You no longer follow Alison

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Alison

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Alison

Washington, DC, United States

ratings
143
REVIEWS
35
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
9

  • An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Chris Hadfield
    • Narrated By Chris Hadfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (397)
    Performance
    (367)
    Story
    (370)

    Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, and been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft. The secret to Col. Hadfield's success - and survival - is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst and enjoy every moment of it.

    Ann says: "Bought this three times, worth every penny"
    "Real life rocket man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    If you've ever been curious about space travel and all the work that goes into it, then you'll find this to be a well-written, interesting true story by a recently retired astronaut. Hadfield is at his best when he's describing the experience since it's as close as I'll ever come to space. The "life lessons" imparted throughout don't really strengthen the story and make it a bit preachy. I think he would've been better served if he'd simply focused on his bio without the take-aways. That said, it's still a great read. It made this week's launch of the Soyuz (and its delay in connecting with ISS) really come to life for me. He seems like a solid human, and I was glad to see that he realized his life's dream.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17009)
    Performance
    (14164)
    Story
    (14159)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    L. O. Pardue says: ""Rear Window" Meets "Gone Girl""
    "A convoluted hangover."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This books started strong, but ultimately tested my patience. The very thing that makes the story suspenseful - an unreliable narrator/witness - grows tedious by the end of the book. The set-up was well-crafted and it was fun to speculate who the actual "bad guy" was early on. As the book went on, however, I was frustrated that none of the characters were sympathetic. The end (when it came) was such a twist that it seemed to fall from no where - and was wrapped up just as fast. For a book that spent a lot of time spinning its wheels in the middle, the end seemed too abrupt to be satisfying.

    Don't get me wrong - I think this will be a hit with book clubs because there's ample opportunity to speculate and compare notes. And it does start out in a way that compelled me to recommend it to people (before I got further in).

    I suspect that like the protagonist, the author just overdid it a little.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Promise of Stardust: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Priscille Sibley
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    When a tragic accident leaves Elle brain-dead, Matt is devastated. He knows his wife feared only one thing - a slow death. Just before Matt agrees to remove Elle from life support, the doctors discover that she is pregnant. Matt knows how much this child would have meant to Elle. Linney, Matt's mother, believes her son is blind with denial. She loves Elle, too, and insists that Elle would never want to be kept alive by artificial means, no matter what the situation. Divided by the love they share, driven by principle, Matt and Linney fight for what each believes is right.

    Susan says: "Loved this Story. I may listen to it again!"
    "Page turner ethical drama"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great beach read because it's fast-paced and has an ethical question at its core... but it was a bit over the top in terms of the set-up. I think it would've seemed a bit less fantastical if the main character hadn't been an astronaut.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What She Left Behind

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Ellen Marie Wiseman
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (486)
    Performance
    (435)
    Story
    (436)

    Ten years ago, Izzy Stone's mother fatally shot her father while he slept. Devastated by her mother's apparent insanity, Izzy, now 17, refuses to visit her in prison. But her new foster parents, employees at the local museum, have enlisted Izzy's help in cataloguing items at a long-shuttered state asylum. There, amid piles of abandoned belongings, Izzy discovers a stack of unopened letters, a decades-old journal, and a window into her own past.

    Maryellen says: "Bad Italian accent ruins narration"
    "Much like the Orphan Train..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book bounces between past and present. The present storyline features a ward of the state who is living with foster parents because her mom is in a mental institution for killing her father. In tackling a special project with her foster parents, she stumbles upon the records of a woman many generations back who had also been locked up for mental illness. This provides the mechanism for each chapter to switch between past and present as the girl learns more about her own life through researching the history of an asylum.

    Overall this was an interesting and well written story. The one thing that took away from it was the girl's relationship with her schoolmates, and her own blindness about her mom's motivation. Most readers will see the conclusion coming from a mile away.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Forgotten Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5704)
    Performance
    (3415)
    Story
    (3461)

    Thirty-eight year old Cassandra is lost, alone, and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident 10 years ago, feels like she has lost everything known and dear to her.

    Robert says: "Six stars if I could"
    "Waste. Of. Time."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm not a Kate Morton devotée, but I did read another of her books and enjoy it a lot, so I was hopeful when I started this. Unfortunately, I found it fell short - WAY short.

    Here were my issues with it:
    1. I didn't really care about any of the characters. They were somewhat two-dimensional.
    2. Her editor fell down on the job - this book was way too long for a relatively simple plot.
    3. The plot was surprisingly guessable for being so convoluted - the whole book felt like a study in patience as I waited (and waited and waited) to have the hypothesis I formed around the 3 hour mark proved right.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By David McRaney
    • Narrated By Don Hagen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (577)
    Performance
    (502)
    Story
    (503)

    You Are Now Less Dumb is grounded in the idea that we all believe ourselves to be objective observers of reality - except we’re not. But that's okay, because our delusions keep us sane. Expanding on this premise, McRaney provides eye-opening analyses of 15 more ways we fool ourselves every day. This smart and highly entertaining audiobook will be wowing listeners for years to come.

