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Brandin

Los Angeles, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 22 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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  • Double Down: Game Change 2012

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Mark Halperin, John Heilemann
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (337)
    Performance
    (301)
    Story
    (305)

    Drawing on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Heilemann and Halperin deliver another reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, Double Down offers a panoramic account of a campaign at once intensely hard fought and lastingly consequential. For Obama, the victory he achieved meant even more to him than the one he had pulled off four years earlier.

    Tony says: "Game Change 2.0"
    "Hmmmm....maybe i was spoiled by the first book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a book person. I always think the book was better than the movie....always. That being said, I never read the first book, "Game Change" - i only saw the movie. Obviously, it was an excellent screenplay and had some pretty amazing performances, so maybe that spoiled me for the reading of this 2nd book. Game Change had so many juicy tidbits of info that I'd not previously heard while watching the coverage of the Obama v. McCain race. In Double Down, I feel like I'm just sitting through a re-hashing of stuff I already know - or already sort of knew. Although, to be fair, Romney/Ryan were nowhere near the level of entertainment that Sarah Palin herself provides, so perhaps, it's not the book &/or authors' fault?

    Narrator does a good job.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Chelsea's Family, Friends, and Other Victims
    • Narrated By Johnny Kansas, Stephanie Stehling, Heather McDonald, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (337)
    Performance
    (233)
    Story
    (236)

    Chelsea Handler loves to smoke out "dumbassness", the condition people suffer from that allows them to fall prey to her brand of complete and utter nonsense. Friends, family, co-workers - they've all been tricked by Chelsea into believing stories of total foolishness and into behaving like total fools. Luckily, they've lived to tell the tales and, for the very first time, write about them.

    Joshua says: "Not as good as "Vodka, it's Chelse...""
    "Love all of Chelsea's books. But this one sucks."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's weird bc I'm such a fan of Chelsea, but her friends are a tad annoying in this book. For example, it seems like they've all listened to her self-read audiobooks & sort of emulated her performance style. badly.

    also....and maybe it's just me....but are all of these people super super stupid? if chelsea is such a known prankster, wouldn't most of these pranks have been visible from space? Once guy is duped into leaving his honeymoon early b/c he was told that TIME Magazine was putting the writing staff of Chelsea Lately on the COVER. Reeeeeally? Seriously? I mean, I know that Time Magazine does actually dumb down the American version of its publication by making it more pop culture skewed ((that's actually true...the rest of the world gets another version of the magazine....wtf)) but, seriously.....i don't think i need to continue. You get it. It's OBVIOUSLY a prank. Jeez.

    so many other examples....and none really that funny, except probably to the people involved.

    Oof. Wait for Uganda to Be Kidding Me to come out on audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (501)
    Performance
    (276)
    Story
    (272)

    An old Chinese proverb says "Women hold up half the sky." Then why do the women of Africa and Asia persistently suffer human rights abuses? Continuing their focus on humanitarian issues, journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn take us to Africa and Asia, where many women live in profoundly dire circumstances.

    Nancy says: "This unabridged book is abridged"
    "BOOK: 5 Stars NARRATOR: 2 Stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You should TOTALLY still buy this audiobook - the narrator isn't unlistenable....she's just not at all the kind of narrator this (or any) book needs.

    Her voice is a bit nasal.
    She sounds like an elitist asshole.
    She sounds super super "white"
    I'm caucasian...but i just hate that snooty white lady voice.
    Ok, i've ranted enough about the narrator.

    This book is incredible. It's brutal, but still inspires you. Best thing I've listened to since "Behind the Beautiful Forevers"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Ophira Eisenberg
    • Narrated By Ophira Eisenberg
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (9)

    Screw Everyone is comedian Ophira Eisenberg's wisecracking account of how she spent most of her life saying "yes" to everything - and everyone - and how that attitude ultimately helped her overcome her phobia of commitment. Skeptical about long-term relationships, Eisenberg approached dating as a sort of research experiment from early on: She spent her twenties traveling from futon to futon and gathering data, figuring that one day she'd put it all together somehow and build her own perfect Frankenmate.

    Hillary says: "Best Audiobook EVER... and I'm not even done yet."
    "Actually a 3.75 Stars....but I rounded up :)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not as good as some other books in this genre...but still, I made it through the whole thing & there were several parts that made me laugh out loud, hard. Good enough to recommend to a friend....and I might even listen to it again in 6 months. ((((i retouch & process photographic images, so audiobooks are my salvation....)))

    Some definite MEANDERING at times, but she gets back on track pretty quickly..... The brutal honesty kept me coming back for more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Susannah Cahalan
    • Narrated By Heather Henderson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (683)
    Performance
    (614)
    Story
    (617)

    In 2009, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room strapped to a bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records - from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory - reported psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four-year-old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter

    Brian Quaranta says: "For those interested in neurology & psychology"
    "Some editing would have made this a 4 Star"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book is just too long. There are too many little unimportant details that the author relays & I found myself getting very very bored. The premise of the story (her experience) is one that I find fascinating & terrifying - but the book is just too long.

    The narrator has one of those super commercial sounding "goody two shoes" type voices that I find a little irritating. Her line deliveries aren't a total deal-breaker, but I absolutely would NOT buy another book narrated by this reader. Eeeesh.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Coming Closer to Ourselves: Making Everything the Path of Awakening

    • ORIGINAL (5 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pema Chödrön
    • Narrated By Pema Chödrön
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    In challenging times, why do so many of us turn to Pema Chödrön for guidance? Many say that it’s her honest and caring way of communicating the core teachings of Buddhism - not just conceptually, but directly from her heart to ours. In these inspiring sessions, she teaches us how to give that compassion to the person we neglect most often - ourselves.

