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Jan

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

Rochester, NY, United States | Member Since 2011

679
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 182 reviews
  • 404 ratings
  • 1233 titles in library
  • 211 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
73

  • Cannery Row

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Jerry Farden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (437)
    Performance
    (377)
    Story
    (378)

    Published in 1945, Cannery Row focuses on the acceptance of life as it is: both the exuberance of community and the loneliness of the individual. Drawing on his memories of the real inhabitants of Monterey, California, Steinbeck interweaves the stories of Doc, Henri, Mack and his boys, and the other characters in this world where only the fittest survive, to create a novel that is at once one of his most humorous and most poignant works.

    Jax says: "I disagree with Rob from Goodyear, AZ"
    "My Favorite Audible Steinbeck so far...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not at all what I expected from the book. It was deep, poignant, symbolic and fun at the same time. Somehow I had missed reading this classic and bought it only to fill in my missing knowlege void. I'd buy it again in a heatbeat for the joy of it and will read again soon. Heck, I'd pay 35 frogs for it... maybe even 75.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Birth Day: A Pediatrician Explores the Science, the History, and the Wonder of Childbirth

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Mark Sloan
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    "I delivered twenty babies in the summer of 1977. I was hardly more than a baby myself, just turned 24 and starting my third year of medical school." So began Mark Sloan's three-decades-long exploration of the wonders and oddities of human childbirth. Pediatrician, husband, and father, the author has attended nearly 3000 births since that long-ago summer, encountering everything from routine deliveries to tense labor-room dramas.

    Jan says: "8 hour chat with a great pediatrician, about birth"
    "8 hour chat with a great pediatrician, about birth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Dr. Sloan (even though he is a breathy audiobook reader). Though personal stories, historical practices, trends around the world and clearly explained current science he explores what childbirth is all about. I think it would be of interest to healthcare providers... as well as expecting parents and grandparents.
    It is an honest, yet entertaining overview, full of gentle humor and practical, positive information. He makes no choices for you, but explores ideas from many points of view and leaves you knowing that every parent, situation, child and birth is different, just like the "proverbial snowflake."
    So glad I found it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 299 Days: The Preparation, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Glen Tate
    • Narrated By Kevin Pierce
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (251)
    Performance
    (237)
    Story
    (234)

    299 Days: The Preparation, the first audiobook in the 299 Days series, depicts the inner struggles Grant must face as he exists in a social system he recognizes as unsustainable and on the verge of collapse, but one in which he has built his life around. What begins as a return to his roots, self-sufficiency and independence, becomes a full blown move to prepare for what may come.

    Les says: "The most accurate "PREPPER" story ever written!!!"
    "Planted Reviews - be careful with your purchase..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have a weakness for prepper & disaster books and was very aware this series was coming out in the near future and planned on picking up the first one right away, and all of them if they were good. I was surprised how quickly the reviews for this series appeared... and was delighted everyone liked it.

    My friends, most of these reviewers only own one audiobook and have only done one review... I know because after I forced myself to listen to the entire book... I went back to see who the idiots were that gave the book a 5 star award.

    I don't expect the writing to be amazing in this genre, but I would at least like to learn something or a creative slant. This is just a tangential, unedited, repetitive, boring, semi-autobiographical, plot less, self-important, extremist political rant... by a prepper podcaster with a following... who I honestly think means well.

    I wanted to like it, wanted to find the good in it and kept thinking... it will get better anytime now. But it didn't happen. There is no violence, swearing or sex in this book, just a little pissing off the porch and repetitive gun purchases. No incredible information either, though... sorry. And the writing... is just wrong, you will know what every character in the book is thinking, jumping from head to head to head in the same short sentence.

    The narrator wasn't bad in other books I've listened to... but the material he is reading combined with the poor flow of sentences... makes him sound slow and the listen painful.

    Watch closely, I am about to have major not helpful votes attached to my review.

    61 of 76 people found this review helpful
  • Gray Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Catherine Taber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1072)
    Performance
    (978)
    Story
    (991)

    The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer's career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track - until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the "lucky" associates. She's offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she'd get her old job back. In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about.

