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Carole T.

Shepherdstown, WV, United States
  • 335
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  • 375
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  • Almost Everything

  • Notes on Hope
  • By: Anne Lamott
  • Narrated by: Anne Lamott
  • Length: 3 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2

In this profound and funny audiobook, Lamott calls for each of us to rediscover the nuggets of hope and wisdom that are buried within us that can make life sweeter than we ever imagined. Divided into short chapters that explore life's essential truths, Almost Everything pinpoints these moments of insight as it shines an encouraging light forward. Candid and caring, insightful and sometimes hilarious, Almost Everything is the audiobook we need and that only Anne Lamott can write.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Don't Let Them Make Us Hate Them

  • By Carole T. on 10-16-18

Don't Let Them Make Us Hate Them

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

Reviewed: 10-16-18

I really love Anne Lamott. Since reading Bird By Bird years ago, I have appreciated her common sense, her wisdom and simplicity - all so important in negotiating our world.

She's her usual inspiring, calming, thoughtful self in Almost Everything. Reflections on our scary times, loss, aging, writing, death, family, and the power of love (among others) are like gulping fresh air. Quotes like the one I headed this review with, and others like 'buy yourself some cute socks', '...joy, which every fear in you knows will lead to job failure and lost revenue' stay with me. Lamott and I do not agree on the subject of religion, but I respond to her thoughts on the human spirit, the joys of nature, and the value of love, forgiveness and humor.

Yes, I love Anne Lamott, but I wish I loved her voice. Dear Anne, please let someone else narrate your work!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The House of Unexpected Sisters

  • By: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by: Lisette Lecat
  • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 729
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 661
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 652

Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are approached by their part-time colleague, Mr. Polopetsi, with a troubling story: A woman, accused of being rude to a valued customer, has been wrongly dismissed from her job at an office furniture store. Never one to let an act of injustice go unanswered, Mma Ramotswe begins to investigate but soon discovers unexpected information that causes her to reluctantly change her views about the case.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 18th novel and I'm still enchanted and addicted!

  • By Wayne on 11-11-17

End This!

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

Reviewed: 10-01-18

I rarely review books now, as Audible has essentially erased the usefulness of the system. But this listen - and "Precious and Grace" before it - deserve an honest warning for fans of the series.

Mma Ramatswe and her friends and associates have been a part of our lives for many years now. We have appreciated the care, respect, and even love that Alexander McCall Smith put into these people and Botswana. They came alive and are remembered fondly for their quiet wisdom and appreciation of the values and rhythms of another culture.

So, I am devastated to report that these last two volumes, at least, are not worthy of our dear friends. Achingly slow and even ponderous, the conversations that used to be gently funny and wise are now shadows and impersonations (approaching mockery!) of our missing characters, leading nowhere and adding nothing to what little story there is. The repetition is inexcusable and excruciating. Caricatures have replaced living people.

If Mma Ramatswe were reviewing these later books, I believe she would say something like: "Thank you, Rra Smith, for bringing us and Botswana to life. But, dear friend, realize that we have pretty much left your stage, and you are no longer giving value to our dear fans. Do you not think, Rra, that, if you no longer have anything to add to our story, perhaps you should wrap it up? We will always be grateful to you, but, no more, if you please!"

  • Desolation Mountain

  • By: William Kent Krueger
  • Narrated by: David Chandler
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 339
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 316
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 315

New York Times best-selling author William Kent Krueger delivers yet another "punch-to-the-gut blend of detective story and investigative fiction" (Booklist) as Cork O'Connor and his son Stephen work together to uncover the truth behind the tragic plane crash of a senator on Desolation Mountain and the mysterious disappearances of several first responders. This is a heart-pounding and devastating mystery the scope and consequences of which go far beyond what father or son could ever have imagined....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another excellent Cork O'Conner series by WKK!

  • By Jeff on 10-10-18

Love in a Cynical Age

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

Reviewed: 08-26-18

"Desolation Mountain" is a very modern tale which will appeal to both cynical, conspiracy-theory minded individuals and to those who are more inclined toward a love-above-all and truth-will-out view of life and politics.

