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Rachel

I am a clay sculptor and an art instructor at a community college. I mostly listen to audiobooks while I work in my home studio.

YAKIMA, WA, United States | Member Since 2009

90
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 77 reviews
  • 130 ratings
  • 407 titles in library
  • 42 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
5

  • The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Steven Pinker
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (343)
    Performance
    (280)
    Story
    (274)

    In this classic, the world’s expert on language and mind lucidly explains everything you always wanted to know about language: how it works, how children learn it, how it changes, how the brain computes it, and how it evolved. With deft use of examples of humor and wordplay, Steven Pinker weaves our vast knowledge of language into a compelling story: language is a human instinct, wired into our brains by evolution. The Language Instinct received the William James Book Prize from the American Psychological Association....

    Amazon Customer says: "Good premise, but reads like a text book"
    "Good book, feels a bit dated, but features updates"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book, though some of the pieces of information or anecdotes weren't new to me. I liked how the author clearly laid out his arguments, though I didn't always need 15 examples of the phrase or concept he was explaining. The book was a pleasant listen and I was pleased that it was broader than a basic discussion of language. The author allowed himself to spend time explaining related concepts and instincts to put the language stuff in perspective.

    My main concern with the book was that it was a bit dated in places, including one reference that was just ridiculous from a 2012 perspective (but not central to the story Pinker was trying to tell). The book was first written in 94, I think, but was updated more recently. The end of book addresses those dated items. It was nice to hear a short update on some of the affected topics, though it sounds like Pinker's general theories did not change. The dated bits were mostly just pop culture references, I think the science (or theory) holds up.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Yes Please

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Amy Poehler
    • Narrated By Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, and others
    Overall
    (1421)
    Performance
    (1368)
    Story
    (1367)

    Amy Poehler is hosting a dinner party and you're invited! Welcome to the audiobook edition of Amy Poehler's Yes Please. The guest list is star-studded with vocal appearances from Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy’s parents - Yes Please is the ultimate audiobook extravaganza.

    S.F. says: "Listen to this book for sure"
    "Good fun, light listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    sure, the book is a pleasant, enjoyable listen, especially if you already read Bossypants, enjoyed it and are looking for something different that is almost as good.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I found Poehler's struggles with the process of writing endearing and interesting to hear.


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

    I can't imagine reading this particular book, because it has so many guest narrators (famous comedians, mostly) and a live performance of the last chapter.


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

    Its not that kind of book, but Seth Myers' praise of the Palin Rap made me go watch it again. funny.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lock In (Narrated by Wil Wheaton)

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1614)
    Performance
    (1506)
    Story
    (1512)

    Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

    Alexis says: "Fun! Things you might want to know:"
    "Good typical Scalzi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you like Scalzi books, especially those read by Will Wheaton, you'll probably enjoy this one. It's fast paced, interesting but certainly a fairly light read.

    Also Wil Wheaton is the best narrator ever (right after Jim Dale) and perfect for this sort of story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Symphony of Echoes: The Chronicles of St Mary's, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated By Zara Ramm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (367)
    Performance
    (333)
    Story
    (332)

    Book Two in the madcap time-travel series based at the St Mary's Institute of Historical Research that seems to be everyone's cup of tea. In the second book in the Chronicles of St Mary's series, Max and the team visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas A Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches.

    Sires says: "Enjoyed This Second St Mary's Time Travel Book"
    "Meh, this just didn't do it for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm not sure why I thought I might enjoy the second of this series when I only vaguely liked the first. I think I just wish it were written by Connie Willis.

    The story kept veering off randomly after what seemed like major events. Bad things happened, but then we're just over it, I guess? Whatever. I think the plot could use some editing to make it more clear or more logical or something.

    Neat premise, but skip Taylor and read the Doomsday Book or Connie Willis' other Oxford Time Travel books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Legendarium

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Kevin G. Summers, Michael Bunker
    • Narrated By Robert Rossmann
    Overall
    (136)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (124)

    In every generation, certain writers are chosen to be protectors of The Legendarium, a metaphysical library that exists at the nexus of the multiverse. Inside this library are doorways that lead to every world ever created in literature. There are forces of evil constantly at work to destroy the library and send the world back into an age of darkness. Now, in a time of growing illiteracy, two heroes are chosen to defend The Legendarium.

