Sykesville, MD | Member Since 2010
The coming of age can be a very trying and painful journey. Charlie definitely needed friends like Patrick and Sam to guide him through the beginning of his tumultuous journey.
Sometimes, such intelligent kids like Charlie have a more difficult time enjoying life for the fun that life has to offer. People called him a nerd to his face and while walking up the halls after seeing him. However, the kids that Charlie did unknowingly become a part of his freshman year of high school, was a part of his preparation for growing up.
The narrator, Noah Gavin, was absolutely wonderful. He brought Charlie to life. Noah gave me the opportunity to know Charlie and the many struggles that lay ahead for such an emotional and mentally unstable young man.
I don't know who his " friend" was but Charlie was quite wise about himself when putting words on paper. But then, he wanted to "grow up" and become a writer. Books were his refuge.
Charlie did have a supportive family which many kid's do not have. They were available when Charlie needed them. Although Charlie did have a difficult time asking anyone for help, his friends, who liked him for himself, were wise to those times when Charlie was in trouble.
This book is a straight forward novel that holds nothing back. The listener gets to know Charlie so well that I was amazed.
Gifts were important to Charlie. He chose what he considered the "perfect" gift for each of his friends and family. He was able to understand who they were at the time and matched a gift to who it fit. Charlie was thoughtful and kind.
I don't think the book could have been as riveting if I read it. Listening brings a person to life. I've watched children who have had this same struggle and it is not a pretty sight. Stephen Chbosky wrote an excellent book that could prepare a parent or child of what lay ahead. Not everyone encounters such travails as Charlie. However, his courage is the magnificent part of Charlie that pushes him forward. He wants to grow up and I know that he will.
Louie Zamperini was an exuberant youth who would always find himself in a place where he would have to wiggle himself free. He had such a joy in living and no one was willing to believe that there was any need to temper his zest for life. 2014 and he'd be put away as a juvenile delinquent.
Louie found his place in the universe when he learned that he was an excellent runner. He was so good, that his brother became his trainer. He never stopped making him practice. Didn't Louie understand, he was going to be in the Olympic's that were being held in Germany.
The runner's he was up against were too fast but that didn't worry Louie, he'd be back in four more years and he would be the best. However, WWII started and Louie's dreams would have to be put on hold. He'd think about that 4 minute mile after he came home.
The athlete became an airman. The plane crashed but Louie and two other men were okay. However, two of these men lived to be captured by the Japanese.
This book was an excellent listen. To think that I had this book for so long and I waited too long to listen to it. The book was so engrossing that I couldn't stop listening. I would definitely encourage anyone to purchase this book. Best of all, it's true. The men in the Japanese concentration camp were such strong men. They had to fight each and everyday for survival. Some lived to see another day but not all of them did. Zamperini, can't say say much about him except that he was one determined, red headed man. Listen and I'm sure you'll be glad that you did. The narrator, Edward Hermann, made the book a great listen. I wanted to listen all in one sitting but I started too late in the evening and had to go to bed. However, I started listening the next morning until I finished.
This novel provided me with a picture of Afghanistan prior to the end of its monarchy to what it is today. I am now able to see the paved streets, the beautiful scenery, the well built homes, the stalls in the streets where products were displayed to sell. There was still the separation between the many tribes that resided in Afghanistan.
The story is about two boys who grew up together in Kabul. Amir was rich and lived in a beautiful home because his father was a prominent man and Hassan. who lived behind the big house in a cottage with his father, who was a servant to Amir's father. Hassan's father, was a Hazara and shuunned because of his ethnic minority. The two boys grew up in Kabul and were best friends. Their lives were intertwined, one with the other. Both of their mother's died in childbirth and shared the same wet nurse. This was also considered an important fact of their closeness.
There came a day when Amir betrayed Hassan, during the day that was set aside for the purpose of those who ran with their kites and the spectators who watched. This was looked forward to by all of Kabul, a holiday celebrated every year.
