Some Nathaniel Philbrick…

I had the pleasure of listening to a lecture by Mr. Philbrick in the winter of 2011 at the Mary Washington Great Lives lecture series I so often refer to in these pages. He presented on Custer and Sitting Bull and I remember being captured by the depth of the subject matter and the ease and accessibility with which it was presented to the assembly. Since then I added some of his other books to [...]

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Safe Haven…

Title: Safe Haven. Nicolas Sparks. Format: Audiobook (Unabridged). Thanks to Audible. Rating: 3.1

I like Sparks. I probably shouldn’t and I am sure that some of you out there are going to insist that I can’t possibly appreciate him but I do. I don’t mind formulaic writing if it has an agenda and does a great job of getting you there. Sparks is like that. Of course I expect the themes to be there, but [...]

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Folding Time Along the Path

Review: Pathfinder. Orson Scott Card. Format: Audio (Unabridged). Props to Audible Rating (of 5): 3.4

On the book:

Card’s got another interesting series brewing in Pathfinder. His departure from the normal take on time travel creates a baffling, but enrapturing tale. It’s hard to say just what the toughest piece of the puzzle is to sort out, but suffice it to say that you’ll find yourself thinking and rethinking passages to get it all sorted [...]

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Eustace and the Dragon

Review: Voyage of the Dawn Treader. C.S. Lewis Format: Audio (Unabridged) Rating (of 5): 4.5

Voyage of the Dawn Treader is one of my favorite Narnia stories. The redemptive power of the Savior as seen through the changes of Eustace Scrubb (so named because he “almost deserved it”) is perhaps the best illustration of how we change for the better through the power of the Atonement I can think of. The book is too perfectly [...]

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Dogs and Racing

Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain. Garth Stein. Format: Audio (Unabridged). Props to Audible. Rating (out of 5): 3.7

I can’t say that I liked the storyline a whole lot, and car racing is only academically interesting to me, so the thread of Denny’s life didn’t hold me as tight as it might some others, but the idea of writing from the dog’s point-of-view is a good one. Unique perspective on what is [...]

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Review: The Mermaid Chair

Review: The Mermaid Chair. Sue Monk Kidd. Format: Hardcover Rating (of 5): 2.2

I think the idea of the book appealed to me, and the South Carolina low country setting with its Gullah charm and wasp-sized mosquitoes drew me to the book. Unfortunately, the story of the corruption of a marriage and of a priest left the whole thing wanting. We should have dealt more with the problems of the mom and left the diving [...]

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Review: Sing Me Home

Review: Sing Me Home. Jodi Picoult. Format: Audio (Unabridged). Props to Audible. Rating (of 5): 2.0

To be honest, I was disappointed with this effort by Ms. Picoult. Where there was an opportunity to put a twist on an otherwise normal, even commonplace story about the struggles in the family, this one played out precisely as expected. And she corrupted characters who, quite frankly, could have withstood corruption without impacting e story just fine.

[...]

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Q & A

Review: Slumdog Millionaire (Q&A). Vikas Swarup. Format: Audio (Unabridged). Props to Audible. Rating (of 5): 3.9

I have not seen the film inspired by the book, so I have nothing to compare it with. However, since this is a review of the book anyway, it’s not entirely relevant anyway. I really enjoyed this one, and the interaction of what amounts to 13 short stories with intertwining plots is unique and well-done. The pace is not [...]

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Nantucket’s former glory

Review: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. Nathaniel Philbrick. Format: Audio (Unabridged). Props to Audible. Rating (of 5): 3.5

I attended a lecture several weeks back at UMW as a part of their Great Lives series. Mr. Philbrick was presenting on Custer and Sitting Bull. While the lecture was mildly interesting I was much more intrigued by his background as a yachting and sailing writer and in his National [...]

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Blowin’ but definitely not gone…

Review: Gone with the Wind. Margaret Mitchell. Format: Audio (Unabridged). Props to Audible. Rating (of 5): 4.0

I guess my rating system for books I read on audio is the amount of extra distance I add to a trip to finish a chapter, or the number of miles-per-hour below the speed limit I drive to ensure I finish the end of a chapter. As I found myself miles past my neighborhood and wandering to the [...]

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