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Bradford

Omaha, NE, United States | Member Since 2001

50
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 20 reviews
  • 138 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Every Day

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Levithan
    • Narrated By Alex McKenna
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (277)
    Performance
    (249)
    Story
    (249)

    Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply....

    Laura says: "Original & Moving"
    "Worth a listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read a review of this book in Entertainment Weekly and as an honest fan of "Quantum Leap" I was intrigued to pick it up, even with its young adult genre listing. Yes, this is a young adult book, make no mistake. The young characters seem to experience about every pitfall of high school over the course of the book, so prepare yourself. Even still, the idea of the character is very intriguing. The lives the main character falls into each have their story told equally which can lead to interesting tales and perspectives on young adult life. A bit preachy in parts, the messages are all positive. The ending is what really threw me. I won't spoil it here, but it was probably the only part of the book I didn't enjoy. The narrator is superb! Definitely worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Writing Down the Bones

    • ORIGINAL (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Natalie Goldberg
    Overall
    (170)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (93)

    Here is a new collector's edition of this modern classic as you have never heard it before, read by Natalie Goldberg herself, and then infused with her most personal reflections about this "magic manual" for all writers. Try these ingenious, Zen-based exercises to expand your writing skills ¿ or just for fun.

    Krissy D.H. says: "The Substance"
    "Zen and the Art of Journaling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Consult any article on learning how to write and this book will come up. In truth, this book should be called "Zen and the Art of Journaling." Goldberg seamlessly infuses his personal practice of zen meditation with the art of writing. Let me tell you something straight up: this is NOT a "how to write" book. It is more a guide on how to spiritually benefit from and energize your writing. There are plenty of writing exercises and insights for the aspiring writer to enjoy in this book, but Goldberg's main focus is how to be in the now and then write in the now. The more I listened I realized how her perspectives were best used for poets and anyone who likes to journal. Sure, keeping a journal will help the writer develop their voice. But this is really a guide to get a closer, more intense spiritual experience from your writing. Even if you're not into Zen, the insights that Goldberg offers are well worth your time.

    In this edition, Goldberg revisits her own text, adding additional ideas and experiences she's had in the 30 years since it was originally published. The problem is this is where the audio production fails. I can't tell what is the book and what is a current insight. Not that it matters much, but Goldberg's delivery is constant throughout the recording so it's impossible to tell where the book stops and her current thoughts begin.

    This is a decent book for the aspiring writer to pick up and get a little energy boost, but don't expect any earth-shattering insights into the practice of writing. Go to Stephen King's "On Writing" for that. Also, I've listened to some live recordings of Goldberg's lectures and they are far more entertaining and interesting than this book. She has learned a lot in 30 years, so while it's good to revisit the original text here, I think her more recent insights will probably be more valuable. Just my $0.02.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Firefight: Reckoners, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7195)
    Performance
    (6347)
    Story
    (6324)

    Newcago is free. They told David it was impossible, that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet Steelheart - invincible, immortal, unconquerable - is dead. And he died by David's hand.Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life simpler. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And no one in Newcago can give him answers.Babylon Restored, the city formerly known as the borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though.

    G. House Sr. says: "Fabulous -- A Must Read Sequal"
    "Massive improvement from Book 1"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really, really enjoyed Book 2 of this series. In fact, I think it's one of the best second books of a series I've read in a long time! Sanderson has relaxed into his world and its characters, and you can tell in the dialogue, description and narrative. The base concepts of the world that were introduced in Book 1 are expanded upon in this book, answering as many questions as new questions are posed. We get to see more of the world, learn more about the Epics, how they think/feel/act and where they came from. All of it wrapped together nicely with wonderful, relaxed narrative that makes you love the characters more than ever. You can hear Sanderson's plucky sense of humor throughout the novel, and that's part of what makes it so good, providing tense situations and plot points with little bits of fun to keep the story light and enjoyable. Andrews seems to have had long conversations with Sanderson about the novel, because his narration was better in Book 2 as well. Andrews perfectly nails the humor and tension needed at every opportunity. This is a wonderful book, and I can't wait for the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sisterhood of Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (457)
    Performance
    (411)
    Story
    (418)

    It is 83 years after the last of the thinking machines were destroyed in the Battle of Corrin, after Faykan Butler took the name of Corrino and established himself as the first Emperor of a new Imperium. Great changes are brewing that will shape and twist all of humankind.

    Clydene says: "This is the First Need to Listen for 2012"
    "Have caffeine ready"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a fan of Frank Herbert's Dune Universe, I can't help but pick up the latest expansion novel and see where Brian Herbert and Anderson take things next. Some of the prequels have been good, but this one falls into the same patterns that have plagued the less enjoyable books of the original and prequel series. The biggest problem I have is with the sheer scope of the arc stories. There are so many of them, following so many characters and plotlines, that Herbert himself has to waste time rehashing events from the same book to make sure the reader/listener hasn't forgotten the latest key detail from 50 pages ago. This leads to numerous 10+ minute stretches of straight prose with little action or dialogue to keep me from falling asleep or losing interest. The high points of the book are high, and clearly Herbert and Anderson have built an extended world that would be fun to explore ... just maybe one story at a time, please.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: The Author at Work: The Art of Writing Fiction

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Jenna Blum
    • Narrated By Jenna Blum
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    New York Times best-selling author Jenna Blum has scored critical and commercial success with her novels Those Who Save Us and The Stormchasers. One of Oprah’s Top Thirty Women’s Writers, Blum has also taught creative writing at Boston University and master novel workshops for Grub Street Writers. Here Blum shares insights into the writing process and offers listeners the most important aspects of succeeding as an author.

    Bradford says: "One of the best writing how-to's I've ever read"
    "One of the best writing how-to's I've ever read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I went into this lecture skeptical. I didn't know Jenna Blum's work, and I wasn't sure this would be helpful. I'm happy to tell you I was very, very wrong. Blum's lectures were written to help writers like me discover the foundations and essential building blocks of our craft. She explains the biggies like theme, plot, style and dialogue in a new way that is far better than most of the "how-to" books I've read on the subject. She approaches each topic with the scholastic approach of a professor while keeping in mind the more practical needs of the practicing writer. She describes each item using excepts from her own work while also pulling in quotes and excerpts from popular authors that anyone listening can identify with. Put simply, she makes studying to write fun. With built-in exercises and numerous examples, Blum walks you through each aspect of writing masterfully, getting you to think about your own work while exploring the nature of the concepts themselves. At times I felt like I was getting an course in a collegiate Master of Fine Arts program for the price of an audiobook. I would put Blum's lecture up at the top of my bookshelf of "How to Write." I encourage any aspiring or active writing looking to shore up and learn more about the core concepts of the craft to listen and enjoy her lectures.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Who: A History

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Alan Kistler
    • Narrated By Alan Kistler
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (40)

    Premiering the day after the JFK assassination, Doctor Who humbly launched one of the entertainment world's first super-brands. We begin with a look at TV programming of the day and the original pitch documents before delving into the Daleks, which almost didn't make the cut but inspired many monsters to follow. After three years, First Doctor William Hartnell left, prompting the BBC to recast their hit rather than end it, giving us the first "regeneration" and making TV history.

    Saud says: "Not a Good Reference, a Good Springboard"
    "A wonderful, comprehensive history for any Whovian"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a great and thorough introduction to the development, history, story lines and the cast/crew behind the show. I thought I knew a lot about the show. By the end of the second chapter I knew I was going to learn much more. And I did! This book has tons of small stories and "sidebars" about various aspects of the show's plot lines, characters, and focused on the major figures of the show with shocking honesty. Quotes from the show's producers and actors provide the book with a wonderful, unquestionable authenticity. Does the book cover every story about the show? No, but what single novel could? What is perhaps most wonderful about this book is that it is 100% up-to-date at the time I read it (November 2013). I know that details that had come out just this year were included in the history of the whole show, showing deliberate links between the modern and classic versions. Kistler is an adequate narrator. As the writer he did a great job gathering all the information, interviews, quotes and details together into a very easy to listen narrative that added significantly to my knowledge and appreciation of one of my favorite TV shows of all time. A must read for any fan of the show who'd like to learn more about the show and the decisions that made it what it was and is.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amped: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Daniel H. Wilson
    • Narrated By Robbie Daymond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (459)
    Performance
    (408)
    Story
    (411)

    In Amped, people are implanted with a device that makes them capable of superhuman feats. The powerful technology has profound consequences for society, and soon a set of laws is passed that restricts the abilities - and rights - of "amplified" humans. On the day that the Supreme Court passes the first of these laws, 29-year-old Owen Gray joins the ranks of a new persecuted underclass known as "amps." Owen is forced to go on the run, desperate to reach an outpost in Oklahoma where, it is rumored, a group of the most enhanced amps may be about to change the world - or destroy it.

    D says: "No Michael Crighton but still worth a listen"
    "A better movie than a book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Daniel Wilson starts with an interesting idea: how does the U.S. deal with citizens who have enhanced abilities thanks to brain implants ("amps"). Wilson takes us immediately to the worst possible outcome, sending the U.S. and our characters into a world where those with amps are heavily discriminated against, by citizens and law, to the point where they are on the run for their lives. Conveniently enough one of them, the son of one of the original designers of the amps, finds himself in a position to lead a revolution of One against the man and uncover the conspiracy behind it all. You can see how things can get pretty thin pretty fast. Wilson's first novel, Robopocalyse, had far more tension and a more satisfying view into the negative impact technology can have on society. This book is geared more towards satisfying the movie genre where one man makes all the difference. Meh, says the SF fan. If I'm going to play in this world, it can't just be the one guy with the best amp saving the world. It's got to be more, and Wilson comes up short in that regard. I'm willing to spend some time in this horrible world he's created, where amped people are treated with less civility than any race relation in our nation's history. But Wilson decides instead to follow the path of a single character with just enough access and abilities to save the world. Meh. Daymond's reading is spot on, and his accents are well developed and enhance the story. If you liked Wilson's first book, give this one a go but don't get your hopes too high.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ender in Exile

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, David Birney, Cassandra Campbell, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2493)
    Performance
    (1376)
    Story
    (1377)

    Andrew Wiggin is told that he can no longer live on Earth, and he realizes that this is the truth. He has become far more than just a boy who won a game: he is the Savior of Earth, a hero, a military genius whose allegiance is sought by every nation of the newly shattered Earth Hegemony. He is offered the choice of living in isolation on Eros, at one of the Hegemony's training facilities, but instead the 12-year-old chooses to leave his home world and begin the long relativistic journey out to the colonies.

    Joshua says: "A Change of Perspective"
    "Disappointing story, excellent cast."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Looking ahead to the upcoming movie that has the entire Ender series to use for source material, I thought it would be worth my time to read the immediate sequel to "Ender's Game" and see if I could fill in a few gaps of what I know happened to Ender between that book and "Speaker for the Dead." As a fan of the original books and Card I dove in with enthusiasm. Sadly, the book did not meet expectations. I learned little more of Ender's life than what I'd already gleaned from the original books and common sense. While the e-mail conversations at the beginning of each chapter are interesting, the rest of the book tires under the weight of Card talking at length about what people are thinking, why they are thinking it and what their intentions are as if I couldn't figure it out on my own. It drags the pace of the novel to a staggering crawl. The challenges Ender face in each chapter pale miserably in comparison to the other books, and I found myself bored by the third Act to the point I didn't care much any more. I already knew what would happen next. Stefan Rudnicki remains the king of science fiction audiobooks, and his fellow cast helped shape an uninteresting tale into an audio play that made my time worthwhile. If you're a fan of the Enderverse, by all means dive in. If you're looking for action, stick to the Shadow series. My best suggestion is to skip this one and just re-read the original series again and then enjoy the movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Soon I Will Be Invincible: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Austin Grossman
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo, Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1058)
    Performance
    (556)
    Story
    (556)

    Doctor Impossible, evil genius and diabolical scientist, has tried to take over the world in every way imaginable, but this time is going to be different. He'll have to contend with Fatale, however, a rookie superhero on her first day with the Champions, the world's most famous superteam. She's a patchwork woman of skin and chrome, a gleaming technological marvel built for the next generation of warfare.

    Brad says: "Now that I have you at my mercy. . ."
    "A great listen for classic superhero/villian lover"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are at all a fan of the classic superhero vs. supervillain motif from the good ol' days of comic books and superhero cartoons, this is a great book to pickup and listen to. Told from two opposing perspectives of a superhero and a supervillain, it's a great revisit to the classic motif of the supervillain who wants to take over the world versus the superheroes who ALWAYS manage to defeat him. The chapters that follow the villain, Doctor Impossible, are by far the best parts of the book allowing you to really get inside the head of the bad guy, where he came from, what his motives are, how he feels when he gets punched by the hero, etc. It's a rarity to get such a well-written and well-rounded view into the mind of the archcriminal with enough humor and all-out fun to keep it light and interesting. Boehmer's voice was perfectly chosen for Doctor Impossible and his performance is superb, reminding me time and again of Will Farrell in "Mastermind," a close parallel to this story. Grossman has created a world of heroes with flaws (as they all should have) that is as much fun to explore as listening to the villain explore why he does what he does, what he thinks of all these crazy people in tights, and just how he'll win this time as opposed to the 100 other times he lost. To me, it's amazing these flawed heroes manage to win as often as they do in Grossman's world, just as much as it surprises me that someone as brilliant as Doctor Impossible has lost in some of the battles he did. Even still, the world, the story and the insights you get into the heroic and villain minds is a fun and enjoyable ride that makes the book a great read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ender’s World: Fresh Perspectives on the SF Classic Ender’s Game

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card (editor)
    • Narrated By Gabrielle de Cuir, Janis Ian, Arthur Morey, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (70)

    Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game is a science fiction classic. In Ender’s World almost two dozen writers offer new perspectives on the 1985 novel, along with insights gleaned from other Ender stories that fit within the Ender’s Game chronology. In addition, military strategists Colonel Tom Ruby and Captain John Schmitt offer insight into the human-Formic war.

    Matt Z says: "Just let Stefan Rudnicki read... Seriously."
    "See if you can find the essays, Q&A online first"
    Overall
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    Having recently re-read the classic Ender's Game, I thought a venture into assorted essays examining the book and its impact on SF and society at large would be worthwhile. Sadly, this book did not live up to expectations. The essays, all well-written, did not evoke thoughts or perspectives that are not unusual for SF books in general, much less one as well-known as Ender's Game. I found many of the analyses to be overly generalized, describing experiences and perspectives that can be easily applied to just about every book out there. Some of the essays were more an opportunity for the writer to vent their own personal experiences with the book rather than focusing on a meaningful, through-provoking theme to be explored by the reader. The exception is an essay written by a Marine Captain who was assigned the task of writing the master instruction manual for the entire Marine Corps on how to make war using a methodology that mirrored the tactics and leadership practices that Ender used in Battle School and beyond. That is a VERY fascinating read into how Ender's Game can relate to real-life instances of leadership and warfare and is perhaps on its own worth the price of the book. The Q&A at the end of each chapter is the best part for fans of Ender's Game. Questions are asked directly to Orson Scott Card regarding his thoughts and plans behind various aspects of Ender's Game and the entire Enderverse, and Card reads the answers himself. Those same questions and answers, as well as the topics of the articles in the books, could probably be found online in other forums. If you're a hardcore Ender fan like me, I guess this book is worth the time ... barely.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition): An Oral History of the Zombie War

    • ABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Max Brooks
    • Narrated By Max Brooks, Alan Alda, John Turturro, and others
    Overall
    (3779)
    Performance
    (3551)
    Story
    (3559)

    World War Z: The Complete Edition is a new recording of Max Brooks’ best-selling novel, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, featuring 21 additional Hollywood A-list actors and sci-fi fan favorites performing stories not included in the original edition. New narrators include Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese, Spiderman star Alfred Molina, The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, rapper Common, Firefly star Nathan Fillion, Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg, and members of the casts of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes and more!

    Kim Venatries says: "A Good Story with an All Star Cast but ABRIDGED"
    "Worth the listen for the cast alone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'll admit, I went in curious to read about what the upcoming movie will be like. I'm happy to report the movie and the book have little in common, so just go in and enjoy the book for itself. Once you do that, you'll be able to get caught up in the amazing performances the narrators bring to the tale. Brooks does a fun job of creating a wide array of characters and situations, and his mastery of the vernacular makes each chapter enjoyable even with its heavy and morbid subject matter. You feel like you're sitting in a room interviewing each person along with Brooks, and you can't help but feel transported to the events as they're described to you. As a work of fiction, it's a bit thin. As a "zombie novel" it's far more honest than the others I've read. There's no deep exploration of the cause or magical cure devised from the discovery of patient zero. This time it's total war (as described in one of the best chapters), so don't expect the typical endings to any story. Above all else, get this book to enjoy the storytellers at the top of their craft. Mark Hamill in particular will knock your socks off. Enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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