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Leigh

Member Since 2010

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 39 ratings
  • 202 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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  • Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Randy O. Frost, Gail Stekeete
    • Narrated By Joe Caron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (600)
    Performance
    (377)
    Story
    (378)

    What possesses someone to save every scrap of paper thats ever come into his home? What compulsions drive a woman like Irene, whose hoarding cost her her marriage? Or Ralph, whose imagined uses for castoff items like leaky old buckets almost lost him his house?

    JoAnn Marcon says: "Utterly fascinating"
    "Fascinating insight into the problem of hoarding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I admit I watch "Hoarders" on TV. I am always amazed at how some of the participants in the show appear to value their possessions over family. This book gives a very clear explanation of the thought processes (as far as they are understood) of some of the various types of hoarders, as well as effects on family and children. Dr. Frost reveals several different thought patterns that go into hoarding, whether it be perfectionism or lack of executive processing skills and functions etc. Some questions are raised that cannot be answered because we just don't and can't know (for instance, why do some children hoard?) This book will help me understand my own father better, as he sometimes appears to have these tendencies as well. After listening to this book, I don't have the desire to watch "Hoarders" anymore.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Wedding Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Madeleine Wickham
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (160)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (93)

    At the age of 18, in that first golden Oxford summer, Milly was up for anything. Rupert and his American lover, Allan, were an important part of her new, exciting life, so when Rupert suggested to her that she and Allan should get married to keep Allan in the country, Milly didn't hesitate. Ten years later, Milly is a very different person and engaged to Simon - who is wealthy, serious, and believes her to be perfect.

    Meg says: "Excellent Listen"
    "Entertaining fluffy listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book did exactly what I wanted it to do - give me a fluffy listen over vacation. It was pretty engaging, amusing, and ultimately satisfying. I have not craved listening to it again -yet.
    But it's good to know it is in my library if I want to be amused again on another long drive or vacation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Saving Sammy: Curing the Boy Who Caught OCD

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Beth Alison Maloney
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (103)

    The summer before entering sixth grade, Sammy, a bright and charming boy who lived on the coast of Maine, suddenly began to exhibit disturbing behavior. He walked and ate with his eyes shut, refused to bathe, burst into fits of rage, slithered against walls, and used his limbs instead of his hands to touch light switches, doorknobs, and faucets.

    Paul says: "Real Life Battle and Victory over OCD and PANDAS"
    "Makes you take a second look at mental illness."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My husband and I listened to this book on a long drive to the LA area. It is unusual for my husband to listen to books with me, but he was very involved in the story and wanted to follow it through to the end with me.
    Ms. Maloney paints a heartbreaking picture of what it is like to live with a family member afflicted with devastating mental illness. Our hearts were breaking for her. How do you survive something like that? And unlike Ms. Maloney, there are many others in this world for whom there is no cure.... tragic.
    The search for Sammy's cure is fascinating and amazing. Ms. Maloney's struggle against the modern medical establishment is becoming a more common theme as many find that medicine is an art, not a science, that ofttimes conventional wisdom has it wrong. I am grateful she has marked a path for others who may have similar struggles, whether due to an illness like Sammy's, or a fight against the established medical community to find the root cause and cure of an illness.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17342)
    Performance
    (15445)
    Story
    (15488)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    FanB14 says: "Amazing Amy"
    "An extremely well crafted and unsettling story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I finished this book I said "ahh!" Not, "ahhh" as in I'm satisified, but "ahhh" as in, I've lost my balance and am trying to keep myself upright. Weeks later I am still unsettled.
    The narrators did a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life, and I greatly enjoyed their performances. The only reason I did not give this title an overall rating of 5/5 stars is because of the language issue. I do not understand why the need for constant vulgarity in today's literature. And while I can skip over words when reading, it is much harder when they are coming into my ears as part of a story I do not want to turn off, but detest the language in which parts of it are delivered.
    That being said..
    This story sucked me in and did not let me go. I didn't have the luxury this listen of getting the whole book in in just a few days, as is my wont. But every time I had the chance, I was listening, totally wrapped up in the drama unfolding in Nick and Amy's lives. And feeling increasingly uneasy.
    This is not a comforting read, but it is engrossing and thought-provoking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Robert L. Wolke
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    Overall
    (919)
    Performance
    (770)
    Story
    (766)

