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Sara

Love reading reviews. No plot spoilers please!

ratings
158
REVIEWS
135
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
37
HELPFUL VOTES
1931

  • The Lost Wife: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Alyson Richman
    • Narrated By George Guidall, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1570)
    Performance
    (1396)
    Story
    (1403)

    In pre-war Prague, the dreams of two young lovers are shattered when they are separated by the Nazi invasion. Then, decades later, thousands of miles away in New York, there's an inescapable glance of recognition between two strangers. Providence is giving Lenka and Josef one more chance. From the glamorous ease of life in Prague before the Occupation, to the horrors of Nazi Europe, The Lost Wife explores the power of first love, the resilience of the human spirit, and the strength of memory.

    Sara says: "Love, Strength & Survival"
    "Love, Strength & Survival"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book is a beautifully written story of love and strength. The book spans 80 years in the lives of several families that intersect, separate and then join again over time. It is based on the lives of real people and speaks of deep familial love and struggles for survival in WWII Prague. The narrators each gave perfect voice to the characters they portrayed. At first I was concerned about the two alternating readers-- but it quickly made sense and added depth to the telling of the story. While the book speaks of desolation and destruction it also presents beauty, art, deep love and courage. A really wonderful recommended listen.

    31 of 32 people found this review helpful
  • An Irish Country Doctor: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Patrick Taylor
    • Narrated By John Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (598)
    Performance
    (418)
    Story
    (417)

    Barry Laverty, M.B., can barely find the village of Ballybucklebo on a map when he first sets out to seek gainful employment there, but already he knows that there is nowhere he would rather live than in the emerald hills and dales of Northern Ireland. The proud owner of a spanking-new medical degree and little else in the way of worldly possessions, Barry jumps at the chance to secure a position as an assistant in a small rural practice.

    Lavonne says: "Delightful Entertainment"
    "Fun Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A light, positive, upbeat and fun listen. Low stress reading. Stories of country doctors and their community of quirky patients in a different world of Ireland from the past. Charming.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Lying Awake

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Mark Salzman
    • Narrated By Linda Stephens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Sister John has devoted her life to serving God. For almost 30 years she has lived in a Carmelite monastery near Los Angeles. There, she experiences religious visions of such intensity that she is revered by the other nuns. But these visions also bring on excruciating headaches. When she is offered an operation that may stop the pain, she realizes that it may also stop the visions.

    Sara says: "Disturbing on Many Levels"
    "Disturbing on Many Levels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had high hopes for this book about personal and collective religious experience and perceptions. I have listened to the book twice thinking I must have misunderstood some key message. However, with each reading I find the premise of the book increasingly disturbing. The portrayal of monastic life was strange. The motivations of the community and the nun involved seemed skewed and just plain off. I think the book was written by an outsider looking in at a life and situation they did not even begin to understand. Major pieces of the picture and puzzle are missing and or even misrepresented. Beautiful writing in the abstract but I'm afraid it misses the mark and is just terrible.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Brain That Changes Itself: Personal Triumphs from the Frontiers of Brain Science

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Norman Doidge
    • Narrated By Jim Bond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1003)
    Performance
    (414)
    Story
    (408)

    In this revolutionary look at the brain, best-selling author, psychiatrist, and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge, M.D., introduces both the brilliant scientists championing this new science of neuroplasticity and the astonishing progress of the people whose lives they've transformed.

    Introducing principles we can all use, as well as a riveting collection of case histories, The Brain That Changes Itself has "implications for all human beings, not to mention human culture, human learning and human history."

    CAT says: "Text book"
    "Amazing & Wonderful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a book for people who enjoy scientific theory and the exploration of concepts related to anatomy and physiology. It examines how the brain works, changes, grows and repairs itself. It presents thoughts about how the brain evolves throughout life--involving neuroplasticity, aging, illness and injury. Thirty plus years ago it was thought that the brain and nervous system were static--once injured always injured. How exciting it is to see how this thinking has evolved. To me it was a hopeful, insightful, and fascinating listening experience.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Emotional Chaos to Clarity: How to Live More Skillfully, Make Better Decisions, and Find Purpose in Life

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Phillip Moffitt
    • Narrated By Fred Stella
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (49)

    Despite our best-laid plans, life can often be difficult, disappointing, and stressful. Consequently, when things don’t go right, we are often left in a state of emotional chaos, dealing with feelings like anger, anxiety, frustration, and doubt, which can cloud our perspective and negatively affect the way we live our lives. But in this inspiring book, Phillip Moffitt shows us that we need not be at the mercy of our emotions. By cultivating a responsive mind rather than a reactive one, we can achieve a state of emotional clarity.

    Sara says: "You Are Not Your Emotions"
    "You Are Not Your Emotions"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A really excellent book that I return to often and like to listen to at bedtime. Positive, uplifting, and life affirming. Really helps sort out what is important in your world and thinking and what isn't you and needs to be let go of. Highly recommended as a life changing listen.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Centering Prayer: Renewing an Ancient Christian Prayer Form

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By M. Basil Pennington
    • Narrated By David L. Abbott
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (23)

    Centering Prayer is a practical guide to the interior experience of being in God's presence. It offers Christians an approach that brings together Eastern traditions of the early Church and the spirituality of the world today. Fr. Pennington offers guidance on how to pray, meditate, and overcome personal obstacles to prayer.

    Sara says: "A Guide for Centering Prayer"
    "A Guide for Centering Prayer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Excellent practical instruction in meditation, prayer and centering techniques. Christian in focus but Eastern in flavor. A wonderful guide.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • How to Meditate with Pema Chodron

    • ORIGINAL (5 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Pema Chodron
    • Narrated By Pema Chodron
    Overall
    (120)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (45)

    In How to Meditate with Pema Chodron, the American-born Tibetan Buddhist nun and best-selling author presents her first complete spoken-word course for those new to meditation. Through traditional insights and her personal guidance in 12 sitting sessions, Pema Chodron will help you honestly meet with, and compassionately relate to, your mind.

    B. Kyle says: "Excellent and Useful"
    "Intro to Meditation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A great introduction to meditation. I love all Pema Chodron's recordings and insightful books. She is gentle, kind and wise. Humor works to lighten the mood and move the listener effortlessly through the instruction. The recording gives the feeling of being in a live retreat or class setting. Highly recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Guns of August

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Barbara W. Tuchman
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1228)
    Performance
    (664)
    Story
    (652)

    In this Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, historian Barbara Tuchman brings to life the people and events that led up to World War I. This was the last gasp of the Gilded Age, of Kings and Kaisers and Czars, of pointed or plumed hats, colored uniforms, and all the pomp and romance that went along with war. How quickly it all changed...and how horrible it became.

    Mike From Mesa says: "Wonderful"
    "A Microscopic View"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I agree with other reviewers that this is a difficult book to follow in the audio version. There are so many players, so much "he said-she said" and a definite need for a map to refer to constantly. I too would have liked to have been able to flip back several pages to refresh my mind many times during the reading. The narration was good overall. The detail of the research was intense. The book was overwhelming in spots.

    That said, I love blow by blow accounts of history and that was exactly what this hairsplitter of a book was all about. What's more--my beloved British grandfather fought in the trenches and survived mustard gassing and the war. I listened because I wanted to understand his experience better. Heart pounding and terrifying. A must for history lovers--but maybe the print version or a kindle/audible link would be best so you can flip back and forth. Plus find a good map--your going to need it!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Perfect Landscape

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Ragna Sigurdardottir
    • Narrated By Mary Robinette Kowal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    After building a career in the galleries and museums of Amsterdam, art theorist Hanna has returned to Iceland to what she hopes will be a posh new job. Though small, the museum in Reykjavik has a sterling reputation - one sure to be burnished by a valuable piece donated by a wealthy patron. Painted by Iceland’s most beloved 20th-century artist, the acquisition is poised to become the jewel of the museum’s collection - until a conservator announces it’s a fake.

    Sara says: "Fine Art Intrigue Set In Iceland"
    "Fine Art Intrigue Set In Iceland"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this story about a woman working in her native Iceland as a director at a local museum annex. It has aspects of a mystery but is more of a window into a different world experience. The story is heavy on the internal thoughts of the main character as she maintains a placid exterior and finds her way in a new job. The depiction of Iceland, Russia and the world of fine art collecting is all fascinating.

    The narration is good. The Icelandic names and place names were very complicated. Having the narrator helped me get through them with at least a chance at the correct sound. If I had read the book I would have been guessing and probably making up pronunciations as I went along! So it was a help.

    Recommended if you are interested in art, art history, some suspense, and a visit to a very different part of the world. Engaging and thoughtful. Glad I gave it a try.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Brené Brown
    • Narrated By Karen White
    Overall
    (962)
    Performance
    (838)
    Story
    (833)

    Researcher and thought leader Dr. Brené Brown offers a powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives. In Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on 12 years of research, her book argues that vulnerability is not weakness but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection.

    Fulfillment and Exuberance says: "Love Brene Brown, didn't like the narrator"
    "Positive Listening Experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A very insightful book and listening experience based on many years of research and Brown's work with individuals, groups and couples. Listening has the power to facilitate change in the listener's life through altered perspective and new points of view on concepts of vulnerability.

    I read all the negative reviews here on Audible about the narration and I am not sure what people are talking about. Maybe my recording has been redone--a newer version??-- but I thought that Karen White did a fine job reading the book. I guess I have heard some really difficult narrators recently-- but I was fine with this one. I suggest just to be sure listen to the sample before buying the book.

    I think the information provided in the book far out weighs any issues with the narrator. A difficult subject but definately worth the listen.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Some Luck: A novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Jane Smiley
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    From the winner of the Pulitzer Prize: a powerful, engrossing new novel - the life and times of a remarkable family over three transformative decades in America. On their farm in Denby, Iowa, Rosanna and Walter Langdon abide by time-honored values that they pass on to their five wildly different children: from Frank, the handsome, willful first born, and Joe, whose love of animals and the land sustains him, to Claire, who earns a special place in her father’s heart.

    Sara says: "Takes Times To Develop But Is Really Worth The Effort"
    "Takes Times To Develop But Is Really Worth The Effort"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres and had very high hopes that this family saga set in Iowa would be something along that line. Some Luck is a different book. It takes patience. The beauty of this first entry in a planned trilogy is slow to evolve. I was almost half way through the listen before the characters had captured me. Before I really cared about any of them. I almost gave up-- but I am really glad I kept listening.

    The writing was spare and at first almost one dimensional. Smiley had the story drop in on the family and witness slices of life sequentially as the years progressed. To me these paper doll characters of the first chapters grew into whole, living, breathing and complex people gradually with each year and each new chapter.

    This isn't a story that spoon feeds the listener. It is instead a book that the reader needs to work at and ponder. Subtle connections appear in a web like fashion and these webs connect the seemingly disconnected events into an amazing whole. Random flashes of insight flare like tiny sparks. Not the fireworks of A Thousand Acres--but beautiful all the same.

    This book is a meditation on family, farming, hard work, individuality and traditions. Keep in mind that luck comes in many forms--good and bad. It also takes time to see which is which as life plays out. I loved the story and look forward to book two whenever it appears. Recommended if you are willing to take the time and let the story unfold. A wonderful listen.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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