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Sharon

wintersky

San Francisco Bay Area | Member Since 2010

80
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 71 ratings
  • 447 titles in library
  • 53 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
5

  • Steelheart: Reckoners, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Macleod Andrews
    Overall
    (6504)
    Performance
    (6068)
    Story
    (6093)

    Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father.

    D says: "He got the idea from a near traffic accident"
    "Boring, boring, boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this because of all the great reviews. Well, obviously I am not in sync with other audible listeners. This is one of the most mind numbingly boring books I have ever read, I got more than halfway through, into the second part, but could not keep reading. A waste of credits. The narrator has one of the most pleasant voices I have heard, though, and he doesn't make members of the opposite sex sound like caricatures, which is such a welcome change.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Lysa TerKeurst
    • Narrated By Jill Brennan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (213)
    Performance
    (152)
    Story
    (150)

    Made to Crave is the missing link between a woman's desire to be healthy and the spiritual empowerment necessary to make that happen. The reality is we were made to crave. Craving isn't a bad thing. But we must realize God created us to crave more of him. Many of us have misplaced that craving by overindulging in physical pleasures instead of lasting spiritual satisfaction.

    Anita says: "Makes you think"
    "Really good book, TERRIBLE NARRATOR"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I haven't finished this book, but I really like it so far, enough that I also purchased the kindle version for deeper study.

    The narrator, however, is awful. She sounds as though she is a kindergarten teacher reading a fairy tale to a class of little kids. Fortunately I have listened to enough audiobooks with less than great narrators so I am still able to continue listening to it, but Jill Brennan, try reading like you are speaking to intelligent adults. Thanks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steve Jobs

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (11540)
    Performance
    (9993)
    Story
    (9968)

    Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

    Chris says: "Good Biography, Fine narrator"
    "Enthralling and Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book really held my attention, even though I have no knowledge of and minimal interest in either technology or business. And face it, that's what this book was about, which is where the disappointment comes in. This book is really a biography of Apple products, and Steve Jobs as he plays a role in them. It barely touches on family or feeling, and then only in the most superficial ways. Steve Jobs was a man who faced death, and he was a man who had pursued spiritual paths all his life. I would really like to have heard more about how he faced this final path -- the inner struggles -- not the fact that he whined when he was in pain.

    But this brings us to the narrator. He did an okay job with most of the subject matter in the book. He sounded like a TV news anchorman, or like a sportscaster. The problem is that this was all he could do. In those few moments when the book began to touch on Jobs' heart or soul, the narrator was unable to switch to a matching tone. He just read it off like the scores from the day's baseball games, and it robbed the little bit of humanity right out of the book.

    I did enjoy hearing about the creation of all the Apple products, and even their marketing. I did find myself cheering for Jobs, even when he was being a jerk. He was a man of vision, and a man or courage to be willing to take those extra steps to make his visions reality rather than going an easier, more cost effective route.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Between the Lines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult, Samantha Van Leer
    • Narrated By Robert Ian MacKenzie, Suzy Jackson, Nick Cordero
    Overall
    (153)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (138)

    A story of romance, adventure, and humor, Between the Lines features high-schooler and social outsider Delilah, who discovers a charming fairy tale in the school library and can’t resist turning to it again and again. But one day she finds the book has hidden depths—and that the story’s handsome prince has somehow stepped from the page into her very own world.

    Sharon says: "Not YA, this is a children's story"
    "Not YA, this is a children's story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am about 75 percent of the way through this book and I don't know if I can stand to listen to the rest of it. I am far from a YA but as a mom I have read lots of YA novels my kids have brought home, and many of them have been really good. This one is not. It is a children's fairy tale. If you like children's fairy tales perhaps you will enjoy it, but it definitely doesn't have what I was hoping for from Jodi Picoult.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4090)
    Performance
    (3574)
    Story
    (3542)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Dr. says: "Slow, Strange, and (ultimately) Satisfying"
    "Don't waste your time on this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, the good point. Narrator Allison Hiroto is absolutely charming. It was probably only listening to her voice that made me keep slogging through to the end.

    Yes, it is long, and it is wordy, and it is repetitive. But there comes a point when it is nothing short of ridiculous, so ridiculous that there is not enough willing suspension of disbelief in the world to cover it. Worst of all, aside from Ms. Hiroto's charming narration, what kept me going to the end was the prospect of some sort of explanation or resolution. There was NONE, NO explanation, and no resolution.

    Terrible, really and truly terrible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The End of Everything: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Megan Abbott
    • Narrated By Emily Bauer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (29)

    Thirteen-year-old Lizzie Hood and her next-door neighbor Evie Verver are inseparable, best friends who swap clothes, bathing suits, and field-hockey sticks and between whom—presumably—there are no secrets. Then one afternoon, Evie disappears, and as a rabid, giddy panic spreads through the balmy suburban community, everyone turns to Lizzie for answers. Was Evie unhappy, troubled, or upset? Had she mentioned being followed? Would she have gotten into the car of a stranger?

    Sharon says: "One of the worst books I've ever listened to"
    "One of the worst books I've ever listened to"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Over the months I've been listening to audiobooks, I've gotten used to overlooking the frailties of the narrators, but this one was the worst! She played a 13-year old girl like she was some sniveling preschooler. Horrible. And the story was actually worse. It's about the kidnapping of a 13-year old girl, told from the point of view of her best friend and neighbor. However, the best friend spends about half the book having romantic and sexual fantasies about the missing girl's father, and even about the kidnapper. This, of course, is mixed in with the graphic surmising by several girls as to just what happened to the girl.

    I'm the parent of a missing child myself. This book is completely inappropriate. What is this author trying to say, I wonder? I don't know if it would have sounded any better in a voice other than the sniveling preschooler, but it was absolutely awful.

    8 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Enchantment

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (1453)
    Performance
    (746)
    Story
    (750)

    As one of the most consistently exciting writers to emerge in the last 25 years, Orson Scott Card has been honored with numerous awards, while immersing readers in dazzling worlds only he could create. Now, in Enchantment, Card works his magic as never before, transforming the timeless story of Sleeping Beauty into an original fantasy brimming with romance and adventure.

    Annette says: "Enchanting"
    "Stupid fairy tale"
    Overall

    While there was enough in the characters to keep me listening until the end, this was your basic fairy tale, with good guys, bad guys, good witches and wicked witches. It can't help but break down when people just start hurling "spells" at each other. Narration didn't help, with the cliched voices for all.

    If there was any greater point in this, I have to say I missed it entirely. I'd recommend missing the whole book if you haven't purchased it yet.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Room: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Emma Donoghue
    • Narrated By Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Robert Petkoff, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4572)
    Performance
    (2043)
    Story
    (2031)

    To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, but what she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

    Kathleen says: "A truly memorable read"
    "The story is good...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So many reviews here seemed to dwell on the experience of the mom who was kidnapped and locked up in this room for so long, but that was far from the point. The point was the child's experience, that he could have thought that the room was the whole world, and could have experienced a relatively rich existence there. Then there was the rescue, and the child being confronted with the world at large and learning to live in it. That is why the story is told from his point of view, rather than his mom's.

    If this audible book suffers, it is once again from the narration. At the beginning, I did not know if I would be able to listen to the voice of the child. It was really grating at first, although by the end it was fine. The voices of the other characters were off, though. The mom was a monotonous middle aged voice, and the grandmother ... well, she was the mother of a woman in her twenties, yet she had this vibrating voice that few people even of age 95 actually have.

    When oh when will these producers start coming up with narration that doesn't hurt the story?

    It did, however, hold my attention.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Poisonwood Bible

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Dean Robertson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3219)
    Performance
    (2017)
    Story
    (2033)

    The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them all they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it - from garden seeds to Scripture - is calamitously transformed on African soil.

    Lynda Rains Bonchack says: "A long time coming..........."
    "I'd give it ten stars if I could"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, everybody is right about the narrator. I actually think she is okay for the voice of the mom, but the book is presented by chapters in the separate voices of the mom and four daughters, and she has a husky, gravelly voice that is just horrible for teen girls and children. And she didn't even attempt to vary the voices. It was impossible sometimes to tell who was speaking unless you caught the chapter intro. I really believe that books that are written from several points of view should have separate narrators for each, and why this was not done here I can't imagine. Was it budget? Did they think because it was an older book they should cut corners?

    But I have to tell you that by the middle of the book, I didn't care a whit about the narrator. The story, and the writing, were so absolutely beautiful and amazing that I was captivated. There were several times I actually had to pull over and write down something that I'd heard, and I am now hunting for the print book which I've had for a long time and never found the time to read.

    I particularly love the voice of Orleana Price, the mom. I started out thinking she probably wasn't much, a submissive wife of an overbearing Baptist missionary, but she is such a rich, full character, and yet expressed with such undertones of subtlety.

    I cannot say enough good about this book. Don't let the narrator put you off. If you don't want to listen to her voice, read the book. If you don't have the time to read it, listen to it and you will NOT be sorry.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Started Early, Took My Dog: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Kate Atkinson
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (603)
    Performance
    (351)
    Story
    (355)

    Waterhouse leads a quiet, ordered life as a retired police detective - a life that takes a surprising turn when she encounters Kelly Cross, a habitual offender, dragging a young child through town. Both appear miserable and better off without each other-or so decides Tracy, in a snap decision that surprises herself as much as Kelly. Suddenly burdened with a small child, Tracy soon learns her parental inexperience is actually the least of her problems, as much larger ones loom for her and her young charge.

    Beverly says: "For the Love of Children and Dogs"
    "Couldn't even finish it"
    Overall

    This book had too many characters, and they moved back and forth without any rhyme or reason, without ever explaining who they were or why they were in the book. Sometimes they even switched decades unexpectedly -- throwing in a whole lot more characters when they did. I got fed up with trying to keep track and figure out who was who, but I also lost interest, in spite of the somewhat compelling primary story lines ... well, I think they were the primary story lines. They were the only ones mentioned in the synopsis anyway. It was not only not making my daily commute more pleasant (some books make me look forward to the hour-long drive to work), it was making it more frustrating. So I gave up. Perhaps it all fell together somewhere in the end, but I couldn't handle it until then.

    Definitely not good audiobook material.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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