Becky - Reviews

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17 Carnations: The Royals, the Nazis, and the Biggest Cover-Up in History
Review Date: 6/2/2017


Excellent book. The author has done an amazing amount of research for this important story. The book was interesting and captivating from the first chapter. I feel like I know the characters personally after reading this.


After Camelot: A Personal History of the Kennedy Family--1968 to the Present
Review Date: 2/12/2016


This was the most thorough book I've ever read/listened to on the Kennedy family. The high highs and low lows this family has experienced are incredibly touching. This tale of American "royalty" has so many twists and turns that you don't want to miss a moment of it. The audio book consists of 18 CD's - it's a LOT! But, it's worth it. The writer is fair, has done phenomenal research, and weaves a story of intrigue. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to any Kennedy fan.


American Sniper CD
American Sniper CD
Author: Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen, Jim DeFelice
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 1/31/2015
Helpful Score: 1


I went into this book trying to think for myself. I didn't want to buy into all the hype surrounding the book and the movie. I believe wholeheartedly in the 2nd Amendment, however as a Christian, I'm torn on war, death penalty, and anything that isn't a direct path to peace. But, that is naive thinking, unfortunately, in our world today. After listening intently to the 9 audio CD's of this book, I'm convinced Chris Kyle and his fellow servicemen and women are heroes. They love our country, for no reason other than it is their country of origin, and we have freedom. There are many other countries, religions, and people who would love to see all that end abruptly for us. I walked away from the movie bawling my head off. We are such an ungrateful country, as a whole, for the sacrifices made by our young men and women to keep us free. I felt ashamed and vowing to do better to show my gratitude to our military. I encourage you to read or listen to every word of this book. Chris Kyle and his wife Taya have written a page-turner. It will stay with you long after you are finished reading or listening.


American Soldier (Audio CD) (Abridged)
American Soldier (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Author: Tommy Franks, Malcom McConnell
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 3/3/2018


A tight well-written first person telling of history and the war on terror. Tommy Franks is a well-spoken storyteller and a level-headed leader. I was impressed with his openness, his opinions of others he's worked with, not all of them flattering, and his ability to assess a situation quickly and calmly. I am glad I was listening to the abridged version of this audiobook because by about CD number 5, I was worn out with war. I listened to at least 2/3 of the book, but by then, I was done and needed something lighter. This is a heavy duty deep dive into war stories, strategy, and the men and women who serve. My heart and soul is grateful for them and even more so now.


Angela's Ashes (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Angela's Ashes (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Author: Frank McCourt
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 6/22/2017


This is simply one of the best books I've listened to. Frank McCourt is a fantastic storyteller. I laughed at his descriptions of first love, I teared up over the tremendous losses in his life, and I felt the pangs of hunger while he described his extremely poor childhood in Ireland. My hope is to become even half the writer McCourt is. His stories seem to come alive.


Angels in Art
Angels in Art
Author: Nancy Grubb
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 1/25/2015


The photos is this book are stunning. I don't really want to let go of this book but I need more room in my bookshelf for more books!


Ask Me Again Tomorrow: A Life in Progress (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Ask Me Again Tomorrow: A Life in Progress (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Author: Olympia Dukakis
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 6/4/2018


I had hoped to gain some insight to the person who played one of my favorite characters in "Steel Magnolias", and I guess I did. I kept asking myself throughout the book if it was just me being too nitpicky, or was it the Greek heritage in her, or was it the overly dramatic actress in Olympia Dukakis that made her seem so selfish and self-absorbed. I really liked the first chapter, but it all seemed to go downhill from there. She seems completely enamored with herself, her feelings, her work, and...well, herself. I had to make myself listen to the final CD in this book because I was just worn out by that time. Surely, surely I've read too much into this and missed the mark somehow. I'm really hoping that's the case.


