Read this one as a part of a study on China with my 13-yr-old. Excellent insight into the world of China in the late 1800's. I've heard of Lottie MoonRead this one as a part of a study on China with my 13-yr-old. Excellent insight into the world of China in the late 1800's. I've heard of Lottie Moon most of my adult life but knew nothing of her story. Since my husband's great aunt became a part of her mission group in the early 1900's this was especially relevant for my family. A well-told story to include in Asian cultural studies....more
Such a delight to be back in Mma Ramotswe's world. This series is serious comfort reading for me and the characters have become old friends. I have liSuch a delight to be back in Mma Ramotswe's world. This series is serious comfort reading for me and the characters have become old friends. I have listened to several of these, expertly narrated and so now when I read the physical books I hear Lisette Lecat's voice reading to me - wonderful!...more
I, along with my youngest, just finished reading this excellent story based on a true account of Japanese fishermen who were shipwrecked in the mid 18I, along with my youngest, just finished reading this excellent story based on a true account of Japanese fishermen who were shipwrecked in the mid 1800's, rescued by an American whaling ship and tried to get back to Japan. However, because Japan at the time was entirely closed to the outside world, anyone who ever left the country for any reason, was never allowed to return, on penalty of death. This remarkable story of "Manjiro" is fascinating in its scope. Read in conjunction with Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun brings multiple dimensions to the story and the history of Japan. This is a book specifically written for children, junior high level, but definitely worth a quick read for adults interested in the story. Highly recommended....more
I was really looking forward to this book and wanted to like it but it just fell short for me. Probably a 2.5 star rating if I could. This one startedI was really looking forward to this book and wanted to like it but it just fell short for me. Probably a 2.5 star rating if I could. This one started off well and had so much potential. Then, other than a couple of main characters initially introduced, the numerous secondary characters were not well developed which could have made it so much more enjoyable for me. I listened to this one and the narrator did a fine job. The food descriptions were delightful but it was as if the author was so anxious to get to the next food description that he ignored the supposed love interest that was cooking beside him. What?! A love interest? I had to rewind several times to see if I had missed something, but no. The movie is supposed to be released soon and my guess is that they will have to more fully develop the characters for the film for it to be anything I would be interested in seeing or anything that Helen Mirren (one of my favorite actresses) would be interested in doing. Maybe this will be an almost unheard of case of "the movie is better than the book?" We'll see....more
A general collection of info relating to Scotland - from tartans, haggis and bagpipes to how to join the Scots for a proper Robert Burns night. More iA general collection of info relating to Scotland - from tartans, haggis and bagpipes to how to join the Scots for a proper Robert Burns night. More information here than an Eyewitness book without as many graphics. A good read to prep for a Scottish adventure which was my purpose....more
I am evidently in the minority here and I believe it is because I listened to this one. A family from Ft. Worth gathers to bury a grandmother who wasI am evidently in the minority here and I believe it is because I listened to this one. A family from Ft. Worth gathers to bury a grandmother who was not well-liked and discovers that this Texas-born-and-raised woman wants her ashes to be taken to Scotland?! I thought the premise sounded promising and the setting one to which I could easily relate. Preparing for a trip to Scotland, I took a chance on an Audible sale.
This is the first book that I've read by Joe Coomer and he is very adept at writing from a woman's point of view. The setting and the characters rang true for me but when suddenly the main character blurted forth crude, crude vitriol about her husband's philandering, it completely caught me off guard. While I could expect most men to speak that way, in a pique moment of overwhelming bitterness, I have a hard time relating to a woman of her generation and setting letting loose with her mouth like that. I can say this because I live in north Texas with hundreds of those characters and while I know the author would justify her verbiage due to her extreme pain and hurt, most women of this generation don't become potty mouths when in pain. They can speak strongly and cuss here and there for emphasis, but letting out a string of crude expletives like she did did NOT ring true for me. I know, a long rant for a short segment of the book that obviously, weeks later, really bothered me.
