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Laura

Toronto, ON, Canada

17
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 45 ratings
  • 145 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Lost Gate: Mithermages, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Emily Janice Card
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4594)
    Performance
    (3372)
    Story
    (3394)

    Danny North knew from early childhood that his family was different - and that he was different from them. While his cousins were learning how to create the things that commoners called fairies, ghosts, golems, trolls, werewolves, and other such miracles that were the heritage of the North family, Danny worried that he would never show a talent, never form an "outself"....

    joshua says: "Card doing what he does best."
    "Enter Card's New World"
    Overall

    Card has an amazing talent for creating new worlds - spaces that have their own histories, rules, and politics. The Ender's Game, Alvin Maker and Homecoming Saga's are excellent examples. Once again, Card has successfully created a story that draws the reader into a whole new place.

    Of course, with any well-crafted story, the reader has to suspend disbelief long enough to let Card fill in the details to make it all work. Patience pays off - he does.

    And for anyone who enjoyed the Card's Alvin Maker series, this is one that I'd highly recommend (it's reminiscent of that style in many ways).

    Overall it's a great novel with great readers. I will eagerly be awaiting the next book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Francine Pascal
    • Narrated By January LaVoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (28)

    Ten years after graduating from Sweet Valley High, the Wakefield twins have had a falling out of epic proportions. When Jessica commits what can only considered a complete and utter betrayal, Elizabeth flees to New York to escape the pain and immerse herself in her lifelong dream of becoming a serious reporter. But her rift with Jessica is never far from her mind, and even putting 3000 miles between them can’t dull then pain of Jessica’s duplicity.

    Laura says: "Oh, nostalgia..."
    "Oh, nostalgia..."
    Overall

    When I heard this book had been released, I immediately purchased it. I was a huge fan of the Sweet Valley series as a pre-teen, and having a chance to see how they'd grown up (now at almost exactly my own age) was an exciting prospect. The book delivered what I had hoped for: a return to my childhood "friends." As with meeting old friends in real life, this book allowed me to see how they had grown. The characters changed in ways I could never expect, and yet somehow stayed true to those people I had once known.

    Let's face it. If you're looking for a great literary masterpiece, this will not be your cup of tea. It's an extension of the original teen literature, written for the now grown-up fans. There is sex, drama, and more drama. Some of it a bit far-fetched, yes (even a lot far-fetched). But isn't that what the original series always was?

    I got what I expected. And for what it is, it's great.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Metaphysical Club

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Louis Menand
    • Narrated By Henry Leyva
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (25)

    Hardly a club in the conventional sense, the organization referred to in the title of this superb literary hybrid (part history, part biography, part philosophy) consisted of four members and probably existed for less than nine months.

    Victoria says: "The Great American Experiment"
    "Well Written History"
    Overall

    To be honest, to get the most out of this book, the reader probably needs some knowledge of the American Civil War. It would also help to know a bit about early American philosophy and psychology. However, if the reader remains patient, Menand eventually fills in the missing details.

    Overall, the Metaphysical Club is a very well written and complex history of a fascinating group of thinkers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You've Been Told about Genetics, Talent and IQ is Wrong

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By David Shenk
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (51)

    With irresistibly persuasive vigor, David Shenk debunks the long-standing notion of genetic giftedness, and presents dazzling new scientific research showing how greatness is in the reach of every individual. DNA does not make us who we are. Forget everything you think you know about genes, talent, and intelligence, he writes. In recent years, a mountain of scientific evidence has emerged suggesting a completely new paradigm: not talent scarcity, but latent talent abundance.

    Laura says: "A New View on Genius"
    "A New View on Genius"
    Overall

    As a researcher on the topic of genius myself, I was very impressed with Shenk's take on the topic. He weaves together several promising lines of research to create a convincing narrative. Furthermore, he has a gift for explaining difficult concepts (e.g., heritability) and research (e.g., epigenetics). I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in genius, intelligence, creativity, and human development more generally. Brilliant!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Creating Brain: The Neuroscience of Genius

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Nancy C. Andreasen
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    In a fascinating tour of creativity and the brain, Nancy Andreasen, professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa and the winner of the National Medal of Science, explores how the human brain achieves creative breakthroughs--in art, literature, music, and science--the role of genes and environment, extraordinary creativity vs. ordinary creativity, and the question of genius and insanity.

    William says: "Well written history of creativity"
    "A Big Disappointment"
    Overall

    I went into this with low expectations, and I was still disappointed. Not only does the author misunderstand the meaning of some key concepts (e.g., heritability), she also presents lots of controversial research without appropriate discussion. Also, the book reads as a little "self-helpy". Furthermore, the reader announces every single syllable, causing her to mispronounce some of them. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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