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Laura

LEXINGTON, MA, United States | Member Since 2009

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 27 ratings
  • 706 titles in library
  • 26 purchased in 2015
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  • Death Angel: Alexandra Cooper, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Linda Fairstein
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (163)
    Performance
    (139)
    Story
    (144)

    With Death Angel, Fairstein takes listeners into the storied history of New York's Central Park as Assistant DA Alex Cooper and Detective Mike Chapman race to track down a serial killer before yet another young woman is found dead. Is the body found in the Ramble the first victim of a deranged psychopath, or are other missing women in years past whose remains have never been found connected to this savage attack? Is this enormous urban park a sanctuary in the middle of the city - or is it a hunting ground for a killer with a twisted mind?

    J. Sindik says: "Worth the Wait!"
    "Disappointing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Death Angel? What did you like least?

    No much. I found the performance irritating and the plot boring.


    What could Linda Fairstein have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I guess I would have rather had more procedure and less personality. Not that I don't love good character development - but this wasn't it.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Barbara Rosenblat’s performances?

    Meh.


    Did Death Angel inspire you to do anything?

    No


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Various Haunts of Men: A Simon Serrailler Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Susan Hill
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    Overall
    (448)
    Performance
    (389)
    Story
    (389)

    A woman vanishes in the fog up on "the Hill", an area locally known for its tranquility and peace. The police are not alarmed; people usually disappear for their own reasons. But when a young girl, an old man, and even a dog disappear, no one can deny that something untoward is happening in this quiet town. Young policewoman Freya Graffham is assigned to the case; she's new to the job, compassionate, inquisitive, and dedicated to the task of unraveling the mystery behind this gruesome sequence of events.

    karen says: "Best of the best...."
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Kill off favorite characters and not wind up plot ? I will not be reading any others in the series and wish I had my credit back.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lick: Stage Dive, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Kylie Scott
    • Narrated By Andi Arndt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2230)
    Performance
    (2033)
    Story
    (2039)

    Waking up in Vegas was never meant to be like this. Evelyn Thomas' plans for celebrating her 21st birthday in Las Vegas were big. Huge. But she sure never meant to wake up on the bathroom floor with a hangover to rival the black plague, a very attractive half-naked tattooed man in her room, and a diamond on her finger large enough to scare King Kong. Now if she could just remember how it all happened.One thing is certain, being married to one of the hottest rock stars on the planet is sure to be a wild ride.

    Jordy says: "4.5 Lickable Rock Stars!"
    "Female fantasy fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Kylie Scott and/or Andi Arndt?

    No


    What was most disappointing about Kylie Scott’s story?

    It was a fantasy, and I like only selected types of fantasies and not bodice rippers.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    None


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Bemusement. I really did not understand what to expect from the reviews I read. I am highly puzzled that this is a series. Since about 50% of the book is literotica I am wondering how it gets changed up in subsequent books. I am not curious enough to read another. I can fantasize without having to pay for it and the remaining plot is too implausible and insubstantial to interest me.


    Any additional comments?

    If you want a true fantasy knock yourself out. I thought none of this was remotely believable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace
    • Narrated By Peter Altschuler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1320)
    Performance
    (1148)
    Story
    (1139)

    Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation - into the meetings, postmortems, and "Braintrust" sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture - but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, "an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible."

    Daniel Klaussen says: "Great business book rendered nearly unlistenable"
    "Read it twice and bought it for my team"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Creativity, Inc. in three words, what would they be?

    Resonant, thought provoking


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked best seeing how Ed Catmull has thought deeply about organizational psychology and how things evolve from random events into corporate culture that can be hard to undo if it gets too set in stone.


    What does Peter Altschuler bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I know that some people really objected to his narration, but I enjoyed it. I thought he brought a tone of wry bemusement and sincerity to the narration that seemed absolutely appropriate to me.


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

    I think that Ed's eulogy, for lack of a better word, for Steve Jobs at the end of the book was quite touching. Like many people that he cited, I've always thought Jobs comes across as an arrogant ass (although a brilliant one) and it was interesting to hear a different perspective on him from someone who knew him very well.


