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Rachel

Wellington, New Zealand | Member Since 2010

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 51 ratings
  • 1053 titles in library
  • 74 purchased in 2014
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  • Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Michael Pollan
    • Narrated By Michael Pollan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (728)
    Performance
    (650)
    Story
    (651)

    In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements - fire, water, air, and earth - to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer. In the course of his journey, he discovers that the cook occupies a special place in the world....

    Michael says: "Very enjoyable listen!"
    "A passionate and enjoyable listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Cooked the most enjoyable?

    The style of writing, sliding from recounting the process of preparation into fascinating historical anecdotes, psychological theory and other titbits of information is so highly enjoyable I wanted to immediately go try sautéing onions properly. I've never cooked them for half an hour for anything other than onion soup, but now I'm going to try whenever I have time. And for a non-barbecue eater, I now want to try American barbecue.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The mix of anecdote, history and food preparation invokes the social import that cooking has traditionally had in my family. I love histories of things we consider "mundane" anyway, since quite often they are the key to larger explorations of history, and this is definitely one of the most enjoyable.


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

    It made me want to chop onions. I think that's a fairly extreme reaction to a book. :)


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dangerous Women

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By George R. R Martin, Gardner Dozois, Joe Abercrombie, and others
    • Narrated By Claudia Blak, Scott Brick, Karen Dotrice, and others
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Twenty-one original stories of dangerous women by top genre writers, brought together in a new anthology edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. Intrepid warriors, far-ranging spacewomen, formidable superheroines, hard-living bad girls, embattled survivors, private investigators, seductive femmes fatale and haughty queens; as Gardner Dubois writes in his introduction, 'if you want to tie any of these women to the railway tracks, you'll have a real fight on your hands!'

    Rachel says: "Restored my faith in short story format"
    "Restored my faith in short story format"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Dangerous Women rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is the first collection of short stories I've listened to and I was impressed. Each author has taken their own interpretation of what "dangerous women" means and while some of the stories are not to my taste, the ones I did like were well written.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the short story format immensely - studying English literature had put me off the format in the past, but this showed that you can have layered world building, character development and complex plot in a short story without it being a painfully dry academic experience.


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

    The narration by different actors helped to separate the book into the different tales, and automatically told you what kind of tone the story had through narration style.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Last Night at the Viper Room: River Phoenix and the Hollywood He Left Behind

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Gavin Edwards
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (30)

    Hollywood was built on beautiful and complicated matinee idols: James Dean and Marlon Brando are classic examples, but in the 1990s, the actor who embodied that archetype was River Phoenix. As the brightly colored 1980s wound down, a new crew of leading men began to appear on movie screens. Hailed for their acting prowess and admired for choosing meaty roles, actors such as Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage, Keanu Reeves, and Brad Pitt were soon rocketing toward stardom while an unknown Leonardo DiCaprio prepared to make his acting debut. River Phoenix, however, stood in front of the pack.

    karyn says: "Awful Narration"
    "Oddly frustrating listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I feel like there were two researchers at work here, or at least an author with an unclear goal. The historical information, setting the Phoenix family's travels in the context of greater social changes within the US was really interesting and whether intentionally or not made the family a metaphor for the larger societal changes. For me, where the book fell down was the constant name checking of the famous. Yes, these are the people River Phoenix hung around with, but it added nothing more than a tabloid gloss. I felt like this book could have been something more, and maybe peered into why so many young people in Hollywood are from troubled backgrounds, and why nothing is done to stop their obvious decline. Or had some focus other than reciting the names of the famous young of the 90s. Instead it felt like it recited headlines from a magazine.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Killing

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By David Hewson
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    Sarah Lund is looking forward to her last day as a detective with the Copenhagen Police department before moving to Sweden. But everything changes when nineteen-year-old student, Nanna Birk Larsen, is found raped and brutally murdered in the woods outside the city. Lund’s plans to relocate are put on hold as she leads the investigation along with fellow detective Jan Meyer. While Nanna’s family struggles to cope with their loss, local politician Troels Hartmann is in the middle of an election campaign to become the new mayor of Copenhagen.

    G Matt says: "Excellent Story."
    "fascinating, and hard to stop listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Killing the most enjoyable?

    I've found myself detouring on my walk to work so I can listen for longer. The narrator has a perfect voice for the tone of the book, making the book effortlessly listen-able.


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

    I thought the way the unfolding of the case unravels the whole community felt very real. So often in books it seems that death doesn't really touch anyone aside from the immediate family.I haven't seen the TV series, but this book adaptation has so much inner life and complexity.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Unstuff Your Life: Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Andrew J. Mellen
    • Narrated By Andrew J. Mellen
    Overall
    (1205)
    Performance
    (1003)
    Story
    (972)

    Arguably the most organized man in America, Andrew J. Mellen has created unique, lasting techniques for streamlined living, bringing order out of chaos for a client list that includes attorneys, filmmakers, and even psychologists. With Unstuff Your Life! he puts his powerful program in the hands of his widest audience yet.

    Angela says: "My lightbulb moment"
    "Good ideas and tips. Works well as an audiobook."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Unstuff Your Life?

    I bought this mostly to try to figure out a better system for my accounts and paperwork. It turned out to be surprisingly useful for other aspects of organising our tiny house. I'm normally quite organised and tidy by nature, but I had let some things (sewing supplies, university papers from a decade ago) get out of control, and getting some hints on how to let go of sentimental items has been really useful. My partner started listening with me, and he's decided to also examine what he's held onto, particularly the reams of design-school and life drawing sketches.
    Not everything in it is relevant to us, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well it works as an audio book and how good the information is.


    What does Andrew J. Mellen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I definitely think this works better as an audio book than a print book. I think in print I would have given up after the first chapter or so, but as an audio book you have your hands free so you can listen while you do the housework, or doing hobbies.
    Andrew J Mellen has a nicely modulated voice that is very easy to listen to, and while some of the anecdotes are maybe unnecessary to the book, when they're read aloud they drop back into a less irritating space.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from Unstuff Your Life?

    I have definitely embraced the basic "everything in it's home, and like with like" model, particularly for our arts and crafts cabinet and our accounts. It's made dealing with receipts and invoices a bit more clearly organised. They were previously grouped, but they are now in a very clear filing system that allows me to decant receipts accumulated during the week into a specific box that will then be dealt with first thing on Saturday morning.
    I had previously just been getting annoyed with myself for not filing receipts immediately, but now there is a system.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Run Fat Bitch Run

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Ruth Field
    • Narrated By Ruth Field
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Is there a large arse-shaped dent in your sofa? Unwatched workout DVDs gathering dust on your shelves? An eye-wateringly expensive (and rarely used) gym membership burning a hole in your bank account? Does the sight of your wobbly thighs leave you cowering under the duvet? Then it's time you faced the truth: the only option is to lace up and hit the ground running. Straight-talking, funny, and brutally honest, Run Fat Bitch Run will give you - yes, you - the push you need to get out of the door, pounding the pavements and shedding pounds.

    Michelle says: "No BS here"
    "more interesting than I thought"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I've been researching ways to improve my running habits and decided to give this a go, because, well, information is good. While some of the assumptions didn't really fit my lifestyle, since I already run, it turned out to be a really good listen, and unexpectedly humorous in parts. The recipes in part two sound tasty, and I'll be giving them a go.
    The style might be an acquired taste for some people, but I liked it.


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

    Definitely. It's a short book, and I'll probably listen several times, since it'll be good for motivation. of interesting as well.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Six Suspects

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Vikas Swarup
    • Narrated By Lyndam Gregory
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Vicky Rai, the son of a high-profile minister, has been shot dead by one of the guests at his own party. They are a glitzy bunch, but among them the police find six strange, displaced characters with a gun in their possession, each of them steaming with a secret motive. India's wiliest investigative journalist, Arun Advani, makes it his mission to nail the murderer. In doing so, the amazing, tender and touching lives of six eccentric characters unravel before our eyes.

    A User says: "Is unputdownable a word?"
    "found the narrator distracting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I honestly can't say what I think of the story as the narrator's heavy handed accents for the characters kept pulling me out of the narrative. I think if accents are necessary to a story, perhaps source people with those accents to read the dialogue for those characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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