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Cristina

I listen to audiobooks on my long commute to music school at a university in another city.

Nokomis, Florida, United States | Member Since 2012

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 38 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014
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  • Star Trek Memories

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By William Shatner
    • Narrated By William Shatner
    Overall
    (170)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (74)

    Boldly going where no audio has gone before, Star Trek Memories is William Shatner's own behind-the-scenes look at the legendary '60s television series that continues to spawn movies, books, and series spin-offs 26 years after the last episode aired. Avid Trekkers are sure to be delighted with this first-hand account from Captain Kirk himself.

    Barton says: "good insider view"
    "Great Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Star Trek Memories in three words, what would they be?

    Entertaining. Interesting. Fun.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The behind-the-scenes look at the Star Trek episodes, the stories having to do with the actors and others battling it out with NBC, and the whole process.


    What does William Shatner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Well, William Shatner was there! That made it cool that he narrated it, even if I thought he talked too fast and muffled in some areas.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    This is a bad question considering it's a book about the movies and TV episodes.


    Any additional comments?

    Very entertaining and enlightening. I actually did a class project on Nichelle Nichols' contribution to civil rights and used Shatner's book as a reference. I even came in costume! I really feel like a big Star Trek nerd now that I've read this book. There was some overlap from Nimoy's "I Am Spock," but not much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nothing Is Impossible: A Women of Faith Devotional

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Women of Faith
    • Narrated By Rebecca Gallagher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Too often, the heart and mind of a woman hit a roadblock, something that teaches her that her dreams will go unfulfilled. But with God on her side, anything that could stand in her way is a silly challenge for his awesome power. In Nothing Is Impossible, women encounter page after page of encouragement, humor, insight, and teaching to rediscover the God who will not let them go.

    Patricia says: "Great Women's daily read"
    "Fluffy and Predictable Women's Devotional"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked some of the devotional entries (and they were by numerous authors) but not others. Overall I think the beginning was good, but they got a bit clichéd and even offensive near the end to people who have dealt with real tragedies and not just daily "inconveniences."

    Favorite devotional chapter: "Seeing the Possibilities" on imagination's role in spirituality.

    Least favorite devotional chapter: The "enduring suffering in the name of Christ" chapter where the author's plane ticket didn't get upgraded to first class and she didn't even get a window seat in economy. I'm not even kidding.

    The narrator was good. However, I will not be reading anything more from "Women of Faith." Some of the devotional chapters were stories that didn't even mention God or quote Scripture at all, and many of them struck me as cushy and privileged. Overall, I was unimpressed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Soundless

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Lysa Williams
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    From dark and humble beginnings, a master musician rises to take the world by storm. Nick Raze, a violin virtuoso, exists at the height of popularity, while his life remains a well-protected mystery. A year of artist-in-residency in Chicago introduces him to a man who offers him his first friendship and a woman who offers him his first taste of love. Now Nick must make a choice to fight against the bonds of his past in order to escape the isolation of his heart.

    Karen says: "Thoughtful and Engaging"
    "Work of Art, but Rated R"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Work of fiction about a violin soloist living in Chicago. Beautifully written, but explicit in many places. Psychologically heavy. Like "The Great Gatsby" meets "A Child Called 'It'" meets "Deliverance." A true work of art despite the difficult subject matter, but it comes with a warning to unsuspecting readers: be prepared for just about anything.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Bob Goff
    • Narrated By Bob Goff
    Overall
    (180)
    Performance
    (164)
    Story
    (169)

    Love Does shares powerful stories coupled with eye-opening truths and empowers anyone who longs for a better world and a richer faith. You don’t need another Christian message or a self-help book. You need to have your paradigms about the world shifted into truth. That’s exactly what you get in Love Does. Have you ever noticed that the real change in your life - the growth that sticks and becomes a part of you - never happens with a program or the sheer grit of your best efforts?

    Frank Papa says: "A pleasant surprise, well read by the author"
    "Wonderful and Whimsical"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had heard that this book would change my life, but I didn't believe it until I read it. Goff's stories encourage the reader to live on whims without social restrictions on love and humanity.

