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Linda Likes to Learn

Omaha, Nebraska United States | Member Since 2014

  • 12 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 844 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2015

  • The Recognitions

    • UNABRIDGED (48 hrs)
    • By William Gaddis
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan

    Wyatt Gwyon's desire to forge is not driven by larceny but from love. Exactingly faithful to the spirit and letter of the Flemish masters, he produces uncannily accurate "originals" - pictures the painters themselves might have envied. In an age of counterfeit emotion and taste, the real and fake have become indistinguishable; yet Gwyon's forgeries reflect a truth that others cannot touch - cannot even recognize.

    Mark says: "Brilliant book, excellent rendering."

    Alright - I admit it: I am ONLY 7 hours into this novel....but they have been the longest 7 hours of an audio book that I have ever painfully limped through. I'm intelligent and literate - but my tolerance for 'stream of conscious' type stories evidently has gotten very low. The idea seemed very intriguing: a fine art forger who is a little "different".... And I love the idea of a very long book that gives me a lot of time to enjoy the way words play against each other. But at this rate, I think I'll never make it through the 48 hours total. The Pope used to ask Michaelangelo "When will you make an end?!?" as the years went on and the Sistine Chapel still wasn't finished. For this author, I must ask: "When will you make a beginning?!?" (And a middle, and an end, too!)

    5 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian Part 2

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    N. Restuccio says: "Excellent hard scifi"
    "Fast moving, clever. A Martian Macguyver!"

    ... With humor that bounces off each new problem. Fun read. Would have liked a few more chapters but hope for a sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Escaping Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By A. American
    • Narrated By Duke Fontaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When society ceases to exist, who can you trust? After the collapse of the nation's power grid, America is under martial law - and safety is an illusion. As violence erupts around him, Morgan Carter faces one of his most difficult decisions yet: whether to stay and defend his home, or move to a more isolated area, away from the prying eyes of the government. He and his family are hesitant to leave their beloved Lake County, but with increasingly suspicious activities happening in a nearby refugee camp, all signs point towards defecting.

    Linda Likes to Learn says: "WARNING! DOES NOT END SERIES! CUT FOR PROFIT?"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes - but only if they understood that this book will not 'finish the story'. My only complaint - as far as the reader goes - is that he often didn't allow enough 'silent space' to show that a chapter, or a scene, had changed....and your mind had to do some 'catchup' to figure out what was going on.

    Any additional comments?

    I AM REALLY TICKED OFF ABOUT THIS BOOK! I have thoroughly enjoyed the first two episodes, but THIS book appeared to be INTENTIONALLY CUT - while suggesting the final, dramatic ending still to come. The other books were roughly 16 hours +/- , but this only 8. WHY? Obviously this part of the story needed another 8 hours to tell it - as the final confrontation with the DHS is yet to come. But - it just....STOPS.


    AUDIBLE - This was probably the publisher's 'doing'....but you should be alerted to this 'sales tactic'.... and WARN YOUR CUSTOMERS ACCORDINGLY.

    PERHAPS YOU SHOULD WORK WITH THE PUBLISHER TO MAKE THIS A 'TWO FOR ONE' DEAL.... BOOKS 3 & 4 FOR ONE CREDIT. Then we'd be getting what we thought we were paying for.

    51 of 54 people found this review helpful
  • Island in the Sea of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By S. M. Stirling
    • Narrated By Todd McLaren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    During a perfect spring evening on Nantucket, a violent storm erupts and a dome of crawling, colored fire blankets the island. When the howling winds subside and the night skies clear, the stars appear to have shifted. The mainland has become a wilderness of unbroken forest, where tools of bronze and stone litter the beaches, and primitive natives scatter in terror.

    Kevin says: "Listen to this before "Dies the fire""
    Would you listen to Island in the Sea of Time again? Why?

    This tale of a Connecticut town whisked back into the stone age - and the female captain of a sailing ship - is not the typical 'back into time' story. The captain and her ship offers adventures to other worlds - in pursuit of goods from Europe as well as the pursuit of the bad guy, all told in a compelling manner. It was an interesting & 'fun' read, but didn't have the 'depth' that I need to want to read it again.

    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    "Outing" the captain as a lesbian - and introducing a native girl as a 'companion' to the captain - was disturbing to me. It didn't seem to have much real reason to be in the story, other than, perhaps, for the author to either introduce a SMALL amount of 'sensationalism' - which wasn't too 'sensational' - or controversy. It just seemed 'out of place'.

    Which character – as performed by Todd McLaren – was your favorite?

