LISTENER

Mary

Portland, OR, United States
  • 69
  • reviews
  • 94
  • helpful votes
  • 77
  • ratings
  • The Girl from Berlin

  • A Novel
  • By: Ronald H. Balson
  • Narrated by: Fred Berman
  • Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 290
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 277
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 277

An old friend calls Catherine Lockhart and Liam Taggart to his famous Italian restaurant to enlist their help. His aunt is being evicted from her home in the Tuscan hills by a powerful corporation claiming they own the deeds, even though she can produce her own set of deeds to her land. Catherine and Liam’s only clue is a bound, handwritten manuscript, entirely in German, and hidden in its pages is a story long-forgotten....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • WWII in Berlin and Italy

  • By Mona-Alisa on 10-23-18

It seemed a lot longer than 13 tedious hours!

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

Reviewed: 01-07-19

I don't care for authors who use characters as a vehicle to show their own extensive knowledge of some subject or their ability to research it. In this case it was the character of Ada writing her memoir and telling us about her violin soloist ad orchestra career with heavy, heavy inclusion of the details of opera music and naturally what a brilliant musician she was. This is my second and last Balson book. He takes what should be an interesting story but tells it in a very tedious way which makes the story much too long.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz

  • A Novel
  • By: Heather Morris
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,248
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,072
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,057

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (German for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners. Imprisoned for more than two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism - but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A hopeful perspective on a harrowing time

  • By melyssa57 (A Page Before Bedtime dot com) on 10-10-18

Hard to believe this is true, but it is!

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

Reviewed: 12-25-18

An amazing story of survival in the worst of what humans can do to their fellow humans. It's also a good example of simple luck in determining who survives though the will to live can't be minimized. I continue to be stunned by what the human spirit can endure and still have successful and loving lives.

  • Becoming

  • By: Michelle Obama
  • Narrated by: Michelle Obama
  • Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 43,911
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 40,207
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 39,972

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites listeners into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Didn't know what I was getting into

  • By Kenneth Woodward on 12-05-18

Best book of 2018

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

Reviewed: 12-25-18

I can't say enough about how much I loved this book and how much I admire Michelle Obama. She is down to earth, very smart, witty and a wonderful role model for women. She's also the epitome of what a first lady should be! Oh for the days of the Obamas!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Spy and the Traitor

  • The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War
  • By: Ben Macintyre
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 13 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,242
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,140
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,132

Unfolding the delicious three-way gamesmanship between America, Britain, and the Soviet Union, and culminating in the gripping cinematic beat-by-beat of Oleg Gordievsky's nail-biting escape from Moscow in 1985, Ben Macintyre's latest may be his best yet. Like the greatest novels of John le Carré, it brings listeners deep into a world of treachery and betrayal, where the lines bleed between the personal and the professional, and one man's hatred of communism had the power to change the future of nations. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely riveting story

  • By Rosemary on 09-25-18

One of his best

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

Reviewed: 11-01-18

As always, this is based on actual people and events. I liked the insights into how the KGB worked and why Gordievsky decided to spy and eventually defect and the price he paid. He had scruples and spied for ideological reasons. Ames, in contrast, spied simply for money. In my mind that makes him a traitor as well as a spy.

  • Truly Madly Guilty

  • By: Liane Moriarty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 17 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9,347
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,618
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,584

In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations of our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don't say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not quite enough

  • By David Shear on 07-29-16

Not the usual Moriarty good read

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

Reviewed: 10-17-18

This got tedious about half way into the story. I have read all her books and found this to be less than her best. The reader is kind of hit over the head with the GUILT theme from the title. We get to see how an unavoidable event affected all the characters and how the theme was carried through the novel. But I'm tired now!

