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Jan

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

Rochester, NY, United States | Member Since 2011

307
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 159 reviews
  • 357 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 53 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
40

  • EMP: Equipping Modern Patriots: With a Story of Survival

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jonathan Hollerman
    • Narrated By Kent Clark
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (9)

    EMP: Equipping Modern Patriots is a harrowing story of survival after the destruction of the electric grid and nearly every electronic device in the country. Jonathan Hollerman paints a vivid and disturbing picture of society falling apart after an Electromagnetic Pulse attack against our nation.

    Jan says: "Right up my line..."
    "Right up my line..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you liked "One Second After," "Alas Babylon" or the new "Survivalist Series"... probably going to like this new EOTWAWKI. This one follows one member of a prepper group as he helps his non-prepper friends and extended family organize post an EMP... then joins his prepper group at their retreat and deals with out of control small town government. I keep thinking that writers will run out of interesting twists for this genre, but again I enjoyed his new twists. Very little swearing, no overt sex, no gratuitous violence... but some intense protective battles and emotional stress. This is a stand alone book, complete in one... at least so far. There is some sharing of favorite supplies and guns as he teaches his family, similar to "Patriots." No zombies or science fiction, just families figuring out how to stay alive and having courage to do it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Blaine Harden
    • Narrated By Blaine Harden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (451)
    Performance
    (395)
    Story
    (398)

    North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped - but Shin Dong-hyuk did.

    Amanda says: "Worthwhile, but difficult on many levels."
    "Nothing to Envy - 2"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I appreciated "Nothing to Envy" by Barbara Demick... the understanding it brought of the North Korean people and lifestyle meant a great deal to me... despite the poor narration and rough writing style. This book is much shorter and less convoluted as it follows just the story of Shin Dong-hyuk, who was born in detention Camp 14 in North Korea and knew no other life. It also has issues with writing style and narration... written in an irritating 3rd person and narrated by the author... however, I couldn't stop listening. The horrific mental and physical abuse he and his family suffered, his unbelievable escape and struggles adapting to freedom are heartbreaking. Mr. Harden's 3rd person style does allow him to explain the politics of the region and recent events. Very much worth my time to listen and learn.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zero Day: A Jeff Aiken Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Mark Russinovich
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (559)
    Performance
    (505)
    Story
    (512)

    An airliner’s controls abruptly fail mid-flight over the Atlantic. An oil tanker runs aground in Japan when its navigational system suddenly stops dead. Hospitals everywhere have to abandon their computer databases when patients die after being administered incorrect dosages of their medicine. In the Midwest, a nuclear power plant nearly becomes the next Chernobyl when its cooling systems malfunction. At first, these random computer failures seem like unrelated events.

    Brian says: "Techno-thriller that gets the tech right"
    "Not for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Plot sounded great... but execution didn't work for me. Way too much un-needed sex and innuendos, jerky, preachy and I was unable to suspend my disbelief. Think computer pro's racing through New York, Russia and France while people all around them are being murdered. This is not an EOTWAWKI book, rather a near repeat of 9/11 type attack using cyber terrorism. The computer as a risk for doomsday is clearly shown and I would love a more realistic book using that scenario.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Philomena: A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Martin Sixsmith
    • Narrated By John Curless
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (258)
    Performance
    (229)
    Story
    (228)

    Now a major motion picture directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen, High Fidelity) and starring Judi Dench (Skyfall, Notes on a Scandal) and Steve Coogan (The Trip, Hamlet 2): the heartbreaking true story of an Irishwoman and the secret she kept for 50 years. When she became pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to a convent to be looked after as a "fallen woman". Then the nuns took her baby from her and sold him, like thousands of others, to America for adoption. Fifty years later, Philomena decided to find him.

    Julie Wenders says: "Rivetting Story and Performance"
    "I want to be tactful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is beautifully narrated, well written... and both the beginning and end are touching and poignant. My heart aches for Philomena and her son... however, this is not Philomena's story at all... it is the story of her son and his forced adoption from Ireland into a dysfunctional American family. His successes, failures and behavior that sounds much like Borderline Personality Disorder. The middle of this book drags you into leather and whip male relationships... and much more... I was forced to repeatedly fast forward. I did feel like it is a bait and switch book with a very liberal and political agenda being promoted. I was very unhappy with the false advertising.

