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Michelle

Los Alamos, United States Minor Outlying Islands | Member Since 2008

113
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 208 ratings
  • 431 titles in library
  • 49 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
4

  • Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Susan Smally, Diane Winston
    • Narrated By Elizabeth London
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (33)

    Mindfulness—the art of paying attention with openness and curiosity to the present moment—has attracted ever-growing interest and tens of thousands of practitioners. This uniquely accessible guide provides a scientific explanation for how mindfulness positively and powerfully affects the brain and body, as well as practical guidance.

    Jane says: "Life-Changing Book"
    "Not very interesting"
    Overall

    I like the ideal of being fully present in this life. But doubt that this book will assist in that goal. The author seems to repeat herself, perhaps with the idea that repetition will lead to being fully present. In any case, it put me to sleep about half way through.

    Possibly this book is better read or skimmed than listened to. It is not as interesting as the description and sample suggests.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Minerva: The Six Sisters, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Charlotte Anne Dore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (76)

    Minerva marks the delightful debut of The Six Sisters, a family saga in six volumes that will recount the romantic adventures of the six marriageable daughters of a country vicar, the Reverend Charles Armitage, in Regency England. The eldest, Minerva, is enchantingly beautiful - but a prude. She lives in the country looking after her siblings while her mother reclines on a chaise longue happily inventing new malaises.

    Kim says: "If you like Emma, you'll like this one"
    "For those who haven't read Georgette Heyer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a typical regency romance. A good way to wile away a rainy day, or a workout on the treadmill.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Bad Miss Bennet: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Jean Burnett
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Lydia was never the most upstanding of the Bennet sisters, but who ever said that moral rectitude was fun? At least she bested her elder sisters and was the first to get married. She never could understand what all the fuss was about after she left Brighton with her gallant. It is a shame, though, that Mr. Wickham turned out to be a disappointing husband in so many aspects, the most notable being his early demise on the battlefields of Waterloo. And so Lydia, still not yet twenty and full of enterprising spirit, is in urgent need of a wealthy replacement.

    Michelle says: "Great fun"
    "Great fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jane Austin is responsible for a lot of popular literature. I've read several versions of "what happened" after the wedding bells ring in Pride and Prejudice. And, I've read at least three takes on the fate of Lydia. This is, in my humble opinion, the best.

    It is a joy watching Lydia maneuvering through country life, London life, and life abroad to her advantage. She brushes through adventures with history, repeats her mistakes with aplomb, finds love (or, at least, lust) with the typical wrong man. Her enthusiasm for life remains undiminished and her friends agree.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Captain Vorpatril's Alliance

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (930)
    Performance
    (835)
    Story
    (849)

    Captain Ivan Vorpatril is happy with his relatively uneventful bachelor's life as a staff officer to a Barrayaran admiral. Cousin to imperial troubleshooter Miles Vorkosigan, Ivan is not far down the hereditary list for the emperorship. Thankfully, new heirs have directed that headache elsewhere, leaving Ivan to enjoy his life on Komarr, far from the Byzantine court politics of his home system. But when an old friend in Barrayaran intelligence asks Ivan to protect an attractive young woman who may be on the hit list of a criminal syndicate, his chivalrous nature takes over. It seems danger and adventure have once more found Captain Vorpatril.

    Barbara M. Sullivan says: "We are finally allowed to see Ivan without Miles."
    "Great segue to a new series (I hope)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I admit it, I'm a Bujold fan. So, I was extremely happy to find this title. At first, the reader put me off. He uses the whangy twang of the privileged few. Soon it seems absolutely appropriate.

    The story line is not only interesting but also amusing. It reveals the inner and outer life of a minor actor in the Vorkosigan saga that shows him as more than a side kick. Of course, with friends like his, you don't need enemies and complications will ensue. But, for a plot outline, see the blurb above.

    Know that you need not have read any of the Vorkosigan books to enjoy this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Started Early, Took My Dog: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Kate Atkinson
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (603)
    Performance
    (351)
    Story
    (355)

    Waterhouse leads a quiet, ordered life as a retired police detective - a life that takes a surprising turn when she encounters Kelly Cross, a habitual offender, dragging a young child through town. Both appear miserable and better off without each other-or so decides Tracy, in a snap decision that surprises herself as much as Kelly. Suddenly burdened with a small child, Tracy soon learns her parental inexperience is actually the least of her problems, as much larger ones loom for her and her young charge.

    Beverly says: "For the Love of Children and Dogs"
    "Enjoyable listen. Stands up to a second 'reading'"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An interesting tale, well told. It is part mystery, part romance in the classical sense, part sheer entertainment. Note that it is part of a continuing series by Kate Atkinson. Something I wished I knew before starting this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Seven Wonders: A Novel of the Ancient World

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Steven Saylor
    • Narrated By Stephen Plunkett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    USA Today hails Steven Saylor as a “modern master of historical fiction.” Rich in intrigue and period detail, his novels set in ancient Rome have garnered acclaim the world over. A prequel to his epic Roma Sub Rosa series, The Seven Wonders follows series star Gordianus the Finder as an 18-year-old traveling the Mediterranean to witness the wonders of that fabled age. At each stop, the young investigator finds a beguiling mystery that pushes his powers of deduction to the limit.

