This is a heartwarming story of a pit bull that the Levin family adopted. It also nicely weaves in the other story of twins they adopted when past the...moreThis is a heartwarming story of a pit bull that the Levin family adopted. It also nicely weaves in the other story of twins they adopted when past the normal age of being adoptive parents. There are many comparisons between Oogy's adoption and the twins adoption, primarily, adjustment and belonging after what could be considered a rough start coming into the world. This is definitely true in Oogy's case, not so much in the twins.
Although this is a short, easy read (listen in my case, my first on my Christmas Kindle!), the book left me a little disappointed because (view spoiler)[ the climax of the story is how Pit Bull ( a breed with a reputation for violence) could turn out so gentle, loving after being used as a bait dog for other fighter dogs. While, I believe Levin does a nice job of intertwining his family's story and Oogy's, Oogy's surgeries and health problems don't actually carry the book enough to solidly hold the reader's interest after learning about his traumatic introduction into this world. (hide spoiler)]
I can't say that I disliked this book, its just that I found myself hanging in there for a slow beginning than getting into it for a while and then lo...moreI can't say that I disliked this book, its just that I found myself hanging in there for a slow beginning than getting into it for a while and then losing interest again all before I got halfway through it. I just don't have the patience to continue through the book like this. I want to read Oscar and Lucinda by this same author and hope I have better luck with that one.(less)
I loved Durrell's My Family and Other Animals so much that I eagerly anticipated listening to this book. While it contains some of the humor the autho...moreI loved Durrell's My Family and Other Animals so much that I eagerly anticipated listening to this book. While it contains some of the humor the author is famous for, it read more like a commercial for his zoo IMO. That's not to say that the history of the creation of the zoo, some funny incidents in relation to the zoo and the cause of the zoo overall aren't reading about, its just that I was expecting more being that Gerald Durrell wrote it. So while it was a good book, its not the Durrell reading experience I expected and therefore not the Durrell book I will be recommending to others.(less)
I really debated between 3 stars and 4 stars for this book. What I liked about this thoughtful and educational book I really liked, but what I didn't...moreI really debated between 3 stars and 4 stars for this book. What I liked about this thoughtful and educational book I really liked, but what I didn't like, I really didn't like.
The author, Robert Sirico, is a priest in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a town about an hour from where I live. He is known by my boss, who lent me this audiobook. The narration is fine for this edition.
Robert Sirico grew up in an ethnically rich section of New York City. He describes as a little boy looking through his window a few feet over to peer through into his Jewish neighbors window to see the lady of the house preparing delicious food. Perhaps, having grown up in this hardworking but economically-challenged environment led to Sirico's conversion into liberalism and consequent trek to its bastions for further education. To make a long story short, Sirico threw himself into liberal causes was left questioning some of the ideology and found himself re-thinking what he believed and why. In turn, he did an about-face and founded the Acton Institute.
While I enjoy being challenged pondering his discussions on charity, how to help the poor, why socialism doesn't work, etc., I did find myself highly annoyed at his belief that globalism is endorsed by the Bible. Certainly, I can understand how religious institutions have profited by globalism, but find no Biblical proof that globalism has a Christian basis.
However, in a nutshell, if you are interested in economics, the book makes for interesting and entertaining debate.
A charming book that I hope more readers will pick up. This book was recommended by my friend, Gaeta, who knowing my fastidious taste in fantasy books...moreA charming book that I hope more readers will pick up. This book was recommended by my friend, Gaeta, who knowing my fastidious taste in fantasy books was brave enough to suggest this title. I'm glad she did because it was a thoroughly enjoyable audiobook even if the author did narrate it. Okay, all authors who narrate aren't subpar and Valente's skills weren't bad, but just not up to the level of a professional narrator. However, she did well enough that it didn't detract much from the story at all.
This is a story in the order of Alice in Wonderland or the Wonderful Wizard of Oz where a young child enters a fantasy world, learns many lessons, helps the residents of the fantasy land and is instrumental in solving a big problem they are facing. Although it follows this basic plot line, the book feels magical and not just because it takes place in fairyland. It is well-written, the characters are memorable, the description good, its just worth the read regardless of your age, okay.
An excellent, concise account of the life of Christian Gerhartsreiter, a German immigrant who pulled one of the most incredible con jobs of all time....moreAn excellent, concise account of the life of Christian Gerhartsreiter, a German immigrant who pulled one of the most incredible con jobs of all time. Not being a huge fan of true crime, I put off listening to this book until I received notification from my library that they would not be renewing their association at the end of the year with the audiobook company providing the download for this book. so, out of necessity I started listening. I am glad I did, because the story is incredible, both from the standpoint that people of all walks of life could be so duped by whopping lies and because of the cleverness of Christian Gerhartsreiter. Granted, there is nothing to admire about his cleverness, but it was astounding how a chronic liar like Gerhartsreiter could come up with lies so quickly. In addition, he told separate individuals often those who attended the same club, different stories about why he was going to be gone, about his background, jobs, etc and no one ever questioned him. Conclusive proof that we don't talk to each other or know each other at the same level that people did before technology took over our planet.
