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Mark

I LOVE BOOKS! I have a service business (large salon). 'What are you reading' is heard all day everyday.

Member Since 2003

32
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 41 purchased in 2014
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  • The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Michael Pollan
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3395)
    Performance
    (1151)
    Story
    (1149)

    "What should we have for dinner?" To one degree or another, this simple question assails any creature faced with a wide choice of things to eat. Anthropologists call it the omnivore's dilemma. Choosing from among the countless potential foods nature offers, humans have had to learn what is safe, and what isn't. Today, as America confronts what can only be described as a national eating disorder, the omnivore's dilemma has returned with an atavistic vengeance.

    Stephen Redding says: "Great presentation of a moral dilemma"
    "Dilemma? LET'S EAT!!"
    Overall

    The intimate details of the author’s experiences make this a difficult review. I’ve recommended this book more often and for more reasons than I can mention. Its entertainment value alone is worth the price of admission.. The knowledge gathered and imparted by the author is fascinating at times, disturbing at others. One of my measures of a good book is its ability to spank my naivete. In other words, the more often I can honestly say, “I didn’t know that”… the greater the book. Surprisingly, I was spanked quit often throughout. If you enjoyed “Super Size ME” or “Fast Food Nation” you’ll really like The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6158)
    Performance
    (5855)
    Story
    (5865)

    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?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "My favorite Martian...story ever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Martian again? Why?

    Yes...it's full of complex and interesting detail. Think McGyver on crack with a fantastic sense of humor.


    What other book might you compare The Martian to and why?

    I've got a FAT library... HUGE! I can't think of anything that comes close. It did remind me (remotely) of the movie GRAVITY...but this story was much, much better. I'm looking forward to the movie....oh yeah...


    What does R. C. Bray bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The typical...if I would have actually READ the book, I'd have missed out on all of the fantastic chores I was able to do WHILE listening to Bray's narration. He does an excellent job!


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

    The indomitable spirit of the protagonist. Although fiction...it made me think "I'm a wimp...cause I would have totally give up at this part". The protagonist goes through trails and tribulations that where daunting...and all with a sense of humor.


    Any additional comments?

    READ IT. I'd recommending this to all my book buddies.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Yellow Star

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Jennifer Roy
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (140)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (126)

    In 1939, the Germans invaded the town of Lodz, Poland, and moved the Jewish population into a small part of the city called a ghetto. As the war progressed, 270,000 people were forced to settle in the ghetto under impossible conditions. At the end of the war, there were about 800 survivors. Of those who survived, only twelve were children. This is the story of one of the twelve.

    Amazon Customer says: "Amazing! Truly touching"
    "An important story. Whining narration."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Anyone interested in the Holocaust should read / listen to this story. It's short. Told from the child perspective. HOWEVER, the narration was a challenge. Most of the narration was told in a whining voice. Tough to tolerate even for a short story.


    What other book might you compare Yellow Star to and why?

    Perhaps "The Book Thief" is the only story I can put close this. Only because its from the same era.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Tavia Gilbert’s performances?

    Perhaps.


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

    A movie would be an interesting attempt.


    Any additional comments?

    The story is important to hear. The narration (for a surly old man like myself) was a challenge. Perhaps read from a stronger perspective. My opinion is that a child's perspective (normally very malleable and possibly in a constant state of change), is challenging, and is seldom static. It's very (VERY) hard to imagine the main protagonist speaking in the narrators whining tone. Bring your cheese!!

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Atul Gawande
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (739)
    Performance
    (345)
    Story
    (349)

    We live in a world of great and increasing complexity, where even the most expert professionals struggle to master the tasks they face. Longer training, ever more advanced technologies - neither seems to prevent grievous errors. But in a hopeful turn, acclaimed surgeon and writer Atul Gawande finds a remedy in the humblest and simplest of techniques: the checklist.

    Rebecca says: "not his best"
    "OCD or CHECKLIST disorder!!"
    Overall

    As a private pilot, I KNOW the value of a simple check list. Simple tasks such as SECURE AND LATCH PASSENGER DOOR can become lost in the routine and could become a fatal mistake. Defining simple, yet critical tasks and consistently reviewing them removes untold volumes of liability. Thank you Mr. Gawande. I have a checklist, not OCD!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    Overall
    (3941)
    Performance
    (2505)
    Story
    (2532)

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"
    "Rebecca, what an AWESOME job"
    Overall

    Exceptionally well wrought!! A history, biology and genealogical story cleverly wrapped in well narrated format. I truly enjoyed this listen and appreciated the author's painstaking patience with the Lacks family and the in-depth explanation of the HELA cell's science. It's hard to imagine a biology lesson being presented in any better arrangement. Thanks and BRAVO Rebecca!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs)
    • By Harry Markopolos
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Harry Markopolos, Frank Casey, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1337)
    Performance
    (646)
    Story
    (647)

    No One Would Listen is the exclusive story of the Harry Markopolos-lead investigation into Bernie Madoff and his $65 billion Ponzi scheme. While a lot has been written about Madoff's scam, few actually know how Markopolos and his team - affectionately called "the Fox Hounds" by Markopolos himself - uncovered what Madoff was doing years before this financial disaster reached its pinnacle. Unfortunately, no one listened, until the damage of the world's largest financial fraud ever was irreversible.

