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Ellen

I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.

Chesterton, IN, United States | Member Since 2008

180
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 136 reviews
  • 312 ratings
  • 921 titles in library
  • 50 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
5

  • The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Simon Baron-Cohen
    • Narrated By Jonathan Cowley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (199)
    Performance
    (169)
    Story
    (167)

    Borderline personality disorder, autism, narcissism, psychosis, Asperger's: All of these syndromes have one thing in common---lack of empathy. In some cases, this absence can be dangerous, but in others it can simply mean a different way of seeing the world. In The Science of Evil, Simon Baron-Cohen, an award-winning British researcher who has investigated psychology and autism for decades, develops a new brain-based theory of human cruelty.

    Douglas says: "A fine primer..."
    "Some interesting premises"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a book that explores the phenomena of evil as the inability to feel empathy. The science bits of it devolve into nonsense syllables: aerograms put together into a system I believe only applies to this man's theory.
    But it does discuss unsocial and dangerous people in light of the limitations of their illnesses. I did find that helpful.
    I don't agree with him that the inability to empathize is all of anti social behavior. It's a puzzle piece among other puzzle pieces. But it is a piece.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Wise Man's Fear: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 2

    • UNABRIDGED (42 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10803)
    Performance
    (9058)
    Story
    (9143)

    "My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep...."

    Joe says: "Excellent, Imaginative, Beautiful, Page Turning!!!"
    "Good heavens, put it in your pants!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a spotty book. The first book is a highly entertaining coming of age book that has story after story nestled into it. The character is a bit full of himself, but all teen age boys are.
    This book has very interesting sections, and some incredibly banal sections where he discovers sex with goddess/fairies. Without preamble or fore play. I don't have words for this, but it was gratuitous. All with the same self importance of the first book.
    It works as a boy telling his story. It's just a story I don't really want to hear.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of the Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Sarah Churchwell
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (36)

    Since its publication in 1925, The Great Gatsby has become one of the world's best-loved books, delighting audiences across the world. Careless People tells the true story behind F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, exploring in newly rich detail the relation of Fitzgerald's classic to the chaotic world he in which he lived. Fitzgerald set his novel in 1922, and Careless People carefully reconstructs the crucial months during which Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald returned to New York in the autumn of 1922.

    Linda Lou says: "UNDERWHELMING"
    "Square on look at the twenties."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    More than anything this is a solid look at the elite of the 20s. As my mother grew up in this it was very illuminating and very well done. Mind you, they are not nice people. But it's a very interesting look in the jazz world, and prohibition. Very interesting history.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Child: An Audible Drama

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Sebastian Fitzek
    • Narrated By Rupert Penry-Jones, Jack Boulter, Emilia Fox, and others
    Overall
    (331)
    Performance
    (306)
    Story
    (302)

    My name is Simon. I’m 10 years old. I’m a serial killer. Robert Stern (Rupert Penry-Jones), a successful defense attorney, doesn’t know what lies in store for him when he agrees to meet a new client in a derelict estate on the outskirts of Berlin. Stern is more than surprised, when his old love interest and professional nurse Carina (Emilia Fox) presents him a ten year old boy as his new client. Simon (Jack Boulter), a terminally ill child, who is convinced he has murdered many men in a previous life.

    Rolando says: "Disappointing"
    "Stop with the noise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This may be a moderately interesting book. I will probably never know. From what I could hear it was not so very interesting but it bounced around in ways I couldn't follow. But the worst of it is a sound track of train, plane, bus, gun, thump,bump and groan noises constantly distracting me from whatever text might be there.
    The sound effects are simply dreadful, unnecessary and distracting. It's also rather inaccurately described. I had thought it might be about sociopathy. Instead it was an odd, and unhelpful look at past lives. Very disappointing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Invention of Wings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6679)
    Performance
    (6053)
    Story
    (6053)

    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

    Jan says: "Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!"
    "Lovely but heartbreaking."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The dichotomy between these two girls, one a slave and the other her master is lovely, sad and very real. In spite of the vast differences in their lives their struggles are very much the same. They are unable to do and be who and what they choose. It's beautifully written.
    Don't be put off by the fact that its a sad subject. Somehow their courage is magnificent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12946)
    Performance
    (10552)
    Story
    (10674)

