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  • The Hidden Life of Dogs

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs)
    • By Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
    • Narrated By Swoosie Kurtz

    How do dogs think? Do they fantasize? Do they dream? What do their barks, whines, and growls tell other dogs? How do they communicate in groups, and why do they form hierarchies? What do dogs want? Anthropologist Elizabeth Marshall Thomas attempts to answer these and other questions about a species that has been with mankind for over 20,000 years and still remains a mystery. Based on 30 years and hundreds of thousands of hours of research, this volume describes behavior every dog owner has seen thousands of times but will now understand for only the first time.

    Monica says: "Disappointing and dangerously incorrect"
    "Disappointing and dangerously incorrect"

    Like several other readers, I was disappointed and concerned about the incorrect information about dogs conveyed in this book. Although the author contends that she made a careful and thorough study of dogs by doing 100000 hours of observation of her own pack of dogs, the book is primarily the author's own anthropomorphizing of her dog's behavior, with her making dramatic interpretations of what the dogs "must" be feeling. At best, it is treacle. At worst, it is dangerous. In several places she reports behavior by the dogs, only to add an interpretation which is astounding. She misinterprets dominance behavior as simply "greeting", assumes her dogs are getting along with another dog only to have to later rescue the third dog from being killed by her dogs, and so on. The danger in this book is that readers will believe her interpretations to the detriment of their relationship with their own dog, or, more concerning, believe her interpretations of dog behavior are real, not merely her opinions, and therefore fail to protect or properly control their own dogs, and suffer the consequences. Examples would include her failure to recognize the signs of and proactively deal with the above mentioned aggression by her dogs towards another dog, a heartwrenching story she blithely tells about having 2 dogs with litters at the same time and having one mother dog kill the puppies of the other (which she interprets as merely the way of the wild accepted by both mother dogs); and so on. Readers looking for information on how to work with and relate to their dogs should, in my opinion, look elsewhere. Or at least read several other books, make your own assessments and take this book for what it really is -- the author's own thoughts about what her dog's behavior means and nothing more.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • First Family

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Camp David, USA. A birthday party turns into a nightmare when a child is snatched after the celebrations. The First Lady enlists the services of Sean King and Michelle Maxwell to bring the child home safely. But she and King share a past. Years ago he saved her then senator husband from political disaster. And this may not be all that passed between them. With Michelle still battling her own demons, the two are pushed to the limit, with forces aligned on all sides against them.

    jerry says: "Outstanding as always"
    "Disappointed/sound effects distracting"

    I generally love Balducci's books, but this was a real disappointment. Unlike his other books which I find move along and are hard to put down, this was tedious with a plot that was disappointing and hard to believe. The sound effects behind some scenes (gun fire, swelling music, etc.) were very distracting - to the point that I almost wanted to fast forward through those sections. As others have mentioned, it almost felt as if someone was trying to stretch out the book. I hope his next book is more like his others.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Travels in Alaska

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By John Muir
    • Narrated By Noah Waterman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    "In mid-July of 1879, John Muir sailed for the first time through the sheer-walled fjords of Alaska's Inside Passage. 'Never before this,' he wrote, 'had I been embosomed in scenery so hopelessly beyond description.' During the previous 15 years, Muir had vanished into the north woods of Canada, walked a thousand miles from Kentucky to the Gulf of Mexico, and nested himself in the granite heart of California's Sierra Nevada mountains. Wild nature burned with volcanic intensity in the core of John Muir's soul."

    Monica says: "Book great, narration destroys"
    "Book great, narration destroys"

    This is a wonderful book of Muir's trip to Alaska in the late 1800's, full of delightful detail about geography, views, native culture and great stories ab out both Alaska and his travels.

    However, the narration is appalling and destroys the beauty of the book. The narrator speaks VERY quickly, in a sing-song sort of style with no regard for the text and no attempt to interpret what he is reading as most of the good narrators do. The same style, inflection and speed apply even when he is reading stories iwth different characters or describing Muir's first view of Glacier Bay and Muir's corresponding awe. The style is frustrating at best and I found it infuriating after a very short while. As a result, the book is very difficult to listen to (and I am a native Eastener used to fast speech). I had to resort to running the book on a slower rate on my I-Pod to get anything which allowed me to enjoy even a little of the beauty of the book - however this creates an echo. The echo, though, is better than the breakneck narration as taped.

    What a pity. This is a book that deserves a wonderful narrator with some acting ability to interpret the text. Think how great it could be, for instance, with a James Earl Jones sort of voice. As it is, a wonderful book is destroyed.

