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N. Barnes

Member Since 2011

17
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 28 ratings
  • 230 titles in library
  • 32 purchased in 2014
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5

  • The Modern Scholar: Unseen Diversity: The World of Bacteria

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Betsey Dexter Dyer
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (44)

    Professor Betsey Dexter Dyer of Wheaton College examines the role of bacteria as major players in Earth's biodiversity. In the course of these fascinating lectures, Professor Dyer delves into the history of microbiology, the four billion year history of bacteria and archaea as the dominant organisms on Earth, and the place of pathogens in the greater context of the bacterial world. This course serves as both a field guide for curious naturalists and a friendly introduction to the world of bacteria and archaea.

    Lucas says: "Even THINKING about it? Go ahead and get it!"
    "Utterly fascinating and life changing lectures!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Professor Dyer's lectures on bacteria are incredibly gripping, well put together, and full of fascinating information. It is obvious to me, a fellow academic (though in History, not in any hard science), that she is presenting the very basic, watered-down version here, but it's quite enough for a non-specialist. There were only a few places where I hungered for more information and really wished that she hadn't cut out some of the more challenging details. Overall, this is a wonderful series of lectures that will make you think about and look at bacteria--and even yourself--in a whole new way. I also really like her voice. I purchased the other Modern Scholar lecture series she did, "The Basics of Genetics," and am looking forward to listening to it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Les Misérables: Translated by Julie Rose

    • UNABRIDGED (60 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Victor Hugo, Julie Rose (translator)
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (978)
    Performance
    (846)
    Story
    (854)

    One of the great classics of world literature and the inspiration for the most beloved stage musical of all time, Les Misérables is legendary author Victor Hugo’s masterpiece. This extraordinary English version by renowned translator Julie Rose captures all the majesty and brilliance of Hugo’s work. Here is the timeless story of the quintessential hunted man—Jean Valjean—and the injustices, violence, and social inequalities that torment him.

    Darwin8u says: "!"
    "Fantastic narrator for a world masterpiece"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    George Guidall is one of my favorite narrators of all time, and Julie Rose's translation of Hugo's masterpiece is superb artistry. This makes for a winning combination. My interest was sustained throughout the very long book, and immediately upon finishing it I bought George Guidall's narration of the unabridged version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I always appreciate good literature and I stand in absolute awe at the literary genius of Hugo.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13600)
    Performance
    (5996)
    Story
    (6077)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

    Kindle Customer says: "Great Narration!!"
    "One of the best audiobooks of all time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not only is this story arrestingly beautiful, both narrators (who play the main character in his youth and old age) are outstanding. I absolutely loved this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Angela's Ashes

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Frank McCourt
    • Narrated By Frank McCourt
    Overall
    (2627)
    Performance
    (1403)
    Story
    (1407)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: There’s no gentle way to put this – Frank McCourt’s performance of Angela’s Ashes is just better than the Pulitzer Prize-winning book. Frank McCourt shares his sometimes heartwarming, sometimes heartbreaking story of growing up poor, Irish, and Catholic in the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir Angela's Ashes.

    Karen says: "A classic book *and* a classic audiobook"
    "One of the best audiobooks you'll find"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As I said for the second volume of Frank McCourt's memoir, 'Tis, this book is incredibly moving, blatantly honest, and delightful to the last drop. Not only do you get the joy of hearing an author read his own book, but this particular author has the gift of the voice as well as of the pen, and adds even more emotion to his narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Jennifer Worth
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1631)
    Performance
    (1459)
    Story
    (1475)

    At the age of 22, Jennifer Worth left her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in postwar London’s East End slums. The colorful characters she met while delivering babies all over London - from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lived to the woman with 24 children who couldn't speak English to the prostitutes and dockers of the city’s seedier side - illuminate a fascinating time in history.

    Kathy says: "This is one I didn't want to put down!"
    "Better than the TV show!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This audiobook is truly phenomenal. I listened to it on a long international flight (both ways, I think) and simply could not stop. The story is fascinating, is told in an emotionally engaged manner, and the narrator's voice is very sweet. I was so hooked that I checked out the TV show online but discovered to my disappointment that the audiobook had allowed me to create more compelling characters than the TV producers did (though I do not mean by this to insult the actresses). The book is just so full of details that post-war Britain and its poor families come fully alive.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 'Tis

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Frank McCourt
    • Narrated By Frank McCourt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (759)
    Performance
    (368)
    Story
    (366)

    Listen as Frank tells in his own inimitable voice his story of how at the age of 19 he traveled from Limerick to New York in pursuit of the American dream. Despite the abundance of unsolicited advice he gets to "join the cops" and "stick to his own kind", Frank knows that he should educate himself and somehow rise above his circumstances.

