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Mark

I spend 90+ minutes a day in my car, Audible makes it enjoyable regardless of what's happening in traffic. My taste varies from endurance fitness to economics and from to combat stories and romance novels.

Lakewood, CO, United States | Member Since 2011

62
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 34 reviews
  • 92 ratings
  • 205 titles in library
  • 38 purchased in 2014
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5

  • Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Piper Kerman
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2848)
    Performance
    (2590)
    Story
    (2607)

    With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.

    Mark says: "My favorite book of the year, so far"
    "My favorite book of the year, so far"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Admittedly, I was looking for something a little edgier when I first picked it up. After walking in on my wife watching the TV series by the same name and overhearing some discussion of lesbian prison sex, I figured this might be a fun and naughty read. I was wrong and I'm so glad. It had none of that. What it had was an honest, sincere ownership for her past transgressions, an accounting for what brought her to that point, an expression of every emotions she had on her trip into, through and out of the federal prison system, and the people who helped her make it through it all. I haven't enjoyed a book this much since The Art of Racing in the Rain. Everything about this book drips sincerity to me and as a result, I followed along with her highs and lows, her daily routine, and the things that helped her get through the day.

    32 of 33 people found this review helpful
  • T-Rex Troubles: Dinosaur Beast Erotica

    • UNABRIDGED (35 mins)
    • By Christie Sims, Alara Branwen
    • Narrated By Pepper Laramie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Warning: This is a tale of monster sex. This story was written to unlock your darkest fantasies and innermost desires. It is not for the faint of heart and is not your mother's erotica. All of the sexual descriptions found in this book are very explicit in nature. It's not suitable for someone under 18 years of age. Read at your own risk.

    Mark says: "Yep, embarrassed to write a review..."
    "Yep, embarrassed to write a review..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Alright, I'll take one for the team. I read it, it was total fluff erotica with no link to reality. Steamy stuff, well read by the narrator, and good erotic entertainment. Doesn't take itself seriously at all, which is good.

    The only reason I even heard about this book was on At Midnight when they were panning the heck out of it. Well deserved to say the least. Anytime you have dinosaur erotica with women having sex acts with lethal predators that died off 65 million years before the first modern humans were born, well, you can't expect National Book Award. What you can expect is some readers who enjoyed it for what it was, and I blush as I say this, but I did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Surviving Survival

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Laurence Gonzales
    • Narrated By Kevin Stillwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    The shark attacked while she was snorkeling, tearing through Micki Glenn’s breast and shredding her right arm. Her husband, a surgeon, saved her life on the spot, but when she was safely home she couldn’t just go on with her life. She had entered an even more profound survival journey: the aftermath. The survival experience changes everything because it invalidates all your previous adaptations, and the old rules don’t apply. In some cases survivors suffer more in the aftermath than they did during the actual crisis. In all cases, they have to work hard to reinvent themselves.

    Mark says: "Well written, compelling and honest to the end"
    "Well written, compelling and honest to the end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved Deep Survival, but I was sorely disappointed with Everyday Survival, so it was with some hesitation that I burned a credit on another Laurence Gonzales book, but I'm so glad I did. As someone who's faced both personal challenges with PTSD from a near-fatal car crash and from time in law enforcement and as a volunteer firefighter, this book should be required reading for those in the field. Survival never stops when the helicopter comes, backup arrives or the patient is loaded into the ambulance and you're left to roll up the hose and put it back on the truck. Surviving survival is a process; a period of time that has a starting point from the moment of trauma, but doesn't have a clearly defined ending point. It might be that you get through one horrendous incident without so much as a flash of concern, but six weeks later have a relatively minor close call that sends the alarm bells off in your mind.

    This book gets that; Gonzales gets that and he does an excellent job of describing it, explaining the process, explaining the why's and how's and then talks about some of the things that have worked, some of the challenges that remain, and in the end, does one of the most courageous things an author of biographical stories can do; he revisits the survivors and tells the honest truth about their current lives. Some stories continue on, what may have seemed like resolution was only remission and the cancerous thoughts in the mind can return with seemingly no reason at all. I commend Gonzales for his honesty, because for those of us who've been there, the lies that things can just be put behind us at some point just add gasoline to the fire that's already burning inside us.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Sam Kean
    • Narrated By Henry Leyva
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (285)
    Performance
    (240)
    Story
    (243)

    From New York Times best-selling author Sam Kean come more incredible stories of science, history, language, and music, as told by our own DNA. There are genes to explain crazy cat ladies, why other people have no fingerprints, and why some people survive nuclear bombs. Genes illuminate everything from JFK's bronze skin (it wasn't a tan) to Einstein's genius. They prove that Neanderthals and humans bred thousands of years more recently than any of us would feel comfortable thinking.

    Traci says: "So much to think about!"
    "What a disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After listening to a couple of episodes of Radio Lab with Sam Kean that featured stories from this book, I had to read it. I wish I had just stuck with the stories I'd heard on Radio Lab and saved myself the credit. While I love learning about the latest developments in the field genetics as we reveal more from the Human Genome Project, this book has two interesting chapters and the rest is historical background told in a manner that puts you to sleep. I expected to be drawn in and instead the stories seemed drawn out, trying to give too many meaningless details and not bringing in enough interesting new developments and discoveries. Surely, with all the research Kean did to write this book he ran across more interesting stuff than this... or perhaps not. In any case, I can't in good conscience recommend this book to a friend who values their reading/listening time.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Divine Tarot: An Elder Races Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Thea Harrison
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (145)
    Story
    (143)

    Alice Clark, a Wyr and schoolteacher, has had two friends murdered in as many days, and she's just found the body of a third. She arrives at the scene only minutes before Gideon Riehl, a wolf Wyr and current detective in the Wyr Division of Violent Crime - and, as Alice oh-so-inconveniently recognizes at first sight, her mate. But the sudden connection Riehl and Alice feel is complicated when the murders are linked to a serial killer who last struck seven years ago, killing seven people in seven days. They have just one night before the killer strikes again. And every sign points to Alice as the next victim.

    Candateshia Pafford says: "Can't go wrong with Elder Races!"
    "Another great book by Thea Harrison"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been hooked on Thea Harrison's writings since I started reading the Elder Race series almost two years ago. This particular book follows a tarot card set from owner to owner and looks and the people it draws together and the lives it changes along the way. An interesting twist by an author who likes to have fun with the romance/sci fi genre. Thea's sense of humor and playfulness continue in this book, which is what makes the whole series so addictive to me. Sure, I'm looking for a little titillation in her writings, but so many of these kinds of books take themselves too seriously (Nalini Singh, are you listening) and it just gets old. I'm looking for the next Elder release.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Giver

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2108)
    Performance
    (1402)
    Story
    (1433)

    December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man, the man called only the Giver, he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.

    Nikki says: "This guy's mouth makes some serious noises..."
    "Along the same lines as Divergent and Hunger Games"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a fan of the dystopian society genre and this one didn't disappoint. Good character development, interesting observations that can be seen in any society with the battle between the good of the individual vs. the good of the society at large, and wraps up tightly at the end. The narrator was good, the dialog and scene descriptions, while not quite as good as the Hunger Games, was definitely more realistic and drew me in more than Divergent. I was a little disappointed that the book was so short and wasn't a series, but it didn't need to be and stretching it out to make a series would have ruined it. Overall, a book worthy of a read if you like the YA dystopian genre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone: The Essential Writing of Hunter S. Thompson

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Hunter S. Thompson
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (142)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (120)

    “Buy the ticket, take the ride,” was a favorite slogan of Hunter S. Thompson, and it pretty much defined both his work and his life. Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone showcases the roller-coaster of a career at the magazine that was his literary home.

