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Jan

Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.

Rochester, NY, United States | Member Since 2011

470
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 177 reviews
  • 383 ratings
  • 1117 titles in library
  • 158 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
64

  • The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1269)
    Performance
    (1164)
    Story
    (1176)

    >When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.

    Tango says: "Beautiful story, beautifully written"
    "Expected a $3.99 filler book - got new favorite!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Beautiful writing, beautiful narration and beautiful story. It made me want to go to the Thula Thula Game Preserve in Zululand, South Africa and pay homage. Both young and old will enjoy watching as Lawrence forms friendship bonds with a breeding herd of creative, determined and traumatized wild elephants... and then learns to "hear" and understand them. Got loads of yard work done... cause I didn't want to stop listening. Already added "The Last Rhinos" to my wish list. I want more :).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Blood-Red Sun: Under the Blood-Red Sun, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Graham Salisbury
    • Narrated By Greg Watanabe
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Tomi was born in Hawaii. His grandfather and parents were born in Japan, and came to America to escape poverty. WWII seems far away from him and his friends, who are too busy playing ball on their eighth-grade team, the Rats. But then Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese, and the United States declares war on Japan. Japanese men are rounded up, and Tomi’s father and grandfather are arrested. It’s a terrifying time to be Japanese in America.

    Jan says: "Great younger YA historical fiction"
    "Great younger YA historical fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this ALA notable book when it first came out and loved it. The story starts shortly before the bombing of Pearl Harbor and opens the life of a young Japanese American, Tomikazu and his family living near the harbor. After you "see" his normal life with racing pigeons, baseball, school, deep sea fishing, friends & family... the bombs fall and we then watch as his family is torn apart and he steps up to help. Covering material similar to "The Corner of Bitter & Sweet" and "Tallgrass," this is aimed for a younger audience... I'd guess 6th to 9th grade.

    The book opens slowly and the narrator has a slow "Hawaiian" pace... I was antsy at first, but after the bombs fall and the plot picked up I didn't notice it as much. I'd be tempted to increase the speed if I read again. This would be a good book to listen to with a child... opening topics for discussion like history, war, loss, discrimination, patriotism, fear, courage, change and bullies. These kinda hard topics aren't as much fun as some fiction but still needed for a well rounded education. Older teens/adults would enjoy "Tallgrass."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don't, and How to Make Any Change Stick

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Jeremy Dean
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (289)
    Performance
    (249)
    Story
    (244)

    Say you want to start going to the gym or practicing a musical instrument. How long should it take before you stop having to force it and start doing it automatically? The surprising answers are found in Making Habits, Breaking Habits, a leading psychologist’s popular examination of one of the most powerful and underappreciated processes in the brain. Although people like to think that they are in control, the vast majority of human behavior occurs without any decision-making or conscious thought.

    Ria says: "Excellent, in-depth, research supported insight"
    "Kick in the pants for me..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've a few habits I want to go away and a few that I'd like to add. This book held my attention nicely, helped me understand a few things I didn't and gave me a kick in the right direction. It feels like it is well researched, the voice engaging and some interesting supportive examples. It feels like attending a 200 level psychology college class with a good professor. I got it on sale and it was well worth the few bucks I spent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Survivor

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Gregg Hurwitz
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1041)
    Performance
    (923)
    Story
    (914)

    Nate Overbay, a former soldier suffering from PTSD and ALS, goes to an 11th-floor bank and climbs out the bathroom window onto the ledge, ready to end it all. But as he’s steeling himself to jump, a crew of gunmen bursts into the bank and begins viciously shooting employees and customers. With nothing to lose, Nate climbs back inside, confronts the robbers, and with his military training, starts taking them out, one by one. The last man standing leaves Nate with a cryptic warning: “He will make you pay in ways you can’t imagine.” Soon enough, Nate learns what this means.

    T.D. says: "Shakes you to your very core."
    "Intense violence, action packed..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Way too violent for my tastes, but plot had me tightly held before it hit, and I did finish it late into the night. I quite enjoyed the story, although it was improbable and I consciously had to accept the over the top premise and... Language is clean, no sexual messiness, writing skills decent. Nice family guy with PTSD versus the Russian mafia to protect his family. Scott Brick always does a great job on narration. My husband would love this... me... way too many images I really hope I will forget.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rebecca

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Daphne du Maurier
    • Narrated By Anna Massey
    Overall
    (881)
    Performance
    (647)
    Story
    (655)

    After a whirlwind romance and a honeymoon in Italy, the innocent young heroine and the dashing Maxim de Winter return to his country estate, Manderley. But the unsettling memory of Rebecca, the first Mrs. de Winter, still lingers within. The timid bride must overcome her husband's oppressive silences and the sullen history of the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, to confront the emotional horrors of the past.

    P. Wade Thompson says: "A Great Listen"
    "She has no name..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You know her inside and out... this nameless opposite of Rebecca. Although considered a suspenseful gothic book, I found it a highly readable character study. This 1938 classic "a study of jealousy" was well worth the listen if just to enjoy the symbolic foreshadowing... I actually want to listen again to catch all the nuances. You are going to spend a lot of time in "her" mind evaluating what others are saying, doing and thinking... it may be very, very boring for some... but kept me listening and thinking. I liked the reader, a few tiny glitches, not really worth fussing about.

    0 of 0 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
    (748)
    Performance
    (693)
    Story
    (701)

    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"
    "Don't hesitate for a even second... !!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have search for this book on Audible regularly, hoping it would eventually appear - oh my goodness, it was well worth the wait! The book is the much beloved, Pulitzer Prize winning classic we all met in school.

