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Kirsten

Omaha, NE, United States | Member Since 2007

25
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 37 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 99 purchased in 2014
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  • Surviving a Shark Attack (On Land): Overcoming Betrayal and Dealing with Revenge

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Laura Schlessinger
    • Narrated By Laura Schlessinger
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (23)

    With her trademark no-nonsense voice and building on the principles developed during her long career as a licensed therapist, New York Times best-selling author Dr. Laura shows listeners how to survive enemies - traitors, backstabbers, and saboteurs - at work and at home.

    Anthony Freyberg says: "Dr. Laura Unleashed."
    "Useful and Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read or listened to most of Dr. Laura's books. "Surviving a Shark Attack" is another addition to her impressive list of helpful, insightful titles. Dr. Laura's voice, humor and personal style make this an especially easy and enjoyable book to listen to. I recommend it highly and will listen to it again and again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unhooked: How to Quit Anything

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Dr. Frederick Woolverton, Susan Shapiro
    • Narrated By Rob Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (12)

    We're all addicted to something - but when the crutch gets in the way of living a happy and productive life, it must stop. Over the last 25 years, renowned addiction therapist Dr. Fred Woolverton has used his dynamic, empathetic approach to help thousands of addicts achieve long-term recovery - including himself and his coauthor Susan Shapiro, whom he helped quit smoking and drinking and find success in both love and her career. Dr. Woolverton views the external habit as less important than the chaos and fear underlying the addiction, which we use to regulate our feelings.

    Lemons says: "Sheds new light on the psyche of addiction"
    "A broad definition of "addiction""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As defined by the book, "addictions" are the use of any substance or activity that allows the user to escape from real life. Through a series of in-depth case studies, Dr. Woolverton defines addictions and gives concrete suggestions about how to improve one's overall quality of life by addressing these problems. Dr. Woolverton's frank style is reassuring and hopeful, and also quite personal. After listening to this title, I have more confidence to address my own addictive issues. I'd recommend this book to someone who is wondering about his/her own possible addictions and who wants straightforward insight about where and how to begin addressing the concerns. Don't look for a quick fix for your "fix" here, however – there isn't any magic. There is plenty of support, advice and reassurance for those thinking of beginning the journey to being addiction-free.

    Downsides: much of the specific advice is repetitive. Also, I thought the ending was a little depressing after so many success stories, uplifting information and useful suggestions found throughout the rest of the book. Some readers may also note the great deal of personal information provided by the author. This might prove distasteful to those who would prefer a more clinical or impersonal approach.

    The performance was adequate: neither particularly remarkable, but certainly not annoying or distracting in any way.

    In sum, check out this title if you are looking for a point to start addressing your addiction(s) with honesty and clarity. I found it a compelling, and ultimately reassuring aid to facing my own issues. This book helped me recognize that I have more resources and support if I choose to seek them, and that success is indeed a potential outcome.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Juliann Garey
    • Narrated By Dan Butler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (45)

    In her tour-de-force first novel, Juliann Garey takes us inside the restless mind, ravaged heart, and anguished soul of Greyson Todd, a successful Hollywood studio executive who leaves his wife and young daughter and for a decade travels the world giving free reign to the bipolar disorder he's been forced to keep hidden for almost 20 years.

    Augusta says: "Gut Wrenching, Realistic and Riveting"
    "Relentless"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The publisher's summary does a faithful description of this book, but does not begin to accentuate the stunning, shocking detail of the writing. Although the subject matter is not for the faint of heart (and at times can be downright repulsive!), the description of mental illness in Garey's moving, relentless prose is nothing short of art.
    I've been bored by much of the recent, highly-rated fiction on offer. The "Hollywood Ending," the "weird-for-weird's-sake," the "sex-as-shock-value." Too Bright; Too Loud eschews all of that and instead takes the reader on a believable (if relentless) journey into the mind of a sufferer of bi-polar disorder. Greyson's personal journey is foreshadowed by the journey of his own father, and that mirroring (IMO) is the brilliance of this book. No further spoilers!
    If you are squeamish about sex/ drug/ alcohol abuse, and/or you don't do well with explicit language, go elsewhere: this book will blast you. If you seek compelling narrative, believable characters and real-life drama (and can handle the truth!) this book might be for you. It opens a window to the understanding of bi-polar disorder and the genesis and progression of the disease. Its protagonist represents a pathologically flawed and yet "loveable" character, and in the end (no spoilers) offers a glimmer of hope for suffers and those who love (and are created by) them.
    The narrator was perfect, in my opinion.
    Downsides: the prose is relentless and gritty, sometimes revolting. Really gross. The narration spans about 40 years of history, given in piecemeal vignettes. I often find this kind of structure frustrating in audio format because it's difficult to refer to previous episodes in an effort to accurately track the progression of the overall narrative.
    Final comment: I enjoyed this novel a great deal and recommend it to readers who are looking for something vibrant, meaningful and real.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Missing Beauty

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Teresa Carpenter
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    Originally published in 1989, this true crime thriller brilliantly reconstructs one of the most extensive murder investigations in recent years: the disappearance of Robin Benedict, a beautiful commercial artist and moonlighting prostitute, and her relationship with the suspect, the eminent Dr. William Douglas.