Audacious
Audacious
Author: Beth Moore
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 11/6/2017


Beth Moore has the enthusiasm and verve of an excited high school cheerleader who was just named Homecoming Queen. I don't think I've ever listened to anyone talk about Jesus, the Bible, and how to enjoy all the gifts those two things can bring into our lives with more vigor or perfect diction. Ms. Moore, with her sweet voice, southern drawl, and ability to make a funny story even more funny, is a delight to listen to on this audiobook. She makes me wish we could spend a girl's weekend together with our closest dozen big-haired Texas friends somewhere on a beach telling funny stories about church camp, mispronounced words, and song lyrics we got wrong for thirty years. While she's reading this book for the audio version, I can literally picture her laughing till her sides ache and I want to be there too. This is a wonderfully uplifting book for any one, but especially women, who want to be their best and serve a big God. Ms. Moore is even more delightful in the many ways that she is real. She does not try to be something she's not and admits to her many flaws and how she's come to this place in her life that this book was created. I enjoyed this book and hope you will too.


The Awakening of H.K. Derryberry: My Unlikely Friendship with the Boy Who Remembers Everything
Review Date: 5/2/2018


This was a beautiful insightful book about friendship, and how it can become the greatest treasure between two unlikely people. I greatly enjoyed reading about HK and Jim, and the bond they forged. I feel this was one of the purest relationships I've ever read about. There were no assumptions made between the two, no expectations, no regrets, and no hidden agendas. If only everyone in the world could approach relationships like that. The parts about HK's incredible memory was just a bonus.


The Best of Friends CD: Martha and Me
The Best of Friends CD: Martha and Me
Author: Mariana Pasternak
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 6/28/2015
Helpful Score: 1


What a load of...well, being a lady, I will say "fertilizer". This book is written by one of the most narcissistic people I've ever read. To read it, one would begin to believe that Mariana Pasternak wasn't actually present in her own life. That she is a mere victim of circumstance and happenings in a world that made decisions for her. Again, I say, what a load of horse manure. The entire book has an air of "I've done Martha a favor by being her friend." Ick. Pfft. I can't stand it when people like this do not take accountability for their own actions. She would have us believe that Martha Steward acts like a horny teenager bedding down with every single man she came in contact with, and then began to envision marrying them. She would also have us believe that Martha Stewart made her take lavish trips, buy lavish homes, attend lavish parties, because well, poor poor Martha has no other friends, and needed Ms. Pasternak so badly. What a load of chicken poop. I'm sure that Martha Stewart is not the easiest person in the world to get along with, just based on watching her show. But, I seriously doubt that Martha was in dire straits in the friendship department to the extent told by this self-serving drivel. My hope is that anyone who knows Ms. Pasternak walks a wide circle around her, or you may be the subject of her next tell-all book. Ms. Paternak has serious delusions if she thinks that writing a book of this nature could ever lead to a true friendship with anyone again. She acts like she didn't write any of this to hurt Martha, that she is completely guilt-free of any wrongdoing regarding the friendship, and that we are supposed to actually believe she knew nothing about the insider information for which Martha went to jail. I call bull-hockey on Ms. Pasternak. I have not one shred of pity or respect for this woman. Not one.


Big Girl (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Big Girl (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Author: Danielle Steel, Kathleen McInerney (Narrator)
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 4/26/2015


This book would make a great summer vacation read. Victoria is a smart, thoughtful girl unlike anyone in her family, and has always felt different. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, but finds her home away from home in New York City. Her quest to find herself means she has to overcome all the negative messages she's been given about her weight, her looks, and her self-image from both of her parents. Her entire life from a very young age to adulthood is fraught with subtle and not-so-subtle comments about being a "big girl". This book will resonate with anyone who has ever felt like they lived a life on the diet roller coaster. It's somewhat of a coming-of-age story with a sweet ending. You will find yourself cheering Victoria on to realize just how special she really is.


