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M. Edwards

  • 8
  • reviews
  • 13
  • helpful votes
  • 10
  • ratings
  • Delicious Foods

  • A Novel
  • By: James Hannaham
  • Narrated by: James Hannaham
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 152
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 137
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 140

Darlene, once an exemplary wife and a loving mother to her young son, Eddie, finds herself devastated by the unforeseen death of her husband. Unable to cope with her grief, she turns to drugs and quickly forms an addiction. One day she disappears without a trace.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing! I love these characters and their story.

  • By Melissa on 10-21-15

Fascinating opening, disappointing development

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

Reviewed: 04-26-18

The issues of systemic social injustice, substance addiction, and slavery are ones that I am usually passionate to read about in print. The unusual opening chapter also caught my attention. Furthermore, I felt that "Scotty" (the drug crack) narrating certain chapters was an interesting concept. However, as the novel progressed I felt this particular narrator came across more and more as a distasteful and stale additive which really didn't help the plot flesh out much. Also, the storyline did not develop much to keep up with my high initial expectations. The pace was unsteady throughout. In the end, the author narrating his own audiobook didn't help matters much either. I doubt I'll be drawn to him again.

  • Happiness

  • By: Randy Alcorn
  • Narrated by: Randy Alcorn
  • Length: 22 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36

In Happiness, noted theologian Randy Alcorn dispels centuries of misconceptions about happiness and provides indisputable proof that God not only wants us to be happy, he commands it. The most definitive study on the subject of happiness to date, this book is a paradigm-shifting wake-up call for the church and Christians everywhere.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wanna be happy?

  • By ashfordschoolhouse on 05-31-16

Listening to Happiness Was Agonizing

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

Reviewed: 02-13-18

What did you like about this audiobook?

I might have given this book 5 stars had it been a fifth the length. Instead, I found it be a slow and excruciating exercise in mental anguish. That’s ironic being as I picked up the book to assist me in incorporating a greater degree of the happiness which comes from a relationship with God through Jesus Christ into my life. I found reading this garbled mess to be more painful than the average trip to the dentist.

Why? Alcorn consistently offers 5 to 10 quotations when just one or two would do. The oncoming onslaught of chapters assault the reader mercilessly while offering very few fresh insights or new developments along the way.

7 years ago I read “Heaven” by the same author and found it likewise to be rambling and repetitive. Yet I still gave it 3 stars because it had some good points (although far inferior to N.T. Wright’s similar book “Surprised by Hope”).

Not so this work. I can only give it one star. However, I must admit I’m still bogged down in chapter 21 (about 45% or a little over 10 hours through the 45 chapters, not including the sizable appendices). Maybe I’ll try to listen to more later in the year since I put out good money to buy the book, but for now I prefer to spend my time with better authors who have more to say (Note: I listened to both the audiobook as well as reading the e-book).

How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

Having read three of the author's books, I don't think I will ever want to read another.

What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

Yes, every book does.

  • Bull Mountain

  • By: Brian Panowich
  • Narrated by: Brian Troxell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,393
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,268
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,271

Clayton Burroughs comes from a long line of outlaws. For generations the Burroughs clan has made their home on Bull Mountain in North Georgia, running shine, pot, and meth over six state lines, virtually untouched by the rule of law. To distance himself from his family's criminal empire, Clayton takes the job of sheriff in a neighboring community to keep what peace he can.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Lawful VS. Lawless Among Blood Ties

  • By Marjorie on 11-28-15

The Feds Would Have Known!

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

Reviewed: 07-26-17

Enthralling. Captivating. McCarthy—esque. Those words come to mind as I describe how this novel (with its first-class narration) fully engrossed my attention from the first to last page (More than once my driving suffered because I found the audio book to be so riveting). The plot twists were exciting. But in the end, the finished product would have been far superior if the author had resisted the urge (coming from the publisher?) to introduce the last twist. I had the book at five stars up until this point. Very disappointing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

  • A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity
  • By: Nabeel Qureshi
  • Narrated by: Nabeel Qureshi
  • Length: 7 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5,339
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,899
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4,894

Nabeel Qureshi describes his dramatic journey from Islam to Christianity, complete with friendships, investigations, and supernatural dreams along the way. Providing an intimate window into a loving Muslim home, Qureshi shares how he developed a passion for Islam before discovering, almost against his will, evidence that Jesus rose from the dead and claimed to be God. Unable to deny the arguments but not wanting to deny his family, Qureshi's inner turmoil will challenge Christians and Muslims alike.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • fantastic

  • By Brandon on 09-09-14

Western Background and Subset of Islam

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

Reviewed: 11-28-15

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

God shows up!

Any additional comments?

I would have given this book 5 stars except for three things. First, my own (admittedly mistaken) preconception prior to beginning the book that the author was born and raised in the Middle East. He was raised in the west. One would expect that the thinking process of the author, like any third culture kid, would be influenced by the culture in which he lives (I had been expecting to read about what God is doing in the lives of people in the Middle East, where the emphasis on submitting to authority can only be greater ). Secondly, the author comes from a sect of Islam which most Muslims do not consider as "part of the fold". And thirdly, for long stretches this book read a bit too much like an apologetic work instead of a personal story/testimony.

However, this isn't a book of dry facts. God Himself shows up dramatically in a brief scene halfway into the book and even bigger at the end. Secondly, the author's western background and his former brand of Islam does not negate how God has worked and will continue to work in his life. And the information on his Islamic sect can be helpful to other seekers or persons desiring to share with seekers. This book was not only a good read, but listening to the author himself narrate on the Audible version and hearing his passion at the end was an even bigger plus. May God continue to raise up an army of evangelists like Nabeel!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The World until Yesterday

  • What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?
  • By: Jared Diamond
  • Narrated by: Jay Snyder
  • Length: 18 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 748
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 618
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 622

Most of us take for granted the features of our modern society, from air travel and telecommunications to literacy and obesity. Yet for nearly all of its six million years of existence, human society had none of these things. While the gulf that divides us from our primitive ancestors may seem unbridgeably wide, we can glimpse much of our former lifestyle in those largely traditional societies still or recently in existence.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A visit with our ancient ancestors

  • By BRB on 01-30-13

Removing the Mystery

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

Reviewed: 11-28-15

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

This book was a disappointment compared to a few other Diamond titles I have read. I wouldn't particularly recommend it.

Did The World until Yesterday inspire you to do anything?

(1)Write succinctly and to the point. (2) Attempt to be humble and open-minded toward others whose beliefs are different than my own. Both of the above very much unlike the attitude of the author in this book.

Any additional comments?

Due to having enjoyed GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL and COLLAPSE, I expected more from "Traditional Societies" than what Diamond delivered. Generally, I agree with what many others have said in their reviews. I especially felt that many of his conclusions tend toward the obvious (What? I shouldn't eat these foods?). Hardly worthy of wading through such a long-winded analysis!

I listened to the audiobook version and appreciated the narration. I also appreciated the Anthropology 101 lessons near the beginning of the book describing the differences between bands, tribes, chiefdoms, and nations, and how these categories overlap and interact with decision-making structures, governments, war, agriculture, etc. I also was challenged by some of Diamond's thoughts about not taking unnecessary risks, child-rearing, and multilingualism as a preventative for Alzheimers.

I'll limit the rest of this review to express disappointment in Diamond's treatment of religion. Everyone has the right to believe what they want, but Diamond is way out of his league on the topic of religion. His presentation is elementary, one-sided, and tends toward being downright arrogant. Diamond would be well served by considering the last chapter of C.S. Lewis' THE ABOLITION OF MAN (available for free on line), which while not treating the subject of religion specifically, discusses the limits of the scientific method and the relevance of natural law. Quantum physicists (string theorists and others) have been grappling with some of these implications in recent years. Simplifications which help scientists do science sometimes break down in the end. There is still room for "mystery."

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)

  • Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions and Hurtful Acts
  • By: Carol Tavris, Elliot Aronson
  • Narrated by: Marsha Mercant, Joe Barrett
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,673
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,336
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,333

Why do people dodge responsibility when things fall apart? Why the parade of public figures unable to own up when they screw up? Why the endless marital quarrels over who is right? Why can we see hypocrisy in others but not in ourselves? Are we all liars? Or do we really believe the stories we tell? Backed by years of research and delivered in lively, energetic prose, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) offers a fascinating explanation of self-deception.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent insights, but a little too long

  • By Anand on 11-11-12

Not Many Mistakes Here

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

Reviewed: 11-28-15

If you could sum up Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me) in three words, what would they be?

Ummm. Mistakes Were Made?

Any additional comments?

Having been put off by several popular books by social psychologists I read in recent years which I felt failed to deliver on the promised goods ("Emotional Intelligence" and "Social Intelligence," both by Daniel Goldman come quickly to mind), I was both relieved and impressed as I listened to the audiobook version of "Mistakes Were Made."

The authors not only convincingly support and develop their thesis from start to finish, they do so in an entertaining fashion. Furthermore, the book offers plenty of opportunity for practical application for any casual reader who dares to pause to consider how his or her own pride, cognitive dissonance, confirmation biases, etc. may cause him/her to re-write history, justify themselves and their experiences, blind themselves from seeing the truth, etc.

I will mention one area where the authors may possibly be a little "off." Toward the end of the book, they share an example of Japanese encouraging mistakes in the classroom and seem to generalize this example for Asian culture. However, across mainland China, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea, societies seems to be somewhat intolerant of mistakes. Having said all that, this is still a great book. Lisaten to iit!

  • Truman

  • By: David McCullough
  • Narrated by: Nelson Runger
  • Length: 54 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,268
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,036
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,037

Hailed by critics as an American masterpiece, David McCullough's sweeping biography of Harry S. Truman captured the heart of the nation. The life and times of the 33rd president of the United States, Truman provides a deeply moving look at an extraordinary, singular American.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • That Mousy Little Man From Missouri Revisited

  • By Sara on 07-23-15

Interesting Tale Well Told

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

Reviewed: 11-28-15

Would you consider the audio edition of Truman to be better than the print version?

I didn't read the print version.

Have you listened to any of Nelson Runger’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have enjoyed all of Nelson Runger's readings.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Impossible!!!

Any additional comments?

A great book, which I listened to over a period of several months in audiobook form due to its extended length. From the beginning to the end, Truman's story as told by McCullough kept my attention. That having been said, sometimes I would have appreciated less detail having been given to certain events and more to others. In particular, I would have liked hearing more about Truman's relationship with his wife and daughter over the years, the latter not just from when she was launching her musical career. And although Truman's recruitment and rejection of KKK membership was mentioned, his membership in the secretive Masonic Lodge was only raised in passing toward the end of the book. Altogether though, an insightful tale well told!

  • The Remedy

  • Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Quest to Cure Tuberculosis
  • By: Thomas Goetz
  • Narrated by: Donald Corren
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 497
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 440
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 437

In 1875, tuberculosis was the deadliest disease in the world, accountable for a third of all deaths. A diagnosis of TB - often called consumption - was a death sentence. Then, in a triumph of medical science, a German doctor named Robert Koch deployed an unprecedented scientific rigor to discover the bacteria that caused TB. Koch soon embarked on a remedy - a remedy that would be his undoing. When Koch announced his cure for consumption, Arthur Conan Doyle, then a small-town doctor in England and sometime writer, went to Berlin to cover the event.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • History plus.

  • By William R. Toddmancillas on 08-03-14

Scientific Method Deserted in Pursuit of Glory

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

Reviewed: 05-17-15

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes

What did you like best about this story?

Yes

What about Donald Corren’s performance did you like?

Excellent

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No

Any additional comments?

I found THE REMEDY to be a fully engaging and attention-riveting story. It revolves around two small town doctors. The first, Robert Koch, hailed from Germany. He developed an historically unprecedented precision with regard to scientific detail and testing procedure, going on to discover the bacteria that caused tuberculosis. "Consumption", as it was then called, was the world's number one killer, responsible for about 1/3 of the world's deaths. Unfortunately, a few years later, Koch announced that he had found "the remedy". In actual fact, he had only fallen victim to his own hubris and desire for fame, recognition, and glory. His reputation took a great hit from which he never fully recovered.

The second medical doctor, Arthur Conan Doyle, hailed from England and aspired to be a writer. One day he abruptly left England for Berlin to cover the announcement of Koch's so-called remedy. Like Koch in his early years, Doyle displayed meticulous and uncanny attention to scientific detail in his writing for the general public, especially in his world famous Sherlock Holmes stories, which remain popular to this day. Ironically, however, late in life the inventor of Holmes turned to decidedly unscientific beliefs and practices related to spirit-ism, which the public tended to ignore since they were still so in love with Holmes.

In the epilogue, the author notes some recent medical developments since the days of Koch and Doyle. One which particularly interests me is the relationship between TMAO (google it if llike me you missed the news in 2013) and heart disease. Having enjoyed this book so fully, I'm inspired to move on later this year to several other medical and scientific discovery books which are on my list, as well as at least one or two Sherlock Holmes mysteries, which, surprisingly,I've never gotten around to reading before.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful