I was hesitant to get this Audible Frontiers audiobook because I generally don't enjoy anthologies. However, I found the Metatropolis stories fascinating -- several stories include references to ecology-related technology changes and the narrators are top-notch. Highly recommended for sci-fi/cli-fi fans.
Disclaimer: I received this audiobook free in return for an honest review.
Crescendo is an apt title and metaphor for this novel by Deborah J. Ledford... the suspense builds as the story progresses. The characters are well-defined, and I found them relatable and interesting. Although this story is part of a series (and I hadn't read Ms. Ledford's work before), the story "stood on its own" -- I didn't feel like I'd missed any critical pieces of information in not having read earlier books. Christina Cox's narration was a strong fit for the story and made it come alive. Highly recommended for suspense fans.
Big Data by by Mayer-Schöberger and Cukier is a good introduction to how big data is/can be used, ethical considerations, accountability, and opportunities. Recommended as a business book to understand the significance and responsibilities inherent in big data collection/use, and useful to consumers to understand how big data impacts their lives.
Words cannot express how much I love the Vish Puri series, especially on audiobook. The characters are charming, the mysteries are interesting, and the narration is very well done. Highly recommend this series of audiobooks...
I confess, I've never considered myself a Michael Bolton fan. I found the whole "Fabio" look he sported for so many years a turn off, although I thought he sang well. What triggered my listening to his autobiography was that the Kindle version was on promotion and it prompted me to listen to a sample of the audio version.
That said, I found "The Soul of It All" to be a very interesting listen. Mr. Bolton grew up in an upwardly mobile middle class home in New Haven, CT and left home as a teenager to seek out opportunities in the world of music. Since neither he nor his musician friends were affluent, this meant living in their van or other "creative" living situations to scrape by between gigs. He describes the financial struggles he experienced after marrying, trying to support his family on a musician's salary and how he finally turned to penning & singing commercial jingles to pay the rent. After his solo career began to take off, he stopped singing jingles fearing he'd dilute his brand as a performer. As he became more and more successful, he met and befriend famous folks like Bill and Hillary Clinton, Alice Cooper, and numerous other celebrities. While some reviewers felt he was "name dropping," I thought his reaction was that of awe... meeting people beyond his wildest dreams, a variation on "New Haven kid does good."
The aspect of his autobiography that I found most surprising was his philanthropy. He founded a charitable organization serving women and children at risk for poverty and abuse (the Michael Bolton Charities) as a channel to give back to his home state of Connecticut and nationally. The last quote I expected to hear in his biography? Gandhi's "Poverty is the worst form of violence." Bolton is strongly committed to alleviating homelessness and hunger, and considers poverty a form of domestic terror.
I started listening to this autography based on hearing Bolton describe (in the audiobook sample) his delight in performing as Captain Jack Sparrow in a Saturday Night Live parody video. I continued to listen to the end inspired by Bolton's work ethic and (as he puts it) "kindness, compassion, and awe." Along with this being a very interesting book, Bolton's narration makes it even better. I'm glad I took the time to hear Michael Bolton tell the story of his life.
Disclosure: I received this audiobook from the publisher in return for an honest review
Aptly titled, Fascia is a collection of short stories that examine connections. It's the kind of audiobook that's best listened to sitting in front of the fireplace with a hot cup of tea on a snowy day. The stories are interesting and prompted me to slow down, unwind, and listen contemplatively. This audio version includes lovely musical interludes which further reinforced the desire to take my time, listen closely, and not rush through the book. The narration is well-done and unlike some audiobooks, never overplayed or overly dramatic. It simply felt like listening to a friend sharing a variety of interesting stories. Recommended.
Disclosure: I received this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review
While zombie stories are all the rage right now, this is the story about a "new" ghost, Veronika, who quickly learns this isn't the afterlife she'd imagined. Talk about culture shock... getting used to the various creatures she encounters is a whole new experience. Veronika is in her early twenties at the time of her demise and the narrator does a great job of giving this sassy twenty-something a voice. This story and narration reminded me alot of Ellen Muth's character in the TV series "Dead Like Me" (about another twenty-something who finds herself amongst reapers and other unsavory characters). Fun audiobook for folks who enjoy listening to irreverent ghost stories.
Although I'd read reviews stating that Alas, Babylon seemed dated (it was originally published in 1959), the core concepts explored by the story remain fresh and pertinent: How do people react to (and recover from) a catastrophic event, especially as resources become scarce? Will Patton's narration was perfect for this story -- his southern U.S. accent and subdued delivery were a great fit.
Disclosure: I received this audiobook as part of a promotion on Goodreads
As I listened to this novella, I thought about how I wish I'd heard this story as an adolescent. Like the main character, Grace, I was gawky and shy growing up. In this story, Grace begins to shed her gawkiness by starting a project she feels passionately about and interacting with others who help her feel more socially adept. It's a short story with a wonderful message, and a great reminder that feeling shy doesn't need to hold a person back from achieving their dreams.
Disclosure: I received this audiobook for free as part of a promotion on Goodreads
First a confession: I usually use the Audible app's variable speed feature to listen to Audiobooks slightly sped up (1.25x). I started listening to Gerald J. Davis' translation of DON QUIXOTE slightly sped up and then stopped, reset the speed to its default (1x) and started listening again at the beginning. Why? Between the story itself (as an avid reader, I loved reading a parody about an avid reader), the translation (poetic without making syntax unnatural or complex), and John Hanks' narration (perfect timing and inflection, with wonderful character voices), I didn't want this audiobook to end. The story itself, of course, is a classic and I'd picked it up for Kindle previously but never got around to reading it. I'm glad I heard this translation and especially as an audiobook: There are some audiobooks where the narrator is paired so perfectly to the content that the listening experience is magical... this is one of those rare audiobooks. Highly recommended.
This is a lovely, hopeful read about, Jack, an 11-year-old boy who finds himself abandoned at a Maine campground while on vacation with his mom. When I chose to read this book, I didn't realize the reason his mom left him was due to her mental illness; had I known, I'm not sure I would have chosen this book (expecting it to be too heart wrenching). I'm glad I read "Small as an Elephant" though -- it captures the resilience and hope that sometimes only children have, and their ability to forgive. As Jack tries to make his way back to the home he shares with his mom in Massachusetts, he experiences hunger, homelessness, fear of being found and concern about the repercussions of his mom's departure on his life. Through it all, Jack persists and endures... he is inspired by his knowledge of elephants and their traits. I don't want to give away the ending -- like the rest of the story, it is hopeful and satisfying. I listened to this as an audiobook, and found the narration made the story come alive. I highly recommend Small as an Elephant: It's an interesting, satisfying children's book with appeal for readers of all ages.
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