    Elizabeth Hauris says: "If Butcher & Fforde had a child, this would be it."
    "Not bad, not great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was a little underwhelming, but the premise was neat.

    I didn't particularly like the main characters, but I did enjoy some of the events that happened to them as they wandered through familiar stories. I also liked the way the changes in the story caught us up to our real world. It was fun to imagine the world as it was supposed to be at the start of their story.

    I want more of this, but written by someone else.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Nonfiction

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman (foreword)
    • Narrated By Michael Fenton Stevens
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Terry Pratchett has earned a place in the hearts of listeners the world over with his best-selling Discworld series - but in recent years he has become equally well-known and respected as an outspoken campaigner for causes including Alzheimer's research and animal rights. A Slip of the Keyboard brings together for the first time the finest examples of Pratchett's nonfiction writing, both serious and surreal: from musings on mushrooms to what it means to be a writer (and why banana daiquiris are so important).

    Rachel says: "Enjoyable Read, a little repetitive at the end"
    "Enjoyable Read, a little repetitive at the end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having read all of Pratchett's Discworld books, collaborations and other stuff, like Nation and The Amazing Maurice... I was interested to hear more from this author.

    This book isn't as good as Discworld or Good Omens or Nation, but it was still enjoyable and interesting. Pratchett has a type of early onset Alzheimer's which you probably know, but will certainly hear a good deal about in this book. The last few inclusions get a little repetitive, but overall the stories are varied and interesting.

    Also, I learned that perhaps I've been saying Maurice (in my head) wrong all along, the narrator says Morris, I've always thought it was more like Maw-reece).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books Saved My Life

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Andy Miller
    • Narrated By Andy Miller
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    An editor and writer's vivaciously entertaining, and often moving, memoir — a true story that reminds us why we should all make time in our lives for books.Nearing his fortieth birthday, author and critic Andy Miller realized he's not nearly as well read as he'd like to be. A devout book lover who somehow fell out of the habit of reading, he began to ponder the power of books to change an individual life—including his own—and to define the sort of person he would like to be.

    Sheila A. Dechantal says: "Funny and intelligent, Miller is worth the listen!"
    "Dumb story, annoying narrator and bad taste"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought this sounded like fun book about the love of reading. I specifically looked to see if he read some books that I've enjoyed. He did, but once I started listening, I discovered that his taste is diametrically opposed to mine. He couldn't get into Middlemarch and refused to like Austen. Moron. And he read and enjoyed all of Dickens's writings (he says). I don't get it.

    I think I could have still enjoyed a book about books I don't like (I enjoy reading the blog "Books I done Read" but I've discovered that I tend not to like the books she really loves), but this was mostly a whiny biography of a man I don't like and I couldn't care less about.

    Sadly, so sadly, he didn't really say much about the books themselves. I would have loved to hear his actual thoughts on what the characters did, what they thought, etc, or even how the author phrased things or set up scenes in the story, rather than his vague praise of, or distaste for the author's general writing. (If this guy were writing this book for my class, I'd urge him to be more specific when he praises or disses a book.)

    Miller is trying to read these books to make himself better, though he doesn't recommend that we all try reading these particular books. He includes a lot of books I haven't actually heard of (even though I consider myself a fairly broad reader) and he makes a lot of references to British stuff that loses me. (I totally want book tokens for Christmas, though. What a cool idea. Wikipedia says they have them in the US, but I've never heard of them.)

    Here's all you need to know: This book is not fun, you'd be better off just reading the books already on your list because this is not a commiseration of your love of books; this is a stultifying slog through somebody else's list, with basically no attention given to what is in the books themselves.

