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Julia

I listen to a lot of audiobooks.

Member Since 2013

103
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 29 reviews
  • 74 ratings
  • 558 titles in library
  • 40 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
9
FOLLOWERS
4

  • The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen Greenblatt
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1182)
    Performance
    (1023)
    Story
    (1016)

    Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late 30s took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic by Lucretius—a beautiful poem containing the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles.

    Ethan M. says: "Very compelling history, a less compelling thesis"
    "But wait..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    From reading the description of this book I was under the impression that the focus would be on the content of the revolutionary book written by Lucretius. The book focuses on everything outside of that, which was interesting, but also left me thinking, when are we going to get to Lucretius? Nevertheless, it was a fascinating book, albeit dense and at times dry. Best read in short bursts for the casual reader.

    16 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • The Invisible Library

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Genevieve Cogman
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (42)

    Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant, Kai, she's posted to an alternative London. Their mission: to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it's already been stolen. London's underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.

    Pam says: "Steampunk Heaven"
    "Distracting Narrator!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Invisible Library better?

    I couldn't even get into this book because the narrator was so terrible. Her sentences have a sing-song quality that is distracting, and her acting is just awful. It's too bad because it seems like a good book, based on the reviews.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16177)
    Performance
    (13501)
    Story
    (13626)

    This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

    Joanna says: "Wow!"
    "Great Start but fizzles out"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I could only make it about 3/4 of the way through. The voice actor was flat and unconvincing. He has a good tone to his voice and reads clearly but his ability to express emotion is nill. As for the book itself, I purchased it because of the many good reviews from friends and online which made it sound worth my while. I was enthralled all the way up until Kvothe attended University, at which point the book fizzled out into boring predictability. Since the book takes place mostly as a flashback as told by the narrator about himself, we are set up with an expectation of how this man became such an amazing and powerful magician/wizard Kvothe with a dubious reputation, which, sadly, does not seem to follow through. A story about a guy who possesses amazing abilities who can do no wrong - wows everyone all the time, even the ladies, is a recipe for a yawn.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eragon: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Christopher Paolini
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9488)
    Performance
    (4457)
    Story
    (4516)

    When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

    Mary S. Murray says: "Delightful and Enjoyable"
    "Good, derivative fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Eragon?

    Derivative of many sagas with a semi predictable plot, but well told with a good pace. A light read with characters I care about.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The reader, Gerard Doyle, could have worked a little harder to come up with the voice of the dragon. His voice characterization sounds like a mixture of cookie monster and fat albert, not really appropriate for a female dragon. Otherwise, the voice characters are good and not distracting, like they often can be in fantasy novels.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I think they already made this into a film.


    Any additional comments?

    The author started writing this book in highschool. Knowing that, I enjoyed it all the more. I am interested in following the author to see how his work matures. Great first set of books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David Copperfield

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Nicholas Boulton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (86)

    The intensely personal David Copperfield (widely regarded to be the most autobiographical of the author’s novels) is one of Dickens’ greatest works. We follow David Copperfield from birth and miserable childhood to inevitable tragedies, until he finally finds happiness later in life. Full of some of the most memorable characters in literary history. Nicholas Boulton’s depiction of the oily Uriah Heep and David Copperfield’s sinister stepfather, Murdstone, do the novel full justice.

    ML says: "Dickens would be proud"
    "Fantastic Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is a great reading of David Copperfield. I listen to so many audiobooks that over the years I've become rather picky about the actors rendition of the material. This was a top notch performance, read clearly and not one bit annoying. Highly recommended!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Medieval World

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Dorsey Armstrong
    Overall
    (198)
    Performance
    (180)
    Story
    (181)

    Far from being a time of darkness, the Middle Ages was an essential period in the grand narrative of Western history. But what was it like to actually live in those extraordinary times? Now you can find out.These 36 lectures provide a different perspective on the society and culture of the Middle Ages: one that entrenches you in the daily human experience of living during this underappreciated era.

