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darswords

Christmas Valley, Oregon, United States
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  • The Book of the Unnamed Midwife

  • The Road to Nowhere, Book 1
  • By: Meg Elison
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe
  • Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,197
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,025
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,030

When she fell asleep, the world was doomed. When she awoke, it was dead. In the wake of a fever that decimated the earth's population - killing women and children and making childbirth deadly for the mother and infant - the midwife must pick her way through the bones of the world she once knew to find her place in this dangerous new one. Gone are the pillars of civilization. All that remains is power - and the strong who possess it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • "Equals" = "Annoying"

  • By Lulu on 12-26-16

Loved This Book!

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

Reviewed: 06-08-19

This book kept me awake! I couldn't stop reading. Meg Elison's writing was engaging; the main character was believable and interesting. The plot was well thought out and much more plausible than zombie-apocalypse. It is a similar idea in that masses get sick and die, but no biters. It just sucks because a lot of people die. Mostly women and newborns. Again, it's possible.

With that scenario, the story is told in many ways. There is a third-person point of view. Then the main character writes in her journal bringing it to first-person. Thrown in are chapters about other characters or even globally how others are dealing with a new world with very few women. And though I read this Kindle Unlimited version with Whispersynch to the Audible, I found myself READING as much as listening because even the fonts were different and interesting.

But without the narration by Angela Dawe, the book becomes less. Angela's acting was flawless and added a lot to the story. I think this book is read best the way I did it as all the layers the author intended are there.

Though this was book one and you know there is more, there was no cliffhanger. You reach a natural somewhat comfortable ending. I was just excited to know there was more! I have already downloaded the Audible and Kindle Unlimited of book two. I can hardly wait to get to it!

  • The Christmas Hirelings

  • By: Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 3 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,935
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,247
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,216

Sir John Penlyon is planning to spend Christmas at his estate with his niece and his friend Danby, the closest thing he has to family since disowning his daughter years ago. (She eloped with the parson, who was, of course, penniless.) Danby suggests that at Christmastime the estate needs the presence of small children, and offers to find some - the “hirelings” - despite Sir John’s skepticism. Three children duly arrive, and the youngest, precocious four year-old Moppet, quickly endears herself to Sir John. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A warm and lovely Christmas story

  • By Elisabeth Carey on 12-13-18

Another Cruel Person Gets the Glory

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

Reviewed: 12-22-18

Yawn. Another gruff old rich guy who finds love. Bah Humbug!

The narrator, Richard Armitage, did a marvelous job of acting/reading this. It made a nice bedtime story. But mostly I was irritated that the story was about the mean guy finding love and not the children or their mother who worked so hard at making life loving and kind. Even the guy who instituted the children as hirelings would have made a better story. The rich old codger made me worry about the little girl he was so fascinated by. Sure it was 'innocent' still it was shudder-inducing for me.

Still, for a freebie from Audible, I guess I shouldn't complain--much.

If you love the Dicken's Carol garbage, you'll love this.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • What Happened

  • By: Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Narrated by: Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Length: 18 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,454
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,441
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,387

For the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Now free from the constraints of running, Hillary takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules. This is her most personal memoir yet.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What Happened?

  • By Celina Resendez on 10-21-17

Almost

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

I thought I wrote a review for this one. Sorry, after looking all over I somehow never did.

As I usually say about autobiographies, this is HER story, not what I think I wanted from her. But I agree with a fellow reviewer on GoodReads Jessica Mae Stover. For those reading on Amazon and Audible, you'll have to look it up on your own as they don't allow websites in reviews. Those on my blog enjoy.

In short, I listened to the Audible version and I felt she read her story okay. She didn't get screechy as she did on some of her speeches. But what little she did address she did a good job.

Granted she had a lot to deal with that no other person running has ever had to deal with. And with the political temperament since the election has been a bully pulpit supported by his own channel. Misinformation and lies are starting to come out into the light. Still, Hillary owned up to most of her own issues.