    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End: Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jennifer Worth
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (24)

    When 22-year-old Jennifer Worth, from a comfortable middle-class upbringing, went to work as a midwife in the poorest section of postwar London, she not only delivered hundreds of babies and touched many lives, she also became the neighborhood's most vivid chronicler. Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End is the last book in Worth's memoir trilogy, which the Times Literary Supplement described as "powerful stories with sweet charm and controlled outrage" in the face of dire circumstances.

    Daryl says: "A fitting end to a trilogy"
    "Hated to see it end..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Call The Midwife" was my favorite book last year and I snatched up the last two in the series as quick as I found them. Although each book could stand alone, I still recommend reading it first. This book goes back to the actual midwifery work with real life experiences being shared much like Book 1. Deliveries are followed step by step, botched abortions, infanticide, tuberculosis, single mothers, didn't know was PG moms, hair-raising situations... and again its not for a young reader as real life is accurately portrayed. This book wraps up the work of the midwives, as the 60's brought birth control and the closing of East End "slums" and in the end Jenny shares what happened to all the main characters. If you loved CTM, you will love this. Just as a note the BBC has made it into a popular TV series that can be viewed on Netflix.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shadows of the Workhouse: Call the Midwife, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Jennifer Worth
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    When twenty-two-year-old Jennifer Worth, from a comfortable middle-class upbringing, went to work as a midwife in the direst section of postwar London, she not only delivered hundreds of babies and touched many lives, she also became the neighborhood';s most vivid chronicler. Woven into the ongoing tales of her life in the East End are the true stories of the people Worth met who grew up in the dreaded workhouse, a Dickensian institution that limped on into the middle of the twentieth century.

    Jan says: "Nice followup to "Call The Midwife""
    "Nice followup to "Call The Midwife""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Call The Midwife" was my favorite book of last year. Although the next two books both stand alone, I would strongly suggest reading it first. Shadows of the Workhouse focuses less on the work of the midwives, rather on the experiences of older neighbors, nuns and patients who either lived in or were strongly effected by the workhouse (poorhouses). You get a vivid insight to the system that damaged families and left many who were still alive in the 1950's scarred by their experiences. I really enjoyed this book: it is tender, humorous, heartbreaking and makes history real. I do genealogy and have found several family members who lived and died in the poorhouses, so it was very personal to me. There remains a James Herriot feel to the books which consists of multiple short stories flowing together around the theme. Sister Monica Joan continues to steal the show with her antics, the book is worth the credit to see her arrested and in court for stealing jewelry. I didn't realize this is now a popular series in Britain by the BBC, you can view it on Netflix.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Escaping Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By A. American
    • Narrated By Duke Fontaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (379)
    Performance
    (348)
    Story
    (350)

    When society ceases to exist, who can you trust? After the collapse of the nation's power grid, America is under martial law - and safety is an illusion. As violence erupts around him, Morgan Carter faces one of his most difficult decisions yet: whether to stay and defend his home, or move to a more isolated area, away from the prying eyes of the government. He and his family are hesitant to leave their beloved Lake County, but with increasingly suspicious activities happening in a nearby refugee camp, all signs point towards defecting.

    Linda says: "WARNING! DOES NOT END SERIES! CUT FOR PROFIT?"
    "Off to the woods..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Don't even consider reading this book without having read the first two, it won't make sense. After you have read two you will really want to read this... be warned, as others have mentioned this does not end the series (the next comes out about June 2014), and this is very short and without any end point... it just ends. This book follows Morgan and friends, as the government seeks to send them to a FEMA camp and they are forced to retreat to the woods.

    The narration is slightly better in this book, the military involvement increases and most major characters are back together. I had to suspend my disbelief more often... but dang I like these people and the plot and am ticked I have to wait to know. I'm also starting to worry after the abbreviated nature of this book that it will be the series that never ends. Writing skills remain the same, language a touch stronger, rape of a main character is intense but he tactfully shows only the start and emotional results.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Surviving Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By A. American
    • Narrated By Duke Fontaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (474)
    Performance
    (440)
    Story
    (442)

    No electricity. No running water. No food. No end in sight. If life as you knew it changed in an instant, would you be prepared? In A. American's first novel, Going Home, listeners were introduced to Morgan Carter, the resourceful, tough-as-nails survivalist who embarks on a treacherous 250-mile journey across Florida following the collapse of the nation's power grid. Now reunited with his loving wife and daughters in this follow-up to Going Home, Morgan knows that their happiness is fleeting, as the worst is yet to come.