    Dr. Cosens-Hellstrom says: "Excellent introduction to Medieval History!"
    "Great Overview"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Medieval World rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I enjoyed this audio lecture more than others. The first few chapters are a bit difficult to keep up with since there are so many family relationships. However, once past that, the rest of the lectures are presented in an easy to follow format and well presented by Professor Armstrong. A great series. I listened to it twice!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Greece and Rome: An Integrated History of the Ancient Mediterranean

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Robert Garland
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Garland
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (84)

    Integrated approaches to teaching Greek and Roman history are a rarity in academia. Most scholars are historians of either Greek or Roman history and perform research solely in that specific field, an approach that author and award-winning Professor Robert Garland considers questionable.In these 36 passionate lectures, he provides and impressive and rare opportunity to understand the two dominant cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world in relation to one another-a relationship that has virtually no parallel in world history.

    Mountain K9iner says: "Excellent content with some caveats"
    "Totally Fascinating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Apart from Professor Garland's jerky manner of speech, which grew on me, this audiobook series is absolutely fascinating. I appreciated the integrated history of Greece and Rome from all angles, including other groups like the Etruscans and some mention of other tribes and the Egyptians. I had a fuzzy picture of what these cultures were like and how they fit together, but did not understand the big picture until I listened to these excellent and well researched lectures. The biggest aspect I appreciate by Professor Garland is his storytelling ability and charm. I love how he organizes the courses. Highly recommended for history fans!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Robert Garland
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Garland
    Overall
    (1389)
    Performance
    (1248)
    Story
    (1232)

    Look beyond the abstract dates and figures, kings and queens, and battles and wars that make up so many historical accounts. Over the course of 48 richly detailed lectures, Professor Garland covers the breadth and depth of human history from the perspective of the so-called ordinary people, from its earliest beginnings through the Middle Ages.

    Mark says: "Tantalizing time trip"
    "Amazing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I was so stunned by this course I listened to all of the lectures twice! The course lectures are well researched, enjoyable, and absolutely fascinating. I feel so fortunate to be living in the age of showers, antibiotics, and anesthesia!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Food: A Cultural Culinary History

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Ken Albala
    Overall
    (268)
    Performance
    (241)
    Story
    (238)

    Eating is an indispensable human activity. As a result, whether we realize it or not, the drive to obtain food has been a major catalyst across all of history, from prehistoric times to the present. Epicure Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said it best: "Gastronomy governs the whole life of man."

    SamanthaG says: "Very interesting course"
    "disorganized"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I returned this book because I found it scattered, difficult to follow and disorganized. The author is enthusiastic, which is great, however in his enthusiasm he tends to talk quickly and wander. Terrible.

    4 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Jolly Roger: Bloody Jack #3

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By L. A. Meyer
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (769)
    Performance
    (500)
    Story
    (492)

    In the third book of the "Bloody Jack" series, unlikely heroine Jacky Faber, a pirate at heart, returns to the sea in a truly swashbuckling tale filled with good humour, wit, and courage. After leaving the Lawson Peabody School for Young Girls in Boston--under dire circumstances, of course - Jacky boards a whaling ship bound for London, where she hopes to find her beloved Jaimy. But things don't go as planned, and she is off on a wild misadventure at sea.

    Eileen says: "Best book in the series (so far!)"
    "The Return of the Motherly Female Lead"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I miss the character from the first book. Sure, it is natural and also good to have an interesting character progression. I always appreciate that. However, the author chose to move Bloody Jack into a ridiculous motherly role on the ship that is laughable, sad, and most unfortunately boring and predictable. What I had thought was going to be a fun series about an interesting young woman turned into a bland story that I've read zillions of times in various forms. Ho hum.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Winter of the World: The Century Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6252)
    Performance
    (5307)
    Story
    (5322)

    Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, Welsh - enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion.

    Tim says: "Brilliant Sequel"
    "characters not as compelling as the first book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Unfortunately I am going to return this book. I found it a disappointment. Ken Follett's characters in his WW1 book, book 1 in this series, The Fall of Giants, were introduced in a way that was well written, enjoyable, rich and engaging, leaving me wanting to find out what happens next.

    In this second book with WW2 as the backdrop, we are left with the children of those original characters, except this time barely any ramping up at all before jumping into their story arcs. I was left feeling very unattached them all, not caring one bit about what happened to any of them. I basically yearned to know more about their parents and felt cheated by the direction of the book. I also found the sex in the book way too over the top. At times I felt like I was reading soft core porn.

    Too bad. Even so, based on the reviews and the success of Fall of Giants, I'm going to listen to the Pillars of the Earth next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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