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J. Locke

Tampa FL | Member Since 2013

  • 15 reviews
  • 278 ratings
  • 803 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2015

  • The Innocent: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Will Robie may have just made the first - and last - mistake of his career.... It begins with a hit gone wrong. Robie is dispatched to eliminate a target unusually close to home in Washington, D.C. But something about this mission doesn't seem right to Robie, and he does the unthinkable: He refuses to kill. Now, Robie becomes a target himself and must escape from his own people.

    Fleeing the scene, Robie crosses paths with a wayward teenage girl, a 14-year-old runaway from a foster home. But she isn't an ordinary runaway....

    andrea says: "I Hope There's a Sequel!!"
    "The softest hitman I can remember."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I'm almost halfway through but since I'm not going to finish here's a quick review. It doesn't make sense. With the kind of man the government assassin is supposed to be, someone that avoids personal/emotional involvement, he goes out of his way the entire time, for this 14 year old girl (up to chapter 46 anyway). High tech spy devices used to track a kid? Treating the kid as if she's an adult, most of the time. The FBI agents have corny sophomoric dialog. Lots of the dialog seems rushed. I mean, as if to abbreviate some how. You could imagine this being an abridged version.

    What could David Baldacci have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    More interesting supporting character(s). This is my first David Baldacci book and I like several things about the protagonist but it's like he's trying to be two different people.

    What three words best describe Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy ???s performance?

    Ron McLarty was really good but not great. He was FANTASTIC in Salem's Lot. Orlagh Cassidy sounds as if much or all of these recordings were done apart from the other reader and then the dialog was spliced together. Often times the tones and inflection, that you expect, isn't there.

    Was The Innocent worth the listening time?

    No. I didn't make it past chapter 46.

    42 of 51 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

    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"
    "A lot more sensible than The Vegetarian Myth."

    A lot more sensible than The Vegetarian Myth, though not footnoted for some strange reason.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How A Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Kathleen Flinn
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, writer Kathleen Flinn returned with no idea what to do next, until one day at a supermarket she watched a woman loading her cart with ultraprocessed foods. Flinn's "chefternal" instinct kicked in: she persuaded the stranger to reload with fresh foods, offering her simple recipes for healthy, easy meals.

    J. Locke says: "Just as much a self-help book as a cookbook."
    "Just as much a self-help book as a cookbook."
    If you could sum up The Kitchen Counter Cooking School in three words, what would they be?

    Much less fast-food.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Kitchen Counter Cooking School?

    I don't particularly have a most memorable moment in the book but when I realized, while painstakingly bookmarking each location (107 so far) I wanted to revisit, that I was becoming a very good cook. At least in comparison to what I was before and even better than my wife.

    What aspect of Marguerite Gavin’s performance would you have changed?

    The recipes and/or references to ingredients are very hard to follow when they are being read so fast. This is one of the reasons for my more than 100 bookmarks. On top of that, I slowed the audio down to 1/2 speed when going over recipes and/or cooking instructions.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Her stories were interesting however as I said before, this was more of a self-help book and the emotion accumulated slowly, as I learned to become a better cook and really understand what I was doing, not simply following someone's written instructions.

    I have since began to make dishes of my own accord, without recipes, which before was all but impossible except for the simplest of dishes.

    Any additional comments?

    There is a down side to reading and putting these lessons into practice. Meals that are eaten at a restaurant are scrutinized much more. They often seem bland and I''m second guessing the cook or even the chef in some cases.

    I understand food MUCH MORE than I ever have in my life. I know that on average about 75% of the sodium that I eat comes from processed (packaged) foods. All the credit doesn't go to Kathleen Flinn however because I also recently read "The body fat solution" by Tom Venuto. It's not a cookbook so there isn't a comparison here.

    I would recommend this book to anyone that has ever walked into the kitchen and felt challenged to cook a good meal, anyone that has children, that cares about their body condition and health and anyone that isn't rich enough, or lucky enough, to have someone else prepare your meals for you.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By John Lee

    Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything: a fine reputation, an appointment as captain of a ship, and the heart of a beautiful woman. But his perfect life is shattered when three jealous friends conspire to destroy him. Falsely accused of a political crime, Dantès is locked away for life in the infamous Chateau d'If prison. But it is there that Dantès learns of a vast hidden treasure.

    Ramon says: "A true Time-machine"
    "Keep your monarchs but..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Count of Monte Cristo to be better than the print version?

    ...bring back the men and women of such character. This story might as well have been written about a world of pure fantasy or written of a world in a distant galaxy. Where are the people of this character today? While at times the formalities seem stiff and nonsensical, to a man of the 21st century anyway, the level of respect to oneself and to others is astonishing.I sometimes, more than I would care to admit, imagine what life would be like if I lived in a time and place where character and self-worth, without the title and birthright of this story, were commonplace. BTW, America is the closest any peoples have come to realizing my dream. This was a first read (listen) for me but won't be the last. The life lessons available in this story are numerous and very well laid out. Could our children of today (America) even understand the lessons and experiences? Doubtful. When stealing from large and small retail chain stores is seen as harmless because "they can afford it", you began to lose hope.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Edmond Dantes was my favorite, typical right?First because he was the wronged innocent, then because I sympathized with his desire for vengeance, then I cringed from his heartlessness and then to admiration for his selflessness.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not exactly my favorite but the most important in my eyes. The time that Edmond Dantes and Abbe Faria spent in prison together. How close they became and all that the Abbe shared with Edmond. Edmond could have used his knowledge and newly found wealth for great evil. Actually, an argument can be made that he did commit evil on multiple occasions, disguised in the cloak of providence.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not an emotional reaction more of a visceral one. Over and over I thought, "how far civilization has fallen, all the while making fantastic technological and medical strides forward."

    Any additional comments?

    A simple wish. I wish I could get my son and daughters to read this, but I fear it is hopeless.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Swarm: Star Force, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By B. V. Larson
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Kyle Riggs is snatched by an alien spacecraft sometime after midnight. The ship is testing everyone it catches and murdering the weak. The good news is that Kyle keeps passing tests and staying alive. The bad news is the aliens who sent this ship are the nicest ones out there.

    Lamonica Johnson says: "If Micheal Bay Wrote a Sci-Fi Novel..."
    "Very lite on the details, almost feels abridged"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes. I enjoyed the story but there are way too many unanswered questions. At least things I'm naturally curious about. The ships that first appear in the skies, looking for commanders, so little is known about them even after completing the entire book. The regeneration process, after nano organisms are introduced into the body, takes how long for an arm or eye or foot?

    Why was no one attempting to intercept communication transmissions of the enemy?

    A ground war were the enemy has ZERO flying aircraft and only ONE friendly space craft is used for supporting ground troops?!

    Destroyed alien technology would have been used to find vulnerabilities and advance Earth's military's ability to wage war.

    If you???ve listened to books by B. V. Larson before, how does this one compare?

    My first listen to a BV Larson book.

    What about Mark Boyett???s performance did you like?

    Good performance by the reader Mark Boyett.

    Did Swarm inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, to write this review.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow.

    DCinMI says: "Review of First 5 Books"
    "If this book were a woman..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Game of Thrones to be better than the print version?

    I don't own and didn't read the print version but I have listened to this book 4-5 times and enjoyed every minute.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Game of Thrones?

    Impossible for me to pick one moment as my favorite.

    What does Roy Dotrice bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    The characters come alive. They are like real people. I believe I can see their personalities even better with the inflections, accents, stutters, laughs, cries and cheers. I think I can even smell Flea Bottom from here.

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES, YES, YES!

    Any additional comments?

    If this book were a woman I would marry it, and I'm already married.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hunter's Run

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin, Gardner Dozois, Daniel Abraham
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Like so many others, Ramón Espejo ran from the poverty and hopelessness of the Third World to the promise of a new world, joining a host of like-minded workers and dreamers aboard one of the great starships of the mysterious, repulsive Enye. But the life he found on the far-off planet of São Paulo was no better than the one he had abandoned.

    Richard says: "Different but good"
    "Five and a half STARS!! I loved every minute"

    It's got everything, well almost.

    It's got time travel. It's got aliens. It's got violence. It's got genocide. It's got sex. It's got corruption, It's got a protagonist but it DOESN'T have a hero.

    I'll be listening to this again, for sure.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Flashforward

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A scientific experiment begins, and as the button is pressed, the unexpected occurs: everyone in the world goes to sleep for a few moments while everyone's consciousness is catapulted more than twenty years into the future. At the end of those moments, when the world reawakens, all human life is transformed by foreknowledge.

    Phelix_da_Kat says: "How would you digest the fruits of knowledge??"
    "Weak and full of holes"

    Only 52 minutes left and I'm finding it hard to finish. I went through The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (57 hours) in less than a week but this 10 1/2 hour book just doesn't do it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • State of Fear

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By George Wilson

    Once again Michael Crichton gives us his trademark combination of page-turning suspense, cutting-edge technology, and extraordinary research. State of Fear is a superb blend of edge-of-your-seat suspense and thought provoking commentary on how information is manipulated in the modern world.

    F says: "Did I read the same book as some of you?"
    "A huge collection of facts..."

    Excellent (fictional) story with a boat load of facts on global warming/climate change.

    Nuf said.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • No Country for Old Men

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Cormac McCarthy, best-selling author of National Book Award winner All the Pretty Horses, delivers his first new novel in seven years. Written in muscular prose, No Country for Old Men is a powerful tale of the West that moves at a blistering pace.

    Alan says: "Great story!"
    "Six Star read"

    This is one of the best books I've read in years. It seems like every generation believes that they are living in the darkest days. Of course this is completely untrue. It doesn't take much effort to look back into history to find times that would seem unbearable when compared to today's troubles. With that said, there does seems to be a different breed of man, today, compared with what we remember and/or experienced in our lives. While I have much faith in the individual, I don't have any faith in mankind. This book introduces us to the cruelties and evils that mankind can give birth to.

    It's clear these types of people exist today and their numbers will only continue to multiply. At some point society as we know it ceases to exist and a new and different arises. Is that how societies fall? I don't know but it makes wonder.

    PS: The reader is fantastic. Where is the sequel or prequel?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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