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Chico, CA, United States | Member Since 2003

  • 9 reviews
  • 53 ratings
  • 1066 titles in library
  • 29 purchased in 2014

  • The Dark Horse: A Walt Longmire Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall

    The Denver Post hails Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire mystery series as a must-read. Joining the four previous novels - all of which have been Book Sense picks - The Dark Horse puts a unique Wyoming twist on the classic British village mystery. When Longmire meets a woman jailed for her husband's death, he travels outside his usual haunts to discover the truth behind this unusual murder case.

    V. Sharol says: "Another outstanding book from Johnson"
    "and it was such a promising series..."

    I really loved this series...until it became a romance novel for old men who dream of a young nubile woman falling for them. His relationship and sexual encounters with Vic are just too embarrassing to listen to :(

    19 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Dome: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Raul Esparza
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when - or if - it will go away.

    Russell says: "Glad I Listened to 11-22-63 First"
    "almost aweome"

    I wanted to love this book, the setup is fantastic...but the characters, especially the "bad guys" were so simplistically drawn that they were simply not believable. Their personalities and characters were painfully expectable and overdone.

    I'm a fan of King, but this one is a miss. :(

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Steven Sherrill
    • Narrated By Holter Graham

    Five thousand years out of the Labyrinth, the Minotaur finds himself in the American South, living in a trailer park and working as a line cook at a steakhouse. No longer a devourer of human flesh, the Minotaur is a socially inept, lonely creature with very human needs. But over a two-week period, as his life dissolves into chaos, this broken and alienated immortal awakens to the possibility for happiness and to the capacity for love.

    Cathy says: "Full of surprises, delightfully unexpected"

    Neil! Thank you for giving me a chance to enjoy Sherrill's book. It's awesome to get this earlier incarnation of a genre that's hard to describe but that I really love. Sherrill is funny in a great dead pan way and also really rather profound and touching...that's not easily done.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Sam Kean
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette

    Reporter Sam Kean reveals the periodic table as it’s never been seen before. Not only is it one of man's crowning scientific achievements, it's also a treasure trove of stories of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The infectious tales and astounding details in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.

    Ethan M. says: "Excellent, if unfocused"
    "I just fell in love with science"

    If history, or science, or psychology, or sociology, or political science, or economics are of any interest to you, you must read this book. I had no idea the history of scientific discoveries is so captivating. This author, Sam Kean, looks at both the history and the science of the discovery, function, and use of the periodic table. He clearly and insightfully explains scientific concepts that I never was able to see are really easy to grasp. This book is freaking awesome and I hardly even made it through high school chemistry! It turns out that all those serious scientific minds of history who developed the periodic table and experimented with it were all rather crazy and intensely interesting.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs)
    • By Melanie Benjamin
    • Narrated By Kim Mai Guest

    In her national best seller Alice I Have Been, Melanie Benjamin imagined the life of the woman who inspired Alice in Wonderland. Now, in this jubilant new novel, Benjamin shines a dazzling spotlight on another fascinating female figure whose story has never fully been told: a woman who became a nineteenth century icon and inspiration—and whose most daunting limitation became her greatest strength.

    Rupe says: "Amazing"
    "tedious and overwrought"

    The book was very disappointing. The characters are painfully simplistic and predictable. The premise is great...the execution horrible.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Dubbed the American Tolkien by Time magazine, George R. R. Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the number-one New York Times best-selling author delivers the fifth book in his spellbinding landmark series - as both familiar faces and surprising new forces vie for a foothold in a fragmented empire.

    Ryan says: "Enjoyable, but a lot of setup"
    "What happened Roy?!?"

    I'm really only posting this review in response to the narrator. For some incomprehensible reason, Mr. Dotrice significantly changed the "voice" of one of the main characters...after it being consistent for all the other books. So suddenly one of the queens has the voice that an evil magi woman had in book two. It doesn't seem like it would be that big of a deal, but trust me, it is. I've been eagerly awaiting this book for years and am really disappointed. You'd think someone would have bothered to take a listen and make sure the voices were consistent. Boo Roy, BOO!

