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review 2018-02-20 19:15
West Cork by Sam Bungey and Jennifer Forde
West Cork - Audible Originals,Jennifer Forde,J.H. Bungey

 

For a few years in my teens and early twenties, I considered myself a true crime buff. I especially liked the books written from a criminal profiling point of view-like the books of Robert Ressler or John Douglas. I also loved the books of Jack Olsen and still think about them quite often. When I saw WEST CORK was available as a free pre-order, I jumped on it and I'm told it's still free at Audible, in case you're interested.

 

Knowing going in that this case was still not solved made this a little different from the true crime I've read in the past. Those books generally involved cases that did have a verdict. This one doesn't and that makes the experience a little bit frustrating. But in the end, it can't be as frustrating as it is for the victim's family who is still pursuing the case to this very day.

 

WEST CORK is related as a series of half hour shows, (I guess this was originally a Podcast?), so there is a lot of repetition with the opening and closing of each episode. That said,  I appreciated how the story was presented, starting with the murder victim, Sophie Toscan du Plantier, and then proceeding to lay everything out in chronological order. At certain points, it is actually hard to believe how bungled things became during this investigation. Seriously, some of it seemed like it just could NOT be true...but it was. I'm not going to get into the specifics so as you can hear the details as the producers intended.

 

For myself, as a fan of true crime, I found this case fascinating. Not only as to how the investigation proceeded, but also, later on, as to how the laws for proceeding with criminal and/or civil charges vary from country to country. I was surprised, to be honest, that some of the people acting as eyewitnesses weren't criminally charged, (if you listen to this, you'll know why). Lastly, I was surprised by how much certain people want publicity, be it good or bad, THEY WANT IT. I can't for the life of me see why?

 

I enjoyed listening to this well put together presentation of the case(s), and I only wish my enjoyment didn't have to come at the expense of Sophie Toscan du Plantier. May she rest in peace.

 

*Thanks to Audible for the free download of this production.*

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review 2018-01-28 14:23
warm and fuzzies!
Smitty's Sheriff - Cardeno C.,Ezekiel Robison
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I PURCHASED my ebook copy of this book (July 2017) and I was GIFTED the audio file of this book. Richard dumped Todd because was too young to be committed to him, but when Todd gets a second chance at happiness, he pulls out all the stops. This is book three in the Hope series, but you don't need to have read the other two for this to make sense. But they are great reads. As is this one! Richard let Todd go, because Todd was still seeing other guys and Rich did not want to share. But he failed to tell Todd that! So when Todd finds out WHY Rich dumped him, he's keen to clear the air and try to get back into Rich's bed and his heart. And its a beautiful story! It follows a CC track record, with the guys having done their break up, and this story is their make up. Its well written fro both Todd and Rich's point of view. It's sexy in places, and heart breaking in others, especially when we get to just what causes Rich to push Todd away. I read this a while a go, but was going through a rough parch and didn't get a review written, but given the opportunity to LISTEN to it, I jumped at the chance! Ezekiel Robison narrates, and he does an amazing job! I think I preferred the audio version to the print version, if I'm totally honest and ya'll know I gotta be honest!! Robison's voice is smooth, and deep and even and his voices are spot on how I imagined Todd and Rich to sound like. I had no trouble following multi person conversations. He manages to get across what I did not get when I read, what THAT is, exactly, I have no idea, but there was something missing when I read it that was not there when I listened to it, and that can only be put down by the excellent skills of Robison. 4 stars for the book 5 stars for the narration 4.5 overall. **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2018-01-26 18:45
If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on my Face? Written and Narrated by Alan Alda
If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating - Alan Alda

Alan Alda is a joy to listen to and he's a good writer. This book, despite its fun title, is a serious tome-focused on getting across how important it is to communicate clearly and effectively. Examples are cited, and exercises and games are detailed to help you do exactly that.

 

Focusing on the other person in a conversation, (not just waiting for your turn to speak), and noting their facial expressions and body language are key. According to Alda, if you are not willing to be changed by a person/conversation then you are NOT really open and listening.

 

It turns out that empathy is really important in effective communication. One of the exercises in this book mentions watching a person's face during a conversation and specifically noting and NAMING, (silently), the emotions you see on their face. This will sometimes tell you what they are going to say or do next. It tells you if they're understanding what you're saying, or if instead they are bored or confused. At times and with practice, it will sometimes seem to people that you can read minds, but what you're really doing is truly LISTENING.

 

Because Alan Alda has such a warm, comfortable style I learned a lot from what in less capable hands could have been a very boring book. It also might be due to the fact that Alda is an extremely effective communicator. I have already started to put some of these games and exercises into practice and I believe they have already helped me in certain areas of my life.

 

If you are open, (read: WILLING TO BE CHANGED), then I highly recommend this book!

 

*I borrowed this audiobook from my awesome public library. Libraries RULE!*

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review 2018-01-23 18:45
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, narrated by Rob McQuay
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail - Deutschland Random House Audio,Mike McQuay,Bill Bryson

A WALK IN THE WOODS was okay.

 

The author and his friend did not get to hike the entire trail as they had originally intended, which was not only disappointing for them but for me as well.

 

I learned about the history of the trail and how the whole thing works. I previously had no idea that the trail sometimes crosses roads and rivers and whatnot-I had this picture of a pristine wilderness in my head and while some parts are just that, others are not at all.

 

I thought there would be a bit more humor than there actually was and on top of that, there were no actual bears, (see that one on the cover there?), unless you count the night something was heard just outside of their tent.

 

Overall this was fun and I learned some things, so 3 stars it is.

 

Thanks to my local library for the loan of this audiobook. Libraries RULE!

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review 2018-01-15 18:45
Seriously, I'm Kidding written and read by Ellen DeGeneres
Seriously... I'm Kidding - Ellen DeGeneres

SERIOUSLY, I'M KIDDING was disappointing. 

 

It was funny and entertaining at times, but I didn't learn much about Ellen, other than she is allergic to penicillin. While I enjoy being entertained and I enjoy Ellen's sense of humor, I wanted to learn more about her. This is not the book for that.

 

I'll have to look into her previous books.

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