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lisa

Burns, OR, United States | Member Since 2011

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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  • It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Thomas E. Mann, Norman J. Ornstein
    • Narrated By William Hughes
    Overall
    (148)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (126)

    Congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein identify two overriding problems that have led Congress—and the United States—to the brink of institutional collapse. But they offer a panoply of useful ideas and reforms, endorsing some solutions, like greater public participation and institutional restructuring, while debunking others, like independent or third-party candidates. Above all, they call on the media as well as the public to focus on the true causes of dysfunction rather than just throwing the bums out every election cycle.

    Scott says: "A No-Nonsense Look at our Current Political Crisis"
    "No wake up calls and a Democratic lean"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The prologue makes a statement to the effect that the public's outrage and tendency to vote out long standing politicians when angered, thereby making the political situation worse (Americans, get out of the way and let the professionals handle this) is in direct conflict with the next statement that republicans voted down their own bill because the president liked it - McCain being one of them. McCain is far from being a junior member of Congress who was newly voted in and creating havoc due to inexperience.

    The problem is simple: Politics has become a self-serving job for those involved, not a public service. They're in office to support their party, not the American people. While the authors of this book definitely understand how this dysfunctional system works (or doesn't), they're too close to that system to offer a real solution. The fingers are still pointing. It doesn't take much reading between the lines to see how the author feels about those troublesome people who keep quoting the Constitution. The American public is in the way - they just don't understand what the democrats are trying to accomplish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bad Debts: A Jack Irish Thriller, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Peter Temple
    • Narrated By Marco Chiappi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (87)

    Meet Jack Irish: criminal lawyer, debt collector, football lover, turf watcher, trainee cabinetmaker, and the best Australian crime character we've seen in years. When Jack receives a puzzling message from a jailed ex-client, he's too deep in misery over Fitzroy's latest loss to take much notice. Next thing Jack knows, the ex-client's dead and he's been drawn into a life-threatening investigation involving high-level corruption, dark sexual secrets, shonky property deals, and murder.

    Don says: "Quality Crime Fiction"
    "Got a new favorite lawyer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jack Irish, criminal lawyer, cabinet maker and horseracing fanatic, gets a call from the past, several in fact. If he’d only pick up his messages more often. An old client, one he doesn’t remember, wants to talk. Danny Mckillop is dead by the time Jack finds him.

    The McKillop case is one from Jack’s drinking days and as he looks into the matter, guilt over having failed to represent the man properly, to question the confession, takes root and won’t let go.

    This was a complex plot easily told. Jack Irish, who’s not Irish at all, delivers as a rough and tumble lawyer out running down the cold trail of a case no one wants dragged into the light. Great action and language, the secondary characters come to life. Very enjoyable story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Necromancer's House

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Christopher Buehlman
    • Narrated By Todd Haberkorn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    Andrew Ranulf Blankenship is a handsome, stylish nonconformist with wry wit, a classic Mustang, and a massive library. He is also a recovering alcoholic and a practicing warlock, able to speak with the dead through film. His house is a maze of sorcerous booby traps and escape tunnels, as yours might be if you were sitting on a treasury of Russian magic stolen from the Soviet Union thirty years ago.

    David says: "Finally - Magic / Fantasy Novel for adults."
    "Inventive world building"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this book to start with. The characters are well developed and while the plot is somewhat complex and tends to wander, it doesn't lose you. For me the book droned on too long, too many flashbacks and there seemed to be no real limit to what magic the main character could use. Great book for an epic road trip.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Death Masks: The Dresden Files, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5189)
    Performance
    (3861)
    Story
    (3836)

    Harry Dresden, Chicago's only practicing professional wizard, should be happy that business is pretty good for a change. But he also knows that whenever things are going good, the only way left for them to go is bad. Way bad. Recent examples: A duel with the lethal champion of the Red Court, who must kill Harry to end the war between vampires and wizards...Hit men using Harry for target practice...The missing Shroud of Turin - and the possible involvement of Chicago's most feared mob boss.

    James says: "Pick up the coin?"
    "Love Harry Dresden"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Harry is finally working towards an even footing in life. He's as close to financially solvent as he has been in a while, thanks in part to an appearance on a local talk show.

    At the talk show he meets a vampire general from the Red Court who wants Harry to agree to a duel to stop the war he started and a priest who needs Harry's help recovering a holy relic, the shroud of Turin.

    There's no avoiding the duel, and Harry being Harry, agrees to look into the shroud when his long distance sort of but not quite ex-girlfriend Susan Rodriguez, one time journalist now half Red Court vampire, walks back into this life with a warning. Don't duel.

    What's not to like about a Dresden novel? There was a lot of heart, endings and beginnings in this book. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    Overall
    (2208)
    Performance
    (1087)
    Story
    (1082)

    The prolific, perennially best selling author recounts his early life and writing struggles, gives advice on the crucial aspects of the writing art, and talks about his much-publicized, near-fatal accident.