Amir and his father left Afghanistan secretly because of the trouble that was starting to invade Afghanistan. They moved to California, while Hassan remained in Afghanistan with his father.
Amir knew that Hassan would never come to California. Therefore, the betrayal of Hassan would be forgotten by Amir. However, his betrayal of Hassan was forever imprinted in his mind. This betrayal would forever change his life.
I read this book quite sometime ago and I definitely enjoyed listening to the book instead. The author read the book, The Kite Runner. He did an excellent job. I would encourage others to purchase the book. Knowing the Afghanistan of today, the people living in hovels, never having enough food to eat, the roads filled with hidden IED's, that are stepped on by the children, who are left with missing limbs and think of the Afghanistan of yesteryear. This book was a learning experience for me. I've read many books about the Afghanistan where a war rages but I've only heard about what the Afghanistan that used to be. I'm quite certain that I will listen to this book again. The author has since written another book and I am buying it.
Journalist, Bing West, stayed with Platoon 3 and wrote the true story of, One Million Steps, from his notes, what he saw and from the diaries of the Marine's themselves. I've found, having read many books about many wars, there are soldier's who do keep a diary of their days during their war.
There were 500 men in the Battalion 3/5 and 50 men in the 3rd Platoon. The Marine's in 3rd Platoon knew that the war in Afghanistan would soon be over. However, the Marine's continued to fight as hard as if the war had just began. The Marine's fought in Sangin, the most dangerous district in all of Afghanistan.
Every soldier patrolled 2 1/2 miles everyday, to alert his fellow Marine's if the Taliban were seen. The Taliban would pop up at anytime. There may be a group of them or two of them.
There were innumerable IED's planted everywhere, under the dirt in the roads, under the dirt in the cornfields, under trash or even under a dead dog. Every step a Marine took, he never knew if he would be blown up. The IED's were searched for by the Marine's. Sometimes the wick could be seen, some of the IED's were placed in a shallow hole. The only equipment given to the Marine to try and find an IED's was the same instrument a person would see on the beach, where someone was searching for money. I would hope that there is research being done to help our men and women detect these IED's that cause the loss of limbs and other injuries as well as death.
The soldier's feared the IED's more than fighting the Taliban. The Taliban would be seen or found because of where a shot came from. The number of casualties in Battalion 3/5 numbered 500. These men would usually lose one or more of their limbs. However, at times the injuries would be elsewhere. There were 500 marine's killed in the 6 months that Battalion 3/5 was in Afghanistan. The numbers were so high that the Department of Defense gave the Battalion an opportunity to come home. The Marine's chose to stay and fight.
The Marine's who fought on the front line were known as grunt's. Many but not all of the men, chose to be a grunt. The Marine's were extremely tough men. When the Taliban came up against a Platoon of Marine's they knew that were up against the best. Marine's fight and come back and fight some more.
Aristotle said this centuries ago, We became brave by doing brave acts, finish every fight, standing on the enemies ground. I believe this sounds like a Marine.
The book was well written. The narrator, Ray Porter, did an excellent job. His voice emulated the scene and I would think and would visualize it in my mind. I would feel the emotions when he spoke. I would suggest to other's that this is a great book to read. However, the reader would be more likely to enjoy the reading material if he or she liked this genre of book. There were times that would make me stop and think about how tough it has to be for these Marine's to have one of their brother's die or be injured. Yes, the Marine who was injured or killed would be replaced but he does not fill the void of the Marine who was being replaced.
Owen Quine, an author, had been missing for ten days. His wife showed up without an appointment at Cameron Strike's PI agency. Owen had been missing before but for only for a few days at a time. This was a behavior that was accepted by his wife. Strike listened and decided to investigate. He believed something sinister had happened.
The days continued to pass and Owen remained missing. The manuscript that he had written was presented by him to his agent before he disappeared. The manuscript told scathing stories about the many people he knew and if the the manuscript were published it would ruin many reputations.