    Marci says: "So Disappointing"
    "Sorry John... wanted to like it... love you anyway"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bought this as a pre-order, excited to read something similar to John's early books... I even like his later books and would have settle for one of those. I downloaded it the first day... took me three days of literally forcing myself to listen in order to reach the end. I hated the narrator, disliked the main character and found the plot insipid. Found some action about 10 hours in... a bit.
    This book would not of made print had an unknown author written it. "Big coal" is the villain, and yes some of the victims cases handled by Samantha were interesting... but gracious to Pete, what happened here John? Pleased don't write the sequel which is obviously hanging there at the end. It is not a chick lit book... this chick didn't want to finish it.

    39 of 43 people found this review helpful
  • A Distant Eden: Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Lloyd Tackitt
    • Narrated By Michael Hacker
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (69)

    December 2012, a massive solar storm knocks out the power grid. Three hundred million Americans are suddenly faced with a survival situation. They have no water, electricity or fuel. Food rapidly disappears from the store shelves, not to be replaced. Only three percent will survive. Those three percent will have much in common. What does it take to be one of them?

    Sullivan says: "Prepper training parable"
    "EOTWAWKI or prepper fans will like..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are lots of books coming out in this genre lately and quite a few haven't been worth the time to listen... This one although the writing style isn't the best... was well worth my time and $. It follows a family who is scattered around the country, but has a prepper dad who they all thought was crazy.

    There are some very creative and new to me solutions for EOTWAWKI problems. There is a lot of teaching from father to children, allowing us to learn his prepper ideas, theories and beliefs while reading. This is not a classic everyone would love to read like "Alas Babylon" or "One Second After." It doesn't include model numbers like the "Patriots" series. Those living in Texas would particularly like this book. There are no zombies or science fiction. Lots of violence, clean language, nice Christian family making hard choices... it got better as went along. A few hard to believe passages...

    It is a part of a series, but this is stand alone if desired. The second book presents entirely different ideas and theories for a son traveling cross country alone. It was also well worth the read. At this writing the 3rd isn't out yet or I would be reading it now. Narrator was irritating at first with multiple accents really grating on my nerves, but he seemed to relax or do better as the book progressed... at least I didn't notice as much. I will probably read again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn
    • Narrated By Oliva Wilde
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    A Path Appears is even more ambitious in scale: nothing less than a sweeping tapestry of people who are making the world a better place and a guide to the ways that we can do the same - whether with a donation of $5 or $5 million, with our time, by capitalizing on our skills as individuals, or by using the resources of our businesses.

    Jan says: "Enlightening Read for Wise Givers (why & how)"
    "Enlightening Read for Wise Givers (why & how)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It took me a while to get hooked into this book... perhaps because the many interesting accounts from all over the world seemed tangential and I had trouble figuring out what exactly I was suppose to be learning. After a bit, I was enjoying the wide ranging accounts so much... I didn't care about the message anymore.

    The book presents numerous problems going on in the world... the intervention being made... what happened & why it succeeded, failed or made things worse. How does receiving effect the receiver? I honestly was surprised by the politics, marketing, psychology and complexities of funding, giving and making what you give count. Also how difficult it is to decide if what you have given is being used wisely. It is not always what you expect.

    Many of the accounts show how just a "little bit of hope" changes lives, how one person can make a major difference in the life of others. It also explores the "giver" what happens when they give, the chemistry and psychology involved. Why we choose to give or not... and to whom. I loved the empowerment and joy obtained by a group of school children in Uganda who to donated $ to a charity in the US.

    In the end, the stories are tied together and we are urged to help transform lives and create opportunity... but by then you have been free to draw your own conclusions. Mine didn't always match the authors, but the process was still stimulating. The narration is good, was well worth the credit and my time to read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 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
    (1653)
    Performance
    (1509)
    Story
    (1519)

    >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 :).

    1 of 2 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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    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
    (405)
    Performance
    (353)
    Story
    (347)

    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.

    Sara says: "No Sugar Coating Allowed"
    "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.

    1 of 1 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
    (1124)
    Performance
    (1000)
    Story
    (989)

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Rebecca

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Daphne du Maurier
    • Narrated By Anna Massey
    Overall
    (910)
    Performance
    (674)
    Story
    (683)

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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