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lisa

Burns, OR, United States | Member Since 2011

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 263 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2015
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  • It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Thomas E. Mann, Norman J. Ornstein
    • Narrated By William Hughes
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (151)
    Story
    (153)

    Congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein identify two overriding problems that have led Congress—and the United States—to the brink of institutional collapse. But they offer a panoply of useful ideas and reforms, endorsing some solutions, like greater public participation and institutional restructuring, while debunking others, like independent or third-party candidates. Above all, they call on the media as well as the public to focus on the true causes of dysfunction rather than just throwing the bums out every election cycle.

    Scott says: "A No-Nonsense Look at our Current Political Crisis"
    "No wake up calls and a Democratic lean"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The prologue makes a statement to the effect that the public's outrage and tendency to vote out long standing politicians when angered, thereby making the political situation worse (Americans, get out of the way and let the professionals handle this) is in direct conflict with the next statement that republicans voted down their own bill because the president liked it - McCain being one of them. McCain is far from being a junior member of Congress who was newly voted in and creating havoc due to inexperience.

    The problem is simple: Politics has become a self-serving job for those involved, not a public service. They're in office to support their party, not the American people. While the authors of this book definitely understand how this dysfunctional system works (or doesn't), they're too close to that system to offer a real solution. The fingers are still pointing. It doesn't take much reading between the lines to see how the author feels about those troublesome people who keep quoting the Constitution. The American public is in the way - they just don't understand what the democrats are trying to accomplish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Revenge of the Witch: The Last Apprentice, #1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Joseph Delaney
    • Narrated By Christopher Evan Welch
    Overall
    (815)
    Performance
    (472)
    Story
    (479)

    Only Thomas Ward is left. He's the last hope; the last apprentice. Can Thomas succeed? Will he learn the difference between a benign witch and a malevolent one? Does the Spook's warning against girls with pointy shoes include Alice? And what will happen if Thomas accidentally frees Mother Malkin, the most evil witch in the county?

    Mark says: "Loved it!"
    "Concise Perfection"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Young Tom Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son. We meet him at thirteen, that year when a young boy is sent to apprentice with a local journeyman of one kind or another. But as the youngest of seven, his options are drastically limited. The eldest will take on the farm. The butcher has already apprenticed one of his brothers, as has the local carpenter and so on. Tom isn't sure what will become of him.

    Until the County Spook appears at their gate. Tom finds out his mother has written to the man, offering her son as apprentice to the one person in his life that terrifies him. Not that Tom has ever met the Spook, but what the man does! Lifting curses, fighting bogarts - hunting witches. It's a solitary life, and not one Tom is sure he wants at all.

    It never occurred to me as I listened that this was a young adult read. The main character is a boy of thirteen, but while the main character is learning and making mistakes, they are the kind of mistakes that come from inexperience, not stupidity masquerading as inexperience, and I appreciated that. It's a tale of dark magic, lonesome heroes, and encounters with girls with pointy shoes. Not too long, not too short, but just right.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wire in the Blood: A Tony Hill & Carol Jordan Mystery, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Val McDermid
    • Narrated By Michael Tudor Barnes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (255)
    Performance
    (218)
    Story
    (213)

    Across the country, dozens of teenage girls have vanished. It's the job of criminal profilers Dr. Tony Hill and Carol Jordan to look for a pattern. They've spent years exploring the psyches of madmen. But sane men kill, too. And when they hide in plain sight, they can be difficult to find. He's handsome and talented, rich and famous - a notorious charmer with the power to seduce...and the will to destroy. No one can fathom what he's about to do next.

    connie says: "I think I get McDermid now: Kate Millet of crime?"
    "More Please!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I saw the British series television make of this before 'reading' it. Robson Greene plays the part of Dr. Tony Hill in those. I love them. I love what he does with that character. The book version hasn't decreased that in the least, and might have even elevated my appreciation of his talent as an actor. The narrator for the audible version does a wonderful job of bringing all the characters to life.

    That said, the movie version does not follow the written story exactly - and for once I love that too. The book, as it should be, is much more in depth, letting us deeper into the detectives who work so hard to bring a serial killer to justice. It's more difficult than usual with this case as the killer they've set their sights on is a national sports hero turned tellie star, and the National Profiling Task Force that Dr. Hill has only just started, aren't even supposed to be working a case.

    To add to that, the district they've been set up in is full of coppers who don't give a fig about profiling. When one of Tony's team gets too close to the suspect and is murdered, it's the profiling team those detectives look into for a suspect, not the wealthy T.V. star whom the murdered detective was last seen alive with. It's up to Tony and his team to find evidence on Jacko Vance before they lose a second detective from the task force to an incompetent frame up.

