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Lee

Chapel Hill, NC, United States | Member Since 2007

84
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 20 reviews
  • 25 ratings
  • 297 titles in library
  • 29 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
5

  • Beat the Reaper: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Josh Bazell
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1187)
    Performance
    (477)
    Story
    (475)

    Meet Peter Brown, a young Manhattan emergency room doctor with an unusual past that is just about to catch up with him. His morning begins with the quick disarming of a would-be mugger, followed by a steamy elevator encounter with a sexy young pharmaceutical rep, topped off by a visit with a new patient - and from there Peter's day is going to get a whole lot worse and a whole lot weirder.

    Chuck says: "Great book and great narrator"
    "Violence Warning"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is really quite entertaining - although the non-stop action can get to manic levels. However, the description of the book doesn't convey how violent it is. While the worst stuff (like systematic torture) happens "off-screen," there are some thoughts and images I dont care to have in my mind. If the violence was toned down, I would be referring this book to more friends.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Michael A. Singer
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1200)
    Performance
    (1019)
    Story
    (1017)

    Spiritual teacher Michael A. Singer explores the question of human identity and shows how the development of consciousness can enable us all to dwell in the present moment and achieve happiness and self-realization.

    Lea says: "Fabulous!"
    "Felt like a long strident lecture"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book has some gems in it. My recommendation is to listen to the first 1/3 to 1/2. At some point it becomes extremely repetitive. I found the tone of it condescending, and felt like I was being lectured, and not in a good way. I think that the core of the "how to" part, which is to simply relax and not resist reality, is overly simplistic. People have consistent meditation practices because it is difficult to change your way of being on the fly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Breakfast with Buddha: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Roland Merullo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (486)
    Performance
    (414)
    Story
    (416)

    When his sister tricks him into taking her guru on a trip to their childhood home, Otto Ringling, a confirmed skeptic, is not amused. Six days on the road with an enigmatic holy man who answers every question with a riddle is not what he'd planned. But in an effort to westernize his passenger---and amuse himself---he decides to show the monk some "American fun" along the way.

    Mary McCarthy says: "a thoughtful and often hilarious journey"
    "Good bedtime book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Light, fun, odd-couple road trip book. You may need to have some affinity for meditation or Buddhism to enjoy this book. The writing is a bit hokey and sentimental at times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sweet Tooth

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Ian McEwan
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (727)
    Performance
    (617)
    Story
    (621)

    Winner of such prestigious honors as the Booker Prize and Whitbread Award, Ian McEwan is justifiably regarded as a modern master. Set in 1972, Sweet Tooth follows Cambridge student Serena Frome, whose intelligence and beauty land her a job with England's intelligence agency, MI5. In an attempt to monitor writers' politics, MI5 tasks Serena with infiltrating the literary circle of author Tom Healy. But soon matters of trust and identity subvert the operation.

    Susianna says: "Perfect Book for your Literary Sweet Tooth"
    "Could not relate to the narrator/main character"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Somehow the author and narrator combined to drain all life out of what would seem to be an engaging story. I could not get any emotional involvement in the main character, so I just didn't care what happened next. I don't really understand how this feat was accomplished. The story is a first person narrative, with the narrator recounting events forty years or so in the past. She seems so cool and detached, even when the action is emotional, that it gave me some kind of cognitive dissonance. Obviously, I am a reader that needs to relate to the characters to enjoy the book. The writing is very good and the narrator is also very good, I can understand that other people may find it excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23151)
    Performance
    (14490)
    Story
    (14638)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s easy to say that when it comes to sci-fi you either love it or you hate it. But with Ender’s Game, it seems to be you either love it or you love it.... The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

    Kapila says: "6 titles in the series so far"
    "As bedtime listen: poor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good genre classic, well narrated. Not a good bedtime listen because it is emotionally overwrought. Ender is almost constantly upset, most everyone else is a psychotic a-hole. If this book came out today, I would give it 2 stars. It deserves 4 though, because it was written 30 years ago.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10160)
    Performance
    (9298)
    Story
    (9316)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Misery Fest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Highly skilled writer details agony of main character. Seems to wallow in it. Got about 3 hours in and decided to end my own suffering by not listening any more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Pursuit of God

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By A. W. Tozer
    • Narrated By Mark Moseley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (266)
    Performance
    (222)
    Story
    (224)

    During a train trip from Chicago to Texas in the late 1940s, A.W. Tozer began to write The Pursuit of God. He wrote all night, and when the train arrived at his destination, the rough draft was done. The depth of this book has made it an enduring favorite.

