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Renee

Princeton, NJ, United States

19
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 144 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 54 purchased in 2014
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  • Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Anne Lamott, Sam Lamott
    • Narrated By Anne Lamott, Sam Lamott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (55)

    Stunned to learn that her son, Sam, is about to become a father at 19, Lamott begins a journal about the first year of her grandson, Jax's, life. In careful and often hilarious detail, Lamott and Sam - about whom she first wrote so movingly in Operating Instructions - struggle to balance their changing roles with the demands of college and work, as they both forge new relationships with Jax's mother, who has her own ideas about how to raise a child.

    Renee says: "Not her best work"
    "Not her best work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I'm a huge Anne Lamott fan, loved


    What could Anne Lamott and Sam Lamott have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    There just wasn't much to the story. Her son got a woman pregnant, they fought all the time, Anne loved the baby so much and worries all the time. And, she is so very involved in her church. And, she goes on vacation, which sounds like filler for the book. It would have been more interesting to have some short stories, each of which focused on one topic, like the trip to India, or the baby's birth, or her son becoming a father, allowing for more story development.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Anne Lamott and Sam Lamott ?

    Sam was a pretty good narrator, but Anne was not. She simply sounded like she was reading from a text.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I did come to care about Amy, Sam, and Jax, and wished there had been an epilog to tell me what happened next. Did they stay together? I also found the words and advice of her spiritual leaders delightful to hear.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Cecilian Vespers: A Collins-Burke Mystery, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Anne Emery
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    Lawyer and bluesman Monty Collins is used to defending murderers - and occasionally investigating murders himself - but he's never come up against anything like the case of Reinhold Schellenberg, a world-renowned German theologian who has been found dead on the altar of an old church in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Saint Cecilia's Day. The controversial priest, once a top insider in the Vatican, was known to provoke strong feelings in Catholics, and now those feelings have overflowed with horrifying results.

    Reader says: "Intensely Catholic"
    "Jumped the shark"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was most disappointing about Anne Emery’s story?

    So disappointed to see interesting characters end up in a plot involving Nazis, stolen necklaces, etc. The charm of Book 1 of the series was lost here.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cloud Atlas

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Cassandra Campbell, Kim Mai Guest, and others
    Overall
    (3048)
    Performance
    (2258)
    Story
    (2265)

    A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation: the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history.

    Cynthia says: "Complicated and Not Good for Listening!"
    "Fabulous, complicated story"
    Overall

    I loved the complicated structure and the intertwined story lines. I would have liked this to go on forever.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By Anthony Bourdain
    • Narrated By Anthony Bourdain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1753)
    Performance
    (1013)
    Story
    (992)

    In the 10 years since his classic Kitchen Confidential first alerted us to the idiosyncrasies and lurking perils of eating out, much has changed for the subculture of chefs and cooks, for the restaurant business and for Anthony Bourdain. Medium Raw explores those changes, tracking Bourdain's strange and unexpected voyage from journeyman cook to globe-traveling professional eater and drinker, and even to fatherhood. Bourdain takes no prisoners as he dissects what he's seen.

    Andy says: "entertaining but not as good as kitchen conf."
    "Gee Tony, lighten up!"
    Overall

    I loved "Kitchen Confidential," but this book is whiny, and the profanity is just repetitive and boring now, not shocking. I would have liked to have heard more about his young daughter, who seems to bring out a more human side of him. I won't be reading another of his books.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Nick Reding
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (662)
    Performance
    (282)
    Story
    (288)

    Crystal methamphetamine is widely considered to be the most dangerous drug in the world, and nowhere is that more true than in the small towns of the American heartland. Methland tells the story of Oelwein, Iowa (pop. 6,159), which, like thousands of other small towns across the country, has been left in the dust by the consolidation of the agricultural industry, a depressed local economy, and an out-migration of people.

    Sean says: "Interesting, then not."
    "It opened my eyes"
    Overall

    This book really opened my eyes to the problem of meth use in the US.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Burn: An Anna Pigeon Mystery, Book 16

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Nevada Barr
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (334)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (131)

    Anna Pigeon, a Ranger with the National Park Service, is on administrative leave from her job as she recovers from the traumas of the past couple of months – while the physical wounds have healed, the emotional ones are still healing. With her new husband busy and back at work, Anna decides to go to stay with an old friend from the Park Service, Geneva, who works as a singer at the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park.

    Ilah says: "Bring other narrator back!!!!"
    "Go back to the forest, Anna!"
    Overall

    I like the Anna Pigeon character, but this preposterous story set in New Orleans was hard to swallow. Really, little Anna and her cross-dressing friend single handedly take on the corrupt New Orleans PD and save lots of little kids from sex slavery? People are killed, buildings burn down, fugitives are harbored, but apparently Anna only has to answer to her husband after fibbing to him about her involvement in these indiscretions.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Passage: The Passage Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Justin Cronin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Adenrele Ojo, Abby Craden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6810)
    Performance
    (3177)
    Story
    (3183)

    First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

    Nicole says: "You love it or you hate it..."
    "Great for a long drive"
    Overall

    Once you have gotten past the preposterous premise of flying zombie vampires killing off humankind, the book was fabulous company for a long, solitary drive. I cared about the characters, and the narration was excellent. I also loved the tidbit of Jenna Bush as future Governor of Texas. The prose is well-written, a lot like Stephen King, but without so much gore. If you need a long book to see you through a journey, this is a good choice.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Disgrace

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By J. M. Coetzee
    • Narrated By Michael Cumpsty
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (26)

    Written with the austere clarity that has made J. M. Coetzee the winner of two Booker Prizes, Disgrace explores the downfall of one man and dramatizes, with unforgettable, at times almost unbearable, vividness the plight of a country caught in the chaotic aftermath of centuries of racial oppression.

    JOHN says: "Great book - aptly named"
    "Intense"
    Overall

    I now want to read everything this author has written. Superb, but challenging

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Rollback

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By George Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (59)

    Thirty-eight years ago, Dr. Sarah Halifax earned worldwide fame by deciphering a radio transmission from an unknown intelligence reaching out from deep space. Now 87, Sarah receives news that, at long last, a new signal has been received, and her services are desperately needed once again.

    Crystal says: "He's Been Better- Characters Good"
    "Canadian heroine"
    Overall

    Refreshing that main character is a smart women scientist and that the setting is Canada. Some clever ideas, especially that Coke and Pepsi merge in the future.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Strange Valley

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Darrell Bain
    • Narrated By Bob Jordan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    A clerk working in the census bureau discovers a series of anomalies in the population of a small city located in the Ozark Mountains. Intrigued, the clerk continues to investigate. He finds that, on average, the population of the city and surrounding valley, are a little smarter, less religious, more thrifty, marry less, have a higher level of education, are more sexually liberated, have fewer illnesses and many other positive traits.

    Jerker says: "It promises more than it delivers"
    "Sad state of contemporary scifi"
    Overall

    Irritating narrator, silly premise, lots of gratuitous sex.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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