Cork O'Conner and his family are back, and so are his law enforcement colleagues and his Ojibwe relations and values. O'Conner has always, in fact, been a man torn between contrasts. His traditional, conservative law & order past leads to a tendency to trust authority in general and in most cases. His native heritage and personal experiences, on the other hand, give him insight into the many prejudices that often prevail when officials of the government determine the nature of justice.

The plane of a progressive Senator crashes in Cork's old territory, and things get complicated fast. Just what is the goal of all the numerous and secretive agencies who descend upon town and reservation in search of answers? Why are they so often menacing and dangerous - as bad as the terrorists they suspect? And, do they really want answers, or are they seeking scape goats and cover-ups?

Cork's family and the close-knit residents of the Ojibwe Reservation are caught in this confusing game of who's who and what's what. With the help of the old wiseman and healer Henry, they seek truth - to find answers and ultimately to save their own lives.

Evil is here in misguided and often misused authority. But, love is here as well - love for and among family and community. As always in this series, Cork's beloved wilderness and the people who value it provide solace and direction.

  • Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret

  • By: Craig Brown
  • Narrated by: Eleanor Bron
  • Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 65

Princess Margaret aroused passion and indignation in equal measures. To her friends, she was witty and regal. To her enemies, she was rude and demanding. In her 1950s heyday, she was seen as one of the most glamorous and desirable women in the world. By the time of her death in 2002, she had come to personify disappointment. One friend said he had never known an unhappier woman. The tale of Princess Margaret is Cinderella in reverse: hope dashed, happiness mislaid, life mishandled.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Kind of A Glorious Waste of Time

  • By Carole T. on 08-10-18

Kind of A Glorious Waste of Time

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

Reviewed: 08-10-18

This is a very different sort of biography, and it's both entertaining and (no word but appalling will do).

The world has watched the current royal family suffer through scandal after scandal while the poor, loyal and blameless Queen soldiers on. As observers, we are intrigued, astonished, and even a bit pleased to see that all is not roses and caviar for the very rich and very famous.

Of course, the highest Royals are more than famous - but for what, exactly? Surely even they don't believe in "divine rights" anymore. Politically, they are restricted to uttering platitudes than can neither offend nor appear to express an opinion. If they attempt to fit into the "real" world by getting jobs, they are accused of pandering influence; if they follow the family tradition of cutting ribbons and traveling the world at taxpayers' expense, they are accused of being useless spongers.

HRH the Princess Margaret certainly epitomizes the complexities of negotiating that sort of life. It's difficult not to both sympathize with and laugh at her with scorn. Unlike some of the more recent and younger royals who have married into and subsequently embarrassed the family, she had absolutely no choice in her position. From early childhood, it was proscribed for her: she would be the runner-up; her status changing downward with the birth of each nephew, niece, grand-nephew or -niece, forever and ever. She would live by confining and often antiquated rules, and it would be best, of course, to do so with no complaints and a stiff upper lip.

Pretty hard to imagine anyone who could do so! Margaret suffered and messed up, often publicly and always (forgive me!) royally. In light, however, of more recent royal offenses by the likes of Diana and Fergie and Harry, much of the controversy and sensation of Margaret's life has taken a back burner (just like that poor woman constantly had to!). With this book and the recent television series "The Crown", she has been temporarily called back to center stage for a new round of shock and awe.

So this book has the usual appeal of schadenfreude - a slightly guilty delight. What's different here is the style of presentation. There's not a dreary outline of important dates, no sequential telling of events. Craig Brown instead gives us a mish-mash of impressions - from news stories, diaries, accounts of friends and acquaintances. Princess Margaret is seen from all kinds of angles, and what emerges is a mixture of contempt, humor, sadness, and even touching humanity in this least-likely of heroines.

She wasn't extraordinary, she wasn't exemplary, she wasn't exactly a wasted opportunity. Instead, Margaret mostly comes across as trapped and lonely - and her story is mostly that she couldn't "keep calm and carry on" in the circumstances. Can we blame her for that?