    PHIL says: "Much like "You Are Not So Smart""
    "I am now actually less dumb - I hope."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you enjoy behavioral research but aren't a scientist, this is a great read/listen. It touches on many key theories, but does so in a way that's easily accessible and fun. The author has a great conversational tone that makes the material engaging - and the anecdotes helped the different theories come to life for me, so I'm actually likely to remember them. (I tried listening to "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" and found that it largely went in one ear and out the other. I was worried this book would be more of the same - but it wasn't. I was surprised by how quickly it flew and how much I retained.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alas, Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pat Frank
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4835)
    Performance
    (3736)
    Story
    (3742)

    This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

    Evelyn says: "Excellent listen"
    "Post-Nuclear survival + 1950s innocence"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I started this book, I had no idea that it was published in 1959. I say that, because while I found much of the book interesting and fun in a post-apocalyptic way, something about it struck me as naive. The characters were doing things that seemed unsophisticated. I couldn't tell if the author wasn't talented or if he was deliberately trying to portray the innocence of the decade. Once I googled the book and saw when it was published, it all snapped into place for me - it was written from a place of innocence. (As an example, the main character - who was otherwise sharp, capable and military trained - hadn't thought about their need for water when preparing his emergency kit. That's something that pretty much any US citizen today thinks of even in the case of temporary power outages.)

    While details like that were distracting, the overall concept was fun to explore. The book is strongest in its first half. Once they settle into post-war life, it loses steam a bit. That said, the author did a great job creatively imagining a world in the wake of nuclear war. If you're a fan of this genre, it's probably worth adding to your shelf.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shanghai Girls: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Lisa See
    • Narrated By Janet Song
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1525)
    Performance
    (739)
    Story
    (750)

    Hoping to improve their social standing, May and Pearl's parents arrange for their daughters to "Gold Mountain men" who have come from Los Angeles to find brides. But when the sisters leave China and arrive at Angel's Island (the Ellis Island of the West, where they are detained, interrogated, and humiliated for months) they feel the harsh reality of leaving home. And when May discovers she's pregnant, the situation becomes even more desperate. The sisters make a pact that no one can ever know.

    Frances says: "Touching, sad, and enjoyable"
    "Something's Missing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, let me confess: I'm a big fan of See's other novels, "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" and "Peony In Love." So I approached this book with high expectations, thinking it would deliver something along the same lines as those other books. It started out strong - showing us two beautiful and privileged girls in a Shanghai that was on the cusp of war. I wanted to spend more time in that setting, really getting a sense of what Shanghai life would've been like. Instead, we're transported to the United States, where the sisters immigrate to flee the war. This book feels like walking into a shrinking tunnel - what starts with possibilities becomes dark, depressing and limited. I think it's intended to showcase the love between two sisters, but I spent a good part of the book wanting to shake one of them for her selfishness and the other one for her blind love.

    If you haven't read a See book before, don't start with this one because I worry you'll forgo her other works as a result. And that would be a shame.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anthony Doerr
    • Narrated By Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7347)
    Performance
    (6442)
    Story
    (6457)

    Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

    Annie M. says: "Time well spent"
    "All the right elements..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was prepared to love this book. So many elements hit me precisely the right way: The language was great; the premise was alluring; the idea of wooden model villages appealed to the quirky collector in me; the details about the radio transmissions fascinated me; and the characters were all intriguing. And yet, I found my brain wandering as I listened. Even though I loved this book on many levels, I struggled to stay focused on it, which is rare for me. I'm not sure if that's because it toggled between different storylines and timelines so quickly, or if the same quirkiness that I loved about it left me feeling a bit scattered, but for whatever reason, I never felt like I really LANDED in this story.

    Don't get me wrong - it's well written, a jewel of a premise, and rather well executed. It just fell flat for me. Because so many elements were right, I plan to re-listen to it in a year and see if it was simply a case of bad timing on my part. Despite my reservations, I encourage you to check it out and see what you think. There's a lot to love here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Secret Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Shilpi Somaya Gowda
    • Narrated By Soneela Nankani
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (362)
    Performance
    (277)
    Story
    (281)

    Debut novelist Shilpi Somaya Gowda pens this compelling tale about two families, worlds apart, linked by one Indian child. After giving birth to a girl for a second time, impoverished Kavita must give her up to an orphanage. The baby, named Asha, is adopted by an American doctor and raised in California. But once grown, Asha decides to return to India.

    Stephanie says: "A Must Read"
    "Great read for a book club!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Color me impressed. I went in with low expectations because this was a first-time author, but I was quickly hooked. The writing was solid, the story well-told and the characters well-developed. There were a couple chapters about 3/4 of the way through when I felt like I'd been duped and it was a book with an agenda (trying to help adopted children stop asking questions about their birth families), but that was fleeting and then quickly dismissed. This was engaging and a fast listen, yet I found myself teary-eyed at the end, which means I cared about the characters. If all debuts could be this solid, we'd be spoiled. I plan to recommend this to my book club, because it's great fodder for discussion.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Mercedes: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8078)
    Performance
    (7424)
    Story
    (7434)

    In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

    Joyce says: "Love this style of King!!!"
    "Dark & twisted - and I mean that as a compliment!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Disclosure: I'm not a pure Stephen King fan. I haven't read any of his long series and sometimes he loses me when things get a bit too other-worldly. That said, in recent years he's cranked out some books that I'm unable to put down, that I anticipate with the same salivation I normally reserve for fried ice cream. Mr. Mercedes falls into that category.

    When King dies, I hope he leaves his body to science so they can autopsy his brain because I'd like to know how someone can have such a dark imagination without being a sociopath himself. In this book, he does a fantastic job writing from the perspective of a killer who takes joy in mowing down innocent civilians waiting in line for a job fair, then plots a very dark game of cat and mouse with a retired detective.

    The thing that made this book different than some of his others is that the crimes seemed like they were pulled from the headlines. Unlike my challenge with some of King's other books, this plot line and characters were very much of this world. As it turns out, we just happen to live in scary times.

    Definitely recommend this if you're looking for a good summer suspense.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.