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Marci

portland, OR, United States | Member Since 2006

479
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 92 reviews
  • 210 ratings
  • 647 titles in library
  • 32 purchased in 2014
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95

  • Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris
    Overall
    (2467)
    Performance
    (2247)
    Story
    (2236)

    From the unique perspective of David Sedaris comes a new collection of essays taking his listeners on a bizarre and stimulating world tour. From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler's experiences.

    FanB14 says: "Devout Fan Disappointed"
    "David Sedaris is back"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've followed David Sedaris for years and seen him speak twice. Before this book, his recent material included a lot of parables starring animals. They were not to my taste, I was disappointed that his work was heading in that direction. I'm so happy he is back. This book is filled with new yet classic Sedaris material with stories of his travels, his childhood, and his family. This book is a little darker than his past works, it feels a little more raw, but that doesn't make it any less great. I enjoyed this book like getting back in touch with an old friend.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Opal: Matt Turner, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Michael Siemsen
    • Narrated By Chris Patton
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Matt Turner grew up witnessing firsthand the worst crimes imaginable. At age nine, he discovered his special ability to "read" the emotional imprints people leave on objects. Against better judgment, his police detective father used his son’s talent to help him solve crimes. Now, at 26, Matt tries to keep to himself, but an enemy he thought long gone interrupts his tropical vacation, flying him all over the globe to help track a 3,500-year-old Egyptian opal found sealed in a Cuban tree trunk.

    S. A. Sutphin says: "Great 2nd book in series!"
    "Wow this book is bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ugh.
    I chose this book because I just finished "A Warm Place to Call Home" by Siemsen. That book was amazing. I recommended it to several people. I was ready to read (listen to) anything that Siemsen wrote.
    Wow, "The Opal" is bad.
    Where to begin...
    The very initial premise of this book is a good one, seems fun, seems like it could go places. But the implementation is terrible. The reader/listener ends up in strange worlds meeting strange people and needing to follow along with strange stories that have nothing to do with the actual story and Siemsen never brings the two together or gives any reason why you should care about these other worlds.
    The worst part of this story for me was the relationship and what happens between the main character and his wife. I'm not sure what I was supposed to feel about the wife, but I hated her and blamed her for a bunch of what ends up happening, and I don't think that's what Siemsen had in mind.
    At the end, I said "oh, you've got to be kidding me." The ending was so bad. The story just limped to a pathetic halt.
    The one tiny interesting thing about the story was the question around if one of the bad guys is actually a bad guy--it made me think "hmmmmm" for a minute. I liked that particular story line.
    The narrator was fine, no complaints.

    I will not be buying any more of this series. I really hope Siemsen writes more books outside this series--I would give those a shot.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Worst. Person. Ever.

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Douglas Coupland
    • Narrated By James Langton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Raymond Gunt likes to think of himself as a pretty decent guy - he believes in karma, and helping his fellow man, and all that other good stuff. Sure, he can be foulmouthed, occasionally misogynistic, and can just generally rub people the wrong way - through no fault of his own! So with all the positive energy he’s creating, it’s a little perplexing to consider the recent downward spiral his life has taken.… Could the universe be trying to tell him something?

    B. Milliron says: "Quit being a boring prude and get this book."
    "Too silly, too simple, disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first couple hours of this book were great. I laughed out loud several times, Coupland is funny, no doubt about that.
    Once the story started to unfold, things fell apart.
    Neil, the main character's homeless friend was good. I liked him. He was funny and a good foil to everything happening. Other than that, all the characters were lame, including the main character.
    He wasn't a bad guy, his character wasn't developed enough for him to be "bad." He just had weird, unlucky things happen to him all the time, which gets old, and isn't enough for a coherent or even vaguely interesting story.
    The other characters, his mom, his ex-wife, the odd women, were all very forgettable, underdeveloped, and not interesting.

    With about one hour of the book left, I started watching the time, trying to decide if I could even finish it. I considered stopping again with only 17 minutes left, it was that bad. I did finish it, but it was painful.

    The narrator was fine, no complaints there.

