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Joanna

Traveler. Artist. Dreamer.

Chicago, IL, United States | Member Since 2011

63
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 28 reviews
  • 86 ratings
  • 225 titles in library
  • 22 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
28

  • On the Map

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Simon Garfield
    • Narrated By Simon Shepherd
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (28)

    Maps fascinate us. They chart our understanding of the world and they log our progress, but above all they tell our stories. From the early sketches of philosophers and explorers through to Google Maps and beyond, Simon Garfield examines how maps both relate and realign our history. His compelling narratives range from the quest to create the perfect globe to the challenges of mapping Africa and Antarctica, from spellbinding treasure maps to the naming of America, from Ordnance Survey to the mapping of Monopoly and Skyrim and from rare map dealers to cartographic frauds.

    Joanna says: "If you like maps & history, get this book!"
    "If you like maps & history, get this book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This books covers just about all aspects of maps. While I'm not a map collector, maps have always been intoxicating for me and this book is the back story. It's amazing what people have accomplished! "On The Map" is full of history on exploration, cartography, collecting, dealing, and fraud to present day mapping with satellites, gaming, and contemporary art. So if you like maps and you like history, this book is for you!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Daily Rituals: How Artists Work

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Mason Currey
    • Narrated By Adam Verner
    Overall
    (229)
    Performance
    (192)
    Story
    (192)

    Kafka is one of 161 inspired-and inspiring-minds, among them, novelists, poets, playwrights, painters, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians, who describe how they subtly maneuver the many (self-inflicted) obstacles and (self-imposed) daily rituals to get done the work they love to do, whether by waking early or staying up late; whether by self-medicating with doughnuts or bathing, drinking vast quantities of coffee, or taking long daily walks.

    Mark says: "Master your schedule."
    "Bite-sized glimpses into artist's lives"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Don't expect analysis on the best way to create art & don't expect a story of an artist's life. This is simply a glimpse into many artist's work habits. Whenever an artist that I admire was announced I became so excited because I got to enter their life for just a moment. I felt as if I was able to know them just a little bit better. How many people get to see your daily rituals? I think the point of this book is to make your own decision on what is best for you and that there are many roads to creation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Places: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins, and others
    Overall
    (4006)
    Performance
    (3272)
    Story
    (3296)

    Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas". As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived, and famously testified that her 15-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who've long forgotten her.

    Glenda Jeffers says: "Riveting but brutal"
    "Better than Girl Gone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was more exciting than Girl Gone since you are left in suspense until the very end. Gillian really has a way with making you think it was one character then jumps to another. The juxtaposing between the male and female point of view and the past and present "day" (pun intended) works exceptionally well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume I: Visions of Glory 1874-1932

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By William Manchester
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (787)
    Performance
    (469)
    Story
    (468)

    Winston Churchill is perhaps the most important political figure of the 20th century. His great oratory and leadership during the Second World War were only part of his huge breadth of experience and achievement. Studying his life is a fascinating way to imbibe the history of his era and gain insight into key events that have shaped our time.

    Wolfpacker says: "Superb - Review of Both Volume I & Volume II"
    "I's a lot to take in, but I learned a lot."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a history book. It's hard to fully delve into. Yet, I'm glad I listened to it. I learned a lot about European history & what an interesting man Churchill is. I can't believe all the obstacles he faced. This man had a lot of people who disliked him and had many career ruining moments, but somehow he just kept going even with bouts of depression. Makes one reflect on one's actions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    Overall
    (16903)
    Performance
    (15034)
    Story
    (15078)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Interesting turned into mediocre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a who done it book and I knew it had twists from reading the reviews. So I was having fun trying to figure out who it could have been then about half way through, you find out who. After that, it stops being exciting and starts being a book about a person with a psychological disorder. You find out all of the dirty little secrets in a really drawn out way and I wasn't as eager to listen to it after that. I felt like a guy after a one night stand. Once it has all been given up, what fun can you have after that?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By John Izzo
    • Narrated By John Izzo
    Overall
    (262)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (134)

    John Izzo interviewed over 200 people, ages 60 to 106, each of whom was identified by friends and acquaintances as "the one person they knew who had found happiness and meaning".

