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N. Rogers

San Antonio, TX, USA
  • 77
  • reviews
  • 432
  • helpful votes
  • 311
  • ratings
  • Becoming

  • By: Michelle Obama
  • Narrated by: Michelle Obama
  • Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 14,840
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 13,696
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 13,609

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites listeners into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Didn't know what I was getting into

  • By Kenneth Woodward on 12-05-18

My Words are Inadequate...

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

Reviewed: 12-11-18

I didn't think it was possible to admire and appreciate Michelle Obama more than I already did. But that was before I listened to her read this wonderful, thoughtful, and revealingly honest memoir. She is brilliant, educated, and poised, but more importantly, she is honorable and devoted to helping others gain these attributes as well. Like most women, she also struggled to find balance among the multitude of demands and priorities of her busy world, and she often resented the intrusions that political considerations thrust into her personal and family life. Yet she took stock, inhaled deeply, and then thoughtfully adjusted to her reality while never surrendering her own goals and aspirations.

This narrative encompasses her childhood, adolescence, the bloom of love, and the reality of a long, committed marriage while career and child-raising competed fiercely for her finite time and energy. Her book relates a journey of growth, one that continues on with more adjustments and changes to come. She opens herself in ways that few others do when they relate their lives to others. I suspect that her personal narration of this book made it more meaningful. To me it felt like an honest conversation, flowing easily until closing in the present with a promise of hope for the future--her future, that of her loved ones, and of her country.

The contrast between the Obamas--all of them--and the present inhabitants of the White House could not be more stark even though she doesn't draw distinctions in this book. She clearly has no respect for the likes of Donald Trump, but she does not dwell upon this. Rather, she focuses on the values gifted to her by her loving family in earliest childhood. She shares these and offers them to all of us. She seeks to awaken in us our better angels through the example of her journey, not a perfect life at all, but one in which each individual strives to be better through the process of continually becoming...

  • Pompeii

  • A Novel
  • By: Robert Harris
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,799
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 833
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 835

All along the Mediterranean coast, the Roman Empire's richest citizens are relaxing in their luxurious villas, enjoying the last days of summer. But the carefree lifestyle and gorgeous weather belie an impending cataclysm, and only one man is worried. The young engineer Marcus Attilius Primus has just taken charge of the Aqua Augusta, the enormous aqueduct that brings fresh water to a quarter of a million people in nine towns around the Bay of Naples. His predecessor has disappeared.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brought my visit to Pompeii back to life

  • By Marty-Seattle on 12-11-03

Enjoyed This One

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

Reviewed: 12-04-18

I enjoyed this historical novel a great deal. It was well-researched and brought to life the events surrounding the unexpected eruptions of Vesuvius in AD 79 and their aftermath. Descriptions of homes and baths inhabited and visited the characters, actual and fictional, matched my reading of the archeological ruins of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other nearby ancient towns. The eruption and events preceding it were told from the perspective of a fictional character, the engineer who was sent from Rome to inspect the Augustine aqueduct.

My interest remained high throughout the novel even though I knew from the beginning that these cities were doomed--a credit to the author's narrative skill. Because of this and the authenticity of the setting as well as its natural history, I plan to seek out and listen to more books by this author, hopefully narrated also by John Lee.

  • Meditations

  • By: Marcus Aurelius, George Long - translator, Duncan Steen - translator
  • Narrated by: Duncan Steen
  • Length: 5 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,155
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,668
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,625

One of the most significant books ever written by a head of State, the Meditations are a collection of philosophical thoughts by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121 - 180 ce). Covering issues such as duty, forgiveness, brotherhood, strength in adversity and the best way to approach life and death, the Meditations have inspired thinkers, poets and politicians since their first publication more than 500 years ago. Today, the book stands as one of the great guides and companions - a cornerstone of Western thought.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excelent reading of an excellent classic

  • By David on 10-22-16

I Guess I'm Not a Philosopher...