Salacious? Yep! A waste of time? Probably. But this listening experience certainly appeals to our appreciation of the sublime and ridiculous in the world. And the narrator is absolutely first rate!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • P. D. James BBC Radio Drama Collection

  • Seven Full-Cast Dramatisations
  • By: P. D. James
  • Narrated by: Greta Scacchi, Hugh Grant, full cast, and others
  • Length: 16 hrs and 37 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 106
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 95

Seven BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisations of P. D. James' acclaimed mysteries, plus P. D. James in Her Own Words. This collection includes: Cover Her Face, A Taste for Death, Devices and Desires, A Certain Justice, The Private Patient, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman and The Skull Beneath the Skin.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Desert Island drama

  • By Zaubermond on 02-13-18

A Different Sort of Experience

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Hearing these excellent BBC dramas is a joy. First, it's a chance to sample, refresh, or renew some really great mysteries by a master, P.D. James.

Secondly, it's a way to experience old favorites in a new way. There are stories here featuring both Adam Dalgliesh and Cordelia Gray, James' wonderful detectives. Each appears in more than one episode and is portrayed by more than one fine British actor. The collection includes works from several stages of James' career. And the stories are, of course, much shorter than the original works from which they are abridged.

Nobody is better than the BBC at reminding us why radio dramas are so much fun! These selections are perfect for car drives, bedtime listens, and sharing with others.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • In the Shadow of Statues

  • By: Mitch Landrieu
  • Narrated by: Mitch Landrieu
  • Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 292
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 271
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 272

When Mitch Landrieu addressed the people of New Orleans in May 2017 about his decision to take down four Confederate monuments, including the statue of Robert E. Lee, he struck a nerve nationally, and his speech has now been heard or seen by millions across the country. In his first book, Mayor Landrieu discusses his personal journey on race as well as the path he took to making the decision to remove the monuments, tackles the broader history of slavery, race and institutional inequities that still bedevil America, and traces his personal relationship to this history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Everyone should read this

  • By Carol Carlson on 03-23-18

Even if you don't think you agree - Read this!

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Mitch Landrieu is not an extremist - he's not an unreasonable kook. Here is a proud Southerner who has something important to say; something he has thought a lot about and had a lot of experience with. He's not an outsider trying to tell Southerners (and others) how to change - just how to look at an issue differently and with clearer perspective.

I don't live in the Deep South, but we recently moved to an area with real Civil War connections. Many people we have met take strong and immediate sides on the issue of the removal (or not) of statues and memorials devoted to this sad chapter of American history.

Here is a chance to listen to a very good story teller/writer/narrator give a reasoned, thoughtful and very considered argument for respecting the past yet looking toward the future. I think those who experience this book will come away with more empathy, more understanding of why those statues exist and why we should truly consider taking them down or putting them in museums. Certainly this is an educational exercise; it could also be a mind changer.

Hope we hear much more from this guy!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Soul of America

  • The Battle for Our Better Angels
  • By: Jon Meacham
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders, Jon Meacham
  • Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,121
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,909
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,899

Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the “better angels of our nature” have repeatedly won the day. Painting surprising portraits of Lincoln and other presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, and LBJ, and illuminating the courage of influential citizen activists and civil rights pioneers, Meacham brings vividly to life turning points in American history. Each of these dramatic hours have been shaped by the contest to lead the country to look forward rather than back, to assert hope over fear - a struggle that continues even now.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thanks! I needed this!

  • By Helen on 05-29-18

We Needed This!

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

Reviewed: 06-04-18

I really do feel better and more optimistic after listening to this book. Jon Meachem teaches us a thing or two and points out that America has been through very discouraging and even frightening-for-democracy times before. His ultimate confidence that "this too shall pass" proves contagious.

The history here may not be new to most fans of the genre, but Meachem puts them together in a new way, emphasizing the rocky road we have taken over the years toward our country's idealistic goals of unity, equality and justice. His primary argument is that Presidents have often not been leaders in that fight - few stand out as the right person to influence policy and public thinking at just the right time. But, when we have needed it most, someone has emerged from the crowd to inspire us and head us in the right direction.