    This book is narrated by the exuberant author who probably talks with his hands, so there were a handful of times I had to listen twice, but otherwise the narration is also good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Think: The Life of Mind and the Love of God

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By John Piper
    • Narrated By Wayne Shepherd
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    John Piper’s newest book will help Christians think about thinking. Focusing on the life of the mind helps us to know God better, love him more, and care for the world. Along with an emphasis on emotions and the experience of God, we also need to practice careful thinking about God. Piper contends that “thinking is indispensable on the path to passion for God.” So how are we to maintain a healthy balance of mind and heart, thinking and feeling? Piper urges us to think for the glory of God.

    Catherine says: "The importance of Biblical study explained"
    "Food for Thought (If Nothing Else)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Piper begins by writing an anti-anti-intellectual manifesto and then spends the second half of the book wanting not to offend the evangelical Christians that are his target audience.

    I did enjoy this book, especially the discussion about the meaning of the passage in 1 Corinthians 1:18-29 ("Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?") His main argument is that the problem is not the intellect (that which God gave us) but man's arrogance, and that God intended us to use both our hearts and our heads to understand him.

    Piper's book is theologically sound, well-rounded, fair, and does a decent job of saying what we were all thinking, but I do wish he would have gone deeper into addressing the hurt and harm that anti-intellectualism has caused people in the church.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Life and Works of Tchaikovsky

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Jeremy Siepmann
    • Narrated By Jeremy Siepmann, Malcolm Sinclair, Karen Archer, and others
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Tchaikovsky is one of the most popular composers of all time. His melodies are known to many people who may never have heard his name. They crop up on mobile telephones, alarm clocks and answering machines as often as on records and concert programs. Like his music, the man himself was widely loved, but his inner life was fraught with sufferings, confusions and a deep vein of self-doubt. The drama of his emotional life is vividly reflected in his music, letters and diaries, all of which play a major part in this intimate portrait-in-sound.

    Cristina says: "Comprehensive and Concise"
    "Comprehensive and Concise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Life and Works of Tchaikovsky the most enjoyable?

    Musical examples were included in the audio, which made it very engaging and helped me understand the context of Tchaikovsky's compositions.


    What other book might you compare The Life and Works of Tchaikovsky to and why?

    As a Tchaikovsky biography, this one is rather short. Others are much longer and go more in depth, especially into musical analysis. This one is succinct enough for the average reader and sufficiently whets the appetite of someone wishing to study further.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    The British gentleman who narrated did so clearly and as though he was talking to a friend, not reading a biography.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. In fact, it's so short I listened to it in just a few sittings.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Piano: From Mao's Labor Camps to Bach's Goldberg Variations

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Zhu Xiao-Mei
    • Narrated By Nancy Wu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    Zhu Xiao-Mei was three years old when she saw her first piano. Soon after, the child began to play, developing quickly into a prodigy who immersed herself in the work of such classical masters as Bach and Brahms. Her astonishing proficiency earned her a spot at the Beijing Conservatory at the tender age of 11, where she began laying the foundation for a promising career as a concert pianist. But in 1966, with the onset of the Cultural Revolution, life as she knew it ended abruptly.

    Irene says: "Hard to Put This Book Down"
    "Great Story, Awful Reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Secret Piano in three words, what would they be?

    Independent human spirit.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Zhu Xiao-Mei's story is highly interesting and sad. She lived through the Cultural Revolution as a music conservatory student. Her conservatory was shut down by the Maoist regime, first by burning all of the music scores, then by humiliation and violence toward the professors and students (and using the conservatory as a mass grave to store bodies), then by sending the students to labor camps to "reeducate" them. The fact that music wasn't allowed in China yet she still managed to become a concert pianist in France and the United States is inspiring. Besides her background, I most enjoyed her musical philosophizing wherein she recounted things her professors had taught her, what she learned from personal practice, and what it was like having a passion for music and not being allowed to play it. This is definitely a book a musician can pick up and be VERY inspired (comes with a jargon warning label for the non-musician, though).


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Nancy Wu?