    From a technical perspective, I appreciated the way the author used third person unrestricted along with the judicially placed omniscient sentence or two. The transitions between the characters, which included the killer, never left me feeling jolted out of the story. It flowed with impeccable and certain aim to the ending. That tends to be one of my pet peeves with third person- that feeling that I've suddenly been dropped into a completely different book with the turn of a page. One could argue my experience is because I had already been introduced to the story, and I can't discount that, but the way the author handled transitions between scenes and characters had something to do with it as well.

    Normally when you read a mystery, it's all about answering "who done it". Not so with this story. We know who the killer is practically from the beginning and that doesn't lessen the tension built as the team works to prove he's their man before his latest victim dies. It is a story about profiling after all, and it was expertly handled all the way around.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sandman Slim

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Richard Kadrey
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2006)
    Performance
    (1705)
    Story
    (1716)

    When he was 19, James Stark was considered to be one of the greatest natural magicians, a reputation that got him demon-snatched and sent downtown - to Hell - where he survived as a gladiator, a sideshow freak entertaining Satan's fallen angels. That was 11 years ago. Now, the hitman who goes only by Stark has escaped and is back in L.A. Armed with a fortune-telling coin, a black bone knife, and an infernal key, Stark is determined to destroy the magic circle.

    Mike Naka says: "jack bauer + spawn = sandman slim"
    "Love a Good Anti-Hero"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love a good anti-hero and Sandman Slim is exactly that. Jimmie Stark is a member of the Sub Rosa, what the magical community in this world build call themselves. At nineteen he's got it all, magic, a group of friends he can use it with, and the love of his life.

    And then his friends betray him. They try to kill him, but send him to hell alive instead. Stark becomes the hellions new toy, fighting as a gladiator in the pit until Azazel sees prospective talent and claims Stark to make him the best assassin hell has ever known.

    But Stark hasn't forgotten his friends, or what they did to his Alice. With a stolen key, a bone knife that kills all demons, a knowledge of Hellion magic, and his desire for revenge, Stark breaks out of hell intent on tracking down Mason and the others.

    The world build involves angels, fallen and otherwise, the corps of hell, humans, magical beings, and a kind of angel called the kissi - a race of beings who thrive on chaos - and they are all over L.A. As Stark searches for Mason and the others who sent him to hell, he runs into an old friend, makes a couple new ones, really pisses off an angel and a marshal with Homeland Security.

    Stark is irreverent and back on Earth for no one but himself, but he isn't the hardboiled tough guy he wants everyone to think he is. He cares more than he wants to and while he attributes this to Alice, it's more about himself. This is the first in a series I can't wait to dive headlong into. This was an audible purchase for me. I like to continue with series in the same format, so I'll be listening to more Sandman in the future. Maybe we'll even find out where the name came from.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 'Murder at the Vicarage' & 'The Mysterious Affair at Styles'

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Joan Hickson, Hugh Fraser
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (50)

    Enjoy the first novels that brought the world two of Agatha Christies’ most enduring detectives: Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. The Murder at the Vicarage is the first Miss Marple mystery, one which tests all her powers of observation and deduction. In The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Captain Arthur Hastings, invalided in the Great War, is recuperating as a guest of John Cavendish at Styles Court, the "country-place" of John's autocratic old aunt, Emily Inglethorpe.

    Amazon Customer says: "Great introductions to two iconic mystery series"
    "Two Books in One"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Murder at the Vicarage had a less than wonderful narrator. Every now and then I would get lost as to which character was speaking. Whether that was the narrator or the story, hard to tell. The narration for Affair at Styles was wonderful. It's Agatha Christie. Both stories were good as far as plot. These are Marple and Poirot first in the series. Both are told from a different character perspective than our amateur sleuths. I did very much enjoy hearing about Marple from another character, it was quite amusing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bad Debts: A Jack Irish Thriller, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Peter Temple
    • Narrated By Marco Chiappi
    Overall
    (116)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (103)

    Meet Jack Irish: criminal lawyer, debt collector, football lover, turf watcher, trainee cabinetmaker, and the best Australian crime character we've seen in years. When Jack receives a puzzling message from a jailed ex-client, he's too deep in misery over Fitzroy's latest loss to take much notice. Next thing Jack knows, the ex-client's dead and he's been drawn into a life-threatening investigation involving high-level corruption, dark sexual secrets, shonky property deals, and murder.

