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Kathy

Davis, CA, United States | Member Since 2008

417
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 185 reviews
  • 399 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 53 purchased in 2014
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63

  • The Touch of Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Linda Howard
    • Narrated By Natalie Ross
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (283)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (137)

    Rafe McCay has a bullet in his side and a bounty hunter on his tail. Since there are few doctors in the Arizona Territory, he takes what he can get. Pointing a gun at Dr. Annie Parker, he abducts her into the mountains so she can tend his wounds. In this dangerous wilderness world, Rafe wakens in Annie a woman's hungry desire, as Annie finds a man wounded in soul as well as body. Her healing touch brings him new hope, but the secrets of the past still pursue them.

    Maria says: "Great Balls of Fire!"
    "Where's the story?"
    Overall

    I gave up after 4 plus hours. The greater part of this time involved the seduction of a doctor by her kidnapper who also happens to be a murderer. The story totally fell by the wayside. Sex alone does not make a story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Android's Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2241)
    Performance
    (1945)
    Story
    (1951)

    A human diplomat creates an interstellar incident when he kills an alien diplomat in a most unusual way. To avoid war, Earth's government must find an equally unusual object: A type of sheep ("The Android's Dream"), used in the alien race's coronation ceremony. To find the sheep, the government turns to Harry Creek, ex-cop, war hero and hacker extraordinaire.

    James says: "Philip K Dick meets Douglas Adams"
    "Pure sci-fi sillyness!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Scalzi is the Christopher Moore of science fiction. He is terribly clever and witty and is sure to make you laugh. Wheaton is a fantastic narrator of this sort of techie fluff--it seems to come so naturally to him. However, I wish he would talk a little more slowly, so I could have time to digest the witticisms before he races on to the next bit.

    You will certainly get the sci-fi in a Scalzi book but comedy reigns, really. If you are prepared for that and if you love satire, you should enjoy this book as much as the many reviewers did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By John Thavis
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (138)
    Performance
    (127)
    Story
    (123)

    For more than 25 years John Thavis held one of the most fascinating journalistic jobs in the world: reporting on the inner workings of the Vatican. His daily exposure to the power, politics, and personalities in the seat of Roman Catholicism gave him a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective on an institution that is far less monolithic and unified than it first appears. Thavis reveals Vatican City as a place where Curia cardinals fight private wars, scandals threaten to undermine papal authority, and reverence for the past is continually upended by the practical considerations of modern life.

    Linda says: "A neutral look at inner workings of the Vatican"
    "Fascinating stuff!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had expected a bit more on the current crisis the Vatican is facing, that of priests as molesters. While it was addressed on a limited basis, after reflection, I realized that it would be extremely difficult for any author to really know the extent and ins and outs of this apparently longstanding problem due to various obvious issues.

    That being said, I very much enjoyed this listen. I never thought much about the politics of the Vatican or the encompassing power struggles going on in the Church at any time. This book was quite an eye opener for me and interesting all the way through. It addresses many current issues in a neutral, non-biased fashion.

    Hillgartner does an excellent narration. Over all, I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the workings and politics of the Vatican.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Donnie Eichar
    • Narrated By Donnie Eichar
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (89)

    In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened.

    Bruce says: "Fascinating and compassionate investigation"
    "Always a sucker for unsolved mysteries!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I breezed through this book in record time. It seems I still can't resist an unsolved mystery.

    This true story fascinated me and at no time did I find it boring, like several other reviewers. I found the details haunting and frightening--I can't even begin to imagine what those 9 hikers went through before their terrifying deaths. This is a creepy, mysterious true event that defies logical explanations. Whatever the actual cause was, it necessarily has to be as weird and strange as the manner in which the 9 hikers died. This is why I think the author has posited a reasonable explanation as to what actually happened. His unexpected explanation makes sense and certainly is plausible. However, I believe that no one will ever know for sure the events of that fateful night.

    I have mixed feelings about Donnie Eichar doing his own narration. He most likely has no previous experience narrating an audiobook and this was obvious. In parts, it felt like he was just reading someone else's pages with little or no expression. On the other hand, I got a feel for his earnestness and for who he really is. I could see that this mystery tied him up in knots and wouldn't let go until he did what he could to investigate what really happened to the hikers. I don't think a professional narrator, someone who was perhaps older and more mature, could have really conveyed the real Donnie. So, this is a case in which I won't complain about an author reading his own book. While it certainly wasn't the best narration, it served a useful purpose for me.

