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Rosemary Laberee

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  • Long Road to Mercy

  • By: David Baldacci
  • Narrated by: Brittany Pressley, Kyf Brewer
  • Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,475
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,900
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,869

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Catch a tiger by its toe. It's seared into Atlee Pine's memory: the kidnapper's chilling rhyme as he chose between six-year-old Atlee and her twin sister, Mercy. Mercy was taken. Atlee was spared. She never saw Mercy again. Three decades after that terrifying night, Atlee Pine works for the FBI. She's the lone agent assigned to the Shattered Rock, Arizona resident agency, which is responsible for protecting the Grand Canyon. So when one of the Grand Canyon's mules is found stabbed to death at the bottom of the canyon - and its rider missing - Pine is called in to investigate.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Damn, Baldacci is good!

  • By Wayne on 11-14-18

Not very good

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

Reviewed: 01-20-19

Story was drawn out and too chatty. Full of filler. Could have been half the length. Female reader was good; male reader's voices all sounded the same. Plot a bit far-fetched, even for this genre. Not a good investment of time.

  • The Sea, the Sea

  • By: Iris Murdoch, Mary Kinzie - introduction
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance, Kimberly Farr
  • Length: 21 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81

Charles Arrowby, leading light of England's theatrical set, retires from glittering London to an isolated home by the sea. He plans to write a memoir about his great love affair with Clement Makin, his mentor, both professionally and personally, and amuse himself with Lizzie, an actress he has strung along for many years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Pure pleasure

  • By laurel on 06-07-17

Dark, tense, a gentle almost magical bludgeoning...

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

Reviewed: 11-24-18


What a miraculous book. I have only just now finished it, and I already know that I will begin the re-listening of it tonight. I cannot wait. Without a doubt, it is on that shelf of one of the very best.

You are wondering what it is about? Heavy sigh. It is about everything, of course, as the greatest books are. But, Murdoch focuses with frightening clarity on marriages, relationships, lost love, delusions, the darkness we hide from, and the darkness we hide away.

It is a stormy, psychological journey into the hearts of many different characters whose paths are all intertwined. It begins with a famous actor/director (Charles Arrowby) retiring to a little run-down house by the sea where he swims, cooks wonderful meals, collects rocks, thinks, and writes about his life. Lord, it sounded like heaven to me. Of course, it was not.

There are tiny little shadows cast upon the reader from the start, and we slowly grow uneasy with the knowledge that so much is hooded, masked, and cloaked in falseness and danger, but we cannot quite put our finger on what it is. The zig-zagging trajectory of the tangled lives cannot be forecasted by the reader. Although we long for a predictable outcome to so many of the extraordinary events, this is not what we get. Murdoch is a realist. She puts a little dash of beast in everyone and the effect is a gentle bludgeoning which (sickeningly) we do understand, and from which (appallingly) we cannot tear our ears away.

I felt slightly shackled to this story. Even when I took a break from the listening, her words followed me. Everywhere. It is haunting. It is very powerful. Murdoch was an amazing talent. How many authors can conjure the perfect words to describe "eyes that are determined to lose hope"? She does this and other breathtaking word-feats. Aren't you curious?

  • Tess of the d'Urbervilles

  • By: Thomas Hardy
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 17 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,614
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,502
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,502

Tess Durbeyfield has become one of the most famous female protagonists in 19th-century British literature. Betrayed by the two men in her life - Alec D’Urberville, her seducer/rapist and father of her fated child; and Angel, her intellectual and pious husband - Tess takes justice, and her own destiny, into her delicate hands. In telling her desperate and passionate story, Hardy brings Tess to life with an extraordinary vividness that makes her live in the heart of the reader long after the novel is concluded.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Davina Porter Does It Again!

  • By misaki on 06-15-15

Tess the Hot Mess of the d'Urbervilles

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

Reviewed: 11-11-18

Suffering. Heartbreak. Injustice. Good grief. Never have I been so glad to enter this world in the 20th Century (and not sooner)! But, poor, poor Tess dUrberville. Her extremes of mortification and deprivation, which rake at her relentlessly and which spring from those villainous Victorian affectations - well, it bordered on the oppressive, it truly did. Has anyone ever been as unlucky as Tess dUrberville?

