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Tomodachi

Burke, VA | Member Since 2004

28
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 149 ratings
  • 441 titles in library
  • 34 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
3

  • Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Greg Mortenson
    • Narrated By Atossa Leoni
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (440)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (128)

    From the author of the number-one national best seller Three Cups of Tea, the continuing story of this determined humanitarian and the schools he has established. In this dramatic first-person narrative, Greg Mortenson recounts his relentless, ongoing efforts to establish schools for girls in Afghanistan; his extensive work in Azad Kashmir and Pakistan after a massive earthquake; and the unique ways he has built relationships with Islamic clerics, militia commanders, and tribal leaders.

    Cathleen says: "Better than Three Cups of Tea"
    "Hard to listen to the narrator"
    Overall

    I've enjoyed so many audiobooks through Audible over the years, but in both this one and Three Cups of Tea, the narrator is a detractor. I don't mind the female voice (despite that it's the autobio of a man) but I am having trouble getting past her awkward inflections. It is as though she's ending a sentence midway through - her delivery sounds like an unprepared first read-through instead of a finished product. The book is interesting but I think I'll have to finish the print version one day instead of listening on my commutes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Writing Creative Nonfiction

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Tilar J J. Mazzeo
    • Narrated By Professor Tilar J J. Mazzeo
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (48)

    Bringing together the imaginative strategies of fiction storytelling and new ways of narrating true, real-life events, creative nonfiction is the fastest-growing part of the creative writing world. It's a cutting-edge genre that's reshaping how we write (and read) everything from biographies and memoirs to blogs and public speaking scripts to personal essays and magazine articles.

    Snowlady says: "Durable reference for aspiring writers"
    "Great Information - Reasonable Presentation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    It's a lecture by a college professor, so I recommend imagining yourself in a classroom setting surrounded by students. That will make her approach, tone, and style feel more appropriate. She uses a highly animated style that made me think she normally teaches freshmen, but it did keep my ears and mind attuned, which is the gold standard for any teacher. (Since she starts out by describing how it feels to be presenting with no audience before her, the applause at the end of each section seemed silly.) Unfortunately, she is the second of two Great Courses writing instructors who cannot pronounce the word "sentence." (They both pronounce it "sennence"'; the other lecturer's course is actually on building better "sennences"!) I thought I'd get used to it, but never did. However, overall I learned a good deal, and from my perspective, that's what a great course is all about!


    What did you learn from Writing Creative Nonfiction that you would use in your daily life?

    I've already begun applying some of her recommendations about the narrative arc, researching the topic, pacing and narrative tension, etc, as well as guidance on publishing. Last week, a magazine told me that my recent work has been "even stronger than before," and I believe this course has made the difference. " I've listened to some sections more than once and expect I'll continue to revisit it.


    Any additional comments?

    It would be helpful to have a list of the chapters by topic--a syllabus or table of contents-- allowing readers to choose among the lectures or revisit certain material. I did sometimes feel I'd prefer more examples drawn from nonfiction rather than fiction, but I still feel the lectures were quite valuable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Breakfast with Buddha: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Roland Merullo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (390)
    Performance
    (331)
    Story
    (332)

    When his sister tricks him into taking her guru on a trip to their childhood home, Otto Ringling, a confirmed skeptic, is not amused. Six days on the road with an enigmatic holy man who answers every question with a riddle is not what he'd planned. But in an effort to westernize his passenger---and amuse himself---he decides to show the monk some "American fun" along the way.

    Mary McCarthy says: "a thoughtful and often hilarious journey"
    "New Insights with Every Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to this book several times - it's upbeat and very light, but every time I hear it I find just a little bit more insight on finding internal peace. I found the end a bit disappointing because it seemed a little far-fetched in a book that, although sweet and silly in places, always felt down to earth up to that point. I find it pairs nicely with "Opening the Door of Your Heart and Other Buddhist Tales of Happiness" by Ajahn Brahm, which I also bought on Audible.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The 7th Month: A Detective D. D. Warren Story

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 47 mins)
    • By Lisa Gardner
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    Overall
    (2440)
    Performance
    (2059)
    Story
    (2065)

    In Lisa Gardner’s first-ever short story following thirteen bestselling novels, The 7th Month takes listeners between the books and into a day in the life of Boston Detective D. D. Warren. In her seventh month of pregnancy, D.D. should be taking it easy. Instead, she accepts a small consulting role on the set of a serial killer film shooting in Boston.

    Kristi Richardson says: "A great short detective mystery!"
    "Not worth the time to finish it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm grateful for the opportunity to try this for free, but I found the descriptions a bit wooden. The "serial killer perspective" at the opening of each chapter seemed to be trying too hard to be creepy, in the way that a TV movie tries to make their killers out to be ooooooh so evil. The characters felt two-dimensional and the plot felt forced. I bailed out halfway through, however, so I can't speak to the ending. The reader seemed decent so I factored that into my rating.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • First Degree

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By David Rosenfelt
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (1007)
    Performance
    (455)
    Story
    (447)

    When a cop's body is found burned and decapitated, the last thing Andy Carpenter expected is for a stranger to waltz into his office and admit to the crime. For the wise-cracking millionaire defense attorney suffering from "lawyer's block", the case looks like a no-brainer...until the cops pick up another suspect: Andy's lead P.I., Laurie Collins, who happens to be the love of his life.