    Mark says: "Interesting History, Not much of a story"
    "Learning about the past"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've always enjoyed the political backdrop of Saylor's Finder books. Like them, "The Seven Wonders" is a not so subtle lesson in history. As our young protagonist, Gordianus, the Finder to be, visits the marvels of his age, he solves a mystery at each location. In addition, the listener is given a lecture about the Wonder in question. It's a fun way to absorb ancient history.

    If you enjoyed the series and like history in small, not too dry, doses this listen will entertain you.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Sara Gran
    • Narrated By Carol Monda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (377)
    Performance
    (320)
    Story
    (318)

    Claire DeWitt is not your average private investigator. She has brilliant skills of deduction and is an ace at discovering evidence. But Claire also uses her dreams, omens, and mind-expanding herbs to help her solve mysteries, and relies on Détection—the only book published by the great and mysterious French detective Jacques Silette before his death.

    A. D. Mcrae says: "Mostly Disappointed but it was Quick"
    "Mystery with a soul"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The tale is simple enough. A well-known ADA goes missing in New Orleans after Katrina. What happened? Why? (The who is less important.) The answers are straight forward; the reader will pick up most of the solution about half way through the book. It's the character development that kept me listening. The characters, in this case, include the city, the victims, the detective, her mentor, and many others. I liked that the author followed through to some extent on what happened after the case was solved.

    The narrator is excellent. She conveys the story (told in the first person) with conviction.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party: The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Book 12

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Lisette Lecat
    Overall
    (744)
    Performance
    (493)
    Story
    (486)

    This 12th entry from Alexander McCall Smith’s New York Times best-selling series showcases the humanity and matchless wit that define Precious Ramotswe. While both Precious and Grace Makutsi are puzzled by prophetic dreams, life goes on at the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. Precious finds herself investigating a case of rural jealousy, while Grace inches closer to her wedding.

    Johnnie Walker says: "The End?"
    "A nice read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an enjoyable, albeit, predictable continuation of the McCall Smiths series about Botswana. And, it is an excellent conclusion to all that has gone before. Well worth my one credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Divergent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17485)
    Performance
    (15816)
    Story
    (15941)

    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    Grant says: "It's not for me. Loved it anyway."
    "Approach with caution"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The initial concept of dividing people by their primary personality trait is riveting. After that, the story falls apart and goes down hill. There is a little bit of Harry Potter. There is a larger bit of The Hunger Games. There is an even larger dollop of teenage sex and a whole lot of angst.

    The story involves a sixteen yr old girl who chooses to leave her family's life style for one that is almost diametrically opposite. Much of the book is devoted to the training involved, her attempts to fit into the new group, and to her burgeoning love life. Believe me, it isn't as interesting as that sounds. Plot is largely limited to the last couple of chapters. The ending that neatly eliminates her parents, is telegraphed and rushed.

    The author has an easy way with words and some good ideas that are not fulfilled in this work. The reader has a little girl voice that suits the protagonist.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • With Morning Comes Mistfall: Free Story

    • UNABRIDGED (40 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Claudia Black
    Overall
    (1043)
    Performance
    (885)
    Story
    (887)

    Dubbed “the American Tolkien” by Time magazine, A Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin is a giant in the field of fantasy literature and one of the most exciting storytellers of our time. Now he delivers a rare treat for listeners: a free story, “With Morning Comes Mistfall”, from his compendium of shorter works. Collected into three stunning volumes, his Dreamsongs collection offers fascinating insight into his journey from young writer to award-winning master.

    David says: "Something you might find in Analog or Asimov's mag"
    "It is a short story, after all"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If I had read this before Game of Thrones, I would not have undertaken that series. This is an average Analog ss.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cast in Shadow: Chronicles of Elantra, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Michelle Sagara
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1390)
    Performance
    (1234)
    Story
    (1232)

    Seven years ago Kaylin fled the crime-riddled streets of Nightshade, knowing that something was after her. Children were being murdered— and all had the same odd markings that mysteriously appeared on her own skin….Since then, she's learned to read, she's learned to fight and she's become one of the vaunted Hawks who patrol and police the City of Elantra. Alongside the winged Aerians and the immortal Barrani, she's made a place for herself, far from the mean streets of her birth.

    Amanda says: "Addicted to the series, but leaves you hanging..."
    "Interesting concept, not developed enough."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I understand that this is a YA novel, and likely number 1 in a series. The basic idea of various beings living in (more or less) harmony in a city (world?) is very good. The story line is rather flat and not very interesting. Characters appear stereotypical. The author has a handy way with words, very nice to listen to. But the plot deserves, at most, a novella, not a novel. Probably more development of the other "races" would make Cast in Shadow a winner.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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