    The only question left is "how is the narration?"
    The answer: Sissy Spacek does as good as I have heard or better!
    Wish I could give this book a 10 star rating.

    25 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • Lightning Fall: A Novel of Disaster

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Bill Quick
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    Three terrorist attacks are launched from freighters against the United States. Only one fully succeeds, but in the blink of an eye all of the country west of the Rocky Mountains is transformed into the technological equivalent of the 18th century - no electricity, no computers, no electronics of anykind, or any of the amenities of modern life that depend on them. This is the story of ordinary and extraordinary people, high and low, who struggle to survive in a mortally wounded nation, as America's enemies within and without circle for the kill.

    Jan says: "An Equal Opportunity Political Disaster"
    "An Equal Opportunity Political Disaster"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not really sure what Bill Quick intended to say in his painful, over-reaching 18 hour novel, which will require an equally long follow-up novel to tie up the loose ends. The message I got was he thinks Hillary Clinton is an idiot and would be a bad president. The EMP over California and nuclear bomb in New Orleans, politics in Washington, race riots, news blackouts, confiscating gold, new currency, no food, invading Mexican troops, Chinese plots and Islamic militants are just the tip of the iceberg. He jumps from character to character, location to location in a way that kept me from bonding with anyone... he also has multiple shady characters which use a great deal of profanity and share liberally their bigotry. If I was a Woman, Black, Hispanic, Democrat, Mormon, Politician, Serviceman... pretty much anyone... I would be offended by this book. The main characters which are the few positively portrayed include a gay male prepper, a teenage genius, a Tea Party and Republican secret group with plot to overthrow president and the inventor of solar panel paint. I am just grateful its over and have no desire to find out what happens.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Forsaking Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By A. American
    • Narrated By Duke Fontaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (366)
    Performance
    (343)
    Story
    (343)

    Morgan Carter has weathered the weeks after the collapse of the nation's power grid, reuniting with his family and ensuring their safety, but his struggle isn't over yet. Carter must focus on survival in an increasingly unstable society - but the challenges he faces are beyond his wildest imagination. Meanwhile, the enclosed quarters of the nearby government-run refugee camp make for an environment where injury, assault and murder are the norm.

    Jan says: "Completes the series nicely... with a 3.5 read"
    "Completes the series nicely... with a 3.5 read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Was glad I went ahead and picked up book #4 in this series, it nicely wound up all the dangling story lines from books 2 and 3... it wasn't a never-ending series after all. Just know you can stop listening after book 1... but if you choose to read 2 you won't have a stopping point until the end of this book. A. American may continue with another book... there is still room in the plot and cast of characters, but the series can be complete here. This is not a series book you can read out of order... it wouldn't make sense at all if you hadn't read the other 3 first.
    Writing skills remain pretty basic and there are more than a few flaws an editor should have caught and cleaned up. However, I like this series and was pleased to be back with the family and friends scattered between the "refugee camp," Sarge's military group and the camp along the river as they harvest food from nature. Occasional strong language and violence... but as always the main characters are the good guys. He lightly covers issues such as sanitation (what happens with no TP and how to make soap), alternate food sources (including how to skin a squirrel), depression post event and formation of extended groups for mutual benefit. If you liked the first one, you will like this one.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Long Way Home

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Saroo Brierley
    • Narrated By Vikas Adam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (38)

    At only five years old, Saroo Brierley got lost on a train in India. Unable to read or write or recall the name of his hometown or even his own last name, he survived alone for weeks on the rough streets of Calcutta before ultimately being transferred to an agency and adopted by a couple in Australia. Despite his gratitude, Brierley always wondered about his origins. One day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for and set off to find his family.

    Kate says: "Enjoyed the Journey"
    "Hard book to rate... 3 or 4?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "A long way home" is the straightforward telling of Saroo's experiences as a 5 year old stranded on a moving train, being lost in Calcutta and eventually being adopted and taken to Tasmania by new parents. As an adult using childhood memories and Google Earth he eventually figures out where in India his childhood home was located. The actual events as they happened are amazing, however... the writing style and reading of the book are average at best and at times irritating. I should probably have ranked it a 3, but I simply enjoyed the story...
    This would make a great family movie and has been briefly depicted in a 28 minute video available on Youtube and produced by "60 Minutes." I watched this after reading the book and enjoyed seeing Saroo, his family and the locations where the book took place.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Doctor: Close Calls, Cold Cases, and the Mysteries of Medicine

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Brendan Reilly
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    An epic story told by a unique voice in Ameri­can medicine, One Doctor describes life-changing experiences in the career of a distinguished physi­cian. In riveting first-person prose, Dr. Brendan Reilly takes us to the front lines of medicine today.

    Jan says: "Simply Brilliant"
    "Simply Brilliant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dr. Reilly has distilled a life time of his knowledge, experience and insight into this enlightening and engaging book about health care. Although full of interesting experiences from his practice, this is not similar to a James Herriot book... you have to think and process... he has many messages that need saying in todays world. I will also mention here that his account weaves like a macramé and if you don't listen closely you will miss threads that you really need to remember - I re-wound multiple times to get back into gear.

    I've been a nurse about as long as "Brenden" has been a doctor and his writing is truth, not sugar coated... I have been right there facing the same challenges. He has expressed the things I would like to tell my aging parents, siblings and children (most especially the son with the MD behind his name) in a way I never could. There are no pat answers found here, rather he shares stories that raise questions and cause you to think about "your doctor," family, choices, guilt, aging, death, resources, quality of life and the bizarre practice of medicine in the United States.

    So very glad to have found this book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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