    Save your credit for something, anything, else.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Folklore of Discworld: Legends, Myths, and Customs from the Discworld with Helpful Hints from Planet Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett, Jacqueline Simpson
    • Narrated By Michael Fenton Stevens
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Most of us grew up having always known when to touch wood or cross our fingers, and what happens when a princess kisses a frog or a boy pulls a sword from a stone, yet sadly some of these things are beginning to be forgotten. Legends, myths, and fairy tales: Our world is made up of the stories we told ourselves about where we came from and how we got here. It is the same on Discworld, except that beings, which on Earth are creatures of the imagination - like vampires, trolls, witches and, possibly, gods - are real, alive and, in some cases kicking, on the Disc.

    Rachel says: "If you've read all the Discworld books"
    "If you've read all the Discworld books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So, if you've reached the point where you've read and/or listened to all the Discworld books and The Long Earth books, but you need more Pratchett, this is a good book.

    Actually, my daughter kept commenting that it sounded like Harry Potter. She's right in that the stories that helped build the Discworld are the same ones that support the stories in Rowling's world, and probably others, for that matter.

    The book is enjoyable and interesting, though I'm not sure I'd recommend it to someone who hasn't read many Discworld books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lifted Veil

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 55 mins)
    • By George Eliot
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    One of George Eliot's most intriguing works. During a period of illness, Latimer first discovers an unusual ability. He is able to read other peoples' minds and see visions of the future. Rather than being a gift, this strange phenomenon increasingly becomes a curse. But the one thing that keeps him going is his love for Bertha who Latimer knows will one day marry him, and who is the one person whose thoughts remain a mystery to him.

    Rachel says: "This narrator--ugh!"
    "This narrator--ugh!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't even say if the story was good because the narrator was so annoying. She was like a British Valley Girl? At the end of every sentenceeeee, or pauuuuuse, she would drag out the last syllabllllllle?

    Why did they choose a female narrator anyway? The book is written entirely in the voice of the male protagonist. Who cares that Eliot is female if her subject is male. Oh, l mean "maaaaaale?"

    I found words like brothaaaaaa and othaaaaa to be especially annoying in this narration. I actually sped up the playback which put most of the narration at normal speed but the extended endings were still quite evident.

    I got the story because I really enjoyed Middlemarch. In Middlemarch I found the main characters interesting, realistic and though they didn't make decisions I would make, their actions made sense for them. In this story I didn't sympathize or even understand any of the people. Too bad. Maybe with a different narrataaaaa, I would have enjoyed it moooooore?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Scott Anderson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (378)
    Performance
    (322)
    Story
    (322)

    Based on four years of intensive primary document research, Lawrence in Arabiadefinitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed. Sweeping in its action, keen in its portraiture, acid in its condemnation of the destruction wrought by European colonial plots, this is a book that brilliantly captures the way in which the folly of the past creates the anguish of the present.

    Charles Fred Smith says: "The "Real" Story"
    "A little disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I often like histories that focus closely on one person like this and both the time and the place sounded fascinating before I began. During the reading, there were moments when I thought the story was going to pull me in, but it never did.

    There was nothing glaringly wrong or problematic in the story, but I never got excited enough about what happened to really care--though I kept expecting I would. I would pause and think, "now this is going to get good" but in never quite did.

    The thing I missed the most was the lack of connection to what came before and after the time of the "action" in the book. How did this historical event/battle/plan stem from events decades before or decades after. The subtitle is the "making of the modern middle east" but this book ends with the end of the lives of the major players. We are left to remember ourselves what the middle east turned into during and after WW2 and beyond.

    I am left with an idea the Lawrence was a remarkable boy and young man, a conflicted adult who felt rightly betrayed by various people and the British government and then he died. the end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Harper Lee
    • Narrated By Sissy Spacek
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1418)
    Performance
    (1316)
    Story
    (1327)

    Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south - and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred, available now for the first time as a digital audiobook. One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than 40 languages, sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the 20th century by librarians across the country.

    Alan says: "Stunning"
    "So good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'd seen the movie long ago, as a kid with my parents. I'd never read the book or had it assigned in school. I was glad to discover it as an adult, since some of the insights would have passed me by as a teenager.

    I was especially interested in the book's insights into education, small towns, poverty, family, society, judicial progress, femininity and parenting roles. There is so much in this book to enjoy and so much to wonder at.

    I have heard it described as a book to read to understand America. I think that is apt. I would highly highly recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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