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Nancy

EDMONDS, WA, United States | Member Since 2001

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 473 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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  • The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs)
    • By David Deutsch
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (197)
    Performance
    (159)
    Story
    (164)

    A bold and all-embracing exploration of the nature and progress of knowledge from one of today's great thinkers. Throughout history, mankind has struggled to understand life's mysteries, from the mundane to the seemingly miraculous. In this important new book, David Deutsch, an award-winning pioneer in the field of quantum computation, argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe.

    Gary says: "Covers nothing to everything"
    "Brilliant but difficult to understand"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Beginning of Infinity again? Why?

    I'd HAVE to listen to it again if I want to understand some of the many highly abstract intellectual concepts introduced by Deutsch. I think this is a compelling read anyway. I will listen again.


    Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?

    No. I wouldn't say they were too technical, just above my intellectual and cognitive "pay grade" in some areas. I suspect most listeners will feel the same way. Though I personally have a PhD in an admittedly unrelated-to-physics but nonetheless a very analytical and technical field, I simply could not follow certain discussions, such as the one relating to Quantum Mechanics.


    What does Walter Dixon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He was competent and a clear enunciator. However, I think actually READING a physical book would be better in this case: It would enable one to go back to prior sentences or pages to reread them. The nature of his book is such that if you didn't understand the initial paragraphs of a topic he introduces, the odds are good that you won't understand the rest of the discussion. His arguments are like building blocks.


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

    Yes, "Infinity Hotel" was one. Another was a discussion of his views, which I share, on how mankind should deal with the prospects of global warming.


    Any additional comments?

    Deutsch is absolutely a genius. I am not convinced he is necessarily right when he tries to extend his scientific reasoning to completely unrelated fields, but he definitely makes you think in a completely new light. I'd say "Bravo". This is a very important book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12116)
    Performance
    (11003)
    Story
    (11029)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "Clever,Original, and Entertaining but Too Weird"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would not recommend it to anyone who insists on plausible science fiction; i.e., stories in which its important mysteries have explanations of some sort and are not just left hanging in the wind.


    Which character – as performed by Ray Porter – was your favorite?

    Probably Tim, who was the most experienced and wise individual of the group.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    First half of the book was the best part.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • David Copperfield

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1217)
    Performance
    (780)
    Story
    (790)

    Based in part on Dickens's own life, it is the story of a young man's journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among its gloriously vivid cast of characters, he e.ncounters his tyrannical stepfather, Mr. Murdstone; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood; the eternally humble yet treacherous Uriah Heep; the frivolous, enchanting Dora; and one of literature's great comic creations, the magnificently impecunious Mr. Micawber.

    Darwin8u says: "More saints per capita than any book by Butler"
    "A beautifully written, heartwarming story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about David Copperfield?

    Dickens' lovingly-detailed descriptions of some of the most unforgettable characters in all of modern literary history.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    David Copperfield himself. He was a superb and steadfast friend to those he loved and who had helped him when he was young. He was also an indefatigable foe of those who deceived and misused other people. In short, he was a prince.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene which precipitated the downfall of Mr. Heep.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it would be nearly impossible.


    Any additional comments?

    This was my favorite of all Dickens' Audible books I've listened to thus far. Simon Vance is the BEST reader I can imagine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Places: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins, and others
    Overall
    (4735)
    Performance
    (3956)
    Story
    (3977)

    Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas". As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived, and famously testified that her 15-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who've long forgotten her.

    Glenda Jeffers says: "Riveting but brutal"
    "Great writing, questionable read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Yes, I would make it faster paced.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Gillian Flynn? Why or why not?

    Yes, she is a very good writer.


    Was Dark Places worth the listening time?

    Not at 13 hours.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bleak House

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Hugh Dickson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (233)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (117)

    The case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce has ground its way through the courts for generations. At its heart are Ada Clare and Richard Carstone, who find love - and terrible loss - through their involvement in the endless battle. Meanwhile, her friend Esther Summeson, who believes she is an orphan, gradually discovers the truth of her identity. The court case throws out a web ensnaring all who come near it, including Lady Dedlock, the menacing lawyer Tulkingham, detective Bucket and tragic little waif Jo.

    Deborah says: "Ideal as an audiobook"
    "A Literary Masterpiece Enhanced by Great Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bleak House to be better than the print version?

    Yes, absolutely! The many characters, each with distinct qualities, came alive in this audio version, thanks to Dickson's brilliant narration.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bleak House?

    There were several: the coming of Esther to Bleak House, her subsequent illness, the chance meeting in the woods between Lady D. and Esther, the capture and release of Trooper George, the moment when the relationship between Alan W. and Esther crystallized.


