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Novie

Retired nightclub performer/computer technician, I now teach hula and ukulele to seniors, and record Hawaiian music for my halau!

Kailua Kona, HI, United States | Member Since 2002

ratings
180
REVIEWS
52
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
5
HELPFUL VOTES
182

  • Travels in Siberia

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Ian Frazier
    • Narrated By Ian Frazier
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (91)

    Ian Frazier trains his eye for unforgettable detail on Siberia, that vast expanse of Asiatic Russia. He explores many aspects of this storied, often grim region. He writes about the geography, the resources, the native peoples, the history, the 40-below midwinter afternoons, the bugs. The book brims with Mongols, half-crazed Orthodox archpriests, fur seekers, ambassadors of the czar bound for Peking, tea caravans, German scientists, American prospectors, intrepid English nurses, and prisoners and exiles of every kind....

    Sara says: "I Loved This Book"
    "Ultimately fascinating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I LOVE books that are narrated by their own authors. A long time a Simon Winchester fan, I can now add this charming author to my list of favorites. There is nothing like listening to someone relate their own stories. His reference to the belt-sander effect of the wind on his face as he stood looking into the wind on Diamead Island in the Bering Strait, made me chuckle out loud. His sincere and rather humorous recount of the unique "smell" of Russia is delightful. I know just what he means because having been to Japan several times over the decades I know there is a recognizable and distinct aroma of that country as well. I have read only the first part of "Travels in Siberia" and can't wait to listen to the other two. I do, however, reserve the right to change my mind on the other portions, but I don't think I will. Mr. Frazier is a genuinely captivating storyteller.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Off to Be the Wizard

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Scott Meyer
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (727)
    Performance
    (686)
    Story
    (689)

    It's a simple story. Boy finds proof that reality is a computer program. Boy uses program to manipulate time and space. Boy gets in trouble. Boy flees back in time to Medieval England to live as a wizard while he tries to think of a way to fix things. Boy gets in more trouble. Oh, and boy meets girl at some point.

    Charles says: "Fantastic"
    "Fabulous fun, but narration spoiled it!"
    Overall
    Performance
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    Hilarious fun, this book. I certainly did enjoy the premise, and I am NOT the demographic that Scott Meyer is going for. I am a 73-year-old geek - and a great grandma, but I have computer programming background from way back - say, 1982 and the Timex Sinclair 4K personal computer. (Upgradeable to 16K for $79.95 -- big money back then)

    The story is very original, and I really did not have to "suspend belief" to get through the wacky story line. Great fun. But... Luke Daniels overdoes the narration to a point where I often got extricated from the plot thinking how dumb and out of character the voices were. Being jolted out of the story line because of the narrator's faux pas is unpleasant.

    He starts off well enough. Martin's voice is definitely in character. The FBI guys sound like 45 IQ mobsters, a little too intimidating, but its a humorous piece. Philip is charming, and right in character -- I can believe that his British accent comes from the length of time he has spent in 12th century England.

    I have to admire Luke Daniels for trying to give the various characters unique voices, but he forgot that all these "wizards" are actually geeks from the 20th century who have discovered a very interesting file and tampered with it. I do not think that Jimmy should sound like one of the Bowery Boys (for you youngsters, the Bowery Boys were a lowbrow street gang in the 1930s. Or, think Squiggie from "Laverne and Shirley".)

    All the computer geeks that I have ever come in contact with have much more eloquence in their speech. Plus, Jimmy has been in England almost as long as Philip, and continues to talk like that? See, every time he talked I just shook my head sadly.

    I am going find a copy this book and read it for myself. Sorry, Luke, but you have to pay attention to the details.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Japanese Phase 1, Unit 01: Learn to Speak and Understand Japanese with Pimsleur Language Programs

    • ORIGINAL (45 mins)
    • By Pimsleur
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (50)

    Japanese Phase 1, Unit 1 contains 30 minutes of spoken language practice, with an introductory conversation, and isolated vocabulary and structures. Detailed instructions enable you to understand and participate in the conversation. The lesson contains full practice for all vocabulary introduced in this unit.

    Carolyn says: "Good Language Learning"
    "Sixteen minutes of explanation..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Okay, you will learn about five sentences of Japanese. They are: Excuse me? Do you understand English? No, I don't understand, Do you understand Japanese? Yes, a little. Are you American? Yes, I am American. This is NOT a whole lot of information. There are better courses out there..

