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Anna

Seattle, WA, USA | Member Since 2007

28
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 26 ratings
  • 215 titles in library
  • 26 purchased in 2014
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  • The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Robert Garland
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Garland
    Overall
    (990)
    Performance
    (892)
    Story
    (883)

    Look beyond the abstract dates and figures, kings and queens, and battles and wars that make up so many historical accounts. Over the course of 48 richly detailed lectures, Professor Garland covers the breadth and depth of human history from the perspective of the so-called ordinary people, from its earliest beginnings through the Middle Ages.

    Mark says: "Tantalizing time trip"
    "THIS is the kind of history I care about!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I'm not much interested in who won which wars, or in developments in weaponry and battle tactics, or in ancient politics. This series of lectures delves into what *does* interest me: how everyday people lived their lives, in as much detail as possible, in a generous selection of ancient (western) cultures. Professor Garland's delivery is the icing on the cake. He seems knowledgeable and clearly interested in his subject matter, but lightens his lectures with a gentle and sometimes irreverent (but never disrespectful) twinkle. One credit bought me more than 24 delightful hours of pleasant and informative listening. One of my best purchases from Audible.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Piper Kerman
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2854)
    Performance
    (2595)
    Story
    (2612)

    With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.

    Mark says: "My favorite book of the year, so far"
    "The true story behind the hit show"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This memoir inspired the Netflix series of the same name. It's different from the series in many ways, and that's a good thing. It's different in the way that real life is different from a dramatization. The book's Piper learns different things than the show's Piper. I enjoyed both, and think they complement each other nicely. I saw the show first, then found the book, which is probably a good order to do it in...the dramatization lured me in, and prepared me to contemplate the quieter lessons of the real story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jack Weatherford
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Jack Weatherford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3715)
    Performance
    (2302)
    Story
    (2319)

    The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.

    Peter says: "Brilliant, insightful, intriguing."
    "An amazing man and the empire he built"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Genghis Khan was not who you think. At least, he wasn't who *I* thought he was.

    I was unaware of most of the historical and cultural facts presented in this book, and found them fascinating. The book spends too much time detailing tortures and killings for my taste, but otherwise I found it entertaining and educational in a good way. The reader was a bit too dry for my taste, droning on about "forest products" like the narrator of a classroom geography film from the mid-1960s. But he wasn't a deal-killer, and the history was interesting enough for me to stick with it all the way through.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Gun Seller

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Hugh Laurie
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (194)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (172)

    Cold-blooded murder just isn't Thomas Lang's cup of tea. Offered a bundle to assassinate an American industrialist, he opts to warn the intended victim instead - a good deed that soon takes a bad turn. Quicker than he can down a shot of his favorite whiskey, Lang is bashing heads with a Buddha statue, matching wits with evil billionaires, and putting his life (among other things) in the hands of a bevy of femme fatales. Up against rogue CIA agents, wannabe terrorists, and an arms dealer looking to make a high-tech killing, Lang's out to save the leggy lady he has come to love...and prevent an international bloodbath to boot.

    connie says: "May he write on!"
    "A diverting listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    About what you might expect from this author and the title/genre: a witty thriller with a lot of violence but, happily, a low body count. Also happily, it doesn't suffer from overly low humor, and the hero is neither a bumbling fool nor an egomaniac. He is, however, male, and I think the book skews toward things that male readers like to spend time on: cars, motorcycles, weapons, etc. As a female, I think I would have preferred more character development. But I definitely enjoyed the book, and found it laugh-out-loud funny at times. And although I would love to hear it read sometime by its author, I truly enjoyed the very skilled character portrayals and narration by Simon Prebble.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Finding Mr. Right

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Emily Carmichael
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    Overall
    (116)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (66)

    Finding Mr. Right is a heartwarming tale for romantics and animal lovers.Amy Cameron has had a run of incredibly bad luck. Her husband and best friend are murdered, together, because they were having an affair - then her house burns to the ground! The last thing Amy needs is another man. But her deceased, traitorous, gal-pal is sent back to Earth to make up for her indiscretion and find Mr. Right for Amy. The only catch - she comes back as a ratty, little Welsh Corgi named Miss Piggy.

    Sonya says: "Great writing and solid narration"
    "Not to my taste - shallow and obvious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Finding Mr. Right?

    Everything is spelled out in painful detail for the reader, who is apparently presumed to be stupid.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Emily Carmichael again?

    No.


    What didn’t you like about Barbara Rosenblat’s performance?

    I love Barbara Rosenblat, which is why I tried this book. I guess she just didn't have decent material to work with this time.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Finding Mr. Right?

    There was way too much exposition all the way through the book. And I spent way too long having figured obvious things out while the heroine blundered on, oblivious. At times I actually wished the villain would just hurry up and do away with her.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Blind Assassin

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Margot Dionne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (809)
    Performance
    (260)
    Story
    (257)

    With The Blind Assassin, Atwood proves once again that she is one of the most talented, daring, and exciting writers of the time. Like The Handmaid's Tale, this Book Prize-winner is destined to become a classic.

    Sarah says: "The Best!"
    "Bloody awful"
    Overall

    Tried hard but found this unlistenable. Wish I could return it. Hated the reader's voice and tone, the text being read, and certainly the cheesy music. Maybe it was over my head...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • South of Broad

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1181)
    Performance
    (385)
    Story
    (385)

    Against the sumptuous backdrop of Charleston, South Carolina, South of Broad gathers a unique cast of sinners and saints. Leopold Bloom King, our narrator, is the son of an amiable, loving father who teaches science at the local high school. His mother, an ex-nun, is the high school principal and a well-known Joyce scholar. After Leo's older brother commits suicide at the age of 13, the family struggles with the shattering effects of his death, and Leo, lonely and isolated, searches for something to sustain him

    Lisa S. says: "I gave up"
    "Captures time and place"
    Overall

    I was lucky enough to live south of Broad in Charleston during high school in the mid-1970s. This book captures that neighborhood and features many landmarks I remember well, and it communicates the general ambience of a charming city that has since changed beyond recognition. The narrator managed a flawless accent that added hugely to my trip down memory lane. I didn't mind the purple prose or improbable plot because the true main character was the place itself and the quirky, benevolent-southern-gentleman attitude of the protagonist, both of which rang true for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Pillars of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12832)
    Performance
    (5195)
    Story
    (5235)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Got 40 hours to kill? You’ll find the time when you start listening to Lee’s take on Follett’s epic – and widely celebrated – novel of 12th-century England. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...and of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame....

    CynNC says: "Captivating"
    "Intensely violent"
    Overall

    This is a gripping story but be prepared to suffer with the main characters through years of misery and calamities! A very violent, lawless age presented in stark detail.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Letting Go of God

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Julia Sweeney
    • Narrated By Julia Sweeney
    Overall
    (1538)
    Performance
    (438)
    Story
    (439)

    Julia Sweeney says she was a "happy Catholic girl" when, one day, she walked into church and signed up for a Bible-study course. "What an eye opener that was!" she says. Equally comedic and insightful, Letting Go of God is Sweeney's brilliant one-woman show about her struggle with her faith.

    Mark says: "A Brilliant Personal Journey of Discovery"
    "Wonderful, funny, rational"
    Overall

    I really enjoyed Ms. Sweeney's sharing of her journey from faith to reason with her characteristic warmth and wit.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Twilight: The Twilight Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Stephenie Meyer
    • Narrated By Ilyana Kadushin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7486)
    Performance
    (2904)
    Story
    (2964)

    About three things I was certain. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him, and I didn't know how dominant that part might be, that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

    Mitch says: "My Not-So-Guilty Pleasure"
    "Not for grown-ups"
    Overall

    I loved Buffy and so took a chance on this, even though I'm 50 and not 15. Turns out it wasn't for me. The story is only so-so, the writing amateurish, and the heroine disappointing.

    17 of 23 people found this review helpful

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