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Nancy

Santa Fe, NM, USA

46
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Professor and the Madman

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Simon Winchester
    • Narrated By Simon Winchester
    Overall
    (1451)
    Performance
    (649)
    Story
    (657)

    Part history, part true-crime, and entirely entertaining, listen to the story of how the behemoth Oxford English Dictionary was made. You'll hang on every word as you discover that the dictionary's greatest contributor was also an insane murderer working from the confines of an asylum.

    Jerry says: "Perfect example of a quality audible book."
    "delightful, thoughtful and fascinating"
    Overall

    I really loved this book, and listening to simon winchester read it. I particularly liked the way he melded together the stories of the main character and his compassion and understanding for Dr. Miser. Besides being a fascinating history of the OED, which is even laugh out loud funny at some points, the book is an interesting, thoughtful exporation of the joys of a meaningful life and why purpose matters. I highly recommend.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Last King of Scotland

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Giles Foden
    • Narrated By Mirron E. Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Shortly after his arrival in Uganda, Scottish doctor Nicholas Garrigan is called to the scene of a bizarre accident: Idi Amin, careening down a dirt road in his Maserati, has hit a cow. When Garrigan tends to Amin, the dictator, obsessed with all things Scottish, appoints him as his personal physician. So begins a fateful dalliance with the African leader whose Emperor Jones-style autocracy would transform into a reign of terror.

    James says: "Worst Production Ever"
    "Worth the listen"
    Overall

    After reading all the reviews, I decided to go ahead anyway and am glad i did. the book is a very good compliment to the movie and the french documentary on Idi Amin Dada -- lots of raw footage of him in the 70s. I did not find the accents distracting, but instead well done (except for the israli character). The book itself is well written, admittedly, perhaps, could have used some editing, especially in the last 2 hours, but I enjoyed and would recommend to those who have and have not seen the movie.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Final Jeopardy

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Linda Fairstein
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (1)

    In Final Jeopardy, Manhattan's Assistant D.A. Alexandra Cooper makes her debut. Stunning movie star Isabella Lascar is found dead outside the prosecutor's summer home. The question is, was the shot meant for Alex? Former sex crimes prosecutor Linda Fairstein is the New York Times best-selling author of The Bone Vault and has won international acclaim for her gritty, experience based thrillers.

    Andy says: "Enjoyable and tightly written"
    "Worth it -- fun"
    Overall

    This was a fun listen. Legally accurate but light. A good mix of characters, New York scenes, police drama, and plot -- and a good reader. Perhaps a few too many, "then I turned on the bath, got undressed..." but nobody's perfect.

    I liked it enough that I just got the other unabriged one she has on here. Too bad so many of hers are abridged.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Thomas L. Friedman
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (588)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (26)

    When scholars write the history of the world 20 years from now, and they come to the chapter "Y2K to March 2004", what will they say was the most crucial development? The attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 and the Iraq war? Or the convergence of technology and events that allowed India, China, and so many other countries to become part of the global supply chain for services and manufacturing?

    Anthony says: "Most important book of the decade"
    "Tom Friedman For President"
    Overall

    Could he please run for president? What a great book. I didn't think he could surpass From Beiruit to Jeruselem, but I think he has done it here. Friedman grasps and describes in simple terms the epic transformation that has taken place in the world in the last 15 years (the flattening). From the Berlin wall coming down to Netscape's IPO to to the development of outsourcing and high speed internet, it's all here and spelled out brilliantly. Oh yes, and he has policy solutions for the real problems this flattening is creating -- solutions that actually make sense. Freidman's access shows here. He can get a meeting or interview with anyone at this point in his career. The list of interviewees in this book reads like a whos who of the technology and business world.

    I'd heard him interviewed about the book a number of times, but did not expect it to be this good.

    A few quibbles. The narrator is generally good, but has a weird penchant for putting on a mild indian accent when saying what an interviewee said, even if that interviewee is not indian (tho a lot of them are). Also, Freidman likes lists (10 flatteners, 3 steroids, etc...) and naming things. It works, sort of, but a tad too many lists and names.

    But these are minor quibbles. As I said, TF for President@!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Johnstown Flood

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (803)
    Performance
    (315)
    Story
    (312)

    At the end of the last century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation's burgeoning industrial prosperity. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by the tycoons of that same industrial prosperity, among them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon.

    Susan K Donley says: "A page-turner! HIstory that reads like a novel"
    "book good but reader annoying"
    Overall

    I rarely complain about a reader, but this one is just too sing-songy for my tastes. I find him very distracting. He sometimes hits 5 or 6 notes in a sentence and as many as 4 in a single ord. Almost all his words end in a changed note. I do like the book very much, but am having a hard time enjoying it for this reason.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Brothers Karamazov

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (246)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    In The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky explores human nature at its most loathsome and cruel but never flinches at what he finds. The novel tells the stirring tale of four brothers: the pleasure-seeking, impatient Dmitri; the brilliant and morose Ivan; the gentle, loving, and honest Alyosha; and the illegitimate Smerdyakov, shy, silent, and cruel. They are behind the murder of one of literature's most despicable characters: their father. This was Dostoevsky's final and perhaps his finest work.

