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Jamie

SACRAMENTO, CA, United States | Member Since 2004

50
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 91 ratings
  • 608 titles in library
  • 33 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17749)
    Performance
    (13858)
    Story
    (13895)

    A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

    Alisha says: "Good listen, but what's up with the chapter set up"
    "Life Sucks and Then It Gets Worse"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I've gotten drawn into this series well enough that I'm most of the way through Book 3, but by the end of this, Book 2, I was feeling a little like I wanted 80-something hours of my life back. I do enjoy most of the story lines, but I find the plot arch so brutal in its scope, I am not sure I can hold out for another 4 books or whatever to find out if whichever of these characters finally survive will get any kind of justice in the end.

    The good characters generally have horrid lives that only get worse and worse (with occasional moments of hope that are often soon dashed!), while the bad characters rarely get any sort of just rewards. And in a normal novel, you only have to wait 10-20 hours or so to know the ending, but this saga is so vast, you will not get any such satisfaction. You will wait years to know for sure if the poor characters you've come to love will suffer anything but awful fates, and while I'd like to believe--since this is pop fiction--that the author won't let us down in the end, I am not so sure after seeing several central and beloved characters killed to serve the larger plot.

    I know people are wild about this series in general, but as a non-fantasy reader I'm not sure if these are genre-transcending books. More like, they're good fantasy books that appeal to fantasy readers more than they will appeal to a general audience. I bought the books after reading so many positive reviews, and after several recommendations from friends. Speaking as a non-fantasy reader, I do really enjoy that there's not a great deal of magic or non-human characters in the stories, while there is enough to create an interesting atmosphere. The world-building is very skillfully done.

    However I don't know if I have the fortitude for much more bloodshed, beheadings, and killing off of characters who never get to see any kind of justice for all their suffering.


    28 of 31 people found this review helpful
  • Across the Nightingale Floor: Tales of the Otori, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Lian Hearn
    • Narrated By Kevin Gray, Aiko Nakasone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6148)
    Performance
    (2288)
    Story
    (2295)

    A tour-de-force novel set in ancient Japan filled with passion, fantasy, and feuding warlords. The first volume in the highly anticipated Tales of the Otori trilogy.

    Jody R. Nathan says: "Wonderful epic story"
    "Possibly My All-time Favorite Audible Download"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Across the Nightingale Floor rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Because of the combination of excellent story-telling and perfect narration, this book stands out in the over 500 I have in my Audible library as a favorite. Hearn's imagined version of Feudal Japan is a fascinating setting for this action-packed epic. I normally like less action-oriented books, but this one was so well told, and the characters so exciting to follow, I was hooked the entire time. My husband also loved the story, and he's not even a reader. I am thrilled that my son is finally old enough to enjoy this book, and I just started him on it last night. He was hooked right away.


    What does Kevin Gray and Aiko Nakasone bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    This is perhaps the most perfectly cast audiobook I've ever heard. I was seriously bummed in the later books when the narration changed, but for this book, the voices are sublime. They totally fit the parts, and I normally am not a huge fan of multi-reader books, but this one is perfection.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES! While listening to this in the car with my husband, we would make up places to drive to, sit in the parked car long after we'd reached our destination, and eagerly await our next listening session.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Gretchen Rubin
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (127)
    Story
    (124)

    One Sunday afternoon, as she unloaded the dishwasher, Gretchen Rubin felt hit by a wave of homesickness. Homesick - why? She was standing right in her own kitchen. She felt homesick, she realized, with love for home itself. “Of all the elements of a happy life,” she thought, “my home is the most important.” In a flash, she decided to undertake a new happiness project, and this time, to focus on home. And what did she want from her home? A place that calmed her and energized her. A place that, by making her feel safe, would free her to take risks.

    Jamie says: "Worthwhile Follow-Up to The Happiness Project"
    "Worthwhile Follow-Up to The Happiness Project"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Happier at Home?

    The content is very similar to The Happiness Project, without being too repetitive. I listened to one book right after the other and enjoyed both pretty equally. The both provide inspiration and motivation to tackle self-improvement projects, while also being excellent reminders to keep our lives and thoughts focused on the positive. In Happier at Home, Rubin's resolutions are focused on home life, which is especially useful for anyone who has a family and wants to find more balance.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kathe Mazur?

    I wish the author or someone with a similar sardonic take on the content had read this book, as she did The Happiness Project. The narrator Kathe Mazur over-dramatized the book, reading it as if it were a juicy secret she was whispering to a friend, and her tone was too saccharine for my taste. As a result, the author sometimes comes across sounding annoying, while I know from having listened to her previous book that her own tone when reading has the right level of self-deprecation to let you know she understands when she's not being her most admirable self.

    I especially cringed at Mazur's children's voices, which were just...AWFUL. So sickly sweet I had to wonder if she's ever actually met a normal child.

    She's a talented reader--I just really dislike what she did with this book.


    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Every Last One

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Anna Quindlen
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (989)
    Performance
    (271)
    Story
    (279)

    In this breathtaking and beautiful novel, the #1 New York Times best-selling author Anna Quindlen creates an unforgettable portrait of a mother, a father, a family, and the explosive, violent consequences of what seem like inconsequential actions.

    Kimberly says: "Almost Unbearably Sad, Completely Wonderful"
    "Painful but Well-Written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It's hard to imagine at time when one has the urge to curl up and listen to a book that is so relentlessly sad as this one. It's well-written though, and there is enough plot to keep the story moving. I gave it 4 stars because it's a compelling story, but without saying too much and ruining the "surprise" elements for others, I at times felt emotionally manipulated by the brutally sad events. Still, worth a listen if you are not looking for a chipper, light-hearted story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Napoleon Hill's Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Napoleon Hill, Sharon Lechter (editor)
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller, Phil Gigante
    Overall
    (588)
    Performance
    (515)
    Story
    (513)

    In 1938, just after publication of his all-time best-seller Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill revealed that he had broken the Devil’s Code, forcing him to confess his secrets. The resulting manuscript - Outwitting the Devil - proved so controversial, it was hidden for more than 70 years. Now, Sharon Lechter brings us this important book, annotating and editing it for a contemporary audience. Using his legendary ability to get to the root of human potential, Hill digs deep to identify the greatest obstacles we face in reaching our personal goals....

    Chelsea says: "the most powerful information of your life"
    "An Infomercial in Audiobook Form?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I can't imagine how this book got so many good reviews. I listened for about two hours before giving up in disgust. It reads like an infomercial for Napoleon Hill books and audio. Worthless content.

    BTW this is the first totally negative review I've ever written. I feel like I wasted my money on this audiobook.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Joel Fuhrman
    • Narrated By Joel Fuhrman
    Overall
    (696)
    Performance
    (496)
    Story
    (500)

    When Mehmet Oz has a patient whose life depends on losing weight, he calls on Joel Fuhrman, M.D. In Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Dr. Fuhrman offers his healthy, effective, and scientifically proven plan for shedding radical amounts of weight quickly, and keeping it off.

    Joseph says: "The facts of what's healthy, and what's killing us"
    "A Dietary Kick in the Pants"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Eat to Live the most enjoyable?

    This book has transformed the way I live, eat, and feel. I can't thank Dr. Fuhrman enough for that. I was not overweight and didn't have any major health problems when I started reading the book and following the author's suggestions. I had 15 pounds to lose to get down to the lower end of my ideal range. I had long suffered from the side effects of blood sugar swings--sluggishness, mood changes, and headaches.I started out as a cheese-loving, meating-eating, junk food addict, so I spent a month doing the Eat to Live program at about 50%. I felt so good when I was sticking to the diet that I decided I could definitely do it all the way. My headaches went away, I stopped feeling sluggish after meals, and I didn't experience those horrible blood sugar crash mood swings. After 3 weeks of mostly following the program (with occasional cheats like a beer on Friday night, etc), I've lost 5 pounds. Much more important though is that I feel better than ever. I have a steady stream of energy all day and I never get that horrible overly full feeling that comes from overeating addictive types of foods. Most of my junk food cravings have vanished. It was definitely hard at first, but the longer I eat this way, the more I find myself craving healthy foods. I've even started feeling repulsed by the idea of eating meat, which is a very unexpected side effect.I usually have a very large green smoothie for breakfast, some kind of bean soup for lunch, and then dinners vary. Fruit for snacks, occasional handful of raw nuts, etc. I put the flax seeds in my morning smoothie to be ground up and to make sure I remember to eat them every day.I will continue with this mostly vegan diet for the rest of my life, based on how good I have felt since making the switch. I've even stopped craving cheese, which is something I never would have believed before starting the program.

    The hardest part has probably been learning a whole new repertoire of dinners to make, but it's been fun too. I bought the cookbook Veganomicon, and all the recipes I've tried in it have been delicious. For people unsure about their ability to switch to eating this way, I say give it a try for two meals a day for a while and see how it goes. Or try it all the way but keep it simple--having a huge salad for dinner requires little creativity or effort and will fill you up until bedtime.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Peter Bregman
    • Narrated By Peter Bregman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (156)
    Performance
    (129)
    Story
    (129)

    Based upon his weekly Harvard Business Review column (one of the most popular columns on HBR.com, receiving hundreds of thousands of unique page views a month), 18 Minutes clearly shows how busy people can cut through all the daily clutter and distractions and find a way to focus on those key items that are truly the top priorities in our lives.

