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Emily

Estate planning lawyer and mom to two boys. My older son liked audiobooks as an infant, and I've listened to a lot since then.

Portland, OR, United States | Member Since 2012

ratings
46
REVIEWS
45
FOLLOWING
33
FOLLOWERS
6
HELPFUL VOTES
15

  • M is for Mama’s Boy: NERDS, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Michael Buckley
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    Goonies-meets-James-Bond-style hijinks continue with a group of unpopular fifth-graders who run a spy network right under their teachers’ noses. Their tech-loving, geeky ways may get them shunned by the “it” crowd, but with a little help from science, these kids’ most dweeby qualities become big-time weapons in the fight against super-villains.

    Emily says: "Even better than the first installment"
    "Even better than the first installment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My 11 year old son liked this book even better than the first. Johnny Heller is a wonderful comedic narrator and the story is funny for both children and adults. While I wouldn't listen to this by myself, it was very enjoyable to share this with my son, and I think his teenage brother would like it too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham: 1963

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Christopher Paul Curtis
    • Narrated By LeVar Burton
    Overall
    (166)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (83)

    Enter the hilarious world of ten-year-old Kenny and his family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan. There's Momma, Dad, little sister Joetta, Kenny, and Byron, Kenny's older brother, who at thirteen is an "official juvenile delinquent." When Momma and Dad decide it's time for a visit to Grandma, Dad comes home with the amazing Ultra-Glide, and the Watsons set out on a trip like no other. Heading south, they're going to Birmingham, Alabama, and toward one of the darkest moments in America's history.

    Melissa says: "Required reading but not too bad"
    "Funny and Poignant Look at Civil Rights Era"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this audio for my 12 year old and me to listen to, thinking it would be an introduction to the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham that killed 4 little girls (note I had always heard them referred to as the "four little girls" but I was interested to learn that they were 14).

    It starts out pretty far away from that, as a mostly humorous look at an African American family in Flint, MI. My son liked how the book progressed as a series of vignettes, which made it easier to pause the book and resume listening later. There were many funny moments which I wasn't expecting.

    Once we got to the end, "our" family has lived through the bombing and is dealing with the aftermath. Over the following days, my son continued to question why people would have killed children to prevent having to go to school and restaurants with people of a different race. It is a very hard situation to understand, and I thought this book did a great job of making it present for him, as opposed to an event in history that's impossible to understand or experience.

    LeVar Burton is a wonderful narrator. He has a thoroughly pleasing voice that would be suitable to any number of books -- he dealt with the comedic and tragic aspects equally well. I plan to look for other books he's recorded.

    The book ends with a brief overview of the history, which my son enjoyed almost as much as the fictional story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The New Nation: A History of US, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Joy Hakim
    • Narrated By Christina Moore
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (16)

    Beginning with George Washington's inauguration and continuing into the nineteenth century, The New Nation tells the story of the remarkable challenges that the new country faced. Thomas Jefferson's purchase of the Louisiana Territory (bought from France at a mere four cents an acre!), Lewis and Clark's daring expedition through the wilderness, the War of 1812, and more.

    Hideaki says: "Very educational"
    "Wonderful US History; book 4 particularly good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The New Nation the most enjoyable?

    Very interesting chapter in American history, well told by Hakim.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is such an inspiring time in US history, filled with extraordinary people. Served for me as an antidote to the discouraging state of modern affairs in the world. (Of course, they had their problems then too, like slavery and the unequal status of women...)


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The story of how Jefferson and Adams died on the same day, each believing the other survived, friends in old age after a long political rivalry. I've loved that story since I was a kid and was glad to share it with my son.

    Other favorite bits were the end of George Washington's life (what a great man! I didn't fully appreciate him as a kid) and the Burr-Hamilton duel (what a waste of Hamilton's extraordinary intelligence).


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator here is particularly good -- she is lively without being distracting, and keeps us engaged with the material.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Renaissance: Assassin's Creed, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Oliver Bowden
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (172)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (155)

    Betrayed by the ruling families of Italy, Ezio Auditore embarks upon an epic quest for vengeance. To eradicate corruption and restore his family's honor, he will learn the art of the Assassins. Along the way, Ezio will call upon the wisdom of such great minds as Leonardo da Vinci and Niccolò Machiavelli, knowing that survival is bound to the skills by which he must live.To his allies, he will become a force for change in his fight for freedom and justice.

