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Sarah

West Grove, PA, United States
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  • 4
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  • 31
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  • Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin

  • The Early Years, 1926-1966
  • By: Kenneth Womack
  • Narrated by: Paul Woodson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32

Maximum Volume offers a glimpse into the mind, the music, and the man behind the sound of the Beatles. George Martin's working-class childhood and musical influences profoundly shaped his early career in the BBC's Classical Music department and as head of the EMI Group's Parlophone Records. Out of them flowed the genius behind his seven years producing the Beatles' incredible body of work, including such albums as Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Abbey Road.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Extremely informative but tiresome accents

  • By John R. Blackburn Jr. on 10-12-17

Beatle Books Need British Narrators!

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

Reviewed: 01-30-18

I would love to tell you how much I loved this book, because the info was interesting and pretty well-written. But I'm too annoyed at the choice of narrator.

Womack speaks clearly and can do some British accents, but not the correct British accents for the particular people who are the main characters of this book. George Martin and the Beatles have accents which are distinctive, recognizable, and well-loved by serious Beatles fans. It just about ruined the book for me to hear the Beatles and, especially George Martin sporting the wrong accents!

For instance, George does not pronounce "good" as "gewd,' as Womack has him do. Ugh! I love George Martin's voice and this is simply not it. If the next book is read by Womack, I'll get it out of the library rather than buying it.

  • The Morville Hours

  • The Story of a Garden
  • By: Katherine Swift
  • Narrated by: Katherine Swift
  • Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

An intriguing story of a place, a person and the garden she created. In 1988 Katherine Swift arrived at the Dower House at Morville to create a garden of her own. This beautifully written, utterly absorbing book is the history of the many people who have lived in the same Shropshire house, tending the same soil, passing down stories over the generations. Spanning thousands of years, The Morville Hours takes the form of a medieval Book of Hours.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • For the Gardener Philosopher

  • By Sarah on 01-20-18

For the Gardener Philosopher

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

Reviewed: 01-20-18

Katherine Swift is the type of person those who appreciate thoughtfulness, reflection, history, and gardening will love. She is the writer and the narrator, and she's done a wonderful job at both, as she tells the tale of the garden she creates and the land upon which she brings it to life.

It was especially nice listening to this as I worked in my own garden. I wish there were more from her.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Mr. Churchill's Secretary

  • A Maggie Hope Novel, Book 1
  • By: Susan Elia MacNeal
  • Narrated by: Donada Peters
  • Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,956
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,743
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,748

London, 1940: Winston Churchill has just been sworn in, war rages across the Channel, and the threat of a Blitz looms larger by the day. But none of this deters Maggie Hope. She graduated at the top of her college class and possesses all the skills of the finest minds in British intelligence, but her gender qualifies her only to be the newest typist at No. 10 Downing Street. Her indefatigable spirit and gifts for codebreaking, though, rival those of even the highest men in government, and Maggie finds that working for the prime minister affords her a level of clearance she could never have imagined....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyed This New Author For Me.

  • By Electic Chef on 11-19-12

Did Not Hold My Interest

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

Reviewed: 09-18-17

Fell asleep the first 6 times I tried listening. On the 7th try, got past killing, within minutes, of the first character introduced.

Then met Maggie Hope, who I assume was going to be the main character. Found her unlikeable, which is odd, considering I fully support her feminist cause. Not sure, but I think it was the narrator's fault for giving Maggie a very unpleasant, grating, inauthentic Southern accent.

Could not imagine getting through 9 more hours of this. Will be returning as soon as I post this review. (Previously learned the annoying fact that you can't review after returning a book.)

  • With Amusement for All

  • A History of American Popular Culture since 1830
  • By: LeRoy Ashby
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 33 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 64
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 56

With Amusement for All is the first comprehensive history of two centuries of mass entertainment in the United States, covering everything from the penny press to Playboy, the NBA to NASCAR, big band to hip hop, and other topics including film, comics, television, sports, and music. Paying careful attention to matters of race, gender, class, economics, and politics, LeRoy Ashby emphasizes the complex ways in which popular culture simultaneously reflects and transforms American culture.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So Much Fun!

  • By Paul on 11-28-13

Interesting Info, Poor Narration

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

Reviewed: 05-09-17

There was a lot of interesting info about the history of amusement in America and the related sociological implications. Sports, theater, film, Television, and video games, etc. were covered. Unfortunately, the narrator was unsatisfactory. Aside from the annoying mispronunciations and outright errors, he was stiff and unconvincing, not seeming to get the material he was reading. The overall quality of the narration was so disappointing that it basically ruined the book for me.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Can't Buy Me Love

  • By: Jonathan Gould
  • Narrated by: Richard Aspel
  • Length: 29 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58

Nearly 20 years in the making, Can't Buy Me Love is a masterful work of group biography, cultural history, and musical criticism. That the Beatles were an unprecedented phenomenon is a given. Here Jonathan Gould seeks to explain why, placing the Fab Four in the broad and tumultuous panorama of their time and place, rooting their story in the social context that girded both their rise and their demise.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Light on gossip, rich on context

  • By Tad Davis on 10-29-13

Ruined by the Narrator!

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

Reviewed: 01-23-16

I've read just about every Beatles book ever written, and I thought after Mark Lewisohn's All These Years: Tune In there would be little else to say. But Gould makes some interesting points about the Beatles in the context of British and American culture at the time.

Sadly, the narrator has made this book almost impossible to listen to. He has what I suppose is a British accent. Well, I've never met a British accent I didn't like. Until I heard Richard Aspel, that is.