    Anthony says: "Really great system"
    "The Right Advice at the Right Time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to 18 Minutes the most enjoyable?

    I was struggling with a major career decision when I listened to this book, and it gave me the exact advice I needed to stop struggling and make the right choice. I found this book filled with great advice and useful ideas. Will definitely listen to it again soon so that I can take notes and recall things I've forgotten.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Now Habit

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Neil Fiore
    • Narrated By Neil Fiore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (675)
    Performance
    (311)
    Story
    (304)

    If you are a professional, manager, student, entrepreneur, writer, or homemaker, this audiobook will help you achieve your goals more rapidly, whether they are large, complex challenges or the small, essential tasks of everyday life and work. If you now work effectively, even though you have too much to do and too little time, The Now Habit will show you how to prioritize your goals to allow more time for guilt-free play.

    Ron says: "A keeper"
    "Life-Changing Techniques"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Now Habit?

    Once you get past the first few chapters, which were a bit of tedious overview about why you need this book and why people procrastinate, the actual meat of the book is priceless. His techniques for overcoming procrastination are transformative and immediately useful. He doesn't offer the usual list of tips and tricks that are so redundant in this genre of book. Instead, he prescribes a way of managing one's time and thought processes that can change anyone from being an unproductive shlub into a happy and productive person. I feel like a new and improved person after applying his techniques.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love his way of explaining the psychology that leads to procrastination, the time management techniques, the unschedule, and the techniques for getting into a flow state fast.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    It might have been good to hire a professional narrator. I appreciated hearing directly from the author, but his voice was a bit grating at first until I got used to it, and he did a lot of inhaling that was distracting at times.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was thrilled to have immediately useful ways to make myself more productive while enjoying my leisure time without guilt--and it all works!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Bossypants

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Tina Fey
    • Narrated By Tina Fey
    Overall
    (18325)
    Performance
    (14146)
    Story
    (14090)

    Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told....

    Warren says: "Tina Fey broke my new SUV"
    "Typical Celebrity Trash Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Bossypants better?

    If there were an actual story worth reading--that would be a start. I usually avoid celebrity novels, but I was in the mood for something funny, having read and listened to David Sedaris over and over again one too many times, and this did NOT fit the bill.


    What was most disappointing about Tina Fey???s story?

    This felt like someone handed Fey a book contract and a hefty advance, and then she had to come up with something to fill the pages with. Fey is an interesting and lovely woman, but a few hundred pages about her life is a bit much, at least as this book is written. The highlights could have been covered in a magazine article or two. Her humor is present, but it feels pretty forced at times. She is clearly more suited to writing for TV than in book form.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Tina Fey's reading of the book was pretty good. She has an appealing voice, and I love her work on 30 Rock so it reminded me of the show.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Bossypants?

    I'd have cut most of the book.


    Any additional comments?

    There were certainly some funny moments, and I enjoyed getting some insight on Fey. The stories about her dad were fascinating. However, most of the book was totally unmemorable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Mark Goulston
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1188)
    Performance
    (946)
    Story
    (935)

    You’ve got a business colleague who’s hostile...a client who’s furious...a staffer who’s deeply cynical—how do you get people to do what you want in tough situations like these? In Just Listen, veteran psychiatrist and business coach Mark Goulston reveals the secret to how to get through to anyone, even when productive communication seems impossible.“Here's the challenge,” Mark says.

    Joseph says: "Not for everyone"
    "Amazingly Practical Relationship Advice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Just Listen rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    I rarely write reviews, but only half way through this book I've already used and applied some of the techniques it suggests, to great success when relating to others. Some of the information is obvious, but it still helps to hear it analyzed to understand why such techniques work with people. Other strategies for dealing effectively with people are not so obvious, and the author does a great job of explaining them clearly and giving concrete examples that make it easy to go out into the world and immediately try what he suggests.

    His ideas are universally useful, whether you're dealing with a stranger you've just met, a colleague, a client, a student, a friend, a family member, a child, or your spouse. I've found some of his techniques incredibly helpful in making my relationship with my spouse more satisfying, which is a nice bonus since I bought the book hoping it could help me deal more effectively with some highly oppositional and dysfunctional students I work with as a special ed high school teacher.

    I can't say enough good things about this audio. Buy it! You'll be glad!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Not applicable.


    Have you listened to any of Walter Dixon???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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