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Ona

reader

Member Since 2011

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 72 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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  • How to Listen to and Understand Opera

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (40)

    To watch any opera lover listen to a favorite work, eyes clenched tight in concentration and passion, often betraying a tear, is to be almost envious. What must it be like, you might think, to love a piece of music so much?And now one of music's most gifted teachers is offering you the opportunity to answer that very question, in a spellbinding series of 32 lectures that will introduce you to the transcendentally beautiful performing art that has enthralled audiences for more than 400 years.

    Ona says: "The Fat Lady Will Never Sing for this one"
    "The Fat Lady Will Never Sing for this one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of How to Listen to and Understand Opera to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version, so I really could not compare the two. However, if you simply read the work, you would miss out on all the wonderful music clips used throughout.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Professor Greenberg's humorous way of dealing with what could be a fairly dry topic.


    Which character – as performed by Professor Robert Greenberg – was your favorite?

    Now I can't see that this really applies. He covers a lot of territory in the history of opera. Figero is certainly memorable, but I wouldn't necessarily call him a favorite. Otello was also well done.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    This question so does not apply to this work.


    Any additional comments?

    This is my second "Great Course" audio book performed by Professor Greenberg. He clearly enjoys his topic -- music -- and is adept at couching history in modern terms without getting tooo campy about it. I enjoyed this book and "how to listen and appreciate music" very much. Both added a great deal to my appreciation of music history and classical format.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Netherland

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Joseph O'Neill
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (226)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (56)

    Alone and un-tethered, feeling lost in the country he had come to regard as home, Hans stumbles upon the vibrant New York subculture of cricket, where he revisits his lost childhood and, thanks to a friendship with a charismatic and charming Trinidadian named Chuck Ramkissoon, begins to reconnect with his life and his adopted country. Ramkissoon, a Gatsby-like figure who is part idealist and part operator, introduces Hans to an "other" New York populated by immigrants and strivers of every race and nationality.

    Darwin8u says: "Get Your Post-Colonial Gatsby ON!"
    "Nether where?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Netherland? What did you like least?

    The best part of Netherland was the character development of the protagonist. I disliked the rambling style. The story begins in the present, but is largely driven by flashbacks and digressions.


    What was most disappointing about Joseph O'Neill’s story?

    I can't say I was exactly disappointed. I read the book to review it, so I had no particular expectations. I simply wasn't impressed with it.


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

    Mays does a nice job of working with this material. His reading is direct and clear.


    Did Netherland inspire you to do anything?

    NOT read another book by Joseph O'neill.


    Any additional comments?

    I am not fond of "slice of life" books, so my review is probably less than fair. However, I simply wasn't impressed with the overall approach. The whole concept of Cricket, the game as applied to "playing cricket" as keeping your dealings in life open and above board in life, seemed a little strained to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Written in Red: A Novel of the Others

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Anne Bishop
    • Narrated By Alexandra Harris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (957)
    Performance
    (883)
    Story
    (891)

    As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut - a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg's Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard - a business district operated by the Others. Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job.

    Angela says: "WOW!!!!! JUST WOW!"
    "Psychology Turned Into Fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Written in Red in three words, what would they be?

    Understanding personal growth


    What other book might you compare Written in Red to and why?

    Sebastian, another book by Anne Bishop. It has the same sort of gentle sweetness wrapped up in bravado "tough".


    Have you listened to any of Alexandra Harris’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not listened to Alexandra Harris's other performances. This was a first for me. I was impressed with the way she could introduce voice differences without sounding strained. Since her narrative voice is a light soprano, this is truly impressive.


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

    Yes. And I could not. It gave me something to look forward to at the end of my work week.


    Any additional comments?

    I have read all of Anne Bishop's books and short stories that I could obtain. I own copies of the Black Jewels series and the Ephemeral series. Like many of her books, Written in Red seems to pick up on a current social trend -- in this case, cutting -- and examines possible reasons and even an element of solution. It taps into the need for children and youth to make connections with others and to learn useful skills in order to survive. It examines values that are true "inside the tribe" and treatment of those "outside the tribe." At the same time, the plot is fast paced, the characters are believable. Her "others" are not as gritty as Patricia Briggs wolves or Ilona Andrews Edge dwellers, nor as ethereal as Charles de Lint's urban mythic creatures, but they have a charm of their own. Overall, the book comes across as light, playful, yet strong.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Marc Weissbluth, MD
    • Narrated By Paul Mantell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (7)

    One of the country's leading researchers updates his revolutionary approach to solving - and preventing - children's sleep problems. Here Dr. Marc Weissbluth, a distinguished pediatrician and father of four, offers his groundbreaking program to ensure the best sleep for your child. In Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, he explains with authority and reassurance his step-by-step regime for instituting beneficial habits within the framework of your child's natural sleep cycles.

    Ona says: "This guy had kids?"
    "This guy had kids?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Use of reliable study citations.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Marc Weissbluth, MD again?

    No.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator was ok. Hard to do much with the material at hand.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Irritation.


    Any additional comments?

    I think the good doctor swallowed a copy of Dr. Spock, and tried to fancy it up. The coup de gras for me was when I looked up crib tents and found that they had been recalled as unsafe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Who Fears Death

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Nnedi Okorafor
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (67)

    In a far future, post-nuclear-holocaust Africa, genocide plagues one region. The aggressors, the Nuru, have decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke. But when the only surviving member of a slain Okeke village is brutally raped, she manages to escape, wandering farther into the desert. She gives birth to a baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand and instinctively knows that her daughter is different.