    What does Hugh Dickson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He is the most fabulous narrator I have yet heard on any audible book. His English accent was perfectly suited to this story, as was his ability constantly to change voices between characters and to maintain consistency in those characters over time, especially so given te length of this book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    The length of this book, the vast array of characters, and the many interwoven threads of story are the main challenges to overcome. You have to listen to it in multiple sittings, but in so doing it is easy to forget what just happened in the prior sitting or who a certain character is who suddenly reappears after an absence of sometimes many chapters. I recommend that the listener have a print version of the book handy simply to use as a backup reference. I found it invaluable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Creole Belle: A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 19

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1680)
    Performance
    (1455)
    Story
    (1415)

    Creole Belle begins where the last book in the Dave Robicheaux series, The Glass Rainbow, ended. Dave is in a recovery unit in New Orleans, where a Creole girl named Tee Jolie Melton visits him and leaves him an iPod with the country blues song “Creole Belle” on it. Then she disappears. Dave becomes obsessed with the song and the memory of Tee Jolie and goes in search of her sister, who later turns up inside a block of ice floating in the Gulf.

    Melinda says: "Burke & Patton -- Synergistic Phenomenon"
    "Great writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Creole Belle in three words, what would they be?

    Genteel, meandering, suspenseful


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    No, but I doubt the author intended it that way. I think he wanted to build a story that was bigger than a suspenseful plot by creating in the reader an in-depth appreciation for the characters, their flaws and philosophies, their interactions, and their natural surroundings. It is more about the characters than the plot. The plot was indeed clever, but not "edge-of-your seat" stuff like Greg Hurwitz or Harlan Coben.


    What does Will Patton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His delightful southern accent and his expert ability to vary characters' voices when they are in conversation mode.


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

    No. But it made me want to visit New Orleans again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Paul Davies
    • Narrated By George K. Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (68)

    Fifty years ago, a young astronomer named Frank Drake pointed a radio telescope at nearby stars in the hope of picking up a signal from an alien civilization. Thus began one of the boldest scientific projects in history, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). But after a half century of scanning the skies, astronomers have little to report but an eerie silence---eerie because many scientists are convinced that the universe is teeming with life.

    Mike says: "Equal parts history, science, informed speculation"
    "It seemed like a rather long 10 hours"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend the book only to someone who either is absolutely fascinated with the concept of alien intelligence or who simply devours outer-space-related science fiction. I am truly confident this book is the definitive "retail" description of the state-of-the-art search for such intelligence. I can't imagine any more informed author than Paul Davies. It is a virtually encylopedic enumeration of what we've discovered thus far (i.e., nothing much) and of the many possible ways we humans could discover alien beings going forward, whether they are intelligent or not. However, such an enumeration--in my opinion--got to be tedious after the first few chapters. On the positive side, the reader will encounter some interesting new scientific developments and increase his understanding of the gargantuan hurdles scientists face in the detection of alien intelligence.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Make it a little less speculative about all possible technologies that aliens might employ to find us or that we might use to find them. It got to be a catalog of scientific frontier knowledge that conceivably could be exploited like creating monopole magnets, or using nanotechnology to create tiny data-encoded vonNeumann computers which could be distributed around the universe in millions and powered by dark energy, etc. etc.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator was OK. I'm satisfied.


    Did The Eerie Silence inspire you to do anything?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Julia Scheeres
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (616)
    Performance
    (526)
    Story
    (529)

    In A Thousand Lives, the New York Times best-selling memoirist Julia Scheeres traces the fates of five individuals who followed Jim Jones to South America as they struggled to first build their paradise, and then survive it. Each went for different reasons - some were drawn to Jones for his progressive attitudes towards racial equality, others were dazzled by his claims to be a faith healer. But once in Guyana, Jones' drug addiction, mental decay, and sexual depredations quickly eroded the idealistic community.

    Rachel says: "Unforgettable"
    "An Enlightening, Fascinating and Compelling Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Thousand Lives to be better than the print version?

    Not sure. If there were photos in the print version, I would probably have preferred it to the audible version.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Thousand Lives?

    Hyacinth's survival. She was a real hero, surviving because she quietly and unwaveringly kept her own counsel.


    Have you listened to any of Robin Miles’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Definitely, yes.


    Any additional comments?

    This was an enlightening and compelling listen whose lessons should stay with all of us permanently. It raised uncomfortable, but essential, questions about the inherent nature of humanity and what it takes to survive adversity. I strongly recommend it. The narration was very clear and effective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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