Tag Archive: audible



The Great AloneThe Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Since our cruise to the inner passages of Alaska, I have been a fan of all things the ‘last frontier.’ Yes, the Kilchers show is a part of my adventures. So when this story made its way to my attention, I had to partake.

Julia Whelan, the narrator, pulled me in. She was able to act the various characters well enough to distinguish them from each other. Her males are a little stilted, but, as I said, she made it clear who was speaking.

The author writes a many-layered tale, with a bit of education mixed in with some ‘bring your Kleenex’ moments. She captures the feeling of living in a place of long summer days and a never-ending night of winter, learning to live off the land, living in a small community, being the child of an abusive parent, so many levels of the life of this young teen in Alaska. I couldn’t stop listening. This book is the reason for sleep deprivation of the week. I just couldn’t put it down.

I know I will look out for more books written by Kristen Hannah, narrated by Julia Whelan.

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The Personal LibrarianThe Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I first started reading, well, listening to this book, I think I would have rated this with three to four stars. Robin Miles, the narrator, presented Belle da Costa Greene as a snooty woman that I couldn’t relate to in any way.

Now, having finished, I am rating it five stars. Stick with it through the whole story. The authors will explain it so that the picture in your mind accepts the things that didn’t quite gel or maybe you didn’t like as you read/heard it.

I like herstorical fiction because I hate history classes. I like learning what could have happened to a woman in our past. From what I learned at the end of this book, much research went into what made a fascinating story of a possible interesting life.

More can be found in the blurb for this book. I highly recommend the read or listen to the book.

The remarkable, little-known story of Belle da Costa Greene, J.P. Morgan’s personal librarian – who became one of the most powerful women in New York despite the dangerous secret she kept in order to make her dreams come true, from ‘New York Times’ best-selling author Marie Benedict and acclaimed author Victoria Christopher Murray.

In her late 20s, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J.P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture on the New York society scene and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps build a world-class collection.

But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. She was born not Belle da Costa Greene but Belle Marion Greener. She is the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and well-known advocate for equality, Belle’s complexion isn’t dark because of her alleged Portuguese heritage that lets her pass as white – her complexion is dark because she is African American.

‘THE PERSONAL LIBRARIAN’ tells the story of an extraordinary woman, famous for her intellect, style, and wit, and shares the lengths to which she must go – for the protection of her family and her legacy – to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lives. ”

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How to Die in Space: A Journey Through Dangerous Astrophysical PhenomenaHow to Die in Space: A Journey Through Dangerous Astrophysical Phenomena by Paul Sutter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the best non-fiction book I have read in a long time! I could not put it down. Paul Sutter is an excellent teacher and author. His sense of humor rescues what could be dry hard science and keeps it fun.

I always wanted to go to outer space. Mr. Sutter might have just discouraged me with his many ways to die.

I highly recommend the Audible version as his voice is so expressive and full of fun. This might be a legit class, and this its textbook. It is a class I would have wanted to take over and over. Maybe eventually, I’d get an A. If not, I still would have loved the education that sunk in.

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Caste: The Origins of Our DiscontentsCaste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The bestselling list on CBS Sunday Morning today put Caste at #3 of non-fiction books. I usually don’t end up reading things that are on those lists. But a couple of months ago during the Unitarian Universalist Zoom worship service, this book was highly praised and gently assigned as homework for the congregation. I found it on Audible and had a free credit so went for it.

Robin Miles narrates beautifully. Her voice and acting help keep the listener engaged. Even though this was one of the longest ‘reads’ I have indulged in of late. It has taken me several weeks to get through. For some books, I set the speed faster than normal and can follow a story quite well, but I loved Ms. Miles’s voice and found myself deeply involved in the caste education Isabel Wilkerson had presented so well that I left it at normal speed.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. If you feel ‘woke’ enough that you feel this will be elementary, you will find depths of information you may have not thought of. I remember as a child at church excitedly singing “Jesus Loves the Little Children, all the children of the world; Red and yellow, black or white, they are precious in His sight…” Yet hearing we couldn’t go to a certain park because the blacks were taking over. In a child’s mind, that seemed strange and I couldn’t believe that would stop us from going to the park. We lived in a very white area. There were few kids of color in school. As a kid, I didn’t think of what that meant. As a newlywed, my husband and I made friends with a mixed couple. Through them, we attended a dance and a big picnic where there were only three whites. Us. The dance was amazing until they invited me to dance. My shyness took over big-time. I can’t dance and it was obvious that our new friends were experts. The picnic was more intimate. A couple of women had beautiful cornrows. As a cosmetologist, I was fascinated with how they did that. We weren’t taught black hairstyles in my school. These gracious ladies laid down in the grass with me and showed me how to braid grass. It still amazes me that they could get the grass to stay braided. It was so short! No, I never did get good at braiding.

