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Catherine

Allegan, MI, USA | Member Since 2005

335
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 30 reviews
  • 46 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 53 purchased in 2014
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  • Ricky Gervais Show: The Complete First Season

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Ricky Gervais, Steve Merchant, Karl Pilkington
    • Narrated By Ricky Gervais, Steve Merchant, Karl Pilkington
    Overall
    (803)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (82)

    Were you one of the several people on Earth who didn't catch every historic episode of the most-downloaded podcast ever? Or maybe you treasured every golden moment and want to preserve it for future generations? Now, all 12 episodes of The Ricky Gervais Show: The Complete First Season are here in one package that's far tidier than Karl Pilkington's thought processes.

    Shannon says: "lol"
    "The BBC gone mad"
    Overall

    This program is simple fun at a great price. It's much like listening to your favorite disc jockeys carry on without commercials or songs to interrupt the banter.

    Ricky, Steven and Carl report and debate the merits of everything from world news and scientific research to sucking up to program sponsors. "Monkey News" tends to be a favorite topic, including whether a NASA chimp would be plunged into suicidal depression after being replaced by human astronauts. If contemplating such off the wall issues sounds fun, you've come to the right place.

    While there are a few explicit terms thrown around, this show is by no means as explicit as a Howard Stern Episode. (Think more of the irreverance of a Monty Python show.) If anything, this program reminds you of the sheer joy of brainstorming, a good argument and solving the world's problems over a cold beer.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Firoozeh Dumas
    • Narrated By Firoozeh Dumas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (323)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (73)

    In 1972, when she was seven, Firoozeh Dumas and her family moved from Iran to Southern California, arriving with no firsthand knowledge of this country beyond her father's glowing memories of his graduate school years here.

    Jerry says: "The melting pot, next generation"
    "Down to Earth and Far Out Too"
    Overall

    This book was really entertaining and interesting. I was expecting either an "American Dream Come True" or "Shattered American Dream" account, but this was neither. It was actually a very down to earth account of a more than slightly strange situation.

    The author's story meanders through normal situations like awful babysitting jobs to completely crazy situations like being stuck in the middle of an Anti-Shah demonstration in Washington D.C.. She's sincere as she details both the good and bad experieces she and her family experienced here.

    I didn't think the reader had the right voice for this book - but she was clear and distinct. And if you're looking for an interesting book on life in America through an Immigrant's eyes that won't leave you completely despondant - this is a great choice.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Year in the Merde

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Stephen Clarke
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    Overall
    (118)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    A Year in the Merde is the almost-true account of the author's adventures as an expat in Paris. Based loosely on his own experiences and with names changed to "avoid embarrassment, possible legal action, and to prevent the author's legs being broken by someone in a Yves Saint Laurent suit (or quite possibly, a Christian Dior skirt)", A Year in the Merde is the story of Paul West, a 27-year-old Brit who is brought to Paris by a French company to open a chain of British "tea rooms".

    Courtney says: "Delicious!"
    "Guilty Pleasure"
    Overall

    It's not hard to see why this book became an underground hit so quickly. It's witty, outrageous, foriegn and down to earth all at the same time. I found the author's angle extremely refreshing. Instead of taking a pro or con stance on the French, you can tell the author is merely trying to hang on for the ride. Not since "Bridget Jones Diary" - the book, which is far wittier than the movie - has an author's uncensored opinions cracked me up like this.

    This book is definately far closer to an "R" rating rather than "PG" - but the author does manage to deftly brag about his exploits while side-stepping the full out explicits. But the highlights are his adventures dealing with what should have been mundane tasks.

    Some books are obviously written by people who studied years to become professional writers. You'll quickly ascertain that this book was instead written by a mere mortal with a great wit who has actually slogged through these adventures instead of dreaming them up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 60 Second Procrastinator

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Jeff Davidson
    • Narrated By Jeff Davidson
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Are you frustrated by your own tendency to put things off until they become major issues? Kick that procrastination habit in one minute flat! There is no better time than the present to get motivated and get organized! The 60 Second Procrastinator is a simple, effective, hands-on guide that you can use to dismantle habits and mindsets that are barriers to productivity.

    Dawn says: "My most listened to management book"
    "Not Grounbreaking, but not Bad"
    Overall

    I found this book more "Supportive" then "Enlightening". Most of the tips were simple common sense, but relevant all the same. And I do have to admit some of the odder suggestions do have merit. For example, I laughed at the "Aroma Therapy" suggestion - but had to admit I found the smell of a hot pizza completely distracting.

    I found just remembering that millions of other people have the same problem and the gentle pep talk most helpful. So if you're looking for miracle cures - keep looking. If a few words of encouragement instead of pressure will be a refreshing change - this book may be for you.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • 50 Self-Help Classics

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Tom Butler-Bowdon
    • Narrated By Jack Garrett
    Overall
    (222)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (54)

    Discover the books that have already changed the lives of millions. This award-winning, unabridged guide to the "literature of possibility" surveys 50 of the all-time classics, giving you their key ideas, insights, and applications, everything you need to know to start benefiting from these legendary works.

    Catherine says: "Surprisingly Interesting"
    "Surprisingly Interesting"
    Overall

    I expected this book to be a "Cliff Notes" for the big name Self Help Books, I didn't expect it to be so interesting. Not only are books and people I never expected included (the Bible, Ben Franklin, Marcus Aurelius), the historical perspectives and background into the author's lives made this a very accessable jaunt through the Philosophy of the past few millenium.

    The author does give you a pretty good overview of the "Essence" of each book, as well as the points of both the critics and fans of the book. I really apreciated the historical insight - I never realized Dale Carnegy's "How to Make Friends and Influence People" was ground breaking for his time. The biographys of the authors are well done too - I'm not big into Louise Hay's "New Age" healing, but I have to admit I have more respect for her after hearing the things she's overcome in her life.

    One of the most thought-provoking points of the book was in the introduction. Yes, it seems like we're swamped with self-help books these days - but the author points out that we're also facing a dizzying array of options and freedom that our ancestors never imagined. There's no shame in taking advantage of as much self-help as we can get...

    93 of 97 people found this review helpful
  • A Moveable Feast

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Ernest Hemingway
    • Narrated By James Naughton
    Overall
    (324)
    Performance
    (142)
    Story
    (141)

    Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway's most beloved works. It is his classic memoir of Paris in the 1920s, filled with irreverent portraits of other expatriate luminaries such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein; tender memories of his first wife, Hadley; and insightful recollections of his own early experiments with his craft.

    Catherine says: "Hemingway without being TOO Hemingway"
    "Hemingway without being TOO Hemingway"
    Overall

    I honestly didn't read any Hemingway until 20 year after I learned who he was (and that was mostly because of his super-model offspring). But after "Farewell to Arms" I quickly realized how this man drop-kicked a whole new level of intensity into literature.

    But this work is nothing like the gut wrenching drama in "For Whom the Bell Tolls" or "The Son also Rises". This collection of memoirs reads more like short stories, and the short stories are even more fascinating because they're based on real people and events. Hemingway's view of the world is still pretty macho - but he's also struggling with money and not sure if he'll ever be a success at this point. He's also not sure if having to rub shoulders with these other soon to be iconoclastic characters is worth his while either. The frank and irreverant observations are even more fun considering our current celebrity obsessed culture.

    So if you've thought Hemingway was too heavy for your taste, you still may really enjoy this book. If you enjoy reading first hand accounts of important literary figures, you'll love this book. And if you ever plan to go to Paris, you must hear this book!

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Irish Kings of Comedy: Volume 1

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 24 mins)
    • By Tim Allen, Drew Carey, Tom Kenny, and others
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Unstoppable laughs from the funniest collection of Irishmen since last Saint Patrick's Day Parade. These great Irish American comedians continue the world-renowned tradition of the Irish sense of humor, with literally hundreds of jokes, wry stories, puns, and just plain all-American laughs served up with a slight Celtic twist.

    Catherine says: "Good for a few laughs"
    "Good for a few laughs"
    Overall

    This audio is good for a few laughs at a good price. I was wondering where the Irish humor would come in, and found out there was actually very little true Irish humor involved. (What does the classic Tim Allen "Power Tools" routine have to do with classic Irish lore???) It's basically some good shorts from comedians with Irish Heritage.