My biggest issue, and I know nobody is asking me, whereas Bernie addressed the poor, Hillary dismissed him and the poor. Her deal seemed to be directed at the middle-class and above. Those of us who have slipped out of her sight, those who used to be middle-class, who were the first affected by the mortgage issues and were not given any help when the house got beyond the income. Now many of us are too old to help ourselves up by our bootstraps. We can't afford the boots! Sure there are those with plenty of energy and health at our age, but we are not worth anyone's time in politics. She didn't address how we should get to the miracle cures out there, we can't afford to go to the doctors. She didn't address, nor did anyone except Bernie, those of us not able to afford to HELP them get into office.

That's all I have to say about that. Others loved this book, a few hated it. I guess to each their own. Still, I think it best reading things we might not like as we can learn something here and there.

  • Extra Yarn

  • By: Mac Barnett
  • Narrated by: Nicola Barber
  • Length: 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 19

This is the story of how a young girl and her box of magical yarn transform a community. This modern fairy tale has the feel of a new classic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love it

  • By skater_girl501 on 03-28-19

Audio Version Holds Its Own!

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

Reviewed: 12-03-18

This is a review for the Audible version of the book. I can't afford to buy the paperback or hardback right now but couldn't wait to read it as I heard it was exquisite.

I love picture books. They inspire my inner artist. Still... I'm truly surprised to see how much fun just listening to the story without pictures was.

Narrated by Nicola Barber with accompanying music made this a beautiful story about never-ending yarn. Don't think that this magic was lost on this knitter. I almost have that wonderful situation. I get to knit from donated yarn. I make comfort items for the homeless, homebound, cancer patients and others. It is a win-win craft for me. I get to knit forever and other people get warm hats or toys or scarves... I haven't knitted a sweater yet, but it would be fun to yarn bomb everyone and everything around me!

I'm hoping to finally READ and enjoy the pictures in the book someday soon, but this Audible version does hold its own.

  • The Hot Zone

  • A Terrifying True Story
  • By: Richard Preston
  • Narrated by: Richard M. Davidson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,020
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,811
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,814

A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days, 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic "hot" virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If you love viruses and gore and non-fiction...

  • By aaron on 01-05-12

What a Voice!

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

Reviewed: 11-21-18

Do I say "Research?" It is due to the fact that I am writing a fictional 'zombie' book for NaNoWriMo that I picked up the Kindle and Audible versions of this book. My zombies are merely sick people. I am not a medical person so I needed some input on how it all starts and how contagious it all is. As it turns out it isn't as bad as Ebola, but the gore of my book might evolve due to this book.

Meanwhile, this is a book I put off for decades. I remember a guy named Jason at the school I worked at that came up to me with the paperback. He was so excited about it. But the more he talked the squirmier I got. "And it's a true story!" He exclaimed. I started watching shows like Outbreak. We saw it in the theater. Remember that sneeze? I nearly ran out of there when someone coughed.

I grew--good or bad, I guess that's for others to judge. But lately, I can watch a disaster movie, or The Walking Dead and notice only the social reaction to the monsters or the disease or the overwhelming snow. So I thought I could now face this book.

Reading happens at bedtime. Bet you can guess how this book blended into dreams. And since I listened as I read the Kindle with the Audible, that voice! Richard M. Davidson's voice. What a deep bass and excellent for the genre! Creepy and authoritative! Wow!

What I learned is that my characters in my book were dressed properly to deal with their strains of disease. And I learned I never want to be anywhere near someone coughing! If I was a germaphobe before... well, let's just say there isn't enough hand sanitizer in the world for me!

Knowing this is nonfiction made this even more frightening. It doesn't seem like it was that long ago there was an Ebola scare. What a horrid disease! And this author did a poetic job of helping the reader to see it and feel it. If you haven't read it yet, climb out of your hiding place and give it a try. Forewarned is forearmed as they say. Might as well get the Audible version to make it even more real. I will try to read more of his books now. Time for more vitamin C and Airborne!