    Christine says: "Discover the secrets before you live another day"
    "Meh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The introduction is painfully lengthy, about an hour. He starts by thanking everyone, which was sweet. Then he moves on to the process of how he did his research, which could have been summed up in probably 5 mins. Instead, you hear a lot of redundant material for about an hour, yeah painful. The stories were also nice, but to be honest I don't remember all of the "secrets" and I just finished listening to it. There are other books where I can remember points made so vividly for months after hearing them. I think the way he organized the entire book is not the way my brain processes or it is just the same old stuff (i.e.: give, be nice, be you, blah, blah, blah). Or maybe I just read one too many of these types of books. Nothing mind blowing & I am doubtful that I will ever re-listen.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    Overall
    (4425)
    Performance
    (3907)
    Story
    (3928)

    In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks. Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago.

    Pamela says: "Another new perspective on life"
    "David... you naughty, naughty boy."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I find myself bringing this up at work, at a coffee shop with friends, getting a massage, & nearly any leisurely conversation I have. The contents of this book simply rolls off my tongue and I can't stop myself - yeah, Tipping Point style. Breaking unspoken rules? How devilishly delicious! This book leaves you questioning everything you "know" about rules, advantages, & disadvantages. I absolutely love it!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25487)
    Performance
    (19343)
    Story
    (19409)

    In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow.

    DCinMI says: "Review of First 5 Books"
    "Addictive series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I cannot say enough great things about these books. I was hooked immediately and I rarely want to turn this off. This book is filled with so many twists and turns that I often found myself gaping in astonishment! The character development is also fantastic. Roy Dotrice does an amazing job of slipping in and out of different voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Sandy Tolan
    • Narrated By Sandy Tolan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (322)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (104)

    In 1967, Bashir Al-Khayri, a Palestinian 25-year-old, made a long-imagined journey to what is now the city of Ramle in Israel, with the goal of seeing the beloved old stone house, with the lemon tree behind it that his father had planted, that he and his family had fled 19 years earlier. To his surprise, when he found the house and rang the bell, a young woman welcomed him in.

    Matthew says: "A Must Read -but deeply flawed"
    "Mandatory reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This should really be on everybody's to do list. I think a lot of us are naive on this subject. I, myself, did not know much about the struggle. All I knew was that there was a struggle. Now I know why! This book was recommended to me by a friend and I'm glad I read it. I especially liked how the author made this book based on a real life encounter between an Arab & a Jew. It now puts many world events into perspective and is making me think differently about them. By no means are the actions justified, just better understood.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of One

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (2845)
    Performance
    (1651)
    Story
    (1657)

    Born in a South Africa divided by racism and hatred, this one small boy will come to lead all the tribes of Africa. Through enduring friendships with Hymie and Gideon, Peekay gains the strength he needs to win out. And in a final conflict with his childhood enemy, the Judge, Peekay will fight to the death for justice.

    Bob says: "Compelling story lifted higher by the narration"
    "Am I the only one that thinks this was a let down?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Peekay is a remarkable boy who is so remarkable in fact that it is practically unbelievable. Mr Courtenay focuses on how remarkable this boy is the whole time and then ends it with a very unremarkable moment. It was such a let down and it just does't make sense... What about being the tadpole angel or being the welterweight champion of the world? Why did he put so much emphasis on these two aspects and then end it with a silly confrontation? It's as if there was a build up for nothing. The end came straight out of left field and seems inconsistent with the direction the story was headed.

    As much as I think the story was a let down, there are 3 things that I really liked about The Power of One:
    1. The character development was "wunderbar, absolutal"
    2. It had important messages about life scattered throughout
    3. Humphrey Bower was an excellent narrator

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pride and Prejudice

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Flo Gibson
    Overall
    (1094)
    Performance
    (914)
    Story
    (928)

    Many consider this rich social commentary to be Jane Austen's finest novel. It is certainly among her more famous ones. Austen sets her entertaining study of manners and misconceptions against the backdrop of a class-conscious society in 18th-century England.

    Rachel Kapila says: "Flo Gibson Reads You Stories"
    "It's like a fairy tale... but without the fairies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is just fantastic. It's about a smart and confidant woman who thinks she knows everything and a man who thinks he is above everyone else. Then their worlds get turned upside down! The performance is OK and didn't bother me as much as it did other people.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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