The manuscript was given to a few of the author's and publisher's that Owen knew. The manuscript was shared with those who had not received one. No one knew who had placed the manuscript through the slots in their doors but assumed that it had to have been Owen. Therefore, Strike surmised that he was investigating a murder and not a missing person. Owen had made many enemies who were his friends before they read the manuscript.
The book was very well written and was a great listen. There were parts of the story that kept me on the edge of my seat. There were many character's but they were very well developed. Wait until you find out just what a silkworm is.The title fits the mystery. I would definitely tell friends to take time to read or listen to this book. Go ahead and use your credit because you can return the book without any problems. That is a great incentive to at least give the book a chance. The book doesn't start out slow. I'd hire Strike as a PI anytime, if I needed one. He can be tough but he also can be kind and caring. The narrator was very good. I would listen to another book narrated by Robert Glenister.
Judy grew up in Chicago and lived where crime was a way of life. She had two failed marriages and was still insecure and always afraid that when she opened the door someone would attack her.
Judy stayed in Chicago and chose a different kind of profession. She would bring a dog home for eighteen months and train the dog to become a service animal to help those with seen as well as unseen disabilities. Her first dog was was female and she named her, Rena. Judy took Rena back after the eighteen months and found it difficult because she had formed a bond with Rena.
Judy made a momentous decision and moved to California where a school taught student's how to start a business for service animal's. The first litter of ten puppies were ready for placement and Judy kept a female, Ricochet. Ricochet showed a definite ability for her first eight weeks. However, after the first eight weeks, Ricochet stopped learning, she refused. The only thing different she learned was of her own choice, to chase birds while at the beach.
To Judy's amazement, through sheer luck, Ricochet found her calling. While at the beach Judy and Ricochet met a woman and her son, who was paralyzed from his waist down.
(The book calls the child a quadriplegic, someone who is paralyzed from the neck down. The people described, who have paralysis as a diagnosis, have paralysis from the waist down.) He enjoyed surfing, while laying down on a surf board and using his hands, would catch a wave and glide in with his mother at his side, in case of a wipe out.
Ricochet took his lead and followed them into the water. He jumped on the surf board, keeping it stable so that Michael would not fall off. The time passed and more heard about the dog that surfed. They came to the beach and Ricochet began to surf with other disabled people. Judy found a purpose in her life and finally was able to relax and smile.
The book kept me interested from the first page until the last page. I have always wondered how it was that dogs can be so intuitive. I recently watched a segment on TV where the scientist's are now doing MRI's and other testing to understand just how it is that a dog's brain works. They are learning that dogs can love, express feelings and so many other things that are incredibly insightful into the inner workings of a dog.
The narrator was excellent. The character's voices were distinguishable one from the other. The character's were also well developed and that includes the dogs. Ricochet touched many lives and I hope will continue to touch many more. I would definitely encourage a friend to purchase this book. The book was a two day listen for me and I hated to have it end. The plot was well developed and interesting. The book was an enjoyable as well as an easy listen. If someone would like to learn just how smart dogs can be read the book about Ricochet and you will believe.
Marty Singer sat in the courtroom and heard the verdict of not guilty being read. He knew that a murderer was being set free. The whole department knew that he had murdered the young woman and now her 10 year old daughter would be left without a mother.
Twelve years later, the daughter approaches Marty and asks if he would help her. The man who had killed her mother was now stalking her.
Marty had retired as a detective from the police department because of a diagnosis of cancer. He had nothing to keep himself busy and being a detective again was just what he needed. He would get out of the house and the job would keep him busy.
The book turned out to be an enjoyable listen. The narrator, Lloyd Sherr, did a good job. He created a the voices of the character's with recognition. Sherr was able to create the emotions required, anger, happiness, fear, etc., appropriately. I would suggest that someone who enjoys a good mystery that is creative in its style, would enjoy, A Reason to Live.