    The captain was the main character - and McLaren did an excellent job in capturing her.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Broken Harbor: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In Broken Harbor, all but one member of the Spain family lies dead, and it’s up to Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy to find out why. Mick must piece together why their house is full of cameras pointed at holes in the walls and how a nighttime intruder bypassed all the locks. Meanwhile, the town of Broken Harbor holds something else for Mick: disturbing memories of a childhood summer gone terribly wrong.

    barbara says: "Stunned"
    What did you love best about Broken Harbor?

    The story spirals around an unsuspected, strange love story that, totally unintentional, unleashes a hellish conclusion. This is NOT your typical murder mystery cop case. It roils with 'under-stories', about all the characters, that keep you interested - and wondering - until the end.

    What did you like best about this story?

    Oddly, after I gave it considerable thought, I thought the detective's final decision was absolutely correct - and absolutely disappointing. It showed a knowledge of one's self, and a moral decision that most would shirk.

    What about Stephen Hogan’s performance did you like?

    As usual, Hogan's performance was 'right on' - telling the story through the author's words, without intruding his own personality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heartstone: A Matthew Shardlake Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By C. J. Sansom
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Consistently appearing on US and UK best-seller lists, C.J. Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake mysteries have earned considerable critical acclaim, including a CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award. At the behest of a former servant to Catherine Parr, Shardlake travels to Portsmouth to investigate claims of unspeakable crimes committed upon a young ward of the court. There, Shardlake uncovers disturbing evidence even as England’s continuing war with France rages around him.

    MLKIllory says: "Worth the time and money"

    I love the Shardlake mysteries - and the Shardlake character. I love the setting in Henry the 8th's England - and all the tiny details that author Sansom uses to make his books come alive. I love everything about these books - except that it takes Author Sansom too darned long to write a sequel! ;D The Shardlake series is intriguing in it's unusual 'murders' and 'victims', as well as all the day-to-day characters that fatten up the scenery a bit more. Reader Steven Crossley does an excellent job of voicing the characters. Now that I've listened to this latest book, I'll have to wait another couple of years to hear more - and THAT is the only reason I didn't give this title a 5-star rating! ;D

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Dubbed the American Tolkien by Time magazine, George R. R. Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the number-one New York Times best-selling author delivers the fifth book in his spellbinding landmark series - as both familiar faces and surprising new forces vie for a foothold in a fragmented empire.

    Dianne Houston says: "OH NO ROY!!!! NOT DENARIS!!!!!!!"

    If you enjoyed the TV series "A Game of Thrones", I'm sure you are looking forward to reading this most recent book of the (to date) 5-book series. DON'T. You will be totally lost in this mishmash of intertwining half-plots and the horrendous performance by Roy Dotrice. Mr. Dotrice has only 3 voices - his normal voice, a lower, rougher version of his normal voice, and a perversion of pseudo-female voices that all fall into one category: crusty crone. Don't expect to hear a seductive voice for Dani - or any type of female voice that is realistic to character. Male characters are similarly flawed - and you often hear the same 'voice' for two different characters - within seconds of each other! - in a conversation. It makes listening - and understanding the story - almost impossible, and totally frustrating. Add Mr. Dotrice's annoying habit of breaking sentences with a slight pause - in a totally inappropriate spot - and the frustration mounts. I enjoyed the earlier books - though that was a LONG time ago. I don't recall the reader making such a mess of the novel, in the earlier books. Other reviewers have praised his work - and I simply cannot understand how they could do so! I love books - I love the written (and well-read) word - and I was looking forward to 49 hours of listening enjoyment. But, it has been "forced labor" to listen to this book. Although I am on part 4, it has been sheer persistence that has kept me listening so far - and I can hardly remember any of the plot, because the characters seem to 'run together' to make a jumble of words. If you are really interested in this series, I recommend that you start with book #1, and work through the series. You'll have a much better understanding of the books and characters - and hopefully have embedded in your mind the important parts of the story, the plot, and be able to sort out the characters by name. Or - wait for the HBO series instead!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Crimson Petal and the White

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Michel Faber
    • Narrated By Jill Tanner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    NOW A MAJOR BBC DRAMA starring Romola Garai, Chris O'Dowd, Gillian Anderson, Richard E. Grant, Shirley Henderson and Mark Gatiss. 'Watch your step. Keep your wits about you; you will need them....' So begins this irresistible voyage into the dark side of Victorian London. Amongst an unforgettable cast of low-lifes, physicians, businessmen, and prostitutes, meet our heroine Sugar, a young woman trying to drag herself up from the gutter any way she can.

    anniepaints says: "Loved this Book!!"

    I loved this book - every word of it, from the very unusual start.....right down to the last words BEFORE the ending. You quickly become immersed in the hidden Victorian world of sex for sale and the sinners who consider themselves perfect gentlemen in every way - with no thought or understanding of the women they use and abuse, whether whores, wives or servants.

