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Columbia, MO, United States | Member Since 2006

  • 3 reviews
  • 21 ratings
  • 435 titles in library
  • 32 purchased in 2014

  • The Modern Scholar: A Way With Words Part III: Grammar for Adults

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Michael D.C. Drout

    Since others judge you by the way you speak, the intricacies of grammar, in fact, should not be relegated to the realm of fussy "guardians of the language," but are rather essential clues all can employ to communicate more exactly. In such a light, this course forms an invaluable guide for everyone from all fields of interest.

    Johanna says: "GREAT!!!! I learned and was entertained."
    "Cure for Grammar Anxiety"

    This audio course is for anyone who has ever suffered from grammar anxiety. Prof. Drout gives special dispensation to place prepositions at the end of sentences, to use split infinitives, and conjunctions at the beginning of sentences. He also gives you a solid defense against those grammar sticklers that make others fret over syntax: ???keep your imported Latin grammar rules to yourself!???

    Thanks to Prof. Drout I now understand how to correctly use ???I??? and ???me,??? ???that??? and ???which,??? ???who??? and ???whom.??? With generous references to the history of our exquisite language and a delightful sense of humor, Prof. Drout makes all the grammar worries go away. You???ll understand why parts of our language are strange and confusing, and gain a new appreciation for those trying to learn English as a second language.

    Prof. Drout reads excerpts from Beowulf and Chaucer, so you???ll hear the musical roots of our wonderful language. He explains that the evolution of English is more about conquerors, and less about scholarly progression. He discusses past scholars who have declared Latin the perfect language and, therefore, tried to force English to conform to Latin grammar. This has resulted is some of the most frustrating aspects of English.

    He explains that English grammar is an art, not a science. For this reason, he rails against grammar checkers, ???let those Seattle trolls keep their green squiggly lines to themselves.???

    I highly recommend this course. You???ll actually understand what a participle is and why it shouldn???t dangle. You???ll comprehend gerunds, infinitives, and modals. Not only will you gain a solid command of English, but it happens in just 7 hours; that???s amazing!

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Improvisation, Inc.: Harnessing Spontaneity to Engage People and Groups

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Robert Lowe
    • Narrated By Edward Lewis

    This unique book enables communicators of all kinds to think on their feet, even when taken by surprise. It is the ideal book for corporate trainers, speakers, and teachers who do not want to be caught in a pinch. Lowe provides presenters with the basic skills necessary to incorporate improvisational thinking and speaking into their own presentational style. The pathways opened by this ancient theater form can transform a presenter's most fundamental approaches to teaching, training, and communicating.

    Xiaole Liu says: "Worst audible title ever"
    "Ego with very little insight"

    Before the book even begins you must endure an unbelievably long list of acknowledgements including cousins, mother-in-law, God and many, many, others. Then an endless introduction. I never made it to the content because I grew bored before the introduction finished.

    Lowe is a terrible writer and much too self-absorbed to be of any use to anyone else. He talks about the importance of playfulness while being so dull and completely unplayfull in his writing.

    Give this one a pass unless you're having trouble sleeping. Lowe's endless acknowledgements, alone, will lull you quickly into a deep sleep.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Sleep: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

    D says: "The sequel to the book; not the movie"
    "King: The Master of Monsters"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Doctor Sleep to be better than the print version?

    As I've gotten older, reading has become a labored event. Typeface is smaller and my arms aren't long enough to see text clearly. So, these days audiobooks are my salvation. Having said that, it stands to reason that I find the audio edition better.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dan, aka Doctor Sleep aka Doc. At first it was painful to see little Danny from the Shining become a drifting out-of-control alcoholic. Then I had to remember. As children, we're all little packages of potential and promise. Then after life kicks the crap out of you for a decade, or so, we become scratching, clawing survivors...some are better at it than others. Dan finds his survival in a bottle, and life makes him very thirsty. Dan is the perfect example of what I love about King's characters. His stories' heroes have flaws, warts, demons and nightmares, just like the rest of us. If a falling down drunk can give up his selfish, petty needs in order to save the day, well, there's hope that all of us are capable of being heroes.

    Have you listened to any of Will Patton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I had not heard Will Patton's performance before Doctor Sleep. However, I was so very pleased because he reminds me of the late, great Frank Muller.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The end of the book when Dan has a talk with Abra. She thinks he's scolding her about an incident when she used her shining powers to break her mothers dishes. Instead, he explains that just like her shining, she also inherited a bad temper, which needs to be controlled just as much as her supernatural powers, maybe even more so.

    Any additional comments?

    King is so brilliant at creating monsters and the villains in Doctor Sleep are no exception. Old aged, badly dressed soul vampires that kidnap, torture and kill children - the True Knot are up there near the top in the King monster menagerie. King still holds the record of being the only writer that scared me so badly I slept with my closet light on for month. That was back in my early twenties. Today, I don't get frightened to that extent by fantasy. There are far too many things in the real world that are much more frightening. But, King's stories can still cause my heart to race, and that's always a welcomed delight.

    This is not one of my favorite books. That place is held firmly by all of the Dark Tower books. But, it was an enjoyable ride. Hell, life serves up a lot of crap, so when you can have a few days of heart-racing, what-the-hell-is-going-to-happen-next adrenalin, life just doesn't get any better than that.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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