Archives For audiobook

Chivalry

When I first agreed to review Chivalry: The Quest for a Personal Code of Honor in an Unjust World by Zach Hunter, I was skeptical but intrigued by the title. My recent experiences with the term “chivalry” have all involved discussions of male-female relationships and I was hopeful from the title that this would take a broader view of the term. Fortunately, it did.

In the book, the author speaks to millennials, a generation that, as a whole, cares about justice for the oppressed. He encourages millennials to apply that same justice closer to home – in their relationships with family and friends. He does this using personal anecdotes, stories, and scripture.

If you’ve read my other reviews, you know that I generally love audiobooks read by the author. This audiobook is no different; in fact, given the tone of the book, it’s hard to comprehend having it read by anyone else. Hunter’s narration is superb and conversational, greatly enhancing the book.

I’m going to give Hunter the benefit of the doubt and assume that I am not a member of the book’s target audience. Were I Zach’s own age or younger (gosh, that statement makes me feel old!), it’s possible that this book would have incited me to something greater and provided helpful insight (notice the homophone?). Unfortunately, all I can say for certain is that it didn’t hit the mark for me. It felt like many of the stories were left unfinished while he jumped to the moral and by the end of the book, I was ready for it to be over. It just didn’t move me.

That said, I think that teens and young adults might benefit from this audiobook and I encourage them to give it a try.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has to be one of his most loved works and also one of the most widely known Christmas stories. Published in 1843, the novella tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miser who is visited one Christmas Eve by four “spirits” whose mission is to save him from himself.

In Mission Audio’s audiobook edition of the story, narrator Simon Vance gives a phenomenal reading of the classic tale, complete with exceptional voices. The narration grabbed my attention right off and kept it through the very end. I gained new insight into the story because of the beautiful narration and was reminded of the importance of its message.

Whether you’ve read the story before or not, I highly recommend this audiobook. You’ll be inspired and uplifted.

PS This story and From Pearl Harbor to Calvary, which I reviewed previously, are available as free downloads from christianaudio through December 31, 2011. Learn more here.

PPS After posting this review, I came across a review by Josh Morgan of Jacob’s Cafe. I encourage you to read his review, which relates the story to the Gospel.

In From Pearl Harbor to Calvary, Mitsuo Fuchida tells the story of how he went from willingly leading the attack that killed over 2,000 people at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 to serving his creator as an evangelist who preached about the forgiveness found only in Christ. The book also shares the story of Jacob DeShazer, who God used to bring about Fuchida’s salvation. This book was originally published in 1953 and is being republished this year, the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The audio edition also includes interviews with Jacob DeShazer and his wife Florence DeShazer.

This is an enlightening book. I had never heard of Fuchida or the DeShazers before listening to it and I found the story both enlightening and inspiring. Fuchida tells of the hatred that led him to volunteer for the Pearl Harbor mission and the hatred that led DeShazer to volunteer for a retaliatory mission. We then learn how God moved in these men to show them that hatred is not the solution and that Christ made it possible for them to forgive and find forgiveness.

This very short audiobook is well worth a listen. If you’ve ever wondered if God still works, you won’t after hearing how He worked in these men’s lives.

Regarding the audiobook quality, the narrator does an excellent job and the production quality is also excellent.

“For Him to increase in my ministry, I had to decrease in my waistline.”

That, in a nutshell, describes comedian Scott Davis’ motivation for losing 132 pounds. In If My Body is a Temple, Then I Was a Megachurch: My journey of losing 132 pounds with no exercise!, Davis describes his journey to a healthy weight using a good-sized helping of humor. The author uses scripture to show that losing weight is about more than just one’s physical condition – it is about the spiritual condition as well. The humor keeps it light-hearted while the scripture and personal stories of his struggles add weight to the book.

This is a great memoir, but it is much more than that: while not a diet book, it is an encouraging look at why and how Christians who struggle with obesity can and should take control and reach a state of health. Davis makes it clear that this is not easy, but he shows that it is doable if we rely on God and the people He has put in place to help us.

My only negative comment about the book is this: at times, the book feels like an infomercial for Quick Weight Loss Centers of Atlanta. It’s easy to get annoyed by the references to one weight-loss facility and lose the greater message of the book. However, it sounds like they have an innovative program and I can see why he would spend so much time talking about it.

Despite this, the book is well worth your time if you struggle with obesity or even have just a little extra weight that you can’t seem to lose. In fact, I think that pretty much anyone could benefit from the book because so much of it has as much to do with spiritual health as physical health.

The audiobook is read by the author and is very well-read and well-produced. I highly recommend it.

Lion of Babylon tells the story of Marc Royce, a former US intelligence operative who is called back into service to rescue a close friend who has been kidnapped in Iraq. In order to save his friend, Marc must make allies in Iraq while protecting himself from those within the US and Iraqi governments who aim to see him fail. In the process he…well, I’m not going to tell you what he does – you’re going to have to read it yourself to find out.

This fast-paced thriller kept me hooked from beginning to end. I became immersed in the story and looked for excuses to continue listening. The characters are well-developed and the narration exceptional. In addition to the thrilling action and mystery, the story also includes many touching elements, from sacrificial love to powerful people humbling themselves to families being restored and the faith of a child. Author Davis Bunn is careful to give God all the glory for the amazing things that happen in this story and we see characters who are transformed by the power of the Almighty.

If you’re looking for a positive story about the Middle East with a whole lot of excitement, then this is the book for you.

How do you define success? In The Ultimate Journey, Jim Stovall’s third novel following the life of Jason Stevens, the reader takes a look at this question through the life of Jason’s grandfather, Red. As Jason and his new bride, Alexia, begin their journey together, we are given a glimpse into true success through the eyes of Red’s personal chauffeur and through Red’s diary. This is done using the 12 gifts from Stovall’s first novel, The Ultimate Gift, as the basis.

Like The Ultimate Gift, I found this book inspiring. Stovall uses a beautiful and touching story to give a timeless message to the reader about the meaning of life and how to find true success. You will laugh and you will cry. We are reminded on multiple occasions of Alexia’s daughter, Emily, who brought she and Jason together in the first novel. We are also reminded of many moments from the first novel and even given new insight into some of what took place in the same.

I have only read the first and third novels in this series, but I am looking forward to reading the second also. I encourage you to read all three as well. You will be touched, you will be inspired, and maybe you will become a better person because of it.

The audiobook was read by Paul Michael, who also narrated A Tale of Three Kings. As with the other book, he did an excellent job. I became immersed in the story as I listened because of his reading. The production quality was also very good. Another great release from christianaudio.

What a beautiful audiobook! I don’t generally start out a review with such a statement, but this collection of classic prayers certainly earned it. Prayers: A Personal Selection features Michael York reading the prayers, which include some of those found in the Old and New Testaments as well as other well-known prayers, to music composed by Michael Hoppe. The narration and music are masterfully done and the prayer selections are incredibly uplifting.

I initially listened to the entire CD all the way through, but have found that the prayers also make a nice addition to a playlist of inspirational or relaxing music.

I highly recommend that you add this audiobook to your collection for those times when you need to be lifted up.