    A lot of the clips are old 80's and 90's classics so the humor may seem a bit dated, but it's still generally good stuff. It's also fairly clean by today's standards - I'd rate it a PG (not PG 13) for content and language.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Francis S. Collins
    • Narrated By Francis S. Collins
    Overall
    (752)
    Performance
    (153)
    Story
    (155)

    Dr. Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project, is one of the world's leading scientists, yet he is also a man of unshakable faith in God and scripture. Dr. Collins has resolved the dilemma that haunts everyone who believes in God and respects science. Faith in God and faith in science can be harmonious, not separately but together, combined into one worldview. For Collins, science does not conflict with the Bible, science enhances it.

    Stephen says: "For those on the fence"
    "Finally - Rational instead of Judgemental"
    Overall

    This book dives into some pretty touchy subjects and some extremely technical and scientific theories - but the author managed to break most of it down into digestable chunks. My grasp of Gnomes and the Big Bang has improved considerably.

    But the real beauty of this book is that it's not about judging anyone. The author respectfully points out the strengths and weaknesses of both extreme Atheist and Fundamentalist arguments, and moves past them into the amazing things that science is discovering. The author does devote an entire chapter on his personal journey from atheism to believing in the existance of God, but he also forewarns you and tells you which chapter to pick up on if you want to skip that section. It's simply so refreshing to get such an informative viewpoint without the politics - I'll be buying this book for many people for Christmas this year...

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Zippity Zinger: Hank Zipzer, The Mostly True Confessions of the World's Best Underachiever

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Henry Winkler, Lin Oliver
    • Narrated By Henry Winkler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    It's time for PS 87's annual Olympiad, the most anticipated day of the school year! But when Hank Zipzer is chosen as his team's softball pitcher, the pressure is on. Can Hank lead his team to victory, even though he thinks he is the worst athlete in the history of the world?

    Stephenie says: "A real zinger"
    "Why didn't they have this when I was a kid!"
    Overall

    I fully expected this to be the typical "young loser end's up saving the day" sports story - but it far surpassed my expectations. Yes, the main character is a loser at school and sports, but his adventures and terrors are hilariously described. And yes, the story peaks at a big softball game - but even there I was caught off-guard with how hysterical the events became.

    Henry Winkler is a surprisingly great narrator, and this production will keep kids and adults grinning. There should be an Academy Awards for Mini-Van entertainment so this production could be honored. Anyone who loves sports will love this audio, but any kid (or adult) who dreads sports will love it even more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Toad Away

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Morris Gleitzman
    • Narrated By Morris Gleitzman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Limpy the toad has a vision. A world where cane toads and humans play mudslides together and help each other with the shopping. But how does a young cane toad discover the ancient secret of living in peace with humans? First he has to dodge the killer trucks and supermarket trolleys. Then he has to stop his cousin declaring war on the entire human race.

    Catherine says: "Too much fun"
    "Too much fun"
    Overall

    I was looking for an audiobook to listen to with my nephews, but after 15 minutes I had to listen to it for myself ahead of time. I've been in tears from laughing too hard more than once.

    The story's great, the narration is great, the side jokes for parents are great - this is the funniest kid's audio I've ever heard. Be forewarned there are quite a few queasy references to toads flattened on the highway (the hero keeps his dried, flattened relatives in his room as an homage), slugs, intestines and the neccessity to pee in self-defense - but anyone who's ever been near real toads will appreciate that these biological facts are celebrated in such creative and hilarious detail. I have a feeling this aunt will be getting the entire series....






    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Frog and Toad Audio Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 30 mins)
    • By Arnold Lobel
    • Narrated By Arnold Lobel
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (50)

    Frog and Toad, those famous pals, are beloved by generations of children. Their every adventure is filled with the magic of true friendship, whether they're telling ghost stories, searching for a lost button, or eating too many cookies. This captivating audio collection features all four of the Frog and Toad books, read with humor and charm by award-winning author Arnold Lobel.

    Brad says: "Wonderful for young kids"
    "Only for the VERY young"
    Overall

    This is one of those children's books that may have been better left in print. The story's are cute and very simple, but it's easy to tell the author relied on illustrations, not plot, to keep the kids interested.

    It is nice that the stories are broken down into 10 minute adventures, but I wouldn't buy this book if you are looking for a "Family Listen". I'm sure older kids (and parents) listening will revolt quickly. Listen to the audio sample first to see if this is simple enough or too simple for your listeners.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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