    Brandin says: "Listened to at least a dozen times"
    "Listened to at least a dozen times"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This has been one of my favorite of Pema's audiobooks. She talks a lot about groundlessness, & nurturing your relationship with fear. One of my favorite phrases ((which I have written on the wall by my desk)) is "If there is PRAISE, there will be BLAME". I would recommend this book to anyone :) love you Pema!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jenny Lawson
    • Narrated By Jenny Lawson
    Overall
    (1639)
    Performance
    (1494)
    Story
    (1505)

    For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris - Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut. Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives - the ones we'd like to pretend never happened - are in fact the ones that define us. In Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor.

    D. S. Smith says: "How the Bloggess almost made me crash my car!"
    "I love a book I can listen to more than once...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like to vary my listening....deep dramas give way to campy mysteries... Political bestsellers give way to hilarious memoirs.

    Having just finished "Double Down" (((well, I'm halfway thru it....it's basically 1 million hours, so I'll get there eventually))) I needed something funny with an edge. Double Down is almost freakishly dry compared to the movie version of the first book, Game Change. Maybe the first time I've encountered a movie that was waaaaay better than the book.

    Let's Pretend was the perfect listen to wash away all the self-important B.S. that droned on during my Double Down listen. Jenny Lawson's voice sounds just as you would imagine it if you actually *read* the book. In fact, I'm not sure this book should be read. The rambling nature of Jenny's writing style seriously lends itself to the whole audiobook thing. ....and i use the term "rambling" in the best possible sense :) Her ramblings are what make the book so damn funny.

    In a year or so, when I'm looking for a new listen, I'm sure I'll replay this one. And then again, in another couple years. Money well spent!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7022)
    Performance
    (1826)
    Story
    (1815)

    In his landmark best seller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant, in the blink of an eye, that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept?

    Liz says: "encore!"
    "JUST "OK" w/ 1 Hugely Offensive Section"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a photo retoucher, so audiobooks are my salvation from boredom. I listen to a couple books a week & several I've listened to more than once. It's extremely rare, though, for me to review a book b/c honestly, I just don't have the time. ....gonna make an exception here.

    1. Semi entertaining / interesting stories - anecdotal information that was pretty easy to listen to & loosely kept my attention . That's about all I ask of an audiobook, to be frank. They can't all be gems.

    2. Author's voice was just fine. I wouldn't say I would seek out more books narrated by him, but it wasn't grating to listen to....again, that's all I really ask for.

    3. What I didn't ask for was to be hit over the head with an incredibly offensive, ignorant remark made by one of the "characters" in Gladwell's book without even as much as an acknowledgement that the remark was at best a bit questionable.

    A facial expressions "expert" was given videos of 2 groups of people - remote cultures that he knew nothing about. All context as to what kind of people they were was removed so that he could make his discernment based solely on their facial movements.

    One culture was a very gentle, kind, peaceful tribe. The other was a warring, violent tribe with a ritual that gave pre-pubescent boys male to male leaders of the tribe as essentially sex slaves.

    Gladwell recounts the "expert" as stating definitively that the 2nd tribe appeared to be a violent culture with very pronounced tendencies toward homosexuality.

    EXSQUEEZE ME? ARE YOU KIDDING? I almost fell out of my chair.... SO, BASICALLY, GLADWELL IS PRESENTING THE AMAZING FACTUAL FINDINGS OF THIS "EXPERT" WHO EQUATES PEDOPHILIA WITH HOMOSEXUALITY .....and not even the slightest hint that the author may have suspected this to be a bit out of bounds. ....I did a couple quick searches online and found that Gladwell does appear to be fine with "the gay" - so, basically his omission is just one of ignorance & block-headishness.

    Ick. Yuck. Gross.

    Will not be purchasing any other books from this author. From what I've gotten from this book, I doubt I'll be missing much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Chelsea Handler
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (954)
    Performance
    (450)
    Story
    (459)

    You've either done it or know someone who has: the one-night stand, the familiar outcome of a night spent at a bar, sometimes the sole payoff for your friend's irritating wedding, or the only relief from a disastrous vacation. Often embarrassing and uncomfortable, occasionally outlandish, but most times just a necessary and irresistible evil, the one-night stand is a social rite as old as sex itself and as common as a bar stool.

    Kathryn says: "Chelsea, You are HYSTERICAL!"
    "Please Re-Release w/ CHELSEA as narrator!!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book is hilarious. The writing is just damn good.

    HOWEVER, THE NARRATOR IS SO BAD IT MAKES ME WANT TO (insert something awful that would probably get your review pulled from audible). Seriously, I get a physical reaction to how much I hate this narrator's voice. It's so so so so so far from the vibe Chelsea's narration has - and it's so so so so far from the vibe of the actual book. She sounds like a snobby B word who I'd pay any amount of money to avoid having to spend 5 minutes with.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Steve Martin
    • Narrated By Steve Martin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2386)
    Performance
    (1011)
    Story
    (1005)

    In the mid-70s, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. Born Standing Up is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away".

    Andrew says: "Fantastic"
    "Fan of SM, but not this audiobook."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved Pure Drivel - - - I love Steve Martin. But, this particular book was impossible for me to listen to. The style of narration (for me) was a problem. It sounds very similar to Pure Drivel, but the here, the subject matter is real life stuff - - I'd prefer to have heard these real life stories in a slightly more natural voice, rather than the absurdist style delivery ((which, once again, and not to belabor the point, let me stress...i loved pure drivel)).

    The content itself is really intimate - maybe I'll pick up a hardcopy & read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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