it really written by a slave, or is Gates pulling one over on us? In any case, the narrative of her sad life is shocking, because it is hard to imagine that so recently in our history we could have deprived human beings of their fundamental rights. Certainly worth listening to - in fact, perhaps more interesting to listen to than it might be to read.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • When You Ride Alone You Ride with bin Laden: What the Government Should Be Telling Us to Help Fight the War on Terrorism

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs)
    • By Bill Maher
    • Narrated By Bill Maher

    Political provocateur Bill Maher tells it like it is in a useful and hilarious guide for the many Americans who want to do more here at home to help in the war effort, but are at a loss as to how. Says Maher, "Traveling the country, I find that people want to do more here at home, but are at a loss as to what. Even when the government issues a Terrorism Advisory, it's maddeningly vague - 'Terrorist alert today! Code Burnt Orange!' 'And what?' I always want to ask, "Bring a sweater?'"

    chris says: "Witty and accurate, mostly, but outdated"
    "When You Ride Alone You Ride With Bin Laden"

    I didn't find Bill Maher that funny or clever, and I didn't especially enjoy listening to him rant. Maybe I was expecting Michael Moore? In any case, this book didn't do it for me, and I found it hard going to finish the book, in spite of the great title.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful

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