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Mimi Routh

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  • The Journey Beyond Enlightenment

  • The Next Step in Your Personal Transformation
  • By: Stuart Wilde
  • Narrated by: Stuart Wilde
  • Length: 5 hrs and 43 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64

Journey into an incredible spiritual terrain unknown to all but the most adventurous seekers. In The Journey Beyond Enlightenment, internationally-acclaimed author and "spiritual warrior" Stuart Wilde will show you how to access and enter what he calls the Mirror World - a hyperdimensional reality that exists beyond the constraints of time, space, and intellect.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very engaging

  • By Danita Banko on 11-13-16

COMFORTING AND LIFE-CHANGING

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

Reviewed: 10-31-18

This is for me the deepest of Stuart's books. It is a nice listen at first. Then when I was in personal crisis, repeated listens absolutely saved my soul. I don't believe this book is in print.

  • Silent Power

  • By: Stuart Wilde
  • Narrated by: Stuart Wilde
  • Length: 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 112
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73

Stuart Wilde gives you a lot to ponder on this unabridged audiobook. His underlying philosophy is that there is a silent power within you, an inner knowing that grows because you understand its infinity. It teaches you hour by hour and day by day. It is silent...but it is also so powerful. Reach inside and find it!

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Unfortunate Suprise

  • By Bradler on 01-24-10

Pretty Good BUT NOT THE BOOK SILENT POWER!!!

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

Reviewed: 08-16-18

Stuie left us a lot to work with and think about. I have two copies of the wonderful print book of this title. This recording was made after 2001 when he and his friends saw the morph! This should never have been sold as a reading of the book! If you just love Stuart Wilde (as I definitely do), then spring for this little recording, but also read the book because they are different! If you have only one credit, I'd recommend the Journey Beyond Enlightenment. Well, everything he does is bloody marvelous. I had an epiphany with Journey recently, after many listens! He has a well maintained website and more recordings available at Quiet Earth. Some of them are a bit light-hearted, off the cuff. So first get everything here at audible if you're a real disciple. . . . Power is being misused around the world at all levels. Sensitive people who have good hearts are getting hurt. All the look at me ego on social media is not the way. Stuart shows how an upside down quiet way is the correct way to win in life and reach the side door: at the back of the line in old clothes and a bad haircut, helping an old man carry his stuff . . .

  • Elmet

  • By: Fiona Mozley
  • Narrated by: Gareth Bennett Ryan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 399
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 374
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 374

In this atmospheric and profoundly moving debut, Cathy and Daniel live with their father, John, in the remote woods of Yorkshire, in a house the three of them built themselves. John is a gentle brute of a man, a former enforcer who fights for money when he has to, but who otherwise just wants to be left alone to raise his children. When a local landowner shows up on their doorstep, their precarious existence is threatened, and a series of actions is set in motion that can only end in violence.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Strains credibility

  • By DM on 01-06-18

Young Author First Novel Masterpiece

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

Reviewed: 07-20-18

This young author has tremendous talent. A second listen helps because chunks of text that properly belong at the end are inserted throughout the book, a nice artistic touch which gives insight into the character of Daniel. I listened three times, discovering more each time. Somehow, despite the seaminess, corruption and violence, I found love and value, intelligence, a great world of hope for growing kids. We have outlier communities in the U.S., possibly in the mountains of northern California, for example. In the last century we have had people who wanted to do everything from scratch, do it their way, and home school. Most of us are under the thumb of some brute. The book helped me through a month of abusive senior subsidized housing inspection involving what amounted to 7 days total of almost house arrest waiting for inspectors, making nice to the corporate hierarchy.
The narrator was quite perfect. For the women’s voices, he WAS a woman! My people are mostly from the British Isles, and I’ve had a lifetime of the good UK books, audio books, Masterpiece Theatre TV, etc. He certainly got the right nasty intonation for the Price boys. Skillful and subtle, a pleasure to listen to, he WAS Daniel.
The violence in the book is not gratuitous and is no worse than that in Steig Larsson’s Girl Who books. I loved the respect for wildlife, trees and plants. I loved all the description. I probably missed hints at the adult relationships before the kids were born. The ending was okay by me. I figure they’ll meet up on the other side, and the bad guys always pay in the end, even if we don’t get to see it. You have to love a brother who cuts colored paper for holiday decorations and bakes holiday cakes. You have to admire a woman who can roll her own cigarettes and strangle her would-be rapist. In this country we look at the cars and clothes and – increasingly – teeth and haircuts. We don’t expect our trailer trash to read books and know things. God, I love this book! Be happy and keep writing, dear Fiona!

