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Anchorage, AK | Member Since 2012

  • 8 reviews
  • 38 ratings
  • 119 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Full Black

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Brad Thor
    • Narrated By Armand Schultz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Born in shadow and kept from heads of state, there are some missions so deadly, so sensitive, that they simply don't exist. so deadly, so sensitive, that they simply don't exist. When one such mission goes horribly wrong, a wave of dramatic terrorist attacks is set in motion. Their goal: the complete and total collapse of the United States. With the CIA's intelligence abilities hobbled, former Navy SEAL Team 6 member turned covert counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath launches an audacious plan to infiltrate the terrorists' network and prevent one of the biggest threats the U.S. has ever faced.

    Sean says: "More More"
    "Brad Thor phoned this one in..."

    The author could have taken the time to write a real ending instead of suddenly wrapping it up in 30 minutes. I feel like Brad Thor's last two books have been real disappointments. I had sworn off reading any more Brad Thor after being disappointed with The Athena Project, but my husband read the hardback of this book and I did have an audible credit to spare...I am going to put a reminder in my bookcrossing to never waste my time again. Thor has become the hero of patriotic Americans, but as a patriotic American, his poor plot development and unnecessary details have exposed him as a weak writer. I feel that his writing is supported (and thus purchased) because he loudly proclaims support for the American Conservative agenda...but I hope that Conservatives are smarter than that.

    There were also at least three sections where one of the main characters (either protagonist or antagonist) goes on and on and on and on about their political views. It is worse than a is that person that you work with and wish would just shut up already about how they hate this person or that and how this is wrong and how everything would just be better, blah blah blah. I'm sure you get the point. From an audiobook perspective, these monologues were not enjoyable. Thor's audience is most likely NOT highly populated with those that disagree with his ideas...therefore, I really don't need to hear the character preach. I also feel that Thor's demonization of the super-left wing was poorly developed and one dimensional. A key to changing minds is to really understand the motivation behind those that you wish to convert...and I do not feel that Thor has really attempted that. He seems more likely to latch onto conventional ideas about Liberalism, big government, socialism, communism, etc. and those people that support them instead of trying to really understand what makes that person feel so differently from what he, the author, believes. This failure makes the book very weak indeed.

    This book had too many details that I felt were not satisfactorily brought together with cohesion. If you threw the story elements into a blender, turned it on high and made a suspension and then drink it really fast before it all separates out, then maybe you will like it...but if you expect to get a decent drink out of your blender with any kind of solubility...well, I doubt you will find it with this book.

    Finally, I recognize that many fans of Brad Thor will not agree with my comments on this book (I know my husband had minimal issues). It is a thriller...but the thrills are weak until the last bit at the end and still...Thor has written much better endings earlier in his career. I would say that Thor should retire Harvath and create a new character...but then I didn't like Athena Project either.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Susannah Cahalan
    • Narrated By Heather Henderson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 2009, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room strapped to a bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records - from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory - reported psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four-year-old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter

    Eric Schurr says: "Very scary, real story, superbly written and rea"
    "Unique take on root of mental illness"

    The narrator is great. She makes the book better. The content is amazing. In the beginning of the story, I did find it hard to sympathize with the author's plight because she came off as very annoying. However, this annoyance faded as the story progressed.

    Something that is overlooked in the main premise of this story is how important medical advocacy is. The parents of the author are the reason she got the care she did. The story really is amazing. At the same time, it is sad to think of how many others were erroneously diagnosed with mental illness that was actually caused by something else (no spoilers from me).

    This book is a nice complement to "My Stoke of Insight." I do wish the author had narrated. I'm not sure why she didn't...but perhaps it would have been poor narration. The narrator adds to the story and makes it a 5 star book.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Bastard Out of Carolina

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Dorothy Allison
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Evans

    Greenville County, South Carolina, is a wild, lush place that is home to the Boatwright family - a tight-knit clan of rough-hewn, hard- drinking men who shoot up each other's trucks, and indomitable women who get married young and age too quickly. At the heart of this story is Ruth Anne Boatwright, known simply as Bone, a bastard child who observes the world around her with a mercilessly keen perspective.

    Carolyn says: "Not for the Faint of Heart"
    "Brutal, Heartbreaking & Believable"

    I read this book without knowing much about the story. The narrator was amazing. While it was only one narrator, it felt like more. I rank this performance alongside The Help & Matterhorn. Fantastic. It made the story. I don't think I would have been as enthralled with this story if I were reading it. The afterword with this 20th anniversary edition made me feel like there was closure. The last 10 minutes or so were added to the book with the author's thoughts on her book being banned. I would love to be able to write as concisely and eloquently as she did, but I won't even try.

    This book is violent. It has candid references to sex and sexual slang. The characters have flaws. This is a fantastically crafted story that will make you uncomfortable...but the discomfort will make you hurt that much more for the main character.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Toxic Workplace!: Managing Toxic Personalities and Their Systems of Power

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Mitchell Kusy, Elizabeth Holloway
    • Narrated By Vanessa Hart

    Toxic Workplace! is the first book to tackle the underlying systems issues that enable a toxic person to create a path of destruction in an organization, pervading others' thoughts and energies, even undermining their very sense of well-being. Based on all-new research with over 400 leaders, many from the Fortune 500 list, this book illustrates how to manage existing toxic behaviors, create norms that prevent the growth or regrowth of toxic environments, and ultimately design organizational communities of respectful engagement.