  • Playing with Fire

  • The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics
  • By: Lawrence O'Donnell
  • Narrated by: Lawrence O'Donnell
  • Length: 17 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 716
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 666
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 664

The 1968 US presidential election was the young Lawrence O'Donnell's political awakening, and in the decades since it has remained one of his abiding fascinations. For years he has deployed one of America's shrewdest political minds to understanding its dynamics, not just because it is fascinating in itself but because in it is contained the essence of what makes America different and how we got to where we are now.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant synthesis of history past and present

  • By Dwight on 11-12-17

1968 In Review

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

Reviewed: 11-17-18

I like Lawrence O'Donnell. He's not my favorite. But I relate to him in that he is about Southern California where others are all in New York. I relate to him because he's close in age to me. He seems to see things the way I do, most of the time. Not always. So when I had another credit on Audible I decided to grab his book.

It makes me a little embarrassed to admit that this was tough to get through. Not because it was a difficult read or that Mr. O'Donnell is boring. It is just... well... I lived through this history.

1968 is the year I graduated. The draft and Viet Nam were in the news and alive in our school. The boys who graduated the year before us were drafted. By 1968 we lost so many guys that were friends. So this history is painful. Oh, and if we didn't lose the guys to death they went to Canada and we never saw them again. Or they killed themselves. It was a hard time to be a teen. In our high school, the spirit of our class was depressed. We lost most of the games. The year before and the year after the spirit was normal. But I really feel that that depression that lived in our souls was due to everyone knowing we might not see each other again. So I entered this read with that heavy weight.

Not only was this hard to listen to because of the death of friends, but we'd also lived through Kennedy being assassinated and the disharmonious political life was on the news every day. Listening to the political upheaval again did give me a little understanding as to what happened but it also hurt like reliving it all. As my bedtime book it brought dreams back I never wanted to see again.

On the other hand, if you didn't graduate that year, especially if you are younger, this is an important look at that history. Lawrence reads and tells this history with reverence and his research was deep. Even if you aren't his fan, this may give a bit of history to your political understanding. I know I am nowhere near politically adept, I like seeing how others perceived that time. Just like now, our families, friends, churches, and personal experiences color how we see our moment in time. It wasn't quite such a divided world as it is now, and yet it was. Walter Cronkite helped us get through some of it but I can remember family members arguing about all of it. A Catholic President? Unheard of! The Pope will be running the show. Yep, I heard that said. People who were marching were unAmerican? Really? What about the Tea Party? Anyway, if you get the chance, read or listen to this and see what you can remember way back then.

  • The Zombie Survival Guide

  • Complete Protection from the Living Dead
  • By: Max Brooks
  • Narrated by: Marc Cashman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,900
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,349
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,355

The Zombie Survival Guide is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now. Exhaustively comprehensive, this book covers everything you need to know, including how to understand zombie physiology and behavior, the most effective defense tactics and weaponry, ways to outfit your home for a long siege, and how to survive and adapt in any territory or terrain.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Amusing, but still terrifying

  • By David on 05-06-09

Bedtime for Zombies

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

Reviewed: 11-17-18

While I'm waiting for my characters to come out of hiding, yes, they are literally behind boulders during a volcano as Exploding Ebolic Zombies surround while being shot at by corrupt police... I thought I'd get some of my past due reviews written.

When I was telling my son about my upcoming (and now current) NaNoWriMo zombie novel, he dug out this book. It is an actual handbook that uses some well thought out ways to survive Zombie attacks. It is done tongue in cheek yet if you think about it, these ideas could save you during any kind of catastrophe. It is well-written. And the font easy enough for me to read during the day. But since most of my reading happens at night, before bed (yeah, zombies before sleep didn't help much), I added the audible version so I could lean back and really think about what the author was telling us. Marc Cashman narrated this quite well. Though it is written in handbook form the narration was authentic sounding and keeps the reader/listener engaged.

I highly recommend this book for those who can take the humor with the survival facts. It will help my future writing as I rethink: how safe are my characters behind those boulders? And where is an exploding zombie when you need one to attack those cops?

Oh, just enjoy the book!

