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Julie

I'm a writer and a yoga teacher with a Masters in English Literature.

Vancouver, BC, Canada | Member Since 2013

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • Street Smarts: An All-Purpose Tool Kit for Entrepreneurs

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Norm Brodsky, Bo Burlingham
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    Overall
    (488)
    Performance
    (447)
    Story
    (448)

    People starting out in business tend to seek step-by-step formulas or rules, but in reality there are no magic bullets. Rather, says veteran company-builder Norm Brodsky, there's a mentality that helps street- smart entrepreneurs solve problems and pursue opportunities as they arise. Brodsky shares his hard-earned wisdom every month in Inc. magazine, in the hugely popular "Street Smarts" column he cowrites with Bo Burlingham. Now they've adapted their best advice into a comprehensive guide for anyone running a small business.

    morton says: "This great audio was originally called The Knack!"
    "Excellent advice!"
    Overall
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    Story
    Where does Street Smarts rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I'm a small business owner with no formal education in business. This book started with the basics and helped me understand a lot of aspects of business I didn't feel like I could access. Brodsky uses lots of personal stories and experience so the book is never boring. He really makes you feel like you can do it--you just have to be street smart.


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

    It made me seriously learn! And laugh a couple of times.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Beloved

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Toni Morrison
    • Narrated By Toni Morrison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (439)
    Performance
    (212)
    Story
    (209)

    Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but 18 years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

    Everett Leiter says: "You may not like this book."
    "Some of it breezes past you"
    Overall
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    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Beloved to be better than the print version?

    No, this is one of the few books I would say would be better in the text version. It's very subtle and layered, there is a disconnectedness to the narrative that is important to the theme of the consequences of slavery, but it's difficult to follow if you lose a word or phrase that turns out to be key, or if you can't pause and reread a paragraph a few times to get it.


    What other book might you compare Beloved to and why?

    My experience with the Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet was that I was at first a bit confused, but the story unfolded for me effortlessly by simply continuing to listen. That didn't happen for me with Beloved. I got to the end, thought "...what?" and restarted it from the beginning right away. I had to google it to understand what the heck just happened.


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

    I haven't, but I love her voice, it's so gorgeous. Even though I feel like I missed a lot of the narrative, I really enjoyed listening, and certain images, moments, and phrases stick with me even now.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There are many moving moments in the book, it's very detailed and beautifully written.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd like to try the book again in print, but I appreciate having listened to Toni Morrison's voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lavinia

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Ursula K. Le Guin
    • Narrated By Alyssa Bresnahan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (28)

    Highly acclaimed author Ursula K. Le Guin lends a resonant voice to a pivotal yet often overlooked character of Vergil's The Aeneid. Born into peace and freedom, Lavinia is stunned to learn that she will be the cause of a great war - or so the prophecies and omens claim. Her fate is sealed, however, when she meets a man from Troy.

    Kennet says: "Fascinatingly well written"
    "Loved this book."
    Overall
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    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Lavinia the most enjoyable?

    The narrator did a beautiful job giving voice to Lavinia. It was wonderful to hear this relatively minor character from one of the classic stories of our culture brought to life with the feminist perspective and the gorgeous, detailed, imaginative Le Guin writing.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The imaginative and detailed writing, I think.


    If you could rename Lavinia, what would you call it?

    A Feminist Retelling of an Old Dude's Story


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15787)
    Performance
    (14003)
    Story
    (14041)

    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!"
    "Couldn't stop listening!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Gone Girl in three words, what would they be?

    Intriguing, surprising, delightful


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Gone Girl?

    Every time the story twisted and turned was memorable. As a reader you really got to watch your expectations keep changing. Gillian Flynn offers an interesting feminist perspective in the book which really gets you thinking. She doesn't let you get away with a "normal" story. That being said, I wasn't thrilled about the way it ended. The intricate, careful story sort of fell apart in the last few threads. Overall though it was a great listen.


    Which character – as performed by Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne – was your favorite?

    I don't want to give away any of the plot twists, but there's a despicable character that I ended up having a strange kind of respect for. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters, they were so much more complex than when you first get to know them.


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

    Yes, I have never been so obsessed with finishing an audiobook. Usually I listen on my commute and when I'm walking my dog, but with this one I'd get home and make excuses to clean my house so I could keep listening. I didn't laugh or cry but I was so fascinated with what was going on.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Botany of Desire

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Pollan
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1475)
    Performance
    (749)
    Story
    (752)

    Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers' genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship.