  • Making Friends with Hitler

  • By: Ian Kershaw
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 14

Charles Stewart Henry Vane-Tempest-Stewart, the 7th Marquess of Londonderry, was born to power and command. But history has not been kind to "Charley", as the king called him, because, in his own words, he "backed the wrong horse", and a very dark horse indeed: Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party. Londonderry was hardly the only British aristocrat to do so, but he was the only Cabinet member to do so, and it ruined him. Author Ian Kershaw is not out to rehabilitate Lord Londonderry but to understand him and to expose why he was made a scapegoat.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Secondary Character View Of WW2

  • By Farren Joy on 06-29-18

His own worst enemy

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

Reviewed: 09-13-18

As always, Kershaw does a thorough job of helping the reader understand the times, the person, the culture, and the ultimate outcome. Londonderry ended up being his own worst enemy, as Kershaw says, because he was stuck in a time and position. His societal position gave him an extreme sense of entitlement and assumption that he was always right. Yet another Kershaw book that helps us understand pre-WWII, appeasement mentality, and the consequences.

  • Beartown

  • By: Fredrik Backman
  • Narrated by: Marin Ireland
  • Length: 13 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,403
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,776
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,751

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semifinals, and they actually have a shot at winning.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Barrel To The Head, A Slug To The Gut--

  • By Gillian on 04-28-17

A real change for Backman novels

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

Reviewed: 08-08-18

What a story. I've read all his books and enjoyed this one in a different way. Gone is the subtle humor. He was very clear about the themes in this and the story masterfully deals with these themes. He creates characters who are interesting because of their foibles. It's small town life and emphasis on sport under a microscope. One proviso: be ready for the "sound" of the hockey puck inserted into the story as an important component but dang, it was annoying to hear the narrator saying it over and over!

  • The Race to Save the Romanovs

  • The Truth Behind the Secret Plans to Rescue the Russian Imperial Family
  • By: Helen Rappaport
  • Narrated by: Damian Lynch
  • Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36

The murder of the Romanov family in July 1918 horrified the world, and its aftershocks still reverberate today. In Putin's autocratic Russia, the Revolution itself is considered a crime, and its anniversary was largely ignored. In stark contrast, the centenary of the massacre of the imperial family will be commemorated in 2018 by a huge ceremony to be attended by the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. While the murder itself has received major attention, what has never been investigated in detail are the various plots behind the scenes to save the family.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Eastern Orthodox Christians will love this...

  • By James on 07-11-18

For Romanov and Russia afficionados

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

Reviewed: 07-22-18

Having read several of Rappaport's books on the subject, I knew that I would enjoy this and it didn't disappoint. The author is so thorough in her historical research that the reader gets the full picture of what happened, who was involved, and the politics behind a possible rescue of the Romanovs. There were so many issues and machinations involved in the idea of rescue that it almost read like a thriller even though you know the outcome.

  • Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker

  • By: Jennifer Chiaverini
  • Narrated by: Christina Moore
  • Length: 14 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,385
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,228
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,233

In Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, novelist Jennifer Chiaverini presents a stunning account of the friendship that blossomed between Mary Todd Lincoln and her seamstress, Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Keckley, a former slave who gained her professional reputation in Washington, D.C. by outfitting the city’s elite. Keckley made history by sewing for First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln within the White House, a trusted witness to many private moments between the President and his wife, two of the most compelling figures in American history.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Wonderful Re-Imagining of Mrs. Keckley's Life

  • By Melissa on 03-04-13

Great narrator, good historical overview

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

Reviewed: 07-08-18

The narrator was especially good with the voices of the Lincolns and of Elizabeth Keckley. From reading other books about Mary Lincoln I believe the author got her personality just right. She was a very complicated woman. I especially enjoyed reading about Keckley's early life and her friendship with Mrs. Lincoln.

  • A Higher Loyalty

  • Truth, Lies, and Leadership
  • By: James Comey
  • Narrated by: James Comey
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 22,760
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 20,784
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 20,691

In his audiobook, A Higher Loyalty, former FBI director James Comey shares his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like and how it drives sound decisions. His journey provides an unprecedented entry into the corridors of powe, and a remarkable lesson in what makes an effective leader.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More Than Trump: All Comey's Life/Working Years--

  • By Gillian on 04-17-18

A man of integrity

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

Reviewed: 06-02-18

If you keep up with the news at all, you already know some of what Comey relates regarding his relationship with Trump, FBI email investigations, etc. I enjoyed the background information on him and his career. I believe him absolutely and what he relates about the current administration is very scary. However, his epilogue gives some hope. Definitely worth the read!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful