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Rena

I'm always on the search for engaging, intelligent books & authors who give me a story I can relate to. Through Audible I'm finding a lot! When I'm not reading or listening, I'm writing, cooking, traveling or working on my house or in the yard. Politics is also central in my life; I feel it's important to be aware of what's going on and give voice to protecting all that we value & hold dear.

Alberta Canada | Member Since 2012

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 23 reviews
  • 38 ratings
  • 173 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015
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  • Gideon the Cutpurse

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Linda Buckley-Archer
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    Overall
    (296)
    Performance
    (164)
    Story
    (167)

    The year is 1763. Gideon Seymour, cutpurse and gentleman, hides in dense underbrush from the villainous Tar Man. Suddenly the sky peels away like fabric and from the gaping hole fall two curious-looking children. Peter Schock and Kate Dyer have fallen straight from the 21st century, thanks to an experiment Kate's father was running with an antigravity machine.

    Anne says: "Like Harry Potter, it's great lit for any age!"
    "Engaging Young Adult Fantasy Sci-Fi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Gideon the Cutpurse to be better than the print version?

    I'm certainly not a young adult but I really enjoyed this story. Combining physics and cosmology (explaining things like dark matter) made the book very engaging. Characters were well developed and I loved the narrator.


    What other book might you compare Gideon the Cutpurse to and why?

    The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel come to mind. That series was incredible!
    I'm expecting that a follow up book to Gideon and the Cutpurse is in the works as the story ended quite abruptly.


    Which character – as performed by Gerard Doyle – was your favorite?

    I loved the children.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The unseen world of past and future.


    Any additional comments?

    There seemed to be an underlying theme of good vs evil in the book and on some level the invitation for goodness. It wasn't preaching but the consequences of not living a good life were conveyed through Gideon.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Bullseye: An Original Will Robie/Camel Club Short Story

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (454)
    Performance
    (417)
    Story
    (415)

    In this all-new short story from #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci, worlds collide when government assassin Will Robie is caught in the crossfire with Oliver Stone and the Camel Club. Will Robie is closing in on his next target when he finds himself in the middle of a bank heist - and he's taken hostage alongside Oliver Stone. But is this just a simple bank job, or are the robbers after something even more valuable - and dangerous - than the cash in the vault?

    Kathryn says: "I so miss the Camel Club"
    "2 Engaging Hours"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Bullseye in three words, what would they be?

    2 Engaging Hours


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bullseye?

    For a first read of this author, it was a great introduction to his style. I usually stay about from the macho writers as the shoot-em up - blow em up - tough guy thing filled with espionage and high rollers wears thin with me. Once in a while I can handle it and this was just the right amount.


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

    He has a easy down home way of writing - grounded the book and made it feel real.


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

    Nothing jumps out.


    Any additional comments?

    BTW - The narrator was great!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Signature of All Things: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1609)
    Performance
    (1459)
    Story
    (1470)

    In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the 18th and 19th centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker - a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia.

    Molly-o says: "Don't miss this one"
    "It wasn't Eat Pray Love"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Signature of All Things better?

    I listened to all of it but didn't enjoy it nearly as much as Eat Pray Love. It was pleasant enough but lacked in depth and had a sombre note running throughout - like listening to an adagio for hours on end.


    What could Elizabeth Gilbert have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Wish the main character had more confidence in herself; her work and knowledge. Instead she played out the stereotypical female who lets the men get credit while she remains in the background.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Narrator was really good.


    Any additional comments?

    If the book had been written in a more personal way, I think it would have been more enjoyable, had more depth and was more engaging. As it is, it comes across like someone describing events rather than being in the event.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hominids: The Neanderthal Parallax, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1322)
    Performance
    (663)
    Story
    (670)

    Neanderthals have developed a radically different civilization on a parallel Earth. A Neanderthal physicist, Ponter Boddit, accidentally passes from his universe into a Canadian underground research facility. Fortunately, a team of human scientists, including expert paleo-anthropologist Mary Vaughan, promptly identifies and warmly receives Ponter. Solving the language problem and much else is a mini-computer, called a Companion, implanted in the brain of every Neanderthal. But it can't help his fellow scientist back in his world, Adikor Huld, when the authorities charge Adikor with his murder.