    This book was especially disappointing because the first part was so promising and funny.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Warm Place to Call Home: A Demon's Story

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Michael Siemsen
    • Narrated By Ray Chase
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Frederick is a demon. Born in Maryland in the early 1980's, he hasn't a clue where he came from or why, but feels an irresistible desire to occupy a human body. Once inside, he finds the previous occupants' consciousness and memories forever erased, an inevitable side effect that gives Frederick pause when switching bodies, but not so much as to truly halt his ongoing enjoyment of human lives. In various bodies, he travels the world for decades - aimless - sampling cultures and experiencing life from the points of view of males, females, young, old, rich, poor.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "Very unique paranormal love story"
    "I didn't want it to end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A Warm Place to Call Home is an awesome, awesome book. I hope it gets discovered and read (listened to) by thousands. I can't wait to read more from Siemsen.

    I'm going to gush--here we go.

    I loved the writing. The author surprised me right from the start by speaking directly to the reader in a casual funny way. He's a little irreverent, and funny, but then as the book went on, I almost forgot that he could be funny because I teared up in spots as he drew me into the story.

    The story is so creative throughout. The premise is super interesting, but then it just gets better and better as he develops characters and as the story unfolds. There are twists that blew my mind. I cheered and gasped.

    While I used the title that I didn't want it to end, the end was awesome. I said "NO WAY" out loud, it's so great.

    The narrator is perfect. He changed voices in a way where he became invisible and let the story shine through.

    I've already recommended this book to friends.

    Get this book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Kill Fee: Stevens and Windemere, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Owen Laukkanen
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    On a beautiful Saturday in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota, state investigator Kirk Stevens and his occasional colleague FBI special agent Carla Windermere witness the assassination of one of the state’s wealthiest men. The shooter is a young man, utterly unremarkable - except in his eyes. There is something very wrong in his eyes.

    Marci says: "Great, though not as good as the first two"
    "Great, though not as good as the first two"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm really enjoying this series. It has just enough twists to keep it interesting and make it different and surprising compared to other cop series.
    As expected, in this book, the relationship between Stevens and Windermere gets more complicated. There is good tension without taking away from the action and the story.
    The bad guys were good in this one. The mastermind and minions kept me guessing and kept it interesting. The action, complexities, and level of badness in the criminals were great. The pace of the story and action were good too.
    The thing that dropped it to four stars was the continuous attempts to try to describe the mental illness of a couple of characters. It was too abstract, filled with hyperbole, and was repeated way too many times which made it tedious.

    The first two in this series were both based on amateur and almost reluctant criminals which I really, really liked, but maybe that's not scalable in a series.

    I don't like the narrator's voice and accent sometimes for Windermere, that's why he only gets for stars.

    I recommend this book and I'll listen to the next one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Providence Rag: A Liam Mulligan Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Bruce DeSilva
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Edgar Award-winner Bruce DeSilva returns with Liam Mulligan, an old-school investigative reporter for a dying newspaper in Providence, Rhode Island. Mulligan knows every street and alley, every priest and prostitute, every cop and street thug. He knows the mobsters and politicians - who are pretty much one and the same. Inspired by a true story, Providence Rag finds Mulligan, his pal Mason, and the newspaper they both work for at an ethical crossroad.

    Marci says: "Best of the series, can't wait for more"
    "Best of the series, can't wait for more"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the third installment in a series by Bruce DeSilva about a newspaper reporter and his cast of friends, peers, co-workers, and enemies.
    It's a fun series. I was first drawn to it in the very first book because not everything wrapped up with a neat little bow. Things are messy, which keeps it really interesting.

    In "Providence Rag," the "bad guy" is colorful and surprising and not-cookie-cutter and the story spans three decades which is also a great twist. All of the characters that you've gotten to know from the first two books are back, so DeSilva weaves the expected and unexpected together in a great way.

    You don't have to have read the first two books to enjoy this one. He catches the reader up in a smooth way, without repeating too much from previous books. But you'll have a deeper understanding of the characters and relationships if you start from the beginning.

    I only gave it 4 stars because it's still not to the level of a Lee Child, or Tom Clancy, or even Owen Laukkanen. The depth of the characters can still be improved. I wanted to know a lot more about the blond lawyer, and the character "Mason" also known as "Yes Dad" could be explored better and deeper. There were a couple chunks of this story that were slow, but overall it had a great pace. It's really a big improvement from the first book, which I liked enough to keep going.

    The narrator, Woodman, is good. He changed accents a couple times which was weird, but overall he does a good job.

