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WASHINGTON, DC, United States | Member Since 2015

  • 4 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 59 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"

    This is one of the best books I've read/listened to all year. Skloot paints a compassionate, 3-dimensional portrait of a person, her family and an era. The subject matter is beyond belief and will have you with your jaw on the floor several times over. You'll be in awe and horror. You'll be touched, you'll cry. You'll be indignant. You'll be inspired. The story focuses mainly on Deborah- the daughter of Henrietta Lacks. This greatly humanizes what could otherwise be a dry, bioethics case-study. I can't recommend this book highly enough-- you will learn so much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Freedom: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jonathan Franzen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul - the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter - environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man - she was doing her small part to build a better world.

    Lawrence says: "Believe the Hype"
    "Not for me"

    I keep hearing about how great Franzen is . . . so I gave this book a try. Not for me. I came away unable to care less about his characters, their sordid affairs, and his cynical perspective on American culture.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The War for Late Night

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Bill Carter
    • Narrated By Sean Kenin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When NBC decided to move Jay Leno into prime time to make room for Conan O'Brien to host the Tonight show - a job he had been promised five years earlier - skeptics anticipated a train wreck for the ages. It took, in fact, only a few months for the dire predictions to come true. Leno's show, panned by critics, dragged down the ratings - and the profits - of NBC's affiliates, while ratings for Conan's new Tonight show plummeted to the lowest levels in history.

    Roy says: "Great Story"
    "Poor story-telling/narration."

    Granted, the book can't be too bad because it's about an interesting story. But for all that, it could have been both written and narrated in a much more interesting, gripping fashion. First of all, I disliked the narration. I found the pace a bit too quick and monotone to keep my attention.

    That aside, the story-telling is more or less chronological, sacrificing artful construction of the narrative, which could have been more compelling. So we wade through hours of scene setting, discussing every executive and minor player along the way. The meat of the story and main event comes much later in the book. Also, the book references quite frequently the Letterman/Leno debacle-- without fully exploring or explaining it. I still don't understand how Leno is to blame for that situation. So, all in all, I think there were opportunities to tell a better, more interesting story. But, on the other hand, all the details are there! You'll know a ton about minor players and minutiae.

    I don't think the above comments should keep any Leno/Conan fans from getting the book. The story sells itself. But it sure could have been better crafted/told.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Christopher McDougall
    • Narrated By Fred Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Want to join the “superhumans”? Luckily you don’t have to run to catch up with them, thanks to McDougall’s and Sanders’ inspiring (and motivating) journey through history, science, physiology, health, entertaining characters and unlikely friendships. Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure.

    Corey says: "Amazing read - even for non-runners"
    "Surpassed the Hype"

    Fascinating book for runners and non-runners alike. For the former-- seriously inspirational and motivational. For all--full of gripping characters, a great story-line, interesting scientific/evolutionary explanations for humans and their need to run. All around, multi-faceted, excellent story-telling. You won't be able to stop listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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