Anyway, I went into this book with these life experiences behind me and hearing that song worming its way through my head wondering how people have been treated so poorly by folks that claim to be Christians. I do remember learning about India’s caste system as a young adult and thought how it seemed we weren’t far from that here. But this takes all that to such depths of understanding I was wowed every night I was involved in the book.

Please if you get the chance, give this one a read.

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Kristin Lavransdatter (Kristin Lavransdatter, #1-3)Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was the longest book I think I have ever read. It was agony. I’m glad I listened to it on Audible.

I’m sorry. I know a lot of people absolutely loved this book. Okay, it is three books in one. But it just seemed to go on and on. It was like living in that miserable time when misogynic religion ruled everyone’s life.

Still, I did like the main character and watching her make up her mind about life. I must have liked it as I couldn’t stop reading it even though I wanted to quit. The whole time I was reading, was it a month? All I could think about was trying to write a decent review. So let me lead you to a review that says what I felt better than I can. Read Rachel’s Review.

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Ready Player Two (Ready Player One, #2)Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought I loved book number one. But this one was even better. And I am not a gamer from the 80s. But my adult kids were. They met most of their friends in their games. I think they would like this. But then again, I remember enough of their games and terminology that this was serendipitous for me.

If you read the first book (or even saw the movie), you will remember that the story started fast and nearly left you breathless. This book started lots slower. Video/computer game nostalgia and reconnecting with the main characters keep that slower first part moving and interesting. But you will be left not sleeping and breathless by the end of this book.

Though I bought the Kindle version of the book and then the Audible to Whispersynch both versions. I just liked the way Wil Wheaton acted the story that I gave up reading and just listened.

I can’t wait to reread this. And wow! If there is going to be one, the movie will be even better than book number one! I hope you check it out!

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Beneath a Scarlet SkyBeneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a compelling story. I loved that I got to ‘read’ it through Audible on Kindle Unlimited. It was quite interesting.

Normally, I don’t like war stories. And my mission has been for quite some time to read female writers and female main characters. Mostly because in my early life, I only had male books to read to. I am feeding my inner child. Even so, I make exceptions. This one qualified. It is based on a true story, and I did love the main character in most of the book.

Pina is the main character, and I think I loved him because he tried so hard to help his loved ones, and then he tried to help others to safety in a world that was going wrong all around him.

I highly recommend this book, especially the Audible version. It is longer than my usual read, but It kept me up until 4 AM a couple of times. I just didn’t want to leave him to fight without me. And the story, probably because it is based in a sucky reality, stayed with me into my sleep. I pray we never have that kind of thing happen in the world again!

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The Elephant WhispererThe Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s funny what happens when you start researching a book you are writing. I have an elephant in my story, and he tells another character that his favorite book is… Well, that meant I needed to find a book for him to refer to. I looked up elephant books on Amazon, and this one came up. I chose the Audible version because I had a credit waiting for my next listen. I am not sure it is my character elephant’s favorite book. But I did enjoy it as my night read.

Simon Vance did a great job narrating this autobiography. His voice is believable as the author’s own, I suppose. I don’t know what the author sounded like, as my guess is the author passed before finishing the book. That was a little jarring.

The author shared his experiment by having a place for a herd to come and live. He shared his getting to know the elephants’ personalities personally. All in all, I did enjoy the story. I just need an elephant book more personal to the elephant and not the human. I did have my guy like Dumbo. But I need more.

If you love elephants, you will love this book.

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I Am These Truths: A Memoir of Identity, Justice, and Living Between WorldsI Am These Truths: A Memoir of Identity, Justice, and Living Between Worlds by Sunny Hostin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The View has always been as good as a cup of coffee to wake up to in the morning. I’ve watched since the inception with Barbara Walters and the rest. So I had to grab this Audible book.

I have seen Sunny Hostin grow on this show. I’ve seen her change a stance or two as she learned from the ladies or just time and news on her own. Not in a way that is wishy-washy but with knowledge and grace to see another side. To me that makes her one of the strongest women on the show. She doesn’t shout at the others, she isn’t rude to her elders. She is a shining example of what we all should be as we interact with others who might not have similar points of view.

In this book, Sunny shows us her life and how she became who she is now. I loved the whole book. I hope you get the chance to read or listen to it. Sunny narrates the Audible version and I find that makes it like she’s right in the room telling her story.

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The Bluest EyeThe Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wish I would have read this any other year but 2020. In a year I am reading to escape pain, depression and just trying to breathe through the smoke, this book took me deeper and sadder and more disturbed. I am sorry anyone has to deal with the many problems the main characters in this book had to go through. Though this was a historical fiction, much of the bigotry, and abuse goes on still.

Toni Morrison did the narration of her own book and kept the story alive. Her writing is known for the poetic prose. I did appreciate that, but I found it made the story even more disturbing. I do plan to read more of her books. But not right now.

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