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Robin

Norton, MA, United States | Member Since 2007

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 183 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2015
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  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    Overall
    (4778)
    Performance
    (3248)
    Story
    (3275)

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"
    "HeLa Cells: The Backstory"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Rebecca Skloot wrote a fascinating account of Henrietta Lacks, a poor black woman who developed cervical cancer and died, but her cells live on to this day contributing to amazine scientific advances that are saving millions of lives! I'd rank this as one of my most interesting "reads."


    What does Cassandra Campbell and Bahni Turpin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    If the story only dealt with Henrietta's HeLa cells, it would be a compelling scientific tale, but Rebecca didn't stop there. She became acquainted with Henrietta's family and wove them into the story sharing how all this impacted their lives which changed the focus to include racial issues and social-economic factors that came into play.


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

    At the end of the book, she raised the issue of bio-ethics toward the end of the book to encourage readers to think about scientists use of bodily cells and tissues. This book would be an excellent book group read!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27784)
    Performance
    (24581)
    Story
    (24646)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "War of the Roses Psycho Style!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Gone Girl in three words, what would they be?

    dark, twisted, addictive


    What did you like best about this story?

    Really liked the first 2/3rds of this novel. The story of a narcissistic wife married to a sociopathic husband had great twists and turns that kept me trying to outsmart the clues to figure out the truth when the wife goes missing and presumed dead.


    What about Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne ’s performance did you like?

    I enjoyed listening to the audiobook. The voices added an additional dimension to the characters.


    Any additional comments?

    I would have given this book 5 stars, but the last part (I won't provide any more details, but if you read the book, you'll know what I am talking about) dragged on a little too long and would have been more powerful if it had been tighter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ali in Wonderland: And Other Tall Tales

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ali Wentworth
    • Narrated By Ali Wentworth
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (117)

    Growing up in a family of political journalists - and daughter of President Reagan’s White House social secretary - Ali Wentworth rebelled against her blue-blood upbringing, embracing Hollywood, motorcycles, even a few wildly inappropriate marriage proposals. Today she is an acclaimed comedic actress and writer, former Oprah regular, wife of political and media star George Stephanopoulos, and a mother who lets her two girls eat cotton candy before bed. Though she’s settled down, her rebellious nature thrives in her comedy and her view of her crazy world.

    colleen says: "Suprised that I liked it"
    "Love At First Sight"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Ali in Wonderland the most enjoyable?

    She is fresh, self-deprecating with a great sense of humor. Granted she has led a charmed life, but she is down to earth with strong family values.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I fell in love with Ali Wentworth when Charlie Rose interviewed her to promote this book. She told Charlie that her husband, George takes their children to church every Sunday. Charlie asked if she joins them, she said, "Oh no, that's mommy time!" I instantly fell in love with her! Ali in Wonderland is a continuation of that conversation with a glimpse into her upper middle class up-bringing as the daughter of parents who worked in the center of Washington DCs power elite.


    Which character – as performed by Ali Wentworth – was your favorite?

    Did you know that Donald Rumsfeld talked baby talk to his dachshund? Her story about attempting to send him a gift is hysterical.


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

    Just go the the Four Seasons!


    Any additional comments?

    It's a fast read and I highly recommend the audio book to get Ali's stories in her own voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Life

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Keith Richards, James Fox
    • Narrated By Johnny Depp, Joe Hurley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2704)
    Performance
    (1529)
    Story
    (1524)

    Now at last Keith Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades. And what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only to find themselves challenged by authorities everywhere....

    Jesse says: "Ins and outs"
    "Scientists Should Study This Man's Brain:)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Life?

    Keith Richards has a remarkable recall of his life considering his drug addictions. What I learned about him was that he was far from the wild man depicted in the press and more of a real "bloke" who loved his mum. He is an accomplished musician who appreciates and loves to learn from other artists of all music genres. His relationship with Mick Jagger added an insight to their characters. Keith discusses his relationship with Mick Jagger that provides an insight into their backgrounds and characters. Keith lived a full "Life" full of sex, drugs and rock & roll, that was grounded in family, friendships and love.


    Have you listened to any of Johnny Depp and Joe Hurley ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I listened to this book as an audio book and hearing Keith narrate his life made you feel like you were right in the room. Johnny Depp narrated a few segments.