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

Reviewed: 12-04-18

I was so disappointed! One of my very favorite quotes (It's on religion.) is from Marcus Aurelius, and he has been heralded as a "philosopher king." He is included among the Five Good Emperors of ancient Rome. I had high hopes, but alas, I am not a philosopher. I may value short passages gleaned from the works of such thinkers but I have no patience for the intricate, abstract logic of philosophy. I am more earthly, more practical, more concrete in my thinking and actions. This is not necessarily a good thing, just a reality.

I painfully endured all 5 hours of this audiobook and didn't even hear my favorite Aurelius quote. It must be from one of his other writings. I'm not warning others from Meditations. Many readers loved it. It simply wasn't for me.

  • The Fellowship of the Ring

  • Book One in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
  • By: J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Narrated by: Rob Inglis
  • Length: 19 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 30,162
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,574
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 27,673

The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume in the trilogy, tells of the fateful power of the One Ring. It begins a magnificent tale of adventure that will plunge the members of the Fellowship of the Ring into a perilous quest and set the stage for the ultimate clash between the powers of good and evil.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • At last - The Definitive Recording!

  • By L. N. on 10-10-12

Well, I Tried...Now I Know...

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

Reviewed: 10-28-18

I'm sorry, but I really did not enjoy this book. I tried to like it because it is so widely acclaimed. Yet somehow it simply bored me. I don't find fault with the author or readers who love it. The issue is with me, not them. I found all of the Star Wars films unwatchable and always fell asleep during the interminable battle scenes, laser lights nowithstanding. We all know just how weird that sounds considering the great popularity of that series.

This book was the same kind of experience for me. I forced myself to finish it because I was sure I would change my opinion by the the end. Sadly, I did not. But I've done my duty now and don't feel an obligation to complete the Trilogy or suffer through the movies. Usually fantasy is not my genre, although I did read and enjoy all five of the Song of Ice and Fire books. I guess I cared more about the characters and connected with them.

Many people love this Trilogy, so I encourage others to give it a try. I did, and I'm glad because it is such an important cultural element. Now I know...

  • Medical School for Everyone: Emergency Medicine

  • By: Roy Benaroch, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Roy Benaroch
  • Length: 11 hrs and 49 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 703
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 644
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 640

In Dr. Benaroch's 24 lectures, experience for yourself the high-stakes drama and medical insights of life in an everyday emergency department: the most intense department in any hospital and home to the kind of split-second decision making, troubleshooting, and detective work that can make the difference between a patient's life and death.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If you're into this sort of thing....

  • By Norman B. Bernstein on 11-27-15

You Really Do Not Want to be First!

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

Reviewed: 10-24-18

This audiobook is part of the Great Courses series and is composed of 24 lectures of about 30 minutes each. The lectures take the listener on shifts in the ER, or other closely related environment, where patients present with problems and the doctor goes through a series of steps to find the cause of distress in order to provide relief.

Of course this is not designed to make physicians out of the listeners, but it can help us all be better consumers of care in the Emergency setting or elsewhere. I learned, for example, that the last thing anyone wants is to be the patient in the waiting area who is quickly ushered into the back for immediate treatment. This is because in the ED (Emergency Department), the sickest patients, those in most danger of imminent death, are the ones who receive treatment ahead of less emergent cases. So having to wait for care, while annoying, is actually a very good thing.

This was an excellent audiobook, interesting and informative. Most of the Great Courses offerings are of high quality, and this one is no exception.

  • The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition

  • By: Margaret Atwood, Valerie Martin - essay
  • Narrated by: Claire Danes, full cast, Margaret Atwood
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,982
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,048
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,982

After a violent coup in the United States overthrows the Constitution and ushers in a new government regime, the Republic of Gilead imposes subservient roles on all women. Offred, now a Handmaid tasked with the singular role of procreation in the childless household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife, can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost everything, even her own name.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT

  • By ambER on 04-20-17

Distressing and Traumatic

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

Reviewed: 10-13-18

I have avoided this book for years with good reason. I sensed that it would strike forcefully at too many of my vulnerabilities, but that it would be well-crafted enough to hit home hard in ways that would not be good for me. I had to read this novel for an upcoming book club discussion, so at nearly the last minute, I listened to the 12 hour audiobook. Unfortunately, it was as distressing as I had feared, similar psychologically to enduring invasive surgery without the benefit of anesthesia. I finished the audiobook in less than two days because I wanted to do this thing, and to be done with it.

