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Alison

Miss Construed

Austin, TX, United States | Member Since 2010

64
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 35 reviews
  • 99 ratings
  • 545 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
8

  • The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Susan Wise Bauer
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (259)
    Performance
    (155)
    Story
    (157)

    From the schism between Rome and Constantinople to the rise of the T'ang Dynasty, from the birth of Muhammad to the crowning of Charlemagne, this erudite book tells the fascinating, often violent story of kings, generals, and the peoples they ruled.

    Chi-Hung says: "Balanced"
    "My Kind of History Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bauer's book is a narrative of medieval history. It covers facts without a lot of fluff. I like how it travels the globe to give you an idea of what is going on all over during a time period. I learned a lot about Indian and Korean history which I'd never encountered and was able to line up events on different continents and see the relationships. Well worth the credit.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Outposts: Journeys to the Surviving Relics of the British Empire

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Simon Winchester
    • Narrated By Simon Winchester
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (35)

    Simon Winchester, struck by a sudden need to discover exactly what was left of the British Empire, set out across the globe to visit the far-flung islands that are all that remains of what once made Britain great. He traveled 100,000 miles back and forth, from Antarctica to the Caribbean, from the Mediterranean to the Far East, to capture a last glint of imperial glory.

    John says: "Nice Travelogue"
    "Lost Places"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought I would really enjoy this book, but ended up feeling rather sad in the end. The book is well written and well read, but incredibly disheartening. It seems Britain has managed to hold these leftovers of empire in a state of benevolent neglect which is shameful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hood: King Raven Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Stephen R. Lawhead
    • Narrated By Adam Verner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (614)
    Performance
    (338)
    Story
    (343)

    For centuries, the legend of Robin Hood and his band of thieves has captivated the imagination. Now the familiar tale takes on new life, fresh meaning, and an unexpected setting. Hunted like an animal by Norman invaders, Bran ap Brychan, heir to the throne of Elfael, has abandoned his father's kingdom and fled to the greenwood. There, in the primeval forest of the Welsh borders, danger surrounds him, for this woodland is a living, breathing entity with mysterious powers and secrets.

    RJT says: "Extremely well done ... mostly."
    "I liked the ideal better than the book..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was well conceived and researched, but it just didn't grab me from a story telling perspective like I wish it could have.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mogworld

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Yahtzee Croshaw
    • Narrated By Yahtzee Croshaw
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (737)
    Performance
    (700)
    Story
    (701)

    In a world full to bursting with would-be heroes, Jim couldn't be less interested in saving the day. His fireballs fizzle. He's awfully grumpy. Plus, he's been dead for about 60 years. When a renegade necromancer wrenches him from eternal slumber and into a world gone terribly, bizarrely wrong, all Jim wants is to find a way to die properly, once and for all. On his side, he's got a few shambling corpses, an inept thief, and a powerful death wish. But he's up against tough odds....

    Alyssa says: "Yahtzee learns to enunciate"
    "What fun!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a big Z Punc fan. When I heard Yahtzee had done a narration of his book I had to have it. I finished it in a couple of days. If you enjoy Terry Pratchett, John Scalzi, or enjoyed Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, chances are you will enjoy Mogworld. If you are also a fan of Crowshaw's reviews you'll appreciate the additional level of humor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Neil deGrasse Tyson
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2013)
    Performance
    (1193)
    Story
    (1197)

    Neil deGrasse Tyson has a talent for guiding readers through the mysteries of outer space with stunning clarity and almost childlike enthusiasm. This collection of his essays from Natural History magazine explores a myriad of cosmic topics. Tyson introduces us to the physics of black holes by explaining what would happen to our bodies if we fell into one; he also examines the needless friction between science and religion, and notes Earth's status as "an insignificantly small speck in the cosmos".

    Lind says: "Well written and well read"
    "Fun with Astrophysics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Okay, I'll admit it: popular science is one of my favorite literary genres. That being said, I usually stay firmly planted on terra firma. This was my first foray into the mind-bending field of astrophysics, and it won't be my last. Neil deGrasse Tyson strikes an excellent balance between academic and interesting. I found myself taking notes, rewinding, googling, and just sitting in awe and wonder. Dion Graham was the perfect narrator for this journey abroad.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18219)
    Performance
    (14290)
    Story
    (14329)

    A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

    Alisha says: "Good listen, but what's up with the chapter set up"
    "Okay, I'm Hooked."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story, takes up well where the first left off. My few qualms with the first book have been well satisfied here and the characters continue to be excellent. I feel I've come to know these people. Some I enjoy spending time with, some I loathe; but all evoke strong emotions. Martin is a genius with his characters. Martin's fantasy is much darker than most, but more real as well. I appreciate the maturity.