    Why is red meat red? How do they decaffeinate coffee? Do you wish you understood the science of food but don't want to plow through dry, technical books? In What Einstein Told His Cook, University of Pittsburgh chemistry professor emeritus and award-winning Washington Post food columnist Robert L. Wolke provides reliable and witty explanations for your most burning food questions, while debunking misconceptions and helping you interpret confusing advertising and labeling.

    Jared says: "Cooking + Basic Chemistry/Science = Great Book"
    "Much of what I learned I won't be able to apply"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In listening to this book, I discovered I must be more of a foodie than I realized, because there was not much in this book I did not already know, or at least have some idea about. I didn't have any problem understanding the technical aspects as some have noted in previous reviews, perhaps due to excessive Food Network consumption.
    I did appreciate the actual scientific testing the author performed regarding some kitchen myths, such as the best way to get juice our of a lemon or lime. Now I know the two-step method. The background on salt, sugar and fat was interesting. And now I know I can't tell my kids automatically "the alcohol cooks out" when they question my liberal use of wine in a few of my dishes.
    The performer did fine and read the chemical names etc. without difficulty. However, nothing about the performance really stands out to me either.
    Bottom line, this was an ok book. I don't regret purchasing it and listening, but not a whole lot stands out to me either.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Rachel Maddow
    • Narrated By Rachel Maddow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1447)
    Performance
    (1316)
    Story
    (1310)

    Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war, with all the financial and human costs that entails. Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seriously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about how, when, and where to apply America's strength and power - and who gets to make those decisions.

    Dolf says: "Half the National Debt?"
    "I'm truly a bit horrified now"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Let me start by saying how much I loved Rachel Maddow's reading of her own work. She puts the emphasis exactly where she wants it, and you can hear in her voice the incredulity of some justifications and situations that would never come across in print. It's funny, but also deadly serious.
    There is a good, easy-to-understand history lesson here about the intent of the founding fathers and how far the country has gone astray. I was and am a fan of Reagan, but after this book I certainly see him with more critical eyes. I remember the Iran-Contra hearings, but this clearly told me the story behind them. She recounts the Granada invasion through the lens of its illegality and ineptitude. It's laughable, except that real people died in the U.S. show of muscle.
    By making real and understandable the consequences of power run amok, Rachel has done a great job of making me want to hold my elected representatives far more accountable. She also clearly illustrates the state of our current nuclear capabilities - and they are horrifying, but not necessarily for the reasons you would expect. (Great indirect plug for better science and technical education in this country.) "Whoopsie" will now always have a double meaning for me.
    I highly recommend this book. I especially think kids in high school taking World History could greatly benefit from having a broader perspective on the last 50 or so years of U.S. foreign policy. Maddow makes the topic so approachable and entertaining in her lessons to us that it is unforgettable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Mike Brown
    • Narrated By Ryan Gesell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (388)
    Performance
    (233)
    Story
    (236)

    The solar system most of us grew up with included nine planets, with Mercury closest to the sun and Pluto at the outer edge. Then, in 2005, astronomer Mike Brown made the discovery of a lifetime: a 10th planet, Eris, slightly bigger than Pluto. But instead of its resulting in one more planet being added to our solar system, Brown's find ignited a firestorm of controversy that riled the usually sedate world of astronomy and launched him into the public eye.

