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Jan

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

Rochester, NY, United States | Member Since 2011

310
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 162 reviews
  • 358 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 53 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
40

  • The Bronze Bow

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Elizabeth George Speare
    • Narrated By Mary Woods
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (29)

    After witnessing his father's crucifixion by Roman soldiers, Daniel bar Jamin is fired by a single passion: to avenge his father's death by driving the Roman legions from the land of Israel. Consumed by hatred, Daniel leads a dangerous life living with an outlaw band in the hills outside his village, spying and plotting, impatiently waiting to take revenge. Winner of the 1962 Newbery Medal, The Bronze Bow is the story of a boy's tormented journey.

    Laura says: "BORING read of a not boring story."
    "60's Newberry Award Winner"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Set at the time of Christ, this childrens book was an enjoyable little read, reminding me of "The Big Fisherman" or "The Robe." An orphaned Jewish boy has an intense hatred against the Romans and is involved with zealots hoping to overcome the Romans. He meets Christ and eventually is able to lay the hatred aside. There are some interesting sub-plots and it would be a good read for a child who is Christian. There is an underlying Sunday School feel to it and an overt promotion of Christianity. It touches quite a bit about the Jewish rituals and law, showing them through the Christian view as being for show and not necessary. I don't think Jewish or atheist parents would be thrilled with it for their children to read, but still a nice book for the right audience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Event Horizon: The Perseid Collapse Series, Volume 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Steven Konkoly
    • Narrated By John David Farrell
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (20)

    With Boston collapsing faster than Alex Fletcher predicted, his personal rescue mission deep into the heart of an increasingly unfamiliar city reaches a critical point. Pursued by a ruthless militia group and forced to navigate a treacherous landscape, he runs a gauntlet of grim decisions and impossible odds to reach perceived safety. Perceived because nothing is safe in the world rapidly emerging after the "event."

    mike says: "To be continued and continued and continued..."
    "Slightly better than book 1"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    But who knows how many more incomplete books in this series. Picked up both Book 1 and 2 at same time, excited for something similar to "Jakarta Pandemic"... and even using the same family. Didn't even bother to read the reviews... my mistake, first of all this is a series... which doesn't have natural end spots, rather he chooses the most intense spot to stop in both 1 & 2 and no end in sight. It is a fairly clean read, but the violence is WAY more intense than Jakarta and it plays heavily into the military role post event. This is slightly better than the first... writing not as sloppy and more about the family, less about Rambo. Better books than this: "One Second After," "Equipping Modern Patriots," "Objects of Wrath," "Cyber-Storm," "Swan Song," "Alas Babylon," "77 Days in September"... and "Jakarta Pandemic." If you have to choose a never-ending series... I like "The Survivalist Series" better. Wait until more of the books are out and wait for a sale, it wasn't horrid... just not worth a credit to be left dangling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Perseid Collapse: The Perseid Collapse, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Steven Konkoly
    • Narrated By John David Farrell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (61)

    2019. Six years after the Jakarta Pandemic “decimated” the world's population; life is back to normal for the Fletchers and most Americans. The United States stands at the brink of a complete domestic and international resurgence, with stories of confidence and prosperity dominating the headlines. Appearances can be deceiving. An undercurrent of paranoia and fear still runs strong below the surface; the collective angst spawned by 28 million American deaths forever stamped into population's psyche.

    Denise says: "DON'T BUY THIS BOOK YET...Wait for the 2nd part.."
    "Not a Jakarta Pandemic..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Picked up both Book 1 and 2 at same time, excited for something similar to "Jakarta Pandemic"... and even using the same family. Didn't even bother to read the reviews... my mistake, first of all this is a series... which doesn't use natural end spots, rather chooses the most intense spot to stop in both 1 & 2 and no end in sight. It is a fairly clean read, but the violence is WAY more intense than Jakarta and it plays heavily into the military role post event. I kept thinking "Rambo goes to rescue his son" would be a good subtitle for this book and would probably be enjoyed more by those with military background than myself. I found the events more implausible and the writing sloppier... I was trying to find my place once and clicking from dividing spot to dividing spot... it sounded something like this... "Alex turned... Alex looked... Alex placed... Alex raised..." well you get the picture. It feels a bit like "The Survivalist Series" by A American... but I will finish the Survivalist (unhappy it is a never-ending series out for the bucks too) and probably not this one. Better books than this: "One Second After," "Equipping Modern Patriots," "Objects of Wrath," "Cyber-Storm," "Swan Song," "Alas Babylon," "77 Days in September"... and "Jakarta Pandemic." Wait until more of the books are out and wait for a sale, it wasn't horrid... just not worth a credit to feel unsatisfied.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dorothy Gilman
    • Narrated By Sharon Williams
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (66)

    Seven weeks ago, a young American woman, Amanda Pym, faced down hijackers on board a flight to the Middle East and saved the lives of more than two hundred passengers. In a blaze of celebrity, she stepped off the plane in Damascus and was whisked away in a waiting car. Since then, NOTHING. The CIA believes she was kidnapped and murdered. Whose plans has the apparently ordinary young woman interfered with? The machinations of the mukhabarat, Syria's dreaded police?

    Ellen Anthony says: "Different Narrator. Good story, but last in serie"
    "Saddness..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Mrs. Pollifax series has been brain "cotton candy" for me and my grandmother to enjoy together. Over the years, I gradually acquired the whole series for grandma... except this book... I was waiting for Barbara Rosenblat to record it. I finally gave up... apparently it isn't going to happen. Although Sharon Williams is a fine narrator, every time she spoke for Mrs. Pollifax it jarred me, because it just wasn't the right voice. This book, the last of the series, is very short, borrows heavily from plot lines in prior books (kept thinking I had read it before) and just plain old isn't as good as her previous books. If you want to check out this series, start with "The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax" #1 and read more or less in order... stop before reading this one... unless you really, really love them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • EMP: Equipping Modern Patriots: With a Story of Survival

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jonathan Hollerman
    • Narrated By Kent Clark
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (20)

    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
    (458)
    Performance
    (400)
    Story
    (404)

    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
    (568)
    Performance
    (514)
    Story
    (521)

    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
    (274)
    Performance
    (245)
    Story
    (244)

    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.

    12 of 16 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
    (29)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (28)

    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
    (34)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    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
    (393)
    Performance
    (362)
    Story
    (364)

    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

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