  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Christmas Sermons

  • By: Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Narrated by: Tom Parks
  • Length: 4 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25

Executed by the Nazis for his complicity in a plot to assassinate Hitler, Dietrich Bonhoeffer remains with us today through his writings - far-reaching ripples of deep thought, passionate words, and unflinching character. Including biographical insights, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Christmas Sermons spans Bonhoeffer's 17 years as a preacher. This collection of vintage sermons and writings searches out the power and mystery of the Christmas season: its joyous riches and its implications for our lives.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Sermons About Enduring and Waiting

  • By Sara on 12-11-14

Wrong Narrator, Other Problems

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

Reviewed: 07-02-18

I've lived in Germany and played keyboard for a small Christian Science congregation. That was some time ago so that older members who testified had lived through World War II. Sweet people working hard on their lives! I also listened to the audible biography of Bonhoeffer and was much affected by it. He came from a bright, upscale family with high standards and much love. This was a Christian martyr! So I tried to listen to these sermons at Christmas time and could not. Like sawdust. Now I try again and notice how pleased with himself the narrator sounds. Something is wrong. I suspect he does not really "get" the deepest points Bonhoeffer is trying to make! The other reviewers are right; I agree with them completely. Now I must clarify that I converted to Catholicism and nonetheless love Christian teaching from whatever denomination. And now I am midway in the listening and Bonhoeffer is glorifying Mary's lowliness!!! Oh, dear, no! Mary was beautiful and splendid and virtuous and very young and God chose her! She was perfect for His purpose! She had not had time to get into trouble. She was watched over by family and her fiance. A mid-century German may see Mary as lowly; I think God does not. And here I have to stop, much as I love and respect Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Let's not be glorifying humanly perceived lowliness! With a better narrator, I might have been able to hang in there.

  • Villette

  • By: Charlotte Brontë
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 22 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 315
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 278
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 278

Hailed as Charlotte Brontë’s “finest novel” by Virginia Woolf, Villette is the timeless semi-autobiographical tale of Lucy Snowe. Left with no family and no money, Lucy goes against her own timid nature and travels to the small city of Villette, France, where she becomes a school teacher in Madame Beck’s school for girls. During her stay, she falls in love—twice—and discovers an independent, inner strength rarely seen in women of her time.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • You need to be a Bronte fan to enjoy this story

  • By Kristin on 09-07-14

A Real Downer Even Read By Davina!

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

Reviewed: 06-15-18

I'm only a third of the way through and truly suffering, even with my favorite narrator reading. I understand this narrator's excellent French just fine. I've visited the cramped and gloomy Bronte home in England. Easy to see why they were all so sick! It is Davina Porter who gives voice to all 8 of the thousand-page Outlander novels. I never imagined this great novel would be intolerable even with her reading. When the sick and lonely heroine blunders into a Catholic church and actually goes into the confessional and admits she is Protestant, she is very well received by an elderly French priest. He offers to help her, but she does not receive his offer well. She is a thorough bigot! Oh, phooey! So why doesn't she pray her own prayers and read her own Bible! This passage with Lucy Snowe and the priest contrasts nicely with lovely passages in the Outlander books in which Claire is keeping watch in church or walking in a monastery garden and discussing with a brother the challenges of time travel, or praying for her husband's recovery. Davina Porter captures the accents and the male voice, but that heroine is Catholic and there is great love in the Outlander books and very little in Villette. Many thanks to reviewers who pointed out that we never find out what happened to Lucy! I see no payoff to all this suffering. Maybe it's time for a complete re-listen to the Outlander books. Oh, boy!