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Worst Ideas Ever: A Celebration of Embarrassment

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Daniel Kline, Jason Tomaszewski
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (597)
    Performance
    (546)
    Story
    (546)

    From memorable disasters such as New Coke, the XFL, and Tiger Woods’ marriage to less-remembered failures such as Yugo, Cop Rock, and Microsoft’s BOB, Worst Ideas Ever revisits history’s biggest blunders. Whether it’s a pop culture failure or a political one, Worst Ideas Ever uncovers the ridiculous stories behind mistakes so huge, you’ll have to constantly remind yourself that they actually happened.

    Stuart says: "Incorrect facts, idiotic conclusions, bad humor"
    "Perhaps with pictures..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Okay, I paid a buck for this and I can't say I'm sorry. The other Audible reviews agree with me that it's just not that great. But Amazon reviews say something a little different. They talk about PICTURES -- in COLOR. That probably made all the difference.

    I have to say that I am not a sports fan, and a huge dose of sports "duh"s take up half the book. I don't remember hearing any comments about Tiger Woods' marriage either. Maybe I slept through that.

    It took up a morning for me, and is better than watching today's daytime TV. So, if you can't get this audible version on sale, get the book in print. It'll have PICTURES!

    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
    (517)
    Performance
    (468)
    Story
    (466)

    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.

    Fajola Wenders says: "Rivetting Story and Performance"
    "BAIT AND SWITCH! Definitely not as advertised!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this book according to the publisher's comments, and discovered it to be a horse of an entirely different color! This is NOT the poignant tale of some poor illiterate Irish lady who spends fifty years looking for her son! This is a novel (I cannot even be sure whether it is truth or fiction) about a gay man's rise in Washington politics during the Carter/Reagan administrations.

    What can I say? It's like that line, "Where's the beef?" I am two hours away from the end of this story, and while the storyline itself is okay, my whole conception of this book is tainted by the fact that I WAS LIED TO by the publishers. I just wish that a more accurate synopsis of the piece were given in the first place. I would NOT have purchased this book as I don't care for political intrigue enough to spend fifteen hours listening to it.

    I gather now, after reading other listener reviews of this book, that there is currently a movie in the works that tells the story from the mother's point of view. This makes me very suspicious of the publisher's motives in presenting the story as "apples" when in reality it is "oranges". If, after a twelve-year very satisfactory history with Audible, I now have to do a background check on every single book I contemplate purchasing, it is, indeed, a sad state of affairs.


    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Nowhere is a Place

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Bernice McFadden
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (170)
    Performance
    (145)
    Story
    (149)

    Nothing can mend a broken heart quite like family. Sherry has struggled all her life to understand who she is, where she comes from, and, most important, why her mother slapped her cheek one summer afternoon. The incident has haunted Sherry, and it causes her to dig into her family's past. Like many family histories, it is fractured and stubbornly reluctant to reveal its secrets. But Sherry is determined to know the full story. In a few days' time, her extended family will gather for a reunion, and Sherry sets off across the country with her mother, Dumpling, to join them.

    Brenda says: "Richly textured and captivating"
    "I did not like this book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The beginning of this book was sketchy--what did Sheri and the piano player's vignette or her affair with the umbrella guy have to do with the rest of the piece. I was completely thrown off by this side trip, and struggled to make sense of it throughout the rest of the nine hours. It wasn't made clear that a historical timeline of this woman's family was unveiling through the trip, and I did not figure that out until much later. I was glad when it was over, I am also glad it was on sale and I did not waste a credit on it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • What Einstein Kept Under His Hat: Secrets of Science in the Kitchen

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Robert L. Wolke, Marlene Parrish
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    Overall
    (287)
    Performance
    (249)
    Story
    (245)

    Have you ever wondered why onions make us cry? Do you believe bananas contain more calories as they ripen and get sweeter? This sequel to the best-selling What Einstein Told His Cook continues Robert L. Wolke's investigations into the science behind our foods.

    Jerker says: "Funny and interesting, but badly edited"
    "I am lovin' this book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Here is another terrific book I can listen to over and over again. I love Sean Runnette, the narrator, and I have to chuckle every time he throws out a "Food Fictionary" factoid. I totally broke down when he defined "hominy".
    Robert L. Wolke is a little crazy, you know, just like me. His tongue-in cheek-humor at the most unexpected moments is delightful. Even though you think he's pulling your leg, he is full of information about food, cooking, and unbelievable stuff about the kitchen, of all places. He talks casually, then throws in some solid "sidebar science" every once in a while. Great thing is, I can put the book down and pick it up again later and dig right in. It's golden.

    Be sure to get the 85-page PDF that comes with the book. You will be given instructions on how to get it in the very first part of the book. There are recipes to die for, and they are not for dieters -- OMG! The Jack Daniels Barbecue Sauce sounds amazing!

    Now I have been a little distracted--dieting for the last half year, and food just can't be my "thing" any more. But I have just been eating this book up (calorie free, even) and hate to turn it off. One of these days I might just have to splurge on a grilled chocolate sandwich (page 65 of the PDF!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 600 Hours of Edward

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Craig Lancaster
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (736)
    Performance
    (674)
    Story
    (674)

    A 39-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Edward Stanton lives alone on a rigid schedule in the Montana town where he grew up. His carefully constructed routine includes tracking his most common waking time (7:38 a.m.), refusing to start his therapy sessions even a minute before the appointed hour (10:00 a.m.), and watching one episode of the 1960s cop show Dragnet each night (10:00 p.m.). But when a single mother and her nine-year-old son move in across the street, Edward’s timetable comes undone....

    Lulu says: "A Very Good Book with a Very Difficult Hero"
    "Unexpectedly charming!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After reading reviews on "Edward Adrift", a sale item, I purchased this book at the same time. I am so glad I did! I have now read them both, and they kept me captivated for an entire weekend. "600 Hours of Edward" is the precursor to the second volume. This is a tale of a man with Asberger's Syndrome with a heavy dose of OCD.

    The disease is never mentioned in this book, but after a very short while, I got the picture that there was something peculiar (I love that word - peculiar) about him. I have been in Edward's head, dealing with his everyday problems of being "developmentally disabled, not stupid" and being so sad for this 39-year-old man who's comfort zone is so restrictive that for most people, his actions are incomprehensible.

    But as his narrative unfolds, he just wormed his way into my heart. After the Garth Brooks incident, which is never really explained, he is thrown out of his parent's home and set up in a little two-bedroom flat, a few miles away. Here he leads a monastery-like life, self-regimented by daily lists and timed activities. He struggles to understand his larger-than-life, good ole boy father who communicates with him through his lawyer. His lone champion, therapist Dr. Buckley, deftly encourages him to discover coping skills for his problems.

    Edward is thwarted (I love that word - thwarted) at every turn. Every opportunity to expand his realm of existence is squashed by his father, with threatening letters and contractual agreements which imprison him in his lonely regimented existence. His mother is no help at all, and at their monthly dinners at his parent's home, she is distant, leaving Edward to deal with his father's accusatory conversation which usually ends up in a quarrel between father and son.

    I can't tell you any more. You HAVE to read this book. It ends with the unexpected death of his father, and what happens after that can be found in Craig Lancaster's sequel, "Edward Adrift". You HAVE to read that book also.

    Luke Daniel's narration is perfect. Enough said.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By William Davis
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (1829)
    Performance
    (1560)
    Story
    (1539)

    Since the introduction of dietary guidelines calling for reduced fat intake in the 1970s, a strange phenomenon has occurred: Americans have steadily, inexorably become heavier, less healthy, and more prone to diabetes than ever before. After putting more than two thousand of his at-risk patients on a wheat-free regimen and seeing extraordinary results, cardiologist William Davis has come to the disturbing conclusion that it is not fat, not sugar, not our sedentary lifestyle that is causing America’s obesity epidemic—it is wheat.

    Stacey says: "The program works, but the listen is technical"
    "Hey guys, I've lost over 40 pounds doing this!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is not for dummies. If, after hearing what this man has to say, you continue to eat wheat (and sugar - HFC) you are a real dummy. I bought this audible book a few months ago and implemented a wheat-free regimen after listening to it the very first time. I have now listened to it 3, probably 4 times, and learn something new each time I hear it.

