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Laura

Laura the Listener

New York, NY, United States | Member Since 2010

74
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 39 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 59 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
9
FOLLOWERS
6

  • Warriors

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin (author and editor), Gardner Dozois (author and editor)
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor, Christina Traister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (291)
    Performance
    (238)
    Story
    (238)

    People have been telling stories about warriors for as long as they have been telling stories... Our contributors make up an all-star lineup of award-winning and bestselling writers, representing a dozen different publishers and as many genres. We asked each of them for the same thing - a story about a warrior. Some chose to write in the genre they’re best known for. Some decided to try something different. You will find warriors of every shape, size, and color here....

    Laura says: "Not the right narrator for the book"
    "Not the right narrator for the book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't listen to every story in the book, because I was too distracted by the narrator. He was talented, but just not the right person for the book. It is hard to explain exactly what was wrong about his voice, but it was awkward hearing him talk about mature topics. He should limit his narrating to young adult books, and some nonfiction.

    I liked some of the stories I listened to. Others were forgettable. I would recommend reading it instead of listening.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Dad Is Fat

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jim Gaffigan
    • Narrated By Jim Gaffigan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1386)
    Performance
    (1273)
    Story
    (1269)

    In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald's, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children - everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to toddlers’ communication skills ("they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news"), to the eating habits of four-year-olds ("there is no difference between a four-year-old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor").

    Sean says: "Good for Gaffigan fans - better for expecting dads"
    "This is probably better if you have kids..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ...but I don't, so it just seemed like a long list of all the reasons why I don't. And an homage to his wife, who is apparently perfect. There were a few lines that made me smile (not so much laugh out loud though), but overall I expected something funnier from Gaffigan as I'm a big fan of his comedy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Bill George, Peter Sims
    • Narrated By Mark Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (56)

    True North shows how anyone who follows their internal compass can become an authentic leader. This leadership tour de force is based on research and first-person interviews with 125 of today's top leaders: with some surprising results. In this important audiobook, acclaimed former Medtronic CEO Bill George and coauthor Peter Sims share the wisdom of these outstanding leaders and describe how you can develop as an authentic leader.

    Ray says: "Nice idea, poor execution"
    "Maybe I'm missing something..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was recommended to me (a small business owner) VERY HIGHLY by someone who was once a very successful small business owner and now has a high level job in the corporate world. So maybe my expectations were too high. This book is really aimed at people in the corporate world, and a lot of the examples of people finding their "true north" actually happened after they were already extremely successful. I felt like the examples were often too clean cut, and the lessons seemed pretty basic. Towards the end I did feel like some of the things he was saying were useful, but up until that point the main messages are: 1) be yourself, 2) be a good person, and 3) when your boss asks you to do something immoral, follow your "true north" and you'll end up fine. Oh, and not only will this help you in business, but also in your marriage and friendships. Surprise.

    So maybe I'm missing something? George is extremely successful, and the people interviewed for the book are also interesting. Maybe one day I'll hit a moment in my career where I have a decision to make and suddenly everything I listened to in this book will become more profound. But until then, most of the things he said are things we already know anyway. I guess it never hurts to get a reminder.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5315)
    Performance
    (4959)
    Story
    (4953)

    Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

    Ken says: "It's all about the codas"
    "Clever, hilarious, and moving"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this audiobook. The first part, before the codas, was very clever and funny, especially if you're a fan of Star Trek: The Original Series. The first and second codas were good, but I didn't think they added that much to the book. I loved the third coda, though, which was very moving.

    Wil Wheaton doesn't really do voices, so it's hard to tell people apart. However, the emotion is his voice is fantastic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jamie Ford
    • Narrated By Feodor Chin
    Overall
    (1890)
    Performance
    (825)
    Story
    (822)

    In the opening pages of Jamie Ford's stunning debut, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

    Christopher says: "Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet"
    "Interesting history, cheesy story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Japanese internment camps were a fascinating time in American history, and the idea of telling this story from the point of view of a Chinese adolescent is very unique. I loved the Seattle history and the glimpses into the events of the time and the camps--even if they did feel forced into the story.

    And that's really my problem with this audiobook: it felt too perfect. The main character always seems to be in the right place at the right time to see a historical event occur or just run into the school bully. I found it to be very predictable and extremely cheesy. There were several times that I literally rolled my eyes at the cliche dialog. I found the two main characters unbelievable -- they are 12-year-olds with the maturity and worldliness of 70-year-olds.

    I'm torn on the narration. On one hand, the accents are pretty well done (usually--there were a couple times when the narrator seemed to slip the "black jazz musician" accent into the middle-aged Chinese American man's words, but generally they were pretty good), but overall the narrator sounds like he is reading a book for children rather than talking about a serious time in history. In fact, I would have thought this book would be labeled in the young adult category, but REALLY young adult.

