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Julie

I'm a writer and a yoga teacher with a Masters in English Literature.

Vancouver, BC, Canada | Member Since 2013

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 21 ratings
  • 72 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2015
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  • Street Smarts: An All-Purpose Tool Kit for Entrepreneurs

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Norm Brodsky, Bo Burlingham
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    Overall
    (701)
    Performance
    (630)
    Story
    (633)

    People starting out in business tend to seek step-by-step formulas or rules, but in reality there are no magic bullets. Rather, says veteran company-builder Norm Brodsky, there's a mentality that helps street- smart entrepreneurs solve problems and pursue opportunities as they arise. Brodsky shares his hard-earned wisdom every month in Inc. magazine, in the hugely popular "Street Smarts" column he cowrites with Bo Burlingham. Now they've adapted their best advice into a comprehensive guide for anyone running a small business.

    morton says: "This great audio was originally called The Knack!"
    "Excellent advice!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Street Smarts rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I'm a small business owner with no formal education in business. This book started with the basics and helped me understand a lot of aspects of business I didn't feel like I could access. Brodsky uses lots of personal stories and experience so the book is never boring. He really makes you feel like you can do it--you just have to be street smart.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me seriously learn! And laugh a couple of times.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Harriet Lerner
    • Narrated By Harriet Lerner
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (84)

    While anger deserves our attention and respect, women still learn to silence our anger, to deny it entirely, or to vent it in a way that leaves us feeling helpless and powerless.

    Sharon says: "Very helpful audiobook"
    "Still relevant, still thinking about it"
    Overall
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    Where does The Dance of Anger rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I don't read that many "self help" style books, so it's in its own category. But I still think about its lessons all the time, and I think it really helped me figure out some things in my own life and patterns, which I think is kind of amazing.


    What other book might you compare The Dance of Anger to and why?

    It's a little like Mating in Captivity--another book on relationships that brings together psychological studies and the experiences of the therapist. But I just remember the one major idea from the first book (space is sexy), and I think the Dance of Anger gave me a lot of different tools--what anger is doing for me, how to figure out the difference between which problems are mine and which are yours, and how to access my power again in any situation.


    What does Harriet Lerner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I don't remember too much about the narration, which I think is a good thing. I think she did give it a conversational tone, which is nice.


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    "Whose problem is this?" When you get mad or have a fight, piece apart which things are about your past, your emotions, and your actions, and which belong to the other person. It helps remind you of what you have control over and what you don't, and to take responsibility for your own emotions and actions while still communicating with kindness.


    Any additional comments?

    It was written in a different time--I think relationships have changed a lot with feminism since the '80s. But we still have the same problems, and the book is definitely still very relevant. I recommend it to all my friends--even the guys, who I think would really benefit from the lessons in here too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Yes Please

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Amy Poehler
    • Narrated By Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, and others
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (72)

    Amy Poehler is hosting a dinner party and you're invited! Welcome to the audiobook edition of Amy Poehler's Yes Please. The guest list is star-studded with vocal appearances from Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy's parents - Yes Please is the ultimate audiobook extravaganza. Also included? A one night only live performance at Poehler's Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.

    Elyse says: "Badass & Brutally Honnest!"
    "Gushy and Insecure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It never quite delivered the way I wanted it to. I'd always heard of and understood Amy Poehler as a no-bullshit kind of lady, but she spends so much time in this book talking about how hard it was to write a book and how talented all her famous friends are, you just get the sense she's not saying any of the interesting things she could be saying if she had more confidence.


    Has Yes Please turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I loved Bossypants and Girl Walks Into A Bar, and I was expecting a bit more wisdom about life to come through the comedy, like with the other books. There were moments of that, but I just felt like there was so much second guessing and repetition that it never got to a place where you really went there with her. Plus she kept saying "ambivalence" when she meant "indifference" and I wondered what her editors were doing all day.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    I really liked hearing Amy's mom read her life advice and chapters. They were really funny and I thought an interesting opportunity for looking at how different life is now for women and especially mothers. Amy didn't really pick up the thread, though. She also had all these people "in the booth" with her, and it seemed like another ploy to distract people from hearing what she had to say. But she mostly just got them to read chapter titles. Hearing Patrick Stewart read her haikus was pretty awesome, though.


    Any additional comments?

    I would like to see Amy write a second book where she cares less whether or not people like what she has to say. It's ironic because her extended message is to say whatever you want, do whatever you want, and be whoever you want, and she just doesn't seem to be taking her own advice. She keeps deflecting onto other people as if to avoid having to say anything she feels. I get the sense a bit of distance from her divorce and young children will put her back into her confidence and allow her to write from a more powerful place. She really was her own worst enemy in writing the book I think. I still think she's incredibly smart and funny and talented. I just wish she'd get out of her own way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lolita

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Jeremy Irons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2230)
    Performance
    (1363)
    Story
    (1360)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Among the great literary achievements of the 20th century, Lolita soars in audio thanks to the incomparable Jeremy Irons, bringing to life Nabokov’s ability to shock and enthrall more than 50 years after publication. Lolita became a cause celebre because of the erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Nabokov's masterpiece owes its stature not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story that is shocking in its beauty and tenderness.