    Teddy says: "If you have an open mind... Give it a listen"
    "This book re-inspired me to eat potatoes"
    Overall
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    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely, and bought it for my brother for his birthday. It has a rare combination of poetry in the writing even though the book is nonfiction and you learn a lot about the history of agriculture and what's actually happening with the apples and potatoes that end up on our plates. It's sort of a political topic, but he manages to make the book incredibly entertaining and gorgeous to listen to. The Omnivore's Dilemma is one of my favourite books, and this one did not disappoint from my high standards of Michael Pollan.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Botany of Desire?

    The long list of local names for apples--hilarious, sweet, gorgeous, and evocative.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    I think a good narrator is almost one you don't notice--his performance wasn't distracting from the story at all, so I think he really embodied it.


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

    No, but it did re-ignite my desire to eat potatoes, which I'd always thought of as kind of a boring vegetable. I didn't know how nutritious they are, and their political stance as having rescued the Irish from persecution (until monoculture ruined everything of course) gives them street cred.


    Any additional comments?

    I think you'd like this book whether you are a fiction or a non-fiction lover. Pollan really knows how to bridge the gap.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Piper Kerman
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2304)
    Performance
    (2094)
    Story
    (2110)

    With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.

    Mark says: "My favorite book of the year, so far"
    "Fascinating and Entertaining"
    Overall
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    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely, I think it's a great read for anyone. It seems like women might particularly like it because it holds such a diversity of women's stories within it. Kerman manages to offer these stories totally without judgement. It's a fun read, but also educational.


    What other book might you compare Orange is the New Black to and why?

    I don't think I can compare it with anything. Who has written a memoir about being in a women's prison? More women's stories need to get told, and Kerman does it well!


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

    I'm not sure, since I didn't read the book and enjoy so much listening while I walk my dog or commute. Her voice sounded very authentic and relatable, and the feeling was almost like listening to a best friend tell her stories over a glass of wine.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    I may be mixing it up with the TV show which I also love, but in general just the range of experiences women can have and end up in prison. That it's not necessarily a terrible dark void place, but that you can make a life, get used to an experience and be in it with a community of other people you may never have thought to spend time with. That women can be allies in all kinds of situations.


    Any additional comments?

    I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It made me think I should read more memoirs!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Gary Chapman
    • Narrated By Gary Chapman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2951)
    Performance
    (1744)
    Story
    (1744)

    Dr. Gary Chapman identifies five basic languages of love and then guides couples towards a better understanding of their unique languages of love. Learn to speak and understand your mate's love language, and in no time you will be able to effectively love and truly feel loved in return. Skillful communication is within your grasp!

    William says: "Highly Recommended"
    "Love for Christian Fanatics"
    Overall
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    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I was wary of the self-help title of the book, but got really turned off when I found out about the extreme American Christianity of the writer. I felt like he was going to sell me something at the end. Maybe my soul back from the devil who stole it.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Gary Chapman?

    The narrator was appropriate, he had kind of a Texas accent, adding to the American Everyman vibe I think the book was trying to go for, so I think that was probably a good thing. If you like that sort of thing.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Discomfort and boredom. I like the principle of the book, and perhaps I could have learned something from it if I didn't get so turned off by the gee-golly innocent Christian-ness of the narrator. It just didn't sound like reality. My love tank for this book is empty.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are Christian and get something out of self help books, if you think they actually help you and are not a cynical lapsed Christian like me, you might actually enjoy this book and learn something from it. Still, I thought his examples of the things people were going through made the people going through it seem kind of stupid, and I believe anyone who thinks critically and does mindfulness work will figure this kind of stuff out by themselves, rather than labelling everyone's love language and thinking they have it figured out.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Thérèse Raquin

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Emile Zola
    • Narrated By Kate Winslet
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (832)
    Performance
    (759)
    Story
    (750)

    Once upon a time, a teenaged Kate Winslet (The Reader, Titanic, Revolutionary Road) received a gift that would leave a lasting impression: a copy of Emile Zola’s classic Thérèse Raquin. Six Academy Award nominations and one Best Actress award later, she steps behind the microphone to perform this haunting classic of passion and disaster.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Winslet, Satisfactory Story"
    "Couldn't get through it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Emile Zola and/or Kate Winslet?

    Probably not from Zola. I thought i should like it because he is a famous writer, but it was such bloated trash. it had the sense of an erotic novel that just refuses to ever be erotic.


    What was most disappointing about Emile Zola’s story?

    It wasn't in the least bit relatable. Here's a time where if you want to have sex with someone other than your (sickly, first cousin) husband, you have to kill the husband and then suffer in eternity with your guilt about it so no one ever gets properly laid. Perhaps I'm naive when it comes to great French literature, but it seemed like an incredibly heavy handed morality tale with a lot of descriptions of sickly first cousin husbands dead on a slab at the morgue on display. It was about longing and guilt and a life that was totally claustrophobic and depressing. It made me wonder why anyone in modern life is so depressed and claustrophobic when you can just walk out of bad situations, you don't have to make it harder on yourself the way these characters do.