    I think the author, William Davis, is right in his evaluation of the current state of American health. I have lost 47 pounds in the last six months. You know, it's tough, but after I started looking at certain foods (wheat and sugar) as being poison, I just don't put them in my body anymore. Oh, yes. My diabetes is under control, I have lost 13 inches around my waistline, and I have found my lap again. I can fit in an airplane seat, in a restaurant booth, and no longer drag the chair I'm sitting in up with me when I stand up. I've lost 3 dress sizes, too. Whole grains are NO GOOD!

    I did some research on the author and on the whole "wheat controversy", and there are a lot of people out there, including my own health insurance company, that told me not to do this diet. They can shove it. I don't consider it a diet. It's my new lifestyle, and I am thrilled!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fuzzy Nation

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton, John Scalzi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3892)
    Performance
    (3422)
    Story
    (3421)

    In John Scalzi's re-imagining of H. Beam Piper's 1962 sci-fi classic Little Fuzzy, written with the full cooperation of the Piper Estate, Jack Holloway works alone for reasons he doesnt care to talk about. Hundreds of miles from ZaraCorps headquarters on planet, 178 light-years from the corporations headquarters on Earth, Jack is content as an independent contractor, prospecting and surveying at his own pace. As for his past, thats not up for discussion.

    Samuel Montgomery-Blinn says: "Short, sweet, and satisfying storytelling."
    "Charming story at breakneck speed!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book, after all is said and done. The plot was very interesting, the characters unpredictable, and it all came together quite nicely. The interaction between Holloway and Carl left me chuckling, and Isabel's relationship with Holloway was neatly held in abeyance to discover slowly as the plot was revealed. The courtroom scene left me shaking my head at how STUPID a lawyer can be to the point where I just had to suspend my belief and leave it at that. All in all, short and sweet, you might say.

    Perhaps due to my age, but I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride. Will Wheaton (and don't I remember him as the kid on Sea Quest?) delivered the story at such immense speed, I was more amazed at how he could articulate so well at that amazing rate than I was in the story line. Very early on, I reduced the speed to 75% and, after getting used to the annoying echo, was able to move forward with the book. At that rate, his performance was quite adequate, and the slowdown was hardly noticeable.

    The other reviews that I read here are misleading. They represent that both Fuzzy Nation stories--Scalzi's and Piper's-- are contained in this title. They are not. I am not familiar with Piper's original piece, but it doesn't matter. I liked Scalzi's book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jack Weatherford
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Jack Weatherford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3672)
    Performance
    (2265)
    Story
    (2285)

    The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.

    Peter says: "Brilliant, insightful, intriguing."
    "Well now, this is an eye-opener!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not the first Audible book about Genghis Khan I have purchased and read. The other one was very interesting, and I am so glad I bought it first. Keep in mind, I am smiling while I write this because of the irony of the thing. if I had bought this book first, I would never, ever have revisited Genghis again. This book, however accurate it may be, is the bloodiest, most graphic description of horror upon horror inflicted on the world population by a single human being.
    I did not realize that Genghis Khan's era was in the 12th-13th centuries. That's fairly recent in human history. Ole Genghis started out in Mongolia and eventually marched himself right across Russia right on to Europe's doorstep. According to Weatherford, he was a despot and enjoyed subjugating Christians, Jews, and anyone else he took a disliking to. Geez, where was the plague when we needed it?

    Jack Weatherford tells the story of this cruel and inhumane ruler well -- almost too well, as a matter of fact. I suppose I could have gone on with my peripheral knowledge of the man and left it at that, but now, I think Genghis was much, much worse than Hitler. I am of the mind that every monument to him should be bulldozed, every history book should be expunged and humanity should go onward without being reminded that such a being ever existed.

    If you like gore and like to read about human misery, by all means get this book! The narrator is great. He drops all this vileness in your lap like he's describing a picnic in the park. I should like to hear him read something not quite so ghastly. There is a lot of animation in his voice. He's good,

    In closing, I can't say I didn't like the book. I learned a lot listening to it. You know, some things are hard to hear, but there is a message in there somewhere. I hope that future generations never fall into the mindless hopelessness of a creature like Genghis. Maybe reading stuff like this will scare us enough to keep that from happening,

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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