  • A Little Princess

  • By: Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Narrated by: Virginia Leishman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 714
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 583
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 590

Ten-year-old Sarah Crue lives life like a princess until tragedy strikes, taking away her fine clothes and privileges. Without her velvet and silk and French maids, she's no longer the envy of all the girls at Miss Minchin's London boarding school, and even has to live in the school's attic, working for the students who were once her friends. Will Sarah's spirit remain unbowed? Follow her through her trials and triumphs in this unforgettable tale beloved by children the world over.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Credit Worthy Narration

  • By File Squirrel on 08-29-09

Powerful Princess Practice

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

Reviewed: 06-12-18

The narrator was marvelous for this book. I was in rather a crisis when I began listening, and I found it immensely uplifting. I looked up the author, who also wrote The Secret Garden. Burnett was interested in the beginnings of New Age religious thought including Unity and Christian Science, Religious Science and such marvelous teachers, eventually, as Louise Hay. The founders of these faiths studied the Bible and the career of Jesus. Even today people are asking "What would Jesus do?" We are still wondering how He performed those amazing healings in the Bible. So critics can make fun of positive thinking and magical thinking, but if even the tiniest speck of inspiration can leaven an entire life and lift a person, I say bring it on! This is a children's book for everyone. It is not preachy and not religious. It simply tells how the child heroine went from fortunate to miserable and back to fortunate. She had a sweet nature to begin with. And she continued to act like a princess, even dressed in rags. Recently I enjoyed and reviewed a similar book which was a true story: Bryce Courtenay's Jessica. Her mother lied, stole her baby, and covered up and even had her committed to a mental institution where Jessica smiled and helped the other inmates to heal and was such a force for good that one good thing led to another and she was eventually released. And so with our little fictional girl, Sara. Many of us are suffering under stupid nasty people on power trips, tightening rules just for fun, bullying and playing favorites, lying and cheating in so many ways. So I enjoyed seeing the head of the terrible school made uncomfortable and in danger of losing her business. Even when there are no diamond mines to pay off, "possibility thinking" or creative envisioning can help nearly all of us to improve our lives. As for the voice of Becky, of course she was low class and spoke with a Cockney accent. The narrator did this very well. So many of us are quitting FaceBook as the ego trips, abuse and rudeness reach new heights. I tend to not have a ready answer, which is probably best. Then that night I can't sleep. If listeners can discuss how a princess would act in the face of some outrage, this will be very helpful for everyone, strengthen our boundaries and calm our sleep. Listen twice!

  • T Is for Transformation

  • Unleash the 7 Superpowers to Help You Dig Deeper, Feel Stronger & Live Your Best Life
  • By: Shaun T
  • Narrated by: Shaun T
  • Length: 7 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 943
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 823
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 828

In T is for Transformation, Shaun T unveils the 7 transformational principles that guided his progress through life and that are at the core of his incredibly successful workouts. T is for Transformation is a motivational master class as Shaun shows you how to become more flexible and resourceful, give everything you've got, and, most importantly, trust and believe in your path to success.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Helped me realize I’m worth so much more then I allow