    Bill says: "Excellent!"
    "Not exactly what I expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is part memoir, part advice. The beginning is a beautifully written history of King's beginnings as a writer. I'm not an avid reader of King's works and I found this part provocative as well as entertaining. I came away with a greater appreciation of King as a writer and I loved that he narrated it himself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Forest Bull

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Terry Maggert
    • Narrated By Rebecca Cook
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Three lovers who stalk and kill the immortals that drift through South Florida (tourists are a moveable feast, after all) are living a simple life of leisure- until one of them is nearly killed by a woman who is a new kind of lethal. When Ring Hardigan isn't making sandwiches for, and with, his two partners, Waleska and Risa (they're cool like that), he's got a busy schedule doing the dirty work of sending immortals to the ever after.

    crazybatcow says: "No bull here: well written urban fantasy"
    "Thoroughly enoyable."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The beginning of this story grabs you and pulls you in. It's refreshing to have a male urban fantasy hero that's in a stable, if unconventional, relationship. The supernaturals in this story are bad and unredeemed and Ring dispatches them with no remorse. His coworkers and partners, Risa and Wally, bring individual talents, strengths, and reasons for pursuing this calling to the team. The characters are well built, believable and the plot is riveting.

    The story is told from Ring's point of view. The close relationship between the three protagonists Ring, Risa and Wally allows for a well rounded, fully developed modern alpha male that really is a joy to 'read'. The action and lineup of bad guys (and girls) are non stop.

    The performance of the Narrator was impressive. I tend not to like female voices, the high pitch begins to grate after a while, but this female voice was a firm alto and she handled the male portions of the story very well. Loved her.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10562)
    Performance
    (9586)
    Story
    (9606)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "Loved this story!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was one fantastic suspense mystery! I don't read reviews before I listen or read a book, so I had only the flap description to work with. I started the story thinking it was going to be a ghost story. Nope. This is the tenant situation you dream of; low rent, good neighbors - and if you've ever wanted to go through an abandoned house just to see what was there, you're set. This is your story. Happy treasure hunting!

    There are issues with the story that you'll notice, or should, if you are a professional reviewer. As a reader, I was thoroughly enthralled. It wasn't until I started writing this review that some of the issues reared their little heads at me. I'll give them a pass. This is a sit-back-and-enjoy-the -ride book.

    It wasn't until near the end when I looked at the computer that it hit me - one narrator. Male and female characters, multiple of each - and they sounded like unique people. This work may turn me into a narrator groupie. Ray Porter was phenomenal!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Explosive Eighteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Janet Evanovich
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1893)
    Performance
    (1660)
    Story
    (1646)

    Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127, Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, and she’s flying back to New Jersey solo. Worse still, her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he’s dead, in a garbage can, waiting for curbside pickup. His killer could be anyone. And a ragtag collection of thugs and psychos, not to mention the FBI, are all looking for a photograph the dead man was supposed to be carrying.

    HappyMom says: "to quote Lula 'I really expected a better story'"
    "It's Janet and Stephanie, What's not to love?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This being the 18th Stephanie Plum book I've read there was no question I'd like it. I'll like the 19th one. What I would love...is Stephanie picking a man!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Storm Front: The Dresden Files, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10752)
    Performance
    (7653)
    Story
    (7658)

    A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters.

    Tom says: "Excellent Story, Distracting Sound Engineering"
    "Love Dresden Files"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I watched the first season on TV before I read the books and worried I'd be bored. I wasn't. The books are what they should be; much better than the show, and there's no comparison. The world building is believable, including the context in which 'normal' people interact with Harry while he's immersed in other-world business. The main character has depth and considering he's a wizard, doesn't come off as contrived. He's the boy next door who happens to know real magic in a world that mostly thinks he's nuts.

    Harry Dresden consults with the police department on 'irregular' cases via a detective Murphy. While Murph won't say she believes in all this, she keeps asking for his help, demanding information in a format she can put in a report, which would not include 'the perp stood in a circle across town chanting'. Harry can't always explain what he sees due to restrictions imposed by the Witches Council concerning interactions with humans. Harry is already on the outs with the Council due to a dark event in his past and he can't afford to push things any further that direction while he's trying to make the rent.

    If you like the genre, you'll love this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Unraveling of Violeta Bell: A Morgue Mama Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By C. R. Corwin
    • Narrated By Lorna Raver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (191)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (142)

    Maddy Sprowls, newspaper librarian for the Hannawa Herald-Union, prefers to stay in the newspaper morgue and do her job. But one Saturday, she sees four elderly women get out of a taxicab at a garage sale. She figures that those women must hire that cabby every week to drive them from garage sale to garage sale, and wouldn't that make a great feature story for the paper? Shortly after the story runs, one of the four women, retired antiques dealer Violeta Bell, is murdered.

    Donna says: "Great book, the Best of readers"
    "Enoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a slow, easy story that reminds me of a modern day Miss Marple. The mystery revolves around the lost member of a royal family and hidden identities, all a little far-farfetched for me but the character building is well done and I found myself listening for that reason, even though I didn't care a fig for how the case ended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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