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Rebecca

Washington Crossing, PA, United States | Member Since 2005

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 339 titles in library
  • 47 purchased in 2014
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  • Memory: A Miles Vorkosigan Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (1163)
    Performance
    (576)
    Story
    (577)

    Dying is easy. Coming back to life is hard. Miles Vorkosigan should know - having done both once already. Thanks to his quick-thinking staff and the artistry of a medical specialist, Miles' first death wasn't his last. But it does take some recovery, a fact he has been reluctant to admit. When he makes the mistake of returning too soon to duty, he finds himself summoned to face the security chief, Simon Illyan. But Miles' worst nightmares about Illyan are nothing compared to Illyan's own nightmares.

    Louis says: "Order of series"
    "What happens after you blow it?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I would NOT recommend starting with this book, it is one of my favorites in the series.
    As with the first Miles book, Miles starts out by messing things up in a big way, in a way that is spectacularly uncomfortable both for him and for you. And then we get to watch him live through that.
    While there may not be as much surprise in the plot as some would like, there are plenty of lovely developments in this book as we get to know more about many of the characters that fans of the series have come to know and love.
    A great book about failure and recovery, memory and the loss of it, integrity and the loss of it.
    While you don't have to read all of the Miles books that come before this one to enjoy it, you should have a fairly good idea of who Miles is before you enjoy this.
    The performance is fine.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Northanger Abbey

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Mary Sarah Agliotta
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (121)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (103)

    In Northanger Abbey, a young woman's penchant for sensational Gothic novels leads to misunderstandings in the matters of the heart. Austen's first, this is considered by many to be among her most charming novels.

    Darwin8u says: "Austen's Cold Bath or Austen's City Limits"
    "Adequate but Flawed Performance of a Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Northanger Abbey rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Northanger Abbey is not Austen's finest novel, but it is enjoyable. The reading was only adequate, but I have heard worse narrations.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I suspect that my favorite character is the author, who in her narrator's persona makes various snide remarks.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Alas, there were a lot of problems, though not so many as to make the work intolerable. This narration badly needed going over by an editor, to spot mispronounced words and duplicate sentences. There were enough mispronunciations to be irritating, and Mary Sarah Agliotta should get herself some coaching on that point.
    She could have spotted the duplicate sentences herself if she had carefully listened to the finished product before releasing it. There also were several points at which she did not recognize what was going on in a sentence until she was halfway through, resulting in poor choices of which words to stress.
    Her voice was pleasant enough, and I am not greatly bothered by the fact that she did not attempt strong differentiation of the voices of different characters. The problem is that most narrators on Audible are so superb that this reading did not measure up.


    If you could take any character from Northanger Abbey out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I am not sure I would enjoy going to dinner with any of the characters, all of whom seem to be pretty shallow people. I would love to go to dinner with the author.


    Any additional comments?

    Jane Austen uses this book to praise the value of reading novels, and at the same time demonstrates the foolishness of allowing Gothic novels to form one's expectations. It is a lovely juxtaposition.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Borders of Infinity: Miles Vorkosigan Series

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (881)
    Performance
    (525)
    Story
    (530)

    The popular adventures of Miles Vorkosigan, a clever and outlandish science fiction hero for the modern era, continue in these three tales. In The Mountains of Mourning, Miles is dispatched to a back-country region of Barrayar, where he must act as detective, judge, and executioner in a controversial murder case. In Labyrinth, Miles adopts his alternate persona as Dendarii Mercenary Admiral Naismith for an undercover mission to rescue an important research geneticist from Jackson’s Whole.

