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Sarah

Forest Hills, NY, United States | Member Since 2004

ratings
352
REVIEWS
9
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
4
HELPFUL VOTES
78

  • Rob Delaney: Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage.

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Rob Delaney
    • Narrated By Rob Delaney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (93)

    Who is that hairy guy in the green Speedo? Rob Delaney is a father, a husband, a comedian, a writer. He is the author of an endless stream of beautiful, insane jokes on Twitter. He is sober. He is sometimes brave. He speaks French. He loves women with abundant pubic hair and saggy naturals. He has bungee jumped off of the Manhattan Bridge. He enjoys antagonizing political figures. He listens to metal while he works out. He likes to fart. He broke into an abandoned mental hospital with his mother.

    Dan Williams says: "I loved this book!!"
    "Lucky to be alive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I've listened to a lot of comedians' memoirs. They all serve up stories explaining childhood misdeeds, scars, relationships, regrets, and careers turns. In Rob Delaney's case, there quite a few stories that show he's lucky to be alive (and knows it). How enjoyable each memoir is depends on how much you like and relate to the stories and their teller. For me, this book is my favorite since Bossypants, both because I love Delaney's sense of humor and because I'm almost the same age, so I was delighted to hear a few random, quirky similarities in our experiences. I'm sure this book won't work for everyone, but I loved listening to his stories. I just wish it were longer.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Maria Semple
    • Narrated By Kathleen Wilhoite
    Overall
    (2355)
    Performance
    (2115)
    Story
    (2116)

    Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

    Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle - and people in general - has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands.

    S says: "One of my top 10 listens of the year!"
    "Like "Gone Girl," but this one's "Gone Mom.""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Where'd You Go, Bernadette again? Why?

    I didn't particularly like any of the characters, and many were intended to be frustrating, but I really enjoyed this book. The audiobook narrator, who performs a variety of voices, accents, and even sings(!), is phenomenal.


    What other book might you compare Where'd You Go, Bernadette to and why?

    "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" reminded me of "Gone Girl," as the story is told from multiple perspectives, and all the characters make mistakes. This one is lighter and a bit goofier in tone. The relationship between the mother and daughter is very sweet. As with "Gone Girl," I couldn't wait to get back to this book it every time I had to stop.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Circle

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Dave Eggers
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (894)
    Performance
    (813)
    Story
    (824)

    When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company's modernity and activity.

    Darwin8u says: "A solid, just not great social network dystopia"
    "The Stepford Tech Company"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this book. Sure, it alternated between fairly clever and kind of dumb, but the story moved fast enough that I never felt bored or tempted to stop listening. As others have pointed out, it's a social networking variation on works like 1984 and The Stepford Wives. Except for a few sex scenes, it seemed very YA (not that that's a bad thing...). The narration is fantastic.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Fangirl

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Rainbow Rowell
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Maxwell Caulfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (377)
    Performance
    (346)
    Story
    (349)

    Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life - and she's really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow Series when they were just kids; it's what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. Cath's sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can't let go.

    nevina says: "Fangirl is fantastic."
    "Odd premise, excellent audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Fangirl again? Why?

    I will listen to every book Rainbow Rowell writes, but it will be a while before I re-listen. When I want to time travel to revisit my own early college anxieties / small victories, I will re-listen to this book. For now, I'm jealous of people who haven't listened to Fangirl yet -- it was a delight.


    What other book might you compare Fangirl to and why?

    Rainbow Rowell won my heart with "Eleanor and Park." "Fangirl" is less fraught and stressful, but drawn just as well. In both, Rowell conjures the awkwardness and excitement of teen emotions with disturbing accuracy. The "Simon Snow" fan-fic plot was a lot more endearing than I expected it to be. I loved the overt and subtle allusions to Harry Potter and Twilight. This element reminded me of "Ready Player One" because it was both funny and nostalgic.


    What about Rebecca Lowman and Maxwell Caulfield ’s performance did you like?

    Rebecca Lowman was an excellent narrator for the main story. I enjoyed the interludes of Maxwell Caulfield reading excerpts from the Simon Snow stories. The combination was such a smart idea.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Behind the Scenes at the Museum

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Kate Atkinson
    • Narrated By Susan Jameson
    Overall
    (316)
    Performance
    (161)
    Story
    (160)

    Ruby Lennox was conceived grudgingly by Bunty and born while her father, George, was in the Dog and Hare in Doncaster. Bunty had never wanted to marry George, but he was all that was left. She really wanted to be Vivien Leigh, swept off to America by a romantic hero. But here she was, stuck in a flat above the pet shop beneath York Minster, with sensible Patricia, aged five, greedy Gillian who refused to be ignored, and Ruby, who tells the memorable, witty, and eventful story of The Family.

    Gail says: "One of my favs"
    "Best Narration by a Zygote"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Behind the Scenes at the Museum the most enjoyable?

    I love Kate Atkinson's sense of humor. She describes the exquisite disappointments of childhood and (unhappy) motherhood so well. These scenes are poignant, but not depressing.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ruby Lennox is an excellent narrator to her family's story.


