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Jami

VICTOR, NY, United States | Member Since 2012

57
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 96 reviews
  • 98 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 43 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • The Year of Magical Thinking

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Joan Didion
    • Narrated By Barbara Caruso
    Overall
    (1274)
    Performance
    (408)
    Story
    (411)

    "Life changes fast....You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends." These were among the first words Joan Didion wrote in January 2004. Her daughter was lying unconscious in an intensive care unit, a victim of pneumonia and septic shock. Her husband, John Gregory Dunne, was dead. The night before New Year's Eve, while they were sitting down to dinner, he suffered a massive and fatal coronary. The two had lived and worked side by side for nearly 40 years.

    Darwin8u says: "Sharp, sometimes funny, but always clear & precise"
    "Interesting Book about a Difficult Topic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn't sure what to expect based on the reviews, but I enjoyed this book. I didn't enjoy the circumstances that led to the writing of this book as they were incredibly sad, but I appreciate the author's openness and ability to write so honestly about her feelings during this difficult time of her life.

    I saw many reviews that rated this book low because they didn't like the author, felt she was a snob, etc. I am not sure what led to this, because many people who are well off have written memoirs and I didn't see these types of reviews. In her case, does she have more money than me? Yes. Does she live a different lifestyle than I do? Yes. (I don't have a "kitchen notebook" to track dinners I served, but then again, maybe I should start one to document the times I actually cook something edible!). Anyway, my point is that her life is completely different than mine, but that is why I want to read about it. I don't want to read about someone who has my life, as I am experiencing that myself. I didn't get the feeling she was snobbish or had the I-am-so-great attitude that I have encountered in some people I have met.

    As far as the book content, I could empathize with much of what she went through. While I have not lost a spouse, I have experienced other losses of loved ones and can relate to many of her observations. I completely agree with her statement that when you mourn, you not only mourn the loved one but also the person you were at various stages of your relationship. I have experienced this many times, but this was the first time I heard someone else articulate this experience. I, too, have looked back and thought what changes had occurred in my life that I went through with a particular person who is no longer here. When she describes how she measured time that year after her husband died by comparing to what they were doing on that same day last year, I got it; it was especially moving when she came to December 31, the day that when she looked back one year she realized it was the first day that her husband was not there one year ago.

    The author frequently references events that happened shortly before his death and ended with "and he had 48 hours to live" or however many days, months, etc. That is something I think about a lot when someone suddenly dies; I think of how they expected to do something that weekend, or go into work the next day and then suddenly were not there to follow through with those plans. When I saw my mother's glasses sitting on her bedside table after her death, no longer to be used, that really saddened me. It is things like this that really seem to get to me when someone passes away.

    For me, the most poignant part of the book was when the author talks about her daughter's belief as a child that the broken man ["death"] was going to come and that she realized that she alone had to do something to stop him from coming for her. That became more important when she was in a hospital fighting for her life years later, at the time her father had died. As a child, Quintana told her mother that if the "broken man" came for her, she would hold onto the fence so that he could not take her away. As the author is going through the experience of losing her husband and seeing her daughter fight for her life, she observes that Quintana "held onto the fence" while her husband did not. I found that particular line particularly moving.

    Overall, while the book dealt with sadness and death, I found the book to be enjoyable and moving at times. I listened to this on audio and I didn't have any issues with the narration. I felt that the narrator's voice perfectly suited how I pictured this author to be and I could easily imagine it was the author speaking

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Kevin Mitnick, William L. Simon
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3303)
    Performance
    (2931)
    Story
    (2941)

    Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world’s biggest companies—and however fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. He spent years skipping through cyberspace, always three steps ahead and labeled unstoppable.

    Mikeyxote says: "Great listen for tech fans"
    "Fast Paced and Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this book. The narration was superb; I had to keep reminding myself it wasn't the author because it was so authentic. I could feel the narrator's anger, fear, and frustration at certain points in the story, making it even more believable.

    I see where many reviewers didn't like the book because they thought the author was arrogant. I see it more as confident than arrogant; he is smart and he knows his stuff. And while he portrays himself as a victim in places, he takes responsibility in others. I was fascinated by his social engineering successes; prior to reading this, the only time I encountered the term "social engineering" was during mandatory computer security training at work. The examples used there were lame attempts to get access to a company's computer system, and were quite obvious (as in, don't hold the door open for someone you don't know); when I read some of Kevin's tactics, I gained a new appreciation for the term. I kept thinking throughout the book that prior to the computer age, he would not be called a social engineer, but rather, would be referred to as a "con man."