  • By Joseph Dennis on 11-17-17

Gotta Love This Man, His Message and Example

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

Reviewed: 05-09-18

More than a pretty face, Shaun finished college and has worked very hard thus far thru an amazing life. He has a lot to offer whoever has the ears to hear. I can't imagine anyone but Shaun reading his words. He manages to be extremely well-spoken and sound friendly without also sounding prissy. I am nearly twice his age, a new devotee of physical therapy for arachnoiditis -- bad headaches from bad posture -- no, I'm not scared of spiders! So it's shoulders way back, and I do my push-ups and planks against the shower wall. Even a little exercise done consistently is a powerful thing! . . . This book is full of ideas for making one's total life situation better, analyzing what is and what can be. Thank God he had a loving home to run to! Thank God he didn't wimp out in rehearsals! Thank God for Shaun! . . . Jordan Peterson -- available here on audio -- has a chapter in his "12 Rules" about why people so often don't do what they're told and what is good for them, like taking medicine, doing the PT, choosing good food, etc. As Shaun is a champ motivator and encourager, I think this would interest him. On Stockton Street in San Francisco's Chinatown, there is a teeny-tiny narrow clothing shop. They had to cut their banner and hang it on two levels:
Line one: JUST D
Line two: O IT
Yup, that's it! I will listen again. Get the book!

  • Bless Me, Ultima

  • By: Rudolfo Anaya
  • Narrated by: Robert Ramirez
  • Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 710
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 586
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 590

As Tony follows his own path toward adulthood, he relies on the wisdom of Ultima, a magical healer, to forge his unique identity. With hundreds of thousands of copies in print, Bless Me, Ultima has been called the most widely read Mexican-American novel in the English language. Richly evocative, it has earned its place among the classics of modern literature, even drawing favorable comparisons to Herman Melville's legendary Moby Dick.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Modern classic - but prepare to think

  • By Mark W. Bohrer on 02-28-15

Bilingual Treasure!

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

Reviewed: 04-12-18

At first I wondered why so much of the book is in Spanish. I understand the Spanish, but what about other listeners? Did the translator slack off? No, the book was written like this, and a Spanish translation is available. The author was born in the USA and spoke Spanish at home. As the book is a masterpiece, beautifully written, it is well worth the trouble to get a print copy and a Spanish dictionary and look up the Spanish. Then listen again to Robert Ramirez's beautiful narration. It's not too slow! It's quite perfect. . . . The first two hours gave me some long thoughts about the Mexican kids I grew up with in Bakersfield, California, Alfonso Valdez carrying his flute every day, Elvira's sparkly earrings and sparkly eyes. Then being stationed in Madrid, working in San Francisco beside a great mix of people. And now collecting hugs in the library, hearing Spanish at church, I hesitate to use my doubtful Spanish because I know their English is as good as mine -- or better! Still, on meeting strangers, admiring a baby, asking the whereabouts of Padre Mauricio, a few words can help a lot. Whatever the second language, our understanding of the spoken word is many times better than the words we can come up with. . . . In this book, I love how the wise little boy is observing very adult events and growing in love and respect toward the wise old woman, Ultima, who comes to live with his family. She is a healer; she knows herbs and healing and spells. Some would call her a white witch, doing good works, all love. AND NOW I WILL ASK FOR A REFUND BECAUSE DESPITE LONG WORK WITH AN AUDIBLE TECHIE, THIS BOOK JAMS MY IPOD USING FORMAT 4. I WILL HAVE TO GET THE PRINT BOOK. !Que lastima!

  • 12 Rules for Life

  • An Antidote to Chaos
  • By: Jordan B. Peterson, Norman Doidge MD - foreword
  • Narrated by: Jordan B. Peterson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31,986
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28,855
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28,606

What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson's answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research. Humorous, surprising, and informative, Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not Your Average 'Self Help' Book

  • By LadyReadsAlot on 06-04-18

Bright, Caring, Eloquent, Educated Man!

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

Reviewed: 03-15-18

A life-changing book for me. Maybe not for everyone, as he is wonderfully educated with one foot in the sciences and the other in great literature and the arts -- but with a man's point of view. And he uses compound sentences wonderfully! I go for trigger-finger surgery this morning, so must write something now! Finished listening last night. Stand up straight is no joke for this old lady! I had slumped and slouched badly resulting in arachnoiditis -- bad headaches which chiropractic treatment did not help. At last the VA doctor sent me for physical therapy. Eight months -- with me doing the exercises every day at home! -- and after standing in corners to stretch the shoulders back and back, this old lady is again looking proud and competent. I've had a difficult but fortunate life, mostly alone. It seems the wealthy, upward-bound, fit and young locals in my new town saw only a fat old lady and because I slumped and couldn't afford nicer clothes (and did not really DO MY BEST, as Dr. Peterson discusses wonderfully), they bullied and insulted and beat me down further. I'd begun keeping a food journal over 2 years, tracking calories, protein, what I was doing, reading, worrying or upset about. Forty pounds dropped. I could see how sharp comments caused me to lose myself and suddenly pack on 30-40 pounds. This was my lifetime pattern! With the journal, I can see so-called hunger and sweet cravings coincide with hurt feelings and worry. I cast about for counseling to secure emotional stability. Four nasty comments at one knitting group meeting is too much! I find women in mid-life who think they know everything. One wildlife rehab worker is so in charge of things that if she doesn't have an answer, she will make one up! Scarey! I have so much to learn and be glad for. Dr. Peterson's book is full of new insights. My dad gave me the silent treatment when at 4 I asked about the pretty colored bands on the resistors he had his shop when he was using the soldering iron and working on a radio. He could have said, "Honey, it's complicated," or lowered himself to discuss electricity a bit. But no. As a result, I crave good conversation with a man, a bright man's point of view. I did get that with a husband. And now Dr. Peterson talking about raising kids and making spaces and systems friendly to people instead of putting ugly spikes to discourage skateboarders. I flashed on a time when tried to sit or lean on what should have been a bench in the patio of the Crown-Zellerbach Building in San Francisco. I was a hard-working word processor, inputting and transcribing like the wind. I needed a place out of wind and rain, a bit of peace to eat my sandwich. But no, here came waddling across the polished grey expanse a fat grinning female security guard in a tight tweed skirt suit to tell me I could not be there no way unwanted, a blight on their landscape. Oh, the company and the architects and the city are so proud of that square block of financial power and control and nothing for human beings who do the work! Oooh, this little girl is still angry. I didn't work in the building, but there was nothing people-friendly for a block around. The horizontal supports between pillars in the grand entrance are calculated to be impossible to sit on, and that guard took such pleasure in sending me away.

I am happily surprised -- thrilled, really -- that this author sees the Bible as a most excellent guide to the best kind of life. He quotes from King James and also from the Book of Wisdom. He discusses stories in the Bible and refers several times to the Sermon on the Mount. He is familiar with other religions, and I can't tell what denomination of Christianity he prefers. He talks about living the truths contained in the teachings. Of course one listen is only a start. I look forward to having the print book.

As for speaking up and telling your truth, oh yes, I try. I've been a rat several times, giving an employer enough material to sack a very bad worker. Another time only in my own defense, I talked for two hours! Really, Real Life is better than the soaps. That one led to a couple dozen arrests. It was a lifetime ago. Speaking up to my family to go to a city and get out from the parental thumb caused my loving father to stand up with eyes blazing and tell me, "You can't do that! You never could get along with people and you never could manage money!" Instead of working on their own marriage, the folks scape-goated their daughter and ignored their son. Young people have to discern their own path -- even if it means someone else runs that family business! I literally went in my closet as the Bible recommends to pray and choose between CIA, Army, or USAF. It was Air Force; blue eyes were the clincher.

The sections about taking good care of yourself and doing your best are so helpful! This is why people don't floss, why I procrastinate and lallygag about doing my few easy exercises, why too many people think calories don't count in the car or after 3 a.m. There's power in a hand-washed and carefully pressed K-Mart knit top worn with Mom's pearls and shoulders back! I kept my appointment with the hand surgeon dressed in my best with gold earrings, makeup, a fringed scarf from Turkey. I chatted in the waiting room with an interesting man who told me his Social Security is $100 more than mine and he gets Medi-Cal (Medicaid). We had a fine conversation. I was able to listen calmly, knowing I looked my best. Then going to fill the Rx for pain pills, I ran into my wildlife rehab boss who I hadn't seen in months. We smiled, talked about our denning bear cubs. I didn't feel on the defensive or apologetic or shabby; I was able to simply push out love to her and listen.

