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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

34
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 57 reviews
  • 104 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
1

  • The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Steven Pinker
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    Overall
    (251)
    Performance
    (207)
    Story
    (199)

    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....

    rebekah 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
  • Shakespeare's Local: Six Centuries of History, One Pub

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Pete Brown
    • Narrated By Cameron Stewart
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Welcome to the George Inn near London Bridge; a cosy, wood-panelled, galleried coaching house a few minutes' walk from the Thames. Consider this: who else has made this their local over the last 600 years? Chaucer and his fellow pilgrims almost certainly drank in the George on their way to Canterbury. Shakespeare may have popped in from the nearby Globe, and we know that Dickens definitely did. Mail carriers changed their horses here, while sailors drank here before sailing.

    Rachel says: "Read if you're going to London or just came back"
    "Read if you're going to London or just came back"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I generally like specific histories like this but this one fell flat. Two major problems: first, Shakespeare is hardly a focus of the book, he's barely mentioned; second, I haven't been to London in more than a decade, so I don't really know where he's talking about most of the time.
    The story would have worked better for me if he had connected the information to more familiar books, plays or histories that someone one this side of the pond would know. Or I'm an unlettered fool who doesn't know her Dickens well enough to care about the references Brown makes to his books. I would have been more comfortable with more connection to Shakespeare, Chaucer and Austen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    Overall
    (752)
    Performance
    (609)
    Story
    (595)

    The Blind Watchmaker, knowledgably narrated by author Richard Dawkins, is as prescient and timely a book as ever. The watchmaker belongs to the 18th-century theologian William Paley, who argued that just as a watch is too complicated and functional to have sprung into existence by accident, so too must all living things, with their far greater complexity, be purposefully designed. Charles Darwin's brilliant discovery challenged the creationist arguments; but only Richard Dawkins could have written this elegant riposte.

    Eric says: "Challenging textbook more than an enjoyable listen"
    "A bit dated but still great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed the book. All of the technology references are laughably dated, but the biology, writing and explanations seem to hold up just fine.
    The only question I have comes up late in the book. I would like to know Dawkins' thoughts on newer research that seems to support a variation of Lamarkism. Dawkins' vehemently objects to the idea and his evidence seems clear except that I've read about inheritance of acquired traits in recent periodicals and would like to know if any new information has caused Dawkins to adjust his opinions (or if they are still as strong and he finds the new research flawed).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blackout

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Connie Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1781)
    Performance
    (1078)
    Story
    (1079)

    In her first novel since 2002, Nebula and Hugo award-winning author Connie Willis returns with a stunning, enormously entertaining novel of time travel, war, and the deeds - great and small - of ordinary people who shape history. In the hands of this acclaimed storyteller, the past and future collideand the result is at once intriguing, elusive, and frightening.

    Paul says: "A Masterwork - across two parts."
    "Excellent story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Beware, Blackout is the first half of the story that continues in All Clear. You'll "need" to buy both. But you won't mind because they're both great and you'll be happy to spend more time in the world of this story.
    I simply loved this story. I had already read The Doomsday Book (which I must admit I preferred a teeny bit over this one) and was happy to go back to the world the time traveling historians.
    This book has all my perfect story ingredients: science fiction, history, misunderstandings, mystery and interesting characters. Also it is written well. I loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All Clear

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Connie Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1417)
    Performance
    (901)
    Story
    (918)

    Three time-traveling historians are visiting World War II England: Michael Davies, intent on observing heroism during the Miracle of Dunkirk; Merope Ward, studying children evacuated from London; and Polly Churchill, posing as a shopgirl in the middle of the Blitz. But when the three become unexpectedly trapped in 1940, they struggle not only to find their way home but to survive as Hitler's bombers attempt to pummel London into submission.

    Brashear Robert Keith says: "joint review for Blackout and All Clear"
    "You need to read Blackout first"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're considering All Clear, you've read Blackout already or you need to.

    This one is just as good or better. Enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sleeping Murder: Miss Marple's Last Case

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Stephanie Cole
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (38)

    Soon after Gwenda moved into her new home, odd things started to happen. Despite her best efforts to modernize the house, she only succeeded in dredging up its past. Worse, she felt an irrational sense of terror every time she climbed the stairs.

    In fear, Gwenda turned to Miss Marple to exorcise her ghosts. Between them, they were to solve a "perfect" crime committed many years before.