Margaret Atwood did a masterful job, presenting her readers with the worse of all possible worlds to come. Unfortunately because of the reality occurring in the present, I can not avoid being profoundly impacted as my daily observations and the fictional dystopia of this novel collide and continue to resonate. I fear that the echoes of Atwood’s creation will continue to reverberate for a long time, however I may attempt to cleanse myself of them.

Although I hated listening to this book on a personal level, I must rate it at 5 stars—not because I enjoyed it or found it uplifting, but because I can not escape the truth of its warning message. It indeed qualifies as “Amazing,” even if not in a positive way for me. The impact was powerful because The Handmaid’s Tale is so brilliant and believable. The characters are complex, even sympathetic, and thus more terrifying than any stereotyped villains or heroes. I have met these people in my life, and I see them on the news every day.

Atwood states that everything in her novel has actually happened somewhere and at some time in human history. And that is what makes this book so chilling and memorable; it also explains why I had wisely avoided it for as long as I have. I’m sure many astute, intelligent people will disagree with me strongly on my reaction, and they won’t be wrong. It will simply mean that we have different areas of vulnerability. I often seek challenging books of fiction and non-fiction, but for me this was the hardest and most traumatic of any I can remember.

  • Emma

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Jane Austen, Anna Lea - adaptation
  • Narrated by: Emma Thompson, Joanne Froggatt, Isabella Inchbald, and others
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,390
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,657
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,603

This Audible Original production of Jane Austen’s Emma is narrated by Emma Thompson (Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy and BAFTA winner, Love Actually, Harry Potter, Sense and Sensibility), with a full supporting cast including Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey, Liar), Morgana Robinson (The Windsors, Walliams & Friend, Morgana Robinson's the Agency), Aisling Loftus (Mr Selfridge, War & Peace), Joseph Millson (Casino Royale, The Sarah Jane Adventures), Alexa Davies (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) and rising star Isabella Inchbald as our eponymous heroine.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • More of a Radio Drama than an audiobook

  • By Cyberlucy on 09-11-18

Not a Jane Austen Groupie, I Guess...

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

Listening to this made me grateful to be living as a woman in the present rather than back in England's Regency Period. Emma's life, and the lives of other privileged females, was filled with such unimportant trivia and nonsense that I would have gone totally mad. (And apparently many women did. Who can blame them?)

I usually don't read abridged versions of books, but in this case I am grateful for the shortened dramatic presentation of this long Austen novel. I'm not sure I could have persisted with the original. The dramatic performances saved this for me enough that I was able to limp along to reach the contrived end where Emma suddenly "sees the light" and matures enough to recognize the value and superior judgement of the always steady and faithful Mr. Knightley. Good grief!!

So I judged this production to be 3 Stars overall, mostly due to the excellent production by Audible. It will be a while before I subject myself to another Jane Austen novel in any form. (If ever.)I guess I'm simply not a fan.

  • The Hobbit

  • By: J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Narrated by: Rob Inglis
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35,595
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,122
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,342

Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Finally! Thank you Audible!

  • By Bryan J. Peterson on 10-20-12

My Introduction to Tolkien

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Generally, I am not a reader of fantasy, so I didn't absolutely LOVE this book. But it's a classic, and I decided it was high time that I experience some J.R.R. Tolkien. The Hobbit is considered the prequel to his acclaimed Lord of the Rings trilogy. Besides, audible had it on sale this week along with the first book of the trilogy. So I took the plunge, bought The Hobbit, and gave it a try before purchasing the longer, more complex book.

I found this one entertaining but not profound. It followed the predictable format of a mythical, magical quest tale. I liked it enough to go ahead and make my second acquisition of a Tolkien book. After all, the trilogy was one of our son's favorite books in late childhood and early adolescence. It's high time I find out what it's about.

I may or may not continue through the entire trilogy. As I mentioned before, fantasy is not my favored genre so the book will have to have more to teach me than this one did for me to invest the time required to continue and complete this saga.

  • How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog)

  • Visionary Scientists and a Siberian Tale of Jump-Started Evolution
  • By: Lyudmila Trut, Lee Alan Dugatkin
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 474
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 441
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 442

Tucked away in Siberia, there are furry, four-legged creatures with wagging tails and floppy ears that are as docile and friendly as any lapdog. But, despite appearances, these are not dogs - they are foxes. They are the result of the most astonishing experiment in breeding ever undertaken - imagine speeding up thousands of years of evolution into a few decades. In 1959, biologists Dmitri Belyaev and Lyudmila Trut set out to do just that, by starting with a few dozen silver foxes from fox farms in the USSR and attempting to recreate the evolution of wolves into dogs in real time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome story, fantastic book!

  • By Illyria on 11-21-17

Fascinating!

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

Reviewed: 07-26-18

For many years, I have been fascinated with the research done in the Soviet Union, and later in Russia, on selective breeding of foxes while using only the single trait of toleration for humans as the selection criterion. I have read what I could find on the subject since I first learned of the surprising results of this on-going 60-year study.

In 1959, biologists Dmitri Belyaev and Lyhmila Trut began a secret project with silver foxes at a time when work in genetics was forbidden in the USSR, and in doing so they risked imprisonment and/or death. The study has continued to this day over 56 generations of foxes that have become domesticated. In selecting for a single behavior, the resulting generations of originally wild foxes not only became dog-like in their affinity for humans, but they also developed seemingly unrelated characteristics such as floppy ears, piebald spots, curly tails, and longer breeding seasons.

I was thrilled to find that a book written for the popular audience on this ground-breaking work was available, so I immediately obtained the audiobook. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire detailed story of the foxes, the scientists, the changes in geopolitics that impacted the work, and the theories of how and why domestication may have occurred in the small number of species that have undergone the process.

My personal criteria for awarding a book 5 stars are: (1) It must engage me completely and (2) I must learn something of significance from the reading. For me, this book did both. Granted, I have a strong interest in genetics, dogs, and behavior of all creatures which probably makes my rating biased. But so be it.

This is not a long book, only 240 pages in printed format and a little over 7 hours as an audiobook, but I feel the author did an excellent job of making a wide scope of scientific research accessible to any of us who possess a basic understanding of biology and animal behavior. I will follow future developments in the fox domestication research project with great interest.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • SPQR

  • A History of Ancient Rome
  • By: Mary Beard
  • Narrated by: Phyllida Nash
  • Length: 18 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,442
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,221
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,195

In SPQR, world-renowned classicist Mary Beard narrates the unprecedented rise of a civilization that even 2,000 years later still shapes many of our most fundamental assumptions about power, citizenship, responsibility, political violence, empire, luxury, and beauty.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Reexamination of the History of Rome

  • By Christopher on 12-17-15

Failed to Engage Me

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

Reviewed: 03-18-18

This book has excellent content, and it provided me a general outline of Roman history and significance of what occurred during its first millennia. I am interested in the subject and was eager to learn more about it. However, the style and organization of the book failed to engage me. I often had to jog myself back into the narrative as my attention wandered. For me, the book lacked flow and continuity, but of course, that is a personal observation rather than a truly objective one.

To be fair, I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could because it is probably better than 3 stars, especially in terms of scholarship. But I cannot honestly say that I "really liked it" enough to go with 4 stars. The fault may be entirely mine, but it is what it is. Simply put, I expected to enjoy this book more than I actually did, and I don't believe the problem was with the subject matter alone.

However, I did learn, and therefore this book was worth the time I invested in it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful