When deciding which book to read next most people know what they are looking for in print form what this column will highlight is a different form of reading, and that is listening to the audiobook. I love audiobooks whether it be traveling in the car, cleaning the house or working I listen to audiobooks all the time.
Most of you know our new Library2Go service makes it easy to download ebooks but what some might not know is there is also a great selection of audiobooks available for download too. I will spotlight some of my favorite audiobooks and narrators.
Todays Spotlight is a Non-Fiction Title: Catherine The Great by, Robert Massie narrated by, Mark Deakins~ Also available in E-Book
Synopsis: Born into a minor noble family, Catherine transformed herself into Empress of Russia by sheer determination. Possessing a brilliant mind and an insatiable curiosity as a young woman, she devoured the works of Enlightenment philosophers and, when she reached the throne, attempted to use their principles to guide her rule of the vast and backward Russian empire. She knew or corresponded with the preeminent historical figures of her time: Voltaire, Diderot, Frederick the Great, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, Marie Antoinette, and, surprisingly, the American naval hero, John Paul Jones.
Reaching the throne fired by Enlightenment philosophy and determined to become the embodiment of the “benevolent despot” idealized by Montesquieu, she found herself always contending with the deeply ingrained realities of Russian life, including serfdom. She persevered, and for thirty-four years the government, foreign policy, cultural development, and welfare of the Russian people were in her hands. She dealt with domestic rebellion, foreign wars, and the tidal wave of political change and violence churned up by the French Revolution that swept across Europe. Her reputation depended entirely on the perspective of the speaker. She was praised by Voltaire as the equal of the greatest of classical philosophers; she was condemned by her enemies, mostly foreign, as “the Messalina of the north.”
This was a great biography it is non-fiction but reads like fiction and kept my attention all the way through. Catherine is a very fascinating woman, one of the great Empress’ of Russia even though she was not Russian. I learned so much about her and her life and what kind of a strong woman she was.
This is a very thorough look at Catherine’s life and I really enjoy the authors writing style and I will be reading his other books. When I was younger I loved Russian history and have always been fascinated by the Romanovs but haven’t read anything about them in a long time and now I think this will begin a re-immersion into Russian history.
Even if you are a reader who usually reads historical fiction and not non-fiction I highly recommend this book it reads like fiction and Catherine had a very fascinating life. It has everything from wars, fights for power, love, jealousy just everything a fiction reader loves in a book but what is great is it’s all true!
This audio book is 23 hours long but I enjoyed every minute of it, Mark Deakins did a great job on the narration and would definitely listen to others by this narrator.