    Brendan says: "Shocking, terrific"
    "A lifetime supply of whine and cheese!"
    Overall

    Booo! Markopolos whines, complains, and demeans his way through 10 years of attempting to expose the greatest Ponzi scheme ever. Perhaps my expectations where way off the mark as I was looking for a broader perspective or deeper insight of the entire Madeoff operation and story, maybe an intimate glimpse inside the sausage factory. What I got was No one would listen or Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I'll go eat worms. If you truly enjoy tireless whining and ongoing redundant depreciative remarks (10 years worth) this is a must read / listen.
    Markopolos claims a Whistle Blowers status in a circumstance that imploded on its own as he admits it had to as "all Ponzi schemes eventually have to fail". Prevailing GLOBAL circumstances exposed Madeoff more than this crybaby. Like an earthquake geologist sending you anonymous emails (for 10 years) telling you There's going to be an quake! and when it finally happens, he gets some perverse pleasure in saying I told you so and you wouldnt listen you stupid moron. Sorry Harry your messages are in my spam folder!! Brick's narrative is awesome as always.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Teacher Man

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Frank McCourt
    • Narrated By Frank McCourt
    Overall
    (918)
    Performance
    (180)
    Story
    (185)

    Now here at last, is McCourt's long-awaited audiobook about how his thirty-year teaching career shaped his second act as a writer. Teacher Man is also an urgent tribute to teachers everywhere. In bold and spirited prose featuring his irreverent wit and heartbreaking honesty, McCourt records the trials, triumphs, and surprises he faces in public high schools around New York City.

    Mark says: "Fun, quick, well done!"
    "Fun, quick, well done!"
    Overall

    "Quit bothering me, man". I don't know how ANYONE can tolerate teaching teens. God bless'm! I have some of my own. It is my opinion that teachers should be held in the highest esteem, paid exobintantly and worshipped by all. Teachers have the most important jobs in any society (no, I'm not a teacher). "Teacher Man" was absolutely fantastic and enjoyable. Read well... My only wish was that it was longer.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Seabiscuit: An American Legend

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    Overall
    (589)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (67)

    Laura Hillenbrand beautifully renders this breathtaking saga of one horse's journey from also-ran to national luminary. Seabiscuit: An American Legend is an inspiring tale of unlikely heroes, a classic story of three embattled individuals overcoming the odds in the Great Depression.

    Andrew says: "Abridged = Awful"
    "Seabiscuit is a worthy listen"
    Overall

    Our entire family enjoyed this book and audio. Richly written, well documented and highly entertaining. The authors work has paid off handsomely with a fantastic story. The narration is impeccable. Kudos to all involved.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • LIVE

    • ORIGINAL (56 mins)
    • By Brian Regan
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    American Comedy Award-winner Brian Regan lights up the stage in this live performance. He has been on Letterman five times, the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and had his own comedy special on Showtime called Something's Wrong with the Regan Boy. In his Playboy interview, Dennis Miller named Regan one of his favorite comedians. As he performs around the country, people are constantly requesting favorite routines. This recording answers that call.

    Mark says: "Tell us some jokes... circus boy!"
    "Tell us some jokes... circus boy!"
    Overall

    We've seen Brian LIVE. This listen brought back several reminders/memories of Brians goofy, rubber faced stage expressions. Having fun with the simple day to day "nothings" brings a "Seinfield" type characteristic to his act. Great for the entire family... our true measure of a classic comic.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Skipping Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (681)
    Performance
    (174)
    Story
    (173)

    Best selling author John Grisham (A Time to Kill, The Brethren) returns with a new tale for modern times, offering a hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy that have become a part of our holiday tradition.

    Lisa says: "Simple Pleasures!"
    "When can I see the movie...?"
    Overall

    Awesome little listen. Our whole familia got into this story... identifying with all of the different characters. "Is this a true story" several hijos asked while listening. It could really happen and probably has. Funny and heartwarming. Our family recommends this to anyone taking the long trip to the Abuelitos casa for the holidays.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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