The book has much to think about regarding gender, equality, marriage, family life, the future. I see smart women having kids and not getting married. Considering the thinking level reflected on Facebook, I'd decided the dumb-cluck women actually think you need a limousine and a dance band and a dozen friends in the same style of expensive dress to get married. My parents married in the minister's office of a nice church. My Vietnamese step-daughter and her man had a vulgar ring set that was in and out of pawn. To me, promising to wear an ugly little bitty diamond stuck out there and getting in the way would be worse than putting up with the man! Well, duh, even royalty marry with a simple band. Dr. Peterson has more pithy ideas about all this -- and the statistics and reflections are up-to-date.

The narration of the book is simply perfect. Sometimes an unexpected pronunciation as the author is Canadian. Okay, gotta go now. Thank you, Dr. Peterson, and God bless you and your beautiful family.

  • Love, Amy

  • An Accidental Memoir Told in Newsletters from China
  • By: Amy Young
  • Narrated by: Laura Young
  • Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    1.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars 2

She came to China with a lesson plan. What she found was a new sense of purpose. Amy Young traveled to China in the mid-1990s to teach English to educators. But she never expected the profound way they would enrich her soul. With the influence of the enchanting country and its extraordinary everyday people, Amy extended a two-year assignment to nearly two decades. Throughout her journey, Amy drew strength from God and came to appreciate the beauty and power of an ordinary life lived well.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Deluded Green Girl Writes Home to Church Fan Club

  • By Mimi Routh on 03-04-18

Deluded Green Girl Writes Home to Church Fan Club

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

Reviewed: 03-04-18

Amy’s so-called book is actually the dutiful fund-raising letters back to her church community that sent this terribly green girl out to China to convert to her sappy brand of Christianity Chinese people who only wanted to perfect their English. The church organization sent her to China but apparently could not see to it that her living accommodations were clean and free of rats, bats and palm-sized spiders. Amy writes her letters to remind her organization’s supporters to keep sending money. Yes, she has a Master’s Degree, but the woman seems clueless about “finding food” and is shocked that the Chinese spit in the street. And to make it all even worse, her sister narrates the work extremely fast and all on one tone blah blah blah. I lived in San Francisco many years and studied Mandarin at the Chinatown extension of the junior college. [I have also lived in Spain and Germany, both free of such unhealthy conditions as poor stupid Amy saw fit to tolerate to the glory of God.] Of course I could see great differences between educated Diana Chi’an across the street, the polished Chinese-American legal secretaries I worked with, the grocer’s son who was late for our date, and all the little grandmothers who pushed to get on the bus.] I do know how difficult it is to speak to small-scale merchants, to ask for what you need and then learn how to cook or use it. There is always a harpy who won’t let a girl sample the lipstick colors [Germany] or touch the gorgeous tomato [Paris]. In Madrid, I bought mouthwash to clean my floor; it was among the cleaning products and looked like Spic-n-Span. Still, people around the world eat vegetables and some kind of starch. The veggies can be steamed, boiled or sautéed if you have a little oil. Noodles can be boiled. The Chinese surely have systems for cooking rice. And once Amy and her buddies figure out how to cook for themselves, she doesn’t describe any of that. No, interesting descriptions are thin on the ground. They get very sick and also suffer what I believe was a spider bite. So we are treated to pathetic descriptions of grim hospitals. For a lovely listen, I recommend Mao’s Last Dancer, which describes a young man’s home-sickness, his fervent prayers and struggle to perfect his dancing, tremendous success around the world, and eventual embracing of Christianity. I trust that for would-be missionaries, Amy’s letters will provide food for thought.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful