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A Reader

Member Since 2006

55
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 541 ratings
  • 833 titles in library
  • 56 purchased in 2014
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  • The Woman in White

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By various
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (282)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (64)

    When Walter Hartright encounters the "solitary figure of a woman, dressed from head to foot in white garments" on a lonely road, he is haunted by her. He falls in love with his employer's niece, Laura, because she resembles the mysterious woman. Laura, however, is betrothed to the evil Sir Percival, who wishes to marry her for her money. The woman in white, it turns out, is Anne Catherick, who was confined in an asylum by the evil Sir Percival because she knew a devastating secret about him.

    Virginia says: "The Woman In White"
    "Excellent version"
    Overall

    This is one of my favorite Wilkie Collins novels. He manages to combine an tantalizing mystery with the perfect amount of creepiness to keep me on the edge of my seat. The first time I read it; I read it again soon after. This audio version is beautifully done with well selected narrators for the three distinct voices in the book. I highly recommend it.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8696)
    Performance
    (8270)
    Story
    (8285)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Made being stuck on Mars actually fun!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this book. Most of it focuses on the single astronaut accidentally left behind on Mars and all that he does to survive which sounds like it would be stressful and hopeless. However, the main character has a great sense of humor and his daily logs, while often recounting life threatening situations, is also filled with humor. There is also narration from NASA on earth and their reaction to discovering that the astronaut is still alive and the crew to which he belonged who is traveling back to earth.

    There is a lot of detail about what he does to survive but it was told in such a way that I understood what was happening and wasn't bogged down by details.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By T. Colin Campbell, Thomas M. Campbell
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (858)
    Performance
    (565)
    Story
    (574)

    The China Study offers conclusive evidence that a change of diet can dramatically reduce the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. The book is based on the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted, a 20-year joint project between Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine. The study surveyed the eating habits of 6,500 adults from all over China and Taiwan and found a direct correlation between diet and disease.

    James says: "Deserves a second listen"
    "Changed the way I eat"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The China Study the most enjoyable?

    This book was packed full of important information and once I started reading it, I started finding other sources saying the same things that this author was arguing about the human diet and the link between diet and disease.

    This book has effectively changed the way that I eat. I recommend it for anyone who is struggling with how to eat to improve their health and longevity. It doesn't have easy answers for our culture but it has a lot of data to support the conclusion the author reaches. If you read this, you should also watch "Forks over Knives".


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Tale for the Time Being

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Ruth Ozeki
    • Narrated By Ruth Ozeki
    Overall
    (523)
    Performance
    (466)
    Story
    (466)

    In Tokyo, 16-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century. A diary is Nao's only solace - and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox - possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami.

    Karen says: "Engaging story beautifully read"
    "Mesmerizing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I haven't read Ruth Ozeki's first book, "My Year of Meats," but I certainly will now. Her writing is beautiful and completely engaging.

    Although the first few moments of the book had me wondering about what I had gotten myself into as Nao introduced herself in her diary, but I kept going and I am really glad that I did. Nao and Ruth (the other main character--named for the book's author?) are both sympathetic and interesting characters. They are both struggling through hard situations in their lives and trying to figure out whether to make it through or to just give up. When fate connects them through the discovery of Nao's diary sealed inside a Hello Kitty lunch box inside a barnacled plastic bag that Ruth "happens" to find on the coast of Canada, their lives and stories become intertwined in interesting and surreal ways. The connection between Ruth as Nao's reader and Nao as Ruth's storyteller bridges both geographical distance as well as time.