Only the majestic parade of elaborate, spotless sentences kept me reading. Thomas Hardy did not just write. He ennobled his reader with word monuments - chapter after celestial chapter, lines and lines of magnificently turned-out sentences.

Throughout the story, dread is ever-present, lurking in every small turn of events, and we know, we just know, as we read on, that there will be, there must be, a limit to her forbearance. Hardy seems to luxuriate in the misery and inequity. Readers are made uncomfortable by the torments of poor Tess. Of course, this is no accident. His message on the abuses of the era is loud and clear.

My mind has been steeped in such bounty of lovely language, that I cannot resent Hardy for dispatching so many hours of doom and gloom. It is a very BIG story and a great one, too, although you might need to medicate with some chocolate when done. #FemaleProtagonist #heartfelt #depressing #victorian #tearjerker #torturedheroine #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • The Disappearing Spoon

  • And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
  • By: Sam Kean
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,211
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,226
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,233

Reporter Sam Kean reveals the periodic table as it’s never been seen before. Not only is it one of man's crowning scientific achievements, it's also a treasure trove of stories of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The infectious tales and astounding details in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining

  • By James on 10-12-10

Chemistry made bright, shiny and fun!

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

Reviewed: 11-11-18

A book on the periodic table is a highly improbable selection - for me, at least. But, truly it has colored and brightened the topic so pleasantly that I cannot recommend it strongly enough. After designing a chemistry curriculum for my fourth and final home educated kiddo, I thought this book would serve as a nice compliment to the more tedious tasks of balancing chemical equations and fiddling with bunsen burners. We read it together.

We were so entertained by some of the sidekick info offered by Mr. Kean, that even though it was sometimes hard to parse the content, we looked forward it cheerfully. Never did I think that acquiring literacy in the fundamentals of chemistry would be something to put a spring in my step. The 15 year old found my wonderment, as Kean worked his magic with artful anecdotes, a littlle, um, inconvenient, shall we say?

This book WILL engage you, whether you are 15 or 50. Visiting Kean’s website, I discovered that he has other books like this one and we will start The Violinists Thumb in a few weeks!

Kean takes topics that mere mortals (like me) find dull and dusty and somehow makes them bright and shiny. Oh, bless this man. #clever #witty #mindbending #forensic #scienceiscool #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

  • Educated

  • A Memoir
  • By: Tara Westover
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 39,939
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 36,170
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 36,010

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. Her quest for knowledge transformed her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Other Side of Idaho's Mountains

  • By Darwin8u on 03-28-18

Lunatic Parenting on steriods....

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

Reviewed: 11-11-18

The words that kept running through my mind as I read this memoir were - how sinister, how very sinister. That is the mood of her story.

The author, youngest of seven children, is the victim of a parental lunacy which borders on real evil. She recounts many acts of profound stupidity, stubbornness, and abuse, many which threatened her very life. If only half of them were true, it is astounding to me that she survived, much less would go on to earn a PhD at Cambridge.

I'd expect someone who suffered as much as she did at the hands of a sadistic older brother, a heartless and megalomaniacal father, and a double-crossing, self-absorbed mother, to be twitching in a corner with PTSD for decades. Tara fights tooth and nail for her sanity - impressive woman, indeed. #childprotagonist #femaleprotagonist #cynical #absurd #smalltown #violent #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

  • Running for My Life

  • One Lost Boy's Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games
  • By: Lopez Lomong
  • Narrated by: Brandon Hirsch
  • Length: 6 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 684
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 612
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 624

Running for My Life is not a story about Africa or track and field athletics. It is about outrunning the devil and achieving the impossible: faith, diligence, and the desire to give back. It is the American dream come true and a reminder that saving one can help to save thousands more. Lopez Lomong chronicles his inspiring ascent from a barefoot lost boy of the Sudanese Civil War to a Nike sponsored athlete on the US Olympic Team. Though most of us fall somewhere between the catastrophic lows and dizzying highs of Lomong's incredible life, every reader will find in his story the human spark to pursue dreams that might seem unthinkable.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting and Inspirational

  • By AudioAddict on 08-29-13

THIS is what overcoming adversity looks like....

