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Kate

Santa Barbara, CA, United States | Member Since 2015

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 40 reviews
  • 78 ratings
  • 419 titles in library
  • 43 purchased in 2015
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  • I Love Lucy: The Untold Story

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jess Oppenheimer, Gregg Oppenheimer
    • Narrated By Larry Dobkin, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, and others
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    Jess Oppenheimer, "the brains" behind I Love Lucy, gives us an insider's view of this groundbreaking show, generously interspersed with recordings of classic Lucy radio and TV comedy performances - including her famous "Vitameatavegamin" routine. Oppenheimer weaves a wonderfully entertaining tale of the creation of this landmark series and its evolution from Lucy's hit radio sitcom, My Favorite Husband. Lucy aficionados will delight in his personal accounts of stars like Desi Arnaz, William Frawley, Vivian Vance, and of course, Lucille Ball.

    Kate says: "A great inside look at an iconic TV show"
    "A great inside look at an iconic TV show"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about I Love Lucy: The Untold Story?

    I had just listened to a biography of Lucille Ball so it was interesting to hear Oppenheimer's perspective on Lucille, Desi, and the TV show.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love the TV show and still watch the reruns--I loved hearing about the inside scoop.


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

    no--I just enjoyed it


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • iWoz: How I Invented the Personal Computer and Had Fun Along the Way

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Steve Wozniak, Gina Smith
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    Overall
    (2644)
    Performance
    (1609)
    Story
    (1636)

    Before cell phones that fit in the palm of your hand and slim laptops that fit snugly into briefcases, computers were like strange, alien vending machines. They had cryptic switches, punch cards, and pages of encoded output. But in 1975, a young engineering wizard named Steve Wozniak had an idea: What if you combined computer circuitry with a regular typewriter keyboard and a video screen?

    Jean says: "Interesting look at the early days of the p.c."
    "The more interesting Steve from Apple"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to iWoz again? Why?

    No, I have so many books to listen to I do not have time.


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

    It was as if Wozniak was reading it himself. You could feel his enjoyment about his life through the performer. I really enjoyed it.


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

    When he talks about how he got involved in electronics at an early age by going to work with his father. It really struck me how important it was to him (and could be to others) to have a parent who was really involved and helped spark a lifelong interest that culminated in computers and other advanced electronics.


    Any additional comments?

    Seems to be a much nicer person than Steve Jobs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life From an Addiction to Film

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Patton Oswalt
    • Narrated By Patton Oswalt
    Overall
    (360)
    Performance
    (320)
    Story
    (317)

    New York Times best-selling author, comedian, and actor Patton Oswalt shares his entertaining memoir about coming of age as a performer and writer in the late '90s while obsessively watching classic films at the legendary New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles. Between 1995 and 1999, Patton Oswalt lived with an unshakeable addiction. It wasn't drugs, alcohol, or sex. It was film.

    Kurt says: "Redemption from 'Zombie Spaceship Wasteland'"
    "Wonderful story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes--it was fun and interesting. Patton Oswalt tells a terrific story about his "addiction" to movies, which substituted for actual work.


    What did you like best about this story?

    He's engaging and interesting, and the story is unique.


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

    He brought his own story to life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Brooke Shields
    • Narrated By Brooke Shields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (210)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (193)

    Brooke Shields never had what anyone would consider an ordinary life. She was raised by her Newark-tough single mom, Teri, a woman who loved the world of show business and was often a media sensation all by herself. Brooke's iconic modeling career began by chance when she was only 11 months old, and Teri's skills as both Brooke's mother and manager were formidable. But in private she was troubled and drinking heavily.

    Dawn F Horner says: "Wow - a heart touching listen!"
    "Everything you wanted to know about Shields' life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes--it was a bit long but interesting for someone like me who grew up with Shields' as a celebrity. Interesting to find out about her perspective of her life with her mother and show business. Learned a lot about her that I did not know.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of There Was a Little Girl?

    When she described how it was OK that she was photographed topless for "Pretty Baby" when she was 11 years old. It was creepy.


    What three words best describe Brooke Shields’s voice?

    Average. I understand that people want to read their own stories but that is just what she did--read a book. She was not bad like William Buckley or Christopher Hitchens (unintelligible) but never came close to the wonderful job that Elizabeth Gilbert did in "Eat Pray Love".


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No not that interesting


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Man Who Robbed the Pierre: The Story of Bobby Comfort

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Ira Berkow
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    January 2, 1972: Men in tuxedos rob the Pierre, a New York hotel. They get away with $11 million worth of cash and jewelry. The police are baffled by how large-scale a heist could go off so smoothly. The answer was in the leader of the thieves, a man by the name of Bobby Comfort. Comfort took to crime from a young age, card sharping, petty theft, and eventually robbery. Taking money from the rich, though, was where he excelled.

    B Rose says: "Very good listen"
    "Fascinating story where you root for the criminal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Man Who Robbed the Pierre to be better than the print version?

    Maybe--I found the narrator somewhat distracting because of his strange cadence.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The main character, Comfort, was a lifetime criminal but you find yourself liking him and not wanting him to get caught.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I have listened to other audiobooks performed by Hoye. I know that he has won awards, but I find him somewhat "NPR"-like in his presentation. He does a good job when reading quotes, but at the end of every sentence he drags out the last word. Very annouing.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes--really wanted to find out how it finished.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Steve Martin
    • Narrated By Steve Martin
    Overall
    (3125)
    Performance
    (1682)
    Story
    (1672)

    In the mid-70s, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. Born Standing Up is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away".

