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Colin

Fort Wayne, IN, USA | Member Since 2003

69
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 23 ratings
  • 139 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Partly Cloudy Patriot

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Sarah Vowell
    • Narrated By Sarah Vowell, Conan O'Brien, Seth Green, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1555)
    Performance
    (360)
    Story
    (360)

    Sarah Vowell travels through the American past and investigates the dusty, bumpy roads of her own life. Her essays confront a wide range of subjects, icons, and historical moments: Ike, Teddy Roosevelt, and Bill Clinton; Canadian Mounties and German Filmmakers; Tom Cruise and Buffy the Vampire Slayer; twins and nerds; the Gettysburg Address, the State of the Union, and George W. Bush's inauguration. The result is an engrossing audiobook, capturing Vowell's memorable wit and her keen social commentary.

    Erik says: "A great listen"
    "So what's wrong with Sarah's voice?"
    Overall

    Not only has she made her name as a radio performer but Disney/Pixar saw fit to cast her (voice) as Violet in The Incredibles. I always enjoy hearing authors reading their own work, even if they don't have James Earl Jones' voice. They add an element that no narrator can; the true intended intonation.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Whole Truth

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (887)
    Performance
    (280)
    Story
    (283)

    Pender Associates is a shadowy organization that specializes in managing seemingly impossible situations for its clients. Sometimes, those services extend to managing - and creating - armed conflict.

    Dan says: "Not up to standands"
    "Hopefully not a new trend..."
    Overall

    This is formulaic thriller material that kept my attention but really didn't do much for me. This will always be a matter of taste and I'm not really here to review the writing.

    What really disturbs me is that the producers decided to add background music at "key moments" - exciting music for the chase scenes, heart-rending music for the emotional scenes and neat little codas in case you're too dumb to see the end of each chapter as it comes up on the horizon.

    Maybe this isn't new but it's the first time I've heard it and I hope never to have to put up with it again.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • The Grief Process: Meditations for Healing

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Stephen, Ondrea Levine
    • Narrated By Stephen, Ondrea Levine
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Find the "touchpoint" of grief with this collection of healing meditations. The Grief Process is an in-depth workshop with best selling authors Stephen and Ondrea Levine, which explores how anyone can resolve grief through meditation. Working with a group of people caught in the wake of physical and emotional loss, the Levines explain how grief can lead to an "armoring of the heart." Their series of exercises include a special forgiveness meditation and offer an opportunity for true healing.

    Colin says: "Content seems good, audio quality very poor"
    "Content seems good, audio quality very poor"
    Overall

    This sounds like it was recored on a cellphone. Levine's material sounds good but I couldn't make it past an hour as the sound quality was so poor. Watch out at the end of the first meditation (about 12:00) as there's a sudden squeal that will jerk you out of any meditative state you may have achieved.

    Wish I could say more about the content as this is a very important topic.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Muhammad Yunus
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (362)
    Performance
    (107)
    Story
    (107)

    In 1983, Muhammad Yunus established Grameen, a bank devoted to providing the poorest of Bangladesh with miniscule loans. Believing that credit is a basic human right, not the privilege of a few, Yunus aimed to support that spark of personal initiative and enterprise by which the poor might lift themselves out of poverty forever. Grameen Bank now provides over $2.5 billion in micro-loans to more than two million families in rural Bangladesh.

    Randall says: "Will change the way you think about the economics."
    "A passionate man arguing a passionate case..."
    Overall

    Yunus describes the history and operation of Grameen and microcredit in general in simple, effective terms while consistently projecting his passion for the process and his frustration with the global banking system for not seeing its potential. This is no dull economics lecture but a lively human tale of dedication and commitment, with many real-world examples. It was published before the Nobel Prize announcement but you can sense that Yunus is a real game-changer.

    Ray Porter (narrator) does a nice job on communicating the passion (almost anger at times), and handling the Bengali pronunciation.

    Highly recommended, you'll believe that one man can change the world.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Guitar: An American Life

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Tim Brookes
    • Narrated By Tim Brookes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (40)

    What was it about a small, humble folk instrument that allowed it to become an American icon? The guitar represents freedom, the open road, protest and rebellion, the blues, youth, lost love, and sexuality. Tim Brookes explores with adoration these ideas and how they became entwined with the history of America.

    Colin says: "Amazingly, a real page-turner"
    "Amazingly, a real page-turner"
    Overall

    Who could have thought that a combination of craftsman's tale and musical history could be so addictive? Brookes intersperses the construction of his new guitar with a detailed account of the guitar's place in global and America music and I couldn't stop listening. Only two regrets, one of them already fixed:

    - After such a detailed description of the custom built guitar, I wanted to see it. Fortunately there are pictures available at www.npr.com (search for "brookes" and "guitar").

    - The audio-book format could have been used to great effect to illustrate the many musical styles discussed in the book. Brookes is almost poetic in his description of the many sounds that can be had from a guitar and some clips would have just been the gravy on the cake. Or something like that.

    Highly recommended, probably best for middle-aged guys like me who have 25 years+ of fascination under their belts, but have never really stopped to think why and how it all happened.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • On the House, 1-Month Subscription

    • NONE (2 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By James Carey, Morris Carey
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    On The House with the Carey Brothers is the #1 home repair radio program in the U.S. With more than 50 years of combined experience as contractors, James Carey and Morris Carey are nationally recognized experts on home building and renovation. Each week, they take calls from listeners and offer money-saving tips on building, remodeling, and repairing homes in a way that appeals to both casual listeners and avid do-it-yourselfers.

    Ken says: "A reminder of why NPR is soooo good"
    "A sad imitation of Car Talk..."
    Overall

    Like the last reviewer, I could not finish this. They have clearly tried to copy the Car Talk format and apply it to construction and remodeling but failed completely. The constant sponsor credits and feebly engineered jokes totally miss and the advice is shallow and built around the questions that they wanted to hear, not what was actually asked (a bit like a presidential debate...).

    It seems that they are trying to address two very different markets (a) professional construction folks who attract advertizing and (b) home owners who keep the overall ratings up. I guess they missed both, but the construction guys listen for the classic rock.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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