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Race Easy

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  • Red Famine

  • Stalin's War on Ukraine
  • By: Anne Applebaum
  • Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
  • Length: 17 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 320
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 303
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 301

In 1929 Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization - in effect a second Russian Revolution - which forced millions of peasants off their land and onto collective farms. The result was a catastrophic famine, the most lethal in European history. At least five million people died between 1931 and 1933 in the USSR. But instead of sending relief, the Soviet state made use of the catastrophe to rid itself of a political problem.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Shocking inhumanity

  • By Ensignbay on 11-21-17

There is story after story of inflicted famine...

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

Reviewed: 05-01-19

So I had family, ethnic Germans (a.k.a. "Germans from Russia"), who lived in Ukraine. My grandfather emigrated from Ukraine in 1907 at age 17, but he left some siblings behind. I recall my father telling the story of how, in the '30s, his father received a letter in a black envelope (indicating someone's death), with a letter of his sister's passing.

This book recounts the famine inflicted upon Ukraine, in the 30s and earlier, by the Stalin regime. There is some mention of the ethnic Germans there, but I have little doubt that my great aunt's death was part of this "Red Famine". This book gave me a sense of how awful it was.

This is a very well documented book, using lots of archival letters and documents to portray this travesty. Unfortunately, it's a bit of an overkill... With a print version, you could skim or scan much of the seemingly redundant accounts. With the audio version, you pretty much have to slog through all the narratives of injustice and desperate, dying people. An abridged audio version might have been a more interesting read/listen.

  • I Will Find You

  • Solving Killer Cases from My Life Fighting Crime
  • By: Joe Kenda
  • Narrated by: Joe Kenda
  • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,064
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,749
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,736

Joe Kenda investigated 387 murder cases during his 23 years with the Colorado Springs Police Department and solved almost all of them. And he is ready to detail the cases that are too gruesome to air on television, cases that still haunt him, and the few cases where the killer got away. These cases are horrifyingly real, and the detail is so mesmerizing you won't be able to turn it off.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Typical Kenda! Veryv

  • By Somewhat crazy dog lady on 09-27-17

I purchased the print book for my father-in-law...

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

Reviewed: 05-01-19

This book was a good listen. He tells some of his life story, and many of the cases that he worked on when he was in Colorado Springs. My father-in-law, an avid reader, used to live in Colo. Springs, so I thought he'd enjoy the book. He did, although he didn't specifically recall any of the homicides described in the book. My wife enjoys Kenda's TV show. All-in-all, this is a good listen.

  • Sex & Cupcakes

  • A Juicy Collection of Essays
  • By: Rachel Kramer Bussel
  • Narrated by: Rose Caraway
  • Length: 2 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 206
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 197
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 197

Sex and Cupcakes is a collection of essays from writer Rachel Kramer Bussel reflecting on her years as a sex columnist and cupcake blogger, detailing her dirty and sweet sides as well as sexual adventures, politics, heartbreak, tattoos, and more.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cupcakes and sex...such fun to enjoy

  • By LeeAnn O on 02-25-15

A story of an editor/author of erotic anthologies

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

Reviewed: 04-17-19

Rachel is a notable editor of, and contributor to, erotic anthologies. This books tells us a bit of her own story. It was a fun listen.

  • Shameless

  • A Sexual Reformation
  • By: Nadia Bolz-Weber
  • Narrated by: Nadia Bolz-Weber
  • Length: 5 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 393
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 354
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 349

Raw, intimate, and timely, Bolz-Weber’s latest book offers a full-blown overhaul of our harmful and antiquated ideas about sex, gender, and our bodies. This is a journey of holy resistance. Along the way, as antidotes to shame, heresy, and all-too-familiar injustice, Bolz-Weber shares stories, poetry, and scripture, cultivating resilient hope and audacious love rooted in good news that is “powerful enough, transgressive enough, and beautiful enough to heal not only the ones who have been hurt but also those who have done the hurting.”

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thank you, Nadia

  • By Margaret Priola on 04-26-19

This book deserves another listen...

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

Reviewed: 04-17-19

So 2017 was the 500th anniversary of the Reformation lead by Martin Luther. Nadia, a Lutheran pastor, continues in this spirit, advocating for a sexual reformation within the church.

Nadia's message is incredibly articulate. I could hardly believe how well she is able describe situations. I'm sure much of her book has been adapted from sermons and presentations she has done. In reading of her background, it noted that she usually spends 20 hours a week working on a 10 minute sermon. That effort, including her research, study, and wordsmithing, is very apparent in this book. There may be other people in the world who could perhaps write a book like this, but I don't think anyone could have said it as well as Nadia has.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) is a big tent, providing a home for those with very different theological persuasions, ranging from conservative to liberal. Nadia and her former congregation are definitely at the edge of this tent, forcing the church to look at the essential message of the Gospel, and how it speaks to all of us, even those of us who live outside of the church's "normative" sexual lifestyles. Nadia's stories challenge our underlying assumptions and perceptions about what Holy lifestyles can look like.

  • Happy Wife - Happy Life: A Survival Guide

  • By: Robert Lawrence
  • Narrated by: Robert Lawrence, Michelle Volz
  • Length: 1 hr and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 3

This book is perfect for married couples, recently separated couples, and men and women considering marriage. I guarantee that women who listen to this book will finally understand men. Men who listen to this book can learn how to keep the women in their lives happy and satisfied.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a relatable and funny must read!

  • By Brookie Q. on 07-08-19

Not as funny as I had hoped...

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

Reviewed: 04-03-19

I got about one guffaw and several serious chuckles. It was an okay read for me.