The Black Tulip, with eBook (Tantor Unabridged Classics)
The Black Tulip, with eBook (Tantor Unabridged Classics)
Author: Alexandre Dumas
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/3/2017


This was one of the more unusual audio books I've ever listened to. It wasn't until I finished it did I realize it was written in the 1850's. The language is formal and at first hard to follow, but eventually my ear got used to it and I liked it quite a bit. You can't help but cheer on the latter Cornelius and the jailer's daughter Rosa through their many ups and downs. I found this to be an enjoyable book and now will have to find out if a black tulip is a real thing or a figment of the author's imagination.


Change of Heart
Change of Heart
Author: Jodi Picoult
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 451
Review Date: 3/23/2016


This was my second Jodi Picoult book, and I really liked it. This story made me think about the death penalty deeper than I ever had before. Picoult weaves an interesting tale that kept my interest and deeply touched my heart. There are so many true victims in this saga. Even though this book was a big one, I found myself not wanting it to end.


Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive and Count Your Blessings
Review Date: 5/18/2015


I listened to this on audio CD. It lasted 1 hour and 10 minutes, which means it only has about 3 or 4 of 101 inspirational stories. I did not buy this new, so I'm not sure if there were more CD's that went with it, or if it was sold the way I got it from PaperbackSwap.com. All in all, they were great stories and inspirational. I would recommend this book, however short it may be.


The Choice (Audio CD) (Abridged)
The Choice (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Author: Nicholas Sparks, Holter Graham (Narrator)
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 44
Review Date: 12/8/2017


This was a sweet story with a couple of twists and turns I didn't expect. A typical Nicholas Sparks novel with well-developed characters and a pleasant flow.


Citizens Creek (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
Review Date: 1/14/2018


Excellent, well-written book with strong characters I cared about. A rich story of family history, secrets, and deep betrayals that keep you glued to the audiobook. A beautiful tapesty of several generations of Native Americans and African Americans woven so seamlessly, you'll be sad the book is over. I highly recommend this one to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or nonfiction.


Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage
Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 12/6/2015


Wow. This book reads like a dissertation on marriage. It has so many facts, polls, statistics, and basic knowledge about marriage, I felt like I'd taken a class on all the pros and cons of saying "I do". Gilbert does an excellent job of research and knows her subject well. I loved this book and found myself rooting for she and Felipe to find mad, crazy love with each other and marriage itself. I want them to live happily ever after, and after reading about their unbelievable journey to the altar, I have no doubt they will!


The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
Review Date: 10/23/2015


This book is absolutely flawless. I'm becoming a huge Erik Larson fan. HIs research is thorough and intense. His writing is absolute perfection. I felt like I was there, at the Chicago's World's Fair, watching this story come alive. This book is so much more than just a story of H. H. Holmes. It's about the fair, the Chicago government at the time, and the architecture of the day. This is the third Erik Larson book I've read and I see a pattern. He's enthralled with cruise ships, wireless communication as it's coming into being, and all the excitement of new beginnings at the turn of the century. I like where he's going and I intend to follow. Bravo!


A Dog Named Boo: How One Dog and One Woman Rescued Each Other?and the Lives They Transformed Along the Way
Review Date: 3/18/2018


I loved this wonderful little book about animal and human nature. The narrator Meredith Mitchell has a pleasant and calming voice, perfect for this story about dogs who also calm and bring out the best in others. I found myself cheering for Boo as he figured out his niche in the trainings the author leads for special children and adults. He reminded me so much of my own little dog Dexter, part boxer, part red heeler, and the curious way he learns new commands, and then teaches me and my husband new ways to love him even more.This is a terrific story, but also has a tremendous amount of education for anyone needing to know more about dog training. I found this to be a good resource for the philosophy behind positive reinforcement training vs. training with punishment.


"The Dog of My Nightmares: Stories Read by Texas Columnist Dave Lieber"
Review Date: 11/12/2015


I listened to the audio CD which is apparently much shorter than the hardback book by the same name. The stories are cute and Lieber is a fun storyteller. I enjoyed this audio CD and wish he had more stuff on audio. Living in the DFW Metroplex just like the author is a plus, as all the places mentioned are familiar to me.


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