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  • 12
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 44
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  • Everlasting Nora

  • A Novel
  • By: Marie Miranda Cruz
  • Narrated by: Amielynn Abellera
  • Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 3

After a family tragedy results in the loss of both father and home, 12-year-old Nora lives with her mother in Manila’s North Cemetery, which is the largest shanty town of its kind in the Philippines today. When her mother disappears mysteriously one day, Nora is left alone. With help from her best friend, Jojo, and the support of his kindhearted grandmother, Nora embarks on a journey riddled with danger in order to find her mom. Along the way, she also rediscovers the compassion of the human spirit, the resilience of her community, and everlasting hope in the most unexpected places.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful Story Full of Hope

  • By Rebecca on 02-05-19

Beautiful Story Full of Hope

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

Reviewed: 02-05-19

I really loved this book. In many ways, it reminded of a Filipino version of the wonderful Dreamworks film, Coco. I saw this book on a blog tour and had to purchase it. My father was Filipino but I was raised in the continental United States. I love to read about the Philippines and I hope to visit in person some day. Although this book was written for middle grade readers, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The author beautifully engages with a very challenging topic. The entire story is full of hope, resiliency, and Filipino culture.

I was particularly delighted with the audiobook because I really enjoyed hearing the Tagalog language spoken around. The audiobook also includes a very interesting little interview with the author at the end.

If you're interested in Filipino culture or just enjoy a well told story, I highly recommend this book!

  • Power Moves

  • Lessons from Davos
  • By: Adam Grant
  • Narrated by: Adam Grant
  • Length: 3 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,182
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,984
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,951

Power is changing. Private corner offices and management by decree are out, as is unquestioned trust in the government and media. These former pillars of traditional power have been replaced by networks of informed citizens who collectively wield more power over their personal lives, employers, and worlds than ever before. So how do you navigate this new landscape and come out on top?  Adam Grant, Wharton organizational psychologist, went to the World Economic Forum in Davos, the epicenter of power, and sat down with thought leaders from around the world, to find out.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Disorganized

  • By mike a on 01-16-19

Highly Informative

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

Reviewed: 02-04-19

I read this book from a non-profit perspective and discovered lots of information that could be applied in my own setting. The soundscape was very vivid and the interviews were both fascinating and educational. There is a lot packed into this little book that organizations and individuals can use to improve their leadership and efficiency.

I enjoy reading books that discuss the nuances of leadership and I found a lot of good ideas / ways of thinking that apply to me in my own setting. I also appreciate the fact that this book took a distinctly intersectional approach to leadership. I now want to read more by this author. He included lots of great little anecdotes that added a human element to the story and really brought it to life.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Flowers for Algernon

  • By: Daniel Keyes
  • Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,351
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,600
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,595

Charlie Gordon knows that he isn't very bright. At 32, he mops floors in a bakery and earns just enough to get by. Three evenings a week, he studies at a center for mentally challenged adults. But all of this is about to change for Charlie. As part of a daring experiment, doctors are going to perform surgery on Charlie's brain. They hope the operation and special medication will increase his intelligence, just as it has for the laboratory mouse, Algernon.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Phenomenal Classic

  • By FanB14 on 03-22-13

Modern Classic with Excellent Narration

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

Reviewed: 01-30-19

I just finished Flowers for Algernon and the ending made me cry. This book gave me so many feelings. A poignant and beautiful exploration of what makes us human. I know a lot of people read this in high school, but I'm always late to the party. This has been on my TBR list since I was 14 and I'm so glad I finally read it.

I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be a person with a disability lately (I have a visual impairment) and this book really struck a chord with me.

All the intelligence in the world can't make a person happy. It's true that sometimes the smartest people are the most lonely. But what are we willing to give up in order to form relationships? And isn't humanity inherently self-centered?

Furthermore - I can't decide if the ending is a happy one or not.

Whatever the case, Flowers for Algernon has given me a lot to think about. I read the Audible version and the narrator did an excellent job. He delivered a pitch perfect performance.