    Jason says: "Great story, Great Narration."
    "12 year old loved it; Mom not so much"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I found the story trite and boring. Certainly there is a lot of potential in the Italian Renaissance setting that wasn't realized. My 12 year old son loved it, but he plays the game -- he must be the target audience, since I certainly wasn't!


    Has Renaissance turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes, if the genre is novelizations of video games. On the other hand, I will continue to read historical fiction/mysteries which is I believe how Audible has this characterized.


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

    I was not aware of this narrator before and he was fantastic. His performance was the only thing that enabled me to tolerate this. And my son's enjoyment of his performance has inspired him to sign up for Italian lessons! I hope to hear Jackson narrate something I like better.


    Do you think Renaissance needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Not for me!


    Any additional comments?

    This is a somewhat bizarre title. It seems to have much appeal for my 12 year old and his peers, though there is a fair amount of borderline inappropriate content (other families would probably say *completely* inappropriate!). I'm not so bothered by that when I perceive works to have other good qualities, but it is hard for me to see much artistic merit here. From an adult perspective, there are a lot of other, better books out there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Who Was Harry Houdini?

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 18 mins)
    • By Tui Sutherland
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    Every kid has heard of Harry Houdini, the famous magician who could escape from handcuffs, jail cells, and locked trunks. But do they know that the ever-ambitious and adventurous Houdini was also a famous movie star and the first pilot to fly a plane in Australia?

    Emily says: "Great series; Houdini's story still fascinates"
    "Great series; Houdini's story still fascinates"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Who Was Harry Houdini? rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The Who Was...series is one of my kids' favorites, especially out of the educational titles they listen to.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Harry and his wife are both compelling characters.


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

    He is definitely a pleasant narrator. He doesn't intrude but keeps one engaged.


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

    I have always found Houdini's story a bit sad but thankfully some of the poignant aspects were downplayed, which helped with listening to it before bed with my 12 year old.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd recommend this series to anyone looking for educational audios for kids that they will see simply as entertainment. Both my 12 and 15 year old have enjoyed them -- as have I.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Who Was John F. Kennedy?

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 5 mins)
    • By Yona Zeldis McDonough
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    The man who saved the lives of his PT-109 crewmen during WWII and became the 35th president fought -and won - his first battle at the age of two-and-a-half, when he was stricken with scarlet fever. Although his presidency was cut short, our nation's youngest elected leader left an indelible mark on the American consciousness and now is profiled in our "Who Was...?" series.

    Emily says: "Engaging bio of JFK for kids"
    "Engaging bio of JFK for kids"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Who Was John F. Kennedy??

    Fast-moving biography that was enjoyable for adults and kids. We really enjoy this series on audio when we are in mood for a shorter title. My 12 year old loves these, but his 15 year old brother does as well.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I thought I knew the Kennedy story well, but even in this short book I found out some new facts. The emphasis on his early years was good. And my sons enjoyed learning more about a well-known President.


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

    These are really nice on audio. He's not a splashy narrator but we find him very easy to listen to, and we stay completely engaged. After experiencing some bad narration recently, I all the more appreciate narration that doesn't intrude.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • From Colonies to Country: A History of US, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Joy Hakim
    • Narrated By Christina Moore
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    How did compliant colonials with strong ties to Europe get the notion to become an independent nation? Perhaps the seeds of liberty were planted in the 1735 historic courtroom battle for the freedom of the press. Or maybe the French and Indian War did it, when colonists were called "Americans" for the first time by the English, and the great English army proved itself not so formidable after all.

    Tina says: "These books make US History fun!"
    "Enjoyable US history for kids and adults"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, this series has been really enjoyable for both my 12 year old and me. If you like history, it is educational but truly a pleasure to listen to. I'm urging my high schooler to listen to it too.


    What other book might you compare From Colonies to Country to and why?