    Michael says: "Great classic book to include in your library!"
    "What was I thinking?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bought this in a sale, sounded interesting. I listened for 5 minutes, then turned it off. Sounded like archiac, devout christian ruminating about the state of "the pulpit." Could be excellent for the right listener, not for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Susanna Clarke
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (3441)
    Performance
    (1426)
    Story
    (1429)

    English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.

    David says: "Hang in there!"
    "Gave up after 10 hours"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is apparently catnip for a certain type of book geek. I enjoyed the first few hours as quirky and novel, then gradually lost interest until giving up at hour 10. While I tend to read plot driven page-turners, I appreciate good writing and occasionally read “literature.” I wanted to like this book, but the lack of plot and glacial pacing wore me out. I just didn’t appreciate the intimate character studies and wry social commentary enough to make it worth my while. I like to listen to audiobooks before bedtime, and this one often put me to sleep in 10 to 15 minutes. In this round of man vs. book, book won!

    I am working on a set of book characteristics to cover in my reviews. Qualities that I would like to know before choosing a book. My sweet spot is fairly light fiction (often fantasy) with above average writing and characters. I hope you find these useful. I didn't go into depth on them here because this book has already been heavily reviewed.

    Emotional Tone:
    Mostly neutral, sometimes dark, brooding atmosphere, sometimes comic.

    Literary Quality:
    High craftsmanship, obviously skilled writer.

    Pacing:
    Very slow; detailed conversations and descriptions.

    Plot:
    Very little plot, meandering story lines.

    Characters:
    Lots of varied characters. Main character (Mr. Norrell) for first third of book is dull and unlikable. Most characters are not very dynamic.

    Sex & Violence:
    Very little through first third of book.

    Narrator:
    Does a good job with difficult material. Enjoyed him much more in “The Coral Thief.”

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 31 mins)
    • By Derek Sivers
    • Narrated By Derek Sivers
    Overall
    (462)
    Performance
    (353)
    Story
    (355)

    When anyone can start a business (when everyone is running their career like a business), it begs a question. This is your one chance at life, you can have anything you want, what is worth doing? Most people don't know why they're doing what they're doing. They imitate others, go with the flow, and follow paths without making their own. They spend decades in pursuit of something that someone convinced them they should want, without realizing that it won't make them happy. Anything You Want is a manifesto about living life, appreciating enough, and doing what matters.

    Richard says: "Short and poignant"
    "Refreshing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I so enjoyed this book, I listened to it 3 times. It is a very human, down to earth, golden-rule type approach to business and life. Derek shows you can put heart and fun into business.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Robin Sloan
    • Narrated By Ari Fliakos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2685)
    Performance
    (2416)
    Story
    (2404)

    The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything....

    Susan says: "Fun, thought-provoking, mysterious.... and FUN !"
    "So Over-rated!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The leading user review compares this book to the Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern). This is grossly unfair to the Night Circus. Penumbra has enough ideas for a really good short story. The characters are mostly interesting types, although fairly static and undeveloped. The lead character is boring, and the most interesting character, Penumbra, is not "on stage" nearly enough. I would compare this more to a watered down "14" (Peter Clines) which was much more interesting. I found that even at the most climactic parts of the book, I really didn't care that much. I finished the book mainly because it was only about 8 hours long. The Night Circus, on the Other hand, is about 100x more dense with ideas, imagination, character development, and dramatic tension. All that is not to say this book is bad; it is good enough that I think it could have been better. If you want a hip, fun, modern, weird mystery book, try 14 instead.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Warlock: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Michael Scott
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (960)
    Performance
    (752)
    Story
    (755)

    In the fifth installment of this bestselling series, the twins of prophesy have been divided, and the end is finally beginning.
    With Scatty, Joan of Arc, Saint Germain, Palamedes, and Shakespeare all in Danu Talis, Sophie is on her own with the ever-weakening Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel. She must depend on Niten to help her find an immortal to teach her Earth Magic. The surprise is that she will find her teacher in the most ordinary of places.

    G. House Sr. says: "Cliff Hanger -- Batter Up for Book 6"
    "Barely OK if you like the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My wife and I have listened to this series, and mostly like it. This book is clearly setting the stage for the last book and grand finale. For God's sake don't get this audiobook if you are not into the series, it is not very good. Michael Scott has really under-performed, producing just enough of the lightweight, cheesy action - fantasy we like. After this series is ended I won't start another by him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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