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Austin, TX, United States | Member Since 2011

  • 7 reviews
  • 75 ratings
  • 600 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2015

  • French Phase 4, Unit 01-05: Learn to Speak and Understand French with Pimsleur Language Programs

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Pimsleur
    • Narrated By Pimsleur

    French Phase 4, Units 1-5 build on material taught in prior units. Each lesson provides 30 minutes of spoken language practice, with an introductory conversation, and new vocabulary and structures. Detailed instructions enable you to understand and participate in the conversation.

    Drew says: "Very good for intermediate/advanced French"
    "Very good for intermediate/advanced French"

    So glad to see more advanced titles showing up on Audible now.

    Very frustrating that (on 11/30/2010 any way) EVERY sample file for Pimsleur titles is the same one from the very first basic unit (arg!)

    However, I took a chance on this one and was not disappointed- it is pretty good. You should have a strong working knowledge of the language if you're diving right in at this level.

    It assumes you have a good grasp of grammar and syntax, but goes easy on you with vocabulary. New words are introduced gracefully and repeated in multiple variations as with other Pimsleur titles.

    Sections aren't repeated nearly enough for a beginner, but the pace is awesome if you're looking for a refresher for your conversational French and don't want to hear the same basic phrases repeated a dozen times.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Lives of Codebreakers: The Men and Women Who Cracked the Enigma Code at Bletchley Park

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Sinclair McKay
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Bletchley Park looked like any other sprawling country estate. In reality, however, it was the top-secret headquarters of Britain’s Government Code and Cypher School - and the site where Germany’s legendary Enigma code was finally cracked. There, the nation’s most brilliant mathematical minds - including Alan Turing, whose discoveries at Bletchley would fuel the birth of modern computing - toiled alongside debutantes, factory workers, and students on projects of international importance. Until now, little has been revealed about ordinary life at this extraordinary facility.

    Drew says: "Dull treatment of an exciting subject"
    "Dull treatment of an exciting subject"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    probably not. there are better books on the subject

    Has The Secret Lives of Codebreakers turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not at all

    Any additional comments?

    I hate to be too hard on this book, but I personally found it a very dull read on a subject I am fascinated by. It's not easy to write engaging non-fiction, but if ever there was fertile ground for it, it was the story of Bletchley Park in the 30s and 40s.There was nothing new for me in this recounting of the facts- though there were some interesting "telling" about some of the more interesting personalities and management styles, but it all read like a newspaper account- there was no "showing". I never felt any kind of connection to the people or the place. It was all just thoroughly, but dryly described.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Muhammad Yunus
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1983, Muhammad Yunus established Grameen, a bank devoted to providing the poorest of Bangladesh with miniscule loans. Believing that credit is a basic human right, not the privilege of a few, Yunus aimed to support that spark of personal initiative and enterprise by which the poor might lift themselves out of poverty forever. Grameen Bank now provides over $2.5 billion in micro-loans to more than two million families in rural Bangladesh.

    Randall says: "Will change the way you think about the economics."
    "Truly inspiring"

    This is a must-read for anyone wishing to gain insights into how the poor of the world really live, and to at least one way that can make a difference in their lives (the answer's not charitable hand-outs).
    Neither a ringing endorsement of the virtues of capitalism, nor a socialist idealist picture of the world as it should be. The work of Professor Yunus represents a pragmatic and proven effective way of making the world a better place.
    Read this book, get inspired, and take action (if only to reduce the amount of ignorance in the universe of how much impoverished people of the world suffer and how some can be helped).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Against the Day: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (53 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Thomas Pynchon
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This novel spans the period between the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I. With a worldwide disaster looming just a few years ahead, it is a time of unrestrained corporate greed, false religiosity, moronic fecklessness, and evil intent in high places. No reference to the present day is intended or should be inferred.

    Rebecca Lindroos says: "brilliant!"
    "Plot, schmlot"

    Plot in a novel is overrated. If you want plot, read Dan Brown instead- though that's all you'll get.

    This is a work of genius- and not only because of the author's penchant for self-promotion and intentional obscurity and obfuscation.

    This is truly a piece of art painted with intentionally hammy techniques and wonderful surreal and non-linear streams of consciousness. All of these things dance around the sensation of the characters, the essence of spirit that the author wishes to share with those who can sense it.

    I laughed when a reviewer preferred to go back to Ulysses instead. Well, that's a mighty difficult yardstick for each and every novel to stand comparison. It's like comparing every portrait to the Mona Lisa.

    Full disclosure: this was my first reading of a complete Pynchon novel. I'm not a literary snob and don't feel the need to crow about how much better his other works are. Some folks more learned and well-read than I am have said Gravity's Rainbow is far superior. Great- more to explore!

    For me, this is one of the most wonderful author "discoveries" since I first read Kafka.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Jack: Straight from the Gut

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Jack Welch, John A. Byrne
    • Narrated By Mike Barnicle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Jack Welch lifted GE from a conglomerate with a market value of about $12 billion to one of the world's largest and most widely-admired companies, with a market value of more than $500 billion. In Jack, the author reveals the strategies and philosophies that put him at the top.

    Plato777 says: "Truly inspiring!"
    "Interesting account- little practical advice"

    I found the stories interesting, but gleaned very little in the way of "how to" apply Jack's lessons learned to the business world.

    Maybe he is being modest in recounting the tales of his rise to power at GE, but it almost seems like luck had as much to do with his success as his drive, ambition and smarts.

    The narrator is excellent and sounds very much like Jack, including N.E. accent and charm.

    I would have given more than 3/5 stars, but I was hoping for more practical information from the title.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Double Whammy

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By George Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A twisted tale of murder in the world of big-stakes bass fishing tournaments. Filled with ex-wives, evangelists, and an armed pit-bull, this is a story that could only be concocted by Carl Hiaasen, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, New York Times best-selling author, and czar of Florida noir fiction.

    David says: "First For Me"
    "Good, but not his best"

    I will buck the trend here and suggest that this book is not Hiaasen's best. I first read "Skinny Dip" and thought it was a better paced and overall funnier book. "Double Whammy" was entertaining and is still a lot of fun, but personally, I think if you've got just enough room for one Hiaasen novel- you're better off with "Skinny Dip". If you're a fan and enjoy his or Dave Barry's novels, then you'll want to read or listen to all his books in any case. Good, (almost)clean entertainment!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Tony Roberts

    Twas the night (okay, more like the week) before Christmas, and all through Pine Cove, California, people are busy buying, wrapping, packing, and generally getting into the holiday spirit.

    colleen says: "Another Pine Cove winner"
    "Thank you, ?stupidest? reviewer"

    This was a laugh-out-loud romp with outrageous characters and a highly original melange of plotlines. But special thanks goes out to the person who bought this title and plugged it in during a family trip thinking she was in for a wholesome G-rated prance with fluffy snowflakes, talking snowmen and cute little elves.

    My listening pleasure was enhanced to the nth degree as I listened and tried to imagine how far you must have gone into the story before deciding the occasional flashes of profanity and adult humor were not anomolies, but *gasp* the central theme of the book!

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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