  • I,Win: Hope and Life

  • My Journey as a Disabled Woman Living in a Non-Disabled World
  • By: Win Kelly Charles
  • Narrated by: Cammie Winston
  • Length: 2 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3

At age 24 I decided to tell my story. Writing this autobiography gave me the opportunity to pay tribute to my family members who are passionate about life and have instilled this passion in me. My parents' extraordinary support, encouragment, and pure love were my foundation as I navigated life, overcame obstacles, and achieved successes as a young woman with cerebral palsy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Win Is Redefining the Way People View Disability

  • By Rebecca on 01-16-19

Win Is Redefining the Way People View Disability

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

Reviewed: 01-16-19

"I, Win," is an incredible book by an incredible person. Win Kelly Charles is a bestselling author, fashionista, and journalist. She has recorded over 1,000 episodes of her long running podcast, “Ask Win,” which has a wide reaching fan base of over 10,000 subscribers. Win is also a talented artist and her work has appeared in the hands of celebrities. Many people in today’s world would consider Win to be an “influencer.”

One other interesting thing about Win? She also has Cerebral Palsy. I list this aspect of Win’s life last because, as she shows in this book, she is not defined by her disability. Instead, she is redefining how the world views Cerebral Palsy and disability in general.

In this book, Win recounts her childhood in the beautiful Aspen. She describes the joy of seeing her art in the hands of celebrities as well as the pain of losing her mother. She also shares her triumphs of climbing a mountain and carrying the Olympic torch!

I don’t want to say too much about this incredible little book because I want to encourage you to go read it for yourself. Win’s message in this book is clear; People with disabilities can do the same thing anyone else can do, we just might have to do it a little differently.

The narrator's voice is clear and easy to understand. She does an excellent job narrating the text.

For ages, people have told stories about people with disabilities. I’m so happy see authors like Win and her friend, Danielle, who are using their own voices to share their own stories. I strongly recommend this book for fans of nonfiction and memoir.

  • The Anatomy of Peace, Expanded Second Edition

  • Resolving the Heart of Conflict
  • By: The Arbinger Institute
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,672
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,482
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,478

From the authors of Leadership and Self-Deception comes an international best seller that instills hope and inspires reconciliation. Through a moving story of parents who are struggling with their own children and with problems that have come to consume their lives, we learn from once-bitter enemies the way to transform personal, professional, and global conflicts, even when war is upon us.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best of 600 in 30 Years!

  • By Dolf on 11-11-16

A Good Tool for Teaching

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

Reviewed: 01-14-19

I'm a minister and it was recommended to me by my church. I used it to help provide background information for a small group study that we did this January regarding some divisive issues. My church people found it to be a helpful read and many of them enjoyed it. The thing that they liked most about this book was that it was a framed story that reads similar to a novel. I have found that what my people (and people in general) respond most to is storytelling. As humans, we are all wired for stories.

If you have read a great deal about the concept of church leadership and conflict management, you won't find a great deal of new information in this book; however, the strongest aspect of this book is the fact that it makes complex issues readable and understandable for a general audience who might not have a background knowledge of ethics and philosophy.

I have recommended this book to other ministers and I have found it to be a useful tool to stimulate respectful discussion. I also enjoyed the fact that this book approaches issues from a global perspective and includes diverse voices from a variety of view points. In the audio version, the narrator does an excellent job of portraying different accents and inflections from a wide cast of characters.

  • Influencer

  • By: Brittany Hennessy
  • Narrated by: Brittany Hennessy
  • Length: 4 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 207
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 184
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183

Every one of your favorite influencers started with zero followers and had to make a lot of mistakes to get where they are today - earning more money each year than their parents made in the last decade. But to become a top creator, you need to understand the strategies behind the Insta-ready lifestyle. 

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Not very insightful

  • By ManBearPig on 10-02-18

Great book full of excellent practical advice!