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

Reviewed: 11-11-18

Reading this man's story brings a whole new perspective on what it means to overcome adversity, and in light of today's bubbling cauldron of social justice issues, it should be required reading. Really.

It was so humbling. After all that he went through, one can hear in his words an abiding faith in God, an astounding gratitude, and his hope and belief in humanity. David Brooks, in his book The Road to Character, described people who have acquired a strong foundation, a powerful backbone, a deep and steadfast character, as individuals "who are inclined in all ways to be useful to others and to the world" . This perfectly describes Lopepi. He never stopped striving to be useful to the world, to achieve good things, to do the right things, and to always try his very best in everything he set out to do. This book contained no words of remorse, anger, hostility, or resentment. He never talked about being forgotten, written-off, or diminished. (He was presumed dead, and he learned that his family and his village buried the few articles of clothing left behind a few years after he was taken.)

While in a refuge camp, he happened to see clips of Michael Johnson setting an Olympic record. He was already running 18 miles a day; this he did in order to be able to play soccer. Seeing Michael Johnson, a man who looked like him, win a gold medal for the USA, filled him with a joyful dream which he clung to with real happiness. He wanted to run in the Olympics.

The voice of Lopepi in the book is simple and earnest. It is a quick and easy read. The events are told as they unfolded, year-by-year. It is a book which can appeal to any age.

During the worst times of his life, his unconquerable spirit prevailed. I felt completely renewed by reading his amazing odyssey.
#Inspiration #Running #SudanLostBoys #Olympics #Faith #Endurance #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

  • A Tale for the Time Being

  • By: Ruth Ozeki
  • Narrated by: Ruth Ozeki
  • Length: 14 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,053
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,879
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,873

In Tokyo, 16-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century. A diary is Nao's only solace - and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox - possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Engaging story beautifully read

  • By Karen on 01-30-14

texting buddhist nuns,kamikaze pilots,strange cats

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

Reviewed: 11-11-18

This strange tale was my first encounter with Ruth Ozeki. She’s good. The margins of this story are unusual; it demanded that I relax and cooperate with this gifted author. I tried. I got lost a few times - sort of folded up in the transmogrifications – but I never gave up on it.
The sprinklings of supernatural were just enough to keep me derelict in my full comprehension. Add to this the oddity of texting Buddhist nuns, disappearing words on pages, possessed crows and cats, kamikaze pilots, specious fears of gun violence in America, suicide-centricism, and then Oliver…dear, poor Oliver – what was his place in all of this? I think the context switching was more than I could handle, but I did marvel at Ozeki’s written word. Really impressive stuff.
Her narration was flawless. She reads immaculately. #strangetales #Greatreads #unusualstory #tohokutsunami #2011Japan #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

  • Middlesex

  • By: Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Narrated by: Kristoffer Tabori
  • Length: 21 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,533
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,437
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,473

In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry-blonde classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop physically - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Worth Waiting It Out

  • By D. N. Meads on 08-28-09

You won't be the same....Read. This. Book.

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

Reviewed: 12-23-15

If you could sum up Middlesex in three words, what would they be?

Hypnotic. Peculiar. Masterful.

What did you like best about this story?

It changed me.

What about Kristoffer Tabori’s performance did you like?

He was like a conductor of an orchestra. Truly outstanding.

Who was the most memorable character of Middlesex and why?

Milton. Definitely, Milton.

Any additional comments?

I don't know if I am more impressed with this author's virtuosic gift with words or with the fact that he took on a topic singularly wild. I was under a spell until the tome was done. The history, the hubris of humanity, and the hardships and happiness that all have an accidental 'trip the light fantastic' quality - well, it was a lot to take in. Eugenides has excavated new space in my brain; I now have a place to hang things like this. Extraordinary, indecipherable, hypnotic things about which I know so little - in other words, Calliope, the calamity, and her choppy campaign for self.