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Reademandweep

and a penny for your thoughts

Member Since 2014

58
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 43 reviews
  • 228 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Emma

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1098)
    Performance
    (773)
    Story
    (779)

    One of Jane Austen's most popular novels. Arrogant, self-willed, and egotistical, Emma is her most unusual heroine.

    H. CRODDICK says: "Wonderful listen"
    "Even Emma would approve this marriage"
    Overall

    To me the most important review for any Jane Austen novel is the reader. Most likely you are familiar with the author. Emma is however, one of Austen's lesser known novels so I'll simply say, if you enjoyed "Sense and Sensibility" or "Pride and Prejudice", you will enjoy Emma.

    I was surprised to see how many audible versions of Emma are available. How to choose? Happily, I spent a bit more and went with this version. Even Emma would approve this marriage of Jane Austen's writing and Juliet Stevenson's narration.

    If you love the beauty of the English language used to it's best advantage (as Jane would say) you don't get better than Jane Austen (Shakespeare is a given) but any reader can do the exquisite writing justice. Juliet Stevenson is such a reader. Her tone reminds me of the great Julie Andrews. Soothing, expressive, imparting emotion with every passage, inhabiting the various characters with subtle differences that make each one distinct. Jane Austen and Emma would both be proud of their story as told by Juliet Stevenson.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Not My Father's Son: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Alan Cumming
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (725)
    Performance
    (669)
    Story
    (674)

    With ribald humor, wit, and incredible insight, Alan seamlessly moves back and forth in time, integrating stories from his childhood in Scotland and his experiences today as the celebrated actor of film, television, and stage. At times suspenseful, at times deeply moving, but always incredibly brave and honest, Not My Father's Son is a powerful story of embracing the best aspects of the past and triumphantly pushing the darkness aside.

    Angie says: "If You've Been Through Something Similar..."
    "A lovely, well told story of a human experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I care a lot about readers. They bring a story to life or kill it. Most authors should NOT read their own books but it's no surprise that Alan Cumming is the exception. His narration couldn't be better. Secondly, I care a lot about NOT writing reviews that contain spoilers. Please people, don't be so selfish. The publisher's summary has already explained what the book is about. I want to know how you felt about it.
    There was a day recently, when I was feeling particularly stressed from a certain personal situation. I wanted something to take my mind off of it for a little while but felt like Goldilocks. I needed a book that wasn't too deep (couldn't concentrate) and wasn't too silly (wrong mood). "Not my father's son" was just right. It is meaningful but not dreary, well told and well narrated, with a message that we can and do triumph over adversity. Alan Cummings is a real life example that there is always hope.

    I felt touched by Alan's story. His descriptions of the places, events and feelings he lived through were so good, I could easily feel I was there too. This is not "To Kill A Mockingbird" but it doesn't pretend to be. It is a lovely story of a lovely man's life experience and I feel better for having experienced it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jung Chang
    • Narrated By Jolene Kim
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (59)

    At the age of 16, in a nationwide selection for royal consorts, Cixi was chosen as one of the emperor's numerous concubines. When he died in 1861, their five-year-old son succeeded to the throne. Cixi at once launched a palace coup against the regents appointed by her husband and made herself the real ruler of China - behind the throne, literally, with a silk screen separating her from her officials who were all male.

    Heidi says: "Very Important if flawed history of a leader"
    "An insult to audiobooks. Get a print version."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am anxious to spare anyone else from wasting their hard earned money so I am dictating this with my phone in transit. If I repeat myself, please forgive.

    It is hard to review the book because the narration is so god awful so the audio portion is my focus. Don't waste a credit. If you need audio, get the eBook and let your iPhone or other smartphone read it to you. If you want an audiobook of Cixi's story, try Pearl Buck's “Imperial Woman”, read by Kirsten Potter (compare the audio samples to hear for yourself).

    Cixi's story is an interesting one. It can be fascinating or confusing to a young, Western reader unfamiliar with Chinese history, depending on how it is told. If Jung Chang's goal was to correct Pearl Buck's version of events and set the record straight, based on newly uncovered records, she missed the mark. Pearl Buck's skills as a storyteller are legendary. Few authors can stand up to that comparison and shouldn't have to. I was eager to experience Jung Chang's version of Cixi's story. Unfortunately, the audiobook experience was so awful I didn't get to. Still interested in Chang's version of Cixi's life, I then purchased a printed copy of the book. That was a year ago and I still haven't had a chance to sit down and read it. Meanwhile, during all my hours driving, walking, cooking, scanning, organizing … living, I'm listening to and recommending other books by other authors - authors who respect the skill of reading and understand the value of what it brings to a book.

