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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.


All Quiet on the Western Front [CD] (Audiobook)
All Quiet on the Western Front [CD] (Audiobook)
Author: Erich Maria Remarque
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 7/12/2019


One of the most riveting and sobering audiobooks on war I've ever listened to. The narrator is perfection. This account of war sounds so real, like you're on the front lines and feeling what these very young men feel. I read this book in high school in the 80's and remember it as being the only book that ever made me cry, up to that point in my life. It was time to read it again.


American Hostage: A Memoir of a Journalist Kidnapped in Iraq and the Remarkable Battle to Win His Release (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Review Date: 4/28/2020


Will keep you on the edge of your seat.


American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
Review Date: 1/31/2015
Helpful Score: 2


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 4.3/5 Stars.
 8
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.


And When She Was Good (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
Review Date: 3/27/2020


This book was enjoyable, and fairly realistic. I came to care about the characters, and the narrator on the audiobook, Linda Edmond, was perfection. This would make a great summer read. My first love isn't fiction, however, this one was a page turner. I'll be looking for more Laura Lippman books in the future.


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.


Angelina: An Unauthorized Biography
Angelina: An Unauthorized Biography
Author: Andrew Morton
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 10/19/2020


I've never been a big fan of Angelina's. I was always just more curious about her. She seemed so weird and her interviews so full of enticing "news" that beg the viewer for immediate shock and attention. She's seemed like THE definition of a media whore to me. This book did little to change that opinion, however, now I understand more WHY Angelina is the way she is. She comes from a long line of media whores, each one maneuvering ever more slyly than the next to make headlines without the others knowing where the info came from. I used to be a big fan of Brad Pitt. After reading this book, that has waned. I never knew of his drug use before now and I'm very sad to learn of it. Billy Bob Thornton comes out of this book less scathed than I'd anticipated and seems more normal than all the rest to me now. This book is well-written, well-researched, and thorough. My takeaway is that I will be praying mightily for those six children of Angelina's. They're going to need it.


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!


As Texas Goes...: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
Review Date: 4/4/2020


As a proud Texan, I love any book about Texas. I thought this one would be no different. The jacket described what I expected to be a fun, smart view of the state I love, but with a sarcastic tone. I could not have been more wrong as I was not prepared for the drippingly snarkified dislike of my beloved state, emboldened by charts, graphs, and facts of every embarrassing thing ever to happen in the great state. The author has done her research into all things political and come up with Texans being the biggest bunch of boot-wearing, ten-gallon hat wearing blowhards west of the Mississippi. My hackles rightfully cemented up after chapter after chapter denegrating our politicians, our policies, and our often right-leaning stances on important issues, I was actually worn plum out by the end of the book. In defense of my birthplace, I can only hope Gail Collins' fans can look forward to 49 more books in the future with at least as much snark, sarcasm, and negativity as Texas received, about their own beloved states. Don't tell me if she does write them, I won't read them. No one needs that kind of negativity in their life.


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 Beatles: The  Biography
The Beatles: The Biography
Author: Bob Spitz
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 4/4/2020


I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. The history behind so many of The Beatles songs was fascinating to learn and took me down memory lane like no book ever has. Being born in the mid-60's, I missed much of the Beatles early years and had no idea they'd started out singing a lot of American songs by Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Ray Charles, and Elvis. I was sad to learn that they didn't get along very well toward the end. I'd always heard that Yoko was the reason for the band's break up, but that isn't the way this story is told. It was a long time in coming with many years of pent up emotions on all sides. I recommend this book to anyone whether you loved or hated the Beatles. There's something for everyone here.


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.


Between You and Me: A MEMOIR WITH 82-MINUTE DVD
Between You and Me: A MEMOIR WITH 82-MINUTE DVD
Author: Mike Wallace
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 3/6/2020


This audiobook was in a stack I wasn't particularly anxious to listen to and had passed it over several times for something more fun like romance or cutesy fiction. I finally decided to just see what it was about and it didn't disappoint at all. Mike Wallace's voice is so familiar, a voice from my childhood as well as adulthood. I used to watch "60 Minutes" whenever possible and his voice just wraps around a story like a nice warm blanket in the middle of winter. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and all of the inside stories to the ones I'd seen on the TV show. I was kind of bummed when the book ended, only to be pleasantly surprised that there was a DVD at the end. I'll be watching that next. Thanks Mike Wallace for another wonderful piece of fine journalism. I enjoyed this book far more than I expected I would.


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.


Blackbird : A Childhood Lost And  Found
Blackbird : A Childhood Lost And Found
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 11/17/2019


To say I enjoyed this book sounds all wrong. It's not a book you enjoy. The story is real and heartbreaking. The writing is good and riveting. I didn't want the book to end. I need to know what happens next. The cadence of the author's voice on the audiobook seems fast to begin with, but makes sense as the book unfolds. As a mother, my heart cried for the little girl in the story who had to be tougher than she would've been, grown up faster than she should have had to, and street-smart out of necessity. I just wanted to grab her, hold and hug her, take her home, and show her what good parenting, affection, and true love looks like. I wanted to give her a chance to be a kid.


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