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Pinole, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

  • 11 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 660 titles in library
  • 95 purchased in 2014

  • Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Ramon De Ocampo

    The author of the Mistborn trilogy and Elantris, Brandon Sanderson is winning abundant praise for this rollicking - and unusual - tale. Alcatraz Smedry can’t exactly be described as someone who doesn’t break things. In fact, he breaks lots of things. The truth is, he’s a major klutz. Breaking things, however, might just be the ace in the hole he needs when he goes up against a cabal of nefarious (gasp!) librarians.

    Joe says: "Incredibly good!"
    "not up to the level of Brandon's other works"
    What did you like best about Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians? What did you like least?

    On the positive side, it was certainly original. On the negative side, I didn't feel that I could identify with any of the characters, therefore, I did not get "into" the story

    What was most disappointing about Brandon Sanderson’s story?

    I suppose that the most disappointing part was that the story was not like the outstanding other fantasy books that I have read by Brandon Sanderson. Rather than the self consistent and emotionally appealing fantasy worlds that Sanderson has created, this book was more "comic fantasy". This is fine if that is what one wants to read.

    Which character – as performed by Ramon De Ocampo – was your favorite?

    None of the characters was "real" enough for me to have a favorite.

    Did Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians inspire you to do anything?


    Any additional comments?

    Brandon Sanderson is truly a gifted author of some really fine fantasy. I am probably not the best person to evaluate a book of his that is not of the type that I prefer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Boston Jacky: Bloody Jack, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By L. A. Meyer
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Jacky Faber makes waves, even when docked in her adopted city of Boston to attend to the business of Faber Shipping Worldwide. With big dreams and perhaps too much exuberance for the Puritan populace, she quickly finds herself at odds with the Women's Temperance Union and a town roiling over the arrival of hundreds of Irish laborers, brought in on Jacky's Lorelei Lee.

    Aser Tolentino says: "How Much Farther Jacky?"
    "A very entertaining series"
    Would you listen to Boston Jacky again? Why?

    The story is fast moving and just an easy and entertaining read. Also, you cant help but feel good about Jacky who despite being persecuted by all of the bad guys, always stands up for those who need help.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Boston Jacky?

    for me, the most memorable thing was just picking up a new story about our hero Jacky and being entertained for yet another 10 hours or so.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    I liked them all.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Bad guys beware, Jacky is in town, and she gets even.

    Any additional comments?

    All of the books have been read by Katherine Kellgren. She is the best reader that I have ever experienced. Her spirited reading really makes the books come alive. Thank you Katherine!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Why Are You Atheists So Angry?: 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs)
    • By Greta Christina
    • Narrated By Greta Christina
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why are atheists angry? Is it because they're selfish, joyless, lacking in meaning, and alienated from God? Or is it because they have legitimate reasons to be angry - and are ready to do something about it? Armed with passionate outrage, absurdist humor, and calm intelligence, popular blogger Greta Christina makes a powerful case for outspoken atheist activism, and explains the empathy and justice that drive it. This accessible, personal, down-to-earth book speaks not only to atheists, but also to believers who want to understand the so-called new atheism.

    Erik says: "I didn't need to listen to this book"
    "A nice compilation of reasons to dislike religion"
    Where does Why Are You Atheists So Angry? rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Perhaps not destined to receive any literary prizes, but a fun read for atheists. Considering the number of books that I wasn't able to finish, or had to struggle to finish, I would have to rate this book in about the 80th percentile.

    What did you like best about this story?

    The fact that it listed all of the diverse reasons that religion has been a bad influence in human society as well as being unsupportable as being true.

    What about Greta Christina’s performance did you like?

    She managed not to make it sound like a rant. Her diction was clear and appropriately paced, with just enough emotion to emphasize her points.

    If you could give Why Are You Atheists So Angry? a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Finally, an objective discussion of religion!

    Any additional comments?

    Most of the arguments and facts that she presented were already known to me, but she put them all together into a clear and compelling book.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By John M. Barry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick

    No disease the world has ever known even remotely resembles the great influenza epidemic of 1918. Presumed to have begun when sick farm animals infected soldiers in Kansas, spreading and mutating into a lethal strain as troops carried it to Europe, it exploded across the world with unequaled ferocity and speed. It killed more people in 20 weeks than AIDS has killed in 20 years; it killed more people in a year than the plagues of the Middle Ages killed in a century.

    Nancy says: "Gripping and Gory"
    "it could and likely will happen again"
    If you could sum up The Great Influenza in three words, what would they be?

    are we prepared?

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This question is not really relevant

    What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He seems to bring emotion to each sentence. Sometimes it is too much.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The Great epidemic of 1918: will it happen again in 2018?

    Any additional comments?

    Throughout my life I have heard of the killer flu pandemic of 1918, but have known no details of how the pandemic developed and why so many people died. This is a chilling story of how the medical system was completely overwhelmed, resulting in far more deaths than might otherwise have occurred. Although we have more effective medicines for the pneumonia which followed the flu and was the actual major killer, The sheer numbers of people involved would, if it happened again result in many deaths from the same cause. This is because our current ems system does not have the surge capacity to deal with the large numbers of very sick people. After reading this book, my feeling is that eventually another such pandemic is likely to happen again. Do we have a national plan for dealing with it? The book seems to say that the answer is no, and I think that the book makes the point very well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Isabel Wilkerson
    • Narrated By Robin Miles, Ken Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to previously untapped data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

    Lila says: "Superior non-fiction"
    "probably would make anyone uncomfortable"
    What made the experience of listening to The Warmth of Other Suns the most enjoyable?

    The realization of just how bleak the lives of post slavery black people were, especially in the south, and also the realization of just how recently this changed.

    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The story followed the lives of several of the black people who migrated from the south in the early 20th century. The story seemed a little slow and plodding. Sometimes it was difficult to maintain interest. The story could/should have been told in perhaps 1/2 to 2/3 as much time.

    Have you listened to any of Robin Miles’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is my first Robin Miles reading

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it was a story that I listened to for education, not entertainment.

    Any additional comments?

    I think that this is a worthwhile read for white people such as myself as well as Black people. It is about a shared heritage that none of us can be proud of. For a conscientious white person, it is horrifying to see just how cruel other white people were in the Jim Crow south. I am not sure how a black person might react, but I can imagine a mixture of emotions, some directed at white people for their cruelty, and some directed at themselves and other black people for their helplessness in the face of this cruelty.

    I am 62 years old, and it is a bit humbling to realize that many of the abuses that are described were in full force during my lifetime, and indeed that some of this exists today.

    I think that this book would be most valuable to young people of all races. This would help them to understand some of why the older generation acts and thinks the way it does.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By George Friedman
    • Narrated By William Hughes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In The Next 100 Years, Friedman turns his eye on the future. Drawing on a profound understanding of history and geopolitical patterns dating back to the Roman Empire, he shows that we are now, for the first time in half a millennium, experiencing the dawn of a new historical cycle.

    Richard says: "Good Start - slow end"
    "I hope this author is wrong"
    Would you try another book from George Friedman and/or William Hughes?

    Yes, because he gives logic and facts to back up his predictions. Whether I agree with his conclusions or not, I have to agree that they are plausible.

    If you’ve listened to books by George Friedman before, how does this one compare?

    This one is my first

    What about William Hughes’s performance did you like?

    He read the book in a voice that sounded as though the author was speaking. Not overly emotional or bored sounding, but as though he believed what he was saying

    Did The Next 100 Years inspire you to do anything?

    No, I didn't see the book as trying to inspire action.

    Any additional comments?

    The book was not mainly about the technical advances of the next 100 years (although there was a little of that there), but was rather about the cyclical nature of political relationships and conflicts, and how they might play out over the next 100 years. In my opinion, the author gives too little importance to the technical advances, but sees these advances as simply adding a new dimension to the same political relationships that have been going on for hundreds of years.