    I am ambivalent about the narration. While Dotrice is a pure pleasure to listen to and his voice was an excellent choice for the overall narration, I find his characterizations lacking. Most of his male characters sound either like pirates or as though they have speech impediments. His female characters are unconvincing. So, I remain undecided: I loved his narration, but wasn't taken with his voice characterizations. I don't remember this being so striking in the first book, but I've watched the series since then. Perhaps I have different expectations of the voices now that I've seen the series. Hard to say.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Slumdog Millionaire

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Vikas Swarup
    • Narrated By Christopher Simpson
    Overall
    (860)
    Performance
    (544)
    Story
    (543)

    Vikas Swarup's spectacular debut novel, the inspiration for the award-winning film, opens in a jail cell in Mumbai, where Ram Mohammad Thomas is being held after correctly answering all 12 questions on India's biggest quiz show, Who Will Win a Billion? It is hard to believe that a poor orphan who has never gone to school could win such a contest. But through a series of exhilarating tales, Ram explains to his lawyer how episodes in his life gave him the answer to each question.

    J. Wigfall says: "Powerful"
    "An Epic Driveway Moment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is riveting from beginning to end. I was late for everything the entire time I was listening because I just couldn't hit the pause button. The story captures your imagination and the narration is sublime. Do yourself a favor: get it. You won't regret the credit spent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Wizard of Earthsea: The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Ursula K. Le Guin
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (754)
    Performance
    (584)
    Story
    (599)

    When Sparrowhawk casts a spell that saves his village from destruction at the hands of the invading Kargs, Ogion, the Mage of Re Albi, encourages the boy to apprentice himself in the art of wizardry. So, at the age of 13, the boy receives his true name - Ged - and gives himself over to the gentle tutelage of the Master Ogion. But impatient with the slowness of his studies and infatuated with glory, Ged embarks for the Island of Roke, where the highest arts of wizardry are taught.

    Finance Guy says: "Elegant & unique fantasy, deliciously performed"
    "I'm not in Middle Earth, I'm not in Middle Earth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a well written coming of age tale. It was excellently narrated, but I have to admit that for the first half of the book I was totally distracted by the narrator. Mr. Inglis narrated all of the Hobbit/LotR books and I'm afraid I've type cast him in my head. Just hearing his voice evokes Middle Earth. I had to consciously remind myself that I was not listening to a Tolkien story. Once I got past that, it was an enjoyable listen. I'll be listening to the rest of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3173)
    Performance
    (2823)
    Story
    (2830)

    Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Walkabout"
    "Dissenting Opinion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While the story was well written and the narration very good, I find I actually hated it. The story was sad, and quite awful in places and it was a chore to finish it. I know I am a dissenting opinion and it appears most people enjoyed this book. I just can't recommend it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Barry Schwartz, Kenneth Sharpe
    • Narrated By Barry Schwartz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    Most of us want to succeed. And most of us want to do the right thing. But we often forget that the way tosucceed is by doing the right thing, as Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe remind us in Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing. When the institutions that shape our society need to change, the people in them typically either make more rules or offer smarter incentives.

    Daniel says: "Professionalism"
    "Good Book, Mediocre Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A decent review of the concept and execution of common sense. Also a look at what kills it and what cultivates it. No new or breakthrough information, but a good read nonetheless.

    I would have preferred that it had been read by a professional narrator rather than the authors.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Doomsday Book

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2189)
    Performance
    (1491)
    Story
    (1513)

    For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong.

    Sara says: "A Haunting First Book in the Series"
    "Good Story, Excellent Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is hard to categorize: it's not typical science fiction, but it's not really historical fiction either. In reality, it's more of a human drama, and from that perspective it excells.

    The character development was superb. The storyline was engaging, if sometimes predictable. My only complaint is that it was, in areas, agonizingly repetitive and slow due to unnecessary details. If you apply patience it is still an enjoyable, worthwhile read.

    Ms. Sterlin's voice characterizations are outstanding and the overall narration was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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