    Don says: "Quality Crime Fiction"
    "Got a new favorite lawyer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jack Irish, criminal lawyer, cabinet maker and horseracing fanatic, gets a call from the past, several in fact. If he’d only pick up his messages more often. An old client, one he doesn’t remember, wants to talk. Danny Mckillop is dead by the time Jack finds him.

    The McKillop case is one from Jack’s drinking days and as he looks into the matter, guilt over having failed to represent the man properly, to question the confession, takes root and won’t let go.

    This was a complex plot easily told. Jack Irish, who’s not Irish at all, delivers as a rough and tumble lawyer out running down the cold trail of a case no one wants dragged into the light. Great action and language, the secondary characters come to life. Very enjoyable story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Necromancer's House

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Christopher Buehlman
    • Narrated By Todd Haberkorn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (48)

    Andrew Ranulf Blankenship is a handsome, stylish nonconformist with wry wit, a classic Mustang, and a massive library. He is also a recovering alcoholic and a practicing warlock, able to speak with the dead through film. His house is a maze of sorcerous booby traps and escape tunnels, as yours might be if you were sitting on a treasury of Russian magic stolen from the Soviet Union thirty years ago.

    David says: "Finally - Magic / Fantasy Novel for adults."
    "Inventive world building"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this book to start with. The characters are well developed and while the plot is somewhat complex and tends to wander, it doesn't lose you. For me the book droned on too long, too many flashbacks and there seemed to be no real limit to what magic the main character could use. Great book for an epic road trip.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Death Masks: The Dresden Files, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6606)
    Performance
    (5146)
    Story
    (5120)

    Harry Dresden, Chicago's only practicing professional wizard, should be happy that business is pretty good for a change. But he also knows that whenever things are going good, the only way left for them to go is bad. Way bad. Recent examples: A duel with the lethal champion of the Red Court, who must kill Harry to end the war between vampires and wizards...Hit men using Harry for target practice...The missing Shroud of Turin - and the possible involvement of Chicago's most feared mob boss.

    James says: "Pick up the coin?"
    "Love Harry Dresden"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Harry is finally working towards an even footing in life. He's as close to financially solvent as he has been in a while, thanks in part to an appearance on a local talk show.

    At the talk show he meets a vampire general from the Red Court who wants Harry to agree to a duel to stop the war he started and a priest who needs Harry's help recovering a holy relic, the shroud of Turin.

    There's no avoiding the duel, and Harry being Harry, agrees to look into the shroud when his long distance sort of but not quite ex-girlfriend Susan Rodriguez, one time journalist now half Red Court vampire, walks back into this life with a warning. Don't duel.

    What's not to like about a Dresden novel? There was a lot of heart, endings and beginnings in this book. Loved it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    Overall
    (2642)
    Performance
    (1496)
    Story
    (1489)

    The prolific, perennially best selling author recounts his early life and writing struggles, gives advice on the crucial aspects of the writing art, and talks about his much-publicized, near-fatal accident.

    Bill says: "Excellent!"
    "Not exactly what I expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is part memoir, part advice. The beginning is a beautifully written history of King's beginnings as a writer. I'm not an avid reader of King's works and I found this part provocative as well as entertaining. I came away with a greater appreciation of King as a writer and I loved that he narrated it himself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Forest Bull

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Terry Maggert
    • Narrated By Rebecca Cook
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (30)

    Three lovers who stalk and kill the immortals that drift through South Florida (tourists are a moveable feast, after all) are living a simple life of leisure- until one of them is nearly killed by a woman who is a new kind of lethal. When Ring Hardigan isn't making sandwiches for, and with, his two partners, Waleska and Risa (they're cool like that), he's got a busy schedule doing the dirty work of sending immortals to the ever after.

    crazybatcow says: "No bull here: well written urban fantasy"
    "Thoroughly enoyable."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The beginning of this story grabs you and pulls you in. It's refreshing to have a male urban fantasy hero that's in a stable, if unconventional, relationship. The supernaturals in this story are bad and unredeemed and Ring dispatches them with no remorse. His coworkers and partners, Risa and Wally, bring individual talents, strengths, and reasons for pursuing this calling to the team. The characters are well built, believable and the plot is riveting.

    The story is told from Ring's point of view. The close relationship between the three protagonists Ring, Risa and Wally allows for a well rounded, fully developed modern alpha male that really is a joy to 'read'. The action and lineup of bad guys (and girls) are non stop.

    The performance of the Narrator was impressive. I tend not to like female voices, the high pitch begins to grate after a while, but this female voice was a firm alto and she handled the male portions of the story very well. Loved her.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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