    No—at least not one that contains musical jargon or recounts stories death and oppression. She would be a good reader of children's books, but sometimes read very dark parts in the book with a giddy excitement that confused me. Some musical words she mispronounced were Bach, opus (she said "op" instead of "opus"!), scherzo, Mozart, pianist (!!!) (I know that one's debatable, but musicians I think only pronounce it one way: pi-AN-ist), and about 3 or 4 others. Because these are everyday words for me, I found her chronic musical mispronunciations so annoying that I began reading the book on Kindle instead. And as I mentioned, she read the scenes about the devastation the Cultural Revolution caused under communist dictator Mao Zedong as if she were reading "Pippi Longstocking" to a child, so that was annoying too. Her biggest plus was her Chinese pronunciation, which was very helpful to me because I know nothing about it and would have otherwise been lost.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Although it did not make me cry, it inspired me to think more about music's role in being an expression of the independent human spirit. When a regime attacks music, art, and literature, there's something about those things that they want to prevent. People bent on control know that in order to have people wrapped around their fingers, they need to eliminate expression. It's part of their attempt to kill the soul. Passion for these things, however, can't die. That makes musicians, artists and writers (even if they're just little kids) dangerous to despots.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings—and Life

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 4 mins)
    • By Laura Vanderkam
    • Narrated By Laura Vanderkam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (789)
    Performance
    (668)
    Story
    (654)

    According to time management expert Laura Vanderkam, mornings hold the key to taking control of our schedules. If we use them wisely, we can build habits that will allow us to lead happier, more productive lives. Drawing on real-life anecdotes and scientific research that shows why the early hours of the day are so important, Vanderkam reveals how successful people use mornings to help them accomplish things that are often impossible to take care of later in the day.

    Teresa says: "A statement or two could summarize this book"
    "I Would Have Read the Blog Post"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Laura Vanderkam and/or Laura Vanderkam?

    I thought about it, but I know that when it comes right down to it, reading a book about time management is just counterproductive unless it's just going to be a few inspirational tidbits to get you going.


    Would you recommend What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast to your friends? Why or why not?

    Probably not. I mean, I liked it, but it wasn't earth-shattering. It didn't offer any new or original ideas. The gist of it is just that many successful CEOs get up early to exercise or do things that are important to them in solitude.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Laura Vanderkam?

    Someone who didn't read as breathy.


    What did you take away from What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast that you can apply to your work?

    Her point that the morning hours are when you get to focus on things without distraction and the afternoon hours should be spent corresponding with people and having meetings (i.e., dealing with other people) was poignant and helpful.


    Any additional comments?

    It was short. It was okay. I liked it. But it needs more expansion, otherwise I could have read all of it in a blog post.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Eric Metaxas
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1407)
    Performance
    (899)
    Story
    (913)

    A definitive, deeply moving narrative, Bonhoeffer is a story of moral courage in the face of the monstrous evil that was Nazism. After discovering the fire of true faith in a Harlem church, Bonhoeffer returned to Germany and became one of the first to speak out against Hitler. As a double agent, he joined the plot to assassinate the Führer and was hanged in Flossenbürg concentration camp at age thirty-nine. Since his death, Bonhoeffer has grown to be one of the most fascinating, complex figures of the twentieth century.

    Alan says: "Very Moving"
    "Captivating!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Bonhoeffer in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating. Inspiring. Tragic.


    What did you like best about this story?

    There were many things to like. I loved Metaxas's skillful and engaging writing. That coupled with the compelling story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the awesome narration made this the most captivating book I've read all year. It wasn't just interesting on a biographical and historical level; it also engaged the reader on philosophical, theological, and ethical questions. How could it not when it's about a Christian man who was involved in a plot to assassinate Hitler and deeply believes he is doing God's will? The book was just amazing on every level. Highly recommended.


    What about Malcolm Hillgartner’s performance did you like?

    I really enjoyed hearing his voice and I thought his performance was awesome. The German pronunciations were seamless and helpful, and when quotes from letters were read, he used different voices, which made it clear whether you were listening to Metaxas or someone else. He also was animated with his tone of voice (e.g., joyful, mournful, cynical) which helped me follow the book while I was driving and made sure that I never, ever lost interest. My ears were absolutely glued to it the entire time.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Well, it's 22 hours long, but I think I would have if I could have!


    Any additional comments?

    You have to hear this man's story! If you read no other biography this year, let this one be it!

    I was able to read it in 3 weeks during my 9-hour/week commutes (an hour and a half each way 3x/week), so if you listened less than an hour each weekday (say you have a 30 min commute) you could finish it in a month.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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