    Although I prefer audio books, I sometimes choose printed. Nobody enjoys every reader. That doesn't mean they're not qualified, competent readers. This is a different case. Kim's reading is plain and simple - god awful. If this was your own kid's reading you'd have a hard time suffering through it. She not only ruins any storytelling enjoyment that might've been had but actually gets in the way of the listener's ability to even grasp the story. Kim's stiff, halted, insecure reading, combined with a clear lack of understanding for the material she is reading combine for a horrible experience. She brings no life to the material, even struggling at times. There are audible pauses before and after certain words (obviously corrections during post-editing) accentuating the already inept narration. It's like a 14 year old reading her book report, without the charm.

    Whoever approved the narration of this audiobook should be ashamed. Kim is apparently a working actress but audiobook narration is a separate skill. Some have it naturally. Kim doesn't. She has no other reading credits and this is not the book to start with. With all the qualified, talented readers who've paid their dues and would have loved the chance to read this book, it boggles my mind that someone approved this reading. Was Kim given the job simply because she's Asian, disregarding her lack of qualifications or ability for it?
    I've heard unknown, self published, self read books, classics read by Libra Vox volunteers that were better than this. How does a major publisher like Random House, that has spent gobs of money promoting a book not get a qualified reader?

    It makes me wonder - if an author and publisher don't think her book is worth better reader than this, why should anyone else bother with it?

    Audible should be ashamed to offer a reading this bad. It demeans the art of narration and is an insult to anyone who takes pride in the skill of reading an audio book.

    0 of 0 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
    (1420)
    Performance
    (1305)
    Story
    (1301)

    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..."
    "Thanks for the memories, as I wished"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sometimes you just can't get enough of a good thing. I have to admit, that's what it is for me with "The Princess Bride". The book is like looking through the cast's scrapbook, reminiscing with them about the many little things that happened during and after filming. It is touching and a nice way to re-experience the movie, rich for me could never happen enough. There are a few movies as beloved as "The Princess Bride". Thank you Cary, for sharing your memories with us.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Miss Rumphius

    • UNABRIDGED (8 mins)
    • By Barbara Cooney
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (12)

    As a child, great-aunt Alice Rumphius resolved that when she grew up she would go to faraway places, live by the sea in her old age, and do something to make the world more beautiful - and she does all those things, the last being the most difficult of all.

    Reademandweep says: "A lovely reminder for us all"
    "A lovely reminder for us all"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a beautiful little children story that every adult should also read. The narrator did a fine job. The story is so short that to give almost any review is to tell it myself, so I won't but I recommend it to everyone. It will make your day a little brighter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Karyl McBride
    • Narrated By Karyl McBride
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (116)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (95)

    The first book specifically for daughters suffering from the emotional abuse of selfish, self-involved mothers, Will I Ever Be Good Enough? provides the expert assistance you need in order to overcome this debilitating history and reclaim your life for yourself.

    Virginia says: "An eye opener"
    "Lord Save us from authors who try to narrate"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narration was so horrible it ruin the book. Luckily audibles app allows speed adjustment. Otherwise it could not have made it through. This woman talks so sad lonely and without personality you have to have a lobotomy to follow her. By the printed book or the e-book and that your computer read it to you. It will have more personality. I personally find it narcissistic for an author to assume she can do everything. Just because you can write a book does not mean you're a qualified reader. It's a skill.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Villette

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Charlotte Brontë
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (65)

    Hailed as Charlotte Brontë’s “finest novel” by Virginia Woolf, Villette is the timeless semi-autobiographical tale of Lucy Snowe. Left with no family and no money, Lucy goes against her own timid nature and travels to the small city of Villette, France, where she becomes a school teacher in Madame Beck’s school for girls. During her stay, she falls in love—twice—and discovers an independent, inner strength rarely seen in women of her time.

    Pamela says: "Too much french"
    "OK for the diehard Victorian novel enthusiast"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This certainly was no Jane Austen novel. It's rather uneventful, and dreary but if you love language as I do, you may like just the sound of it and Divina Porter is the best

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jen Sincero
    • Narrated By Jen Sincero
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1477)
    Performance
    (1318)
    Story
    (1314)

    Bestselling author, speaker, and world-traveling success coach Jen Sincero cuts through the din of the self-help genre with her own verbal meat cleaver in You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. In this refreshingly blunt how-to guide, Sincero serves up twenty-seven bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, life-changing insights, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word.

    Amazon Customer says: "Good at times"
    "Save your $ recycled info, nothing original, gramm"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A few original ideas maybe. Not sure this book can be saved for anyone familiar with even basic philosophy or who hasn't been under a rock the past 5 years. It might be a good introduction for someone who does not read and is unfamiliar with the basic concept of cause and effect.