    I was sorry to reach the end of the story but very glad to have particpated in it--as a reader you definitely feel that you are part of what is happening as Ruth is part of what she reads from Nao's diary. In the end, the story, like the characters, seems to open up more possibilities than to close them and, as the reader, I knew this was a good thing--for everyone.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Arcadia

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Lauren Groff
    • Narrated By Andrew Garman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (103)

    Lauren Groff’s acclaimed debut novel The Monsters of Templeton was short-listed for the Orange Prize. Her second novel, Arcadia opens in the late 1960s with a group of young idealists forming a commune in western New York State. Into this group is born Bit, who grows into a quiet, distant man. Over the course of 50 years, Bit witnesses the utopia crumble and the world change in unimaginable ways.

    Kathleen says: "Luscious prose, intimate and realistic"
    "Didn't dive it as I did with Monsters of Templeton"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I just couldn't get into this book. I read almost half of it and kept wishing that I was at the end. I loved her other book--The Monsters of Templeton--but the subject of the book, a hippy commune, just didn't keep me interested. And the very small boy who is the main character kept making me think of Owen Meany. So I set this book aside.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Snow Child

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Eowyn Ivey
    • Narrated By Debra Monk
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1385)
    Performance
    (1211)
    Story
    (1199)

    Debut novelist Eowyn ivey’s experience living in the Alaskan wilderness brings a palpable authenticity to The Snow Child. Alaska in the 1920s is a difficult place for Jack and Mabel. Drifting apart, the childless couple discover Faina, a young girl living alone in the wilderness. Soon, Jack and Mabel come to love Faina as their own. But when they learn a surprising truth about the girl, their lives change in profound ways.

    Bonny says: "Magical, realistic and well worth listening to"
    "Fascinating story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book was fascinating in many ways. First, I don't know much about the lives of the pioneers who settled Alaska and this was a beautiful description of what it must have been like. Second, the integration of a Russian fairy tale about a elderly couple and snow child into this stark, harsh world was incredibly appealing. It made the short, dark days and depression of the main character open up. Through out the book, the author seems to want the reader to decide for themselves if the snow child is really a child formed from a snow figure built by the couple or if she is an orphaned little girl with uncanny powers.

    The telling takes you on an interior journey of the main character as well as a journey through the stunning Alaskan seasons. I know what I think about the snow child . . . but you have to decide for yourself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Speaking from Among the Bones: A Flavia de Luce Novel, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Alan Bradley
    • Narrated By Jayne Entwistle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (498)
    Performance
    (441)
    Story
    (440)

    Eleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they’re found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters’ diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the 500th anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, the English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint’s tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the crypt than Flavia, yet what she finds will halt the proceedings dead in their tracks: the body of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist, his face grotesquely and inexplicably masked.

    Donald says: "the best Flavia yet!!"
    "I hope Alan Bradley is hard at work on the sequel!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Flavia de Luce is simply irresistible and I think that this may be my favorite of the series. She is at her 11 year old scientific best solving a complex mystery of her church organist's murder. My one complaint about the book is that it ends with a cliff hanger that will have me waiting on the edge of my seat until Mr. Bradley can write the next book. I hope he's hard at work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Half-Made World

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Felix Gilman
    • Narrated By Tamara Marston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (56)

    The world is only half made. What exists has been carved out amidst a war between two rival factions: the Line, paving the world with industry and claiming its residents as slaves; and the Gun, a cult of terror and violence that cripples the population with fear. The only hope at stopping them has seemingly disappeared - the Red Republic that once battled the Gun and the Line, and almost won. Now they're just a myth, a bedtime story parents tell their children, of hope.

    John says: "best of the subgenre"
    "Incredibly imaginative!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I definitely felt as if I was in the hands of someone who knew what they were doing and where they were going and I was happy to be along for the ride. A great re-imagining of the wild west, mixing in mythology, and making a world that felt like a combination of the U.S. west while being settled and Australia. John Creedmoore may not have been a nice man but he certainly was an interesting one. Serving a power that he both craves and despises we follow him on a journey to the very edges of the made world along with Liv, a sheltered psychology professor who has come out west seeking, well, seeking herself and a way to heal.

    if you are looking for something different--a story that feels both completely unfamiliar and familiar, that you can't predict where it is headed--then I'd recommend "The Half-Made World."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rise of Ransom City: The Half-Made World, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Felix Gilman
    • Narrated By Ramon De Ocampo, Gregory Itzin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (14)

    This is the story Harry Ransom. If you know his name it's most likely as the inventor of the Ransom Process, a stroke of genius that changed the world. Or you may have read about how he lost the battle of Jasper City, or won it, depending on where you stand in matters of politics. Friends called him Hal or Harry, or by one of a half-dozen aliases, of which he had more than any honest man should. He often went by Professor Harry Ransom, and though he never had anything you might call a formal education, he definitely earned it.

    A Reader says: "Good but not as good as Half-Made World"
    "Good but not as good as Half-Made World"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I didn't love this book as much as the first one, Half-Made World, but I liked seeing things from the perspective of a very different character. Harry Ransom is a hapless hero for whom nothing really works out as he plans, except that he has invented this incredible apparatus over which everyone wants control. He spends the majority of the book keeping it out of the hands of both the Line and the Gun and in the end, well, in the end you have to decide for yourself if he achieves his ultimate goal.

    I enjoyed being re-immersed in this world but I missed the perspective of the characters in alignment with the great powers as those powers crumbled.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Patricia B McConnell
    • Narrated By Ellen Archer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (578)
    Performance
    (243)
    Story
    (241)

    Yes, humans and canines are different species, but current research provides fascinating, irrefutable evidence that what we share with our dogs is greater than how we differ. As behaviorist and zoologist Dr. Patricia McConnell tells us in this remarkable new book about emotions in dogs and in people, more and more scientists accept the premise that dogs have rich emotional lives, exhibiting a wide range of feelings, including fear, anger, surprise, sadness, and love.

    L. Adams says: "needs photos"
    "Very helpful and interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    There are so many things about this book that I loved, I'm not sure I can even remember them all. I think what I found most helpful is Patricia McConnell's thoughtful and interesting progression through different emotions, similarities in how those emotions are expressed between humans and dogs, and how to better read and understand what your dog may be feeling in different situations. She gave excellent examples from her own work with fearful and aggressive dogs as well as examples of well socialized dogs dealing with unfamiliar situations. She did an excellent job of describing the deep connection that occurs between humans and dogs and exploring some of the foundations for that connection.

    This is a book that I'm sure I'll read again because it had so much information in it that I felt I couldn't digest it all. I bookmarked many different places that I wanted to return to and to remember.

    If you are an animal lover or interested in the connection between humans and other species, this is a great book to explore.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dog Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Peter Heller
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1097)
    Performance
    (973)
    Story
    (977)

    Hig survived the flu that killed everyone he knows. His wife is gone, his friends are dead, he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor a gun-toting misanthrope. In his 1956 Cessna, Hig flies the perimeter of the airfield or sneaks off to the mountains to fish and to pretend that things are the way they used to be. But when a random transmission somehow beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life exists beyond the airport.

    Melinda says: "Absolutely Stellar!"
    "A Dog Named Jasper and a Man named Hig"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book--not everything about it but overall. I loved the relationship between Hig and Jasper most of all. the comfort and companionship across species in a world where human society has disintegrated. the author never even describes Jasper except to say, at one point, that he has short fur and he was a mix, but he doesn't hazard a guess at the breeds. So I imagined Jasper as a hound retriever mix with a sweet and concerned face. I also came to love the relationship between Hig and his ornery and often kind of awful partner in survival, Bangley. Very aptly named with his love of fire arms and explosives. I found the story interesting and engaging. I don't want to give away too much of the plot because discovering it is part of the pleasure.

    The one thing I didn't find realistic was how Jasper was fed. I felt the author went for shock value when there seemed many unexplained missing options for how Jasper could be maintained.

    The reader was great. In my mind he sounded how Hig would sound and did a good job with the voices of other characters as well.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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