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

    I enjoyed the variety of accents she used, as well as her enthusiasm.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6272)
    Performance
    (5575)
    Story
    (5571)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Pamela says: "The circus of your dreams"
    "Harry Potter's Hunger Games"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Night Circus?

    The descriptions are intricate and really helped me see the clever/beautiful scenes.


    What other book might you compare The Night Circus to and why?

    It's not fair to call this Harry Potter's Hunger Games, but it's a book about young magicians competing in a battle to the death. Alas, The Night Circus has neither the whimsy of Harry Potter nor the intensity of The Hunger Games.


    Which character – as performed by Jim Dale – was your favorite?

    I love Jim Dale's narration overall. Relative to the voices he did for the Harry Potter series, none of his accents he did here really stood out in this book.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Night Circus and why?

    No one. That's my problem with this book. It's a clever and richly detailed world, but I didn't spend enough time with or get enough insight into any of the characters to care much about them or their circumstances.


    Any additional comments?

    I bet it is less frustrating to have so many events described out of chronological order for folks reading this as a book-book. As an audiobook listener, I found this jumping back and forth confusing, and I couldn't remember the dates well enough to benefit from their presence.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Thérèse Raquin

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Emile Zola
    • Narrated By Kate Winslet
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (849)
    Performance
    (777)
    Story
    (767)

    Once upon a time, a teenaged Kate Winslet (The Reader, Titanic, Revolutionary Road) received a gift that would leave a lasting impression: a copy of Emile Zola’s classic Thérèse Raquin. Six Academy Award nominations and one Best Actress award later, she steps behind the microphone to perform this haunting classic of passion and disaster.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Winslet, Satisfactory Story"
    "Horrible people doing horrible things, boringly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Thérèse Raquin? What did you like least?

    An alternate title could be "Lazy, Paranoid Murderers." Therese Raquin is longer than it needs to be. Even so, there are a few great scenes and wry details that more than justify this mostly bland book's existence.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I don't want to ruin those few plot points that left me with a smile on my face, but they're there.


    What about Kate Winslet’s performance did you like?

    If it weren't Kate Winselt's lovely voice, I never would have finished this book.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes! The movie version (which is in the works) will have to be condensed, which will benefit the plodding parts of the story. Also, those excruciating details will be even more powerful to watch, I think.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Every Day

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Levithan
    • Narrated By Alex McKenna
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (203)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (188)

    Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply....

    Laura says: "Original & Moving"
    "Mixed bag"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Every Day?

    I liked this teen "Quantum Leap" story until ~4/5 of the way through, when it turned hateful. The premise of spending every day in a different body is cute (just don't expect your questions to be answered), and I was impressed by some of the progressive ideas about gender and identity, except when they became unbearably heavy-handed and preachy. Most of all, I appreciated the nuanced empathy the main character showed for all the different bodies he/she inhabited...that is, until A inhabited a body that was only treated with scorn. Being poor or mean or dumb or addicted was fine, but apparently Levithan finds obesity to be an irredeemable blight. I lost respect for the author and the book after that.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Taking a break from patronizing YA for a while...


    What three words best describe Alex McKenna’s voice?

    Gravelly, squeaky, genderless


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Every Day?

    The most unpleasant scene is the shoddy treatment of Finn, the obese boy. It shouldn't be cut, just rewritten with a shred of the compassion Levithan shows to other characters. There are some plot twists that are neglected (presumably to pursue in another book), but I'd rather have had a more complete story in this book.


    Any additional comments?

    This story has many, many flaws, but it's mostly a pleasant, quick listen. Especially if you listen to it on 2x, like I did...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • How We Decide

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Jonah Lehrer
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    Overall
    (1713)
    Performance
    (493)
    Story
    (489)

    Jonah Lehrer arms us with the tools we need to figure out how we decide, drawing on cutting-edge research by Daniel Kahneman, Colin Camerer, and others, as well as the real-world experiences of a wide range of "deciders" - from airplane pilots and hedge fund investors to serial killers and poker players. Lehrer shows how people are taking advantage of the new science to make better television shows, win more football games, and improve military intelligence.

    Sarah says: "Summarizes information from several superior books"
    "Summarizes information from several superior books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a research psychologist, so I enjoy reading and listening to a lot of books in the social science genre. I was initially excited about "How We Decide" because of Lehrer's excellent contributions to the incomparable RadioLab, as well as his decent first book, which makes some interesting interdisciplinary connections. However, I was keenly disappointed because of the lack of originality.

    Most of the themes, studies, and stories in this book are also featured in other works in the genre (Blink, The Happiness Hypothesis, Predictably Irrational, and Mindless Eating, to name just a few). If there were value added in the re-tellings, Lehrer would seem like less of a hack. Unfortunately, his versions are inferior to all of the sources he draws upon. I guess the most positive thing I can say is that if you don't have the time or motivation to read many social science-based books, "How We Decide" can be your Cliffs Notes summary.

    71 of 73 people found this review helpful

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