    Jim says: "An Absolutely Gorgeous Audible Experience"
    "Beautiful and Uncomfortable"
    Overall
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    What made the experience of listening to Lolita the most enjoyable?

    Jeremy Irons did an amazing job narrating. It was incredible to find yourself inside the mind of someone doing something pretty terrible, and kind of feeling with him. It's an incredible book, and it accomplishes one of the most difficult things for a book: giving you a look inside something that makes you feel really uncomfortable, and allowing for a range of emotions other than just disgust (though that's there too sometimes for sure), like pity, awe, a sense of beauty, and lots more.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Lolita?

    You spend so much time with Humbert's frustrated and powerless longing that you end up feeling with him and/or feeling sorry for him. When he finally gets some power, you can barely watch, and you hate him, but you still feel for him on some level and want to keep following his story. Only an amazing author can take you through that emotional arc, I think.


    Any additional comments?

    I wasn't sure I would like the book because of the topic, but it was a very enriching experience. Aside from the topic, Nabokov is absolutely a poet--his descriptions are incredibly vivid and cinematic, and the writing is absolutely gorgeous. Some passages you could listen to over and over, they were absolutely gorgeous. I highly recommend the book, though you certainly have to be willing to be a bit uncomfortable to get through it--which is what I think a truly good book does!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Boss of You: Everything a Woman Needs to Know to Start, Run and Maintain Her Own Business

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Emira Mears, Lauren Bacon
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    Female entrepreneurs are a growing force to be reckoned with. Each year, more and more women take the initiative and start their own business ventures - at twice the rate of men. Women continue to reshape the business world with innovative models, both large and small. So why is there a lack of clear-cut, expert advice aimed at this dynamic female audience?

    Nichole says: "MOST AMAZING BUSINESS BOOK I HAVE EVER PICKED UP!"
    "Annoying..."
    Overall
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    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I found that while some of the advice may have been useful, the general tone was really pandering. There were lots of moments of the author calling her readers "ladies" in this "we know it's hard for you to do this, but just try a little harder, okay?" kind of way.


    Would you recommend The Boss of You to your friends? Why or why not?

    Nope! As a woman in business, I wanted some encouraging and bolstering advice, and I felt like the whole book was apologizing for me not being strong enough to have big ambitions in business. I agree that sometimes it's good to keep businesses small and work that way, but there was so much talk about how emotional women are and all the stereotypes that make business a hard world for women to inhabit. Business books I've read that were for any gender (i.e. men, of course) were much more useful, and I did like Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In for its practical advice for women in business.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Therese Plummer’s performances?

    Sure, she did fine with her material, and I'm sure she was directed to be a little more emphatic or overdramatic because of the writing.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beloved

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Toni Morrison
    • Narrated By Toni Morrison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (499)
    Performance
    (266)
    Story
    (262)

    Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but 18 years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

    John R Williford says: "Author-read Books"
    "Some of it breezes past you"
    Overall
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    Would you consider the audio edition of Beloved to be better than the print version?

    No, this is one of the few books I would say would be better in the text version. It's very subtle and layered, there is a disconnectedness to the narrative that is important to the theme of the consequences of slavery, but it's difficult to follow if you lose a word or phrase that turns out to be key, or if you can't pause and reread a paragraph a few times to get it.


    What other book might you compare Beloved to and why?

    My experience with the Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet was that I was at first a bit confused, but the story unfolded for me effortlessly by simply continuing to listen. That didn't happen for me with Beloved. I got to the end, thought "...what?" and restarted it from the beginning right away. I had to google it to understand what the heck just happened.


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

    I haven't, but I love her voice, it's so gorgeous. Even though I feel like I missed a lot of the narrative, I really enjoyed listening, and certain images, moments, and phrases stick with me even now.


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

    There are many moving moments in the book, it's very detailed and beautifully written.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd like to try the book again in print, but I appreciate having listened to Toni Morrison's voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lavinia

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Ursula K. Le Guin
    • Narrated By Alyssa Bresnahan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (35)

    Highly acclaimed author Ursula K. Le Guin lends a resonant voice to a pivotal yet often overlooked character of Vergil's The Aeneid. Born into peace and freedom, Lavinia is stunned to learn that she will be the cause of a great war - or so the prophecies and omens claim. Her fate is sealed, however, when she meets a man from Troy.

    Kennet says: "Fascinatingly well written"
    "Loved this book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Lavinia the most enjoyable?

    The narrator did a beautiful job giving voice to Lavinia. It was wonderful to hear this relatively minor character from one of the classic stories of our culture brought to life with the feminist perspective and the gorgeous, detailed, imaginative Le Guin writing.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The imaginative and detailed writing, I think.


    If you could rename Lavinia, what would you call it?

