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Fran

Tekchik

Portland, OR, United States | Member Since 2015

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 67 ratings
  • 191 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015
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  • The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Leo Babauta
    • Narrated By Fred Stella
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (396)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (217)

    With the countless distractions that come from every corner of a modern life, it's amazing that we're ever able to accomplish anything. The Power of Less demonstrates how to streamline your life by identifying the essential and eliminating the unnecessary - freeing you from everyday clutter and allowing you to focus on accomplishing the goals that can change your life for the better

    Dany says: "I enjoyed it very much"
    "Completely unoriginal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I always like a pep talk, so I knew going in that some of the material in "The Power of Less" would be familiar. But I wasn't prepared for Babauta's "gee-whiz, look what I discovered about myself" naiveté. It's like he's the first person EVER to notice the power of living in the present. His insights were so banal as to be useless. I already know multitasking is a myth. I've already streamlined my life. Of course organization is important. I couldn't finish listening to this book, sorry.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Witch: The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2289)
    Performance
    (2065)
    Story
    (2064)

    With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends. Ireland. County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations - and where her destiny awaits.

    Jeri says: "Gotta love/hate Nora Roberts"
    "Same old same old"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Magic is easy. All you have to do is wriggle your nose, or furrow your brow, or think really really hard about making that feather twist in the wind. Somehow, I have trouble believing that the descendants of three children involved in an incident in the 11th century know all about the circumstances as if it happened last week, even though they are meeting, as adults, cousins for the first time. And of course the whole story is really just gift wrapping for some hot sex, which personally I find boring. So mote it be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bully: Fall Away, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Penelope Douglas
    • Narrated By Abby Craden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (325)
    Performance
    (299)
    Story
    (296)

    I've been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got worse as time wore on. I even went to Europe for a year, just to avoid him. But I'm done hiding from him now, and there's no way I'll allow him to ruin another year. He might not have changed, but I have. It's time to fight back.

    Nikki says: "I heart this book"
    "Hard to love"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had to give up on this book after several chapters. The heroine is SO clueless, willfully ignoring what's evident to everyone else. And the relationship, no matter how "romantic" it's supposed to be, is based on abuse. I mean, this guy makes her life hell for years just to keep other guys from dating her? Why doesn't he just ask her out? Teenage angst, my foot. This is ridiculous. She doesn't even get in trouble for physically assaulting boys at school. And what kind of dad leaves a 16-year-old girl on her own for months, with a house and car--and next door to her abuser?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Heist

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1491)
    Performance
    (1317)
    Story
    (1322)

    Master novelist Daniel Silva has thrilled listeners with 16 thoughtful and gripping spy novels featuring a diverse cast of compelling characters and ingenious plots that have taken them around the globe and back - from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East. His brilliant creation, Gabriel Allon - art restorer, assassin, spy - has joined the pantheon of great fictional secret agents, including George Smiley, Jack Ryan, Jason Bourne, and Simon Templar.

    Brian says: "If new to Daniel Silva, great book. Otherwise..."
    "I've heard it all before"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stock characters, ordinary plotting. I can't really remember this book, even though I just listened to it last week. Interesting references to current events and political figures, referencing the presidents of Russia and Syria without actually naming names.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tricky Business

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dave Barry
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (61)

    The Extravaganza of the Seas is a 5,000 ton cash cow, a top-heavy tub whose sole function is to carry gamblers three miles from the Florida coast, take their money, then bring them back so they can find more money.

    William says: "A Lot of Fun"
    "Violence rains on the fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dave Barry is a funny writer. He writes a funny book with quirky characters. Why does he have to ruin the experience with graphic, gruesome, gratuitous violence--like mutilation for the fun of it? I don't need dark; picaresque is plenty. Love Dick Hill's narration, though. He nails those characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Never Go Back: A Jack Reacher Novel, Book 18

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2882)
    Performance
    (2568)
    Story
    (2550)

    Former military cop Jack Reacher makes it all the way from snowbound South Dakota to his destination in northeastern Virginia, near Washington, D.C.: the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. The old stone building is the closest thing to a home he ever had. Reacher is there to meet - in person - the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, so far just a warm, intriguing voice on the phone. But it isn’t Turner behind the CO’s desk. And Reacher is hit with two pieces of shocking news, one with serious criminal consequences, and one too personal to even think about.

