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Yuan-Yuan

ratings
300
REVIEWS
24
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
46

  • Monogamy is Bad for the Soul: An Intelligence Squared Debate

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 42 mins)
    • By Intelligence Squared Limited
    • Narrated By Various
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Monogamy is Bad for the Soul
    Jack Klaff, a writer, director, and actor; Rod Little, a journalist for The Guardian, The Sunday Times, and The Spectator; and Dr. Anthony Grayling of the University of London spoke for the motion.

    Gordon says: "Hadn't put much thought into the topic"
    "Intelligent and witty"
    Overall

    As a rule, I hate listening to debates. The opponents never really listen to each other and each keeps repeating their drivel. Plus, the topic didn't interest me that much.

    So this debate came as a pleasant surprise - I enjoyed myself immensely. The votes were intelligent, concise, well articulated, to the point and witty.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Blackout

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Connie Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2058)
    Performance
    (1313)
    Story
    (1320)

    In her first novel since 2002, Nebula and Hugo award-winning author Connie Willis returns with a stunning, enormously entertaining novel of time travel, war, and the deeds - great and small - of ordinary people who shape history. In the hands of this acclaimed storyteller, the past and future collideand the result is at once intriguing, elusive, and frightening.

    Monica says: "Double review - Blackout and All Clear"
    "Good impression of Blitz in London"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Connie Willis and/or Katherine Kellgren and Connie Willis ?

    Don't think so. I already read one and bought another - but that's really more than enough. Not looking forward to the next book I do have (All Clear), actually.


    What could Connie Willis have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The characters are terrible. Sorry. If all the historians in the future are as ineffectual as the main characters, I'm wondering how they ever get anything done. Running around headless because the "retrieval team" will surely turn up any moment at some other place; walking through every floor of several huge department stores looking for your "cousin" instead of just asking the staff manager... I got so tired following their antics.


    Any additional comments?

    The only thing that keeps me listening is the fact that - as my headline says - it gives a really believable impression of how it must have been in London during WW II.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Sophie Kinsella
    • Narrated By Emily Gray
    Overall
    (1396)
    Performance
    (524)
    Story
    (524)

    Sophie Kinsella's debut is a romp through the perils of shopping and spending, spending, spending! Becky can't resist a sale, and she's only a little overdrawn on her VISA. Readers will laugh aloud at Becky's retail adventures as she finds new and creative ways to relieve her increasingly credit card debt. Emily Gray's narration bounces along with Becky and her buying whims, while delivering a humorous account of what happens when credit goes bad.

    Evelyn says: "Not so much!"
    "Utter airhead without one redeeming feature"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Confessions of a Shopaholic?

    The main character is an unapologetically stupid airhead, an incorrigible liar, lazy shirker of work without the least redeeming feature like charm or wit. I don't think I can bear to finish listening to this.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Sophie Kinsella again?

    not likely


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I think she nailed the character, actually.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disgust at the character, anger at the waste of my time, bafflement at why this book turned into a series and why anyone would ever enjoy it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4978)
    Performance
    (4591)
    Story
    (4603)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Cynthia says: "Shadows Dissolved in Vinegar"
    "Nothing compares to Neil Gaiman"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Ocean at the End of the Lane to be better than the print version?

    not really. Beautifully designed book. Happy to have both. Love to listen to Neil Gaiman reading his books.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    All the moments that make you realize what it takes to be a child. Courage, strength and helplessness so closely intertwined.


    Any additional comments?

    I always marvel at his combination of limitless imagination and clear perception of the world. Never worry about the plot. Just let his creation envelop me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5954)
    Performance
    (5548)
    Story
    (5547)

    Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

    Paige says: "Not his Wheal-house"
    "A MUST for Star Trek fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Every single absurdity about the show - the ones I remembered as well as the ones I didn't even remember - was addressed. I kept going "yes! yes!" But of course in a nice way. We love Star Trek, after all.


    Any additional comments?

    This book may or may not be interesting for people not familiar with / fans of Star Trek. I couldn't say.

    Not sure about the Coda yet... Still mulling that over.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Steven Sherrill
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    Overall
    (798)
    Performance
    (750)
    Story
    (750)

    Five thousand years out of the Labyrinth, the Minotaur finds himself in the American South, living in a trailer park and working as a line cook at a steakhouse. No longer a devourer of human flesh, the Minotaur is a socially inept, lonely creature with very human needs. But over a two-week period, as his life dissolves into chaos, this broken and alienated immortal awakens to the possibility for happiness and to the capacity for love.

    Cathy says: "Full of surprises, delightfully unexpected"
    "The minutiae of life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I sure would. Completely immersed in the story. Can't explain why - not much "interesting" happens. But the author has a sharp eye for the details of life, character and events and nothing is trivial. The title is programme: "xxx takes a cigarette break" - who would think to write a book on somebody taking a cigarette break? Even if it's a Minotaur.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel?

    There's many of them. All the moments described in detail, closely scrutinized but never boring.


