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United States | Member Since 2011

  • 17 reviews
  • 105 ratings
  • 240 titles in library
  • 34 purchased in 2014

  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "Non-Geek Loves RPO!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ready Player One to be better than the print version?

    I have gone back and forth between the audio and Kindle versions of this book. They are both excellent in their own way. However, I already thought Wil Wheaton was just as cute as a button, and his performance was absolutely stellar.

    What did you like best about this story?

    Usually I am attracted to the characters in novels more than the plots. However, this plot intrigued me and sucked me in from the beginning. I wasn't as fascinated with the character at first since I have almost nothing in common with him. However, Cline made him so authentic that I couldn't help liking him. Both of my sons are geeks, so I guess I sort of saw him as a child figure. But it was the story and the action that usually kept me going.

    Which character – as performed by Wil Wheaton – was your favorite?

    As I said before, Wade Watts reminds me of my boys, so he was my favorite.

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

    I laughed out loud a lot and got weird looks from people in my neighborhood while I was listening and walking my dog at the same time.

    Any additional comments?

    You do not have to be a geek to enjoy this book. The good guys win. I HATE stories that end badly, especially sci-fi.

    Plus, the guy gets the girl and vice-versa. I'm a hopeless romantic.

    Even I could follow every move on every video game. Maybe hard-core video game players might find it pedantic, but the story should keep them entertained even if the video game sequences and/or 80s trivia references bore them.

    There's a lot of language from which I would probably shield elementary kids and most middle schoolers, but most high schoolers will have matured to the point at which a few blue words are not going to ruin their character.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Double Dip: A Davis Way Crime Caper

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Gretchen Archer
    • Narrated By Amber Benson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It’s Davis Way’s first slot-tournament season. And it may be her last. Things are dicey at work. A personal assistant goes missing, a little old lady goes on a suspicious winning streak, and a Bellissimo executive goes gaga for Davis. She follows a disappearing slot-tournament player trail to the So Help Me God Pentecostal Church in Beehive, Alabama, then jumps headlong into a high stakes holy scandal. She’s on a losing streak at home, too. Her days, nights, and dinners run together, as Davis juggles a revolving door of uninvited guests, namely her rotten ex-ex-husband, Eddie Crawford.

    atisha says: "not crazy about new narrator but still love Davis"
    "Terrific Story; Sub-Par Narration"
    What did you like best about Double Dip? What did you like least?

    Archer's characters are quirky and three-dimensional. There's a good mix of sane and crazy. I know very little about the casino world, but Archer's descriptions are so vivid that I never feel lost. She weaves story and setting extremely well.

    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Just as one story line seems to tie up, another unravels and usually in a most humorous way.

    Would you be willing to try another one of Amber Benson’s performances?

    No, thanks.

    Could you see Double Dip being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I'm not up on current popular stars, so I'm not a great person to ask how to cast this for movie, TV, or internet.

    Any additional comments?

    Amber Benson is a fine reader and handles Southern English well as one character. Her trouble comes in trying to deal with another accent besides Davis Way. The grandmother sounded as though she lived part of her life in Minnesota and part in New Jersey. As for No-Hair and Sanders, Benson probably should stop trying to sound like a man to save her vocal chords. The other women, including Fantasy, sounded as though Benson was pretending to be a fairy. And the TV news reporter sounded like a kindergartener pretending to be a fairy.Ms. Benson is a soprano who is attempting to sing alto, tenor, and baritone. One needs a plus-sized vocal range for narration of books with lots of characters. Sometimes the range comes with age. Save your fine voice, Ms. Benson, and stick with projects that have a smaller range required.But Archer's writing is spot-on. I look forward to Davis Way's next caper.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By A. Lee Martinez
    • Narrated By Scott Aiello
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Emperor Mollusk. Intergalactic Menace. Destroyer of Worlds. Conqueror of Other Worlds. Mad Genius. Ex-Warlord of Earth. Not bad for a guy without a spine. But what's a villain to do after he's done... everything. With no new ambitions, he's happy to pitch in and solve the energy crisis or repel aliens invaders should the need arise, but if he had his way, he'd prefer to be left alone to explore the boundaries of dangerous science. Just as a hobby, of course. Retirement isn't easy though.

    Kat Hooper says: "Hilariously wacky!"
    "Hitchhiker's Guide Meets The Philadelphia Story"
    Where does Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This one makes it into my top ten.

    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the fact that Mollusk gradually changed his attitudes toward other less intelligent beings. It HAD to be humans, after all, that he liked best. Otherwise, the audience wouldn't understand why anyone could possibly put up with us.

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

    Haven't tried them, but I will now.

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

    My real life is poignant enough at this point with kids moving out and parents getting ill and dying. What I need is creative, humorous entertainment with a small helping of complexity. This delivers.

    Any additional comments?