    Shaun says: "Buy the ticket...this is a great compilation."
    "Great reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're a Thompson fan, there's some real gems in here, from the 1972 elections and his time in the limo with tricky Dick talking football to his last articles written for Rolling Stone in the late 90s early 00s. This is a collection of unpublished works that bounces around a bit with some useful editor's notes to help understand the context. At its core, it's Thompson and his random ramblings. What a brilliant mind and bizarre perspective.

    The reader on this one is perfectly matched. Just the right amount of stop-start cadence when it's demanded with the ability to read 50 word sentences without stopping for a breath.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fury of Fire: Dragonfury, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Coreene Callahan
    • Narrated By Benjamin L. Darcie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1289)
    Performance
    (1161)
    Story
    (1173)

    A clandestine race of half-dragon, half-humans known as dragon-shifters lives among us. Bastian, leader of the Nightfury dragon clan, is sworn to protect humankind at all costs. For him, honor and duty always come first. When the clan dictates he take a human mate to sire a son, he falters, aware that for a human to birth a dragon-shifter she must die. Myst, the woman given into his care, is the most extraordinary he’s ever met, and though he can’t bear the thought of harming her, he is bound by duty.

    Teresa says: "The good, the bad and the ugly."
    "A bit of a disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Over the last couple of years I've really been getting into various shifter series. Nalini Singh, Thea Harrison and Suzanne Wright, along with a few others. This was the first big miss for me. Maybe it's just my own sexism in that female writers just tend to be better at writing erotica, but I'm ok with that. The story just didn't do it for me and the reader was not the right one for the book either. He made the voices of most of the characters sound, well, a little light in the loafers.

    This is going to be one of the only series I've started that I see no chance of going on to read the entire series (including the entire psy-changeling series in under a year). Personally, I'd recommend one of the above authors if you're looking for a good shifter book (my personal favorite being Thea Harrison's Elder Race series) rather than spending your credits on this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kinked: A Novel of the Elder Races, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Thea Harrison
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (598)
    Performance
    (548)
    Story
    (553)

    As a harpy, Sentinel Aryal is accustomed to dealing with hate, but Sentinel Quentin Caeravorn manages to inspire in her a burning ire unlike anything she's ever known. Aryal believes the new Sentinel to be a criminal, and vows to take him out as soon as the opportunity arises. But the harpy's incessant wrath has pushed Quentin to the limit, and forces him to make a deadly vow of his own. To put an end to the conflict, Dragos, Lord of the Wyr, sends them on a reconnaissance mission to the Elven land of Numenlaur.

    Teresa says: "Keep 'em coming."
    "Knocked it out of the park!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I've enjoyed the entire Elder Race series, this quickly became my favorite. That Harpy is something else and it was a great read to see her character fully developed. The tension in this one builds beautifully and makes the climax oh-so worth it. Great author, great reader, great series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration for Men and Their Partners

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Charlie Glickman, Aislinn Emirzian
    • Narrated By Mark Bachman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (8)

    Growing numbers of men and their partners are enhancing their sex lives with prostate play. Just as G-spot exploration forever transformed millions of women’s experiences of orgasm, The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure offers men erotic pleasure beyond what they imagined possible. This light-hearted, accessible guide has all the information you need to find and stimulate the prostate (sometimes called the p-spot or the male g-spot), including how to have easy anal penetration, techniques for prostate massage, tips for sex toys, anal sex, strap-on play and pegging, and a break-down of the possible health benefits of milking the prostate.

    Mark says: "Informative book, might have been better in print"
    "Informative book, might have been better in print"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I really did enjoy the book and gained a lot of useful information, there were a lot of times when it was difficult to tell when the reader was transitioning from explaining something to citing examples and quoting from survey respondents. This gave it a bit of a jumbled feel while listening. I'm not sure whether to blame the reader or the authors for the way the book was formatted, but I was left thinking that I might have gotten more out of the print version.

    In any case, the book was highly informative, written at a very readable level and I found it a very quick read that wasn't overly technical. The author avoided jargon, but didn't talk down to readers.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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