    If you could take any character from The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Just imagining M as a dinner partner. Nah, the conversation wouldn't exactly flow. "How's the roast?" "Mmm" - "Anything interesting happen today?" "Mmm"


    Any additional comments?

    There were moments that didn't feel entirely "true" to me, slightly construed. Thus "only" 4 stars. But It's an excellent book nevertheless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9590)
    Performance
    (8814)
    Story
    (8860)

    Few books have captivated the imagination and won the devotion and praise of readers and critics everywhere as has George R. R. Martin’s monumental epic cycle of high fantasy that began with A Game of Thrones. Now, in A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth book of his landmark series, as a kingdom torn asunder finds itself at last on the brink of peace . . . only to be launched on an even more terrifying course of destruction.

    Pi says: "Jarring change in Dotrice's performance"
    "What's going on with the narrator??"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Well, the book is as well plotted as ever, or rather, the characters are as perfectly drawn as in the previous books.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Complex motivations drive the characters. There's no good vs. bad, simply opposing agendas and goals. Just like it is in real life.


    How could the performance have been better?

    How could it be worse? I truly liked Roy Dotrice's narration in the first 3 books. But here, suddenly the voices not only change, but all women have ridiculously crone-like voices. They all sound like the ugly old witch, even the young ones. I can hardly hear a distinction between thought and speech. Different characters talking with each other are hard to tell apart.
    Plus,


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Eternal politics in a medieval realm


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Postcard Killers

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By James Patterson, Liza Marklund
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Erik Singer, Reg Rogers
    Overall
    (707)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (200)

    NYPD detective Jacob Kanon is on a tour of Europe's most gorgeous cities. But the sights aren't what draw him - he sees each museum, each cathedral, and each cafe through the eyes of his daughter's killer.

    Rose says: "Come on, James, Can you think of some new material"
    "Plot okay, characters, well...."
    Overall

    Listening to this book as a Liza Marklund fan (never read anything by Patterson before), I was a bit disappointed by the characters. The plot is okay. But what I love about Marklund is her characters. Life is happening to them and as a part of life the case develops, not the other way round.
    Here things seemed very construed - apart from the fact that I can't understand how the protagonists could fall for each other. Really.... hardly seen anything needing more suspension of disbelief.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Chinese Chef

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Nicole Mones
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers, James Chen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (507)
    Performance
    (354)
    Story
    (357)

    When recently widowed Maggie McElroy is called to China to settle a claim against her late husbands estate, she is blindsided by the discovery that he may have led a double life. Since work is all that will keep her sane, her magazine editor assigns her to profile Sam, a half-Chinese American who is the last in a line of gifted chefs tracing back to the imperial palace. As she watches Sam gear up for Chinas Olympic culinary competition by planning the banquet of a lifetime, she begins to see past the cuisines artistry to glimpse its coherent expression of Chinese civilization.

    Dr. says: "Totally Satisfying - highly recommended"
    "Mouth-watering"
    Overall

    As someone of Chinese descent I can only say: mouth-watering. I don't know that much about Chinese food - but I love eating it. And listening to this book I must say, the author understood the preeminent place Food takes in Chinese culture.
    The rest of the story was pretty predictable, but okay.
    Caveat: I had trouble with the pronunciation of Chinese expressions/names. It's certainly not Mandarin as I've learned it and maybe the narrator does not know Chinese at all. But I did find it a bit distracting, trying to figure out what she was saying.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    Overall
    (1909)
    Performance
    (1113)
    Story
    (1115)

    In this Hugo-winner from Connie Willis, when too many jumps back to 1940 leave 21st century Oxford history student Ned Henry exhausted, a relaxing trip to Victorian England seems the perfect solution. But complexities like recalcitrant rowboats, missing cats, and love at first sight make Ned's holiday anything but restful - to say nothing of the way hideous pieces of Victorian art can jeopardize the entire course of history.

    Sara says: "A fun read"
    "Somewhat tedious"
    Overall

    I like a comedy of errors as much as anyone. I have the suspicion that "Lady Winderemere's Fan" or some other Oscar Wilde play was to be emulated (great works!). But honestly, if the stupidity of the main character is the driving factor of a story, it soon becomes very tedious.

    I have only finished the first part so far, but I do profess - I'm not looking forward to the rest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Mike Brown
    • Narrated By Ryan Gesell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (389)
    Performance
    (234)
    Story
    (237)

    The solar system most of us grew up with included nine planets, with Mercury closest to the sun and Pluto at the outer edge. Then, in 2005, astronomer Mike Brown made the discovery of a lifetime: a 10th planet, Eris, slightly bigger than Pluto. But instead of its resulting in one more planet being added to our solar system, Brown's find ignited a firestorm of controversy that riled the usually sedate world of astronomy and launched him into the public eye.

    Rickapolis says: "Informative and fun"
    "Infectious passion for planets"
    Overall

    Mike Brown does an excellent job not only telling about his discoveries, but explaining the whole planetary Astronomy thingy to the layperson. His passion for planets is infectious!

    You do have to have at least a vague interest in the topic, however, so it's not for everyone. Thus only four stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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