    Marci says: "Expect the Best"
    "Inspired dullness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like the unabridged versions of the Jack Reacher novels because the repetitiveness is so familiar, like a comfortable old bathrobe. I especially like the passive descriptions: "There was a room. There were blinds on the windows. There was a desk and a chair. A man was sitting on the chair..."
    And then there are the lengthy descriptions of simple actions. "The door opened. The door shut. The door opened again. The door shut again. Someone turned the handle. There was a hand on the handle..."
    Seriously, there is a strange and wonderful rhythm to Childs's writing. I even liked this book despite that there really was no plot. C'mon, two old guys in a DC townhouse? The denouement has all the punch of a deflated balloon.
    But you know what? I'm gonna listen to more of the Reacher books. I like the character, and the nihilism, and especially the comfortable voice of Dick Hill, reading all those passive constructions with great patience and panache.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Storm Born: Dark Swan, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Richelle Mead
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1173)
    Performance
    (810)
    Story
    (816)

    Eugenie Markham is a powerful shaman who does a brisk trade banishing spirits and fey who cross into the mortal world. Mercenary, yes, but a girl's got to eat. Her most recent case, however, is enough to ruin her appetite. Hired to find a teenager who has been taken to the Otherworld, Eugenie comes face to face with a startling prophecy - one that uncovers dark secrets about her past and claims that Eugenie's first-born will threaten the future of the world as she knows it.

    crazybatcow says: "Sex, fairies and butt-kicking... who needs more?"
    "Too dumb to live"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I quit after the woman, I forget her name, goes home with this guy from a bar and has uninhibited sex...the descriptions goes on and on and on and on. So she's attracted to him. I don't care if he uses a scarlet condom, how stupid can she be to pick up a stranger and take him home? I figured something bad was going to come of it, but apparently this jerk becomes her partner.

    Also a lot of vocabulary for otherworldly forms and weapons used against them is unfamiliar. Better to read those words than hear them. I've no idea how to spell them.

    The narrator isn't bad, I just am so uninterested in the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Urban Shaman: The Walker Papers, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By C.E. Murphy
    • Narrated By Christine Carroll
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (972)
    Performance
    (516)
    Story
    (524)

    Joanne Walker has three days to learn to use her shamanic powers and save the world from the unleashed Wild Hunt.

    Melissa says: "Urban Shaman - Light Fantasy"
    "Shamanism lite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Most shamans have to study for years to acquire the craft. One near-death experience andJoanne Walker is tripping. After a while, the texture of her visions takes on a sameness.


    What was most disappointing about C.E. Murphy’s story?

    See previous answer. Character and motivations of the gods kept changing.


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

    Carroll is new to me. I wish she had better pronunciation of the name Siobhan.


    Was Urban Shaman worth the listening time?

    In the end, it was not very interesting


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sex, Murder, and a Double Latte

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Kyra Davis
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1709)
    Performance
    (845)
    Story
    (868)

    Thriller scribe Sophie Katz is as hard-boiled as a woman who drinks Grande Caramel Brownie Frappuccionos can be. So Sophie knows it's not paranoia, or post-divorce, living-alone-again jitters, when she becomes convinced that a crazed reader is sneaking into her apartment to reenact scenes from her books. The police, however, can't tell a good plot from an unmarked grave.

    Sandi J Wilson says: "FABULOUS FIND"
    "Not worth drinking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Intelligent writing. The cleverness for the most part fell flat. What can you expect from a character who likes Frappuccinos? Starbucks references were as clunky as product placements in movies.


    What was most disappointing about Kyra Davis’s story?

    Shallow, transparent 2-dimensional characters.


    What about Gabra Zackman’s performance did you like?

    Nice shading in character's voices


    What character would you cut from Sex, Murder, and a Double Latte?

    Annoying, stereotypical Marcus


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fifth Witness

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5157)
    Performance
    (3096)
    Story
    (3078)

    Mickey Haller has fallen on tough times. He expands his business into foreclosure defense, only to see one of his clients accused of killing the banker she blames for trying to take away her home. Mickey puts his team into high gear to exonerate Lisa Trammel, even though the evidence and his own suspicions tell him his client is guilty. Soon after he learns that the victim had black market dealings of his own, Haller is assaulted, too - and he's certain he's on the right trail. Despite the danger and uncertainty, Haller mounts the best defense of his career in a trial where the last surprise comes after the verdict is in.

    Ted says: "Just Right!"
    "Kept waiting for the shoe to drop"
    Overall

    I bought this based on rave reviews and it was disappointing. A lot of courtroom procedure with too many lose ends. I think the TV Perry Mason does a better job, and it only takes an hour. I liked the character development, though, both the client and the lawyer. Other characters relied a bit too much on cliche. ++semi spoiler alert++ i knew the secret about the client's husband from the first time he was mentioned, and Haller (the lawyer) should have too. I kept waiting and waiting for him to tumble to it, and to a couple of other things. For a smart guy, he was could be pretty dense.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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