    Over all, this was an intriguing listen and I will be thinking about it in bed at night for a long while.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fledgling: Liaden Universe: Theo Waitley, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
    • Narrated By Eileen Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (119)

    Theo Waitley has lived all her young life on Delgado, a Safe World that is home to one of the galaxy's premier institutions of higher learning. Both Theo's mother, Kamele, and Kamele's onagrata Jen Sar Kiladi, are professors at the university, and they all live comfortably together, just like they have for all of Theo's life, in Jen Sar's house at the outskirts of town.Suddenly, though, Theo's life changes. Kamele leaves Jen Sar and moves herself and Theo back into faculty housing, which is not what Theo is used to.

    Sires says: "A Coming of Age Story in the Liaden Universe"
    "A fine start to the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This first novel of the Liaden Universe/Theo Waitley series does what you would expect it to. It has a fair amount of "world building" where you are learning the lay of the land in Theo Waitley's story. You get a feel for the main characters as this coming-of-age story begins. How refreshing to find a coming-of-age story involving a female character, too!

    In addition, Eileen Stevens gives a very good narration which adds to your listening experience.

    I think this novel has whetted my appetite and left me wondering what is next for Theo. So yes, I will be following up in the near future on her next adventure in book 2 of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7689)
    Performance
    (6942)
    Story
    (6942)

    Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?

    Brock says: "Grisham at his best (again)"
    "Couldn't have enjoyed it more!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my first experience with a Grisham book and I couldn't be more pleased. I tend to shy away from blockbuster authors, as many keep producing long after they have run out of ideas, use ghost authors, or rest on their laurels in some other way.

    From the start of this novel, I was riveted and hated to interrupt my listening. When I wasn't listening, I was thinking of the story and where it was going and plotting how I could get back to it.

    I don't need to rehash the story line--it has been described very adequately here. What I particularly liked was that there was no unnecessary filler or overly descriptive writing. Everything that Grisham writes is relevant to his story and is in a logical progression. You really feel that this book was well-researched and planned out. The characters were believable--I cared what happened to them, even the unlikeable ones!

    The story was so well-narrated. Michael Beck did an exemplary job of doing individual voices and accents, of which there were many. He added to the listening experience. Although I consider this a stand-alone book, I am going to listen to the prequel.

    Very highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are

    • ORIGINAL (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor David Livermore
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (73)

    Based on groundbreaking research, these 24 lectures address dynamics and customs related to working, socializing, dining, marriage and family - all the areas necessary to help you function with a greater level of respect and effectiveness wherever you go. You'll also encounter practical tips and crucial context for greeting, interacting with, and even managing people from other parts of the world.

    Quaker says: "Quite possibly my favorite of The Great Courses"
    "Unexpectedly brilliant!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't have any interest in listening to a lecture from the Great Course series. After all, I spent umpteen years attending college. I figured that part of my life was over. But here was a topic that greatly interested me and at a great price, too. I couldn't let it pass.

    From the moment I started listening, I felt a deep nostalgia for my university days. I also knew I was going to really enjoy this listen. This course is so wonderful that I want to highly recommend it to anyone who has even the slightest interest in the subject of cultural intelligence. The format is so pleasant--a series of related but separate lectures, each one leading into the next one.

    Even if you aren't planning overseas travel, you will find so much relevant information here that will explain behaviors that have puzzled or even irritated you in the past. And if you are planning on overseas travel, you will have a bunch of new information that will be immensely helpful to you. If you aren't able to interact with the "natives", you will still be equipped to look for various things that will tell you much about the culture you are visiting. Additionally, Professor Livermore gives you some do's and don't's to further enhance your knowledge and your travel. He is a wonderful lecturer, too.

    I enjoyed this book so much that I know it will be a repeat listen for me. It has also inspired me to look for further Great Courses subjects that sound interesting. This experience has been as enjoyable as any of my favorite audiobooks.

    1 of 1 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
    (2048)
    Performance
    (1859)
    Story
    (1875)

    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"
    "Like a year-long slumber party!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have mixed feelings about the author, but the book held my interest all the way through and the narration was very well done. Thus, I gave it 4 stars over all.

    Lucky for me, I have not yet watched the Netflix TV show by the same name, so I have nothing with which to compare this audiobook or to disappoint me. Besides, TV and movies often "enhance" a book's content to such an extent that it is difficult to compare them in the best of circumstances.