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

Reviewed: 01-04-19

I saw the book "Influencer," on a Book blog. The review was so good that you could say I was 'influenced," by the blogger to purchase it! I am not a social media "influencer" in the sense that Hennessey is writing about; however, I am a book blogger and indie author. As a writer, I know just how important it is to take control of one's social media image. Although Hennesy's book is targeted toward lifestyle, fashion, parenting, travel, and beauty bloggers, she had lots of great information in here that would apply to anyone whose career requires them to get noticed. With a little imagination, you could take Hennesy's tips and apply them to any form of content creation, from writing to vlogging. Hennessey's book could also be useful for nonprofits and other organizations who trying to figure out ways to extend their social media reach.

I found "Influencer," to be completely fascinating and I read it in a single day. Hennessey focuses most of her attention on the use of Instagram but her tips could be applied to other social media platforms. I was grateful for emphasis on Instagram because it is a platform about which i want to learn more. I was fascinated by her description of what goes into the creation of all those beautiful images on Instagram. For example, I had no idea that many people hire a personal photographer or someone to edit their photos (I'm just lucky if I can get my hubby to hold the camera long enough to snap a quick pic of my Chihuahua and I!).

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning more about social media. "Influencer," is honest, succinct, informative, and entertaining.

  • The Diary of a Hounslow Girl

  • An Audible Original
  • By: Ambreen Razia
  • Narrated by: Ambreen Razia
  • Length: 1 hr and 36 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2,684
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,459
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2,447

You’ve heard of an Essex Girl or even a Chelsea Girl, but what about a Hounslow Girl? Definition of a Hounslow Girl: a young Muslim woman who wears hooped earrings with her headscarf and grapples with traditional values while hustling her way through urban London. The Diary of a Hounslow Girl is a bold and provocative one-person play, written and performed by Ambreen Razia. From the joys of traditional Pakistani weddings to fights on the night bus, this is a comic story of dreams, aspirations and coming of age, told through the eyes of a 16-year-old British Muslim girl. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Standard coming of age with Islamic slant

  • By Kingsley on 12-07-18

I hope Audible makes more titles like this!

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

Reviewed: 12-24-18

Let me begin by saying that I hope Audible will continue to invest in diverse books, especially ones like Diary of a Hounslow Girl by Ambreen Razia. This is exactly the type of book that I enjoy reading.

Diary of Hounslow Girl is a coming of age story about a young woman who is who is caught between the culture of modern working class London and her roots in Pakistan. The play explores universal ideas such as the relationship between a mother and her daughter, sisterhood, sibling rivalry, and the pain of feeling as if one will never truly belong.

"Don't forget," the protagonist's mother tells her, "You might be British but you will never be English."

My favorite part of Diary of A Hounslow Girl was the brief interview at the end with Ambreen Razia. Razia wrote and performed Diary of a Hounslow Girl. During her interview, she states that she was inspired by her work with young girls who were Muslim. I am fascinated by language and linguistics and I commend Razia for making  an effort to authentically represent the language of young working class Muslim women.

The voices of young women, especially young women from marginalized groups, have frequently been silenced in literature. Razia is working to change that. She says that her goal was to write a piece in which a young woman who is Muslim is given center stage. Furthermore, she wanted to include a healthy dose of levity because frequently story lines that deal with people who are minorities can lack humor. She is right in her assertion that the voices of young women can bring  a unique type of humor to otherwise deeply depressing situations.

The Diary of Hounslow Girl does not shy away from difficult or challenging issues. This brief play grapples with issues that many young women in today's world will face, including: drugs, teen pregnancy, the termination of a pregnancy, religion, and the weight of the heavy expectations that are frequently placed on the children of people who have recently immigrated to a new country.

Sadly, as much as I enjoyed the disparate parts that came together to make The Diary of  Hounslow Girl, the piece as a whole fell rather flat for me. I was not able to empathize with any of the characters. Furthermore, the main character particularly grated on my nerves. I found her to be selfish, self-centered, angst ridden, and completely deplorable.

I also have a really hard time empathizing with the nonchalant drug use in which the characters engage. i realize that drugs are a major issues and that many teens will face this problem; however, I know many young people from the working class who do not use drugs.

There were many times in this play I wanted to reach out and shake some sense into the main character. I found her incredibly frustrating and I just wanted to shout, "Think about someone else besides yourself for a change!"

Something else that really annoyed me about this play was the soundscape. The producers made the decision to record significant portions of the play to sound as if they were a video diary. The filter that they used in order to generate this effect made it challenging to understand.

Even the humor in the play fell flat for me. The parts of the play were meant to be funny simply made me cringe. I just felt sad for the characters and everyone involved. After about thirty minutes of the play, I found myself increasing the playback speed to 2.5x faster so that I could get to the end more quickly (Although this is not entirely unusual for me because with my low vision I read so much on audio that is is normal for me to read at 3x speed or higher).

I commend Razia's work and I admire what she is doing. The Diary of Hounslow Girl is a familiar coming of age story cast in a new light. I recommend this play for fans of YA literature because Razia manages to effectively capture the "over the top," angst of the teenage years; however, for me the play fell somewhat flat.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Cutting for Stone

  • A Novel
  • By: Abraham Verghese
  • Narrated by: Sunil Malhotra
  • Length: 23 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,370
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,528
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,534

Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant story, pitch perfect narration

  • By Mary Lynn Richardson on 03-20-09

Sweeping, Epic, and Poignantly Eleganr

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

Reviewed: 12-24-18

Sweeping and truly epic, Verghese brings the saga of a family in Ethiopia to life. This is the story of two twins, Marian and Shiva, but it is also the story of their parents (a nun and a surgeon) and their adoptive family. Furthermore, it is the story of a beautiful country, Ethiopia. Verghese paints the country, customs, and the music in vivid detail.

"Cutting for Stone," captures the universal longing for a place to belong and the desire for home. It is a story that spans three continents and three generations.

Unique and beautiful, "Cutting for Stone," is a classic for our time. Verghese explores complex issues such as faith, the desire to serve as a missionary, love, loss, death, and what it means to grow up as an outsider in a country torn by war. His writing is elegant, beautiful, and at times poignant and heartbreaking.

I highly recommend this book for fans of diverse books, literary fiction, and anyone who enjoyed "When Breath Becomes Air." (Verghese wrote the preface for "When Breath Becomes Air.)

  • Jingle Bell Pop

  • By: John Seabrook
  • Narrated by: Erin Moon
  • Length: 1 hr and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,311
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,007
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,005

On Christmas Eve, 1818, in a small Austrian village, a local Catholic priest and a church organist composed a Christmas carol that changed the course of holiday music forever. Exactly two hundred years later, it’s not the holiday season until you’ve heard “Silent Night” in the car, at the store and on TV – all in the same day. 

In Jingle Bell Pop, John Seabrook, acclaimed author of The Song Machine, takes us deep inside the holiday music business. We go behind the scenes to meet some of the producers, songwriters and recording artists responsible for the timeless tunes we hear on repeat between Thanksgiving and Christmas every year.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Making of a Christmas Hit

  • By Kingsley on 12-07-18

Fun and Festive!

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

Reviewed: 12-22-18

This audible original is a fun sleigh ride through the Christmas canon. It was well produced and I enjoyed learning the history of some of my favorite Christmas songs. This was a very enjoyable short holiday book.

  • 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 8,199
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,587
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,552

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

Like a Victorian Hallmark Movie :)

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

Reviewed: 12-22-18

This was the perfect book for Christmas! It was like an authentic Victorian version of a Hallmark movie. I found this book to be a guilty pleasure. It was a delightfully saccharine and over sentimental story! Braddon was famous for her sensational books and was a prolific author. I had always thought of her as more of a Victorian "pulp fiction," writer, but now I fear that I have misjudged her. After reading this book, I would like to read more of her work.

"The Christmas Hirelings," reminds me in many ways of Dickens's writing.
I think I might have even preferred this book to "A Christmas Carol!" This is why we should teach more about women writers in schools and universities. There are so many underrated female authors! I'm so glad Audible gave this book away for a Christmas present or I would have never encountered it!