    Scott says: "Scicen Fiction Can Be Literature"
    "An Engaging Flight of Canadian Fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    One of the most entertaining books I've heard in years!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I enjoyed all of them; not anyone in particular. Each character added so much to the story; it was balanced with no one character dominating the story.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene where Pondar is standing on the Canadian Shield overlooking the spot where he would be living in the parallel dimension. Also where they are laying on the hood of the car looking up into the night sky.


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

    I never listen to books all in one sitting. First of all I don't have that kind of time plus its more enjoyable to listen to books in bits. I usually put the timer on especially so with books I really enjoy; I don't want them to end.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not big on fantasy and sci-fi but this one was a winner. The facts that were woven into the book - real locations (the neutrino observatory is real - actually exists in Sudbury); real history about our species and evolution really made the book come to life. The only thing that kind of threw me off that I feel didn't add anything to the book was the rape scene and the part where he flares his nostrils detecting the smell of her menstruating - that was a bit of a turn off.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Native Wisdom: Seven Keys to Health & Happiness

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 18 mins)
    • By Ken Cohen
    • Narrated By Ken Cohen
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    What if you could distill the great teachings of the world's indigenous cultures into seven principles that would bring inner peace and fulfillment to your life? Traditional healer Ken Cohen spent 35 years studying, practicing, and training with elder healers from the Native American, African, Siberian, Aboriginal, and Chinese indigenous traditions. Now, he shares the common threads that tie these paths together on Native Wisdom: Seven Keys to Health & Happiness.

    Rena says: "awesome and inspiring"
    "awesome and inspiring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    tremendous book, inspiring , rich in wisdom & council- about the best ever! thank you





    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter of Frankie Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (624)
    Performance
    (464)
    Story
    (464)

    Frank Machianno is a late-middle-aged ex-surf bum who runs a bait shack on the San Diego waterfront. An affable Italian with a love of people and life, he's a stand-up businessman, devoted father, and a beloved fixture in the community. He's also a hit man - specifically, a retired hit man. Back in the day when he was one of the most feared members of the West Coast Mafia, he was known as Frankie Machine.

    Surf City Swami says: "The Winter of Frankie Machine is a ray of sunshine"
    "Glorifying a Low Life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I listened to a few chapters and quickly realized that the book was about a low life that the author was glorifying. That turned me off. I went to the last couple of chapters and it was confirmed. I was not impressed.


    Has The Winter of Frankie Machine turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Sure has. I am searching for a book grounded in reality and not hijacked by thug guys. I'm sick of the violence and the superhero persona. It's shallow and boring. Come on authors you can do better than churning out crap.


    What about Dennis Boutsikaris’s performance did you like?

    Narrator was great!


    Could you see The Winter of Frankie Machine being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Would never bother to see it at the movies.


    Any additional comments?

    Authors - stretch yourselves and write something modern; cut waaay back on the violence; the sex and super hero la la land stuff.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Naomi Klein
    • Narrated By Ellen Archer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (192)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (164)

    In This Changes Everything Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies.

    Silly Goose says: "Yikes"
    "An Eye Opener on Climate Change"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up This Changes Everything in three words, what would they be?

    Urgent Action Needed!!!


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Naomi Klein is a brilliant investigative journalist, environmentalist, activist and a down to earth, real person. I can't say enough how much I appreciate the effort she's gone through to dig up the information she has and her ability to write so clearly and in such an engaging way.


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

    The narrator was amazing - she brought out the best in the book. I can't say enough about how engaging she made the listen.


    If you could give This Changes Everything a new subtitle, what would it be?

    No More Trashing Our Planet - Sociopaths Begone!


    Any additional comments?

    What I know is this ...this precious planet that we call home has gone from a pristine haven to a polluted hell in less than a hundred years. This has happened because we haven't paid attention. We've elected (for the most part) uninformed people who have allowed industry (primarily fossil fuel and agriculture) to destroy our earth right before our eyes. 45% of our fresh water lakes and rivers are now too polluted for swimming, fishing and aquatic life! The pH of the oceans have swung into the acid range killing marine life on a scale as never before. Air and soil are contaminated; people are experiencing more asthma, allergies, cancer as never before. I think to myself - how dare they destroy our planet! I loved the audio version and have also purchased the book. I'm thinking of purchasing several more books which I plan to give to my local politicians. I can't imagine anyone not wanting to take action after listening to what she has to say.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Bait

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kenneth Abel
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (90)

    With some of the most spine-chilling scenes in modern suspense fiction, Bait guarantees the listener a roller coaster ride with a hero not afraid to cross the line. Life for narcotics detective Jack Walsh is one continuous drunken binge - until one blurry night when his car veers into an oncoming car, killing the son of Boston’s premier crime boss. Now Jack must decide if he wants to hide from D’Angelo’s vengeful compatriots or reclaim his life.

