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Anita

San Francisco, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

29
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 25 reviews
  • 49 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
11

  • The Portrait of a Lady

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Henry James
    • Narrated By John Wood
    Overall
    (206)
    Performance
    (140)
    Story
    (144)

    When Isabel Archer, a beautiful, spirited American, is brought to Europe by her wealthy aunt Touchett, it is expected that she will soon marry. But Isabel, resolved to enjoy the freedom that her fortune has opened up and to determine her own fate, does not hesitate to turn down two eligible suitors. It is only when she finds herself irresistibly drawn to the cultivated but worthless Gilbert Osmond that she discovers that wealth is a two-edged sword and that there is a price to be paid for independence.

    Linda says: "Brilliant reading"
    "Exceptional"
    Overall

    John Wood did a perfect job on this wonderful classic. He didn't just read, he acted each character.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Barbara Tuchman
    • Narrated By Aviva Skell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    The Bubonic Plague of the 14th century killed one third of all human beings in Europe and Western Asia; many who survived the plague killed each other in the Hundred Years War that followed. What was it like to live in this calamitous century, when knighthood (and much more) died a violent death? Find out.

    Joshua says: "A classic history"
    "Great book, but read too fast"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Barbara Tuchman is an awesome historian and writer and I've never before read anything like this book. I bought the kindle version in order to re-read it in parts that were simply too quickly read for adequate comprehension. It is extremely dense with information--many, many names, places, and dates. In addition to going too fast (and barely, if at all pausing between paragraphs), I found the narrator's pronunciation of French names a little distracting. Sometimes it was perfect, sometimes half-right, and sometimes completely off, e.g. "Reims." But if you don't speak French you won't notice the mispronunciations. On the other hand, I would imagine that it would be very hard to keep the names straight without any knowledge of the language.

    The content describing life in fourteenth century France was absolutely fascinating.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • How to Win Friends & Influence People

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Dale Carnegie
    • Narrated By Andrew MacMillan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9325)
    Performance
    (4053)
    Story
    (4040)

    You can go after the job you want...and get it! You can take the job you have...and improve it! You can take any situation you're in...and make it work for you!

    Ralph says: "This is well worth listening too! Main points are."
    "Fun, charming, a little humorous, and relevant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While the tips seem pretty obvious today -- don't criticize, be pleasant, think about what the other guy's interests are, don't humiliate -- they were presented thoughtfully and with a sense of humor. It says a lot that this book, written in the 1930's, could still be relevant today. So many forget (or ignore) the basics of successful human relationships.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Fielding: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Chad Harbach
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1141)
    Performance
    (954)
    Story
    (955)

    At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended.

    S. says: "Not Quite ~"
    "It's about baseball and Melville"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wonderful characters, original story, beautifully written. That's all I have to say. (And you don't have to care about baseball to like this book.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Candice Millard
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1827)
    Performance
    (799)
    Story
    (811)

    At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt's harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.

    Stephen says: "River of Doubt"
    "A real adventure; more interesting that fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are at all a fan of TR, this is a must read. This is a wild story, literally and figuratively. The book seems extremely well researched so as to convey a very realistic sense of the Amazonian rain forest in 1914. The characters are every bit as interesting and well defined as the environment. It's a great adventure and I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Timothy Egan
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor, Ken Burns
    Overall
    (1270)
    Performance
    (697)
    Story
    (707)

    The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region.

    Laurie says: "more than grapes of wrath"
    "A compelling story, but way too long"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're interested in American history, pick this one. It is full of fascinating and shocking facts about the dustbowl years, which are hard for us to imagine. My only criticism is that the story could have been told in half the time (or less). There seemed to be a lot of repetition. The book was also oddly organized. It wasn't chronological which made it hard to follow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bel Canto

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1633)
    Performance
    (809)
    Story
    (815)

    Somewhere in South America at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening, until a band of terrorists breaks in, taking the entire party hostage.

    Brian says: "Surprisingly engrossing"
    "It starts out slowly, but stick with it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ann Patchett's style reminds me of an old master painting. She starts with the grounding, and then gradually adds the lights, the darks, and the mid-values. Ultimately, after many semi-transparent layers, an intricate and beautiful image emerges. You will fall in love with the characters and the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Outliers: The Story of Success

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9512)
    Performance
    (4054)
    Story
    (4063)

    In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.

    S Prabhu says: "Excellent book; well adapted for the audio format"
    "So much more than just genius and talent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When you were born, to whom you were born, where you were born, how hard you work, how your culture molds your values and behavior. It goes on and on. Gladwell has some intriguing theories that he defends well. He breaks the book up into case studies that "prove" various points of his thesis. They are all interesting, but my favorite was the one about his own family history in Jamaica.

    I was struck in particular by the studies in which the outliers were indirectly the 'beneficiaries" of societal racism and anti-semitism, which supports the eastern notion that there's good and bad in all things.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Rob Lowe
    • Narrated By Rob Lowe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3208)
    Performance
    (2521)
    Story
    (2513)

    A teen idol at 15, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at 20, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences. Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last 25 years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.

    N. Belle says: "Great Book and Great Story"
    "Who would have guessed that Rob Lowe could write?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not I. Turns out that he's not just a pretty face after all. He's intelligent, perceptive, and has a very good sense of humor. He is also pretty honest, which makes the book a great read. I was amazed that he could talk about dating Princess Stephanie and having dinner with Sting and Pavarotti without sounding like he's bragging.

    That fact that he is reading the story of his own life makes it all the more compelling. He does a wonderful job of impersonating the famous people that cross his path. He does impressions of Tom Cruise, Cary Grant, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, and many others.

    And the best part is, despite all of his the fantastic life experiences, in the end, you realize that he's like the rest of us -- I guy who's way not perfect, but loves his family and does the best he can.

    Thanks for sharing, Rob. I really enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1793)
    Performance
    (1484)
    Story
    (1496)

    The tsunami of cheap credit that rolled across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more than a simple financial phenomenon: it was temptation, offering entire societies the chance to reveal aspects of their characters they could not normally afford to indulge. The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a pinata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack at it. The Germans wanted to be even more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish.

    Andy says: "we may not be the most stupid kids on the planet"
    "Sequel to The Big Short"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not as spell-binding or funny as the Big Short, but nonetheless quite interesting. A fairly quick read and well worth the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9949)
    Performance
    (9257)
    Story
    (9257)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "Held our attention for 16 hours!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was a very different experience for us; we are not regular sci-fi readers. Interesting journey deep into the virtual world and into the world of eighties trivia. Well written and well performed. Bravo!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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