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Lori

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 23 ratings
  • 67 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2014
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  • The Handmaid's Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Claire Danes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3439)
    Performance
    (3103)
    Story
    (3120)

    Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name....

    Lesley says: "If I could give the narrator more than 5 stars..."
    "Excellent "apocolyptic" story. Perfect narration."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow. Just wow. Without giving too much away, the book tells a story as if you are reading from a woman's diary in a "post-apocolyptic" world where a social hierarchy is installed to help get the world back on track. Told from her perspective as a person of lower class in this society, you really get a sense of the heartache, sacrifice, and rebellious tendencies that she felt. The story is also relatable as she seemed like a middle class young mother before the transition to the new society.

    The narration is right on cue. It was as if Clare Danes WAS the handmaiden. She got the tone of what I imagine this woman's feelings throughout the story would be just perfect.

    I would read a sequel to this book in a second.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cloud Atlas

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Cassandra Campbell, Kim Mai Guest, and others
    Overall
    (3163)
    Performance
    (2365)
    Story
    (2376)

    A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation: the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history.

    Cynthia says: "Complicated and Not Good for Listening!"
    "Challenging to Follow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from David Mitchell and/or the narrators?

    maybe, it depends on the format of the book


    Has Cloud Atlas turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    one of the narrators was hard to understand due to dialect and some of the others were too monotone. story was hard to follow.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    frustration. I couldn't keep up with how the characters were related. the various names were hard to remember one story to the next


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Oryx and Crake

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1727)
    Performance
    (891)
    Story
    (897)

    As the story opens, Snowman is sleeping in a tree, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.

    Doug says: "Very Scary Stuff"
    ""Meh...""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Not really. I felt the story to be misguided and too contrite. Didn't find any creativity in it or suspense.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Margaret Atwood? Why or why not?

    Probably not because the reviews I'm reading said that this is probably her best.


    What three words best describe Campbell Scott’s performance?

    monotone, hard to follow which character (old or young characters during flashbacks) was speaking or being spoken of.


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

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4446)
    Performance
    (1847)
    Story
    (1825)

    Discover magazine recently called Richard Dawkins "Darwin's Rottweiler" for his fierce and effective defense of evolution. Prospect magazine voted him among the top three public intellectuals in the world (along with Umberto Eco and Noam Chomsky). Now Dawkins turns his considerable intellect on religion, denouncing its faulty logic and the suffering it causes.

    Rick Just says: "Dangerous Religion"
    "Thorough introduction to Dawkins' work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dawkins has written many books related to evolutionary biology and this is a great introduction/overview of his views on his work and how it relates to popular opinion on the subject. There is no doubting where he stands on the atheist-religious person spectrum (he lays that out in the beginning along with his definitions of the spectrum of belief systems in between.

    He doesn't beat around the bush in saying that people who are religious are basically believing in nonsense so if you are very strong in your beliefs/faith, and associate more with outspoken christians, this book may get you riled up. But I think the book offers a lot to everyone else in terms of the religion's hold on society, including suggestions to explain the following:

    Why do so many cultures believe there is a God if it's not true that one exists?
    Where did the universe come from?
    What is the history behind some of the stories in the bible?
    Do these stories in the bible stand up to fact-checking and/or do they each contradict each other?
    Where do I lay on the religious spectrum?
    How does the theory of evolution by natural selection relate to religion?
    How have political leaders through century of history spoken about and related to religion?
    How has religion changed over the millenia and how will it continue to change?

    The only criticism I have about the book is the performance. There are two voices, a male voice and a female voice who routinely switch back and forth in the narration - sometimes in the middle of a sentence. This is particularly distracting in the beginning when you're trying to get used to the narration itself. Also, the two voices are extremely different on the tonal spectrum so it's diffiult to switch hearing ears. It wasn't until close to the middle of the book that I got used to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Marc J. Seifer
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (858)
    Performance
    (762)
    Story
    (749)

    Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), credited as the inspiration for radio, robots, and even radar, has been called the patron saint of modern electricity. Based on original material and previously unavailable documents, this acclaimed book is the definitive biography of the man considered by many to be the founding father of modern electrical technology.

    Jean says: "Tesla was a hundred years ahead of his time"
    "Even a scientist was bored by it..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Note: I only listened to the first part (~6 hours!) because I just couldn't bear wasting any more time on this book.

    As a scientist myself, I love stories that tell the history and life of a scientist. I picked up this book thinking it would be a great story of triumph and innovation and would be told as if Tesla was overcoming being overshadowed by the other greats of the day (Edison, etc.). But...it was told by a family member of Tesla and seemed like the family were whining about the lack of attention Tesla got during his time for the inventions and innovation he brought to modern society.