    Dorothy says: "Targeted at those that can make changes"
    "Targeted at those that can make changes"

    The narrator is the one redeeming factor for this book. She sounds like Kathleen Turner. It's strange to have this husky voice reading the book, but it makes the content more engaging. The first half of the book is more useful for general employees, but it does not offer ways for individuals to make change. It is depressing because you find yourself nodding your head at the examples and saying, "yes yes, I have worked what someone like that" or "yes yes I have done that to avoid that person" but you aren't offered a way to change.

    The second half of the book is geared toward leaders and HR professionals. I am not one of those people. The discussion about creating corporate values makes me roll my eyes. It isn't as useful for existing companies...especially those that are part of a big multi-national corporation.

    I found that I wished my old bosses would have read this book and taken its points to heart. I am one of the people the book talks about who leaves a job to escape toxic individuals. I am that heightened turnover. If only my bosses had read this book. And that's the problem with this book. It leaves you frustrated if you have no ability to change the work environment.

    As an aside, the book acknowledges that there are psychological issues that may be driving behavior. Many of the individuals that are described could be categorized as borderline or sociopaths. The book "The Sociopath Next Door" is more useful for individuals dealing with "toxic" people in the workplace than this book. This book is for leaders that need to follow the rules. The Sociopath Next Door is for coworkers that need to learn how to deal with these chaotic individuals.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Native Son

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Richard Wright
    • Narrated By Peter Francis James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic.

    Noah says: "Simply a classic"
    "Now I will get the Jeopardy! question"

    I confess that the motivation behind purchasing this audiobook was so that I had another 20th century classic in my arsenal for Jeopardy! I bought this without researching the plot. I only knew that it was about black v. white and that it is frequently considered one of the must-reads in African American Lit. I think it's good to listen to this story without knowing anything about the plot. It makes the twists and turns more surprising.

    The performance by the narrator was fantastic. There were no fake voices or falsettos. It was just the narrator with a powerful voice and he was a perfect match. I'm not sure I would like this book as much if I read it on the page. The audio made it a performance. I buy audiobooks in order to entice myself to go to the gym more. I rely on the book to be interesting enough for me to want to listen and thus go workout. This story delivered.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Downtown Owl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Chuck Klosterman
    • Narrated By Phillip Baker Hall, Lily Rabe, Wiley Wiggins, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Somewhere in North Dakota, there is a town called Owl that isn't there. Disco is over, but punk never happened. They don't have cable. They don't really have pop culture, unless you count grain prices and alcoholism. People work hard and then they die. They hate the government and impregnate teenage girls. But that's not nearly as awful as it sounds; in fact, sometimes it's perfect.

    Harry says: "A Great Listen"
    "It was like...It was like...It was like..."

    This book is 9 hours. It takes 8 hours to get to the point. In those 8 hours of lead up, I was left asking "What is this book about exactly?" The narrators did a great job with a poor plot. In fact, what was the plot? At times, I felt like I was listening to the disjointed and narcissistic thoughts of a bunch of sociopaths. I kept listening...I kept hoping that the author would get to the point already. I kept trying to find one character that was redeeming. I couldn't. This was a complete waste of a credit. I will never read anything by this author again.

    If I wanted to read a book about the ramblings of everyday life that takes 8/9 of its length to get to the beginning of a point...well, I wouldn't read a book like that. With audiobooks, you need something to grab you and propel you to keep listening. A plot that makes you seek reasons to listen to the book and continue the story. Not a plot that makes you switch your mp3 player over to music because the story is just so BORING.

    I realize boring is an overused adjective, but it describes this story very well. The plot write-up for the teaser in the description is better than the book. Really. I looked at the positive reviews and I guess I'm not in the majority. But really, I can find nothing redeeming except the narrator performances.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Sociopath Next Door

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Martha Stout
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier

    We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but in The Sociopath Next Door, Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people, one in 25, has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in 25 everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath.

    Taryn says: "Reinforces what you have already known"
    "Love this book"

    I listened to this book before reading The Psychopath Test (both books received a lot of press). This one is much better than the Psychopath Test. The case studies that Dr. Stout presents and the details she uses make you really think about all the people you have known.

    The true measure of enjoyment of an audiobook is whether I regret pausing the book and anticipate the next time I can listen...this book delivered. I also didn't know what "gaslight" meant and it prompted me to rent the movie on Netflix. It prompted discussions with my coworkers about whether we knew any "lazy sociopaths."

    For anyone that likes to observe others and understand what motivates people that seem to make irrational decisions...I think this book can open your eyes to a new way of evaluating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Distant Hours

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Edie Burchill and her mother have never been close, but when a long lost letter arrives one Sunday afternoon with the return address of Milderhurst Castle, Kent, printed on its envelope, Edie begins to suspect that her mother’s emotional distance masks an old secret.

    Simone says: "Right Mood At The Right Time"
    "Just okay..."

    I think the title of this book gives you a preview of the way you will feel when reading it. That is, "The distant hours from now that I will finally finish this very long story that is sure taking a long time to develop...those hours just seem so far away right now (because they are!)"

    I really enjoyed the Forgotten Garden, so I was excited about The Distant Hours. However, I was left feeling "meh" about the story. Some of the characters appear to be Sociopaths (anyone that has read or listened to "The Sociopath Next Door" would likely agree) but then their actions are not consistent with what appears to be their agenda.

    The book was very depressing for me. Dark. Sad. Just a lot of melancholy and sadness. The bright spots were so few. I think before I read/listen to another Kate Morton, I will read the reviews.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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