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snowy plover

Walnut Creek, CA | Member Since 2003

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 182 ratings
  • 417 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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  • The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jacques Pepin
    • Narrated By Michel Chevalier
    Overall
    (297)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (128)

    In this captivating memoir, the man whom Julia Child has called "the best chef in America" tells the story of his rise from a frightened apprentice in an exacting Old World kitchen to an Emmy Award-winning superstar who taught millions of Americans how to cook and shaped the nation's tastes in the bargain.

    Linda Zimmerman says: "WHAT HAPPENED TO THE RECIPES???"
    "Delightful and Interesting"
    Overall

    Jacque Pepin's story has many facets which he relates in an honest and unpretentious way. I came away with a great respect for the man and an enhanced view of cooking, especially in the selection of ingredients. One hears about choosing fresh and seasonal items, but Pepin tells what that means in very specific ways. Be advised that this book can make you very hungry.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Rise & Fall of Great Powers: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Tom Rachman
    • Narrated By Penelope Rawlins
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (33)

    Tooly Zylberberg, the American owner of an isolated bookshop in the Welsh countryside, conducts a life full of reading, but with few human beings. Books are safer than people, who might ask awkward questions about her life. She prefers never to mention the strange events of her youth, which mystify and worry her still. Taken from home as a girl, Tooly found herself spirited away by a group of seductive outsiders, implicated in capers from Asia to Europe to the United States. But who were her abductors? Why did they take her? What did they really want?

    Amazon Customer says: "Wonderful book. Superb narration."
    "Tough to follow on tape"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Rise & Fall of Great Powers? What did you like least?

    Rachman switches the time frames back and forth from year to year and it's really hard to keep track of with the audiobook. This is a book I would much rather have gotten to read on my iPad or in paper.


    Would you recommend The Rise & Fall of Great Powers to your friends? Why or why not?

    I'm not done yet so not sure. This isn't just a straight story, but a very wandering narrative so it's impossible to tell where it's going.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Trustee from the Toolroom

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (760)
    Performance
    (686)
    Story
    (687)

    Keith Stewart, a retiring and ingenious engineer, could not have been happier in his little house in the shabby London suburb of Ealing. There he invented the mini-motor, the six-volt generator, and the tiny Congreve clock. Then a chain of events sweeps him into deep waters and leads him to his happiest discovery yet.

    Paula says: "Just Simply a Great Story!"
    "Love this Book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Trustee from the Toolroom again? Why?

    I would listen to this book again. It's different and it has a lot of heart. If you know a man who loves knowing how things work - it's a perfect gift.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The characters all came to life to make the story so delightful. It's a short book, but the characters are well fleshed out and the story line is terrific.


    What does Frank Muller bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator lends a lot to the story and brings the characters to life. And a fun life it is.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're looking for a hidden gem, this is a great choice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lacuna

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (810)
    Performance
    (303)
    Story
    (299)

    Born in the United States, but reared in Mexico, Harrison Shepherd finds precarious shelter but no sense of home on his thrilling odyssey. Life is whatever he learns from housekeepers and, one fateful day, by mixing plaster for famed muralist Diego Rivera. When he goes to work for Rivera, his wife, exotic artist Kahlo, and exiled leader Lev Trotsky, Shepherd inadvertently casts his lot with art and revolution.

    Tricia Stevens says: "Great story!"
    "An amazing blend of fact and fiction"
    Overall

    A spell-binding story with passages of incredible charm and tenderness along with grim realities. A parable for our day. Amazing narration by the author. It doesn't get much better than this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passionate Traveller

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Frances Mayes
    • Narrated By Frances Mayes
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    A Year in the World is vintage Frances Mayes, a celebration of the allure of travel, of serendipitous pleasures found in unlikely locales, of memory woven into the present, and of a joyous sense of quest. An ideal travel companion, Frances Mayes brings to the page the curiosity of an intrepid explorer, remarkable insights into the wonder of the everyday, and a compelling narrative style that entertains as it informs.

    snowy plover says: "Someone stop this woman"
    "Someone stop this woman"
    Overall

    Please do not let this author narrate a book again. Her southern accent is not a pleasant one and heaped on top of foreign pronunciations, it's deadly. Also the meals consumed by the author and her husband are the primary focus of the writing. This book is a weak effort.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • On the Wing: To the Edge of the Earth with the Peregrine Falcon

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Alan Tennant
    • Narrated By Alan Tennant
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (1)

    In this extraordinary narrative, Alan Tennant recounts his all-out effort to radio-track the transcontinental migration of the peregrine falcon, an investigation no one before him had ever taken to such lengths.

    snowy plover says: "Thumbs up, Way up, for On The Wing"
    "Thumbs up, Way up, for On The Wing"
    Overall

    If you have an affinity for nature and if you like adventure, On the Wing will capture your imagination.

    Tennant relates his story as only a Texan can, recounting bold and risky moves executed in pursuit of peregrine falcons in their seasonal migrations. The author's folksy narration is entertaining while his thoughts on our relation to nature and each other is wise and thought-provoking. I loved this book!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Firoozeh Dumas
    • Narrated By Firoozeh Dumas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (334)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (82)

    In 1972, when she was seven, Firoozeh Dumas and her family moved from Iran to Southern California, arriving with no firsthand knowledge of this country beyond her father's glowing memories of his graduate school years here.

    Jerry says: "The melting pot, next generation"
    "I hated for it to end"
    Overall

    The lives of the author's Iranian immigrant parents and extended family along with her own adventures and misadventures provide more than enough material for each chapter. Lively narration keeps the stories moving along. Beyond the upbeat rendition of the author's personal history, there's a poignant subtext regarding the plight of her native country and what it was like to be an Iranian immigrant in the US in light of the infamous hostage crisis.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • True Notebooks

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Mark Salzman
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    True Notebooks is the story of Mark Salzman's eye-opening tenure as a writing teacher to a group of teenage boys in a juvenile detention facility in Los Angeles. Many of Salzman's students have been charged with murder, and he is initially apprehensive about teaching them. But his first encounter with them changes his mind: rather than the thugs he had expected, his students are vulnerable and carry terrible burdens.

    Erika says: "Funny, witty and honest! Loved the book!!"
    "Eye-opening"
    Overall

    Salman's book will lay to rest the stereotypes you had of the young people in Juvenile Hall. Their stories, their lives are heart-breaking, yet Salzman is even-handed in his view, recognizing the reality of crimes they've commited. Narrator does a great job in creating the voices of the boys. A very worthwhile book. Kudos to Salzman for his work.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Looking for Alaska

    • ABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Peter Jenkins
    • Narrated By Peter Jenkins, Rebekah Jenkins
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (29)

    Looking for Alaska is Peter's account of eighteen months spent traveling over twenty thousand miles in tiny bush planes, on snow machines and snowshoes, in fishing boats and kayaks, on the Alaska Marine Highway and the Haul Road. Hearing and living the amazing stories of many Alaskans from Barrow to Craig, Seward to Deering, and everywhere in between, Peter gets to know this place in a way that only he can.

    KPS says: "good yarn, poor delivery"
    "Engaging and Thoughtful"
    Overall

    The beauty of this book lies in the profound personal experiences related by Jenkins (with one very winning chapter by his daughter, Rebecca). The book is more a travelog of human spirits honed by the harsh and awesome nature of their surroundings. The longer Jenkins is in Alaska, the more meaningful and interesting his tales become.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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