    Kevin says: "Excellent"
    "TOO MUCH!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a huge fan of true crime titles and generally enjoy the back stories of those involved. In this book, there is just way too much. Too many characters, too much unrelated detail, too much verbiage... Too much. I gave up after the first of the three downloadable sections because I got bored waiting for the story to actually start.
    Oh the upside, L.J. Ganser does a fine job with the narration, and Teresa Carpenter can write.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Assholes: A Theory

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Aaron James
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    What does it mean for someone to be an asshole? The answer is not obvious, despite the fact that we are often personally stuck dealing with people for whom there is no better name. Try as we might to avoid them, assholes are found everywhere - at work, at home, on the road, and in the public sphere. Encountering one causes great difficulty and personal strain, especially because we often cannot understand why exactly someone should be acting like that.

    Kirsten says: "Not sure what I expected…"
    "Not sure what I expected…"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    …but this was not it.

    I'm a fan of non-fiction work that looks into various aspects of human nature; this book did look at "assholes" in an in-depth and intelligent way. However, what with the title, I expected more humor. The first two chapters had me chuckling, but the remainder of the book left me a bit confused. I'm left grasping at how James' term "asshole" differs significantly with other (more mainstream) "labeling" of anti-social behavior, such as "sociopath," "narcissist" or "psychopath." I found the book to be a not-very-organized meandering into the issues of personal responsibility versus entitlement. On its face, it's not a terrible book, but the topic seems more cerebrally dealt with (in a short book) with Baron-Cohen's "Science of Evil," and more humorously treated in most of Jon Ronson's offerings. IMO, this book is a great easy-listen for a person who is interested in the subject and needs a lightweight companion on a daily commute.

    Arthur Morey does a fine job of narrating this book; he does a great job here as he did in Pinker's "The Better Angels of Our Nature" and will not disappoint his fans here with his smooth and easy cadence.

    Final comment: if you are a person who does not like to hear the word "asshole" (and other epithets) repeated and repeated, go elsewhere.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Lucy Worsley
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (83)

    Why did the flushing toilet take two centuries to catch on? Why did medieval people sleep sitting up? When were the two "dirty centuries?" Why did gas lighting cause Victorian ladies to faint? Why, for centuries, did rich people fear fruit?In her brilliantly and creatively researched book, Lucy Worsley takes us through the bedroom, bathroom, living room, and kitchen.

    Marie says: "Bill Bryson did it better"
    "Compelling."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lucy Worsley???s book is meticulously researched and yet quite engaging and easy to follow. It might sound hard to believe, but the material is truly interesting and thought-provoking. I finished it in two days because I could not put it down. If you like slightly quirky facts to fuel your water-cooler chat, this book is for you.

    On the downside, the narrator had a strange sort of hook in her voice that was distracting to me, and I wasn???t fond of her attempts at various accents. However, it wasn???t so distracting as to take away from the overall content. Although not really a downside, the other thing that I wish I???d known when I bought this book is that it is highly England-centric. There is very little information about the rest of Europe or the East.

    All in all, this was a satisfying, fascinating and informative look at the way our lives and social structures have been shaped by our living spaces and vice-versa. I think it will appeal to history buffs, Anglophiles and eclectic fact-lovers alike. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • How to Be an American Housewife: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Margaret Dilloway
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington, Emily Durante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (128)

    How to Be an American Housewife is a novel about mothers and daughters and the pull of tradition. It tells the story of Shoko, a Japanese woman who married an American GI, and her grown daughter, Sue, a divorced mother whose life as an American housewife hasn't been what she'd expected. When illness prevents Shoko from traveling to Japan, she asks Sue to go in her place. The trip reveals family secrets that change their lives in dramatic and unforeseen ways.

    Kirsten says: "big disappointment"
    "big disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After reading all of the positive reviews of this title, I was terribly disappointed with this audiobook. The story was a trite Hallmark card, the dialogue was stilted and almost unbelievable, and the narration, while energetic, was the worst part. I've enjoyed Laural Merlington's narrations in the past, and she does a good job here, but the pronunciation of the Japanese was atrocious. If Merlington was bad, Durante's pronunciation was even worse. That would be acceptable as she is reading for Sue, but grating and wrong when she reads for other native Japanese speakers. I really wish that the producers of audiobooks would choose narrators who can actually attempt the non-English language in the text.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
    • Narrated By Paul Baymer, Susan Duerden, Roselyn Landor, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3251)
    Performance
    (1426)
    Story
    (1425)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The best book club you’ve never heard of – but will be eager to join, courtesy of a full cast of true characters. January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb....

    Kent says: "MUCH better than I ever expected! Give it a try!"
    "Pleasant Surprise!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A friend recommended this title, I was skeptical... And very pleasantly surprised. This is moving story with believable, engaging characters and an absolutely fantastic narration/performance. I enjoyed it very much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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