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Nate

Jackson, MS, United States | Member Since 2013

173
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 26 reviews
  • 171 ratings
  • 1433 titles in library
  • 50 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
10
FOLLOWERS
7

  • This Is How You Lose Her

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Junot Díaz
    • Narrated By Junot Díaz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (506)
    Performance
    (433)
    Story
    (439)

    The stories in This Is How You Lose Her, by turns hilarious and devastating, raucous and tender, lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weaknesses of our all-too-human hearts. They capture the heat of new passion, the recklessness with which we betray what we most treasure, and the torture we go through - "the begging, the crawling over glass, the crying" - to try to mend what we've broken beyond repair. They recall the echoes that intimacy leaves behind, even where we thought we did not care.

    Roy Reiss says: "For narration leave the prose for the pros"
    "Great prose. Ugly treatment of women."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This book actually depressed me, but not for the reasons it was intended to. Sure, the main character is supposed to be an anti-hero who cheats on his girlfriends. He's barely likable, and really only for his incorrigible inability to make good choices or learn anything from his mistakes. The level of filthy detail makes me feel like it was autobiographical, which leads me to the deeper issue here: how every male in this story treats women. Misogyny is an understatement, as if the author does not even realize that objectification is just as dangerous as discrimination. The prose style is smooth, with plenty of Spanish words sprinkled throughout. I can see why he is respected in the literary community - although I'm pretty happy to not be in this man's cabeza anymore.


    7 of 9 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
    (23550)
    Performance
    (21644)
    Story
    (21654)

    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?"

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Macgyver on Mars"
    "MacGruber on Mars!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is fun, exciting, optimistic, and amusing. It's no Great Gatsby, but highly entertaining. I wish I knew just 1/4 of what Mark Whatney knows about ANYTHING. The guy is a chemist/botanist/engineer/geologist/electrician/handyman/communications expert, and more. My English Professor said it best: "It's MacGruber on Mars!"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Addicted to Mediocrity: 20th Century Christians and the Arts

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Franky Schaeffer
    • Narrated By Nick Bernard
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    In this provocative book, Franky Schaeffer shows how Christians today have sacrificed the artistic prominence they enjoyed for centuries and settled instead for mediocrity. The evidence for this sad state of affairs abounds. We are flooded with "Christian" doodads, trinkets, tee shirts, bumper stickers, etc., that use God's name as an advertising slogan: "Things Go Better with Jesus", putting the Creator of the universe on the same level as soda pop!

    Nate says: "Arts Must Be Quality"
    "Arts Must Be Quality"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like that Franky doesn't just bash Christians' lack of quality in the arts, but really draws a line in the sand about quality in general. A few gems stuck with me, like his take on non-believers being called TO something. What is it? Is it sheep to call other sheep, or is it enjoyment in the life and creativity we are given? He sometimes goes a bit extreme with how much he downplays the importance of preaching and the church, but I like the concept of work and creativity being just as valid as missions and ministry.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Cary Elwes, Joe Layden, Rob Reiner (foreword)
    • Narrated By Cary Elwes, Christopher Guest, Carol Kane, and others
    Overall
    (1887)
    Performance
    (1713)
    Story
    (1707)

    From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.

    Anne Morris says: "I don't normally write reviews but..."
    "Anybody want a peanut?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mr. Elwes is not the best writer -- and spends a little too much time humblebragging and singing the praises of his co-stars -- but I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look into this great novel/script/film, and actually introduced the movie to my kids this week. Such a classic.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • You Have to F--king Eat

    • UNABRIDGED (4 mins)
    • By Adam Mansbach
    • Narrated By Bryan Cranston
    Overall
    (2171)
    Performance
    (2022)
    Story
    (2007)

    Emmy Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Malcom in the Middle) follows in the exasperated footsteps of Samuel L. Jackson, giving voice to the long-suffering father whose indifferent child will just not eat in this hilarious follow-up to Adam Mansbach's international best seller, Go the F--k to Sleep.

    Darren says: "Another role that Bryan Cranston plays to a T."
    "Great follow up to Go the F*#$ to Sleep!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Love Cranston, and thought he was a great reader for this profanely fitting follow up to Go the F*#$ to Sleep. I have 2 kids, and this perfectly encapsulated the internal monologue that runs through our heads as parents.

    P.S. My favorite reader of the first book is Werner Herzog.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Classics of Russian Literature

    • ORIGINAL (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Irwin Weil
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (40)

    Russian literature famously probes the depths of the human soul, and in this series of 36 insightful lectures prepared by a frequently honored teacher legendary among educators in both the United States and Russia-you probe just as deeply into the extraordinary legacy that is Russian Literature itself.Professor Weil introduces you to masterpieces such as Tolstoy's War and Peace, Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, Pushkin's Eugene Onegin, Gogol's Dead Souls, Chekhov's The Seagull, Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago, and many other great novels, stories, plays, and poems.

    Cookie says: "This is really special!"
    "Excellent Course, But Gaping Hole Without Bulgakov"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Leaving Bulgakov out of a Russian Lit Lineup is pretty much akin to leaving Iron Man out of an Avengers movie.

    That aside, I loved this course. The only downside was the lack of coverage of Bulgakov, as a result of his being banned for so long in the Soviet Union (and virtually unknown in the west at the time the professor was working on his PhD). The author didn't so much as mention him.

    This covers everyone from Pushkin to Solzhenitsyn, providing incredible historical context, perfectly pronounced Russian phrases and poems, and an in-depth walk through *almost* all the best Russian works.