In addition, I became frustrated with the main character and her inability to deal with her marital situation. I understand getting away to consider, to contemplate, to evaluate, but after months and months - I wanted to tell her, "just grow up already!" Life is full of pain. We all have to deal with it and her inability to come to any decisions after months of contemplation really annoyed me.
Finally I believe I would have enjoyed this book much more by reading it in the physical form instead of listening. I found the narrator extremely annoying. Her voice was perfect for the main character, but her lack of differentiation between characters and lack of variation in tone or pace detracted from the story for me. I know others found her performance spot so this may just be a personal issue. I would recommend listening to a portion of this before committing to the audio version. ...more
Interesting examination of the top performing students in the world and an in-depth examination of how they got there. Several observations and concluInteresting examination of the top performing students in the world and an in-depth examination of how they got there. Several observations and conclusions that I already knew/suspected and several "new" revelations made this an interesting read....more
Fascinating memoir of the first ten years of the author's childhood. Born and raised in a castle in northern Scotland, I found Miller's story fascinatFascinating memoir of the first ten years of the author's childhood. Born and raised in a castle in northern Scotland, I found Miller's story fascinating and utterly enjoyable. ...more
Well over a hundred pages into this and I realized I could care less what happened to these people so I am choosing to put it aside and move on to stoWell over a hundred pages into this and I realized I could care less what happened to these people so I am choosing to put it aside and move on to stories and characters that do catch my interest. Too many good books waiting for me to continue with this one....more
I thoroughly enjoyed this story of dance including Russian defectors, ballet superstars, life and love. Having previously read Miss Shipstead's earlieI thoroughly enjoyed this story of dance including Russian defectors, ballet superstars, life and love. Having previously read Miss Shipstead's earlier book Seating Arrangements, I enjoyed this one so much more. Very relatable characters traveling through life dealing with success, failures, career choices, love, loss, family. Having met Miss Shipstead and visiting with her about this book which was then still in the works, I was rather surprised when she revealed she had no dance experience but was writing a book centered on the world of ballet. Having a life-long involvement with dance on multiple levels, I was doubtful a non-dancer could successfully pull that off. Well, she did it beautifully! Further research revealed that she had spent extended time in Paris where she obviously met and spent a season with professional dancers.
I honestly don't know how much my history in the field affected my enjoyment of this story, but my impression is that the themes of this book are rather universal and could easily be enjoyed by those from a variety of backgrounds, but especially by those with either dance or theater in their lives. A solid 4 to 4.5 star read.
The size of this book has intimidated me and kept me at bay for years. However, after several members of my audio book group recommended this as one oThe size of this book has intimidated me and kept me at bay for years. However, after several members of my audio book group recommended this as one of their all-time favorite listens, I finally gave it a try - all 43 HOURS and 9 minutes! I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this one and looked forward to listening so much that I created tasks to do so that I could listen while working - my flowers are stunning this year as a happy result! The narrator was brilliant, bringing so many varied accents and characters into play seamlessly. Because of his remarkable abilities, I never questioned which character was speaking.
The main character is Australian so we get to experience the life, culture and beautiful people of India through his eyes. I found the story fascinating and compelling. I fell in love with Prabaker, his guide and faithful friend. Reading a synopsis of the story about "diving into the underbelly of the Indian mob" made me hesitant. I do NOT enjoy detailed violence, endless wallowing in the cesspool of fallen humanity and all that implies or graphic sex so the general descriptions of the storyline initially had me deciding to pass on this one. However, the plot line descriptions do not do the beautiful aspects of this storyline justice. While there were some uncomfortable scenes for me and some blunt depictions of some unsavory and highly unpleasant situations and locales, they were told honestly and with just enough grit to contrast with the beauty of the story and characters I came to love.
This book had me completely captivated until well over 3/4 of the way through. There was a shift in character focus at that point and I did not find the rest of the book as enjoyable from then on and I even got to where I felt like I was slogging through the final 3 hours. The story was still good, but lost its heart and compelling nature for me at that time so that by the end, I was ready for it to be done which is why I gave this only 4 stars....more