    I recommend this book and am excited for the next one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Where the Mountain Casts Its Shadow: The Dark Side of Extreme Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Maria Coffey
    • Narrated By Gemma Dawson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Without risk, say mountaineers, there would be none of the self-knowledge that comes from pushing life to its extremes. For them, perhaps, it is worth the cost. But when tragedy strikes, what happens to the people left behind? Why would anyone choose to invest in a future with a high-altitude risk-taker? What is life like in the shadow of the mountain? Such questions have long been taboo in the world of mountaineering. Now, the spouses, parents and children of internationally renowned climbers finally break their silence, speaking out about the dark side of adventure.

    Marci says: "Interesting story but the narrator ruined it"
    "Interesting story but the narrator ruined it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The idea for this book is great, and most of it was very interesting. Coffey gained interviews with the biggest names in mountaineering and gets their stories. But more importantly, she gets them to talk about the dangers and what motivates them to keep going back for more.

    Coffey seemed to get access to people and stories that no one else has, which makes this a unique and rare collection of stories and insights.

    It seemed to me that she built up her own "qualifications" a little too much, I didn't care at all about her actual story because there wasn't much for her to tell. But she kept that to a small part of the book, and the rest of it was great.

    I really enjoyed hearing from the parents and children of the different climbers.

    The narrator was the wrong choice for several reasons for this book.
    #1 She mispronounced key words. Arete, Couloir, John Muir's last name, and the worst, Mt Rainier. There was an entire chapter on Mt Rainier climbing so she said it over and over again, it was grating, and annoying, and unacceptable. Arete & Couloir she pronounced them differently in different parts of the book.
    #2 She had a Mary Poppins, sticky sweet British accent and lilt to her voice, which was the wrong choice for subject matter this dark. While she was describing maggots eating away frost bitten fingers, she talked like she was happily reciting a recipe for Bannoffee Pie.

    Bad editing, bad direction, bad choice for the narrator. I have NEVER said this before, and I have over 600 audiobooks, I wish I had read this one instead of listening.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Hollow Man

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Jeremy Bremen has a secret. All his life he's been cursed with the ability to read minds. He knows the secret thoughts, fears, and desires of others as if they were his own. For years, his wife, Gail, has served as a shield between Jeremy and the burden of this terrible knowledge. But Gail is dying, her mind ebbing slowly away, leaving him vulnerable to the chaotic flood of thought that threatens to sweep away his sanity. Now Jeremy is on the run - from his mind, from his past, from himself - hoping to find peace in isolation.

    Marci says: "Genius writing, great book"
    "Genius writing, great book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If someone had told me that they wanted to recommend a book to me that had romance, gore/horror, sci-fi, and mobster mystery, with just a hint of spirituality, where the main character was a mathematician, I'd probably pass. But if any author can put all those pieces together in a great story, it's Dan Simmons.

    I haven't loved everything that Simmons has written, but this book gets an A+, I loved everything about it.

    The romance between Jeremy, the main character, and his wife is beautiful and heart warming. The set-up that leads to all the action is masterful, one shocking moment rolls right into the next and it's all oddly believable.

    Simmons alternates between present and past between chapters and it works. I looked forward to picking up on the story between chapters and it added to the suspense in the middle of hair-raising situations.

    The pacing was great, and it was super easy to follow along with everything, which is a feat in itself considering just how much happens in this story.

    The narrator was flawless. I've never heard Boyett before. He disappeared perfectly, never detracting from the story. I especially loved any scene where the characters were whispering. He's just really good.

    There was an annoying technical error in the first two chapters of the 2nd half of the book--it seemed like almost an entire chapter was duplicated. Hopefully that's something that Audible will fix, so by the time you are reading this, it won't be there.

    I highly recommend this book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Richard C. Morais
    • Narrated By Neil Shah
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (50)

    Born above his grandfather’s modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumière, a small village in the French Alps.

    Marci says: "Great details & writing in a flawed story"
    "Great details & writing in a flawed story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The writing of this book is beautiful. The style is almost poetic without being tedious. The descriptions of smells and facial expressions and room decor and cooking techniques are so specific yet so well done that it really takes you there. I can picture the table in the front of Haji's restaurant and the smells as he walks by street vendors.

    This story is driven by food and cooking. If you are a fan of cooking and/or the cooking channel on tv, you'll love this book. Note that the first review of this book is by Anthony Bourdain, a famous tv "chef."

    There is more to the story than just cooking, which is what makes the story very good. The characters are likable and multi-dimensional and well developed. I was very invested in what happened to Haji, and his mentors and his family.

