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Member Since 2002

  • 37 reviews
  • 243 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2015

  • Yes, Chef: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Marcus Samuelsson
    • Narrated By Marcus Samuelsson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It begins with a simple ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s house and helps her prepare a roast chicken for dinner. The grandmother is Swedish, a retired domestic. The boy is Ethiopian and adopted, and he will grow up to become the world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson. This book is his love letter to food and family in all its manifestations. Yes, Chef chronicles Marcus Samuelsson’s remarkable journey from Helga’s humble kitchen to the opening of the beloved Red Rooster in Harlem.

    loix says: "A fun and inspiring civics lesson"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator! Honestly, I have listened to a million audiobooks and I have to say that only 1 in 10 author narrated books has been a good idea. In this case, his choppy english was very very distracting as his sentence pauses were really unnatural and made this book hard to listen to. It wasn't the worst I've heard in terms of self-narrated books, but definitely would have been better with a professional narrator.

    Has Yes, Chef turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, definitely not. Some of the best books I've read have been memoirs, and this book won't discourage me.

    What didn’t you like about Marcus Samuelsson’s performance?

    As stated above, his choppy english was a real distraction from the content.

    What else would you have wanted to know about Marcus Samuelsson’s life?

    I would have preferred some real honesty. I've read enough memoirs to know when I'm getting the real deal, and this book felt disingenous. Sure he revealed some less flattering aspects of his past, but overall it was pretty self-congratulatory: "look how hard it has been for me as a black chef in a white dominated industry! but I sure showed them! look at my supermodel wife and all my riches! ..and, oh yeah, the daughter I didn't want to acknowledge for years and years and years..but she's ok with it now." ugh.

    Any additional comments?

    I read many glowing reviews that stated that this book should be on the must-read lists for high-school students. I couldn't disagree more. I would rather recommend "The Heart and The Fist" for students. It's message is much deeper. Rather than "work hard and you can be rich and famous and marry a supermodel too", it teaches "work hard, then work harder, then work even harder and you will discover what is truly meaningful in life." And it's not money and fame.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Sisters Brothers

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Patrick deWitt
    • Narrated By John Pruden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. The enigmatic and powerful man known only as the Commodore has ordered it, and his henchmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn't share his brother's appetite for whiskey and killing, he's never known anything else. But their prey isn't an easy mark, and on the road from Oregon City to Warm's gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to question what he does for a living–and whom he does it for.

    Kirsten says: "A trip in to the Wild West"
    "unexpected but enjoyable."
    If you could sum up The Sisters Brothers in three words, what would they be?

    Unexpected. Surprising. Fascinating.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The narrator is my obvious choice. He is the younger brother, and a bit of a sheep sometimes, but the story told from his perspective is effective.

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

    This is an interesting question, because as I read this book, I had the thought that it felt like it could be a Quentin Tarantino film.

    Any additional comments?

    Western genres are not typically my genre, and it's only because the reviews that stated it 'was not your typical western' intrigued me. The characters were memorable for sure, and I did enjoy the book, although I'm not sure I'd read any more of this genre again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Jonathan Haidt
    • Narrated By Jonathan Haidt

    In The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding. His starting point is moral intuition - the nearly instantaneous perceptions we all have about other people and the things they do. These intuitions feel like self-evident truths, making us righteously certain that those who see things differently are wrong. Haidt shows us how these intuitions differ across cultures, including the cultures of the political left and right.

    K. Cunningham says: "Why Good People Are Divided - Good for whom?"

    This book was engaging and informative and I will definitely have to give it another listen. He manages to keep key concepts intelligent but free of the intellectual jargon that can make it difficult for the lay person. His central metaphors are effective and engaging and really help the reader make sense of his arguments. He is a really good writer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kitchen Literacy: How We Lost Knowledge of Where Food Comes from and Why We Need to Get It Back

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Ann Vileisis
    • Narrated By Alex Day
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Ask children where food comes from, and they’ll probably answer: “the supermarket.” Ask most adults, and their replies may not be much different. Where our foods are raised and what happens to them between farm and supermarket shelf have become mysteries. How did we become so disconnected from the sources of our breads, beef, cheeses, cereal, apples, and countless other foods that nourish us every day?

    Gringuita says: "Fabulous book -- anemic performance"
    "A Bird's Eye View"

    I enjoyed this walk through American food history. It gives an excellent overview of how we have come to our current food situation. As some reviewers have already noted, it can be a little dry, but if you are already interested in the content, the history of factory farming, you will find this book enlightening. It could go deeper in areas, but is a good primer.

    The narrator!! Gah! She sounds like a kindergarten or ESL teacher. Sheee speeeaks sooo sloooowly, and has puts very long gaps in awkward parts of the sentences. It really does the book a disservice. The information and facts are already a little dry, so the narration could really kill this book for some. Luckily, I also have an option on my audible app to speed it up a bit. This makes it much more tolerable.

    Otherwise, an excellent read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • NIV Audio Bible (Dramatized)

    • UNABRIDGED (75 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Zondervan
    • Narrated By uncredited

    The NIV Audio Bible is more than a Bible you listen to. It's an experience that helps you enter into God's God's Word can enter into you.