His choice of examples is pretty unarguable in that most historians and citizens (regardless of political party) agree on the very best Presidents. They exercised judgment and influence - as well as charisma and rhetoric skills - in furthering the best in human inclination. Franklin Roosevelt is a notable example of a man hated by many for his social policies but still regarded as great (even by his haters) because of his unifying power through both Depression and WWII. In hindsight, it's undeniable that Democracy and capitalism would likely have been in much more danger in the 1930's without his calm courage and swift action. Hindsight and historical prospective also reinforce our appreciation of men like Washington (when Democracy was being defined), Lincoln (when we were arguably nearest to National destruction), Teddy Roosevelt (during the Industrial Revolution when capitalism and labor faced off) and Lyndon Johnson (at the height of racial tensions over civil rights).

We find ourselves in such a needy period now. Whether or not you approve of Trump, no one is citing him as a man of foresight, wisdom, or unifying rhetoric. His tendency is pretty clearly in the direction of despotism and division. Jon Meachem believes this outlook is temporary - most of us can only hope and pray that he is right!

24 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • The Glass Room

  • A Vera Stanhope Mystery
  • By: Ann Cleeves
  • Narrated by: Charlie Hardwick
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 417
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 382
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 378

DI Vera Stanhope is not one to make friends easily, but her hippy neighbors keep her well supplied in homebrew and conversation, and somehow bonds have formed. When one of them goes missing, Vera tracks the young woman down to the Writer’s House, a country retreat where aspiring authors work on their stories. Things get complicated when a body is discovered, and Vera’s neighbor is found with a knife in her hand.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent!

  • By CM on 04-28-18

The Truth about Writers

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

Reviewed: 05-01-18

This time Vera takes on writers - and mysteries. It's interesting to hear Cleeves describe a writers' circle and the tricks of her own trade.

The mystery is classic Vera, with all our favorites - Vera, Joe, Holly, and the hippie neighbors (this time they are in the thick of the action).

Although I have enjoyed all the books of this series, I do often feel that the books are a little too long and my attention sometimes strays midway. Same was true of The Glass Room, but the mystery is solid and the characters and the descriptions of their lives cannot be beat.

Another good addition to this series!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Captiva

  • By: Randy Wayne White
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83

 

Randy Wayne White is acclaimed as "wildly inventive" (The San Diego Union-Tribune), "a wonderful writer" (Paul Theroux), "a fine storyteller" (Peter Matthiessen), and "the rightful heir to John D. MacDonald" (The Tampa Tribune-Times). In his fourth Doc Ford novel, he delivers a wicked thriller that sends government agent turned marine biologist Doc Ford into dangerous new waters as a Florida fishing dispute escalates into a deadly war that reaches across the ocean...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hooray!

  • By Carole T. on 04-25-18

Hooray!

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

Reviewed: 04-25-18

So glad to see this appear on Audible. Not only one of the best of Randy Wayne White's Doc Ford series, but the added attraction of a George Guidall narration.

Captiva has all the landmarks of a great Doc Ford adventure: great information about South Florida and the lives of its long-time inhabitants, the wonderful regular characters in this world, anger at the unfairness and injustice of the modern world, romance, and edge-of-your-seat adventure.

Please bring the other missing parts of this series on board at Audible! This is a treat!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Spider's Web

  • By: Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: Hugh Fraser
  • Length: 4 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 205
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 200

A classic from the queen of mystery: Agatha Christie.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Agatha is always fun!

  • By Kathi on 08-07-16

Deja Vu

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

Reviewed: 04-19-18

I thought I hadn't read this Agatha Christie, and I neglected to fully read the little "cover" provided by Audible, which uses the word "novelization".

So, early on, I started to get a feeling that I knew this, but differently. Turns out I have seen this as a play. It's a lovely piece - full of humor and nearly-slapstick "where's the body?" action.

It's also good as a book. With the great Hugh Fraser narrating, Agatha Christie's Audible offers are always a bargain.

If you like this, try to find the play and see it, as well. The play is a hoot; Mr Fraser saves this slightly less sprightly version.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful