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Janice

true crime fan

Las Vegas, NV, United States | Member Since 2010

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 36 ratings
  • 254 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2014
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  • Unfamiliar Fishes

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Sarah Vowell
    • Narrated By Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, John Hodgman, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (888)
    Performance
    (530)
    Story
    (530)

    In Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell argues that 1898 might be a year just as crucial to our nation's identity, a year when, in an orgy of imperialism, the United States annexed Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam, and invaded Cuba and then the Philippines, becoming a meddling, self-serving, militaristic international superpower practically overnight. Of all the countries the United States invaded or colonized in 1898, Vowell considers the story of the Americanization of Hawaii to be the most intriguing.

    Kat says: "Sarah Vowell does it again!"
    "Another Great Book from Sarah Vowell"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love reading Sarah Vowell books as she is so funny (in a dry, sardonic way) and I always learn things that were never discussed in any of my history classes. While I am really intrigued with learning more about my country's history, so many history-themed books are dry and boring. Sure, I learn things but it is difficult to pay attention when I am reading or listening to a bunch of facts that seem to have no relevence to the present day. Sarah Vowell inserts humorous metaphors and asides to make these "facts" resonate a bit more.

    This was not my favorite of her books, but there were some very interesting parts and I learned quite a bit, as usual. Kind of sad to find that once again, the U.S. saw a piece of land and set out to steal it using "manifest destiny" as an excuse to trick the indigenous people into giving away their land for very little or no money based upon promises that would never come to be. If you have never read Sarah Vowell, I definitely recommend reading any of her books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jenny Lawson
    • Narrated By Jenny Lawson
    Overall
    (1780)
    Performance
    (1624)
    Story
    (1635)

    For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris - Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut. Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives - the ones we'd like to pretend never happened - are in fact the ones that define us. In Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor.

    D. S. Smith says: "How the Bloggess almost made me crash my car!"
    "Hysterical"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book, especially the narration by Jenny Lawson. She has a somewhat warped sense of humor, which admittedly isn't for everyone, but it is what made her stories of growing up in a little town in Texas funny, if a little disturbing. She had quite a strange upbringing if you are to believe even half of her stories. Somehow she is able to bring a little bit of levity to even the most cringe-worthy stories. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and was sad when it came to its end. I had never heard of her before but after listening to this book, am definitely a Jenny Lawson fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Alison Weir
    • Narrated By Judith Boyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (66)

    New York Times best-selling author Alison Weir tells the spellbinding tale of the last days of Henry VIII’s second wife. Accused of adultery, incest, and treason, Anne Boleyn is locked in the Tower of London on May 2, 1536. Despite maintaining her innocence, she’s quickly condemned to death. Soon, one sword stroke sends her into eternity. But as her remains rot in the sun—unblessed by coffin, marker, or funeral—few know the truth behind her swift demise.

    Elizabeth says: "Intriguing"
    "Very Well Researched"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have no doubt that the author is an expert in this topic and that she meticulously researched all available documentation. However, I seemed to lose track of the players. Not those integral to the plot but there were so many peripheral cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. I had a terrible time keeping track of who was on the Boleyn side and who colluded to have her accused of the ridiculous charges. Since I was a little girl I have known about Henry the VIII and his string of wives. I saw the movie "The Other Boleyn Girl" and found myself wanting to know the real story rather than Hollywood's version. I did enjoy much of the book once the scheming started but the first part was difficult to stick with as I really could care less who the entire court were and how they fit in. I felt like I was back in History class listening to names and dates of people and things I care nothing about. However, once the plot moved forward to the arrest of Anne Boleyn and the men with which she was charged with the crime of adultery against the King, I was transfixed. It amazes me that Cromwell was able to do this to the Queen. According to this author, he was able to put forth enough convincing evidence to sway the King and many others to his will. However, I suspect it didn't take all that much arm-twisting as many had their own agendas that benefited from her demise. I thought the narration was excellent and all in all I did enjoy this book and learned much about Anne Boleyn that I was not aware of-she was a human being with courage and conviction but also showed a dark side in which she was full of herself and treated others with an unbecoming haughtiness. She also treated poor Mary terribly, which is a large part of why she had so many people willing to believe the worst about her. She realized this in the end and asked for forgiveness, which provides a brief glimpse of the goodness inside her. She also really believed in church reform-right or wrong-another thing that garnered her many enemies. She really was a fascinating character.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7953)
    Performance
    (7288)
    Story
    (7315)

    Few books have captivated the imagination and won the devotion and praise of readers and critics everywhere as has George R. R. Martin’s monumental epic cycle of high fantasy that began with A Game of Thrones. Now, in A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth book of his landmark series, as a kingdom torn asunder finds itself at last on the brink of peace . . . only to be launched on an even more terrifying course of destruction.

    Pi says: "Jarring change in Dotrice's performance"
    "This 4th book had a LOT of new characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to admit that I didn't feel there was as much action in this 4th book of the series; however, the reader is introduced to all kinds of new characters with elaborate back stories. At times I started to lose track of who was related or tied to which House - Lannisters, Starks, Targaryans, Freys, Tyrells, Blackwaters - so many names with so many cousins and aunts and uncles. And a brand new prince of Dorin that I had never heard of.

    However, now that I am reading A Dance with Dragons, the 5th book, it does help to know a bit about the players. Such a sprawling story and I must say the HBO series is much easier to follow now that I know a bit more about the characters and their motives. I am anxious to see how this all plays out. There are so many characters that you can go for most of the book without knowing what happened to your favorite. Never a boring moment and the 5th book is my favorite so far.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    Overall
    (14614)
    Performance
    (11215)
    Story
    (11277)

    As opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others, a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords.

    Troy says: "Chapter and part breaks are incorrect"
    "Never a Dull Moment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book had much more violence and surprises than the last book. Characters that I had enjoyed getting to know were suddenly killed and that was very unsettling but it makes for an exciting story as you never know what will happen next. I enjoyed this book and am anxious to see what happens next in the 4th book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    Overall
    (15838)
    Performance
    (12078)
    Story
    (12108)

    A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

    Teddy says: "Did not disappoint..."
    "Still Engrossing but I Liked the First Book Better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was still completely engrossed in the story but I have to admit that I enjoyed the first book more as the reader is getting to know the characters and there isn't as much killing and maiming. My favorite character by far is Tyrion Lannister as he is so very smart and sly. He doesn't win battles by brute force but rather by his wits-a master manipulator. I look forward to seeing what happens in Book 3, A Storm of Swords. Any series that can keep me so enthralled for this long is truly a gem and I am very much enjoying the escape to Winterfell, King's Landing, River Run and the Wall. I think it will be a sad day when I get to the end of the story but thankfully, that won't happen for quite some time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Al Franken
    • Narrated By Al Franken
    Overall
    (2063)
    Performance
    (302)
    Story
    (311)

    Finding logical inconsistencies, factual errors, and doublespeak wherever he looks, Al Franken takes on and destroys the myth of liberal bias in the media, hoists the Bush White House on its own rhetorical petard, and punctures the mean-spirited sanctimony of such media darlings as Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly. Timely, provocative, unfailingly honest, and always uproarious, Lies is sure to raise hackles and spark hilarity inside the Beltway and from sea to shining sea.

    Peter says: "Franken's One Sided View"
    "Thank Goodness for Al Franken!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this book years ago and had forgotten how much I loved it. It was even better listening to him narrate it-I laughed out loud more than a few times while driving and listening to it. I have always been a HUGE fan and he makes being a liberal democrat in a RED state just a little bit more bearable. I doubt that any conservatives would enjoy it however.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Stand

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Nathaniel Philbrick
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (219)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (119)

    Little Bighorn and Custer are names synonymous in the American imagination with unmatched bravery and spectacular defeat. Mythologized as Custer's Last Stand, the June 1876 battle has been equated with other famous last stands, from the Spartans' defeat at Thermopylae to Davy Crockett at the Alamo.

    Stanley says: "So enjoyed the re-visit to this historical battle."
    "Great read - really enjoyed it; englightening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book taught me a lot about "Custer's Last Stand." From previous accounts and less than complimentary movies, I always assumed Custer was an arrogant showboater who put his men in danger because of his hubris and recklessness-that was definitely part of it but there were so many more aspects to this tragedy-stupid decisions made from the beginning of the campaign and poor implementation by less than stellar officers. The fingerpointing after the battle was pathetic; no one wanted to take responsibility for their part in the failure. I have not changed my opinion about Custer but this book makes it clear that he was not the sole architect of this debacle.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Julia Scheeres
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (564)
    Performance
    (478)
    Story
    (481)

    In A Thousand Lives, the New York Times best-selling memoirist Julia Scheeres traces the fates of five individuals who followed Jim Jones to South America as they struggled to first build their paradise, and then survive it. Each went for different reasons - some were drawn to Jones for his progressive attitudes towards racial equality, others were dazzled by his claims to be a faith healer. But once in Guyana, Jones' drug addiction, mental decay, and sexual depredations quickly eroded the idealistic community.

    Rachel says: "Unforgettable"
    "Great book; very well researched; very disturbing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was a teenager when the Jonestown mass suicide incident happened and ever since I have tried to get my head around that many people following a madman and willingly killing their children then themselves. I was rather depressed after listening to this book but I am a little closer to understanding. It was fascinating to get to know some of these individuals as the book went on and devastating when it came to the inevitable end. Great book but I am now listening to a comedy as it really takes you to a dark place.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Mindy Kaling
    • Narrated By Mindy Kaling, Michael Schur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2367)
    Performance
    (2181)
    Story
    (2195)

    Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

    Tabitha says: "Love it!"
    "I Love Mindy Kaling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I needed to listen to something a little lighter after finishing The Game of Thrones so I picked this and am so glad I did. I think Mindy Kaling is so freaking funny-totally my kind of humor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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