    I lived in Ukraine for 10 years, and this course still opened my eyes to a lot more about the Russian culture I was unaware of. It's brilliant, funny, educational, and insightful. Anyone vaguely interested in the history and/or literature of this part of the world should pick this up now. 36 amazing half-hour lectures for one credit is a steal!

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Dave Eggers
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    Overall
    (331)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (233)

    Dave Eggers scored a worldwide phenomenon with this memoir that topped national best-seller lists and has since become a staple for summer reading and book clubs. A compelling voice for Generation X, Eggers hererecounts his early 20s, caring for his younger brother after their parents’ unexpected deaths and his endeavors in a variety of media.

    Darwin8u says: "Parts I loved, Parts I hated but Playfully Kinetic"
    "Bridge Between Stream of Consciousness & PoMo Lit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You can't write a book like this without JD Salinger. You also can't get the genius of George Saunders without this work. So as a bridge connecting Tenth of December to The Catcher in the Rye, I am very grateful for its existence. As for its own merit, it was honest and rambly and self-pitying and desperate and depressing and irritating -- with what ended up to be very little heart. Or at least it didn't translate into heart for me. Being disgruntled with life and the lemon-throwing machine it can be only transcends it if the characters can overcome and grow from how they handle the challenges.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Man without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Masha Gessen
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (197)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (173)

    The Man Without a Face is the chilling account of how a low-level, small-minded KGB operative ascended to the Russian presidency and, in an astonishingly short time, destroyed years of progress, making his country once more a threat to her own people and to the world.

    John says: "very good points, but bias is evident"
    "Mr. Putin looks on with bored, icy blue eyes as:"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    •He hunts without a shirt on.
    •He takes over the TV station/media and exiles the majority stock holders in order to create his own news.
    •The FSB plants bombs in apartment buildings and blames the Chechens (bags of hexagen marked as sugar).
    •He hires 7 ambassador-cronies to oversee the various regions and control the voting process.
    •He reverts to the former Soviet national song… slash fear-mongering totalitarian state.
    •He jokes on Larry King Live about a nuclear submarine that sank during a drill with no rescue attempts, killing 113 Russian sailors.
    •He cuddles with dolphins.
    •300 hostages (mostly women and children) were killed by federal troops that stormed a school.
    •129 hostages were killed post-rescue due to a gas attack by a SWAT team at a Moscow Theatre.
    •The dismantling of democracy reaches completion.
    •Innumerable Russian journalists, lawyers, and dissenters are imprisoned/exiled and/or killed.
    •Polonium murders abound.
    •He steals Kraft’s NFL Championship ring.
    •And much, much more!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jack Handey
    • Narrated By Jack Handey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (84)

    The legendary Deep Thoughts and New Yorker humorist Jack Handey is back with his very first novel - a hilarious, absurd, far-flung adventure tale. "Are you a fan of books in which famous tourist destinations are re-purposed as unlivable hellholes for no particular reason? Jack Handey's exotic tale is full of laugh-out-loud twists. A reliably unreliable narrator and his friend, who is some other guy, need to get out of town. They have a taste for adventure, so they pay a visit to a relic of bygone days - a travel agent - and discover an old treasure map."

    Cathleen says: "Mildly Entertaining, Not a good read"
    "Dry. Incoherent. Hilarious."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's basically Deep Thoughts crammed into a flimsy plot. I love his stuff, but I could only take so much at a time due to dryness desensitization. Then I'd come back to it and it was hilarious again. His tone is hysterical, and I could definitely see re-listening to this in the future.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Michael Moss
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1214)
    Performance
    (1055)
    Story
    (1048)

    Every year, the average American eats 33 pounds of cheese (triple what we ate in 1970) and 70 pounds of sugar (about 22 teaspoons a day). We ingest 8,500 milligrams of salt a day, double the recommended amount, and almost none of that comes from the shakers on our table. It comes from processed food. It’s no wonder, then, that one in three adults, and one in five kids, is clinically obese.

    Michael says: "This is all too real, and YOU are the victim."
    "Food = Drugs"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Equal parts Fast Food Nation, The Informant!, and The Omnivore's Dilemma. It does a great job of showing the closed door meetings, food industry rivalries, Wall Street, the government, as well as our own demands that have gotten us into the cluster we are in today. It was highly informative in not only mentioning the key players behind the food giants (like Cargill that provides the salt/sugar/fat and Monell that does the taste research), but also in the gradual developments and insider terms/tricks (stomach share, bliss point, checkoff money, line extension, single serving, vanishing caloric density) that have come together for the perfect storm of our obesity problem. Food = Drugs. I'm not going to lie... it made me want cookies, cheese, and chips pretty bad, though!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Tenth of December: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By George Saunders
    • Narrated By George Saunders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (550)
    Performance
    (492)
    Story
    (500)

    One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet. In the taut opener, "Victory Lap", a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice: Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act? In "Home", a combat-damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned.

    Molly-o says: "I could never have known"
    "No Duds Here"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    No duds to be found in this short story collection. What I like is how unassuming the 'tagonists are. (They aren't really 'pro-' or 'ant-'.) Many of the characters have a fragile psyche and plenty of self-doubt and guilt for everyone. The prose remains fascinating and unpredictable, juxtaposing an impressive vocabulary with the simple internalizing that usually goes unspoken. As with any writer, it was cool to see recurring themes, phrases, and concepts that he circled back to, and yet I never knew where each story was ultimately headed. There was social commentary, sci-fi, po-mo, slice-of-life family drama set in the near future, and ultimately a large amount of creativity. I also found a few of his articles in the New Yorker to be entertaining/thought-provoking. He reads his own work well, and sounds good sped up to the 1.25 setting.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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