    Overall, I did want to hear this listen through to the end, but I put the narration at 3x to get through it faster.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Informationist: A Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Taylor Stevens
    • Narrated By Hillary Huber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1317)
    Performance
    (723)
    Story
    (735)

    Vanessa “Michael” Munroe deals in information - expensive information - working for corporations, heads of state, private clients, and anyone else who can pay for her unique brand of expertise. Born to missionary parents in lawless central Africa, Munroe took up with an infamous gunrunner and his mercenary crew when she was just fourteen. As his protégé, she earned the respect of the jungle's most dangerous men, cultivating her own reputation for years until something sent her running. After almost a decade building a new life and lucrative career from her home base in Dallas, she's never looked back. Until now....

    Denise says: "UGH!!!"
    "Fun listen, good for learning geography of Africa"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is your typical thriller, which isn't a bad thing. I like thrillers, but often I have a hard time choosing one, and the fact that this book won Audiobook of the Year in Audible's annual tournament made my decision easy. And it was a good, fast-paced listen. The narrator was excellent, portraying a strong female character without losing her femininity. The main character is interesting, if a bit one-dimensional. And I admit, I did not predict the ending. But mostly I enjoyed hearing about Africa--even though this book doesn't show much of its good side. I ended up pulling out a map to follow the characters around.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8926)
    Performance
    (8180)
    Story
    (8230)

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    FanB14 says: "Sad Premise, Fantastic Story"
    "Amazing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I laughed, I cried, I fell in love with the characters. The narrator captures teenage sarcasm perfectly. The description of this book doesn't do it justice. I picked it up at the recommendation of a couple friends and loved it from the first word. Listen to this book.

    35 of 43 people found this review helpful
  • The Redbreast

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbo
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    Overall
    (1027)
    Performance
    (794)
    Story
    (796)

    It is 1944: Daniel, a soldier, legendary among the Norwegians fighting the advance of Bolshevism on the Russian front, is killed. Two years later, a wounded soldier wakes up in a Vienna hospital. He becomes involved with a young nurse, the consequences of which will ripple forward to the turn of the next century. In 1999, Harry Hole, alone again after having caused an embarrassment in the line of duty, has been promoted to inspector and is lumbered with surveillance duties. He is assigned the task of monitoring neo-Nazi activities....

    David says: "Bravura writing"
    "Fantastic narrator, even for so many characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a thriller along the lines of The Millennium Trilogy. Like Steig Larsson's books, this one was suspenseful and good listen overall, but it had some of the same flaws: 1. While most of the characters are believable, there are a few that are just a little too out there. 2. The passion that crosses the line into obsession is hard to buy. 3. I had a hard time keeping track of all the characters. That said, this book had a lot of positives as well: 1. Excellent narrator! He has the voices down perfectly, and when he does his WWII nurse voice, it actually felt like a flashback scene. 2. It's a fun read. I enjoy the main characters, and I liked trying to unravel the mystery. 3. It takes place around 1999-2000 Norway and the Eastern Front of WWII, neither of which I know much about. I found the WWII info especially interesting. I do plan to listen to another of Jo Nesbo's books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gun

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By C. J. Chivers
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    Overall
    (192)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (118)

    It is the world's most widely recognized weapon, the most profuse tool for killing ever made. More than fifty national armies carry the automatic Kalashnikov, as do an array of police, intelligence, and security agencies all over the world. In this tour de force, prizewinning New York Times reporter C. J. Chivers traces the invention of the assault rifle.

    Edward says: "A compelling book about much more than guns!"
    "Good Historical Account of AK-47"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I couldn't stop listening to this book. The Gun is about the AK-47 but it covers much more, starting with the first machine guns and how they were used and/or misused by the world's armies when first introduced on the battlefield. All this leads up to the development and deployment of the AK-47. Of particular interest is the section on the Vietnam war, how the North Vietnamese with the AK-47 outgunned the US with their new M16 and the politics that followed. An absolutely fascinating history, I plan to listen to this again in the near future.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dismantling America

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Thomas Sowell
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (120)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (53)

    These wide-ranging essays - on many individual political, economic, cultural, and legal issues - have as a recurring, underlying theme the decline of the values and institutions that have sustained and advanced American society for more than two centuries. This decline has been more than erosion. It has, in many cases, been a deliberate dismantling of American values and institutions by people convinced that their superior wisdom and virtue must override both the traditions of the country and the will of the people.

    Laura says: "Nice Collection of Essays"
    "Nice Collection of Essays"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a rehash of previous articles but not having read Sowell before, I found it to be a good introduction to the author. Numerous issues are covered with specific examples given. Sowell's descriptions and analysis are logical, consistent throughout and easy to follow. I will be purchasing more of his books.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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