    Andrew says: "Fantastic"
    "Fun book by a fun guy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Born Standing Up?

    It went back to Martin's early life, when he did stand-up. Interesting to see how his life progressed until he gave up stand-up to move forward in his career.


    Any additional comments?

    Short and sweet!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dad Is Fat

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jim Gaffigan
    • Narrated By Jim Gaffigan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2865)
    Performance
    (2585)
    Story
    (2573)

    In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald's, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children - everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to toddlers’ communication skills ("they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news"), to the eating habits of four-year-olds ("there is no difference between a four-year-old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor").

    Sean says: "Good for Gaffigan fans - better for expecting dads"
    "Not a parent? Not a problem"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes--so funny, smart, and engaging that I was laughing out loud.


    What about Jim Gaffigan’s performance did you like?

    He brought his own stories alive--I could see him living the experiences he was recounting.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book even for those of us who do not have kids.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By John W. Dean
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (68)

    Watergate forever changed American politics, and in light of the revelations about the NSA's wide­spread surveillance program, the scandal has taken on new significance. Yet remarkably, four decades after he was forced to resign, no one has told the full story of Nixon's involvement in Watergate.

    Tad Davis says: "Nixon HAD no defense"
    "Compelling, Disturbing, Important"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Nixon Defense again? Why?

    Probably not--I have so many books to listen to that I do not listen more than once. However, if I was to listen to a book again this would be the book because it is so compelling.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Probably Martha Mitchell. While she was a minor part of this story, I was reminded of how badly she was treated and how lost she was in this political mess. Everyone else in the story is pretty despicable so I cannot say "favorite".


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I was shocked to hear that Nixon and his people were fairly certain, BEFORE his reelection (but right after the break in) that Felt was the person leaking information to the news media (("Deep Throat"). They left him alone because they were afraid he might do more damage. Also, his overall role was fairly minimal in the scheme of things.


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

    This is one of the most important books I have ever "read". I was continually shocked by what I heard from the tapes. As bad as we thought it was, it was a lot worse. The callousness, the ability to lie so easily, and the shifting of blame to others was unbelievable. Also, it was the coverup, not the thwarted break in, that was so important.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is important and needs to be read by every citizen. Dean's transcription and his linking together the meaning of the tapes in terms of the bigger picture was compelling. Every part of this book was thought-provoking (and anger-provoking!). This is the only book about any aspect of Watergate that needs to be read to understand exactly what happened and why it happened (and how they got away with it for so long).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Ron Suskind
    • Narrated By James Lurie
    Overall
    (278)
    Performance
    (222)
    Story
    (221)

    The hidden history of Wall Street and the White House comes down to a single American concept: confidence. Both centers of power, New York and Washington, learned how to manufacture it - until August 2007, when that confidence began to crumble. Ron Suskind here tells the story of what happened next, as Wall Street struggled to save itself while a man with little experience and soaring rhetoric emerged from obscurity to usher in "a new era of responsibility".

    shari says: "another uneducated narrator"
    "Boring, Boring, Boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Confidence Men?

    I was so interested in the topic but found it so boring that I could not even get close to finishing it. I tried to listen to it twice (with about 2 years in-between!) and just could not get engaged with the story. I kept thinking "who cares?". Not me.


    Has Confidence Men turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, I have listened to many books like this that were great.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There was nothing in this book that I could point to as a "favorite".


    What character would you cut from Confidence Men?

    The author.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 12 Essential Scientific Concepts

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Indre Viskontas
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (140)
    Story
    (140)

    Science is such a vast arena of knowledge that people looking for a better grasp of its secrets often wonder where to begin. The answer: with the essentials. Now, finally satisfy your desire for scientific inquiry in a way that makes this enormous field accessible, understandable, and undeniably captivating.

    Tanglebones says: "Excellent overview of major science concepts"
    "For scientists and non-scientists alike"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of 12 Essential Scientific Concepts to be better than the print version?

    I liked her delivery--I am sure it was much more interesting to me than just reading the material


    What does Professor Indre Viskontas bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She is brilliant and engaging. She made what could be some very dry material interesting. And she is funnily.


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

    I liked the end where she started talking about ants and how they work together, and then moves to socialization among people.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (In Real Life)

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Chris Hardwick
    • Narrated By Chris Hardwick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (947)
    Performance
    (879)
    Story
    (874)

    Nerds: Once a tormented subrace of humans... Now captains of industry! You don’t have to be a stereotypical geekwad to appreciate the tenets of Nerdism and to make your innate talents for overanalysis and hyper-self-awareness work for you instead of against you. Join Nerd superstar Chris Hardwick as he offers his fellow “creative-obsessives” the crucial information needed to come out on top in the current Nerd uprising. Success is the most satisfying - and legal - form of vengeance there is. And you can achieve it when you follow the Nerdist Way,

    Chris says: "Much more than meets the eye with this one!"
    "For nerds and those who love them!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Nerdist Way the most enjoyable?

    Chris Hardwick's delivery was wonderful. He takes an important topic and makes it enjoyable (both in the book itself and his performance). I am not a nerd but I loved this book, mostly because he read it himself.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The topics he covers for his nerd brethren are important and delivered in a way that makes you want to listen (and follow).


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

    His delivery is great and you can tell he is excited and committed to what he writes about.


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

    When he talks about turning his own life around and how he methodically went about it--quit drinking, got fit, improved his finances, and took control over his life. He provides a systematic way that others can follow.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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