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this for everyone on my team and recommended it also to my boss. I do not work in the movie industry, but I believe there are many many parallels with other industries and many ideas that can be taken from the experiments at Pixar and Disney that might work in other settings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anthony Doerr
    • Narrated By Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9329)
    Performance
    (8131)
    Story
    (8152)

    Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

    Annie M. says: "Time well spent"
    "Pointless and disorganized"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Well, since it came up repeatedly on lists of favorite books of 2014 there must be many people who did enjoy it. Why I honestly cannot think. At the beginning I thought it was going to be excellent - interesting characters, interesting plot, but then the author just seemed to lose interest in the whole thing and randomly dealt with characters and plot points in sometimes appalling ways.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    A nice police procedural


    Which character – as performed by Zach Appelman – was your favorite?

    The blind girl protagonist (already have forgotten her name)


    What character would you cut from All the Light We Cannot See?

    The thuggish boy from the school who is the killer of the resistance people that the radio unit finds.


    Any additional comments?

    I did not need a bad book to remind me that the Nazis were brutal. I do not know why everyone thinks this is a great book. I was so disappointed I was tempted to ask for my credit back. I went back and relistened to parts trying to understand whether I had missed some major event that was wrapping up a significant plot device, but no, it simply was not dealt with in any significant way. Perhaps that was the author's intent but if so, it simply wasn't the kind of book for me.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Lewis Man: The Lewis Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Peter May
    • Narrated By Peter Forbes
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (146)

    In The Lewis Man, the second book of the trilogy, Fin Macleod has returned to the Isle of Lewis, the storm-tossed, wind-scoured outer Hebridean island where he was born and raised. Having left behind his adult life in Edinburgh - including his wife and his career in the police force - the former Detective Inspector is intent on repairing past relationships and restoring his parents' derelict cottage. His plans are interrupted when an unidentified corpse is recovered from a Lewis peat bog.

    lesley says: "Outstanding Book! Even better than The Blackhouse"
    "Great plot device, excellent narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, very much so - great characters, thought provoking from multiple points (the concept of homers, the plot device revolving around dementia), the interesting location


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    WIthout a doubt it has to be Tormud McDonald (or Johnnie MacBride as we come to learn he is). Overall this was a truly touching reminder that old people, even those lost to us through dementia, have complicated histories that younger folk may not take the time to know.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Absolutely the standoff at the end, which although I anticipated it I found highly satisfying.


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

    I think one thing that really resonated was when the mother has boxed up all her husband's things in preparation for putting them out in the trash, without even consulting her children. This is not anything that has ever happened to me, but her actions seemed so entirely plausible and her indignant justifications so real that I could picture the entire scene.


    Any additional comments?

    The Catholic church's approach to getting rid of problematic orphans and unwanted children was to me yet another example of something the Church should be held accountable for that is simply inexcusible. Although this book was fictional, I have no doubt that these practices occurred.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Kill

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Jane Casey
    • Narrated By Sarah Coomes
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (76)

    Their job is to investigate crime - not become the victims... A killer is terrorising London but this time the police are the targets. Urgently re-assigned to investigate a series of brutal attacks on fellow officers, Maeve Kerrigan and her boss Josh Derwent have little idea what motivates the killer's fury against the force. But they know it will only be a matter of time before the killer strikes again.

    Sires says: "Not What I Was Expecting in the 5th Kerrigan Novel"
    "Soap operish, annoying narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Meh. Maybe. I have to confess that DC Maeve Kerrigan comes across as a rather irritating character and the narrator made her seem even more irritating to me. This is one case where I wonder whether I would have like her better had I read the book rather than listened to it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Honestly I had trouble liking any of them. I was looking for a police procedural, not a soap opera.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes.


    Do you think The Kill needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Well, it is part of a series and there are a number of open plot points so inevitably there will be a sequel and we will have the opportunity to listen to more of Maeve's heaving and witness more of her idiotic acts (can we say backup?). Why do police officers go places without telling anyone where they are going and without backup? The overall tone of the book felt contrived and the narrator made me feel like I was listen to a bodice ripper.


    Any additional comments?

    I think there is supposed to be some sexual tension between Kerrigan and Derwent but at the same time Maeve is supposed to be madly in love with her boyfriend Rob. More bodice ripper subplot stuff - not what I was looking for.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Rick Atkinson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (219)
    Performance
    (193)
    Story
    (199)

    In An Army at Dawn - winner of the Pulitzer Prize - Rick Atkinson provided a dramatic and authoritative history of the Allied triumph in North Africa. Now, in The Day of Battle, he follows the American and British armies as they invade Sicily in July 1943, attack Italy two months later, and then fight their way, mile by bloody mile, north toward Rome. The Italian campaign's outcome was never certain; in fact, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and their military advisors bitterly debated whether an invasion of the so-called soft underbelly of Europe was even wise.

    A User says: "The utter waste and horror of war..."
    "George Guidall where art thou"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Day of Battle the most enjoyable?

    Length ( at two books a month this is an important criterion) -- and the history itself is memorable. Glad to see Bill Mauldin's excellent memoir cited.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Day of Battle?

    Bombing of Monte Cassino with nobody inside but monks and refugees


    Would you be willing to try another one of Jonathan Davis’s performances?

    Not unless he learns how to pronounce place names


    Any additional comments?

    Narrator's pronunciation of Passchendale (he seems to be saying Passindolly) is setting my teeth on edge. I guess George Guidall can't narrate everything but someone should at least make sure narrators can pronounce important place names.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Betty Smith
    • Narrated By Carrington MacDuffie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (412)
    Performance
    (364)
    Story
    (361)

    Born in 1901 in the slums of Brooklyn, Francie Nolan has grown up under the burden of suffering that is the lot of the great city’s poor. Romantic like her father, an Irish singing waiter, yet pragmatic like her mother, a housecleaner and fierce survivor, Francie uses her imagination and tenacity to thrive in the world in spite of these harsh conditions.

    Sara says: "Childhood favorite revisited"
    "Just brilliant."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn?

    The Nolan family. What a brilliant group. No whiners. I loved the scene where Francie tries to write about her father and her teacher, used to fluffy compositions about trees and other "pretty" subjects, calls her work sordid and gives her bad marks. Francie goes home and burns her pretty compositions. I am sorry to say that I have experienced this type of teacher myself in the past - and so have my children. It is frustrating to have teachers who seem to feel it is their obligation to stamp out any spark of originality as quickly as possible.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I am torn between Francie and Katie. In Francie I see some of myself in the past; in Katie I see a woman who is so unflinchingly honest that you have to admire her.


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

    No, but this performance was excellent.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I could barely stop! If I could have, I would have.


    Any additional comments?

    Why did I wait til I was 55 to read this book?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Caine Mutiny

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    Overall
    (1118)
    Performance
    (977)
    Story
    (978)

    Having inspired a classic film and Broadway play, The Caine Mutiny is Herman Wouk's boldly dramatic, brilliantly entertaining novel of life—and mutiny—on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater. It was immediately embraced upon its original publication as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human consequences of the Second World War. In the intervening half century, this gripping story has become a perennial favorite, selling millions throughout the world, and claiming the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

    James says: "Even Better than the Movie"
    "Tale for modern times"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Caine Mutiny in three words, what would they be?

    Growing up fast. In view of when this book was written, one gains courage for the youth of America that are described by their elders as whiney and pampered. Clearly this is nothing new. The lessons here about the differences between commanding and commanding respect, and the differences between competent authority and positional authority, are timeless for all individuals who work in a tiered organization.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The plot


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Probably the part where Willy looks back on his service and realizes that the Navy may know what it is doing after all.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book I would recommend to individuals who are on the cusp of growing up. You kind of grow up yourself a little while listening to it - it really challenges your assumptions and justifications about your own behavior.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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