    Samuel Montgomery-Blinn says: "A journey."
    "Not My Style"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Who Fears Death?

    The subject matter.


    What was most disappointing about Nnedi Okorafor’s story?

    I quit reading after the graphic clitorectomy.


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

    the interpretive reading is excellent. You experience the dust, the pain, the rejection. The performance is well done, but I want to escape problems, not wallow in them.


    Any additional comments?

    It is probably a good book for someone else to read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Academ's Fury: Codex Alera, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    Overall
    (3063)
    Performance
    (2013)
    Story
    (2025)

    For 1,000 years, the people of Alera have united against the aggressive and threatening races that inhabit the world, using their unique bond with the Furies - elementals of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Metal. But now, the unity of the Alerians hangs in precarious balance.

    Eric says: "Wonderful series"
    "Pretty good, but not Dresden"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Academ's Fury rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Academe's Fury ranks pretty high among the books I've listened to so far. Kate Reading does a masterful job of creating distinct voices for all the characters, and is an excellent narrator/story teller. The story is written in high fantasy style, which isn't my favorite. However, the plot moves right along, and there is plenty of political intrigue.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Academ's Fury?

    One of the most memorable moments in Academe's Fury is the fight on the stairs.


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

    Kate Reading's interpretation brings out the pathos of the aunt's love for the boy who is now growing into a man.


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

    No, I didn't have an extreme reaction. It is well written, has a good plot line and has a chuckle or two as well as some pathos. But it did not move me strongly.


    Any additional comments?

    It doesn't have the grit of Dresden Files. Which should come as no surprise. It is essentially a regency romance with fantasy elements. It is still several cuts above the general run of similar fiction.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Riddle-Master of Hed: Riddle-Master Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Patricia A. McKillip
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (173)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (126)

    Long ago, the wizards had vanished from the world, and all knowledge was left hidden in riddles. Morgon, prince of the simple farmers of Hed, proved himself a master of such riddles when he staked his life to win a crown from the dead Lord of Aum.But now ancient, evil forces were threatening him. Shape changers began replacing friends until no man could be trusted. So Morgon was forced to flee to hostile kingdoms, seeking the High One who ruled from mysterious Erlenstar Mountain.Beside him went Deth, the High One's Harper. Ahead lay strange encounters and terrifying adventures.

    John says: "Riddle master of Hed"
    "Riddle Master of Hed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Riddle-Master of Hed in three words, what would they be?

    Mystical, magical, practical


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Riddle-Master of Hed?

    The opening scene when the girl tells off her brother.


    What about Simon Prebble’s performance did you like?

    Vocal quality, and delivery.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not yet...but I loved reading it in print.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book I loved in print, and I'm sure I will like as an audio book. I keep falling asleep before I get very far, which is indicative of good reader quality. :)

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Bridge of Dreams: Ephemera, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Anne Bishop
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (39)

    When wizards threaten Glorianna Belladonna and her work to keep Ephemera balanced, her brother, Lee, sacrifices himself in order to save her - and ends up an asylum inmate in the city of Vision. But a darkness is spreading through Vision, perplexing the Shamans who protect it. And Lee is the only one who can shed any light on its mysteries....

    Katherine says: "Story is brilliant, but narrator is awkward"
    "Culmination of Ephemera"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Bridge of Dreams?

    Not as dark as the Black Jewels novels, nor as bitter as Tir Alain, Ephemera retains the awareness of humanity's flaws, but approaches them with gentle humor.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Shaman in Sanctuary. He is what everyone's favorite priest should be -- earthy, humorous,yet etherial.


    What about Holter Graham’s performance did you like?

    Holter Graham has a pleasing baritone that sometimes has slightly nasal overtones that remind one of northern native American's when speaking English.


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

    Ephemera sometimes made me laugh, sometimes I cried. Mostly, it made me feel safe, like being at home.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Masques: Aralorn, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Patricia Briggs
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Patricia Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1131)
    Performance
    (757)
    Story
    (770)

    After an upbringing of proper behavior and oppressive expectations, Aralorn fled her noble birthright for a life of adventure as a mercenary spy. Her latest mission involves spying on the increasingly powerful sorcerer Geoffrey ae'Magi. But in a war against an enemy armed with the powers of illusion, how do you know who the true enemy is - or where he will strike next?

    Tabitha says: "Satisfying tale, interesting characters"
    "Masques"
    Overall

    I loved the story. Patricia Briggs is one of my favorite writers of new fantasy. I had a hard time listening to this reader.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Shadowfever: Fever, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Karen Marie Moning
    • Narrated By Natalie Ross, Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2096)
    Performance
    (1125)
    Story
    (1124)

    MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina, were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever. Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister’s murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals who have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.

    Katheryne says: "I loved it, but its not for everyone"
    "Shadowfever"
    Overall

    Part one of Shadowfever kicks off with an emotional scene masterfully narrated by Natalie Ross. I can't really say more than that about it because if you have not yet read books 1-4, that would be a major spoiler. The quality of the narration only gets better as Mac searches through the Silvers for clues to her past, her sisters demise, and hope for saving her world. Phil Gigante fills in the masculine voices, giving a bone-melting interpretation of Barrons. The timing between the two artists is snappy, including the "childish" arguments between Barrons and Mac. It was so good, I hated to emerge from their world to do ordinary things.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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