    Some of the things that bothered me are the following. Piper always came across as the spoiled, advantaged, pretty girl. She began whining about the prison conditions from day one, when she missed her fiance and her friends unbearably. For cripes sake, she wasn't even there for 24 hours! And after all, her crimes were only committed to satisfy a need for cheap thrills. Incongruent with her frequent indignance about the unfair treatment and unpleasant conditions in prison were the descriptions of all the fun she had--making cheesecake, having pedis, visiting the lake, making new friends. Even more puzzling was her constant need to pat herself on the back--for making so many friends, having so many visitors, being so well-loved by just about everyone.

    On the other hand, I really did enjoy Piper's story. I was surprised and happy to learn that there was so little violence in a women's prison--is her experience really typical? And it was interesting to get an inside picture of the often mundane day-to-day existence of prison life. I just wish she had added a small bit about life after prison and some follow-ups on her prison girlfriends. Puzzling how the book ended so abruptly. It felt a bit incomplete.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 600 Hours of Edward

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Craig Lancaster
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (437)
    Performance
    (406)
    Story
    (405)

    A 39-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Edward Stanton lives alone on a rigid schedule in the Montana town where he grew up. His carefully constructed routine includes tracking his most common waking time (7:38 a.m.), refusing to start his therapy sessions even a minute before the appointed hour (10:00 a.m.), and watching one episode of the 1960s cop show Dragnet each night (10:00 p.m.). But when a single mother and her nine-year-old son move in across the street, Edward’s timetable comes undone....

    Lulu says: "A Very Good Book with a Very Difficult Hero"
    "Edward is such a great character!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this book on my Kindle, loved it, saw it available on Audible for a great price, and jumped on the opportunity to revisit Edward on audio! Luke Daniels did a great narration--he really captured the spirit of Edward. He added immensely to the listening experience.

    This is similar to a coming of age novel only Edward is 39 years old. He has Obsessive Compulsive disorder and Aspergers syndrome, a mild form of autism. Despite these handicaps, he is very intelligent. Yet, he has lived a very closed and stunting existence until he is befriended by a 9 year old neighbor boy and his mother. Edward has a gradual awakening of sorts along with all the struggles that come with "growing up" and dealing with an overbearing, withholding father. Gradually Edward, with the help of his longstanding therapist, begins experimenting with change and more participation in the outside world.

    Edward is a sweet, lovable character, and his story is humorous and touching. It is a quick easy read. Highly recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Center

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By David Rosenfelt
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1475)
    Performance
    (479)
    Story
    (478)

    Carpenter, the Paterson, N.J., lawyer whose wealth allows him to work as seldom as he chooses, is recovering from the loss of the love of his life, Laurie Collins, who has moved home to Findlay, Wis., to become the acting chief of police. When Laurie calls Andy for help after arresting 21-year-old Jeremy Davidson for murders that she thinks he didn't commit, Andy can't resist heading off to Findlay with his faithful dog, Tara.

    J. says: "What a Hoot!"
    "Great book for a long ride!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book we listened to on the drive to southern Cal was a groaner. We listened to Dead Center on the way back home and we both really enjoyed it. Lots of laughs and smiles. It had a good story line, likeable characters, and a faithful Golden Retriever who was there for our hero just by being his trusty, loving pet. I will definitely seek out more books by Rosenfelt.

    And of course, Grover Gardner always gives a great performance and does humorous dialogue wonderfully.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hit Man

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Lawrence Block
    • Narrated By Robert Forster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1350)
    Performance
    (417)
    Story
    (414)

    Keller possesses all the qualities of a professional killer. He's cool, confident, reclusive, icy, and ruthlessly efficient. But this seasoned hit man is also prone to self-doubt as he finds himself caught in the clutches of a mid-life crisis.

    Barbara A. Russell says: "Surprisingly Terrific"
    "No joy here!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Just a so so listen to pass the time on a long drive across the state. It kept me and my hubby listening, waiting for something more that never came. I liked the author's attempts at humor, he even made me chuckle a few times. But this novel was mainly anecdotes of the hits that were performed by a lackluster, emotionless, sometimes bored killer. I found it mildly interesting but something really bothers me about glorifying or normalizing the cold-blooded killing of total strangers. Why ever would anyone find that amusing, compelling or even humorous? At least Dexter went after the real bad guys . . . .

    Narration was done well, so at least there was that.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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