    Stanley says: "A second delightful helping"
    "Sequel just as good as the first book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is nothing better than hearing an author read his (or her) own book, and Frank McCourt's performance is truly wonderful. At times solemn and at times jolly, the story unfolds with shocking honesty and tenderness. This audio book is truly delightful!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Secrets of Sleep Science: From Dreams to Disorders

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Craig H. Heller
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (64)

    Sleep is the subject of intense scientific debate among biologists and neuroscientists. Why must we spend about one-third of our lives asleep? What exactly is sleep? Why does a lack of sleep impair our cognitive abilities and leave us vulnerable to a host of medical issues ranging from obesity to reduced resistance to infectious disease?

    Douglas says: "This Course Appealed To Me..."
    "Fascinating science delivered in compelling manner"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Professor Heller does a fabulous job with this series of 24 lectures, all of which I found very engaging and easy to understand. There are one or two lectures that get deep into the neurology of sleep, but he clearly has experience teaching college students and knows how to make material understandable. He also is very passionate about his research and the possibilities of improving quality of life through better sleep science and popular information about sleep, and as a fellow professor I appreciate that energy. If you are at all interested in sleep science, or you or your loved ones have any issues with sleep, this is a must!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Bluest Eye

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Toni Morrison
    • Narrated By Toni Morrison, Ruby Dee
    Overall
    (116)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (47)

    Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in. Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife.

    Linda says: "Frustrating..."
    "Special reading from the author herself!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While this is not my favorite Toni Morrison book, there is something awfully special about getting to listen to an author read her own work for you. Morrison pours such heart and soul into her literature that I knew her reading would be heartfelt, and she did not disappoint.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: God Wills It!: Understanding the Crusades

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Thomas F. Madden
    • Narrated By Thomas F. Madden
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (42)

    The story of the many crusades are filled with an unremitting passion to keep or return the home of Christianity to Christians. It is also filled with death, destruction, disorder, greed, avarice, and self-interest on all sides. Much of what occurred during the Crusades has come down to us today in the form of continued suspicion among religious ideologies - not only between Christians and Muslims, but also internally among Christian sects and, to some degree, among Muslim sects.

    Wanda says: "Excellent set of lectures!"
    "Boring rendition of potentially gripping material"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a professor of history and generally love a good history lecture. I gave this a really good shot and listened to 9/10 of it, but couldn't even manage to finish. Granted, I do not specialize in medieval Europe and may not be as fascinated by that time and place as another listener, but in general I found the lectures to be very similar to one another, and rather devoid of information on how the crusades changed history. I was looking for something more engaging. At the end of some of the lectures a member of the audience asks a question; the questions are generally very interesting, and Professor Madden's responses are usually lacking in detail and somewhat perfunctory. Moreover, a picky point but one worth mentioning is that Professor Madden's voice is somewhat monotone.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Christine Falls: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Benjamin Black
    • Narrated By Timothy Dalton
    Overall
    (756)
    Performance
    (322)
    Story
    (317)

    It's not the dead that seem strange to Quirke. It's the living. One night, after a few drinks at an office party, Quirke shuffles down into the morgue where he works and finds his brother-in-law, Malachy, altering a file he has no business even reading. Odd enough in itself to find Malachy there, but the next morning, when the haze has lifted, it looks an awful lot like his brother-in-law, the esteemed doctor, was in fact tampering with a corpse, and concealing the cause of death.

    Stephen McLeod says: "Great Listen"
    "Enchanting narration of engaging literature"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't normally go for this type of novel, but the narrator Timothy Dalton has a luscious voice and tremendous skill. His narration of every character's part--regardless of sex or age--is flawless. Moreover, his deep and honey-toned voice made it impossible for me to stop listening. Black's writing is also very engaging, though I do think that this book is best enjoyed as an audiobook, when the skills of both men enhance one another. I've purchased the other two books in the series and am sure that I will enjoy them all.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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