    David says: "superb rendition of Dostoyevsky's greatest novel"
    "Why Listen to"
    Overall

    If you are like me, you struggled through this and other Russian classics as a younger person. Who? How do you pronouce that name? If that's the same person, why is the name different? It was an unmitigated joy to have someone decipehr the names for me and read aloud this brillian tale. I never had trouble keeping track of who was who, even with the nicknames. The reader has his own particular style, but I didn't mind him as others apparently have. For this and all the Russion classics, I highly recommend revisiting in audiobook form. A tremendous pleasuer. As to the quality of the story and writing, I hardly need to add my two cents.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cloud Atlas

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Cassandra Campbell, Kim Mai Guest, and others
    Overall
    (3067)
    Performance
    (2277)
    Story
    (2284)

    A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation: the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history.

    Cynthia says: "Complicated and Not Good for Listening!"
    "A masterpiece"
    Overall

    Of all the novels I have read in the last year, this one stands out. The author has a remarkable ability to write in different voices. The book is six stories woven together -- starting in 1840, moving up through a post future iron age and then coming back down for the second halves of each of the first five stories. Each piece is written in an unique voice and each works. From a bisexual rake who is also a talented musician wheedling his way into the home of a famous European composer in the 1930s to a cynical, down and out publisher avoiding creditors and having madcap adventures in the present day, to a genetically modified "fabricant" living in the future, Mitchell pulls each voice off amazingly. With a mixture of humor, poinency, irony and extreme intelligence he weaves together the six stories, any of which could stand alone as a fully formed narrative. Brilliant. I loved it so much that I wanted to "read" another by him, and even read a real book, as none other was on audible. Have to say that "Number Nine Dream" cannot compare. This may have been Mitchell's best. I picked it orignially becuase it was a finalist (and the presumptive favorite) for the Booker prize, usually a reliable indicator. And indeed it was.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Alexander Hamilton

    • ABRIDGED (11 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    Ron Chernow, whom the New York Times called "as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we've seen in decades", now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history, who never attained the presidency, but who had a far more lasting impact than many who did.

    C. Kelley says: "The forgotten one"
    "don't miss this"
    Overall

    When it came out, everyone was talking about this book and now I know why. Wow. Chernow covers his subject with a masterful comprehension and depth that gives the listener a very interesting window into the world of the Founders, always with Hamilton at the center. The book is fascinating (and well read). From Hamilton's unusual boyhood in the carribean to his stellar rise during the revolution, to his pivotol role in the development of the fundamental features of our government structure, it more than held my interest. Hamilton is an extraordinary character -- a unique genius -- and Chernow resurrects him in all his glory, and not without attention to his flaws. I learned more about our history from this book than from any other book I have read. Most interesting is Hamilton's preescience. So many of his ideas anticipated current events. Also, Chernow clearly grew to love and feel protective of his subject who has been so neglected in history until now. I admit that around hour 29, I started to feel shades of "The Power Broker" -- a pattern of Hamiltonian behavior repeated over and over. But I highly, highly, recommend.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Six Months That Changed the World: The Treaty of Versailles and World War II [Portable Professor]

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Margaret MacMillan
    • Narrated By Margaret MacMillan
    Overall
    (225)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (16)

    Between January and July 1919 delegates from all over the world converged on Paris to forge a lasting peace in the wake of World War I. Margaret MacMillan vividly portrays the historical events surrounding the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which laid the groundwork for an even more devastating conflict-World War II-by demanding punishing reparations from the defeated nation of Germany.

    Nancy says: "Illuminating"
    "Illuminating"
    Overall

    I was initially disappointed to find that this was not the text of the book, Paris 1919. But shortly after I got started, I was very happy with the purchase. The lecuture series is a great, short way into the fascinating and complex events that took place in Paris in 1919 and shaped today's world to a very large degree. McMillian has a good speaking voice and is pleasant to listen to. She does not engage in hyperbole, and it's hardly necessary with the subject matter. Very very interesting and worthwhile. Only wish the whole book were available.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Middlesex

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By Kristoffer Tabori
    Overall
    (5918)
    Performance
    (2114)
    Story
    (2134)

    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.

    Chris says: "Great Pulitzer Winning novel!"
    "surprising, enjoyable and v. well done"
    Overall

    I don't know why i put off Middlesex for so long, even knowing it won the Pulitzer last year. I somehow thought it was going to be a modernday Middlemarch... It was very very good and not at all what I expected. A well told (and well read), very touching story, the book pulled me in. The characters are believeable and compelling, the narrator is likeable and real and the story is complex and satisfying. I hightly recommend.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Aloft

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Chang-rae Lee
    • Narrated By Don Leslie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    Aloft offers a reexamination of the American dream from the inside out. Jerry Battle's favorite diversion is to fly his small plane solo, slipping away for quick flights over his Long Island home or to the coastal towns of New England. Then a family crisis occurs, and Jerry finds he must face his disengagement in his relationships.

    Michelle says: "A Truly Wonderful Listening Experience"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall

    I recenty read (in print) A Gesture Life by Chang Rae Lee, and loved it. It was an amazing book. So I was excited to listen to Aloft. I don't know whether it was the reader, who I don't think captured the right tone, or the overly sappy story, but it just didn't do anything for me. And I really expected to like it. The story and characters seemed formulaic and predictable. And without giving away the ending, I'll say that the conculsion struck me the same way. I probably won't read another by this author, sadly.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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