    This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

    Joanna says: "Wow!"
    "A Storytellers Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a lot of fun. At a certain point I find Klovth a bit pompous and full of himself, but it's still a grand set of stories within stories.
    I'm hoping the next book will show him as more grown up and less self involved. He does suffer from examining his navel overmuch and noticing how smart he is.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Son

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Philipp Meyer
    • Narrated By Will Patton, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Shepherd, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1358)
    Performance
    (1209)
    Story
    (1231)

    Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching portrait of the bloody price of power, The Son is an utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American West through the lives of the McCulloughs, an ambitious family as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim. Spring, 1849: Eli McCullough is 13 years old when a marauding band of Comanches takes him captive. Brave and clever, Eli quickly adapts to life among the Comanches, learning their ways and waging war against their enemies, including white men - which complicates his sense of loyalty and understanding of who he is.

    Melinda says: "Five Stars for the Lone Star, The Son, & Meyer"
    "Good historical effort"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't love this book. But it was quite solid. There are three story lines for three generations. The first one with the boy taken by Indians is fabulous. The other two just weren't the same standard, but they were well written,
    I do believe it to be a pretty solid look at the very odd relationship in Texas from the Texicans, the American Settlers, and the Indians. The end is sort of miserable. but realisitic. Bottom line,, these are not very nice ,sensitive or socially responsible souls. That being said, it's probably properly historic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Darkling Thrush

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Josh Lanyon
    • Narrated By Max Miller
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (142)
    Story
    (140)

    Fed up with his desk duty in the Imperial Arcane Library, book hunter Colin Bliss accepts a private commission to find The Sword's Shadow, a legendary and dangerous witches' grimoire. But to find the book, Colin must travel to the remote Western Isles and solve a centuries' old murder.

    Tony Squared says: "A Magical Story"
    "Very Steamy Stuff"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't know if I will finish this book. I am not a prude or a homophobe. But the sex scenes go on for ever and there's as sneering quality to the narrator that I found past annoying.. That's a shame because I think there's a good story in here.

    If you have problems with male homosexuals, this book will probably offend you deeply. I am not offended. But the sex scenes went past my interest, and were graphic enough to be icky.

    If you are male and homosexual, you'll probably love it. It's not badly written. It's just a bit too much.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Mask of Atreus

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By A. J. Hartley
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (29)

    An obscure museum's dead proprietor lies in a secret room surrounded by one of the world's most astonishing collections of Greek antiquities. Only a priceless Mycenaean death mask has been taken, along with the bones of a legendary hero thought to exist only in ancient myth. Looted by the Nazis, the treasures are still being sought by those whose dreams of glory remain undefeated.The mask is an unparalleled discovery that will be a force for devastating retribution in the wrong hands. But by the time museum curator Deborah Miller learns the truth, it may be too late....

    Martin says: "See if you can spot the "twist" (Hint: You can!)"
    "My, this was fun."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was absolutely silly fun. Some problems with the black maid's accent (she sounded strongly Brooklanise). I wouldn't say it was serious but it was quite entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Coroner’s Lunch: The Dr. Siri Investigations, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Colin Cotterill
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (553)
    Performance
    (459)
    Story
    (457)

    Laos, 1975: The Communist Pathet Lao has taken over this former French colony. Dr. Siri Paiboun, a 72-year-old Paris-trained doctor, is appointed national coroner. Although he has no training for the job, there is no one else: the rest of the educated class have fled.

    Jane says: "a splendid story"
    "Delightful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn't expecting much from the book. I was so delightfully surprised. It's wry and funny and an interesting look into Laotians.
    It's also a pretty good ghosts story. Highly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Bitter Truth: A Bess Crawford Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Charles Todd
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (253)
    Performance
    (207)
    Story
    (214)

    When battlefield nurse Bess Crawford returns from France for a well-earned Christmas leave, she finds a bruised and shivering woman huddled in the doorway of her London residence. The woman has nowhere to turn, and propelled by a firm sense of duty, Bess takes her in.

    Jen says: "Beloved Bess"
    "Sort of Dry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nothing in this book made me
    Like the Characters
    Anxious for what would happen next
    Interested in these people's lives.
    It wasn't a bad read. But it wasn't very good either.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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