    The book was technical enough to get the point across, but not overly technical where you couldn't understand it. It was a bit repetitive in parts, but it was part of the story so it was "necessary repetition." Also, I was bored by some of the replicas of the emails; I didn't need to know every character in an email or every character of code. But those parts were not an integral part of the book and did not detract from my enjoyment of it.

    I have to say, Kevin became my hero when someone cut him off in traffic and his response was to hack in the DMV system, get the guy's cell phone number, and then call him to ream his butt out! Come on, who has not ever wanted to do that? That was sweet! I wish I could bring Kevin along on my commute to and from work - I encounter plenty of candidates for this type of hacking project every day!!!!!

    Overall, the book was past faced, it read like a fictionalized thriller, and was well narrated. The opening scene hooked me, and my interest was piqued throughout the whole story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No One to Trust

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Julie Moffett
    • Narrated By Kristin Watson Heintz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (90)

    SWFG: Single, White, Female, Geek. "That's me, Lexi Carmichael, a reformed hacker who was gainfully employed by the National Security Agency. But a series of extraordinary events led me to leave government life behind for a fresh start with a brand-new company and an incredibly sexy boss, Finn Shaughnessy. It may not be kosher to have the hots for your boss, but he seems to have the hots for me, too. If only things didn't get so complicated...."

    Michelle says: "A freaking laugh riot"
    "Too Much Romance, Not Enough Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For some reason, I thought this was the first in the series, but once into it, realized there was a first. But, I was able to catch up with the characters quickly.

    I had high hopes for this one, as I loved the concept of high tech mysteries. However, I was quite disappointed when the focus was more on the romance aspect rather than the mystery. To me, it felt like the mystery resolution was anti-climatic, as there seemed to be more attention paid to the men who were falling all over our geeky heroine. While I don't mind a little bit of romance in my mysteries, I don't like them to take over the story. This was in the style of Stephanie Plum - the main female character is bumbling along (Stephanie while doing her job, this one while on dates), accompanied by quirky side characters, while dazzling men are after her heart. The narration was good; it didn't particularly add to the story nor did it detract from it. Personally, I don't feel the need to continue with the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sophie: The Incredible True Story of the Castaway Dog

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Emma Pearse
    • Narrated By Anna-Lisa Horton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (25)

    The story that became a global sensation: Sophie, the Australian cattle dog who was lost at sea and swam six miles through shark-infested waters to a remote island where she survived in the wild for five months.... It was just another day in paradise as Jan and Dave Griffith, along with their blue cattle dog, Sophie, motored out of Mackay Marina for a gorgeous weekend at sea. But when the sky suddenly darkened and the waves turned fierce, the unthinkable happened: Sophie disappeared overboard.

    Jean says: "Sophie the Robinson Crusoe Dog"
    "Dog Overboard!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I give the writing a 3, as I felt certain parts could have been shorter, some could have been longer, and there were parts that seemed to drag; however, I give Sophie a 5 - therefore, my rating averages out to a 4. Sophie's story is amazing, and she demonstrated such a sense of loyalty to her family!! She refused human companionship during her ordeal as if she was waiting for her own family to find her, which is so heartwarming. I think the eventual reunion between family and dog could have been lengthened and been written in a more dramatic and emotional manner; that would have strengthened the book considerably. I cannot even imagine what her family must have gone through, thinking that they lost her through not keeping a close eye on her. And Sophie's terror at finding herself overboard is beyond imaginable.

    I was surprised that I never heard about this story when it happened. I usually see these kinds of stories on the internet and make sure I read them. This one somehow passed me by.

    I listened to this on audio, and I am glad that I did. I'm not sure I would have liked the printed version as much, particularly given the reviews of the poor editing of the printed pages. I didn't get that in the audio, so either they fixed it or the narrator fixed it as she went along

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Jon Ronson
    • Narrated By Jon Ronson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2108)
    Performance
    (1664)
    Story
    (1663)

    The Psychopath Test is a fascinating journey through the minds of madness. Jon Ronson's exploration of a potential hoax being played on the world's top neurologists takes him, unexpectedly, into the heart of the madness industry. An influential psychologist who is convinced that many important CEOs and politicians are, in fact, psychopaths teaches Ronson how to spot these high-flying individuals by looking out for little telltale verbal and nonverbal clues.

    Robert says: "Interesting but wandering"
    "Not As Interesting As I Had Hoped"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was just okay for me. I am interested in the subject and it was an interesting premise, but the book just didn't deliver for me. I found my attention wandering and I was a bit bored throughout. I don't know if it was the organization of the book, the content or perhaps the narration but it didn't grab me. This is one of those books where maybe the author shouldn't do the narration.