Christie had been staying with her father, Rick Bence, a police officer and her stepmother, Olivia, while she recuperated from being attacked twice. Her attacker had never been identified. She felt it was time to move on and be on her own once again. They all were aware that there had been unsolved murders at All Saint's College. Christie had once been enrolled at the college but did not finish.
Christie left for All Saint's College, located in Baton Rouge, La. She wanted to be a crime writer. She had her stories published in other arenas but had never written a book. Christie was registered in a class that would be taught by a past boyfriend. He saw her name on his list of students who would be in the class that he would be teaching. Teaching was not his full time job. He was to teach a course about crime.
There is a killer on campus who selects girls who are loners. These young women don't have boyfriends. They are insecure, have a lack of self esteem and stand out as easy prey for the killer.
The killer taught at the college. He would select his next victim before he would strike. The student would know who he was and considered him to be an okay person. I've heard it said that the victim usually knows their murderer.
The book was an easy mystery to listen to. I've heard Joyce Bean narrate before and I was pleased with her narration. I've read other books by Lisa Jackson but did not find Lost Souls to be as enjoyable as Left to Die, another book by her that I have just finished. Lost Souls is the first novel I've read with a vampire as the protagonist and I've learned what I have thought about vampires, not my kind of book. I don't want to deter other reader's from reading this novel, especially if they enjoy vampire novels. I had to finish the book and hear the end.
Dr. W. Lee Warren reported to 332nd Air Force Theater Hospital at Joint Base Balad, Iraq from a successful practice in San Antonio, Texas. He had joined the Air Force to pay for his education and he had to go to Iraq to pay a part of his debt to the US Government.
Lee had absolutely no idea of what lay ahead of him. Pete, also a neurosurgeon, became his mentor for a couple of weeks before his return stateside. The hospital consisted of quite a few tents whereby some of the casualties of war were taken for treatment. Many of these men required a neurosurgeon's skill.
The group of doctor's, technician's, nurse's and other personnel would be leaving Iraq soon and Lee would become thier mentor. He wished for a different scenario but wasn't given a choice. The change to teach others the ropes took time but all began to run smoothly after a short time.
Lee's first surgery was a reality check for him. He stood for a few moments before asking for a knife, he bent down and after the first cut, his mind was focused on the operation he had to perform.
The Iraqi insurgents, Iraqi civilians and any nationality who appeared, that required the attention of a physician or surgeon, were given care. Lee had to have time to accept this fact. His own understanding was that he would be treating American soldier's. However, he did learn that when the insurgent's were ready to be discharged, they would be transported to jail. This fact did quell some of his anxiety. However, over time, Lee saw all that came to be seen were people who required medical treatment and not nationalities.
Lee had left San Antonio, leaving behind unsolved issues of importance of his own and now he had a whole lot of other concerns, the most important one of all, was being able to return home intact. He realized, after time, that he would forever be a different man than the one who had disembarked from a C-130 to begin serving his required four months in Iraq.
The Balad Hospital came under fire frequently, with mortars and bombs. This scared Lee but he learned to live with it, as the other's had done. He did wear his safety shield and helmet most of the time, even when performing surgery. The operating rooms were better constructed than the other parts of the hospital.
There was the sand and mud after it rained, throughout the hospital. Lee couldn't quite grasp the fact that infections didn't abound. The doctor's again had adjusted and treated the patient's with extreme care to prevent infection. Lee lived with sand on his face, in his eyes, on his clothes, in his mouth and anywhere else sand could attach itself.
To help Lee maintain his sanity while in Iraq, he consistently emailed home to many people who had provided him with their email addresses. He saved these on a thumb drive to take home. He emails were going to 20,000 by the time his tour of duty was over. There were also pictures of Iraq, surgeries and many other things that Lee did not share with others.