    What could Jen Sincero have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Spend less effort spent trying to be "hip" and 'cute". It doesn't work. It comes off, not someone who IS hip but someone desperately trying to sound hip.


    What three words best describe Jen Sincero’s voice?

    articulate, intelligible, average


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from You are a Badass?

    The FIRST thing I'd do is explain to Ms Sincero the concept of a double negative "could care less"?! HOW does this get past an editor?


    Any additional comments?

    Ironically, the fact that Ms. Sincero was able to get her book noticed and sold is proof of what she says, that anyone can do anything if they apply themselves to their dream. Good advice and as I said, it's ironic that getting a book which simply rehashes the best of what's already been said, is proof that what she says works. Ha!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Anita Moorjani
    • Narrated By Anita Moorjani
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (670)
    Performance
    (594)
    Story
    (595)

    In this truly inspirational audio book, Anita Moorjani relates how, after fighting cancer for almost four years, her body began shutting down - overwhelmed by the malignant cells spreading throughout her system. As her organs failed, she entered into an extraordinary near-death experience (NDE) where she realized her inherent worth... and the actual cause of her disease. Upon regaining consciousness, Anita found that her condition had improved so rapidly that she was released from the hospital within weeks - without a trace of cancer in her body!

    Jeffrey says: "SImply Amazing"
    "Buy this and change your life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Dying to Be Me?

    Anita's story is compelling for two reasons.
    1) Unlike most near death stories which generally seem to be sudden (i.e. a car accident etc) and flooded with white light and images of loved ones - Anita was ravaged with cancer. Her death had been long time coming. Her organs had shut down so there is no confusion as to the miracle of her recovery, whatever the source.
    2) Unlike most accounts of near death experiences, which seem to be "it felt wonderful" or "everyone I loved who had passed away was there" - Anita was able to describe and articulate what she LEARNED as well as what she experienced - and how she put it into practice resulting in life changes.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Dying to Be Me?

    Anita's message that once we go back to the spiritual world - we know everything - hence, we don't need to spend or time on earthy trying to gain spiritual knowledge. We will know everything the moment we leave our physical bodies. We are supposed to just "be" here and now - THIS is the "show" - not the afterlife where there is no judgement. The spiritual world takes care of itself. Worry about being in our physical bodies.


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

    yes and did


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Tara Brach
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (42)

    How do you cope when facing life-threatening illness, family conflict, faltering relationships, old trauma, obsessive thinking, overwhelming emotion, or inevitable loss? If you're like most people, chances are you react with fear and confusion, falling back on timeworn strategies: anger, self-judgment, and addictive behaviors. Though these old, conditioned attempts to control our life may offer fleeting relief, ultimately they leave us feeling isolated and mired in pain. There is another way.

    Kathi says: "A book to touch your soul"
    "Tara, PLEASE Narrate your own books!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Meh. It's a bit redundant if you've listened to Radical Acceptance.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Tara Brach's advice is helpful and practical, (which is why her choice of reader does not support that).


    What didn’t you like about Cassandra Campbell’s performance?

    Oh! so condescending. It felt like she thought she was talking to idiots or tiny little children (I'd give children more respect, personally). Her sing songish way of saying things so slowly in a small (phony) voice as if she was fearful of breaking bad news to a meanie who might slap her - made the book hard to get through. I finally just bought the printed version.


    Do you think True Refuge needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. Redundant


    Any additional comments?

    Personally, I do not like how "guided meditations" are sprinkled throughout the book, right in the middle of telling the story. Put them at the end or beginning or on a separate tape. I had to fast forward many times to appreciate the message fully.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Magna Charta

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By James Daugherty
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Howard
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (54)

    In the rich turbulence of English history, one day stands magnificently apart: June 15, 1215, the day of the signing of the Magna Charta. On this day, the first blow for English freedom was struck and forever affected the Western world. Here is the story of three true men, Stephen Langton, Williams Marshall, and Hubert de Burgh, whose heroic deeds are set against those of the ever deceitful and crafty King John.

    Walter says: "Historically entertaining."
    "Narration makes a dull book duller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Magna Charta better?

    The facts were stated in a clearly biased manner


    What could James Daugherty have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Tell the facts as they were without bias toward the church and a lecture in morality.


    What didn’t you like about Geoffrey Howard’s performance?

    Absolutely painful to listen to. Singsong, emotionless delivery. He sounds like Leslie Howard in Gone with the wind, passionless and condescending to the reader.


    What character would you cut from The Magna Charta?

    There was no characterization but he could have given more credit to William Marshal's story and less to the manipulative Bishop


    Any additional comments?

    Horrible. I wish I had my money back.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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