    I also didn't relate to most of the case studies. Oh wait, lack of empathy is on the psychopath test list.... Hmmm perhaps I learned something about myself lol!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Junkie Quatrain

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (777)
    Performance
    (716)
    Story
    (727)

    Six months ago, the world ended. The Baugh Contagion swept across the planet. Its victims were left twitching, adrenalized cannibals that quickly became know as Junkies. Civilization crumbled as people created isolated safe havens to hide from the infected... and the possibly infected. Now, as society nears a tipping point, lives will intersect and intertwine across two days in a desolate city.

    Tango says: "An awesome set of vignettes"
    "Loved These Short Stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had never read anything by Peter Clines until I read 14. I was so impressed with that book that when I saw this one, I had to snap it up. This was comprised of four short stories, all of which told a story of a very specific point in time from four different viewpoints. Each story is related through at least one character in a different story. This was a unique concept and the narrators were also good. I could definitely see this one being a full-length novel, told from the various points of view; the stories were already written to be intertwined, so the characters could easily mesh into one larger story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Naoki Higashida
    • Narrated By Tom Picasso
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (544)
    Performance
    (484)
    Story
    (485)

    Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, The Reason I Jumpis a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.

    Janice says: "Cracking the code"
    "Not Quite What I Expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this book, but based on the description, I thought I would like it more than I did. I am not sure if it was the question/answer format or the content that didn't enthrall me. Or perhaps I am just not the right audience, as I don't personally know anyone with autism. I listened to it on audio, and while the narrator was good, there was nothing about the narration that made the book more enjoyable or memorable.

    I do think this is an important book in terms of having a resource that enables others to understand autism from a different viewpoint. Very often, it is difficult for people to relate to others with disabilities (or even from different cultures) due to the difference in their experiences and perspectives. Books like this humanize the individual experience, and I think it helps people to relate better to others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Importance of Being Earnest

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, and others
    Overall
    (511)
    Performance
    (412)
    Story
    (411)

    This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence." Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.

    Tad Davis says: "Delightfully silly"
    "Entertaining Play"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the way this was presented on Audible; it included the audience laughing and the applause, and the various actors narrating the characters made me feel like I was at the play. As far as the content of the play, I thought it was excellent. I liked the story line and laughed throughout. I thought this was highly entertaining and well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sold

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Patricia McCormick
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    Overall
    (364)
    Performance
    (319)
    Story
    (314)

    Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut on a mountain in Nepal. Though she is desperately poor, her life is full of simple pleasures, like playing hopscotch with her best friend from school and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp. But when the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of the family's crops, Lakshmi's stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family.

    AudioAddict says: "My name is Lakshmi. I am from Nepal. I am 13."
    "A Timely Topic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I decided to read this now, given the headlines about the Nigerian girls who they think could be sold into the sex slave trade. This dealt with a young girl from Nepal, who was sold by her step-father for around $300. She ends up in India, where she is placed into forced prostitution. The cultural references were quite interesting to me, and I would have loved to read more about the Nepal culture. I had also recently finished reading Memoirs of a Geisha, and although that story happened in Japan, I was struck by the similarities: both books refer to the older more powerful women as "Auntie" and both had to work to pay off their debts to the person who bought them. You can't help but relate to the young heroine of this story and how terrified she must have been at age 13 and 14 to go through this horrific experience.

    The narration was also good and the accents were well done

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Brave New World

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Aldous Huxley
    • Narrated By Michael York
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2518)
    Performance
    (1795)
    Story
    (1811)

    When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

    Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media: has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller's genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 A.F. (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

    Jefferson says: "“Oh, Ford, Ford Ford, I Wish I Had My Soma!”"
    "I'm Glad I Stuck With This One"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to this on audio, and the narrator was very good. There were some parts that were over the top that made me laugh at inappropriate times in the story, but overall, I liked the audio version. The various voices were done very well.

    As far as the story, I can't add any clever observations that haven't already been said. I can say that this book shows me the importance of sticking with a book and evaluating it as an entire body of work. I didn't like the first part of the book and was going to ditch it, but I stuck with it. Once The Savage appeared and became an integral part of the story, I became interested in it. I loved the differences highlighted between the satirical "civilized" and "uncivilized" societies. The ending was quite a surprise to me and was well done.

    I initially thought that I liked "1984" better, but I think they are pretty much equal in my opinion. Each has something slightly different to offer and both are worth the read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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