    Kathleen says: "The Last Miss Marple Mystery"
    "Ok mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I guess I just don't get whats so exciting about Agatha Christie. Sorry.
    I guess the book was well written and a sort of interesting story, but there wasn't anything that excited me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bellwether

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (455)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (207)

    Sandra Foster studies fads and their meanings for the HiTek corporation. Bennett O'Reilly works with monkey group behavior and chaos theory for the same company. When the two are thrust together due to a misdelivered package and a run of seemingly bad luck, they find a joint project in a flock of sheep. But a series of setbacks and disappointments arise before they are able to find answers to their questions - with the unintended help of the errant, forgetful, and careless office assistant Flip.

    Carol says: "Clarity and Chaos"
    "Funny but not as great as other Willis books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just finished several other Connie Willis books (The Doomsday Book, Blackout, and All Clear) and I simply loved them. This is also good but pales in comparison to the others.

    The strengths of this book are the absurdity of situations we might all find familiar and the characters' reactions to the absurdity. The book is a bit dated, but anyone who works for a large organization with mandatory meetings regarding new initiatives can sympathize.

    I recommend this book AFTER you've read the other Connie Willis books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cricket on the Hearth

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    Overall
    (2034)
    Performance
    (1707)
    Story
    (1725)

    The holidays are upon us, and this year Audible is very happy to present to our members one of Charles Dickens’ most popular Christmas stories, The Cricket on the Hearth. This holiday classic (original subtitle: “A Fairy Tale of Home”) tells the innocent, picturesque, and charming story of a poor family and their would-be guardian angel; in short, a delightful vision of Victorian Christmas. As always, a great story calls for a great voice, so we’ve brought in legendary actor and record-breaking Audie and Grammy award-winning narrator Jim Dale (The Night Circus). Happy holidays and happy listening!

    Linda Lou McCall says: "NOT "DICKENSIAN" ENOUGH"
    "I love Jim Dale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story was pleasant, but a little slow and not exactly my taste. It was a worthwhile short read, but I really really love Jim Dale's narration. If you're feeling like a taste of Dickens (but not the dreary depressing and slow big novels, and a bit in the holiday spirit, this is a nice choice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Civilization: The West and the Rest

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Niall Ferguson
    • Narrated By Niall Ferguson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (677)
    Performance
    (567)
    Story
    (559)

    The rise to global predominance of Western civilization is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five hundred years. All over the world, an astonishing proportion of people now work for Western-style companies, study at Western-style universities, vote for Western-style governments, take Western medicines, wear Western clothes, and even work Western hours. Yet six hundred years ago the petty kingdoms of Western Europe seemed unlikely to achieve much more than perpetual internecine warfare. It was Ming China or Ottoman Turkey that had the look of world civilizations.

    F. Ribeiro says: "Niall Ferguson's Most Enjoyable Book"
    "Fast paced and interesting book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book was interesting. The information was mostly presented in a fresh way, though not all of it was exactly new to me. I have read Guns, Germs and Steel to which Ferguson refers several times, but this wasn't a rehash of that book. There were some ideas in common and the one that I found a bit annoying was the comparison of civilizations to "apps" as in apps for the iPhone. But the comparison gets the point across.

    This book hardly changed my world view, but it was an interesting and pleasant listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Nonesuch

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Eve Matheson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (394)
    Performance
    (247)
    Story
    (246)

    Sir Waldo Hawkridge, wealthy, handsome, eligible, illustrious, and known as The Nonesuch for his athletic prowess, believes he is past the age of falling in love. But when he comes north to inspect his unusual inheritance at Broom Hall in the West Riding, his arrival leads to the most entertaining of ramifications.

    Carl Smith says: "Simple pleasure"
    "starts slow, but decent by the end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found the first half of this book a bit tedious and quite slow. I'm not entirely sure why, so maybe it was just me.
    One of the characters was annoying which was funny but also, well, annoying.
    I may have also reached my Heyer limit. She basically tells the same story over and over again. Its like reading a familiar romantic comedy. Which is fine sometimes and the writing is good, but maybe I was just in the mood for something with more to it.
    This was nice light fluff, a little slow to start but enjoyable by the end. If that's what you're in the mood for, listen away.

    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
    (5749)
    Performance
    (5249)
    Story
    (5282)

    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.

    RaisinNut says: "A story about LIFE, not death..."
    "excellent (you should read it)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was putting this off because of the cancer and the death and the sadness (all anticipated and provided in the story as well). I'm glad I finally decided to listen. The book was thoughtful and funny and touching and just really well done. The narrator was also excellent.

    Don't worry, you will cry, but you will be glad you read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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