This book was AMAZING, but terrifying. Dave Eggers (who I have previously not loved) presents a view of America not unlike a 1984/Brave New World; however, rather than imagining some distant future dystopia, he is referring to a world we can all realistically foresee in 2-4 years, given the proliferation of social media and the digital age. In this world, we interact via "zings" and "smiles," travel by going to a live stream of a faraway beach, and can watch our neighbors, politicians, and strangers' ever moves via cameras in the environments or on their persons. As an accidental figurehead of the "full transparency" movement is Mae, the protagonist and employee of the culprit spearheading this new world, the Facebook/Google/Twitter/YouTube empire called "The Circle."
I have completely reversed my opinion of Mr. Eggers as a novelist. The characters in this book were well thought-out, poignant, realistic, and relatable. You completely understand how his protagonist ends up in the mind-boggling situations she does. Moreover, having Mae, the narrator, be so committed to "the cause" allows Mr. Eggers to illustrate the many potential arguments FOR a society like this, while allowing his reader to draw her own conclusions regarding the many perils. In the end, it has completely revised the way I interact with the internet and questioned my own beliefs about the existence and value of my identity, privacy, and "social" interactions.
As a narrator, Mr. Graham is terrific. This was my first audiobook in which a male voice narrated a female role; however, his delivery was spot on. He gave wonderful movement to fast-talking Annie, fully captured Mae's frustration during an especially poignant concluding scene, and brought The Circle to life.
A MUST READ!
This was an interesting listen; however, I left feeling a bit unsatisfied. Ms. Ripley investigated the 3 educational Super Powers and our own system, then followed 3 students who were studying abroad to said super powers in order to investigate their systems and ultimately answer questions about the shortfalls of the US educational system. Lofty, right?
While the book definitely offered some conclusions, it fell short on really delving into the experiences of the children, explained a lot without offering opportunities for change, and I don't think I have a great handle on *how* to find *my* children better education (which was why I selected it).
Some pretty cool facts were offered, which will definitely guide my decision making process in the future (READ TO YOUR KIDS! SEEK VIGOR! NEVER ENROLL YOUR KIDS IN KOREAN SCHOOLS!), but I feel as though she either needed to make the book much longer to fully flush out the components, follow only 1 country, or not try so hard to invest us in the Americans abroad b/c their stories just kind of dropped off...
The narrator did a nice job of a difficult job, considering the accent demands. She managed to add subtle, non-offensive, inflections when necessary and maintained a nice pace.
This was an amazing read- I would especially recommend it for people interested in characters with Autism/Asperger's. While Don, the protagonist, never self-identifies with ASD (in fact, in a hilarious scene, leads a group of children with ASD in chanting "kill the baby" despite no self-recognition), he provides an insightful, witty, and charming account of life with the disorder. Despite being "unable to love," it is impossible not to fall in love with Don and root him on in his quest for the perfect partner.
Overall, this is a tale of love. Romantic, friendship, travel, novel life experiences- we have the unique experience of discovering these, together, with Don.
The narrator had a lovely Australian accent, a great rhythm, and captivating volume fluctuation; however, his attempts at doing *other* accents were not great (#UnderstatementAlert) and a bit distracting.
If you liked "The Good Luck of Right Now" by Matthew Quick, you will love "The Rosie Project" (and vice versa!)
This was a short, hilarious recap of one man's online dating adventures. Having met my future husband on my third of three stints online, I was dying at his depictions of being a man on the site, his hilarious disastrous dates, guidance (how to create the perfect form first email) and the cardinal sins of online dating (overuse of the phrase LOL). His commentary was spot-on and spoken so humorously, I found myself, er... LOL'ing.
I was devastated when this ended. It's not great literature by any means (if you cannot stomach the f-word or references to women's breast size, DO NOT PROCEED), but it was fun, funny, and offered truthful commentary on one of the most bizarre human experiences of the modern world. I wish it were longer!
This was easily the best book I've read (well, listened to) in recent memory. The words are tender, humorous, thought-provoking, quirky, and positive. Bartholomew Neil is an kind and innocent man, likely on the autism spectrum, who has lived through some unspeakably sad events. The book opens up with him in the wake of his mothers death and chronicles his healing process in series of letters to (who else?) Richard Gere. Bartholomew's pain is so beautifully tragic and is foiled through supporting characters including a physically abused grief counselor, alcoholic priest, introverted librarian, and potty-mouth who is grieving the loss of his cat. While I actively cried at multiple parts of this book, I left the reading feeling an overwhelming sense of positivity. I had previously enjoyed Silver Linings and enjoyed the similarities of these two novels (i.e., healing after loss, quirky characters, Philly grit), but feel as though this book was far superior.
The narration was the best I've heard in my history of Audible and will become the standard by which I measure future audiobooks. I am SO happy I *listened* to this book and cannot imagine my brain would be able to bring the characters to life the way Mr. Wyman did.
This was a compelling memoir of one woman's struggle being raised by hoarders. Ms. Miller does a phenomenal job honestly, painstakingly, and, at times, humorously portraying her childhood. Her readers will share her mix of anger/guilt/fear and above all, love for her parents, and follow her as she deals and eventually heals with her past.
I believed that having Ms. Miller narrate her own story enhanced the experience- I found her voice to be quite lovely, though previous reviewers are accurate that she does have a breathy vocal quality, especially while relaying especially difficult moments. While this might turn off listeners who expect utter detached professionalism, I found it humanized the story.
While the book was accurately described as a memoir, I was hoping for a bit more meat to the content / background of hoarding. I left this memoir feeling as though I completely understood her journey, but still do not feel as though she thoroughly explained the causes / psychology behind this illness.
I should start this review by acknowledging that my life has been, and currently is, deeply impacted by the ravages of cancer. I would also like to stress that I just finished this book and feel hopeful about the future of cancer treatment and research.
This book is a self-proclaimed biography of cancer. I am AMAZED that I did not completely zone out (though truth be told, I did partially zone out at times) through all of the medical information presented. Dr. Mukherjee is truly gifted at making dense biological / chemical / genetic processes seem accessible and logical. Additionally, by weaving in case studies, he can refer to a complex process or illness using a common reference (e.g., 'the drug was helpful in treating myeoloideocarcinogenescoma, the cancer that left Joe Smith unable to move his right foot'). I especially appreciated his humanizing all aspects of the book- from the doctors (at one point, he compares a duo of influential researchers as Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenbergs' characters in The Social Network), to his patients (e.g., a proud woman who wore elaborate necklaces to hide her tumors), to cancer, itself (sneaky, cunning, brilliant, beautiful, diabolical, lethal). Finally, Dr. Mukerjee shows reverence to all characters in this biography, even in this case, the main character, the evil Emperor, cancer. I certainly cannot say it was a page turner, but if you are interested in learning more about a slightly dry subject, I cannot imagine finding a better teacher.
Mr. Hoye narrated this book so beautifully, I imagine I will be disappointed to listen to any doctors in the future who don't have such a velvety voice!
This story, which details a part of American history about which I had no idea, was captivating and well-paced. While I agree with some previous reviewers that the leading players were a bit underwhelming, I have to give Mr. Koerner credit for making them as dynamic as they possibly could be. I will also second that he transitioned seamlessly between this actual account, the spirit of the generation, and historical records. .
One of the main themes of this book is that hijacking was all the rage for a brief window of our history during which it completely consumed the media, economy, and politics. Once managed, it completely vanished from thought. The book mirrored this phenomenon for me- while listening, I enjoyed it thoroughly (even purchased copies of the book as holiday presents for my in-laws and uncles); however, a month out, it feels like a distant memory.
Mr. Shapiro did a good job reading, though given the lack of dialogue in general, I can't say he "brought the story to life."
I should disclaim that I am not a huge nonfiction reader, nor can I say I am passionate about aviation, true crime, the 60s, etc- so for me to enjoy this book as much as I did, I must applaud the author and narrator. This would be a great book for someone trying to break into nonfiction!
This book was terrific. A great story, beautifully written, and the narration.. oh the narration. Hearing a book based in Australia narrated by an Australian REALLY brought the book alive. Thanks to Mr. Taylor, I could sense the townspeople whispering, I could feel the waves crashing, and I could see a little girl standing before me.
This is a book about choices, doing the right thing, loss, regret, and above all else, love. There are no villains... just imperfect people dealing with imperfect situations. Mr. Stedman writes in a way that constantly has you questioning, guessing, second guessing, and, at times, on the edge of your seat. I smiled, cried, ached, laughed, and at the end of the story was left feeling (to my surprise!) supremely satisfied.
This was a great retrospective on food and cooking; however, I might have preferred it in the written form. Spending 2 hours a day in a car, 60 straight minutes on "forks" can make you a bit crazy. The narrator had an AMAZING British accent and I loved hearing her speak... even if it was only about forks! :)
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