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Listens-a-lot

Member Since 2008

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 84 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2015
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  • The Wee Free Men

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (80)

    Up on the chalk downs they call The Wold, witches are banned - ever since the Baron's son vanished in the woods. Anyway, as all witches know, chalk's no good for magic. Nine-year-old Tiffany Aching thinks her Granny Aching - a wise shepherd

    Hazel says: "Wonderful entertainment for bright pre-teens"
    "Great Book, Could use a bit more editing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I buy these books for my 12 year old, and am happy to have an excuse to listen to YA stories, which I secretly really enjoy. Pratchett was recommended to me, and I very much enjoyed this first book in this series. The books are funny, the characters engaging and the narration is great. There is nothing in them to worry a parent and my daughter gives it a two thumbs-up rating - "wonderful, loved-it."

    I did, however, find myself wondering what happened to the editor. There were mouth noises throughout this recording, which is why I docked this book one star in the overall rating. As an audiobook publisher myself, this was actually somewhat of a relief (so good to know that we all make mistakes sort of thing), and really, while it was a bit distracting, it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book. And I do note that the second book is absolutely clean - I'm half way through and not one lip smack.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Susannah Cahalan
    • Narrated By Heather Henderson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1515)
    Performance
    (1352)
    Story
    (1360)

    In 2009, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room strapped to a bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records - from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory - reported psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four-year-old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter

    Eric Schurr says: "Very scary, real story, superbly written and rea"
    "Fascinating Story Well Told and Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to this book some time ago, and just saw that it is being made into a movie starring Dakota Fanning. Kudos to the author, and excellent choice for the lead in what I'm sure will be a great movie.

    But don't just watch the movie. You have to listen to this book! Cahalan, a young, aspiring writer/journalist, suffers an alarming personality change - she literally goes "mad." In clear and entertaining prose, Calahan describes her harrowing journey, handling the medical details in a way that's both interesting and understandable. In doing so, she has also done much to raise awareness about the illness that struck her. It's wonderful that she has recovered so well and was able to share her story with the world. And now a movie!

    This was the first book narrated by Heather Henderson I'd listened to, and I really like her reading. She captures the author's voice and moods, as well as doing a great job with the voices of other family members, friends, and medical personell. I liked her so much I've been listening to other books she's narrated - really loved her reading of "The Curve of Time" by M. Wylie Blanchet, another extraordinary memoir, but quite different from this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Year of Cats and Dogs

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Margaret Hawkins
    • Narrated By Heather Henderson
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    What happens when nothing happens? Maryanne wonders in A Year of Cats and Dogs, a darkly funny yet hopeful novel about a woman in mid-life who feels surrounded by death. She answers her own question by deciding to find out.

    Listens-a-lot says: "Delightful, Entertaining, Endearing"
    "Delightful, Entertaining, Endearing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this because I am a fan of Heather Henderson's narration. I first encountered her listening to "Brain on Fire," a great book which is being made into a film starting Dakota Fanning, and I also really enjoyed Heather reading "The Curve of Time" (another fantastic memoir). So, when I saw this on sale, I grabbed it. I am so glad I did!

    This is a whimsical and quitely wise slice-of-life type romance. Maryanne, childless and entering her 50s, is not your typical heroine. She is not pinning after children she will not have, and when her long-term relationship ends, it's not a drama filled event, and it "feels" very real, like the kind of thing that can happen, does happen, to some couples. On top of that, her father's health is failing.

    Maryanne isn't unaffected by these losses, and her reaction seemed to me to be psychologically true. I could relate to her desire to slow down and shut out everything - her quiet grieving process and the way events naturally lead to change. And I appreciated how the author tied in the wisdom of the IChing, using it as a framing device for Maryanne's moments of wisdom infused with life humor. Some might object to the quirky "pet whisperer" aspects of this book - where Maryanne discovers she can "hear" pet's thoughts, but I found it charming and put to good comic effect.

    Heather's voice is perfect for this thoughtful, funny book. And if you love animals, well, you can't go wrong giving this a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ptolemy's Gate: The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Jonathan Stroud
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    Overall
    (1428)
    Performance
    (656)
    Story
    (657)

    Three years after the events of The Golem's Eye, the young magician Nathaniel is an established member of the British Government. But he faces unprecedented problems: foreign wars are going badly and Britain's enemies are mounting attacks close to London.

    Derek B. says: "Loved it 3 times over!"
    "Hugely Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Ptolemy's Gate in three words, what would they be?

    Excellent listening experience!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Bartimaeus, of course. Bartimaeus is a djinn forced to serve a boy who has managed to master the magic required to summon him. He may be the boy's slave, but that doesn't make him subservient. Instead, he is funny - no, witty - provocative, full of himself, but in a most engaging way, and extremely resourceful. Through Bartimaeus' perspective we really get a feel for the plight of the poor djinns and Other World entities who are forced to serve humans in this magical (al la Harry Potter) world.

    Full of wonderful allusions to mythical traditions (including a snide mention of a djinn foolish enough to get himself trapped in an old lamp), Jonathan Stroud manages to tell a ripping yarn that is at once familiar and totally fresh. Simon Jones' narration is top notch, too. I listened to this series a few years ago, at the insistence of my then 12 year old son, and it was and is one of our favourite series in this genre.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Couldn't say - enjoyed the entire series.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Amulet of Samarkand: The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jonathan Stroud
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2189)
    Performance
    (1008)
    Story
    (1013)

    Nathaniel is eleven-years-old and a magician's apprentice, learning the traditional art of magic. All is well until he has a life-changing encounter with Simon Lovelace, a magician of unrivaled ruthlessness and ambition. When Lovelace brutally humiliates Nathaniel in public, Nathaniel decides to speed up his education, teaching himself spells far beyond his years. With revenge on his mind, he masters one of the toughest spells of all and summons Bartimaeus, a five-thousand-year-old djinni, to assist him.

    Randy says: "Terrific Trilogy"
    "Great Series, well performed."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Both my daughter and I really liked this series. She listened to it several times. The production values were great and the narration top notch. I'd highly recommend this for youth and adults alike.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Name of This Book Is Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Pseudonymous Bosch
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (217)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (124)

    "If this were a normal descriptions for a normal audiobook, I would tell you that this audiobook is fantastic! Gripping! (According to their blurbs, all books are fantastic and gripping.) You'd meet the brave young heroes, Cass and Max Ernest. And you'd hear about how a mysterious box of vials, the symphony of smells, sends them on the trail of a magician who has vanished under strange (and Stinky) circumstances."

    Anne says: "Where are books 2 and 4?"
    "My Daughter Loved this Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I haven't listened to this book, but my daughter has, several times. She really enjoyed it and I could hear her laughing out loud again and again while listening. Indeed, she liked this book so much that she was on pins and needles waiting for the release of the next book in this series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sex, Mom, and God: How the Bible's Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics - and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Frank Schaeffer
    • Narrated By Frank Schaeffer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (27)

    Alternating between laugh-out-loud scenes from his childhood and acidic ruminations on the present state of an America he and his famous fundamentalist parents helped create, best-selling author Frank Schaeffer asks what the Glenn Becks and the Rush Limbaughs and the paranoid fantasies of the “right-wing echo chamber” are really all about. Here’s a hint: sex.

    Listens-a-lot says: "Entertaining and enlightening"
    "Entertaining and enlightening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this book. I found it funny and touching and truly enlightening. I also feel I have a better understanding of the far right Christian movement now, and I applaud his efforts to atone for his role in creating the huge divide between right and left that is threatening to absolutely destroy the USA. And I think he makes a valid point about Roe vs Wade and the storm it unleashed. As a Canadian, where we have taken what he calls "the French approach," I can see his point that, at the very least, a civil discussion of the Roe vs Wade decision and its impact on US abortion law could be helpful in calming down the partisan politics that are crippling the US. But mostly, I enjoyed Schaeffer's frank and candid voice.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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