    Jan says: "He made it home... now what?"
    "He made it home... now what?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a view at what happens in a neighborhood when some have and some don't. You see this type of setup in books like "Jakarta Pandemic" and "Cyber Storm" (books I enjoyed) and "The End" (didn't). This is not a stand alone book... although you can stop reading after book one, you must read book one to understand this and you will be left falling off a cliff needing to read book three afterwards... and then waiting impatiently for June 2014 to read four. I almost wished I had stopped at one and waited for four to be ready before making the plunge.

    The writing style is still very basic, the narrator instead of getting better gets worse (goes from one set of characters to the next without a breath or pause, leaving a person confused at where the heck he is... plus blatant mispronunciations which he finally gets corrected (but they didn't go back and edit). The plot continues to be brilliant and original, with less named brand supplies and more military involvement.

    There is strong language peppered though it, lots of gun violence, minor sexual innuendos and lots of hungry, beaten down folks and others who take advantage of them. The characters become even more real in this book and you follow not only Morgan and his family, but the friends he made in "Going Home."

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Going Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By A. American
    • Narrated By Duke Fontaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (839)
    Performance
    (773)
    Story
    (772)

    If society collapsed, could you survive? When Morgan Carter's car breaks down 250 miles from his home, he figures his weekend plans are ruined. But things are about to get much, much worse: the country's power grid has collapsed. There is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no way to know when normalcy will be restored - if it ever will be.

    Randall says: "A page turner, if. . ."
    "Interesting Twist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read a lot of EOTWAWKI type books... my favorites being "One Second After" and "Alas Babylon." The premise of "Going Home" is an EMP while the main character, Morgan, is away from home and family... very similar to the premise of "77 Days" or "The Walk," except Morgan is a prepper and walks home with a complete inventory of supplies. Like "Patriots" this book states brand names of supplies, but honestly it was less blatant... no model numbers. Although I'm pretty sure if you liked Patriots you will like this, they fill a similar niche in teaching along with the story.

    There is a lot of gun violence, but I appreciated that it was in self defense by likable characters who didn't want to harm others (unlike "The End"). Swearing is a lot more than I would like but is limited to specific characters and much less than in "The Walk" which I couldn't bear. There is un-witnessed sexual assaults reported and a few sexual innuendos. If made into a film it would have to be R rated but the book felt PG-14 to me.

    The writing is very basic, the narrator not great, some internal inconsistencies... and you do have to suspend your disbelief regarding the government takeover. That said... I loved this book and its characters...didn't want to go to bed and shut it off. The twists are different than any EOTWAWKI books I have read and the author does a great job of showing us the many and varied ways people and communities might respond.

    Now for the series... yep, I have finished all three available this week and the next isn't due out until June of 2014. This book is the best of the three and there is a logical end point where you can stop and be content. Books 2 & 3 do not stand alone and leave you hanging. I am frustrated the 4th isn't available and am worried there might also be a 5th... as the 3rd book is much, much shorter... marketing game? Well I guess it worked as I will certainly buy the next when it comes out.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Coming Clean

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kimberly Rae Miller
    • Narrated By Kimberly Rae Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (134)

    Kim Miller is an immaculately put-together woman with a great career, a loving boyfriend, and a tidy apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. You would never guess that Kim grew up behind the closed doors of her family’s idyllic Long Island house, navigating between teetering stacks of aging newspapers, broken computers, and boxes upon boxes of unused junk festering in every room - the product of her father’s painful and unending struggle with hoarding. In this moving coming-of-age story, Kim brings to life her rat-infested home and her childhood consumed by concealing her father’s shameful secret from friends.

    Margaret says: "Vicarious Hoarding"
    "Didn't expect to like it... but did"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Raised in the filth of her hoarder parents home, Kim shares the shame, chaos and challenges she faced growing up... while trying to be normal. Then the reversal of roles as an adult she tries to keep her parents safe from their ongoing hoarding... while doing so triggers nightmares of her childhood. It is an intensely personal book with very little action but a whole lot of emotion, love of family and an inside look at the issue of hoarding without the gratuitous extortion of the situation as seen on "real life TV."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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