    Well, of course the other books in the Hakim series. If you had a child that liked The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer, or other children's history books, this would be a hit too.


    What about Christina Moore’s performance did you like?

    Her narration is lively and keeps me interested -- at the same time, she has a pleasant, non-jarring voice.


    Any additional comments?

    This is one of the most interesting in the series, since it is such a fascinating time in US history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sisters Grimm: The Unusual Suspects

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Michael Buckley
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (269)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (199)

    Daphne's lucky enough to get Snow White for a teacher - she loves little people - but poor Sabrina's stuck with Mr. Grumpner and a class of mildly psychotic sixth graders. When Mr. Grumpner is found hanging in a spider's web, it is up to the Grimms to find the Everafter who did it. If only Sabrina can get over her distrust of all fairy-tale folk. But how can she trust those who just might be responsible for the disappearance of her parents?

    Laura says: "I'm hooked now!"
    "Tied with the Riordan books as son's favorites"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Sisters Grimm the most enjoyable?

    My son can't put these books down, and eagerly waited for the next installment. Other than the Riordan series, I haven't seen him that anxious to get the next book downloaded.


    What did you like best about this story?

    All of the allusions to fairy tales and other well-known stories.


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

    My 12 year old came close -- certainly was anxious each evening (our time to listen to books on tape) to get this playing.


    Any additional comments?

    From an adult perspective I didn't love this series as much as my son -- but I would definitely recommend it to kids in his age group.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • NERDS 5: Attack of the Bullies

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Michael Buckley
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (3)

    The grand finale to the best-selling series, Attack of the BULLIES stars Ruby Peet, aka Agent Pufferfish, the team captain with super nanobyte-enhanced allergies. Pufferfish leads the team in their latest case: the kidnapping of the president' s daughter. But the NERDS discover she hasn' t been kidnapped - she' s been recruited. Their former librarian, Ms. Holiday, has started a rival organization called BULLIES, who each have their own nanobyte-enhanced upgrades. The BULLIES' plan: go back in time to make sure NERDS never existed!

    Emily says: "Another entry in a funny series"
    "Another entry in a funny series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to NERDS 5 the most enjoyable?

    Great narrator and a funny book. My 12 year old laughed out loud.


    What other book might you compare NERDS 5 to and why?

    of course, it is a lot like the other books in the NERDS series.


    What about Johnny Heller’s performance did you like?

    He's a wonderful narrator for kids' books, and particularly fine with funny ones like this.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10557)
    Performance
    (9696)
    Story
    (9744)

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    FanB14 says: "Sad Premise, Fantastic Story"
    "Excellent for whole family; sad but uplifting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Fault in Our Stars to be better than the print version?

    I thought the narration was excellent and as such I recommended for everyone to listen to it on audio.


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this audio several months ago for my sons (ages 12 and 15). I was surprised how much I liked it too, though I found it much sadder than they did. We enjoyed the literary allusions and humor throughout. I haven't seen the movie, but they both thought the audiobook was superior.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Loki's Wolves

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By K. L. Armstrong, M. A. Marr
    • Narrated By Casey Holloway, Jon Wierenga, Pat Young
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (14)

    Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history - because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, South Dakota, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt's classmates Fen and Laurie. When the rune readers reveal that the monsters of Ragnarok are coming and kids will stand in for the gods in the final battle, Matt can hardly believe it. Matt and his friends must race to put together an unstoppable team to prevent the end of the world.

    Emily says: "Good for Riordan fans; improves as story continues"
    "Good for Riordan fans; improves as story continues"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Loki's Wolves to be better than the print version?

    We didn't read the print version. It is well-suited to an audio version.


    What other book might you compare Loki's Wolves to and why?

    Very much along the lines of the Rick Riordan books, though it suffers a bit by comparison. At the beginning, i was a bit disappointed, thinking it didn't live up either in the story or the narration to the Riordan audios. By the end, though, I very much appreciated it, My son (age 12) was drawn in from the beginning. It helped to tide him over to the next Riordan book!


    Any additional comments?

    Very educational in the way that the Riordan books are. We both learned a lot about Norse mythology in a very fun way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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