  • Being Mortal

  • Medicine and What Matters in the End
  • By: Atul Gawande
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 8,578
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,530
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 7,516

In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending. Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Required Reading!

  • By Jeffrey on 10-13-14

I read this not long before my mother passed...

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

Reviewed: 02-12-19

This was a good book for helping me to think about end-of-life decisions as my mother was dying... I was ready when the palliative care team came into my mother's hospital room to discuss the options... in fact, I was able to lead the discussion given that I had just read this book. I've listened to this book a couple of times, and I think I'll listen to it again.

As I told people I had read this book... my pastor, a boss, the chaplain, a neighbor... they told me they had read the book. Then they would tell me how they had purchased this book for others. This book is obviously connecting with people!

  • Never Quit

  • From Alaskan Wilderness Rescues to Afghanistan Firefights as an Elite Special Ops PJ
  • By: Jimmy Settle, Don Rearden
  • Narrated by: Chris Abell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,517
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,403
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,400

"That Others May Live" is a mantra that defines the fearless men of Alaska's 212th Pararescue Unit, the PJs, one of the most elite military forces on the planet. Whether they are rescuing citizens injured and freezing in the Alaskan wilderness or saving wounded Rangers and SEALs in blazing firefights at war, the PJs are the least known and most highly trained of America's warriors. Never Quit is the true story of how Jimmy Settle, an Alaskan shoe-store clerk, became a Special Forces Operator and war hero.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unbelievable Heroism by AF Parajumpers

  • By Larry on 11-26-17

The path to becoming an Elite Special Ops PJ

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

Reviewed: 04-30-18

This was a great story, telling how one guy became an Elite Special Ops PJ. I learned a lot about the process, and more about all of the U.S. military special ops units. As a civilian, it was a very informative for me, and a very easy listen given its great story-telling.

  • Blackout

  • Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
  • By: Sarah Hepola
  • Narrated by: Sarah Hepola
  • Length: 7 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,108
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,903
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,902

For Sarah Hepola, alcohol was "the gasoline of all adventure." She spent her evenings at cocktail parties and dark bars where she proudly stayed till last call. Drinking felt like freedom, part of her birthright as a strong, enlightened 21st-century woman. But there was a price. She often blacked out, waking up with a blank space where four hours should be. Mornings became detective work on her own life. A memoir of unblinking honesty and poignant, laugh-out-loud humor, Blackout is the story of a woman stumbling into a new kind of adventure - the sober life she never wanted.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Blackout: A Knockout

  • By W Perry Hall on 07-17-15

A great autobigraphical read...

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

Reviewed: 02-11-18

My life-partner, who has been in recovery for more than 26 years, tells me that she was a blackout drinker (which was long before we met). This book provided me some insight, and allowed me to have further discussions with my partner so that I can be of more support for her.

The author is a professional writer, and this books shows that. It is well written, and is an easy listen. If you're interested in this topic, this is a good choice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Rebel in the Ranks

  • Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the Conflicts That Continue to Shape Our World
  • By: Brad S. Gregory
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48

For five centuries, Martin Luther has been lionized as an outspoken and fearless icon of change who ended the Middle Ages and heralded the beginning of the modern world. In Rebel in the Ranks, Brad Gregory, renowned professor of European history at Notre Dame, recasts this long-accepted portrait. Luther did not intend to start a revolution that would divide the Catholic Church and forever change Western civilization. Yet his actions would profoundly shape our world in ways he could never have imagined.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Something to think about

  • By Like Loehe on 09-19-17

A good book for understanding the Reformation...

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

Reviewed: 02-10-18

I grew up within the tradition of the Lutheran church. With 2017 being the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, I wanted to get a better understanding of the tradition in which I was raised and currently worship.

There are a lot of books out there to choose from... I only wanted to read one. I wanted one that was not too academic, yet provided me with a framework and context for understanding the reformation, as well as an understanding of Martin Luther. This book seemed to hit that mark.

There were enough stories intertwined with the history to make this a relatively easy listen.

  • The State of Affairs

  • Rethinking Infidelity
  • By: Esther Perel
  • Narrated by: Esther Perel
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,179
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,958
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,943

An affair: It can rob a couple of their relationship, their happiness, their very identity. And yet this extremely common human experience is so poorly understood. Adultery has existed since marriage was invented, and so, too, the prohibition against it - in fact it has a tenacity that marriage can only envy. Iconic couples' therapist and best-selling author of Mating in Captivity Esther Perel returns with a groundbreaking and provocative look at infidelity, arguing for a more nuanced and less judgmental conversation about our transgressions.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A compassionate approach

  • By Anonymous User on 10-16-17

Esther Perel writes another great book!

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

Reviewed: 02-10-18

So I had listened to Esther Perel's first book, Mating in Captivity. I came upon that book after I had found out about Esther Perel, by reading a 2003 article by her, "In search of Erotic Intelligence" in the Utne Reader. Although Perel is not an academic, she is a skilled and experienced clinician/therapist, has important insights, and is an engaging presenter.

An affair/adultery almost always violates the trust within a relationship. Perel works through these violations in a variety of settings, and pays particular attention to the "other woman" (or other man). She talks about how to maintain and protect a relationship from an affair, as well as how to heal.

I found this book to be helpful in dealing with my anger towards my ex, as she, while not having an affair, nonetheless violated the trust in our 30+ year relationship. While I still have much anger towards my ex, Perel's book has helped me to balance that anger by blessing my ex whenever I can, as the depth of my love in my current relationship exceeds that which I had with my ex.

If you can get one really good thing out a book, it was a great read! This was a great read for me.

Beyond that, Perel's stories from her clients, along with her insights, makes this book an easy listen.