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Pamela M.

Southern California
  • 45
  • reviews
  • 362
  • helpful votes
  • 46
  • ratings
  • Just Passin' Thru

  • A Vintage Store, the Appalachian Trail, and a Cast of Unforgettable Characters
  • By: Winton Porter
  • Narrated by: Jones Allen
  • Length: 6 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 666
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 617
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 618

Like a well-crafted stage play, Just Passin' Thru delivers one suspenseful scene after another. But in this historic setting a store on the Appalachian Trail called Mountain Crossings the characters who show up are no fictional creations. Like any good drama, there are the good guys (and gals) and the weirdos, too. Some show up once (and that’s enough), and some appear again and again. But all are united by two things: the author’s story-capturing talent, and whatever it is that lures them to attempt (or conquer) a 2,200-mile path that climbs and plummets from Georgia to Maine.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Well Worth it!

  • By Pamela M. on 11-13-14

Well Worth it!

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-13-14

I enjoy hiking tales and heard about this book from another hiker. My past reads have been about hikers and their trail events. This book is about a man who bought an outdoor gear/ hostel establishment called Mountain Crossing. His store is a well known rest stop on the AT and has quite the following (I checked out their website & Facebook pages).

This was a great "welcome to my world" book. He shares encounters he has had through the years with hikers and employees. I found these stories funny & captivating. The narrators voice made this an easy listen. You don't have to be a hiker to like this one - it's a great read!

Ps... I am starting to wonder if these reviews are worth my time and efforts. If it helps you could you please click " helpful". Thank you



199 of 202 people found this review helpful

  • Hard Time

  • Life with Sheriff Joe Arpaio in America's Toughest Jail
  • By: Shaun Attwood
  • Narrated by: Peter Batchelor
  • Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    2.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 13

Shaun Attwood was a millionaire day trader in Phoenix, Arizona, but his hedonistic lifestyle of drugs and parties came to an abrupt end in 2002 when a SWAT team broke down his door. Attwood found himself on remand in Maricopa Jail with a $750,000 cash bond and all of his assets seized. The nightmare was only just beginning as he was submerged in a jail in which rival gangs vied for control, crystal meth was freely available, and where breaking rules could result in beatings or death.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Eye Opener!

  • By Pamela M. on 11-11-14

Eye Opener!

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-11-14

Shaun is a Brit day trader who comes to the USA to seek his fortune. He ends up dealing drugs in the Arizona rave scene landing him in one of the worst jails - Maricopa run by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

I had seen Shaun's story on 20/20 and read about it in People magazine which peaked my interest. I had also done some research on Maricopa inhumane conditions several years ago so getting the insight on what it was really like from an inmate intrigued me.

The book provides real insight to life behind bars. I thought Shaun's story was honest and forthcoming. Intimates have to deal with beyond horrific conditions at this jail. I cannot imagine having to live off green bolonga for years (that alone would of kept me on the right side of the law).

I was not a fan of Peter Batchelor the narrator. His voice was very scratchy & rough. I found it a bit hard to stay tuned in because of it. I feel like this is one of those times I wished I had bought the book and read it myself then going with the Audio book.

It's a decent prison story, not a favorite but a good one.

Ps...if my review helps you could you click the helpful key? I am starting to wonder if my time and efforts are worth it. Thank you

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • A Walk for Sunshine

  • A 2,160-Mile Expedition for Charity on the Appalachian Trail
  • By: Jeff Alt
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 286
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 261
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 266

Jeff Alt takes you along every step of his 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail adventure. This entertaining journey includes bears, bugs, blisters, captivating characters, skunk bedmates, and hilarious food cravings. Alt walked more than five million steps in tribute to his brother, who has cerebral palsy and lives in a home called Sunshine. This trail adventure has inspired an annual event that has raised more than $200,000 for Sunshine. It includes hiking tips for the whole family.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • An Enjoyable Adventure!

  • By Pamela M. on 11-11-14

An Enjoyable Adventure!

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-11-14

I love reading about the challenges of through hiking on long trails like the AT & PCT. The wilderness, animals, weather and characters you meet along the way always pull me in. This story had it all. It was as if I was hiking right along with Jeff. He gave great detail of the Appalachian Trail and his experiences along the way.

You could tell this book was written by a first time writer and there were some misspellings but I didn't care. Jeff is a good guy trying to do something great for someone he loves. I felt his story was interesting and heartfelt. It's worth the read /listen.

If your looking for a super great book on hiking I recommend "A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson (read it 3 times) or "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed, a fantastic book!

Ps.... if my reviews help you could you please click on helpful? I am starting to wonder if my time and efforts are worth it. Thank you

63 of 65 people found this review helpful

  • Winter's Bone

  • A Novel
  • By: Daniel Woodrell
  • Narrated by: Emma Galvin
  • Length: 4 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,118
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 880
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 886

The sheriff's deputy at the front door brings hard news to Ree Dolly. Her father has skipped bail on charges that he ran a crystal meth lab, and the Dollys will lose their house if he doesn't show up for his next court date. Ree's father has disappeared before. The Dolly clan has worked the shadowy side of the law for generations, and arrests (and attempts to avoid them) are part of life in Rathlin Valley.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Now I Want to see the Movie!

  • By Pamela M. on 11-11-14

Now I Want to see the Movie!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-11-14

This was an interesting book and I quite enjoyed it. The story is based on the lives Ozark mountain people. These are people who live by their own codes and backward ways. The writer really captured the people and the setting. All the characters were spot on. The dialect was bit hard at first but I got used to it as the story went on. I am a huge fan of Emma Galvin and I thought her voice was perfect for this story.

It's a Great book......now I want to watch the movie to see if it's just as good.

Ps... I wonder if these reviews are worth the time and effort. If my reviews help will you click on the helpful button to let me know. Thanks

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Orange is the New Black

  • My Year in a Women's Prison
  • By: Piper Kerman
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 11 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,974
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,254
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,284

With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My favorite book of the year, so far

  • By Mark on 03-31-14

Disappointing!

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-07-14

This is the story of a thirty year old woman who is serving fifteen months in prison for a decade old crime transporting drug money for a friend. She transported the money one time but because of US mandated laws on drug trafficking she had to serve the time.

This story was way to nice to be a prison story. If I am reading a prison story it needs shanks, fights and drama. This was like summer camp with a lot of heavy rules or like living in a college dorm with less freedom. There was no drama whatsoever! I was very disappointed!

I wasn't aware this was a TV series until after I finished this book. I selected this book due to all the positive reviews from previous readers. After reading it I cannot get over why there are so many positive reviews. I am thinking maybe the TV series influenced some of them. I'm sure the screenwriters probably did a lot for this story for the series to have such high ratings, to bad they weren't around for the writing of the book.

P.s... I write reviews to help others find good books. Why waste your time and money on bad books? If my reviews help you please click the "helpful" button, sometimes I think I am wasting my time and efforts with this. Thank you!

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Elephant Whisperer

  • My Life with the Herd in the African Wild
  • By: Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,766
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,375
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,386

>When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful story, beautifully written

  • By Tango on 01-12-13

A Beautiful Read!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-06-14

A Beautiful true story by Anthony Larwence who runs a conservationist game reserve. He takes on a misfit herd of elephants and bonds with them saving their lives. I was completely captivated by this story it kept me at the edge of my seat, so much so that I have added visiting Tula Tula to my bucket list.

The narration was 100% perfect! His voice was soothing and easy to listen to. I am always so pleased when the right reader is chosen for audio books. I am very pleased to have come across this story it made me laugh and cry. You don't have to love elephants to love this book there is so much more to this story... it's worth the credit!

P.S..... I do these reviews to help others find good books. I rely on reviews when picking out my next one, who wants to waste their time and money on a bad book? If my review helps you please click "helpful" . Thank you

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • City of Thieves

  • By: David Benioff
  • Narrated by: Ron Perlman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,838
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,914
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,904

A writer visits his retired grandparents in Florida to document their experience during the infamous siege of Leningrad. His grandmother won't talk about it, but his grandfather reluctantly consents. The result is the captivating odyssey of two young men trying to survive against desperate odds. Lev Beniov considers himself "built for deprivation." He's small, smart, and insecure, a Jewish virgin too young for the army, who spends his nights working as a volunteer firefighter with friends from his building.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stunning Tale. Great Narration.

  • By Paul on 10-24-09

Compelling!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-14-14

This is a coming of age story, set in the cold winter of 1942 during the Nazis brutal siege of Leningrad. The story is about an unlikely frienship between two young men.

I was afraid this book would be bleak considering the subject, but there was a wonderful balance with the story of war and humor. I loved the way Lev and Koyla interacted with each other and how their friendship unfolded. Koyla was my favorite with the way he could find humor in the most dismal of times.

Benioff brings this story to life as if I was standing right there. I literally could not stop listening. This book would be a great movie!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • One Man's Wilderness

  • An Alaskan Odyssey
  • By: Sam Keith, Richard Proenneke
  • Narrated by: Norman Dietz
  • Length: 6 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 601
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 535
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 539

To live in a pristine land unchanged by man... to roam a wilderness through which few other humans have passed... to choose an idyllic site, cut trees and build a log cabin... to be a self-sufficient craftsman, making what is needed from materials available... to be not at odds with the world but content with one's own thoughts and company. Thousands have had such dreams, but Richard Proenneke lived them.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Alaskan Read!

  • By Pamela M. on 10-10-14

Wonderful Alaskan Read!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-10-14

A couple years ago I watched a PBS documentary on Richard Proenneke and was blown away by his story. He followed his dream by giving it all up to live in the Alaskan Bush.

The book is written as a journal, yet very captivating. I enjoyed his outlook on nature and found it interesting how he built his cabin with hand tools. He was a true adventurer.

I fell in love with this man as well as his book, story and lifestyle. I know I will revisited this book many times in years to come. A true classic, must read!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Bear

  • A Novel
  • By: Claire Cameron
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Morris
  • Length: 6 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 95
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 83

While camping with her family on a remote island, five-year-old Anna awakes in the night to the sound of her mother screaming. A rogue black bear, three hundred pounds of fury, is attacking the family's campsite -- and pouncing on her parents as prey. At her dying mother's faint urging, Anna manages to get her brother into the family's canoe and paddle away. But when the canoe runs aground on the edge of the woods, the sister and brother must battle hunger, the elements, and a wilderness alive with danger.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing perspective....

  • By Kelly Miller on 03-14-14

A Child's Survival Story.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-10-14

The story is a childs tale of survival after her parents are killed by a bear on a camping trip. The story puts you in the mind of a child for its written from a child's perspective. The book is also read by a child which I did find hard to follow at times. As with five year olds their train of thought jumps all over the place, so does the story. I really had to hang on to each sentence which was a bit donting.

There were several parts of the story which threw me for a loop, like how throughout the entire book the child called the bear "a big black dog". What 5 year old who carries her favorite stuffed teddy bear everywhere doesn't know what a bear looks like? Yet she knew of Jesus and that he was a carpenter, what plants were ediable and how to canoe.

It was a gripping tale and I am glad I bought it. People magazine had recommended it and it had been on my list of reads for a year or more. It was somewhat enjoyable, but not a favorite and I would never reread it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Between Shades of Gray

  • By: Ruta Sepetys
  • Narrated by: Emily Klein
  • Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 816
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 729
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 729

Lina is just like any other 15-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys - until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Sunlight Through the Cracks

  • By FanB14 on 03-27-13

Very Powerful!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-08-14

I hesitated to read this book because of the subject matter, but this is not the typical Holocaust story. Its the story of a Lithuanian family exile to Sibera by Stalin. The story is told by Lina a fifteen year old girl.

I connected to this emotionally it reminded me a bit of The Diary of Anne Frank. Although the story was heartbreaking it was exceptionally written. There was a nice balance between sorrow, survival and bravery. Its a very gritty story of a time in history I wasn't even aware of.

Great reader/voice very easy to understand and pleasant to listen to. Once I started I couldnt put it down. So glad I found this book, its going on my favorite list.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful