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Professor Sombrero

74
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 183 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
1

  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6672)
    Performance
    (2488)
    Story
    (2498)

    Bill Bryson has been an enormously popular author both for his travel books and for his books on the English language. Now, this beloved comic genius turns his attention to science. Although he doesn't know anything about the subject (at first), he is eager to learn, and takes information that he gets from the world's leading experts and explains it to us in a way that makes it exciting and relevant.

    Corby says: "Very informative, fun to listen to"
    "Give it a try"
    Overall

    I never thought plate tectonics, atom smashing and trilobites could be so entertaining - there were times I actually chuckled. The author presents what could be a series of tedious lectures about dry subjects in a very understandable way. By using humor, he makes the subjects user-friendly without talking down to his audience.

    I can't remember all the names mentioned and how to pronounce some of the terms used but I now look at clouds differently, am a little afraid of Yellowstone blowing up and think some scientists were really brave, creative and a little looney.

    The narrator is great. In fact, I may purchase more books just because he narrates. I think he has a lot to do with my enjoyment of the book, capturing the tone I think the author intended.

    I usually read fiction, particularly mysteries and thrillers but this was an excellent departure from that. I think anyone with a passing interest in how our world works would enjoy this book - not to mention discover things like: Newton pushed pointed objects into his eye sockets just to see what happened; heat is simply a matter of molecules banging into each other; Yellowstone is actually a volcano. Who knew!

    32 of 33 people found this review helpful
  • Odd Apocalypse: An Odd Thomas Novel, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By David Aaron Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2143)
    Performance
    (1889)
    Story
    (1889)

    Once presided over by a flamboyant Hollywood mogul during the Roaring ’20s, the magnificent West Coast property known as Roseland is now home to a reclusive billionaire financier and his faithful servants. And, for the moment, it’s also a port in the storm for Odd Thomas and his traveling companion, the inscrutably charming Annamaria. In the wake of Odd’s most recent clash with lethal adversaries, the opulent manor’s comforts should be welcome. But there’s far more to Roseland than meets even the extraordinary eye of Odd, who soon suspects it may be more hell than haven.

    D says: "Odd Apocalypse; Oddly Great"
    "Not my favorite Odd Thomas"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love the Odd Thomas series and I think the narrator is great. This story was not my favorite in the series though and I can't quite put my finger on why. I just didn't seem as tight a story as the others, as if sections were missing, Nothing that hindered understanding the story but more explanation and depth to the characters, particularly with the woman character. Maybe she'll be a recurring character and be given more depth in future books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deliverance

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By James Dickey
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1318)
    Performance
    (1166)
    Story
    (1167)

    The setting is the Georgia wilderness, where the state's most remote white-water river awaits. In the thundering froth of that river, in its echoing stone canyons, four men on a canoe trip discover a freedom and exhilaration beyond compare. And then, in a moment of horror, the adventure turns into a struggle for survival as one man becomes a human hunter who is offered his own harrowing deliverance.

    Katherine says: "excruciatingly vivid, marvelously written and read"
    "Influenced too much by the movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If I hadn't seen the movie I probably would have enjoyed this book more. That's not to say I didn't like it. I did like it. The movie, or at least my memory of the movie, seemed more exciting. There were parts that were nearly identical but the book had more of what was going through the characters minds - more big picture philosophical views. Naturally, that's hard to translate to the screen so the movie feels more gritty.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Kitchen House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kathleen Grissom
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy, Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6728)
    Performance
    (4704)
    Story
    (4689)

    Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction.

    B.J. says: "Good, but with reservations"
    "Not my cup of tea"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There were parts of this story that I really liked and the narrators were very good. It just seemed a little long and slow in parts. I normally like mystery/thrillers but I loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society and The Help so I do branch out. This story didn't capture my attention the way the others did. This book reminded me of the Book of Night Women which I enjoyed much more. I think I gave that one 5 stars.

    I ended up giving this one 3 stars because although I didn't finish it (stopped with about 2 hours left) I think someone who enjoys historical fiction or generational stories would really like this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Monster Hunter Vendetta

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4519)
    Performance
    (4000)
    Story
    (4016)

    Accountant turned professional monster hunter, Owen Zastava Pitt, managed to stop the nefarious Old Ones' invasion plans last year, but as a result made an enemy out of one of the most powerful beings in the universe. Now an evil death cult known as the Church of the Temporary Mortal Condition wants to capture Owen in order to gain the favor of the great Old Ones.

    Jason says: "Exciting story, well told, with a great villain"
    "My Favorite So Far"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my favorite of the three Monster Hunter books I've listened to so far. (Yes, I know it's second in the series but I listened to this after book 3.) It got a bit much in the last 30 minutes or so but otherwise I loved it. The first book had very long action scenes. I like the descriptive detail but they got to be a little long. This book had action but those scenes were, for the most part, no so long that I felt tired afterward.

    Narrator was great and does a good job with women's voices - doesn't make them sound like whiny school girls like some male narrators do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Siddhartha

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Hermann Hesse
    • Narrated By Firdous Bamji
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (528)
    Performance
    (326)
    Story
    (327)

    Siddhartha is Nobel Prize-winning author Hermann Hesse's most famous and influential work, a novel of self-exploration that will linger in your mind and spirit for a lifetime. A young man, blessed with loving parents and a safe home in a world where want and neglect abound, leaves this haven in search of himself.

    Ramanujam says: "Very Interesting to Listen"
    "I don't get it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Siddhartha? What did you like least?

    In short, I don't understand why this is a classic and so loved by others. It's a about 3 hours too long and it didn't tell me anything new or even anything old in a new way. I guess at the time this book was written it may have been unique and thought provoking . Given the amount of information available today about spirituality of all kinds, this made me wonder when it was going to give me that I've-never-thought-of-it-that-way moment. It never happened.

    I normally like mystery/thrillers but I have enjoyed other books in this and other genres and wasn't expecting action and adventure - but this book, particularly the first part, was a little too much pontification by a man who comes across as a little arrogant. Perhaps it was the narrators tone and not the words giving me this impression so reading may be different than listening. Having said that, the narrator was expressive and I did like him overall.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Hermann Hesse again?

    Probably not.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    no


    14 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Evidence of Mercy: Suncoast Chronicles Series #1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Terri Blackstock
    • Narrated By Kris Faulkner
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Lynda Barrett, a young lawyer, hates to sell her plane, but she can no longer afford to keep it. Enter Jake Stevens: wealthy, arrogant, and interested in buying Lynda's beloved Piper. Together, he and Lynda embark on a test flight that ends in disaster, hurling them into a terrifying sequence of events.

    Linda says: "Enjoyable."
    "Terrible"
    Overall

    I've been a member of Audible for over 4 years and this is the worst book I've listened to - or even read - ever. The writing is corny, amateur and inconsistent. The story is full of holes and unbelievable. In one part a nurse adjusts the patients IV but then minutes later the patient manages to get out of bed, into a wheelchair and up to the second floor - no mention of how she managed that with the IV. It simply disappears. I even laughed out loud at some points because it was so ridiculous.

    As for the narrator, she was boring, sappy, and couldn't make crying sound anything but childish. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, it may just have been the poor story. But I'll think twice about getting another book narrated by her.

    This is the first, and I hope only, Audible book I just couldn't get through. I'd ask for my points back if I could.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Unloved

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By John Saul
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    The House: Lush and deceptively tranquil, with its pristine beaches and blossoming vegetation, the island basks in splendid isolation off the South Carolina coast. Here, where sudden storms unleash the murderous rage of wind and sea, stands the Devereaux mansion, a once-great plantation house now crumbling amid ancient oaks dripping with Spanish moss. Here, Marguerite Devereaux, fifty and childless, has cast off her dreams to care for her aged, demanding mother.

    Professor Sombrero says: "Good Listen"
    "Good Listen"
    Overall

    This story reminds me of several different stories and movies. Take some of "Psycho" throw in a little "Sunset Boulevard" and a wee bit of "Mommie Dearest" maybe a little of "The Fall of the House of Usher." It's what you'd expect from John Saul. Since I like his stories I liked this. Not a literary hallmark but good entertainment.

    The narrator was good too- didn't get in the way of the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, Ronald Cotton, Erin Torneo
    • Narrated By Richard Allen, Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (35)

    Jennifer Thompson was raped at knifepoint by a man who broke into her apartment while she slept. She was able to escape and eventually identified Ronald Cotton as her attacker. Ronald insisted that she was mistaken - but Jennifer's positive identification was the compelling evidence that put him behind bars. After 11 years, Ronald was allowed to take a DNA test that proved his innocence. He was released after serving more than a decade in prison for a crime he never committed.

    Professor Sombrero says: "Listen for the story not the writing"
    "Listen for the story not the writing"
    Overall

    The story was compelling and they did a good job of building anticipation even though you know the outcome - particularly in the beginning. The writing itself was ok. The female reader was a little too sing-songy but I liked the male reader. It did prompt me to research a little more about it on the internet. I gave it for stars because of the subject matter and how sad yet positive it ends up. I'd have only given it three based on the writing itself.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
    • Narrated By Paul Baymer, Susan Duerden, Roselyn Landor, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3134)
    Performance
    (1314)
    Story
    (1313)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The best book club you’ve never heard of – but will be eager to join, courtesy of a full cast of true characters. January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb....

    Kent says: "MUCH better than I ever expected! Give it a try!"
    "Surprisingly Great"
    Overall

    I bought this book not sure what to expect but I loved it. I usually buy mysteries/thrillers but this book seemed interesting and it was. It's told via a series of letters between the characters which could be quite dry but the narrators are wonderful. It's written almost as if the people are talking to each in person, not thru letters. I don't know if I would have enjoying reading this book but it was wonderful to listen to. Don't know that I've ever adored a book but that fits for this one.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Stephen R. Covey
    • Narrated By Stephen R. Covey
    Overall
    (5255)
    Performance
    (2309)
    Story
    (2302)

    Stephen R. Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has been a top seller for the simple reason that it ignores trends and pop psychology for proven principles of fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity. Celebrating its 15th year of helping people solve personal and professional problems, this special anniversary edition includes a new forward and afterword written by Covey that explore whether the 7 Habits are still relevant.

    Scott says: "A true guide for life"
    "Don't bother."
    Overall

    I know this book is a classic and Stephen Covey is something of a leader in this field but he cannot read his own writing without putting the listener to sleep. And talk about slow. It took over 1 hour to explain the purpose of the book! A little background is helpful but I don't need a disertation on the difference between personality ethics and character ethics - or whatever he called them. I got the difference after the first 15 minutes or so. I listened to nearly the first two hours and couldn't tell you what any of the habits are. The only other book I've listened to that was worse was The Truth About Managing People.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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