    A. Wright says: "Read series in order"
    "Always a joy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's always a pleasure to listen to Grover Gardener reading David Rosenfelt's work. Gardener completely captures the "North Jersey" accent and tempo reflected in Rosenfelt's Andy Carpenter series, and Rosenfelt's stories are always the perfect mix of humor, mystery, and heart. I listen to a wide variety of books, but I always come back to Rosenfelt, Gardener, and Andy Carpenter (and Tara!) when I just want to listen to something I *know* I'll enjoy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Un Cuento de Navidad (Dramatizacion) [A Christmas Carol (Dramatized)]: Una obra de la radio en español, basada en la clásica y corta historia de Charles Dickens

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 11 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens, Shane Salk (producer)
    • Narrated By Ruben Garfias, Pedro Pano, Jo Jo Henrickson, and others
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Una grabación completa por un elenco de artistas, en español, de la obra clásica de Charles Dickens Un Cuento de Navidad (A Christmas Carol). Se le da la oportunidad a un hombre llamado Scrooge de cambiar un destino maldito por ser tomado en un viaje a través del tiempo por los fantasmas de las Navidades pasadas, presentes, y futuras.

    Tomodachi says: "Enjoyable version of A Christmas Carol"
    "Enjoyable version of A Christmas Carol"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this version of a Christmas Carol. I'm studying Spanish and find that listening in Spanish to books I'm familiar with in English is helpful. I didn't notice anyone in the dramatization using poor grammar like "el mesa" (I was listening for that after reading the prior review - "la mesa" was said throughout) and the accents didn't bother me. What I would have liked was something more descriptive, like the original story. This version doesn't describe important features like the transformation of the door knocker or the overall appearance of the third ghost because it is portrayed through conversation without a narrator. If you weren't familiar with the story, I think you would be wondering a bit, "What did the ghosts look like?" etc. But overall, a decent version worth the tiny price Audible charged.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Christmas Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    No writer is more identified with the modern idea of Christmas than Charles Dickens. In some ways, Dickens helped define the holiday that we now celebrate by immortalizing it as a time of warmth and sharing, with an emphasis on family and friends.

    Tomodachi says: "Christmas, sort of"
    "Christmas, sort of"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The stories were interesting and had all of the fine qualities of Charles Dickens' works, but I suppose I was expecting something a little more heartwarming. I realize the problem is not the stories by my expectations, but if you're expecting "Christmasy" stories, you should look up some of the tales online first to see if they are what you're after.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Haunting of Hill House

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Shirley Jackson
    • Narrated By David Warner
    Overall
    (312)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (91)

    Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of the psychic phenomenon called haunting; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, the lonely, homeless girl well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House.

    Carl Cravens says: "Different, but good."
    "Still Chilling After All These Years"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The beauty of this story is what it leaves to the imagination as much as what it describes. It's rich with tense, as well as humorous, undercurrents. I've listened to it more than once and have discovered something new each time. There are endless possible interpretations; this book would not be for someone who wants a clearly spelled out plot resolution. David Warner's narration is completely captivating and only adds to both the subtle humor and the aura of mystery in this classic.

    (The 1962 movie is exceptional as well but the more recent version, despite the strong cast, is not worth the time to watch.)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Garth Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Evan Welch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5723)
    Performance
    (3662)
    Story
    (3673)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: If you’ve ever loved a dog - or even patted a dog - this book, told from the perspective of man’s best friend, will tug at your heartstrings...and won’t let go until long after Welch performs the last word. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively and by listening very closely to the words of his master.

    FanB14 says: "Artful Surprise"
    "Excellent book, perfectly narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The description of "The Art of Racing in the Rain" made me want to roll my eyes: another book from the dog's point of view. But Stein manages to craft his story such that it isn't hokey or forced. I found myself listening at every opportunity. Welch does a fine job of narration, enhancing the story rather than getting in its way. My only complaint (and it's minor) is the slow music between certain passages, which felt weighty and often went on a little too long. But this is a five-star book and narration, through and through.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Woman in Black

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Susan Hill
    • Narrated By Paul Ansdell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (378)
    Performance
    (312)
    Story
    (311)

    Eel Marsh house stands alone, surveying the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway. Once, Mrs Alice Drablow lived here as a recluse. Now, Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor with a London firm, is summoned to attend her funeral, unaware of the tragic and terrible secrets which lie behind the house's shuttered windows.

    Karen says: "good story and narration"
    "So close to 5 stars..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an audiobook I "couldn't put down." I'd been looking for a book in the style of "The Haunting of Hill House" or "Turn of the Screw," and this one very much fit the bill. The author completely captivates and holds your interest by providing just enough foreshadowing to tease you to the next section. The reader is exceptional - his approach perfectly suited to the tone of the book. Like the prior reviewer, however, I was disappointed in the ending. Nonetheless, I'd recommend the audio book and will look for more by this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Memory and Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Charles de Lint
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    Overall
    (219)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (111)

    As the young student of the cruel, brilliant artist Vincent Rushkin, Isabelle Copley discovered that she could paint images so vividly real they brought her wildest fantasies to life. Now, 20 years later, Isabelle must come to terms with the shattering memories she has long denied and unlock the slumbering power of her brush. And, in a dark reckoning with her old master, she must find the courage to live out her dreams and bring the magic back to life.

    David E. Ballard says: "If this is your first de Lint"
    "Good but could have been better."
    Overall

    The concept was intriguing and once it got rolling it kept my interest, but at times it became repetitive. It felt a bit like the book had been both written and edited in sections over a longer period, instead of as a cohesive whole, so that the author and editor would occasionally forget that a point had been made very clearly in a previous chapter. The author also occasionally seemed to stray from the story line now and then, forcing topics like AIDS and the misguided fiction critics in where they didn't seem to fit. On the whole I'm not sorry I chose it, but with some tightening up it could have been far better. The narrator (Kate Reading) was excellent!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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