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Kat

MD | Member Since 2012

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 173 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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  • Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Alex Stone
    • Narrated By Alex Stone
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (77)

    When Alex Stone was five years old, his father bought him a magic kit - a gift that would spark a lifelong love. Years later, while living in New York City, he discovered a vibrant underground magic scene exploding with creativity and innovation and populated by a fascinating cast of characters: from his gruff mentor, who holds court in the back of a rundown pizza shop, to one of the world's greatest card cheats, who also happens to be blind. Captivated, he plunged headlong into this mysterious world.

    Kat says: "Magic for the Mind"
    "Magic for the Mind"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Fooling Houdini rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I think Fooling Houdini ranks pretty high in the books I've listened to.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Fooling Houdini?

    I enjoyed the clown class description.


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

    No, I haven't. I thought Alex Stone's narration was very professional and fit the tone of the book.


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

    Alex's failure at the IBM in the beginning. Anyone who has bombed on stage can relate and


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Good Omens

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3756)
    Performance
    (2254)
    Story
    (2283)

    The world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday. Just before dinner, according to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.

    Lauren says: "Great voice adds to already amazing story"
    "A Bad Narration Ruined A Good Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unfortunately, this book was a victim to a horrible narrator. Not only did Martin Jarvis sound like a boring British butler, he could not keep up with all the characters involved in the story. I also couldn't tell when he ended a footnote. This book was confusing enough with all the various plot lines - I didn't appreciate not knowing if something was a sidenote or an essential piece of information.

    Good Omens itself was a silly story of how the world will end. Ultimately, the characterization of various demons, angels, deities, and other apocalyptic creatures won me over. I'm not sure if I liked this story enough to re-read it in the printed version.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Rock Candy Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Wallace Stegner
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (528)
    Performance
    (314)
    Story
    (308)

    Bo Mason, his wife, and his two boys live a transient life of poverty and despair. Drifting from town to town and from state to state, the violent, ruthless Bo seeks his fortune in the hotel business, in new farmland, and, eventually, in illegal rum-running throughout the treacherous back roads of the American Northwest.

    Heimo says: "deeply moving rollercoaster ride"
    "The Mason's West"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a tough book to review because I was completely entranced by this book. I became very involved in the trials and triumphs of the Mason family. Still, I'm not sure who I would recommend this novel to. It's definitely a great piece of fiction, but I can't say I feel satisfied after reading it.

    Unfortunately, I think that was Stegner's point - the unsatisfactory end of a family trying to take advantage of the American dream. How much should you gamble? Can you raise children while being an American pioneer? What is the modern definition of pioneering if the West is already settled? If Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote her Little House on the Prairie in the early 1900s...would it seem as delightfully innocent?

    I definitely think Stegner's voice is an important one in American literature. In the future, I'd read another one of his novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Craig Ferguson
    • Narrated By Craig Ferguson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1512)
    Performance
    (905)
    Story
    (903)

    In American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson delivers a moving and achingly funny memoir of living the American dream as he journeys from the mean streets of Glasgow, Scotland, to the comedic promised land of Hollywood. Along the way he stumbles through several attempts to make his mark - as a punk rock musician, a construction worker, a bouncer, and, tragically, a modern dancer.

    Diane says: "Unabashedly Honest"
    "Predictable Adventures, Surprisingly Well-written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this audio book while it was on sale. I thought, "Why not...could be entertaining." I have to say it was entertaining, but it didn't make me laugh out loud. Craig Ferguson did make me say "Ha!" in agreement few times, but I finished his book feeling the same about him as when I started. I don't have a strong desire to start watching his late night show...I don't really want to search for his old stand-up clips...and I don't want to re-watch any Drew Carey shows.

    The way Ferguson describes and vocalizes his love of his hometown Glasgow is surprisingly poetic. In fact, there were moments throughout this book that I found Ferguson deep and well-spoken. In fact, I do have an urge to read Between the Bridge and the River. So, I guess Ferguson did end up promoting one of his products well after all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nefertiti

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Michelle Moran
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (303)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (110)

    Nefertiti and her younger sister, Mutnodjmet, have been raised in a powerful family that has provided wives to the rulers of Egypt for centuries. Ambitious, charismatic, and beautiful, Nefertiti is destined to marry Amunhotep, an unstable young pharaoh. It is hoped by all that her strong personality will temper the young Amunhotep's heretical desires.