    When reading reviews for this book, it's some of the pieces that people rave about that make the story flawed for me. I also had to remind myself that this was not a true story, but that wasn't a positive for me. It felt like a true story during the last quarter of the book because not much happened. It felt like the author had to record facts that weren't actually interesting.

    Also, occasionally, the food references went too far for me. There is one action scene where Haji's life is slightly in danger and he stops to describe the smell of the food that the homeless people are cooking while he's running for his life--that seemed odd to me,

    I also wish that the author would have put more energy into the development of Haji's friend towards the end of the book. He becomes a big part of the end of the book and of Haji's life and there wasn't enough detail about him for me to care as much as I wanted to.

    The narrator was great. He struggled sometimes with the voice and accent of the French lady in comparison to the French men and then leaping back to an East Indian accent, but he did an admirable job at it.

    I recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By B. J. Novak
    • Narrated By B. J. Novak, Mindy Kaling, Katy Perry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (208)
    Performance
    (191)
    Story
    (195)

    B.J. Novak's One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories is an endlessly entertaining, surprisingly sensitive, and startlingly original debut that signals the arrival of a brilliant new voice in American fiction. A boy wins a $100,000 prize in a box of Frosted Flakes - only to discover how claiming the winnings might unravel his family. A woman sets out to seduce motivational speaker Tony Robbins - turning for help to the famed motivator himself. A new arrival in Heaven, overwhelmed with options, procrastinates over a long-ago promise to visit his grandmother....

    Marci says: "It gets better, and better, and better, and better"
    "It gets better, and better, and better, and better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Starting off this book, I said "oh noooooo" to myself. The Tortoise and the Hare has been done, it's not clever, every essayist has re-done that story. Novak's version wasn't great, I was dreading the rest of this book. Then he surprised me. The stories not only got better, they kept getting better. I loved this book.

    Novak's stories are full of just really smart humor. It is a glimpse into the mind of a super observant guy who then has the talent to turn his observations into approachable, clever, and funny stories. I don't think I've ever used the word poignant before, but many of these stories are. They are deep and thoughtful while being witty and modern. I found myself thinking about several of the stories and telling people about them. His stories about John Grisham and Elvis (both fictional) were just awesome, and I also really loved "Missed Connection," "Outran the Rain," and "Confucius."

    It's not just that the stories are great. They rhythm of the stories are masterful. There's no tedium or predictability that often come with essays or short story collections. The order they are put in allows the reader (listener) to laugh out loud, and be surprised, and look forward to the next story, and wish for more--it was really smartly done.

    I know us "listeners" of books are in the minority, but in this case, we win the prize. The narration of this book makes it just that much better. Mindy Kaling, Rain Wilson, and Jenna Fischer are such a treat, and Novak's narration brings the stories to life even more.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Espedair Street

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Iain Banks
    • Narrated By Peter Kenny
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Daniel Weir used to be a famous - not to say infamous - rock star. Maybe still is. At thirty-one he has been both a brilliant failure and a dull success. He's made a lot of mistakes that have paid off and a lot of smart moves he'll regret forever (however long that turns out to be). Daniel Weir has gone from rags to riches and back, and managed to hold onto them both, though not much else. His friends all seem to be dead, fed up with him or just disgusted - and who can blame them? And now Daniel Weir is all alone.

    Marci says: "Almost really really great"
    "Almost really really great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story was witty and quippy, fast-paced and quite funny. I laughed out loud within the first 10 minutes of listening and thought "this is going to be a great ride." The way the characters unfolded was so good. The story telling was smooth and interesting with Banks jumping from present to past.

    I loved the main characters and all of his side-kicks. I could really visualize the little town he lived in and his crazy house and the bar he frequented. I was completely invested in everything about the story.

    I loved the snippets of the song lyrics peppered throughout the story. I would stop and sometimes rewind and listen to them again.

    Then, Banks started to wrap up the story, and things fell apart for me. The ending was cliche, and predictable, though I didn't expect it because the book was so good. I didn't expect the ending to be that bad, so I guess it wasn't entirely predictable. It was a lame attempt to make you really like Weir,D (the main character) in the end when I already liked him. The wrap-up and the ending just really did not do justice to the rest of the book. It felt hurried and uninspired.

    The narration was great. When I very first turned the book on, it took me a couple minutes to understand what he was saying his accent was so thick. But then I got used to it and the accent just added to the charm. His voices and distinction between characters were really great.

    If you keep expectations a little low for the ending, I recommend this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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