    Listen to the book for the text which is a wonderful narrative of Alaska. Just be prepared to have to deal with a very poor narration.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Gay Salisbury, Laney Salisbury
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener

    The year is 1925. It is sixty degrees below zero. The wind sweeps tons of snow over the deep-frozen Alaskan landscape. The nearest railhead is seven hundred miles away. Airplanes cannot fly. The way to Nome is blocked by a treacherous frozen sound, an icebound port, and mountains to the west. But there is a diphtheria epidemic in Nome. The children need serum from the outside world if they are to survive. Their only hope is a few chosen Eskimo drivers and their teams of dogs.

    Susan Carter says: "The Cruelest Miles Makes Exciting Reading"
    "Compelling true story"

    Facinating true account of the Nome serum dog run. The author makes history come alive, particularly the history of the sled dogs and their mushers. The information on the breeding and training of these working dogs was detailed and very interesting, as was the information on the politics and people behind the serum drive. Great compelling listen

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ruth Reichl
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Garlic and Sapphires is Ruth Reichl's riotous account of the many disguises she employs to dine anonymously. There is her stint as Molly Hollis, a frumpy blond with manicured nails and an off-beige Armani suit that Ruth takes on when reviewing Le Cirque. The result: her famous double review of the restaurant: first she ate there as Molly; and then as she was coddled and pampered on her visit there as Ruth, New York Times food critic.

    Kathleen says: "disappointing"
    "Absolutely entertaining!"

    A wonderfully entertaining look at the life of a restaurant critic at the NY Times and the lengths she goes to to avoid being recognized. Really makes a wonderful point that restaurant dining should be a theatrical experience for anyone, regardless of status or fame, and that all patrons deserve to be treated alike. An education on food and cooking as well. I appreciate that her recipes were included in the reading!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Time Traveler's Wife

    • ABRIDGED (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Audrey Niffenegger
    • Narrated By Maggi-Meg Reed, Christopher Burns

    Clare and Henry have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six. They were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry was thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future.

    Herve Bronnimann says: "My Favorite Audiobook so far"
    "Well written and creative story!"

    Facinating concept -- what would happen if you married a person who was genetically set up to time travel without any warning to you or him? How would your lives interact if you met numerous times, each of you at different ages? Very well written and facinating. Enjoyed it thoroughly!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • All the Way Home

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Ann Tatlock
    • Narrated By Christina Moore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Award-winning author of A Room of My Own and A Place Called Morning, Ann Tatlock delivers a soul-searching inspirational story of faith and friendship.

    Don says: "Never wanted to put down my headphones"
    "Great story until a bland ending"

    Interesting first person fictional look at both the Japanese internment of WWII and the civil rights movement of the 1960's. Unfortunately, at the end, the book becomes a bland and pattern love story ending. Great until the last few chapters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Temple Grandin, Catherine Johnson
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    How is Animals in Translation different from every other animal book ever published? Animals in Translation is like no other animal book because of Temple Grandin. As an animal scientist and a person with autism, her professional training and personal history have created a perspective like no other thinker in the field, and this is her exciting, groundbreaking view of the intersection of autism and animal.

    James says: "Perhaps the best non-fiction book on Audible yet!"
    "Facinating look into animal psychology/behavior"

    Absolutely facinating delving into the animal mind. Although hard to prove her hypotheses, the author offers intriguing theories about why animals behave the way they do, based on her experiences in the meat packing industry and her own autism. The kind of book that gets you thinking. If you have animals, you will likely be intrigued.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • eBoys: The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists at Work

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Randall E. Stross
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The first inside account of life within a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, eBoys is the fascinating true story of the six tall men who backed eBay, Webvan, and other billion-dollar start-ups that are transforming the Internet and setting a new pace for the economy - an audio exclusive!

    Sean says: "Entertaining but misinformed"
    "Intriguing look into venture capital"

    Although a bit dated (from the pre-tech crash era), a thoroughly engrossing view of how venture capital works. Lots about the development of EBay.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Robert Stanek

    After the Great War that divided the peoples, the kingdoms of men plunged into a Dark Age that lasted 500 years. To heal the lands and restore the light, the great kings decreed that magic and all that is magical, be it creature, man, or device, shall be cleansed to dust. The cleansing raged for so long that no human could recall a time without it and it is in this time that the Dark Lord Sathar returned from the dark beyond.

    Lawrence says: "What the....?"
    "Breathless reader distracts"

    Nice book, but breathless reader who reads in a monotone and at a very fast pace distracts significantly. I have a feeling this is a much better book if read better.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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