Anyhow, I recommend this book to true crime fans as well as readers who are interested in sociology, human psychology or a fast-paced entertaining book. The narration by Erik Singer was well-done. I highly recommend the audiobook.
What a heartwarming and at times funny way to visit the seedier side of London's East End slums post WWII. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audi...moreWhat a heartwarming and at times funny way to visit the seedier side of London's East End slums post WWII. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audiobook with narration by Nicola Barber whose cockney accent is good enough to sound cockney, but yet understandable for those of us who can barely understand a true cockney!
I cried for young Mary who was introduced into prostitution at the tender age of 14 years old; I rooted for Conchita who birthed a 28-week old baby, couldn't understand a word of English and whose mothering instincts were so strong that she....well, you will have to read it and find out. I laughed as Sister Evangelina used a very unorthodox means of making a social outcast laugh and therefore trust her in order to nurse her back to health. In fact, I'm still laughing about this one...
This is a book that I would feel comfortable recommending to anyone. I am so happy that it is part of a series because I eagerly look forward to reading the others. (This from a person who almost runs from series.)
Have you ever read a book at just the right time? That was the case with this book. I was feeling like something light, chicklit-ish, so this book hit...moreHave you ever read a book at just the right time? That was the case with this book. I was feeling like something light, chicklit-ish, so this book hit the spot. I enjoyed the backdrop of the British-Chinese-Japanese contention. The portrayal of the Chinese difficulty in survival in their own country, camps, British betrayal of the Chinese and the look at some Chinese who profited by selling out their own people offered several perspectives of this terrible time in Chinese history.
All that aside, this is the story of Clare, a piano teacher to the wealthy Chen's daughter. When Clare ends her piano lessons, she is driven home by Will, the Chinese Chen's white chauffeur. Married Clare falls in love with the emotionally-distant Will. The revelations that follow of Will's only love, Trudy, open up the ugliness of war and what people will do for power and wealth.
Like I mentioned earlier, I listened to this book at the right time. For this reason, I gave it four stars. At any other time, it would likely only have received three stars.
I really liked the first and last stories of these alternative history short stories. The first story centered on Audobon's trip to Atlantis (America)...moreI really liked the first and last stories of these alternative history short stories. The first story centered on Audobon's trip to Atlantis (America). The last story found "Helms and Walton" a duo eerily reminiscent of Holmes and Watson but visiting Atlantis to solve a case. Both were very enjoyable and cleverly written stories. The selections in-between were also good, but didn't capture my imagination like the two I have mentioned.
I've been wanting to read Turtledove ever since I read my first alternative history novel. I see why he is considered one of the best writers of this genre.
This was my first taste of Neil Gaiman's writing. I loved it! My favorite was the rhyming tale entitled "Crazy Hair". All the stories were fun beginni...moreThis was my first taste of Neil Gaiman's writing. I loved it! My favorite was the rhyming tale entitled "Crazy Hair". All the stories were fun beginning with "The Wolves in the Walls", "Cinnamon" and my favorite of the non-rhyming stories, "The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish".(less)
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Premier Digital Publishing, through NetGalley.
The story of The Photographer's Boy is told thro...moreI received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Premier Digital Publishing, through NetGalley.
The story of The Photographer's Boy is told through two story lines: One from the past, that of Alfred Barker, photographer's boy to Matthew Brady, a famous Civil War photographer. The second takes up the story of Gene and Izzie Hofsettler, new owners of Barker's home and in the process of turning it into a bed and breakfast. In the process of renovation, the Hofsettler's find the old photographer's glass plates with Civil War scenes stowed away by Alfred Barker. This sets the stage for the Hofsettler's to make Miss Annabelle's acquaintance and learn more about Alfred Barker and his family.
What I liked: (a) the setting (b) the story gives a unique perspective of the Civil War through the camera lens (c) the information about old-time photography and a photographer's life (d) I LOVED the black and white photos
What could use shoring up: (a) the writing quality
All in all, the quality of writing dragged down the story enough for me to only see this as a 2 star read.
My biggest question after reading this captivating story, is why did so many readers only rate this 3 stars? I even read several reviews to try to fig...moreMy biggest question after reading this captivating story, is why did so many readers only rate this 3 stars? I even read several reviews to try to figure this out. However, I couldn't find a single reason, so will chalk it up as one of those books that make people react strongly. Even though there are a lot of 3 star reviews, the reviewers have strong feelings about the book, strong "meh" feelings. Me? I really liked the book, but will qualify that with saying the narrator of the audiobook had a lot to do with that. His intonations and portrayal of the mentally unstable narrator sizzled.
This book is billed as the "European Gone Girl". Not having read Gone Girl, I can't comment on that, but it has given me a reason to consider reading GG when I had made up my mind that I wouldn't.
Paul Lohman, "laid off" schoolteacher, father of Michele, a teenage boy, who commits a dastardly murder along with his cousin, son of Prime Minister candidate, Serge Lohman, narrates the story. The story takes place at an uppity restaurant with the idea of the parents figuring out what they are going to do about their children and their children's future. WARNING: There are no likeable characters in this novel.