  • Wives and Daughters

  • By: Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Narrated by: Nadia May
  • Length: 25 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 513
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 389
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 387

Set in English society before the 1832 Reform Bill, Wives and Daughters centers on the story of youthful Molly Gibson, brought up from childhood by her father. When he remarries, a new stepsister enters Molly's quiet life, the loveable, but worldly and troubling, Cynthia. The narrative traces the development of the two girls into womanhood within the gossiping and watchful society of Hollingford.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It's not about the ending!

  • By Sandra on 07-25-05

Loved Nadia May's Voice!

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

Reviewed: 10-31-18

As I just wrote on the Kindle version of GoodReads, I found the text-to-speech didn't work for me. I had an Audible credit sitting there when my friend recommended this book so I pick this up. The Kindle and the Audible didn't synch up so I gave up trying to read while listening and just listened.

The story didn't grab me as much as the narrator's voice and her ability to characterize the whole story. It took me a longer time than books usually take but I felt I needed to soak Nadia May's storytelling in. She was fantastic. I could see the story as if I were watching it in a movie. It might make a fun movie.

Since this was the Victorian British Isles, the history of women shows. It shows how far we've come and yet how far we need to go until there would be real equality. Even the title represents the ownership of fathers and husbands. Yet it is a good example that young women today should read and take their time to soak in why many modern women are still not happy with our positions in life.

Still, just as a story it is fun. Often I would get bored with it and then Nadia May's voice and excitement would pull me back in. I'm glad I read it. Give it a try.

  • Any Man

  • A Novel
  • By: Amber Tamblyn
  • Narrated by: Glenn Davis, Robin Miles, Therese Plummer, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 167
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 158
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 158

In this electric and provocative debut novel, Amber Tamblyn blends genres of poetry, prose, and elements of suspense to give shape to the shocking narratives of victims of sexual violence, mapping the destructive ways in which our society perpetuates rape culture, brilliantly brought to life through a multi-voice performance featuring Glenn Davis, Ben Foster, Marc Maron, Jason Ritter, John Roberts, Russ Tamblyn, Amber Tamblyn, January Lavoy, Phoebe Strole, Robin Miles, Thérèse Plummer, Dan Bittner, James Fouhey, and Michael Crouch.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Riveting!!!

  • By DeAndrea on 06-28-18

Well Done

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

Reviewed: 07-02-18

I am still torn as to what to say about this book. I finished listening a couple of days ago. Yes, this was an Audible version. It was narrated by Glenn Davis, Robin Miles, Therese Plummer, Dan Bittner, James Fouhey, Michael Crouch, Ben Foster, Marc Maron. Very well acted out. Kept me awake even after I closed the Kindle and crawled under the covers. For that reason, I give the trigger warnings. Rape is the topic. The only difference is it is a man that is raped. Somehow it reads the same regardless of who is the victim. So pain and torture are somewhat spelled out. It doesn't matter the perp's gender either.

This could easily help those in the right frame of mind. It seems a therapy of sorts for the author. I do suggest if you get the chance and feel up to it to listen to the Audible version. Meanwhile, it is read at your own discretion. I love Amber Tamblyn. I saw her on a talk show and loved what she has to say about the #MeToo movement and feminism. I'm glad that men showed their support by acting out this story.

I hope this book gets a lot of readers. I think it can help many people. Just be warned.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Host

  • A Novel
  • By: Stephenie Meyer
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 23 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,208
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,502
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,548

Earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. But Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unique Perspective, Awesome job.

  • By Mighty_Cranium on 12-29-09

Not My Cuppa

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

Reviewed: 05-27-18

It has been weeks since I finished 'reading' this book. I couldn't decide how I felt about it. I think it is somewhere between hating it and being okay with it.

Kate Reading was the narrator. I nearly returned the Audible version. The voice seemed all wrong for the alien. And all wrong for the strong host.

The story did start to get interesting about halfway in. We finally meet the human tribe hiding from the aliens. I liked some of them. But the narrator's voice seemed wrong for these characters, too. It amazes me that I stuck with this book in spite of how I felt listening to it every night.

The ending was a surprise for me and satisfying. I know a lot of people loved this story. The writing was good. But it didn't do much for me.