It's an odd and irritating accent he's got. His voice is quite strident, nasal, and somewhat pedantic. But one of its most prominent and annoying features is his pronunciation of "or" words. For instance, he says the word "four" like this: foo-wuh. And not subtly, but very distinctly. "More" is moo-wuh. It's just weird!

Even worse, though, is his mispronunciation of three words very important to the Beatles story, and thus repeated frequently. Those words: Epstein, Mimi, and NEMS.

Would it have killed him to do a little research and find out how those involved in the story pronounced those words at the time? I think it's insulting and unforgivable that he didn't.

Brian Epstein was was adamant that his name be pronounced EP-STINE, not EP-STEEEN, as Aspel does. Listen to any Beatle or anyone who was close to them pronounce the name and it's quite clear that Aspel is wrong.

As for his pronunciation of John's Aunt's name--seriously, who says Mim-Eee?! There are hours and hours of audio in which John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and others close to her are heard pronouncing her name as MEE-Mee. Not MIM-ee. Jeez!

Finally, Brian Epsteins family record business, North End Music Stores. Anyone who knows the first thing about the Beatles' early years know that the the store was known by the acronym NEMS, pronounced Nems. Not En-Eee-Em-Ess, as Aspel does. Every freaking time.

En-Eee-Em-Ess. En-Eee-Em-Ess. En-Eee-Em-Ess! Arrrrrggghhh!

Just inexcusable.

If I'd listened to this when I first got it, I'd be returning it. But it's too late now.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Beach

  • The History of Paradise on Earth
  • By: Lena Lencek, Gideon Gideon
  • Narrated by: Nadia May
  • Length: 13 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

Here for the first time is the full story of the seashore: its natural and social history, spectacles, and scandals. The turquoise surf and sugary sand of the beach make it a favorite retreat today, but this wasn't always so. The oceans of antiquity engendered contradictory feelings. Greek and Roman myths filled it with bellicose monsters and alluring sirens. Medieval Europeans feared immersion in water.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful and Mostly True Tales of the Seaside

  • By Sarah on 07-08-15

Wonderful and Mostly True Tales of the Seaside

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

Reviewed: 07-08-15

Ocean beaches are my favorite places on earth. And earth is my favorite place in the universe. So, perhaps it was inevitable that I reveled in hearing about the geographic diversity amongst the littoral regions of our world and about the variety of ways in which assorted peoples over time have related to the seashore.

I loved being transported to to such times and places as the seaside villas of the ancient Greeks, Victorian England's bathing-machine-strewn stands, and Miami Beach in the early days of the Art Deco building boom.

I very much enjoyed learning about the history of seaside accommodation, bathing attire, beach etiquette, entertainment, and the like. The audiobook version was enhanced by the expert narration in the mellifluous voice of Nadia May.

I was very disappointed to hear that some of the scientific information about the formation of beaches is inaccurate (One point off of story for this). However, that section is but a small portion of this book, as this table of contents shows.

Acknowledgments
Foreword
Introduction
No Man and the Sea
The Beach of Antiquity
Poised for the Plunge
Revolution on the Beach
Spirituality and Romance Come to the Beach
The Discreet Charms of the Bourgeois Beach
The Pleasure Beach
Swimmingly at the Beach
Sun on the Beach
Engineering Paradise
Castaways
Paradise Found (and Lost)
Paradises by the Sea
Bibliography
Index

I have re-listened to portions of this book many times and continue to find it a joy.

  • The Father of Hollywood

  • By: Gaelyn Whitley Keith
  • Narrated by: Shawna Windom
  • Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

The world has been fascinated by Hollywood, California, for years. The glamour, the sophistication, the scandal - the world can't help but follow the happenings of this incredible city. It is a city where stories are created, stories that come to life on a screen and allow viewers the chance to escape their everyday lives for a bit. But few people know the story of how Hollywood came to be.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting but Gushy

  • By KitV on 02-12-17

Horrible narration knocks OK book down a peg.

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

Reviewed: 03-31-14

Would you try another book from Gaelyn Whitley Keith and/or Shawna Windom?

Only if I were really mad at myself. The narration was among the worst I've ever heard. And the story, while somewhat interesting, is told as if the main character, Hobart Johnstone Whitley, were far more interesting and important than he actually was. The author is Whitley's great granddaughter, and she is massively over-impressed by her ancestor's life and character. She describes relatively ordinary and common characteristics and actions as if they were profoundly extraordinary.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Father of Hollywood?

I most remember how astonishingly bad the narration was.

Would you be willing to try another one of Shawna Windom’s performances?

Absolutely not! Judging by the atrocious narration, I thought for sure this book was read by a family member of the author. I was shocked to see that Windom the list of her narrations on Audible.com. stretches to 13 pages. (Then again, the general quality of the material on that list supports my suspicion that Windom is not a top shelf talent.) Windom reads this book with the intensely annoying habit of frequently using pauses where there should be none. Worse yet, instead of simply taking a quick pause for breath, she inflects her voice as if she were at the end of a meaningful phrase. I can't recall a specific example from the book (I must have blocked it out for sanity's sake), but here's what I mean. One would hear, "No one in the family knew that he had been dying. His hair for years." Sometimes it was just annoying, but more often than not, over and over again, the incorrect pauses and inflections are jarring, disconcerting, and confusing.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No.

Any additional comments?

I very seldom quit a book once I've started reading or listening, so I toughed it out to discover some mildly interesting information about Whitby, his wife, and their minor contribution to the development of California. But, I was very close many times to giving up so as to escape the aggravation of Windom's exasperating incompetence.