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Jennifer

Everett, WA, USA

96
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 22 ratings
  • 96 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Bernard Lewis
    • Narrated By Bernard Lewis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (528)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (62)

    Bernard Lewis examines the historical roots of the frustrations and resentments that dominate the Islamic world today and that are increasingly being expressed in acts of terrorism. He looks at the theological origins of political Islam and tells us what the Islamic doctrine of jihad has meant at different times in history.

    Frank says: "Absolutely Worth It, HIghly Recommended!"
    "Interesting in Parts, Boring in Others"
    Overall

    I'm not sure if it was the content or the author's voice that had me rewinding, realizing that I had just missed the last 10 minutes that I listened to. I did this through many parts of the book, as the author's voice continued to drone and drone and drone. Some of his points are repeated over and over and others are broken away from tangentially until I forgot what his original point was. I did come away with some lasting impressions from this book, however. There is valuable content in here if you want to understand some fundamental differences between the Middle East and the US and of some Islamic's hate of the US. Only get this if this topic really interests you as this listen does nothing to draw you in. You have to have a deep interest to begin with or you will fall asleep. Overall, I feel enriched by this book, but it was not listened to without some work on my part.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Starship Troopers

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2657)
    Performance
    (1453)
    Story
    (1481)

    Join the Army and See the Universe. That is the motto of The Third Space War, also known as The First Interstellar War, but most commonly as The Bug War. In one of Robert Heinlein's most controversial best sellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the universe - and into battle with the Terrain Mobile Infantry against mankind's most alarming enemy.

    Michael says: "Well Aged Heinlein"
    "Wow! Very Interesting!"
    Overall

    I cannot believe the forsight this author had. I mean, a book this old where he forsaw infrared goggles and heads-up displays? Incredible calls on his part. Great action but, like all good Sci-Fi, the meat of this book focuses on society. This book takes a lot of pokes at 20th century America (from a conservative slant) through "history" from the far future. He explains a lot about the troopers' life in the future "Mobile Infantry". If you expect anything from the movie, you will not see it. Verhoeven made a satire of the future conservative world from a liberal viewpoint while this book goes to great lengths to show the author's conservative slant. The names are the same in the movie and some of the ideas of the war against the bugs are there as well, but that's about it. I really enjoyed this book, although the 1950's phrases such as "no foolin'?" and "golly" cracked me up a bit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Speaker for the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By David Birney, Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8502)
    Performance
    (4932)
    Story
    (4989)

    In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: the Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War. Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered by Portuguese colonists on the planet Lusitania. But again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening...again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery...and the truth.

    Joe says: "The Enderverse"
    "Slow Starter"
    Overall

    Very slow start...found myself bored. But then, things happen and the story becomes interesting. The first third, I simply perservered because I didn't want to miss anything from this series, but it held its own the last two. Of the four stories that chronicle Ender, this was my least favorite...not bad, by any means, but a total departure from the first book, pacing and theme-wise. Critical read, however, if you want to read Xenocide and Children of the Mind (which I recommend) as this one lays it all out for those two. To simplify, Ender's Game stands on its own. Speaker, Xenocide, and Children are basically one long story across three books.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • First Meetings: In the Enderverse

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Gabrielle De Cuir, Amanda Karr, Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (1032)
    Performance
    (497)
    Story
    (506)

    First Meetings is a collection of three novellas (plus the original "Ender's Game") that journey into the origins and the destiny of one Ender Wiggin.

    Erik K says: "Great for fans (please stop the music)"
    "Fun Background on the Enderverse"
    Overall

    Al the stories were interesting, although, the background on Ender's father was a little incongruous with the book, Ender's Game. If you liked Ender's Game, this is worth listening to.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23205)
    Performance
    (14537)
    Story
    (14689)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s easy to say that when it comes to sci-fi you either love it or you hate it. But with Ender’s Game, it seems to be you either love it or you love it.... The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

    Kapila says: "6 titles in the series so far"
    "Best I've Heard in a Long Time"
    Overall

    What can be said that isn't said? I'm a little upset that the stuff I'd read before hearing this gives away a major plot twist, but that doesn't mean that this wasn't one of the most enjoyable audiobooks I
    've listened too. Interesting use of different voices for different perspectives...except that one female voice (Val) that kept trying to do a deep man's voice. Sounded ridiculous. Well read, overall. Gripping, sad, poignant, all wrapped up with an ending that I really enjoyed. Emotions are very well written; engaging you with the characters and making it impossible not to empathize.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Screwtape Letters

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By John Cleese
    Overall
    (827)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (118)

    John Cleese's performance brings The Screwtape Letters to life, conveying all the irony, comedy, and terror of this modern spiritual masterpiece.

    Linda says: "The Screwtape Letters"
    "Interesting With Dry Spots"
    Overall

    Overall, I enjoyed this. Through Screwtape's letters, Lewis makes interesting observations about humanity. I found myself seeing a lot of myself and people I knew in the observations. I also found myself bored several times as he droned on. John Cleese is an excellent actor to read this. His acting is superb. Enjoyed more of the book than the parts that bored me.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Angels and Demons

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    Overall
    (1269)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (89)

    World-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. What he discovers is unimaginable: a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church by a centuries - old underground organization - the Illuminati.