    I'd like to meet Emperor Mollusk, but my teensy brain would probably explode.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Urn Burial: A Phryne Fisher Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Kerry Greenwood
    • Narrated By Stephanie Daniel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Phryne Fisher, scented and surprisingly ruthless, is not one to let sleuthing a horrific crime get in the way of an elegant dalliance. The redoubtable Phryne Fisher is holidaying at Cave House, a Gothic mansion in the heart of the Victorian mountain country. But the peaceful country surroundings mask danger. Her host is receiving death threats, lethal traps are set without explanation around the house and the parlour maid is found strangled to death.

    Nancy J says: "Homage to the Golden Age Mysteries and Christie!"
    "Perhaps I'm Just In a Bad Mood, But..."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I might recommend this if the person likes gushy romance.

    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Lisa Lutz or Carolyn Haines. Or I might wait until Bill Bryson's next book comes out on audio.

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

    No, but she does a good job. I just don't like the heroine much.

    Was Urn Burial worth the listening time?

    No. I almost barfed over the sappy lovey-dovey conversations ("Say it! Say it aloud!" "My own love; my own true love.") . Maybe that was to emphasize the coolness of the protagonist. Or perhaps it was the correct tone for the 1920s. But even the interesting fact that one of the couples was gay didn't make it less "rolling-my-eyes-and-yawning-my-head-off." And when the heroine wasn't making any headway with her so-called investigation, she just jumped into bed, like that other girl might pick up a partner and go on the roof for a game of tennis.And seriously, what was the point of this "party," anyway? Did people really go to the homes of others they didn't really like that much, stay in their homes, eat their food, dance with them, and use their homes like a hotel for days on end? I understand that for half the book they were stranded by floods, but Phryne wasn't in a party mood even before that. Geez, Woman! Buy your own freaking house and go live in peace with your lover.But then there would be no murder mystery. Exactly. The entire premise of this book is ho-hum.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Bitter Sweets: Savannah Reid, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By G. A. McKevett
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman

    Establishing her own business as a private detective in San Carmelita, California, karate expert and sleuth Savannah Reid is hired by real-estate broker Brian O'Donnell to find his long-lost sister, but the case soon becomes complicated by murder.

    Miriam says: "Didn't know until the end!!"
    "Can't finish; too contrived"
    What did you like best about Bitter Sweets? What did you like least?

    The best thing I liked about this book was the return of Savannah Reid. The least was the contrived heightening of tension and the lack of knowledge about 10 year old kids.

    As to the first criticism, when a writer sets up tension, it should be undetectable. The ramping of conflict in this novel was blatant. Heres just one example: When Savannah is about to check on the threatened mom and daughter at 5:30 AM, she decides not to bother them because they need rest, despite the fact that she knows the violent ex-husband knows where they are and is actively looking for them. So she goes home, planning to spend two hours making sure that the guy that's with her is her client's brother. Seriously? And then, of course, they get abducted and Reid's in trouble with the police because she helped the ex find her client. I can't believe the reader is supposed to forgive the protagonist for being so stupid. No ex-cop would have hesitated to bang on a door at 5:30 AM.

    As to the second criticism, I hate to say it, but no 10-year-old girl would be caught dead in a princess outfit. Even in the 1980s when I taught 10 year old girls, princess outfits were out of the closet by second grade. I understand the play because adults make you do it. But the 10 year old girls I know are already past that and on to leopard prints and leggings. Call it sad, but it's the truth. Perhaps in the 1950s or early 60s elementary school girls still played princess dress-up, but not since then. Watching Disney princess videos are a guilty pleasure that many elementary age girls would swear they weren't doing - they would be humiliated by their peers. The only reason they would be playing with tiaras and tulle would be in the context of a (gag) pageant.

    Another thing, if that child is going to get to school by 7:30, which is when most kids have to get to school, that mama had better be up by 6:30 and would probably be up at 5:30 doing last-minute backpack checks for homework and lunch money. If her daughter rides the bus, it would pick her up even earlier and if the mom drives her, they still have to leave by 7 due to before-school traffic.

    I see this use of children in novels a lot as a tool to heighten sympathy and tension, and I understand it. I also often see it being misused, as it was here. When an author uses a child character as a pawn to garner sympathy or to heighten tension, they are doing the same thing they are making their "bad" character do; they are de-personalizing the child and using them as a tool.

    What was most disappointing about G. A. McKevett’s story?

    Lack of research into what 10 year old kids are really like and forcing her character to do things against her own character. I'll try one more book.

    Would you listen to another book narrated by Dina Pearlman?


    Did Bitter Sweets inspire you to do anything?

    I will try to find another McKevett story with no children in it.

    Any additional comments?

    I'm a Southerner. The accent is pretty good. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish Savannah's voice from the mom in the story, but that's understandable, and she's not around for long, thanks to the protagonist not wanting to wake her client up despite the fact that her life is in danger. AAUUUGGHH! Makes me so mad!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris

    From the unique perspective of David Sedaris comes a new collection of essays taking his listeners on a bizarre and stimulating world tour. From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler's experiences.

    FanB14 says: "Devout Fan Disappointed"
    "Hilarious and poignant but obsessed with sex"
    What did you love best about Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls?

    I enjoy Sedaris' descriptive phrases, his offbeat sense of humor, and his unexpected candor about his own shortcomings as a human.

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

    The only way and the best way this collection of essays could have been more enjoyable would be to excise the obsessive sexual references. They're not funny, clever, or quirky. They're just token and out of place, as if put there to show he's still virile - as if any of us need to be reminded that all men, whether they are straight, gay, bi, young or old, are usually thinking about sex - or perhaps to sell the book to the masses who care nothing for his prose or his velvety-smooth delivery in this audio book.

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

    I did not spew coffee on my Mac this time, even when he spoke of Amy's gift of the crocheted owl mask. But it is comparable in pithiness and humor to Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Children etc.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Some Owls and Turtles, But Mostly Sex

    Any additional comments?

    Had to stop listening at the sixth story because the multiple sexual references became so tiresome his prose wasn't worth the slog through the sex.

    4 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. Budley Falls from Grace: The Poor Relation, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Davina Poter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Eliza Budley is a beautiful widow whose husband gambled away his fortune. Lady Fortescue reminds the others that, to be fair, Mrs. Budley has no relatives on whom she can call. Gentle Mrs. Budley thinks she has escaped her fate until Sir Philip comes up with a plan: He has heard that the elderly Marquess of Peterhouse is senile, a widower, extremely rich, and unlikely to remember whether Mrs. Budley is a relative or not. So off Mrs. Budley goes. But the marquess turns out to be not so old, hardly senile, and, in fact, quite handsome.

    Clare says: "Consistant Light Romantic Regency Fare"
    "Mrs. Budley Gets Some Guts"
    What made the experience of listening to Mrs. Budley Falls from Grace the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed seeing the change in Mrs. Budley from dependent and shy to strong and assertive.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I had not really thought much about the character of Mrs. Budley in Books 1 and 2. As usual, though, I liked the male aristocrastic leads best, even though they're basically the same character.

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

    She does a great job distinguishing the various characters with subtle differences in dialect and tone.

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

    I was able to do it in two "sittings" while driving.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A is for Alibi: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Sue Grafton
    • Narrated By Mary Peiffer

    This is the first in the popular series featuring California investigator Kinsey Millhone. She's 32, twice divorced, no kids, an ex-cop who likes her work...and who works strictly alone!

    Gene says: "Poorly Narrated"
    "Couldn't Finish"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would if they cared more for plot than character

    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something set in the 19th century

    What three words best describe Mary Peiffer’s voice?

    Hard-edged but loose

    Did A is for Alibi inspire you to do anything?

    Yes; I believe I will stick with lighter fare like Janet Evanovich and Lisa Lutz

    Any additional comments?

    I had to quit listening because I couldn't believe she had sex with someone she thought might be dangerous. Idiot.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The End of the Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Graham Greene
    • Narrated By Colin Firth

    Graham Greene’s evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.

    Karen Downes says: "Colin whispers in my ear, and I melt"
    "Dostoevsky-esque Prose Made Accessible by Firth"

    First of all, Colin Firth. His name should be a verb. I listened to the sample and immediately purchased the book despite the fact that I had no credits left. My fangirl status completely overwhelms any academic critique I might begin on his performance, so I must move on to Mr. Greene.

    I am unfamiliar with any of Greene's other work, but when the book came out to great praise, I remember thinking,Well, there's one I'll never read. First of all, I had young children at the time. Any smidgen of time I could carve out for anything beyond Caldecott and Newbery award winners was spent on sleep. How a) depressing and b) overdone is a novel about some wronged lover's introspective interactions with his ex-girlfriend and her husband. Yawn to the tenth power. I still have very little time to read, so I choose carefully. I am grateful to Audible for this delivery system which gives me fewer excuses to eschew good literature.

    I am so sorry I did not have the time for this novel sooner in my life. The rainy night, the beginning in the middle, the conscious effort of the protagonist to explain himself to himself and, even in the midst of planning something that would hurt all of them, to step back and judge himself as he thought God might judge him - this reminded me so much of the beginning of Crime and Punishment. I am intrigued. It's not what one would call a gripping plot, since that's not the point. I will have to be in a good mood when I listen since it's pretty dark. Mr. Firth will help me overcome any other excuses.

    I have not even listened to a complete hour of this book, but I needed to get that down immediately, in case I forget.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ricky Gervais Show: The Complete Fifth Season: Free Excerpt

    • UNABRIDGED (3 mins)
    • By Ricky Gervais, Steve Merchant, Karl Pilkington
    • Narrated By Ricky Gervais, Steve Merchant, Karl Pilkington

    This is a free excerpt of Ricky Gervais Show: The Complete Fifth Season.

    Linda says: "Do NOT listen with a beverage in your mouth!"
    "Do NOT listen with a beverage in your mouth!"

    Monty Python of the New Millenium? Not really. Instead of doing sketches, these guys ramble and discuss random facts and events in an effort to draw out the complete moronic genius of Karl Pilkington. I love Monty, but I also love Gervais, Pilkington, and Merchant. I gave it 3 stars for story since there's not really a story. But that is of no consequence.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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