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Kim

Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit

Spokane, WA, United States | Member Since 2009

498
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 107 reviews
  • 258 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
16
FOLLOWERS
101

  • This Boy's Life

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Tobias Wolff
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (83)

    This book essentially launched the memoir craze that has been going strong ever since. The story is pretty grim: teen-aged Wolff moves with his divorced mother from Florida to Utah to Washington State to escape her violent boyfriend. When she remarries, Wolff finds himself in a bitter battle of wills with his abusive stepfather, a contest in which the two prove to be more evenly matched than might have been supposed.

    Darwin8u says: "Beautiful, unsentimental memoir of youth"
    "Yawn.....so boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the perfect book to listen to in your sleep - so little happens that even if you miss 8 hours of it, you won't need to rewind to try and catch up in the morning. The narrator does a passable job considering what he had to work with - I can't really fault him for the lack of strong characters or story arc. The writing isn't horrible, its just not interesting. I only hung in there because I kept expecting some major event to save it at the last minute that would make the first 3/4 of the book worthwhile - by the time I figured out it wasn't coming I was a couple hours from finishing so I just stuck it out. If you are looking for something tame to help you relax, then go for it - otherwise, save your credit.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • SuperFreakonomics

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
    • Narrated By Stephen J. Dubner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2723)
    Performance
    (1101)
    Story
    (1109)

    SuperFreakonomics challenges the way we think all over again, exploring the hidden side of everything with such questions as: How is a street prostitute like a department-store Santa? What do hurricanes, heart attacks, and highway deaths have in common? Can eating kangaroo save the planet? Levitt and Dubner mix smart thinking and great storytelling like no one else.

    Rich says: "Worth Your Time"
    "It's good to freak out sometimes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a fan of the weekly Freakanomics podcast, I came into this with a good idea of what to expect - which means the joy of surprise and enchantment a first-time listener may experience was bound to be elude me. I was right about that - nothing super earth-shaking for me, however my expectations were more than met and I really enjoyed this sequel to Freakanomics. These guys are just plain awesome and their mass appeal is obvious; I would recommend this for group car rides where you want everyone to think a little bit, discuss a little bit, laugh, and enjoy an escape from superficial assumptions about the world we live in. This would also be great for someone looking to increase their stash of interesting conversation starters for parties or awkward first dates (you may want to avoid the patriotic prostitutes though).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Serpent of Venice: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Euan Morton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (415)
    Performance
    (383)
    Story
    (381)

    Venice, a really long time ago: Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy from Britain who also happens to be a favorite of the Doge: The rascal-Fool Pocket. This trio of cunning plotters have lured Pocket to a dark dungeon, promising a spirited evening. Their invitation is, of course, bogus. These scoundrels have something far less amusing planned for the man who has consistently foiled their quest for power and wealth. But this Fool is no fool.…

    Pamela says: "Clever, irreverent, and bawdy - the triple crown!"
    "The Fool Returns....to Applause!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Oh joyous delight!! The return of our beloved "Fool" aka "Pocket" ready to wreak havoc and run amok once again! For fans of "Fool" - you will love the deliciously salty language and abundant sexual innuendo woven throughout this tale of love and betrayal. I have not read The Merchant of Venice (yes, I know - for shame..) but it's so much better from the literary genius that is Christopher Moore - perhaps our generation's Shakespeare - after all, wasn't he thought to be quite edgy-bordering-on-vulgar back in his day? Anyway, for new readers - dive right in - you don't have to know much about the other book to enjoy it - all you need is a love for inappropriate humor, saucy characters, and tragedy perfected. I didn't give it 5 stars across the board because I did like Fool a little bit better and I reserve all 5's for only a select few. That said, I forgot to mention the narrator who needs to be nominated for an award - he IS Pocket - the performance is seamless and the production is fantastic. Great audio book - 4.5 stars.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Mindy Kaling
    • Narrated By Mindy Kaling, Michael Schur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2375)
    Performance
    (2188)
    Story
    (2202)

    Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

    Tabitha says: "Love it!"
    "Cute & Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was hoping for something light and funny to give myself a break from the heavy stuff I've been lost in recently - this clever half-bio / half-monologue did the job nicely. I will say that it was a bit more bubblegum than I normally prefer, but I realize that I'm probably 15 years older than the high-end of her intended demographic, so I tried to keep that in mind when I found myself rolling my eyes too much. The narration was fine but I suggest listening to the sample first - her voice is child-like. For comedy writing, it's not bad - it has profanity, sarcasm, & amusing anecdotes - I would recommend it to young women in their late teens/early twenties without hesitation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Bill Wasik, Monica Murphy
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (414)
    Performance
    (368)
    Story
    (371)

    The most fatal virus known to science, rabies kills nearly 100 percent of its victims once the infection takes root in the brain. From Greek myths to zombie flicks, from the laboratory heroics of Louis Pasteur to the contemporary search for a lifesaving treatment, Rabid is a fresh, fascinating, and often wildly entertaining look at one of mankind’s oldest and most fearsome foes.

    Sparkly says: "My favorite science read this year."
    "This one's a dog..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was looking forward to learning all about the fascinating history of rabies and it's effect on man and beast throughout history. The book contains tons of factual and anecdotal information (some of it gruesome which is right up my alley) - it should've been a hit for me but I didn't enjoy it so I can't bring myself to give it more than 2 stars. It's not the authors' fault; the narrator's vocal tone made it hard for me to concentrate on the story and I found myself trying to get through it in small bites to avoid the irritation. It may just be a personal thing with me - so listen to the free sample and if the narration doesn't bother you after a few minutes then go for it - the content is fine.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passions of the World's Greatest Reptile Smugglers

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Bryan Christy
    • Narrated By Tony Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (17)

    When Bryan Christy began to investigate the world of reptile smuggling, he had no idea what he would be in for. In the course of his research, he was bitten between the eyes by a blood python, chased by a mother alligator, and sprayed by a bird-eating tarantula. But perhaps more dangerous was coming face to face with Michael J. Van Nostrand, owner of Strictly Reptiles, a thriving family business in Hollywood, Florida.

    Kim says: "Snakes on a plane!!!"
    "Snakes on a plane!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ever wonder what might be in all the suitcases that glide past you on the luggage carousel at the airport? After listening to this captivating expose' of pet suppliers and their quasi-cartel smuggling operations, I will make sure to keep my distance from that weird lady with the oddly squirming carry-on the next time I have to fly. The story flips between the perspective of the good guys and the bad guys - although at times you wonder which is which - so you end up learning a little about about how to be a great smuggler/criminal and a little about how to catch them. Entertaining and informative - an easy 4 star rating for this great listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Running with Scissors: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Augusten Burroughs
    • Narrated By Augusten Burroughs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1010)
    Performance
    (246)
    Story
    (245)

    Running with Scissors is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of being Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her psychiatrist, a dead ringer for Santa and a lunatic in the bargain.

    Arthur Held says: "NOT what I was expecting"
    "Way better than the movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I saw this movie a few years back and wasn't too impressed - I'm glad I decided to give the book a chance. This is one of those pieces that grabs you early and doesn't let go - although gruesome at times, it gets into your head and makes you want to find out what insane thing can possibly happen next. The dialogue comes across as authentic which is just as important to a book as the events that take place - bad dialogue can ruin an otherwise perfect story. Augusten Burroughs is amazingly talented at both writing and narration - I will definitely be listening to his other titles.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army and Other Diabolical Insects

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Amy Stewart
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (274)
    Performance
    (196)
    Story
    (194)

    In this darkly comical look at the sinister side of our relationship with the natural world, Stewart has tracked down over one hundred of our worst entomological foes - creatures that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs. From the world's most painful hornet, to the flies that transmit deadly diseases, to millipedes that stop traffic, to the Japanese beetles munching on your roses, Wicked Bugs delves into the extraordinary powers of many-legged creatures

    Paul says: "fascinating and creepy"
    "Not enough...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I find the subject matter of this book fascinating and was looking forward to a good creepy bug book to haunt me for a bit. Unfortunately, it missed the mark two ways - 1) Not enough scientific detail - the descriptions of the insects and their behaviors were too brief. Fewer insects with more detail on each would've been better. 2) Not enough anecdotal or cultural references to make listening fun for more than a couple of hours. If there had been more "fun" stuff, I wouldn't have noticed the lack of educational content.

    Although I was disappointed, I'm giving this selection 3 stars overall because I did enjoy sections of it, and it kept me interested enough to listen all the way through.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mother Night

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Kurt Vonnegut
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (421)
    Performance
    (286)
    Story
    (287)

    American Howard W. Campbell, Jr., a spy during World War II, is now on trial in Israel as a Nazi war criminal. But is he really guilty? In this brilliant book rife with true gallows humor, Kurt Vonnegut turns black and white into a chilling shade of grey with a verdict that will haunt us all. Mother Night is a daring challenge to our moral sense.

    Robert says: "“We are what we pretend to be”"
    "Interesting but forgettable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I picked up this title because the author was revered in my parents' generation and I wanted to know why. I'm not sure if I missed the point or if I ruined it by expecting something controversial or at least special - either way I find myself lukewarm on Vonnegut at this point. It was enough to keep me interested though so I won't slam it too much - 3 stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Follow the River

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James Alexander Thom
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (305)
    Performance
    (257)
    Story
    (258)

    Mary Ingles was 23, happily married, and pregnant with her third child when Shawnee Indians invaded her peaceful Virginia settlement in 1755 and kidnapped her, leaving behind a bloody massacre. For months they held her captive. But nothing could imprison her spirit. With the rushing Ohio River as her guide, Mary Ingles walked one thousand miles through an untamed wilderness no white woman had ever seen.

    Marie says: "Amazing tale of survival"
    "I got it on sale - save your credit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I picked up this title on one of those $4.95 sales - now I know why it was on the cheap list. I was hoping for a historical American frontier tale of struggle and triumph mixed with charming bits of old-timey language and culture. I was disappointed. To be fair, I didn't make it all the way through but the combination of poor narration and weak writing did me in. I think the actual story behind it all is probably fascinating and worth hearing - I'm just not sure this book was the right container.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Piper Kerman
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2057)
    Performance
    (1868)
    Story
    (1884)

    With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.

    Mark says: "My favorite book of the year, so far"
    "Real Housewives of Club Fed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read the other reviews saying this book was weak and not representative of an actual prison experience, yet I listened to someone who insisted that the TV show is so awesome the book had to be too. Unfortunately it turned out to be a mistake - I'm thinking of asking for my credit back. This fairy tale version of prison the author was incarcerated in sounds a lot like juvenile detention - with grandmas baking treats and older women mentoring and protecting new inmates. Almost zero violence, little profanity,hot showers, gyms, almost unlimited visits, books & movies..... seriously - laundering money might well be worth it if this is the only punishment - a year in time out at "Camp" (not kidding - that's what they call it). I'm thinking this book is better suited to those who think those "50 Shades of" books are scandalous & edgy.

    44 of 61 people found this review helpful

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