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Polyhymnia

  • 35
  • reviews
  • 179
  • helpful votes
  • 160
  • ratings
  • Ordinary Light

  • A Memoir
  • By: Tracy K. Smith
  • Narrated by: Tracy K. Smith
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 135
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 122

Tracy K. Smith has a fairly typical upbringing in suburban California: the youngest in a family of five children raised with limitless affection and a firm belief in God by a stay-at-home mother and an engineer father. But after spending a summer in Alabama at her grandmother's home, she returns to California with a new sense of what it means for her to be black: from her mother's memories of picking cotton as a girl in her father's field for pennies a bushel to her parents' involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Simply spoken - poetic

  • By CarolynneRHarris on 04-27-15

Complelling

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

The complexity of a mother-daughter relationship is at the center of this memoir. It is also about family, faith, and loss. It is told with eloquence and courage. As the Poet Laureate it should be no surprise that Smith's use of language is precise. I admire her ability to be self-reflective and honest.

  • Farewell: Vital End-of-Life Questions with Candid Answers from a Leading Palliative and Hospice Physician

  • By: Edward Creagan MD, Sandra Wendel
  • Narrated by: Benjamin McLean
  • Length: 7 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

How long am I going to live? Who will be with me when I die? Will my family forgive me? Will I have pain? These are among the 31 vital end-of-life questions patients and their families ask. This audiobook is about navigating those last days, at the bedside, and saying farewell with hope, love, and compassion. Dr. Edward Creagan provides the reassuring answers patients and families deserve. He has dedicated his life to death. For over 40 winters at the Mayo Clinic he has been at the bedside with more than 40,000 patient encounters in the last stages of their lives on this Earth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Everyone should read this book

  • By Suzan on 10-15-18

Essential reading

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

In an easy to understand, straightforward manner Dr. Creagan and Sandra Wendel explain how to improve the quality of life for a person who is in the process of dying. They explain in careful detail how to focus on a person’s life when death is eminent, highlighting the benefits of palliative care, and hospice care. The role of family members and the importance of patient-centered medicine are key to the well being of a person who needs to make end-of-life decisions. The book explains what to include in an advanced directive and the conversations you should have with your health care proxy.

This is valuable information that can minimize or eliminate pain and suffering at the end of life. Most of us understand that death is inevitable. Many of us can put off thoughts about dying until we receive a diagnosis of a life threatening disease or until one of our family members becomes critically ill. So “Farewell” may not be on your want-to-read list. I urge you to read it anyway. Even though the first chapter explains how to use the book at the bedside, I recommend that you don’t wait until you need this information immediately. The Audible version is an excellent overview, however it does not include chapter headings or the resources section of the book. For that you will need either the print or e-book version.

  • Dog Songs

  • Deluxe Edition
  • By: Mary Oliver
  • Narrated by: Mary Oliver
  • Length: 1 hr and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 51

Beloved by her fans, special to the poet’s own heart, Mary Oliver’s dog poems offer a special window into her world. Dog Songs collects some of the most cherished poems together with new works, offering a portrait of Oliver’s relationship to the companions that have accompanied her daily walks, warmed her home, and inspired her work. These are poems of love and laughter, heartbreak and grief. In these pages we visit with old friends, including Oliver’s well-loved Percy, and meet still others.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I listened over and over

  • By Polyhymnia on 02-21-18

I listened over and over

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

Reviewed: 02-21-18

I only wish there had been more space between each poem... time for me to reflect a bit or pause the audio.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Body Keeps the Score

  • Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
  • By: Bessel Van der Kolk MD
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 16 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 6,349
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,568
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5,484

In The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring - specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neuro feedback, mindfulness techniques, play, yoga, and other therapies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unbelievably clear and Life Changing

  • By colleen geis on 05-06-15

Fascinating

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

Reviewed: 07-05-17

Well-researched, clear and understandable even to the non-expert. Children who were abused, women who were victims of sexual assault, those who have experienced torture or witnessed unthinkable acts of cruelty and death make up a huge percentage of the overall population. Who among us does not know of at least one person who has experienced trauma? The book includes multiple techniques that have been proven to identify and treat people who are limited by their hidden memories of trauma. Case studies bring a human face to the scientific studies and data.

  • The Historian

  • By: Elizabeth Kostova
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre, Paul Michael
  • Length: 26 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,387
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,627
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,647

Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of: a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great immersion entertainment

  • By Joseph on 08-26-08

Deadly Dull

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

Reviewed: 03-20-17

People seem to either love this book or hate it. I forced myself to finish it because a friend loved it. Here’s why I think it was a waste of my time. The protagonist is a sixteen year-old girl. It seems incredible that her father would begin to tell her this frightening tale and end with a long wordy letter that she would read after her father mysteriously disappears. You must suspend a lot of doubt to believe that this letter was written by a father to a teenage daughter. Further this letter and the other letters that take up most of the book don’t sound like a letter would sound. They put the reader at such a distance that most of the tension is completely lost. The different letters make the point of view confusing, dialog also doesn’t read like actual dialog. Poor Dracula all he wanted was a good librarian.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Thirteenth Tale

  • A Novel
  • By: Diane Setterfield
  • Narrated by: Bianca Amato, Jill Tanner
  • Length: 15 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,054
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,640
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,655

All children mythologize their birth... So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's beloved collection of stories, long famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale. The enigmatic Winter has always kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she summons a biographer to tell the truth about her extraordinary life: Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth remains an ever-present pain.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Simply Amazing Story--2 missing chapters

  • By J. Elliott on 01-28-10

Great story telling

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

Reviewed: 02-25-17

I found this book hard to put down. Its part mystery, part ghost story, part a book about twins. However, the story is primarily about lies and truth telling. Cleverly crafted plot, sub-plots, and intriguing characters. As a bonus, the readers are excellent.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Most Wonderful Tales of the Year

  • Holiday Memories Written and Performed by Our Favorite Narrators
  • By: Audible Narrators
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis, Kate Reading, Michael Kramer, and others
  • Length: 1 hr and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,001
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,339
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,327

Here at Audible, we know just how much of an impact a voice can have on a story - taking simple words and filling them with elation, wonderment, tragedy, or pure satisfaction. We rely on our narrators every day to bring our favorite stories and characters to life - to introduce us to new authors and genres, or even to a new (perhaps longer) commute. And though our narrators are the best story tellers in the business, it's usually someone else's that they're telling.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Is Some Kind of White Elephant Gift?

  • By Dave on 12-12-16

Bravo

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

Reviewed: 12-25-16

Wow! What a wonderful mixture of stories and voices. Each one a gem.
Thank you Audible.

  • Secondhand Sister

  • By: Rhett DeVane
  • Narrated by: Janet R. Hoskins
  • Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

Mary-Esther Sloat is a woman with a patchwork past: three failed marriages, misspent youth, and a series of dead-end jobs. When she attempts to donate a kidney to her dying mother, she learns a life-altering truth: Loretta Boudreau Day is not her biological mother. After Loretta dies, Hurricane Katrina destroys Mary-Esther's only tie to New Orleans: her beloved Nana's house.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Separated at birth

  • By Polyhymnia on 08-24-16

Separated at birth

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

Reviewed: 08-24-16

For me this is a story of transformation, or perhaps resurrection in a personal sense. It does not happen over night. Adjustments, change, accepting the past for what it was and living in the present come with struggle, set backs and lots of compassionate help. This book includes all of those and more.

The story begins after Mary-Esther Sloat’s life crumbles around her. She has cared for the only family members she knew, her beloved grandmother and the woman she thought was her mother until they both die. Then the city of New Orleans is “ground to mud” in the catastrophic flood in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Adding to that she has married three times, each time ending in disaster. She is a homeless, shattered, broken down woman, now in her fifties with little energy for rebuilding a new life. She takes to the road with no particular destination in mind.

It is fall 2006 when the story opens. Mary-Esther has arrived in the small town of Chattahoochee, Florida. She has been living out of her car for over a year and is now running out of money. She is sleep deprived, filthy, and hungry. Out of curiosity, she has decided to try to find her biological family based on her birth certificate listing a hospital in Chattahoochee.

Full disclosure, I now live in this area and the descriptions of places I’ve come to know and the people in this area are spot on. I must add that the descriptions of food left my mouth watering. I also learned things about the area I did not know before. This undoubtedly added some to my enjoyment of the book. I am so grateful that this local author’s books are now being published on Audible. I did, however, get gypped because the Audible edition does not include a recipe the way the print and Kindle versions do.

  • The Road

  • By: Cormac McCarthy
  • Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte
  • Length: 6 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13,838
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,834
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,863

America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • I DID NOT LIKE THIS BOOK! Could I be the only one?

  • By Barbara on 04-21-12

Yawn

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

Reviewed: 07-14-16

The only benefit here is that it is a short read. Incredibly repetitive, dreary, and disappointing. Perhaps there is a metaphor I missed. The ending seems totally disconnected with the rest of the book. Very odd that it won a Pulitzer.

24 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Thirteen Ways of Looking

  • Fiction
  • By: Colum McCann
  • Narrated by: Colum McCann
  • Length: 6 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 152
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 155

In such acclaimed novels as Let the Great World Spin and TransAtlantic, National Book Award-winning author Colum McCann has transfixed listeners with his precision, tenderness, and authority. Now, in his first collection of short fiction in more than a decade, McCann charts the territory of chance and the profound and intimate consequences of even our smallest moments.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Euphonies, Heartrending and Profound

  • By W Perry Hall on 10-30-15

Captivating

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

Reviewed: 05-13-16

Read by the author, this cluster of short stories are gems by themselves. It seems to me shear genius the way they intertwine and link in common thread.