    A Feminist Retelling of an Old Dude's Story


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23307)
    Performance
    (20803)
    Story
    (20876)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    FanB14 says: "Amazing Amy"
    "Couldn't stop listening!"
    Overall
    Performance
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    If you could sum up Gone Girl in three words, what would they be?

    Intriguing, surprising, delightful


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Gone Girl?

    Every time the story twisted and turned was memorable. As a reader you really got to watch your expectations keep changing. Gillian Flynn offers an interesting feminist perspective in the book which really gets you thinking. She doesn't let you get away with a "normal" story. That being said, I wasn't thrilled about the way it ended. The intricate, careful story sort of fell apart in the last few threads. Overall though it was a great listen.


    Which character – as performed by Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne – was your favorite?

    I don't want to give away any of the plot twists, but there's a despicable character that I ended up having a strange kind of respect for. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters, they were so much more complex than when you first get to know them.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, I have never been so obsessed with finishing an audiobook. Usually I listen on my commute and when I'm walking my dog, but with this one I'd get home and make excuses to clean my house so I could keep listening. I didn't laugh or cry but I was so fascinated with what was going on.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Botany of Desire

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Pollan
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1539)
    Performance
    (807)
    Story
    (810)

    Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers' genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship.

    Teddy says: "If you have an open mind... Give it a listen"
    "This book re-inspired me to eat potatoes"
    Overall
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    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely, and bought it for my brother for his birthday. It has a rare combination of poetry in the writing even though the book is nonfiction and you learn a lot about the history of agriculture and what's actually happening with the apples and potatoes that end up on our plates. It's sort of a political topic, but he manages to make the book incredibly entertaining and gorgeous to listen to. The Omnivore's Dilemma is one of my favourite books, and this one did not disappoint from my high standards of Michael Pollan.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Botany of Desire?

    The long list of local names for apples--hilarious, sweet, gorgeous, and evocative.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    I think a good narrator is almost one you don't notice--his performance wasn't distracting from the story at all, so I think he really embodied it.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, but it did re-ignite my desire to eat potatoes, which I'd always thought of as kind of a boring vegetable. I didn't know how nutritious they are, and their political stance as having rescued the Irish from persecution (until monoculture ruined everything of course) gives them street cred.


    Any additional comments?

    I think you'd like this book whether you are a fiction or a non-fiction lover. Pollan really knows how to bridge the gap.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Piper Kerman
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3657)
    Performance
    (3312)
    Story
    (3337)

    With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.

    Mark says: "My favorite book of the year, so far"
    "Fascinating and Entertaining"
    Overall
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    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely, I think it's a great read for anyone. It seems like women might particularly like it because it holds such a diversity of women's stories within it. Kerman manages to offer these stories totally without judgement. It's a fun read, but also educational.


    What other book might you compare Orange is the New Black to and why?

    I don't think I can compare it with anything. Who has written a memoir about being in a women's prison? More women's stories need to get told, and Kerman does it well!


    What does Cassandra Campbell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I'm not sure, since I didn't read the book and enjoy so much listening while I walk my dog or commute. Her voice sounded very authentic and relatable, and the feeling was almost like listening to a best friend tell her stories over a glass of wine.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    I may be mixing it up with the TV show which I also love, but in general just the range of experiences women can have and end up in prison. That it's not necessarily a terrible dark void place, but that you can make a life, get used to an experience and be in it with a community of other people you may never have thought to spend time with. That women can be allies in all kinds of situations.


    Any additional comments?

    I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It made me think I should read more memoirs!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Gary Chapman
    • Narrated By Gary Chapman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3383)
    Performance
    (2110)
    Story
    (2109)

    Dr. Gary Chapman identifies five basic languages of love and then guides couples towards a better understanding of their unique languages of love. Learn to speak and understand your mate's love language, and in no time you will be able to effectively love and truly feel loved in return. Skillful communication is within your grasp!

    Bill Ciocco says: "Highly Recommended"
    "Love for Christian Fanatics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I was wary of the self-help title of the book, but got really turned off when I found out about the extreme American Christianity of the writer. I felt like he was going to sell me something at the end. Maybe my soul back from the devil who stole it.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Gary Chapman?

    The narrator was appropriate, he had kind of a Texas accent, adding to the American Everyman vibe I think the book was trying to go for, so I think that was probably a good thing. If you like that sort of thing.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Discomfort and boredom. I like the principle of the book, and perhaps I could have learned something from it if I didn't get so turned off by the gee-golly innocent Christian-ness of the narrator. It just didn't sound like reality. My love tank for this book is empty.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are Christian and get something out of self help books, if you think they actually help you and are not a cynical lapsed Christian like me, you might actually enjoy this book and learn something from it. Still, I thought his examples of the things people were going through made the people going through it seem kind of stupid, and I believe anyone who thinks critically and does mindfulness work will figure this kind of stuff out by themselves, rather than labelling everyone's love language and thinking they have it figured out.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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