    DERALD says: "Even better than expected"
    "Filling in the Gaps"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think this is chronologically set right AFTER Brothers in Arms, and before Mirror Dance--but that is to say the linking narrative is set then, as Miles tells his mother at the end that he has much to tell her about Earth. It does have information that you might want to know before reading or listening to Mirror Dance. However, none of the information is critical. However, it works fine for filling in the gaps, any time after you feel comfortable that you know Miles and his universe. I do not recommend this as your first glimpse of this world. Unlike some others, I liked the linking narrative quite a lot, despite the fact that it is weaker than any of the individual stories.
    While this book is far from the best in the series, the series is so good that I did not want to give it less than five stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Ken Wilber
    • Narrated By Denis deBoisblanc
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (124)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (26)

    Science and religion have always been considered mutually exclusive concepts, but are they really? Philosopher Ken Wilber shows how we might begin to think about science and religion in ways that allow for their reconciliation, on terms acceptable to both camps.

    Paul Patterson says: "Toward Integrity in Science and Religion"
    "Pretty Complex for an Audio Book"
    Overall

    I liked this a great deal, though I do not agree completely with Wilber's position and will probably listen to it several more times. The narrator occasionally mispronounces a term, but this is rare enough that it does not hamper the listening. Although the author moves on, and you can lose material as you woolgather, it is also true that some topics are reworked repeatedly. There is a lot of review in this book, which can be helpful or irritating, depending on how intently you are trying to follow his arguments. I found it a helpful introduction to his thought, and I wish he had a good deal more available in the audio format.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Anathem

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman, Tavia Gilbert, William Dufris, and others
    Overall
    (1953)
    Performance
    (945)
    Story
    (956)

    In celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fras and suurs prepare to venture outside the concent's gates - opening them wide at the same time to welcome the curious "extras" in. During his first Apert as a fra, Erasmus eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and family he hasn't seen since he was "collected". But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the perilous brink of cataclysmic change.

    Brandon Barton says: "All hail Oralow"
    "Needs Multiple Listens And Deserves Them"
    Overall

    This book by Neil Stephenson is so complex that it took me a number of trips through it to begin to absorb the philosophy that he spins so casually into the plot of the book. This is not to say that the book was not enjoyable as a tale on the first run through--it was. But it is the philosophy that he casts into new terms and allows one to look at with fresh eyes that makes the book more than one more science fiction parallel universe scenario. I have been appreciating this book more and more with each run through it, and have definitely gotten my money's worth. A good reader and an excellent book. Readers completely unfamiliar with Stephenson's style might want to start with Snow Crash or The Diamond Age, but this book is an independent novel, not based on any of his earlier scenarios.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    Overall
    (3031)
    Performance
    (1841)
    Story
    (1864)

    In what is considered one of Heinlein's most hair-raising, thought-provoking, and outrageous adventures, the master of modern science fiction tells the strange story of an even stranger world. It is 21st-century Luna, a harsh penal colony where a revolt is plotted between a bashful computer and a ragtag collection of maverick humans, a revolt that goes beautifully until the inevitable happens. But that's the problem with the inevitable: it always happens.

    Gerald says: "Very Good Interpretation"
    "Wonderful Rendition of an Old Favorite"
    Overall

    I have loved this book for a long time, since I first read it sometime in the late 60's. Lloyd James does it justice, with only a word here and there that I would have pronounced differently.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Reza Aslan
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    The hijackers who attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, thought they were fighting a cosmic war. According to award-winning writer and scholar of religions Reza Aslan, by infusing the United States War on Terror with the same kind of religiously polarizing rhetoric and Manichean worldview, it is also fighting a cosmic war, a war that can't be won.

    Sangho says: "Good read but could have been better"
    "Helpful approach to a difficult subject"
    Overall

    Aslan's analysis and breakdown of the various sorts of Islamic movements was quite helpful. I liked it enough that I bought a hard copy so that I can quote it as needed. I am less certain that he has a solution of how to "win" the war, but his statement that refusing to engage in a Cosmic war is the only valid strategy is one that needs to be heard.
    His ability to cite Christian scripture and make it sound ominous (a claim to be "washed in the blood" should not be understood as threatening) needs to be understood, I think, against the backdrop of people reading the Qur'an in equally ominous ways. If you focus on the global pronouncements, this book is simplistic. He does not have any simple solutions that are going to bring peace in the war on terror or in any other war. However, the book can be very helpful in sorting out a range of Muslim attitudes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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