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Liz

San Francisco, CA, USA | Member Since 2002

43
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 43 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Under the Banner of Heaven

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Jon Krakauer
    • Narrated By Jon Krakauer
    Overall
    (341)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (47)

    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"
    "An important book"
    Overall

    This book examines the phenomenon of religious fundamentalism or extremism by examining the Mormon Church and its fundamentalist factions. I understand that these groups are not part of the official Mormon Church, but Krakauer attempts to identify how the religion allows a social space for these cults to form. It was entertaining and seemed well researched, giving one perspective of the history of Mormonism. I bought this book because I really wanted to read it and only had the time during a recent driving trip. I can't help but feel a little cheated because it was abridged. There were several times when events were recapped repeatedly in close proximity. These summaries were perhaps essential in the original version, when you might need a reminder of what happen 5 chapters earlier. However, the frequent recaps in the abridged version felt redundant. Overall, I am glad I bought it; I just wish it was available unabridged.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    Overall
    (7336)
    Performance
    (2111)
    Story
    (2099)

    In his landmark best seller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant, in the blink of an eye, that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept?

    Reney says: "Be careful with logical leaps"
    "encore!"
    Overall

    I just finished Blink and I am back at Audible to purchase The Tipping Point. Although this book is rather light reading, I am familiar with enough of the science to know it is solid. He makes the work of some brilliant, cutting-edge scientists accessible to a range of readers. I found the book provocative and would recommended it for anyone who is in a position to make important snap decisions (firefighters, police, nurses, paramedics, etc.). Contemplating the situations described in this book has changed my perspective of the world and how I interact with it. For example, as a college professor, I paid special attention to the first few minutes of class while introducing myself to new students, planning how I projected my persona. I created the image I wanted the students to have.
    My only criticism is that it seemed rather repetitive after a while and could have been much shorter. Yet, I could understand that he was recapping and clustering points he made in the text. I would imagine that this technique enables those for whom this information is new to fully digest it.

    23 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    Overall
    (2294)
    Performance
    (376)
    Story
    (380)

    In A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson takes his ultimate journey - into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer. It's a dazzling quest, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization.

    Brent says: "This audio edition is abridged!"
    "Yes, but do you care?"
    Overall

    The title is a bit of a misnomer, unless you see science and math as "everything." I thought it was a rather dry amble through major developments in scientific thought. There was absolutely no critical analysis or commentary. Yes, the great scientific thinkers were amazing, but how has history and thought been influenced by science? And visa versa? I love Bryson and I don't write him off because I wasn't fond of this book. It is hard to tell how much was lost in the abridged version.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Life of Pi

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10406)
    Performance
    (5663)
    Story
    (5696)

    Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

    Theresa says: "Best audio of the year for me"
    "Great production"
    Overall

    The success of an audiobook depends upon both the writing and the narration. Both are excellent in this production. The narrator interprets this wonderful story skillfully. He brings Pi alive and transports us into his world so that I was lured into believing the unbelievable.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Choke

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Chuck Palahniuk
    • Narrated By Chuck Palahniuk
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (623)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (140)

    Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk's controversial and blazingly original debut novel, introduced a fresh and even renegade talent to American fiction, one who has retooled the classic black humor of Terry Southern and Kurt Vonnegut for the lunacy of the millennial age. In this novel, Choke, he gives listeners a vision of life and love and sex and mortality that is both chillingly brilliant and teeth-rattlingly funny.

    Pamela says: "Oh please, not another abridged!!!"
    "sobering"
    Overall

    I got this book because I really enjoyed the movie "Fight Club." I was a little unnerved by the extensive and raw description of what goes on in the mind of a sex addict. Though this was disturbing, I found the book compelling. In the end I felt that the author's narration set the perfect tone. I enjoyed my little journey in someone else's mind--a reminder that the world is composed of all kinds.

    6 of 7 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
    Overall
    (21591)
    Performance
    (13057)
    Story
    (13188)

    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"
    "A guy book"
    Overall

    I generally like sci-fi, and this book was entertaining enough that I enjoyed my listen. However, I found the story in-credible and the concept wholly exploitative of the child characters. I think this book satisfies a adolescent male fantasy for beneficient power and dominance. The thought of saving all of humanity without realizing what you are doing did nothing for me. The fact that Ender, as he matured, attempted to amend any wrongs he may have committed was commendable and made him a somewhat sympathetic character. I am surprized to see so many raving reviews of this book.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris
    Overall
    (3548)
    Performance
    (1297)
    Story
    (1296)

    David Sedaris' collection of essays - including live recordings! - tells a most unconventional life story. With every clever turn of a phrase, Sedaris brings a view and a voice like no other to every unforgettable encounter. You can also listen to Sedaris in an interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air.

    Amazon Customer says: "You will ROFL"
    "A good break from listening to the news"
    Overall

    These stories are best read aloud by the author. I would warn against listening to this while driving. I never knew when I was going to be incapacitated by fits of laughter. Sedaris has a way of making the mundane absurd, of looking holding a mirror up to himself and interpreting what he sees. Peeking at his life makes it easier for me to take myself less seriously.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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