    The author believes that power struggles and wars will be our fate in the future just as in the past. I hope that he is wrong.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Endgame: The End of The Debt Supercycle And How It Changes Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By John Mauldin
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Hundreds of books have been written about the financial crisis that engulfed the world after Lehman Brothers went bankrupt. But what if the bigger financial crisis is ahead of us, not behind us?As John Mauldin and Jonathan Tepper deftly illustrate in this controversial audio book, the crisis was more than a half-century in the making. The Great Financial Crisis, however, was merely Act I.

    Lloyd says: "The Best Explanation of what's Happening Now"
    "an important message for all of us"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. The main message seems to be that there aint no such thing as a free lunch, and that many individuals, companies, and governments act as though there is. The bill eventually will come due.

    What did you like best about this story?

    The consistent message supported by stories of individuals, companies and governments that continue to put off the day of reckoning, which only makes it more expensive.

    What does Sean Pratt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    It was a pretty straightforward reading of an unemotional book.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    pay now or pay later - later it will cost much more.

    Any additional comments?

    The main theme of the book is that we all live beyond our means and that until we correct that imbalance, we will not be financially healthy. I think that it is a message that we all need to hear and understand - and act on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Timothy Egan
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor, Ken Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region.

    Laurie says: "more than grapes of wrath"
    "You feel like you were there"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Worst Hard Time to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print edition, but I think that perhaps some of the emotion conveyed in the audio edition would be lacking in the print version.

    What other book might you compare The Worst Hard Time to and why?

    Other books of survival against hopeless odds, such as "breaking into Auschwitz", and "The long walk", both of which also are available on audible.

    What about Patrick Lawlor’s performance did you like?

    He read the book with some emotion, but did not overdo the emoting as some readers do. The feeling was that he was telling a story that was real to him.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was depressing in that I felt that I was able to identify with or at least understand the people who lived through the dust bowl, and feel their hopelessness and despair.

    Any additional comments?

    This book is a historical account of what actually occurred in the depression/dust bowl, told from the perspective of the people who experienced it. It is good that the book was written while these people are still alive, as they will not be for much longer.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • What's Eating You?: People and Parasites

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Eugene H. Kaplan
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland

    In What's Eating You? Eugene Kaplan recounts the true and harrowing tales of his adventures with parasites, and in the process introduces readers to the intimately interwoven lives of host and parasite.

    Karin W. says: "Squirm-inducing, horribly fascinating stories"
    "style a bit odd, but a worthwhile read"
    What made the experience of listening to What's Eating You? the most enjoyable?

    The book gave a good overview of the kinds of parasites that are out there ready to feast on those who do not take them seriously.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The author. As a person who studies parasites, he has been himself exposed, and described his personal experiences with a number of parasites.

    What about Dennis Holland’s performance did you like?

    Nothing stands out, which is probably a good thing.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    They're coming to get you!

    Any additional comments?

    I had mentioned in my title that the style was a bit odd. By this, I was referring to the book beginning in an outline kind of style, rather than a narrative, but I soon stopped noticing this as I became fascinated with the content.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Rape of Nanking

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Iris Chang
    • Narrated By Anna Fields

    In December 1937, in the capital of China, one of the most brutal massacres in the long annals of wartime barbarity occurred. The Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking and within weeks not only looted and burned the defenseless city but systematically raped, tortured and murdered more than 300,000 Chinese civilians. Amazingly, the story of this atrocity- one of the worst in world history- continues to be denied by the Japanese government.

    Douglas says: "Powerful"
    "valuable story, could have been told better"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    1. include more general background on the war between china and Japan. How does the rape of Nanking fit into the whole story?

    2. I had the feeling that the story was being told from one side, and with some emotion rather than objectivity. I would like to have been more convinced that I was getting the whole of the story.

    3. The story also didn't flow very well. Rather than an organized progression of events leading to the end of story, it seemed to be a collection of smaller stories without context as to how they fit into the whole. The book could have been organized better

    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The most interesting aspect is that it was a story that I had never heard before. I wanted to know about this

    Did Anna Fields do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    I think that this question probably relates more to a fiction book. As far as the reading, I think that Anna read the book very well, and my only complaint is that the book was written by a Chinese woman, but the reading didn't sound very Chinese. This is probably irrational, but I felt a little uncomfortable with this.

    Was The Rape of Nanking worth the listening time?


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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