    All the realistic and captivating characters are totally believable, and the narrator clearly defines them. The plot has twists and turns that are, for the most part, not too surprising. But the characters, and the story, carry you forward, and keep you caring about the characters - with hope that the story will be true to their personalities and the expected choices that they should make.

    You quickly find yourself cheering for an extraordinary 'fallen woman' and hoping that she will overcome all the odds against her. Then wonderful things begin to happen to this deserving woman, and you want this to be the best 'Cinderella story' of all time. But I don't want to spoil the ending for you.

    Under ordinary circumstances, I would have rated this book at 5 stars. But, the sudden, unexpected ending really ticked me off - and I down-graded the rating by 1 star. This is ?going to be? or is ?now? a BBC series - so I must assume that the reason for the abrupt ending for the book is because a SECOND season (and book) will soon be on our reading horizon. Curses on the ending of a series that leaves you hanging! But it's nice to know that you will eventually 'know all', when the next season begins. I am looking forward to seeing the TV series - and certainly looking forward to another book that continues with the life of Sugar - a very unusual lady of the night.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Tree of Smoke: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Denis Johnson
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This is the story of William "Skip" Sands, CIA, engaged in Psychological Operations against the Vietcong, and the disasters that befall him. This is also the story of the Houston brothers, Bill and James, young men who drift out of the Arizona desert and into a war in which the line between disinformation and delusion has blurred away. In its vision of human folly, this is a story like nothing in our literature.

    MadMadeleine says: "Moby Redux"
    "It just sucks you down, down, down..."

    ....until you feel like you've been covered by the literary equivalent of quicksand. I had hoped for something like "The Company" - or, at the least, an INTERESTING read with action and choice tidbits about the CIA's usually questionable actions. Instead, I could hardly discern the characters - one from another - by the author's descriptive mechanisms and even worse, by the narrator's voice. Will Patton's hushed, whispery voice, often near monotone, matched the mood of the book - depressed, weary to the bone and ready to give up the 'worthless world' and simply float like flotsam until the fates have their way with you. Granted, this may well be the way 'in country' CIA feel,by the time they've been dragged through the politics and stupidities of several countries.... but do we have to base an entire book on this? In addition, after listening to the excellent performances of many other narrators, I was continually exasperated to hear almost the same voice, with the same inflections, each time a new charater was introduced. Patton's idea of language skills seemed to be to lower the voice a bit, make it a bit more whispery -- but with nothing that even came close to sounding like the charater's accents - not Asian, not Indian, not even British. It was doubly hard to keep up with the characters when they all seemed to sound alike. The prose was nice - but in a war zone, I expected a little excitement - voices raised in screams, howls and expletives. Instead, it was: "I'm so tired I think I'll just sit here and whine for a few hundred pages." I, too, will be sure to read ALL the reviews before I make my next selection!

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Luck in the Shadows: Nightrunner, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Lynn Flewelling
    • Narrated By Raymond Todd

    Spy, rogue, thief, and noble, Seregil of Rhiminee is many things, none of them predictable. And when he offers to take on Alec as his apprentice, things may never be the same for either of them. Soon Alec is traveling roads he never knew existed, toward a war he never suspected was brewing. Before long he and Seregil are embroiled in a sinister plot that runs deeper than either can imagine and that may cost them far more than their lives if they fail. But fortune is as unpredictable as Alec's new mentor.

    David says: "A really good story. (What homosexuality?)"
    "TO BE CONTINUED??? !!!"

    Arrrgghhh! I just listed to 17+ hours of so-so fiction, even less enhanced by a reader who did not create definition between speakers, and who, throughout the entire book, read as though his subject was a history book, instead of a 'drama'. By chapter 9,999, the book was failing to completely hold my attention..... but I could, at least, 'award myself' with hearing a resolution at the end of the book....and then learned that IT WAS TO BE CONTINUED IN THE NEXT BOOK! And even worse, that Part 2 would BE CONTINUED IN PART 3! All I wanted was a reasonably interesting l-o-n-g book that would be at least entertaining while making a long vacation drive. Then, to learn I had to continue with parts 2 & 3 -- well, it was just too much! Shouldn't we be warned that the story is CONTINUED in 2 more books, without a resolution until the end of part 3? Sure, it was an 'OK read', but it will take some serious consideration - or, perhaps, another very long, boring drive, to spend my book credits for Parts 2 and 3! If the author was a 'page turner' like Stephen King, you could at least partially forgive a continuation of a continuation ala The Dark Tower.....but the book would need a lot more interesting twists, turns and surprises to be in a similar league. The story could be told more quickly, and more interestingly.

    8 of 13 people found this review helpful

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