    Mark Grannis says: "Not history, not theology, just great fiction"
    "Great Pace, Less Filling"
    Overall

    I downloaded this right after enjoying the DaVinci Code because I liked that one so much. The problem with this story is that it is basically the same story as the DaVinci Code in Rome instead of Paris. I did find the story more interesting and extremely suspenseful, only to be let down by a ridiculous ending. After dwelling on this, I found that it was the same formula, Langdon goes to Europe, finds there is a great problem. His knowledge of history leads him from one statue to the next, looking for clues to solve ancient riddles to stop a series of crimes, figures them out and then gets the girl. Hmmm. I would write the exact same synopsis of the DaVinci Code. Don't get me wrong, I would've given this five stars if he changed just two things from the hokey ending....listen, enjoy the suspense, and then laugh at the ridiculous ending (OK, the scene just before the ending!). By the way, this reader is much better than the DaVinci Code, but he swallows (drinking water?) just a couple times too many!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Da Vinci Code

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    Overall
    (2982)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (221)

    While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, a baffling cipher found near the body. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, sort through the bizarre riddle, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci, clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

    Jonas says: "Overall Good"
    "Riddle Play Along"
    Overall

    The writer puts enough factual basis into the story that you can figure out the riddles before the story actually gives you the answer. The premise is good and the twists and turns are fun, if a bit formulaic in a Hollywood kind of way. I got the distinct impression that he was writing this book with the full intent that this be a summer action/thriller movie, even referring to Robert Langston as an Ivy League version of Harrison Ford (he's even doing the casting!). The reader sounds like the voice-over guy for the Superfriends (Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice!) sounding totally corny and over the top. The first time I heard him do a French female, I laughed out loud at what sounded like a Benny Hill drag skit. After an hour of this, I got used to it and was gripped by what was a well paced race for the Holy Grail. Some of the character twists (who's bad, who's good) felt like they came straight out of a movie and felt forced. It was still great fun, though, and inspired me to download Angels and Demons.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Banner of Heaven

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Jon Krakauer
    • Narrated By Jon Krakauer
    Overall
    (353)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (57)

    At the core of this book is an appalling double murder committed by two Mormon Fundamentalist brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a revelation from God commanding them to kill their blameless victims. Weaving the story of the Lafferty brothers and their fanatical brethren with a clear-eyed look at Mormonism's violent past, Krakauer examines the underbelly of the most successful homegrown faith in the United States, and finds a distinctly American brand of religious extremism.

    Craig Hansen says: "Not bad, but a bit biased"
    "Very Entertaining....I'll Be Objective!"
    Overall

    The author has an obvious disdain for religion in general, but gives an effort to sound objective. The book jumps back and forth between the 1984 murders of a woman and child and the History of the founding leaders of the Mormon church. Much of this is very detailed and obviously heavily researched; however, he inserts conjecture where the trail of facts end to paint a picture that goes along with his theme. This occurs throughout, but he does acknowledge this with phrases like, "there is evidence to suggest" and "it would seem that..."
    The author sprinkles in some sarcasm after horrific stories with little phrases like, "thus sayeth the Lord, Amen" after explaining a murder or some such crime.
    The author reads this story in first person much of the time, recounting some murders and setting the scene to put you back at the crime scene in 1984, or in Missouri in the 1830's, and it is very effective at entertaining. WARNING: some of the descriptions are pretty graphic and explicit, told in the murderer's first person.
    This was one of the most entertaining non-fictions I have heard or read. He keeps it well paced and it is as fun as a crime story work of fiction. Is it a hit-piece on the Mormon church? I'd say so. Is it a good book? Definitely.
    Obviously, this book is as much editorial as a research work. He even manages to take a jab or two at George W. Bush and the Invasion of Iraq, but, unless you are Mormon, this should easily entertain.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Oh, the Things I Know! A Guide to Success, or, Failing That, Happiness

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Al Franken
    • Narrated By Al Franken
    Overall
    (206)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    What does a megasuccess like Al Franken - best selling author, Emmy-award winning television star, and honorary Ph.D. - have to say to ordinary people like you? Well, as Dr. Al himself says, "There's no point in getting advice from hopeless failures." Filled with wisdom, observations, and practical tips you can put to work right away, this is a cradle-to-grave guide to living, an easy-to-follow user's manual for human existence.

    Eric says: "You either have a sense of humor or ..."
    "Surprisingly Fresh"
    Overall

    Oh, how I enjoyed this book! I was incredibly surprised that the well-known liberal version of Al Franken was not really in this book. The intellectual comedian Al Franken takes center stage here. Very little on politics. The book is styled as a life advice book that will guide you through life from college to death. The book is chock full of invaluable advice like: don't tell the crowd at Hartford Tech that they are losers because your commencement speech was written for Harvard because your maid wrote down the wrong school, making you angry; keep a list of religions handy in your wallet in case you have a last minute need to pick one in the event of impending death or some other trauma; that he's read all the other advice books and can tell you that they all suck except for his! The book had me laughing out loud right at the beginning and then kept me going for a while. It is non-stop poking fun at just about every part of American life. It did slow down toward the end and the laughs were spreading a bit in the last 1/3, but I laughed so hard at the beginning that I would recommend it to anyone who needs a little comic relief....even conservatives!

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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