    There is WAY too much detail and it was hard to follow and pay attention to it for long stretches. I was hoping for an "underdog" story after sensing the tone of the author from the beginning, but it just continued to drone on and the tone never seemed to change to the positive.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Will to Climb: Obsession and Commitment and the Quest to Climb Annapurna - the World's Deadliest Peak

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By David Roberts, Ed Viesturs
    • Narrated By Fred Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (71)

    The best-selling author of No Shortcuts to the Top and K2 chronicles his three attempts to climb the world's tenth-highest and statistically deadliest peak, Annapurna in the Himalaya, while exploring the dramatic and tragic history of others who have made - or attempted - the ascent, and what these exploits teach us about facing life's greatest challenges.

    Michael says: "Another great book with Ed Viesturs"
    "Great overview of Annapurna climbing history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Contrary to what I I had expected after hearing reviews from other Viesturs books (that he's cocky, self-minded on the mountain, and negative towards other climbers), I did not get that sense from this book.

    It was a very well written account of the history of climbing Annapurna and Viesturs definitely gives credit where credit is due and highlights his own successes. It is, afterall, meant to be a book about HIS successes on the mountain. He also touches a little bit on his quest for all fourteen 8,000'ers, since Annapurna was his final one in the challenge, but I'm sure his other books go into more detail on that.

    The narrration is also good. Felt like I was there for many parts of it and for others, I felt as if I was reading directly from the climber's journal.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Racketeer

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By J.D. Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3963)
    Performance
    (3345)
    Story
    (3331)

    Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered. Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five.... Nothing is as it seems and everything’s fair game in this wickedly clever new novel from John Grisham, the undisputed master of the legal thriller.

    Ed says: "Grisham Light"
    "Another High Quality Grisham Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narration in this book is some of the best I've heard. The story was full of intrigue and kept me guessing. Very well thought-out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Joshilyn Jackson
    • Narrated By Joshilyn Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1397)
    Performance
    (1205)
    Story
    (1181)

    A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty is a powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family. Fifteen-year-old Mosey Slocumb-spirited, sassy, and on the cusp of womanhood-is shaken when a small grave is unearthed in the backyard, and determined to figure out why it's there. Liza, her stroke-ravaged mother, is haunted by choices she made as a teenager. But it is Jenny, Mosey's strong and big-hearted grandmother....

    Janice says: "I wanted to cheer out loud!"
    "Excellent story but narration is "young" sounding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Absolutely lovely story that will touch the hearts of many women, particularly those brought up in female-only households. At times the story had me in shock and at other times it had me crying and at other times I was laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of the predicament of their lives!

    The criticism I have is with the performance. The story is told by each of the three women, all different ages. Because the narrator's voice sounds so young, I would often forget that "Big" was telling her story during a section and have to rewind it to make sure I got the characters correct.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Cheryl Strayed
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3074)
    Performance
    (2703)
    Story
    (2708)

    At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

    FanB14 says: "Glad I Took the Trip"
    "Personal story more than a hiking story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Cheryl's very personal story touched me with all the disappointments and misfortunes that she overcame in her life. The huge role that the outdoors played in her survival and recovery through these tough times was a very relatable situation.

    I approached this book thinking it would be more technically focused on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail itself, but understood from a first few pages after her decision to hike the trail that it was merely a medium for her to be alone and reflect and this is why my review isn't higher. She talks about the amazing views and the challenge, and the amazing people she met during her time on the trail but didn't allude to how any of these things helped her make the realizations about her life that she clearly had as she summarized them at the end of the book. It would have been a better story if the personal triumphs were related to triumphs on the trail as they were happening instead of just at the end. During the main part of the story, the outdoors to her seemed more like a nuisance and full of trials and tribulations than a place for these realizations and freedoms and obtaining peace in her life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Reveal Lab-Tested Secrets to Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants, and More!

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Garth Sundem
    • Narrated By Garth Sundem
    Overall
    (204)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (173)

    How much better would your life be if you had an army of Nobel Laureates, MacArthur ‘geniuses’ and National Medal of Science winners whispering tips in your ear about your body language, or how to resist that impulse purchase you’ll regret tomorrow, or when to sell your car - or even helping you trick your spouse into doing the dishes?

    Kim says: "Sort of scattered"
    "Needed more of a "theme""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Brain Trust better?

    If stories were grouped by some kind of theme.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Garth Sundem again?

    Maybe, but I don't know if I would read anything by him.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Narration was just "fine". Nothing stood out for me.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    none


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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