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Standing at the Scratch Line

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Guy Johnson
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Raised in the steamy bayous of New Orleans in the early 1900s, LeRoi "King" Tremain, caught up in his family's ongoing feud with the rival DuMont family, learns to fight. But when the teenage King mistakenly kills two white deputies during a botched raid on the DuMonts, the Tremains' fear of reprisal forces King to flee Louisiana.

    Kim Venatries says: "Excellent! Four Stars Plus"
    "agonizingly predictable and juvenile"

    I was almost embarrassed for this author. I was as if I were reading the rich fantasy life of an 16 year old boy. The characters are farcically simple and idealized. The dialogue doesn't even try to reflect the historical context. I haven't a clue what an intelligent reader could enjoy in this.

    1 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Sword of Shannara: The Shannara Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs)
    • By Terry Brooks
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Long ago, the wars of the ancient Evil ruined the world. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles. But the supposedly dead Warlock Lord is plotting to destroy everything in his wake. The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara, which can be used only by a true heir of Shannara. On Shea, last of the bloodline, rests the hope of all the races.

    Nicholas says: "Finally Unabridged!"
    "not as good as others seem to think"

    I know most of the reviews champion this book...but I thought is was quite bad. I almost didn't finish it, only did because I had nothing else to listen to.

    I don't know if poor characterization, painfully predictable plots and character interaction, uneven writing,poor word choice, and redundancy are characteristic of the fantasy genre, but Brook's writing includes all the above literary sins. Perhaps most annoying to me was the lack of variation in sub-plots and how they were described. The goodguy is waylaid by some kind of evil that he has no way of escaping from and is doomed to die and then, oh! suddenly an unlikely way out (usually in the form of a sudden discovery of "hidden strength" found inside himsel). Brooks creates no tension with such dull repetition of word choice, style, and characterization.

    This book read like the ugly step-sister of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Shannara's plots and characters are all completely familiar: the common young man who resists the magical destiny a reserved but caring wizard has revealed to him, the dogged sidekick who vows to follow the chosen one even though he would rather stay in his small village, a disembodied evil who can feel the man's presence if he uses a certain magical item and who uses hideous flying creatures to hunt the goodguy...

    If you are a reader/listener who values quality writing, characters deeper than a puddle, and non-formula books, don't get this one. If you are a die-hard fantasy lover (which, no offense, seems to be a genre rife withpoor writing and predictable plots) you'll love it.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Human Stain

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By Arliss Howard, Debra Winger

    It is 1998, the year in which America is whipped into a frenzy of prurience by the impeachment of a president, and in a small New England town, an aging classics professor, Coleman Silk, is forced to retire when his colleagues decree that he is a racist. The charge is a lie, but the real truth about Silk would have astonished his most virulent accuser. Browse other Philip Roth on

    David says: "Delve into the characters"

    I regret selecting this book. While the summary reads well and (for some unknown reason) it has a good rating, I would strongly suggest satisfying the audiobook desire with another candidate. The author manages to take an interesting plot and eviscerate it of all tension or interest. Instead of an exploration of the nature of secrecy or of love, it devolves into a series of dull character perspectives (you see things from various points of view and are supposed to understand the profound reality that people do different things and are often in conflict with each other even if each person's own story sort of makes sense). Disappointingly, the characters surrounding the protaganist, Silky, are stock and predictable. Additionally, the narration of those characters and of Silky's own experiences, are lacking the ability to draw in or hold the reader. I reamained totally uninvested in the characters and couldn't care less what happened to them. Also, the initial conflict in the book, a professer's alleged use of a racially pejorative term, is based in some other reality. Even at small schools, that sort of rabid politically correct insanity doesn't occur (yet). In fact, the major source of tension for the reader is frustration with the college's unreal response, and you can only get so far with a book when the only tension is a silly occurance that happened at the beginning of it.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful

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