    Rickapolis says: "Informative and fun"
    "Who knew astronomy was so exciting?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I usually listen to books while I am hiking, or doing work around my house. Perhaps this is why there was an unusually long lag - months in fact - between when I started this title and when I ended it. I started it one night when I was just surfing the web. Perhaps this also says a bit about the first quarter or so of the book. Clearly I didn't feel a compulsion to continue immediately after Mike sets up his life and his work.
    Then I took a long hike, and decided it was the perfect time to finish this book.
    It really was.
    It seems my previous stopping point had been right before things got interesting. It wasn't just about discovering new large bodies orbiting our sun (can't call them planets anymore). I learned about the politics of naming celestial bodies and about Inuit creation myth in the process. I discovered what happens when a number-oriented scientist becomes a father and applies the scientific method to taking care of a baby. (I even looked at the website when I got home). I got so worked up about an apparent theft of intellectual property that I could scarcely wait to get down the mountain and tell my husband what happened. When NASA's pic of the day allowed the user to zoom in to beyond microscopic level and then zoom out to past our universe (theoretically speaking), I was proud to say I knew what Sedna and Eris were.
    And I agree with why Pluto was killed as a planet. Maybe you will too.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6419)
    Performance
    (5710)
    Story
    (5705)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Pamela says: "The circus of your dreams"
    "I had to immediately listen to it again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this audiobook after hearing many positive reviews about it. From the prologue I was immediately swept up in the fantasy of black and white, magic and love. I will say at first it was a bit confusing with the jumps in time that the written book makes it easier to reference (the chapter headings are dates). However, once I was aware of it I just made sure to keep track. That wasn't difficult, as I found I could not turn off the book. Stayed up waaayyyy too late listening because I couldn't stop. I didn't even regret it the next day. In fact, I started listening again and listened all the way through a second time within a day or so. (Not much got done around my house).

    I usually delete an audiobook from my smartphone when I have finished listening just to conserve space, but this one remains there permanently. If, for some reason I am out of something new to listen to and am where I can't download, I just turn this one back on and immediately rejoin the circus.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection: No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Number 13

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Lisette Lecat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (632)
    Performance
    (545)
    Story
    (546)

    Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series has become a worldwide phenomenon thanks to the appeal of endearing protagonist Precious Ramotswe and the author’s charmingly quirky prose. In this 13th installment, Mma Ramotswe’s attention is focused on a pesky disciplinary problem at her adopted daughter’s school - while Grace Makutsi adjusts to wedded bliss and the famed Clovis Andersen arrives in Botswana looking for more than bush tea.

    Rugbysmom says: "This series + this narrater = great entertainment"
    "Just like pulling on my favorite sweatshirt"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have become a huge fan of this series. My first introduction to the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency was through the audiobook, and I loved the way Lisette Lecat made Botswana real to me. I love the way she pronounces Mma Ramotswe's name (and every other Botswana name, for that matter). I have read some books in the series, but know that I much more enjoy them when listening. There is nothing surprising or monumental in any of the books, and this one is no exception. But the wisdom, grace, and humor I find in the traditional Botswana wisdom woven for me in these stories is the equivalent of putting on my favorite comfortable sweatshirt and curling up in front of the fire with a nice cup of tea. Except I can be drawn into this world while still doing tasks that need doing.

    I also found myself brewing a lot more tea while I listened to this book.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Karl Marlantes
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4312)
    Performance
    (2468)
    Story
    (2469)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A performance so poignant, we gave Bronson Pinchot (yes, Balki from Perfect Strangers) our inaugural Narrator of the Year award.... In the monsoon season of 1968-69 at a fire support base called Matterhorn, located in the remote mountains of Vietnam, a young and ambitious Marine lieutenant wants to command a company to further his civilian political ambitions. But two people stand in his way.

    Zachary says: "Matterhorn"
    "My ears weren't ready for the language."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to admit I should have used more caution in purchasing this audiobook. I should have realized the story would include very realistic dialogue, to which my ears are entirely unaccustomed. I find if I read language like this I am able to gloss over it, but hearing Bronson Pinchot's well-done narration made it impossible for me to ignore words which I never use and almost never hear. They are still rolling around in my head, and I hate that.

    That said, I found this story to be compelling. I know this is a work of fiction, but I'm sure the events described could have taken place for real and, in fact, probably did in some form. I felt my heart sink as the protagonists were placed increasingly impossible situations because of politics and pride. I cringed at the description of the physical maladies they endured. I now have an even greater appreciation for the men in uniform who serve and protect this country on the front lines.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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