    Richard Delman says: "A fantastic story, told by the Master."
    "Period Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Bait? What did you like least?

    It captures style of writing/reading that is very nostalgic ... an audio version similar to watching a classic on TV (Perry Mason, Columbo...).


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The narrator captures an era and style of reading - he's really good.


    Was Bait worth the listening time?

    I didn't listen to the entire story. (see additional comments)


    Any additional comments?

    Once in a while it's nice to come across classics like this but I didn't listen to the entire story because after a while I was wanting something more up to the minute and relevant to the here and now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Classical Mythology

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Elizabeth Vandiver
    Overall
    (667)
    Performance
    (590)
    Story
    (582)

    These 24 lectures are a vibrant introduction to the primary characters and most important stories of classical Greek and Roman mythology. Among those you'll investigate are the accounts of the creation of the world in Hesiod's Theogony and Ovid's Metamorphoses; the gods Zeus, Apollo, Demeter, Persephone, Hermes, Dionysos, and Aphrodite; the Greek heroes, Theseus and Heracles (Hercules in the Roman version); and the most famous of all classical myths, the Trojan War.

    Matt says: "Very Informative and Entertaining"
    "Gives You A Behind the Scenes Look at Mythology"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Classical Mythology rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    For a course type listen this ranks way up there. It was informative - in depth and enjoyable. It was like sitting in a lecture theater listening to a professor extraordinaire - a person who is not only learned but loves the subject matter.


    What other book might you compare Classical Mythology to and why?

    I've been a great fan of (mythologist) Joesph Campbell for years and this book complemented his work and built on it.


    What about Professor Elizabeth Vandiver’s performance did you like?

    Her passion and desire to share her love of the subject really came through - she's wonderful!


    Any additional comments?

    Thanks Professor Vandiver - you are awesome!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Island: Gideon Crew, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By David W. Collins
    Overall
    (589)
    Performance
    (526)
    Story
    (529)

    Gideon Crew, brilliant scientist, master thief, is living on borrowed time. When his mysterious employer, Eli Glinn, gives him an eyebrow-raising mission, he has no reason to refuse. Gideon's task: steal a page from the priceless Book of Kells, now on display in New York City and protected by unbreakable security. Accomplishing the impossible, Gideon steals the parchment - only to learn that hidden beneath the gorgeously illuminated image is a treasure map dating back to the time of the ancient Greeks.

    Mary says: "Their worst book!"
    "Action packed Indian Jones style Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Lost Island the most enjoyable?

    I love intelligent dialogue and this book had it - kept me engaged even in the realm of the absurd (I'm referring to the Cyclops part of the book) ...crazy but he pulled it off.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Are you kidding? The book was pure escapism Indiana Jones style which I enjoy once in a blue moon and apparently the there were two full moons this month and somehow the book showed up in my library.


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

    The narrator was outstanding! As ridiculous as the plot was, he pulled it off.


    Any additional comments?

    Once in a while we all need a vicarious adventure and escape and this book was a great vehicle.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Tastemakers: Why We’re Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue (Plus Baconomics, Superfoods, and Other Secrets from the World of Food Trends)

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By David Sax
    • Narrated By David Sax
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    In this eye-opening, witty work of reportage, David Sax uncovers the world of food trends: Where they come from, how they grow, and where they end up. Traveling from the South Carolina rice plot of America’s premier grain guru to Chicago’s gluttonous Baconfest, Sax reveals a world of influence, money, and activism that helps decide what goes on your plate.

    Rena says: "Informative - Engaging - Entertaining!"
    "Informative - Engaging - Entertaining!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Tastemakers in three words, what would they be?

    Informative - Engaging - Entertaining! If you love cooking and food facts and trivia, it doesn't get much better than this.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I always suspected that many of our food preferences were shaped by the movers and shakers of the food industry and David Sax verified my suspicions and really explained how it works. I love his passion for food and his ability to engage his listener (in this case - me) and in a vicarious way take me with him behind the scenes. As a food lover/cook - this book was a joY!


    Any additional comments?

    I'd love to see more books like this. It's about something real - it's interesting and exciting.
    Thanks Mr. Sax!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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