Lee possessed a deep faith. He would go to Chaplain W or Chaplain W would see his distress and approach him. The wisdom he shared with was, pray more, worry less and let God do the rest. However, as Lee's departure neared he knew that the first thing he would have to deal with was a divorce that his wife had requested before he had left Iraq. His three girl's were also a worry. Being a part of their lives was an absolute necessity.
His last day had arrived and Lee boarded the C - 130, starting his journey back home. He had said his good-byes, gathered his suitcases and was ready for liftoff.
No Place to Hide, is an intense, true story of W. Lee Warren's time in Iraq. The scenes are vivid and no details are left to your imagination. I've already started to reread it for the second time. There are emotions expressed by the narrator, Henry Arnold, that can be intense and quite appropriate for all the emotions that we feel. There were scenes where I became tearful.
I would suggest that other's listen to this well written, true story. The characters are very well developed. Listening can to rough at times but Lee surely does describe his part in Iraq with truth. I was left with knowledge of what happens to our men and women in battle that I didn't want to hear about. But listening, brought the reality of what this war in Iraq is doing to physically and mentally crush our fellow American's. The courage, valor and desire to fight to maintain our freedom, was splashed before my eyes, forcing me see what war can and does to some but not all, while in the fight and what they can face when brought home. There is also what is done to those at home who receive that dreaded phone call. Your credit and time will we be well worth it.
This is a true account of a few of the men and women who fought in and some who continue to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq. The book also tells us about the acts of valor that our warriors did for the freedom of their country, the USA. Many interviews were conducted with the receivers of these medals themselves, their loved ones and the men who served with them. There were two Medal of Honor recipients who were killed in action.
America's heroes usually do not think that any actions taken during a particular battle should have honored them with a medal of valor. They'll say that all of the men who fought this battle with me deserve the medals. Because without them, the battle could never have been won. The men and women who fight together consider themselves brothers. There is nothing they would not do to save one another.
One Medal of Honor victim threw himself on top of a grenade to save his men. Yes, they experience fear but I've read so many times that when these men enter a battle the fear disappears and they concentrate on fighting the enemy. However, if they see a comrade in trouble, these same warriors will protect a brother, resulting in his own injury or his own death.
These accounts will give you just a small taste of what the war was like for a handful of men and women. They tell the interviewer what occurred. The narrator did a great job making the book an easier listen. Each remembrance explains some parts of the battles they fought and how they definitely are potentially facing their own death each and every time they faced the enemy. I think I would like to read this book again to give myself the opportunity to once again hear about and understand what the member's of our military do to keep us safe and free. I say Thank You to our military.
He worked for a high powered law firm. He had recently made partner. He and his wife had finally planned a vacation. His wife and daughter would drive down first and he'd follow in a couple of days. However, the first day on vacation, someone ran a red light and his wife and daughter were killed.
He was unable to forgive himself and continued to stay home and has been drinking and going to bed drunk. There were sufficient funds in the bank.
A female attorney approached him and implored his help in a criminal trial where her client is being charged with first degree murder, the brutal murder of his girlfriend, a high profile pop singer. Her client declared his innocence and she believes that he is innocent. Her client was a talented rap artist. She explained that someone had informed her that he would be the guy to go to but he was no longer working.
This did not deter her. She went to his apartment and with much encouragement he agreed to help her. This was the ultimate opportunity for him to learn if he'd be up to the task. He became more involved as each day passed.
He continued to work and started to question the other attorney, who has now moved in with him. He knew that he had to follow through with his theories even if what he was thinking proved to be right. He hoped for the best.
The narrator, Kevin T. Collins, did a great job. The many voices were well done as were the emotions expressed by them. I enjoyed the quality of the mystery. The characters were well developed and believable. The book held my interest throughout. I read his first thriller,
A Conflict of Interest, and enjoyed it too. There was action and suspense which kept me wanting to continue listening. I think that if you're interested in mysteries, this was a good one.
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