    Dave says: "Best Version By Far"
    "SO painful"

    I downloaded this NIV version because my children were having a hard time following the KJV which I love. This dramatized narration is so cheesy it is completely distracting to listen to, and we had to shut it off after only half a new testament book. I thought maybe we should just try the Psalms, since it is poetic and might be easier to listen to in this format. Nay nay. The background music was a horror as an accompaniment to the over-the-top dramatic reading. Straight out of a protestant cheese factory. UGH UGH UGH!
    I just downloaded a straight reading of the NKJV and am finding it SO much easier and pleasant to listen to.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Girl Who Fell from the Sky

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Heidi Durrow
    • Narrated By Karen Murray, Emily Bauer, Kathleen McInerney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The daughter of a Danish immigrant and a black G.I., Rachel survives a family tragedy only to face new challenges. Sent to live with her strict African-American grandmother in a racially divided Northwest city, she must suppress her grief and reinvent herself in a mostly black community. A beauty with light brown skin and blue eyes, she attracts much attention in her new home. The world wants to see her as either black or white, but that's not how she sees herself.

    Victoria says: "meh"

    I never really believed the stories, or the characters. The 'pretend' mystery was not such a mystery in the end. Did she or didn't she jump? By the time the mystery is solved, this reader no longer cared.
    None of the characters were developed in full and so we're left to wonder what on earth made them so messed up. So much of their misery (at least the adults) is self-inflicted, so it's hard to feel pity. The children turn out beautiful and talented anyway ("Brick", and Rachel).
    This book would have been more effective as a short story. Indeed, it would have been more effective with an editor. When the author refers to "Jamie-who-was-really-James" for the thirteenth time in two paragraphs, I was gnashing my teeth with irritation!!
    There was a lot of writing like this. "I'm making a point here, are you listening reader? because I'm being so erudite and stating things so poetically". The writing is very self-conscious, and the point the author was trying to make was never well realized in the characters or the plot. "It's hard to be of mixed race"? "It's hard to have been the victim of an attempted murder by a messed-up mother"? I lost interest in trying to figure it out. This book was unsatisfying.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Brigid Pasulka
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell

    The novel opens on the eve of World War II. In the mountain village of Half-Village, a young man nicknamed the Pigeon, under the approving eyes of the entire village, courts the beautiful Anielica Hetmanska. But the war's arrival wreaks havoc in all their lives and delays their marriage for six long years.

    Julie says: "Excellent!"
    "very touching"

    I have read many books now about WWII (just by chance.. The Reader, The Book Thief, The Power of One, etc.) and am always fascinated by the different fictional perspectives. What I love about it too are the various accents. This one was excellent. I have never heard a Polish accent, and the narrator did a fine job of switching from character to character.
    The book is very well written, and I was completely absorbed. I highly recommend this one. Well worth the credit and the time.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Friend of the Family

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Lauren Grodstein
    • Narrated By Rick Adamson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Pete Dizinoff never counted on a wild card: Laura, his best friend's daughter - 10 years older than his son, Alec, and irresistibly beautiful, with a past so shocking that it's never spoken of. When Laura sets her sights on Alec, Pete sees his plans for his son not just unraveling but being destroyed. Believing he has only the best of intentions, he sets out to derail this romance and rescue his son. He could never have foreseen how his world would shatter in the process.

    Susan says: "Interesting read"
    "boring and sad."

    This book was well written, but it was a lot of effort for little reward. The hyper-controlling father was a little much to take, especially as there was no background given to indicate what could have made him such a freak. His own father dies, but that's it. He just dies. No relationship explored that might give the reader an indication of why he's such a bad father (because ultimately, this is a father-bashing book).
    *spoiler alert*
    The infanticide seemed like it was going to be explored, but it wasn't really. Discussed much amongst the characters as a great scandal, or a great mystery, but not really explored. Why does Laura kill her baby? We never find out why. Because she was 17? What made her so screwed up when the rest of her siblings turned out so 'normal'? Because she was daddy's favourite? Was there abuse? Is this why she started having sex with random strangers in an alley behind the library every weekend? The causes of her bizarre behaviour are never speculated upon, although the protagonist certainly seems obsessed with her.
    It is all a baffling mystery that the author does not suffiently resolve at all.
    The book and the characters just left me cold.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • This Is Where I Leave You

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Jonathan Tropper
    • Narrated By Ramon De Ocampo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The death of Judd Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family - including Judd's mother, brothers, and sister - have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd's wife, Jen, whose 14-month affair with Judd's radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch's dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together.

    Tracey says: "Made me laugh out loud"
    "booooooring. and bitter. and not remotely funny."

    I chose this title because one reviewer suggested it was much like David Sedaris whose writing I can't get enough of. The narrator read it like David Sedaris, but there was little humour in this book. It was very bitter and very sexual (nobody's sexuality goes unexplored, and he gives a very VERY vivid account of catching his wife in bed with his boss - in the book it must go on for pages! there's more than one repetition of how deep up his boss' a** his wife's knuckles are. oi vey! my daughter sometimes listens to my audiobooks, these should come with a bit of a warning!)
    en tous cas... this was not worth the credit I wasted on it. It was not even remotely funny. Just sad.

    23 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • Middlemarch

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By George Eliot
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Middlemarch is a recognized masterpiece that explores the complex social world of 19th century England. It is concerned with the lives of several ordinary people, albeit ones with high social standing. The novel explores the very fabric of Victorian society in the 1800s, showing how various human passions, heroism, egotism, love, and lust, interrelate within this society.

    Francis says: "Such books make reading sacred..."

    This book starts slowly, but one thing that I really appreciate about audio books is that you are a captive audience, and it takes little effort to let the audio keep running, even if the story is moving slowly. There are a plethora of characters, and at first this seems ponderous, but Eliot is genius at developing all of the characters to such an extent that you feel that you would know them if you met them on the street. I will remember these characters forever.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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