    A User says: "Very Interesting"
    "Nefertiti: A Bit Boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted this book to be sexier, stronger and more exciting than it was. In the end, it was interesting, but mostly a background book. I do give Michelle Moran points for her attempt at historical accuracy, and I do appreciate her approach to the noble court in Egypt. She could have taken liberties but chose to keep it as faithful as she could to the present-day conjectures on Nefertiti's life.

    The narrator did a decent job. Again, it could have been pumped up to generate excitement to the reader. I do feel like the reader did justice to the Nefertiti's sister's voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Moloka’i

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Alan Brennert
    • Narrated By Anne Noelani Miyamoto
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (676)
    Performance
    (506)
    Story
    (502)

    The powerful debut novel from Alan Brennert, Moloka’i tells the story of Rachel Kalama, a seven-year-old Hawaiian girl who contracts leprosy and is quarantined on the island of Moloka’i during the 1890s. Separated from her family and forced to grow up in the leper colony of Kalaupapa, Rachel experiences intense isolation. But she remains strong, finding moments of joy, and even love. Rich in Hawaiian history, this novel proves itself a stellar piece of historical fiction.

    Blaine says: "Unexpected Jewel"
    "Plan a Trip to Moloka'i"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Moloka'i is a beautiful and haunting novel. At times the pace was slow, but I really enjoyed hearing Rachel's entire life story.

    Anne Noelani Miyamoto was the perfect narrator for this book - I was transported back to the Hawaiian islands. Her voice made me want to never leave the leper island.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Moonwalking with Einstein

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Joshua Foer
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1386)
    Performance
    (929)
    Story
    (916)

    Foer's unlikely journey from chronically forgetful science journalist to U.S. Memory Champion frames a revelatory exploration of the vast, hidden impact of memory on every aspect of our lives. On average, people squander forty days annually compensating for things they've forgotten. Joshua Foer used to be one of those people. But after a year of memory training, he found himself in the finals of the U.S. Memory Championship. Even more important, Foer found a vital truth we too often forget.

    Christopher says: "Got the Ball Rolling"
    "Struggling to Moonwalk"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would compare this book to "Fooling Houdini." Both follow the authors as they embark on competing in strange competitions to demonstrate their obsessive proficiency in weird habits. Unlike "Fooling Houdini," Foer's "Moonwalking with Einstein" was so boring at times I almost fell asleep while driving. You know it's bad if news radio is more thought provoking than your audio book.

    The difference between the two books lies in the personal touches added to "Houdini" that were missing in "Moonwalking." You rooted Alex Stone's magic journey because of his passion. Foer's enthusiasm for his sport (if we can call it a sport), did not showcase until the last chapter - and that chapter was the most thrilling of the whole book. Unfortunately, "Moonwalking" felt like a text book at times. He failed to make the ancient Grecian ways personal and relatable. Still, the scientific studies that Foer delved into were fascinating. Especially when he interviewed "EP" - a victim of a virus that erased his memory capacity.

    I think I was also expecting a little more practical uses for Foer's memory tools. I guess I could use a memory palace for remembering my conference attendees' names, but I won't necessarily need to memorize a deck of cards.

    The audio book of "Fooling Houdini" may have resonated with me more because Alex Stone actually read his own novel. Foer opted for a professional reader, who was great but didn't connect to the text like Stone did.

    If you're looking for a more entertaining nonfiction, I would definitely recommend "Fooling Houdini" over this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pandemonium

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Lauren Oliver
    • Narrated By Sarah Drew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1042)
    Performance
    (943)
    Story
    (947)

    I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, pushing aside thoughts of Alex, pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, push, push, push, like Raven taught me to do. The old life is dead. But the old Lena is dead too. I buried her.I left her beyond a fence, behind a wall of smoke and flame. Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bests eller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

    Emily - Audible says: "Remarkably Mature for YA"
    "Predictable Pandemonium"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think the format and the energy of this book was much better than the first. The alternate storylines between the past and present had a good pace for the novel. The past storyline seemed to end abruptly.

