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nancy udell

Santa Fe, NM USA | Member Since 2003

42
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 596 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
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  • The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jane Mayer
    • Narrated By Richard McGonagle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (143)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (43)

    The Dark Side is a narrative account of the decisions the U.S. made after September 11, decisions that not only violated the Constitution, but also hampered the pursuit of Al Qaeda. In gripping detail, Jane Mayer relates specific cases, shown in real time against the larger tableau of Washington, looking at the intelligence gained and the price paid. In all cases, there were incalculable losses in terms of moral standing, our country's place in the world, and its sense of itself.

    Madeleine says: "Brilliant and Maddening"
    "Must read history"
    Overall

    Thank you Jane Mayer for a chilling and detailed account of Cheney, David Addington and John Yoo's reign of terror. This is an important book that tells the story of how we became torturers and how a few courageous republican lawyers -- Jack Goldsmith and James Comey -- spoke truth to power and put in motion the eventual outing of this outrageous criminality. This is not a democrat v. republican book. THis is a book about principled v. unprincipled people -- courage v. cowardice and sanity v. insanity. It is a must read ("listen").

    15 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Bossypants

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Tina Fey
    • Narrated By Tina Fey
    Overall
    (18307)
    Performance
    (14128)
    Story
    (14073)

    Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told....

    Warren says: "Tina Fey broke my new SUV"
    "highly recommend"
    Overall

    This is a great book made even more great by listening to Tina Fey read it to us. She is a unique spirit and creature and the book is full to the brim with funny, interesting, witty and wise insights. Her life (so far) is inspiring and great fun to listen to. I HIGHLY recommend.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • American Pastoral

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By Ron Silver
    Overall
    (874)
    Performance
    (323)
    Story
    (317)

    Seymour "Swede" Levov is a prosperous, hard-working family man who comes of age in America's triumphant postwar era. But when the country begins to run amok in the 1960s, Swede's perfect world crumbles.

    Thomas says: "A Masterpiece"
    "One of the best -- do not miss"
    Overall

    First, the reader is excellent. But he is reading a masterpiece. American Pastoral brilliant. Through the eyes of one family and the narrator, Roth captures the essence of the changes and turmoil that shook the country in the 60s and 70s. The narrative technique, the narrative itself, the dialogue, so many turns of phrase, really deliver a powerful emotional message. I don't know whether i would have enjoyed it as much without the wonderful narrator. Even though I had already listened to it, I chose it as a book for a long car trip and my husband loved it too. I liked it even more the second time. So much nuance.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Professor and the Madman

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Simon Winchester
    • Narrated By Simon Winchester
    Overall
    (1519)
    Performance
    (711)
    Story
    (719)

    Part history, part true-crime, and entirely entertaining, listen to the story of how the behemoth Oxford English Dictionary was made. You'll hang on every word as you discover that the dictionary's greatest contributor was also an insane murderer working from the confines of an asylum.

    Jerry says: "Perfect example of a quality audible book."
    "A delightful work"
    Overall

    Simon Winchester is delightful and engaging, intelligent and insightful. This is a wonderful read (listen). I loved his understated irony and his many flashes of brilliant insight into human nature and history, not to mention attention to detail without being pedantic at all. Winchester brings a surprisingly spiritual point of view to this surprising and touching story. The only disappointment is the interview with the current editor of the OED who shows himself a bore- far outclassed by Winchester's nuance.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Diamond Age

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jennifer Wiltsie
    Overall
    (3266)
    Performance
    (1304)
    Story
    (1321)

    Neal Stephenson, "the hottest science fiction writer in America", takes science fiction to dazzling new levels. The Diamond Age is a stunning tale; set in 21st-century Shanghai, it is the story of what happens what a state-of-the-art interactive device falls into the hands of a street urchin named Nell. Her life, and the entire future of humanity, is about to be decoded and reprogrammed.

    Tango says: "The rock could use a bit more polishing"
    "Diamond Age -- Highly Recommend"
    Overall

    After reading Snow Crash on a lark (I'm not a science fiction buff), I wanted to read everything Neal Stephenson has done. Althought he could have done more with the world he created in Snow Crash, here he creates and new and different world, equally fascinating and an equally brilliant and possible projection of the future based on current sociological realities and trends. And again, the story is fantiastic -- running atop this fascinating world. Also loved the narrator. She's very good. Highly recommend. Now I only wish his others were available in unabridged form!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snow Crash

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (5541)
    Performance
    (2856)
    Story
    (2914)

    Neal Stephenson is a blazing new force on the sci-fi scene. With the groundbreaking cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, he has "vaulted onto the literary stage." It weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility - in short, it is the gigathriller of the information age.

    A. Tuck says: "Classic Stephenson"
    "Snow Crash -- Highly Recommend"
    Overall

    I'm not a huge science fiction buff, but tried this on the recommendation of one of the staff picks. I was blown away. It's not only well written with a great plot, it's inventive and savy -- both techologically and socially. Stephenson projects the very real state of the world today into the future with a steady eye. The result is both terribly funny and terribly horifying. On top of this extraordinary projection of the future, runs a great story. The reader is also excellent.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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