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

    I haven't, and Kate Winslet seemed to bring a bit of an energy of fun to the story. She seemed to take some joy in the absolute ridiculousness of the writing and the story.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Thérèse Raquin?

    Every chapter seemed to be another layer of misery on top of misery. The first chapter was boring, then it got exciting when Therese started having her affair, then it just got heavier and heavier and more ridiculous, and I couldn't make it through the end. So. Cut it all.


    Any additional comments?

    I will give Zola credit for his extremely vivid descriptions on dead faces on morgue slabs. So there's that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Jonathan Aris, Paula Wilcox
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1429)
    Performance
    (660)
    Story
    (659)

    In 1799, the artificial island of Dejima lies in Nagasaki Harbor as Japan’s outpost for the Dutch East Indies Company. There, Jacob de Zoet has come to make a fortune large enough to return to Holland and marry the woman he loves.

    Darwin8u says: "A NEAR Perfect Novel."
    "Beautiful and surprising"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet the most enjoyable?

    Once you get into the threads of the story, you just can't tear yourself away. I couldn't believe how emotionally attached I got to all the characters, even though at first I thought I wouldn't like the topic--Medicine in the 1700-1800s is disgusting, and trade doesn't interest me much, but Mitchell is an absolutely masterful writer. I cried by the end.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Mitchell is possibly my favourite writer. His turns of phrase really do run the gamut from the sublime to the gag-inducing (literally). There's this one scene where a character in love meets his beloved in a garden and tries a Japanese fruit for the first time--it sounds like a cliche, but the image of that scene in burned into my memory forever. Who can write about how a fruit tastes for the first time? David Mitchell can.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The aforementioned garden scene.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and why?

    Aurito was a fascinating female character. She had some of the heroine and some of the damsel in distress, but she just never landed in any of the cliches you could have expected of her.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Sheryl Sandberg
    • Narrated By Elisa Donovan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2315)
    Performance
    (2041)
    Story
    (2048)

    Sheryl Sandberg - Facebook COO, ranked eighth on Fortune's list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business - has become one of America's most galvanizing leaders, and an icon for millions of women juggling work and family. In Lean In, she urges women to take risks and seek new challenges, to find work that they love, and to remain passionately engaged with it at the highest levels throughout their lives.

    Claudia says: "Make your life count - no matter what you do"
    "Encouraging and Informative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Lean In to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version, but I think Elisa Donovan's voice was an interesting choice for the book. She has a very nonthreatening way of speaking, and perhaps that was the best choice for a feminist manifesto. Though I was curious about this choice throughout the book.


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

    I am a woman and a small business owner, and the book helped me understand what was holding me back, both externally and internally. It helped me understand that I was not alone, and that I can be a part of the fight for a 50/50 world where more women are in power and more men are at home simply by believing in myself, doing the best I can, and choosing to be around people who support me. I would recommend this book to anyone, including men, because it articulated many of the unfair expectations put on men, as well, and we would all of us benefit from a more equal world. I know the book has come up against a lot of criticism, and I wasn't sure what to expect, but I thought the honesty, vulnerability, and humour made it so relatable. Her feminism is very slightly different from my own, but I think that's fine, and I'm grateful to have read the book!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By David McRaney
    • Narrated By Don Hagen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (790)
    Performance
    (688)
    Story
    (685)

    An entertaining illumination of the stupid beliefs that make us feel wise. You believe you are a rational, logical being who sees the world as it really is, but journalist David McRaney is here to tell you that you're as deluded as the rest of us. But that's OK - delusions keep us sane. You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of self-delusion. It's like a psychology class, with all the boring parts taken out, and with no homework. Based on the popular blog of the same name, You Are Not So Smart collects more than 46 of the lies we tell ourselves everyday.

    Sarah Dumoulin says: "Covers a lot of old territory"
    "Funny and Informative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about You Are Not So Smart?

    The book was funny and deadpan and cut through a lot of cultural bullshit we like to believe about ourselves. It was an excellent window into who we think we are and who we actually are. It also gave me some very interesting marketing insights for my small business, and I'm very glad I picked up the book! I'd recommend it to anyone.


    Which character – as performed by Don Hagen – was your favorite?

    There were no characters, but Hagen's voice was perfect--so deadpan it made the reading absolutely hilarious. I think it was better than if I'd read it on the page.


    If you could give You Are Not So Smart a new subtitle, what would it be?

    "Let's cut through the bullshit shall we?"


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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