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 4.4/5 Stars.
 4
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.


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!


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 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.
 448
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.
 43
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.


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!


"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.


Edge of Eternity (Century Trilogy, Bk 3)
Edge of Eternity (Century Trilogy, Bk 3)
Author: Ken Follett
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 8/27/2017


After listening to books one and two in the trilogy, I couldn't wait to listen to book three. Maybe it's because it was an abridged version, or maybe it's because the final paragraphs mention Obama, but this one left me wishing the author had stayed with ancient history instead of coming up into the present. All three books are excellent views into world history with an up close and personal experience, but I couldn't help but feel sad that the author put more than just a little personal spin on how our American president's have negotiated their way through the world's history instead of just telling us the story with more facts as they happened. I liked the book very much until the final chapter at which time I began to feel a bit manipulated. You will enjoy it if you are fan of Obama.


Fall of Giants (Century Trilogy, Bk 1) (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Review Date: 11/6/2015


I listened to this book on audio CD. What an amazing story. Everything I never knew about WWI is wrapped up in this book! At times I found myself wondering where the truth ended and the fiction began. It is so historically accurate and believable on every level, that you almost feel like you are there. There are a LOT of characters, but I found myself really enjoying the character development and cheering for the underdogs. I especially loved the story of the two Russian brothers and how different their lives turned out. I did not see that coming in the beginning. This book is heavy on history, which I found delightful. I love it when a great story also teaches you something. I highly recommend this book. Don't let the size of the book or the number of CD's discourage you. It is a great read and worth the time!


Fall on Your Knees (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Fall on Your Knees (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Author: Ann-Marie MacDonald, Nikki James (Reader)
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 7/3/2015


This book was confusing to me. I felt the story of the sisters was interesting enough, but didn't understand the reason for the incest. The character development of the father never tells us why he would do such a thing. It's easy enough to figure out why all the girls turn out the way they do, but I was left with a big question mark about the whole reason for the book to begin with. This book was uncomfortable in places, although I never felt like there was action or drama just for the sake of creating action or drama to make the book more interesting. It all fit, and I found myself really feeling sorry for the girls, especially Francis. I usually have very specific feelings about a book when I'm done with it, but this one has left me with more questions than answers, especially regarding the father and Lilly.


A Farewell to Arms
A Farewell to Arms
Author: Ernest Hemingway
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 10/17/2015


What a beautiful love story. I greatly enjoyed this audio CD and the narrator's voice was perfect for this novel. I have read "The Old Man and the Sea" and was not impressed with it, although that was many years ago. I might feel differently now. I felt it was extremely depressing, so I was nervous to purchase this title. I recently went on a cruise that had a port of call in Key West, FL. We took the shore excursion to tour Ernest Hemingway's Key West home. The house is very mid-century modern and the story of Hemingway's life is interesting. We learned this book "A Farewell to Arms" was in part, parallel to Hemingway's life in WWI. That's when I bought my copy. I had to listen to it after taking the home tour. This is a love story closely modeled from the love affair he had with his nurse, whom he eventually married. She was one of his 3 wives. Keeping this in mind while I listened to the book made me see Hemingway in a completely different light than I had felt when reading "The Old Man and the Sea", which he wrote in a much later part of his life. I loved the writing style, and feel it probably sounds different when listening to the audio CD than it would had I read the hardcopy in my own voice in my head. The accents of the narrator were spot on, and absolutely flawless. I highly recommend this book!


Find a Way: One Wild and Precious Life
Find a Way: One Wild and Precious Life
Author: Diana Nyad
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 2/18/2016


Diana Nyad is one very strong, determined woman. This book is raw, honest, and detailed. After reading about her unbelievable determination to reach a lifelong goal, I realized a few things. I don't believe I've ever met anyone in my lifetime or experiences who has had more focus or discipline to reach a single dream. Many people get sidetracked by career, relationships, children, new goals, or tragedy. Diana had many of these same distractions, complete with highs, lows, a broken heart, or injuries, yet she always came back to the same single goal of crossing the ocean from Cuba to Florida. It was fascinating to read also how dedicated her friends, family, and crew were in helping her reach her dream. I was astonished to learn most of her teammates were volunteers, never earning a cent while working with her day in and day out, for years.

This is a very inspiring book. If you have a goal, but keep losing focus, read this book! You will find your focus!


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