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Passionate bibliophile.


  • Nella Last's War: The Second World War Diaries of 'Housewife 49'

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Nella Last
    • Narrated By Carole Boyd

    In September 1939 housewife and mother Nella Last began a regular diary that lasted for 30 years. The account that she left of life during the Second World War is moving, fascinating, and unique. While Nella's younger son joined the army, she and the rest of the family tried to adapt to the transformed rhythms of life in Barrow-in-Furness, which suffered terribly from enemy bombing raids. Writing each day for the "Mass-Observation" project, Nella's diary entries tell a powerful story about the war years.

    Patricia says: "The world needs more Nella Lasts!"
    "Excellent story, reader and history"

    I am almost at the end of this book, and I have not enjoyed a book more than this one. The reader does an excellent job of bringing life to Nella Last's personal account of World War II. I found Nella to be a woman that I could easily identify with, even when I did not necessarily agree with everything she said or did. I thought she was too hard on her husband at times, but because of her narrative, I could understand why she felt as she did. The domestic information of day to day life was wonderful to hear about, and I felt that I was in the room with Nella and her friends though time and distance separate us. This is a must read both for history buffs and for individuals interested in women's studies. It was not boring at all, and I am sorry that it has to end, though I have already decided to listen to Nella Last's Peace after this and read the last in the series on my Kindle. My admiration for what women did in the 1940's has increased greatly by listening to this account, and I think it should be a part of American history classes in our schools and colleges.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Living Low Carb: Controlled-Carbohydrate Eating for Long-Term Weight Loss

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Jonny Bowden
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor

    Whether you're searching for a practical weight-loss program, simply want to eat better, or are already a committed low-carber looking for ways to make the lifestyle work for you, nutritionist Jonny Bowden reveals the secrets to finding and sticking with a healthy controlled-carb program. This newly revised and updated edition covers the truth about low-carbohydrate diets and reveals the major culprits in a high-carb diet, as well as provides invaluable ratings of the diet programs on the market.

    Carol C. Buchalter says: "Informative, amusing, and very well read"
    "Overall, I found this book to be very interesting"
    What did you love best about Living Low Carb?

    It's hard for me to review nonfiction books, sometimes, because I feel like I should have a stronger background in research in order to back my positive review. I am not a medical person, but I can say that I found the information in this book to be very compelling. Some of the studies I DO know because I looked them up, but a lot of them, I could not. What I have read, though, does seem to support that a low carb diet is a better choice for most health issues. I thought that the author's willingness to review the different low carb diets was helpful, and I appreciated that he seemed to try to steer clear of trumpeting his own work beyond what is acceptable. Worth a read if you are having autoimmune or any other health problems. Energy dense, though, so you might want to read the book or keep it on hand for reference, as well.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Living Low Carb?

    Refuting old research and citing new (or even old accepted as new) research.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not applicable

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    What we don't know can kill us.

    Any additional comments?

    Worth reading, I think.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • A Simple Winter: A Seasons of Lancaster Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Rosalind Lauer
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    While investigating an unsolved crime, Remy winds up in the tightly woven Amish community of Lancaster County, the last place she would ever expect to find herself. The story leads her to Adam King and his ten younger siblings, who are trying to sustain their warm, loving home in the wake of the murder of their parents. Although Remy tries to remain professional, she is captivated by the Kings.

    Deborah says: "Wonderful good!!!!!"
    "Painful to listen to, many missed opportunities"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Who would enjoy this book? Someone who likes Amish fiction, regardless. Someone who enjoys gloomy, melodramatic plots.

    Would you ever listen to anything by Rosalind Lauer again?

    No, I would not listen to another Lauer book. It was a lesson in frustration. This novel sucked the joy out of listening to a book while I work. I am diehard about finishing a novel I have purchased, even if I do not enjoy it. This one, I almost put down unfinished.

    Did Cassandra Campbell do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    I believe Cassandra Campbell was an okay narrator, but she was narrating a bad story. The result is that Campbell came across as a bit young for the characters' ages, and the characters sometimes sounded whiny. I believe the latter problem may or may not have been Campbell's fault. However, other narrators have managed to take characters that were weak or even slightly offensive and narrate them in such a way that they were better for it.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Simple Winter?

    If I could play editor for this book, I would reduce the amount of redundant background information and subplot details. The author is bad about repeating information while not fleshing out other details. While the murder is an important aspect of the book, it is supposed to be the pivotal event that draws Remy and Adam together, but their relationship never developed to a believable level. Adam is crabby and dysfunctional throughout most of the story. I didn't like him. I could not figure out why Remy loved him unless it is because he is just as messed up as her father. Perhaps she is used to the emotional abuse. I liked Remy well enough, but the reader spends way too much time in her head, and the result is a lot of dithering. I can say the same for the many moments spent in Adam's head, too. There is a lot of TELLING me that Adam is a good man, but not enough SHOWING me. I certainly do not see it in his behavior. There are a lot of missed opportunities to see Remy interact with Adam and the other siblings, so that we could garner a feeling for warmth, tenderness and love. And, WHAT was that scene with Simon when he is first told much needed good news only to have Adam do a total about face and traumatize the kid further? I though Adam had the kid's best interests at heart? Could have fooled me! No, I did not believe in the characters, the plot line or the overall story.

    Any additional comments?

    I truly enjoy Amish fiction, and I have read many, many great Amish novels, but I truly did not enjoy this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sixteen Brides

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Stephanie Grace Whitson
    • Narrated By Ruth Ann Phimister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In Sixteen Brides by Christy Award finalist Stephanie Grace Whitson, Civil War widows living in St. Louis are lured west by promises of prime homesteads in a booming community. When the unsuspecting women arrive at Plum Grove, Nebraska, sparks fly as they meet bachelors convinced they’ve come to marry them. The widows will need all the courage and faith they can muster to survive these unwanted circumstances—especially since appearances are so deceiving.

    Millie says: "Very Entertaining"
    "Totally loved this book"
    What did you love best about Sixteen Brides?

    Sixteen Brides was not just a romance. As a matter of fact, it was less romance and more historical chick lit. The story is about sixteen women who head west, and how several of them banded together to succeed in being independent pioneers. There are some GREAT main characters, and there are great supporting characters. The heroes are varied and interesting but seem like guys you might meet....if you lived a hundred plus years ago. I really looked forward to listening to the book, and since I usually listen while working in the kitchen, my kitchen never looked so good.

    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked everything about the story: the characters, the plot, the emphasis on relationships of all kinds, the sub plots, the realness. It was just an all around excellent book.

    Which character – as performed by Ruth Ann Phimister – was your favorite?

    For once, I did not have a favorite character. Ruth Ann Phimister did an excellent job with her narration. The author did an excellent job with ALL of her characters. Talk about a marriage made in heaven!! Phimister has a wonderful, understated but very pleasant voice. She nailed all of the characters and did not over dramatize the work. I am going to look for more by her.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    My extreme reaction to the book was one of pure pleasure. It was so nice to feel the anticipation of getting lost in a good book.

    Any additional comments?

    If you enjoy HISTORICAL novels with strong characters and mild romance, then this is an enjoyable read. It is a Christian novel, which is actually not totally unexpected for the times, but I did not find that it went over the top. The characters struggled with many challenges, and spiritual ones were just part of the equation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Bride in the Bargain

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Deeanne Gist
    • Narrated By Linda Stephens

    This inspiring romance by Christy Award winner Deeanne Gist sets a spirited gal and an enterprising lumberjack on a collision course in 1866 Washington Territory. Set to lose half his timberland unless he finds a wife soon, widower Joe Denton places an order for a bride who can cook. When she arrives, the bonnie lass certainly cooks up a storm - but she knows nothing about marrying Joe.

    "Enjoyed the story overall"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I think a lot of people who enjoy Christian fiction with a bit of humor and a light touch would probably like this historical romance. The relationship between the main characters actually developed over time, and that was a nice plot line to see. I could actually understand WHY the characters grew to love each other. Supporting characters had their charm as there was a "seven dwarfs" quality to the woodsmen characters. I appreciated that the author included pertinent details about the time period, especially about the mail order brides.

    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The story dragged on a bit towards the end with a sort of Perils of Pauline feel to it. The narrator did a great job of narrating the story, so it did not sound too melodramatic, but the writer seemed to feel that the more "tension" she added the better. The result was that the last few chapters, in parts, were a bit silly. Additionally, the heroine's main reason for not desiring marriage seemed very immature for a character that seemed to have her head screwed on straight. I understand she was supposed to be traumatized, and actually appreciated the reason for it, but it just didn't ring true with me. At the risk of sounding totally heartless, I just rolled my eyes.

    What about Linda Stephens’s performance did you like?

    I truly enjoy Linda Stephen's understated dramatization of the stories she narrates. Her voice is pleasant, and she does not over nor under emphasize what she narrates. The characters are still well delineated, and there is enough inflection to keep things interesting. She was very pleasant to listen to, and I have felt that way about some of her other books.

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I enjoyed the book enough that I looked forward to listening to it, but it was not so exciting that I could not put it down.

    Any additional comments?

    Overall this was a sweet, often amusing, love story, and I felt that I used my credit well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Barbara Demick
    • Narrated By Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years - a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung and the unchallenged rise to power of his son, Kim Jong-il, and the devastation of a far-ranging famine that killed one-fifth of the population. Taking us into a landscape never before seen, Demick brings to life what it means to be an average Korean citizen, living under the most repressive totalitarian regime today.

    Gohar says: "The man who wants to be GOD"
    "An interesting historical mystery"
    What made the experience of listening to Nothing to Envy the most enjoyable?

    The unusual characters, the historical details, and the mystery all worked for me in this novel. I was really hoping Audible would carry the whole series. It gets a fair amount of buzz on Amazon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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