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Lee

Chapel Hill, NC, United States | Member Since 2007

68
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
5

  • Smart Thinking: Three Essential Keys to Solve Problems, Innovate, and Get Things Done

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Art Markman
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (210)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (173)

    Think smart people are just born that way? Think again. Drawing on diverse studies of the mind, from psychology to linguistics, philosophy, and learning science, Art Markman, Ph.D., demonstrates the difference between "smart thinking" and raw intelligence, showing listeners how memory works, how to learn effectively, and how to use knowledge to get things done. He then introduces his own three-part formula for listeners to employ "smart thinking" in their daily lives.

    Tad Davis says: "Research-based tips on thinking"
    "I feel asleep in class"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Your most boring professor writes a book. After listening for two hours, I learned that innovative thinkers apply past knowledge to new situations, and it is easier to stop a bad habit by replacing it with another behavior. Another book that would be better as a five minute TED video.

    41 of 46 people found this review helpful
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Susanna Clarke
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (3196)
    Performance
    (1192)
    Story
    (1196)

    English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.

    David says: "Hang in there!"
    "Gave up after 10 hours"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is apparently catnip for a certain type of book geek. I enjoyed the first few hours as quirky and novel, then gradually lost interest until giving up at hour 10. While I tend to read plot driven page-turners, I appreciate good writing and occasionally read “literature.” I wanted to like this book, but the lack of plot and glacial pacing wore me out. I just didn’t appreciate the intimate character studies and wry social commentary enough to make it worth my while. I like to listen to audiobooks before bedtime, and this one often put me to sleep in 10 to 15 minutes. In this round of man vs. book, book won!

    I am working on a set of book characteristics to cover in my reviews. Qualities that I would like to know before choosing a book. My sweet spot is fairly light fiction (often fantasy) with above average writing and characters. I hope you find these useful. I didn't go into depth on them here because this book has already been heavily reviewed.

    Emotional Tone:
    Mostly neutral, sometimes dark, brooding atmosphere, sometimes comic.

    Literary Quality:
    High craftsmanship, obviously skilled writer.

    Pacing:
    Very slow; detailed conversations and descriptions.

    Plot:
    Very little plot, meandering story lines.

    Characters:
    Lots of varied characters. Main character (Mr. Norrell) for first third of book is dull and unlikable. Most characters are not very dynamic.

    Sex & Violence:
    Very little through first third of book.

    Narrator:
    Does a good job with difficult material. Enjoyed him much more in “The Coral Thief.”

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 31 mins)
    • By Derek Sivers
    • Narrated By Derek Sivers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (433)
    Performance
    (326)
    Story
    (327)

    When anyone can start a business (when everyone is running their career like a business), it begs a question. This is your one chance at life, you can have anything you want, what is worth doing? Most people don't know why they're doing what they're doing. They imitate others, go with the flow, and follow paths without making their own. They spend decades in pursuit of something that someone convinced them they should want, without realizing that it won't make them happy. Anything You Want is a manifesto about living life, appreciating enough, and doing what matters.

    Richard says: "Short and poignant"
    "Refreshing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I so enjoyed this book, I listened to it 3 times. It is a very human, down to earth, golden-rule type approach to business and life. Derek shows you can put heart and fun into business.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Robin Sloan
    • Narrated By Ari Fliakos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2270)
    Performance
    (2044)
    Story
    (2033)

    The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything....

    Susan says: "Fun, thought-provoking, mysterious.... and FUN !"
    "So Over-rated!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The leading user review compares this book to the Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern). This is grossly unfair to the Night Circus. Penumbra has enough ideas for a really good short story. The characters are mostly interesting types, although fairly static and undeveloped. The lead character is boring, and the most interesting character, Penumbra, is not "on stage" nearly enough. I would compare this more to a watered down "14" (Peter Clines) which was much more interesting. I found that even at the most climactic parts of the book, I really didn't care that much. I finished the book mainly because it was only about 8 hours long. The Night Circus, on the Other hand, is about 100x more dense with ideas, imagination, character development, and dramatic tension. All that is not to say this book is bad; it is good enough that I think it could have been better. If you want a hip, fun, modern, weird mystery book, try 14 instead.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Warlock: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Michael Scott
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (886)
    Performance
    (684)
    Story
    (687)

    In the fifth installment of this bestselling series, the twins of prophesy have been divided, and the end is finally beginning.
    With Scatty, Joan of Arc, Saint Germain, Palamedes, and Shakespeare all in Danu Talis, Sophie is on her own with the ever-weakening Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel. She must depend on Niten to help her find an immortal to teach her Earth Magic. The surprise is that she will find her teacher in the most ordinary of places.

    G. House Sr. says: "Cliff Hanger -- Batter Up for Book 6"
    "Barely OK if you like the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My wife and I have listened to this series, and mostly like it. This book is clearly setting the stage for the last book and grand finale. For God's sake don't get this audiobook if you are not into the series, it is not very good. Michael Scott has really under-performed, producing just enough of the lightweight, cheesy action - fantasy we like. After this series is ended I won't start another by him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Deep Blue Good-By: A Travis McGee Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By John D. MacDonald
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1178)
    Performance
    (990)
    Story
    (1001)

    He's a self-described beach bum who won his houseboat in a card game. He's also a knight errant who's wary of credit cards, retirement benefits, political parties, mortgages, and television. He only works when his cash runs out, and his rule is simple: he'll help you find whatever was taken from you, as long as he can keep half.

    Michael Cavacini says: "An Entertaining Start To A Classic Series"
    "Disturbing Theme"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is well written, and well narrated, but I found it depressing. The bad guy brakes the mind and soul of his female companion through systematic abuse. I was expecting something lighter.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Beat the Reaper: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Josh Bazell
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1128)
    Performance
    (420)
    Story
    (420)

    Meet Peter Brown, a young Manhattan emergency room doctor with an unusual past that is just about to catch up with him. His morning begins with the quick disarming of a would-be mugger, followed by a steamy elevator encounter with a sexy young pharmaceutical rep, topped off by a visit with a new patient - and from there Peter's day is going to get a whole lot worse and a whole lot weirder.

    Chuck says: "Great book and great narrator"
    "Violence Warning"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is really quite entertaining - although the non-stop action can get to manic levels. However, the description of the book doesn't convey how violent it is. While the worst stuff (like systematic torture) happens "off-screen," there are some thoughts and images I dont care to have in my mind. If the violence was toned down, I would be referring this book to more friends.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 1632: Ring of Fire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Eric Flint
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (562)
    Performance
    (517)
    Story
    (521)

    New York Times best-selling author Eric Flint has received glowing critical praise for his Ring of Fire alternate history series. In this first installment, a West Virginia town is transported from the year 2000 to 1631 Germany at the height of the Thirty Years’ War. Thrust into conflict, the town residents must also contend with moral issues such as who should be considered a citizen.

    Ben says: "Finally on Audible!!"
    "Velveeta"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like sci-fi and fantasy, and can accept the initial premise that a town in modern day West Virginia has been mysteriously sent back to 1632 Germany. That is the cool part of the story. The problem is with the characters - they are mostly caricatures. And while that is fine for many entertaining novels with heavy action, this book, after the opening sequences, spends a lot of time on character "development." If you can call following the thoughts and dialogue of stock characters "development." Chunks of the book read like a romance novel, with breathless, love-at-first-site encounters and courtship. The Americans, almost without exception, are an amazingly virtuous lot, that embody the best American principals - hard work, self reliance, inclusion, democracy, tolerance, practicality, fairness, ingenuity - without fail. This is in stark contrast to the bad guys - who are truly vile. The narrator, George Guidall, is so good, that he can make this pulp seem to have substance. Yet Guidall can only cover for the author for so long. Eventually, you notice that your velveeta topped cheeseburger is missing the meat, and you only have a mouthful of cheese.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Wise Man's Fear: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 2

    • UNABRIDGED (42 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9339)
    Performance
    (7695)
    Story
    (7762)

    "My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep...."

    Joe says: "Excellent, Imaginative, Beautiful, Page Turning!!!"
    "Enjoyable storytelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you liked The Name of the Wind (Book 1), you should like this one also. The style, characters, and themes are very similar. For me, the book drags at times with Kvolth's obsession with Dena, and his generally high level of suffering. The whole story could move faster. Sometimes Rothfuss spends to much ink being clever - something which frequently gets Kvolth in trouble. Yet the characters are enjoyable enough to bring me back; and I wonder, what trouble will he get in next? Also, I have really grown to like the narrator. Although some minor characters are voiced in a silly, cartoonish way, the main characters are all well done.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Neuromancer

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By William Gibson
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1121)
    Performance
    (988)
    Story
    (995)

    Twenty years ago, it was as if someone turned on a light. The future blazed into existence with each deliberate word that William Gibson laid down. The winner of Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards, Neuromancer didn't just explode onto the science fiction scene - it permeated into the collective consciousness, culture, science, and technology.Today, there is only one science fiction masterpiece to thank for the term "cyberpunk," for easing the way into the information age and Internet society.

    David says: "5 stars for coolness, 3 stars for give-a-heckness"
    "What Fun!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed reading Neuromancer as a twenty year old when it first came out. I didn't know if I would still enjoy it twenty years down the road. Well, it's still love! It's obvious to me now that this is noir. it has more in common with The Maltese Falcon than with most sci-fi. It is just the right blend of melodrama, action, mystery, and campiness. I also really like the setting. Having grown up in the 80s, it makes sense to me. I dont know what it would seem like to a current twenty year old.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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