    The major plot twists were really predictable, but I still enjoyed the action-packed novel. I'll probably read the next one to see where the cliffhanger leads.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Year of Wonders

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Geraldine Brooks
    • Narrated By Geraldine Brooks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (349)
    Performance
    (254)
    Story
    (261)

    When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love.

    Amazon Customer says: "Great Story- Awful Narrator"
    "One Crazy Year"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    **Spoiler Alert**

    1st 3/4 of the Book: 4 stars
    Last 1/4 of the Book: 2 stars

    The plague portion of the book I really enjoyed (that sounds weird, I know). It was dark and sad and haunting. At first described as an beautiful pasturial and hard-working community, Eyam in Derbyshire, made you ache to visit historic England and then dashed your hopes as the plague infested this village in 1665-66. You felt the pain of the villagers as they suffered through the bubonic plague. I found myself encouraging Anna and Elinor Mompellion as they researched herbs to relieve plague victims and to fight off the disease.

    Then things got weird. This seemingly accurate and heart-wrenching story started to become a romance novel. Not that I mind a romance, but it just didn't fit the rest of the book. I can handle Anna getting down with the rector. Even though there were no real hints of her attraction to the minister, I could get behind Anna wanting to experience her friend Elinor's love life. To have the heroic minister turn into a dark and twisted character seemed wrong. There were only a few hints into this dark nature, and I didn't think it was ample build up for what transpired.

    Next, the Bradfords turn into the ultra villians after appearing for only 10 pages beforehand. I understand by abandoning the town during the plague made them bad people - they certainly caused the town grief during their worst moments. But to become adulterers and baby murderers all of the sudden was just...puzzling.

    Finally, Anna sails away (by herself...in 1666...yeaaaaaaaaah) only to become one of many wives of a Arabian doctor. So, all of the character building and strength is washed away as she willing becomes a wife to live with a doctor and learn his medical wisdom.

    I don't know if Brooks wanted to make the book more exciting by building in a thrilling conclusion, but it stole the spirit of the 3/4 of the book. The majority of Year of Wonders is about a community who heroically suffered through the plague without endangering the surrounding villages. Readers felt the small joys because that's all the town had during a year of hell. As a reader, you felt pride in Anna's strength as she realized her gift in medicine. To have her just abandon the village after months of suffering with it seemed wrong.

    Regarding the narration - Geraldine Brooks' narrated her own book. Her raspy British accent suited Anna, but it took awhile to get used to it. It became a little monotone - I found myself tuning her out at key points.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • World Without End

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (8325)
    Performance
    (2800)
    Story
    (2829)

    In 1989 Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, set in 12th-century England. Readers and listeners ever since have hoped for a sequel. At last, here it is. Although the two novels may be listened to in any order, World Without End also takes place in Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building their exquisite Gothic cathedral. The cathedral is again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge.

    Laura says: "Repetitive, but still enjoyable"
    "A Long Book Worth Listening To"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At times this book was repetitive, but I really enjoyed the characters and story line. The only reason why I didn't give it 5 stars was because I could predict plot developments. Still, a really enjoyable and (at times) sultry read on the citizens of Kingsbridge.

    The narrator did a great job of consistently portraying characters (and there were a lot of them). He kept me engaged the entire 45 hours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Delirium

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Lauren Oliver
    • Narrated By Sarah Drew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1643)
    Performance
    (1389)
    Story
    (1386)

    "Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't."

    Joyce E McBride says: "Wonderful"
    "The Cure for a Quick Summer Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ** spoiler alert ** I enjoyed this book more than I expected, but my expectations were pretty low. It's a ridiculous concept - love being outlawed and carved out of people. Still, I think the author pursued the idea well and I found myself liking Alex and Lena. Lena came across as whiny at times, but then I reminded myself about her age and I tolerated it.

    The last chapter definitely kicks it into high gear. I wish Oliver spent less time on Lena's inner dialogue and anxiety and more time for the great escape.

    Still, I couldn't put it down and ordered the next book. That counts for something.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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