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Mandy Payne

Is it just me?

Hollywood, CA | Member Since 2008

ratings
109
REVIEWS
29
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
17
HELPFUL VOTES
149

  • Healing Trauma: Restoring the Wisdom of the Body

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Peter A. Levine
    • Narrated By Peter A. Levine
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (21)

    Are you experiencing physical or emotional symptoms that no one is able to explain? If so, you may be suffering a traumatic reaction to a past event, teaches Levine.

    Gwendolyn says: "Somewhat misleading. Unfortunately."
    "New Neuroscience Applied"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Peter Levine is the master when it comes to this Mindfulness stuff. I wish his other book about taming the tiger (forgive me for butchering the title) was on audio.

    Listening to him, in his own words, walk the listener through mindful exercises was surprisingly VERY helpful.
    I guess it shouldn't be surprising, it is all scientifically proven to help rewire the brain. However, to gain as much as I did from this audiobook is really noteworthy. This isn't just the science, it is the real deal. My therapist recommended this book and I swear she cut three years off her billing potential. Every time I practice these exercises, I feel notably more in control and resourceful to deal with what I thought was incurable PTSD.

    DO IT DO IT DO IT!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Joyland

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Michael Kelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3022)
    Performance
    (2794)
    Story
    (2796)

    Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. Joyland is a brand-new novel and has never previously been published.

    Cozy Reader says: "The sweest and creepiest coming of age story!"
    "Gripping!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    7.5 hours of ghosts, murder and Stephen King's unique and colorful brilliance. If you enjoy Stephen King's crime stories, this is a great listen. If you enjoy his horror stories, this has it too.
    Not normally being a night person, I started listening to this late last night and couldn't stop until I finished it this morning. I purchased it in hopes of using it for a road trip this weekend...too late! It was just too good to stop listening.

    I don't like to write reviews that give away too much of the story because I don't like reading reviews that are written like book reports for a college course. So I will just say that you will not be disappointed. Local amusement parks are always a bit haunted and creepy, unlike the Disneys and 6 Flags. Joyland was a great setting for a really great scary story.

    The reader has a great voice. Although telling the story from the rear view of a 60 year old man, it was very easy to envision him as the college boy with a broken heart. Often the voices detract from the story for me. This book could not have been read by a better voice. (Although I love the Stephen King books that are actually read by Stephen King)

    This not available on Kindle yet so whispernet is not available, but listening you can't go wrong. I wish I had it in front of me rather than already finished...this would have been great for my road trip alone, very scary!

    64 of 75 people found this review helpful
  • The Interestings

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Meg Wolitzer
    • Narrated By Jen Tullock
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1064)
    Performance
    (944)
    Story
    (949)

    The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge. The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age 15 is not always enough to propel someone through life at age 30; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence.

    Tango says: "Needs a better title, but a good read (listen)"
    "More Interesting than Expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Truly enjoyed is book. It was a straight-thru listen for me, so that's rare. The story was not predictable, but totally believable. Loved it. Exceedingly well written.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Jon Acuff
    • Narrated By Jon Acuff
    Overall
    (422)
    Performance
    (378)
    Story
    (384)

    There are only two paths in life: average and awesome. The average path is easy because all you have to do is nothing. The awesome path is more challenging, because things like fear only bother you when you do work that matters. The good news is Start gives listeners practical, actionable insights to be more awesome, more often.

    Peter says: "START made me STOP listening fast"
    "Central Park"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story



    I began listening to this with every expectation of hating it. I fall for titles that sound like they're going to change whatever is wrong with me. Then I read the book and find everything wrong with the book and leave it with no change to my issues, except feeling superior to whatever idiot tried to impart some insight and failed...at least for someone like me.

    This book came into my life at the perfect time. I won't spill all of the inspiration and GREAT advice that I now will work to build into my path forward...my move toward finally attempting to do with my life what I've always wanted to and realized at 40 that I was stacking years behind with no movement toward who I thought I would be long before now. But I will tell you that this book is one in dozens, maybe hundreds, that hit my sweet spot. Read it. Hopefully, like me, you'll find something to help you get started too.

    I was tempted to write a 3 star review...once you read it, you'll know why. I just want the author to know that I am grateful for this book.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • NOS4A2: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Kate Mulgrew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2821)
    Performance
    (2612)
    Story
    (2619)

    Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn't tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.

    Jacqueline says: "Finish to Start Excellent is Novel This"
    "Reader annoying."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is good and overall this is worthwhile.

    But the reader...without having any idea who she is or how old, all i could find myself wondering was "how many packs a day has she smoked in her short 65 years on the planet?" Sometimes she was bearable. But many, many times I was very distracted by her rasp. It can't be easy doing children's voices, but her breath control was horrible.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
    • Narrated By Paul Baymer, Susan Duerden, Roselyn Landor, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3174)
    Performance
    (1354)
    Story
    (1353)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The best book club you’ve never heard of – but will be eager to join, courtesy of a full cast of true characters. January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb....

    Kent says: "MUCH better than I ever expected! Give it a try!"
    "Interesting History"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some interesting stuff about the Channel Islands...which I had really not thought about more than the incredible dairy cows that come from there. (mmm, raw Jersey milk is my favorite)

    The entire book is a collection of letters that tells the story. I enjoy first person stories from letters and diaries, probably because I feel like I'm taking a sneak peak into someone's secret life. Thankfully I got the audio version because the different voices helped me keep track of who was who. Good casting.

    It wasn't brilliantly written, but I enjoyed it. I had one issue with the story. But once I got it, it stuck in my craw and annoyed me. The protagonist was a bit too perfect...strong, single at a time when a 32 year old single woman wasn't really all that cool, an accomplished writer, deep thinker, maternal, kind, honest, trustworthy, loyal...way too good to be true. And the abrasive American...really? We get one rep in the entire book and he has to be a self-centered jerk? This is a book about WW2. Shouldn't we get some props from THAT at least? I mean really, how do you think that whole fiasco would have turned out without the Americans? It made me wonder about the authors...So I looked them up and, to no surprise, they are from Berkeley. I lived in and love the Bay Area with all my heart...but PLEASE stop hating your own country. Americans aren't all bad. I may not measure up to the uber perfect heroine, but I'm a pretty good soul.

    Aside from that I think this is a pretty good book. Enlightening and sobering in places, it finally comes together in a pretty entertaining way.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Scarlet Nights

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Jude Deveraux
    • Narrated By Julia Gibson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (234)
    Performance
    (174)
    Story
    (177)

    Engaged to the charming and seductive Greg Anders, Sara Shaw is happily anticipating her wedding in Edilean, Virginia. The date has been set, the flowers ordered, even her heirloom dress is ready. But just three weeks before the wedding, Greg gets a telephone call during the night and leaves without explanation. Two days later, a man climbs up through a trapdoor in the floor of Sara’s apartment, claiming that he is the brother of her best friend and that he’s moving in. While Mike Newland is indeed telling the truth about his identity, his reason for being there reaches far deeper.

    Carol says: "Scarlet Nights"
    "Adequate"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an ok story. Kind of predictable. If you love romances, I guess this is adequate. I stayed interested enough to finish it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10785)
    Performance
    (9786)
    Story
    (9806)

    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!!"
    "Whaaa?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This had me with the creepy apartment. Then the crew turning over and figuring out interesting clues...groovy. But then, they lost me so absolutely and completely that I could never come back right about the time they started their third mile underground.

    Sorry. I found the story tedious and boring. The experience was painful. Yawn.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • With or Without You: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Domenica Ruta
    • Narrated By Domenica Ruta
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (58)

    Domenica Ruta grew up in a working-class, unforgiving Italian town north of Boston where in the seventeenth century women were hanged as witches. Her mother, Kathi, a notorious figure in this hardscrabble place, was a drug addict and sometime dealer whose life swung between welfare and riches, whose highbrow taste was at odds with her base appetites.

    Courtney says: "A real and riveting story-beautifully written"
    "Unbelievably Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This audio book was the best I've heard in a long time. What an amazingly sad yet upbeat story. This book hit me on a very personal level, one which I wish I had the gift to share articulately. But, for me, a story this visceral is beyond description.

    Reminiscent of Glass Castle, but better.

    I started listening and did not stop until it was over.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Joshilyn Jackson
    • Narrated By Joshilyn Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1400)
    Performance
    (1207)
    Story
    (1183)

    A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty is a powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family. Fifteen-year-old Mosey Slocumb-spirited, sassy, and on the cusp of womanhood-is shaken when a small grave is unearthed in the backyard, and determined to figure out why it's there. Liza, her stroke-ravaged mother, is haunted by choices she made as a teenager. But it is Jenny, Mosey's strong and big-hearted grandmother....

    Janice says: "I wanted to cheer out loud!"
    "Excellent--as good as The Help"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great story. Well written. Really well read. I ended up listening nonstop from beginning to end. That happens only with the greats. This would be an excellent travel listen

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Middlesex

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By Kristoffer Tabori
    Overall
    (6015)
    Performance
    (2199)
    Story
    (2225)

    In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry-blonde classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop physically - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

    Christopher Allen walker says: "Great Pulitzer Winning novel!"
    "Loved This"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Moving, funny, educational but moreover, WILDLY interesting.

    This was a great peek inside of several worlds. Greeks, immigrants, Midwestern second gen new Americans and finally the life of an adolescent hermaphrodite.

    This should be a required read for anyone who has ever held in judgement anyone who doesn't fit into their view of acceptable sexual orientation. If this doesn't open their mind, nothing will.

    I couldn't stop listening from beginning until end. Excellent.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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