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

    Been there, done that!!!


    Any additional comments?

    If you're a Stones fan, this is a must read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • State of Wonder: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4593)
    Performance
    (3356)
    Story
    (3357)

    Research scientist Dr. Marina Singh is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have disappeared in the Amazon while working on an extremely valuable new drug. The last person who was sent to find her died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding answers to the questions about her friend's death, her company's future, and her own past.

    F. B. Herron says: "Do yourself a favor and listen to this book!"
    "Marina, I Expected So Much More From You!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
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    What would have made State of Wonder better?

    I had high expectations for this book after reading all the rave reviews, but just couldn't relate to the main character, Marina. Her personality did not jibe with her history as a medical student and scientist. Ann paints her as a love sick school girl! Dr. Swenson was another female character that left me cold.


    Any additional comments?

    I kept hoping that the author would disclose something that made her a more sympathetic character. I preferred Bel Canto a little more. Maybe the hype set me up for the disappointment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21518)
    Performance
    (16105)
    Story
    (16169)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Janice says: "Indescribable"
    "Key to Survival - Don't Give Up!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Unbroken?

    Amazing true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who survived 47 days adrift on a raft in the Pacific Ocean and spent two years in Japanese POW camps? This book gave me a front row seat to many of the details of WWII that have not been publicized, such as how dangerous the fighter planes were and the horrendous conditions in Japanese POW camps. It gives me a deeper understanding of the anti-Japanese sentiment of many WWII veterans. One who said,


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    To live up to the book's title, even after he returned to his family, Louis continued to grapple with demons like many of today's combat soldiers do today. The story speaks to the strength of the human spirit to not only rise from the ashes, but also to make the world a better place. Louis is still alive and well and living in LA. Google him to see how he helped the author promote her book. He's a true hero!


    Any additional comments?

    Louis is still alive and well and living in LA. Google him to see how he helped the author promote her book. He's a true hero!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
    • Narrated By Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
    Overall
    (1255)
    Performance
    (495)
    Story
    (493)

    Five hundred years before the birth of Jesus, a God-realized being named Lao-tzu in ancient China dictated 81 verses, which are regarded by many as the ultimate commentary on the nature of our existence. The classic text of these 81 verses, called the Tao Te Ching or the Great Way, offers advice and guidance that is balanced, moral, spiritual, and always concerned with working for the good.

    L. Rickard says: "for life"
    "My Life is Changed!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you learn from Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life that you would use in your daily life?

    The book has changed how I look at things. I am more of an observer which gives you more insight and understanding about what is going on around me.


    Any additional comments?

    I have been a fan of Wayne Dyer's for a long time. This book contains 81 verses of an ancient philosophers writings. Wayne quotes each verse and then elaborates on how to apply his teachings to your everyday life. I plan to listen to this book many times to gain deeper understanding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cutting for Stone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Abraham Verghese
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5226)
    Performance
    (2591)
    Story
    (2608)

    Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

    Mary Lynn Richardson says: "Brilliant story, pitch perfect narration"
    "Sorry, Marion, No Empathy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I had a tough time listening to this audio book. A story of a boy who was born as a conjoined twin and whose Indian nun mother died shortly after and his surgeon father immediately disappeared. It's a story of redemption and the fascinating journey a life can take. This book was highly rated on the Audible site, so I was surprised at my difficulty with connecting with the main character, Marion. I'm thinking this could be due to the monotone voice of the narrator. Using multiple voices might have helped the listener connect with the different characters. Ghosh had a lot of personality, but it fell flat through this rendition. Maybe reading it would have given me a different perspective.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28375)
    Performance
    (14916)
    Story
    (14968)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
    "A New Classic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    the narration was the best I've ever heard. The speakers brought all the characters of Jackson, Mississippi to life including Miss Skeeter, Abileen, and Minny.


    Any additional comments?

    Loved, loved, loved this book! I didn't want it to end. Eugenia comes home after graduating from Ole Miss during the civil rights era. She isn't interested in getting married and settling down like other girls her age, but rather wants to be a writer. Her strong attachment to a former maid, Constantine drives her desire to tell the stories what it was like to be a maid during this turbulent era. This book has wonderful human characters and deep philosophical writing. You will laugh and you will cry, but you won't be disappointed with this book. It's going to be a classic!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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