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Emma

Massachusetts
  • 19
  • reviews
  • 32
  • helpful votes
  • 20
  • ratings
  • The Sum of Small Things

  • A Theory of the Aspirational Class
  • By: Elizabeth Currid-Halkett
  • Narrated by: Rachel Dulude
  • Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 25

The leisure class has been replaced by a new elite. Highly educated and defined by cultural capital rather than income bracket, these individuals earnestly buy organic, carry NPR tote bags, and breast-feed their babies. They care about discreet, inconspicuous consumption. In The Sum of Small Things, Elizabeth Currid-Halkett dubs this segment of society "the aspirational class" and discusses how, through deft decisions about education, health, parenting, and retirement, the aspirational class deepens the ever-wider class divide.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What I already knew, but couldn't name

  • By Emma on 02-27-18

What I already knew, but couldn't name

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-27-18

I really enjoyed this book. It really articulated a lot of concepts that I knew internally but wasn't sure how to express or prove. It was very easy to digest, too!

There really is a lot of hypocrisy and nonsense in modern culture, and a lot of it stems from our outdated assumptions about what money is worth and how it affects us. Our brains are stuck in the financial realities of the early 20th century, but the world and our economy has changed drastically since then.

Highly recommend!

  • You Can't Touch My Hair

  • And Other Things I Still Have to Explain
  • By: Phoebe Robinson, Jessica Williams - foreword
  • Narrated by: Phoebe Robinson, John Hodgman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,268
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,164
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,153

Being a black woman in America means contending with old prejudices and fresh absurdities every day. Comedian Phoebe Robinson has experienced her fair share over the years: She's been unceremoniously relegated to the role of "the black friend", as if she is somehow the authority on all things racial; she's been questioned about her love of U2 and Billy Joel ("isn't that...white people music?"); she's been called "uppity" for having an opinion in the workplace; and yes, people do ask her whether they can touch her hair all. The. Time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Phoebe, You Rock

  • By Kate on 12-02-16

Not as funny as I expected BUT... still loved it!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-19-18

I have to be honest; my sense of humor doesn't line up right with the authors. I didn't find myself laughing out loud much. But Phoebe Robinson has a lot of worthwhile things to say and I love her ability to discuss heavy issues with a light-hearted tone.

Took a few chapters to get into it, but overall GREAT LISTEN!

  • The Last Tribe

  • By: Brad Manuel
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 22 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,109
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,732
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,719

Fourteen-year-old Greg Dixon is living a nightmare. Attending boarding school outside of Boston, he is separated from his family when a pandemic strikes. His classmates and teachers are dead, rotting in a dormitory-turned-morgue steps from his room. The nights are getting colder, and his food has run out. The last message from his father is to get away from the city and to meet at his grandparents' town in remote New Hampshire.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A perfect year in the post apocalypse.

  • By Andrew Pollack on 06-18-16

How Easy the Apocalypse could be - a Mansplanation

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-16-17

-the apocalypse strikes and a magical tribe of men happen to be immune and know how to do everything right
-the one dimensional female characters (of which there are 3) exist only to say "What do we do now, Brad?"
-8 hours in and still nothing had really happened
-gave up (and I am a hardcore fan of this genre)


The writing wasn't terrible, but let's be honest. Women have been surviving childbirth AND men since the dawn of humanity, a fair few of us will likely survive the apocalypse as well.

  • The Name of the Wind

  • Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1
  • By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 27 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53,685
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48,593
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48,707

This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow!

  • By Joanna on 05-10-11

LOVE this series, but not the narration

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-25-17

Any additional comments?

I would never discourage anyone from buying this book in any form, it is a favorite of mine and I LOVE to share it with friends.

That being said, I read the paperback twice before listening, and I didn't think the narrator did this story justice.

The book is LONG, I know. And the first 200 pages may make you feel like you don't know wtf is going on. But have faith! After 200 pages you will find yourself suddenly immersed in Kvothe's world and you WILL NOT WANT TO PUT THE BOOK DOWN.

Pre-order the 2nd book when you hit page 500, trust me. You won't want to wait.

This book deserves to be curled up with you in bed on a few stormy nights, but be warned, it will keep you awake into the wee hours.

If you really can't read the paperback, you'll still enjoy the listen, but the narrator's voice makes it too easy to miss some of the author's most beautifully written sentences, and Pat Rothfuss's writing is like poetry. Also, I personally find the narrator's pronunciation of the fantasy words to be grating and awkward.

  • Until the End of the World

  • By: Sarah Lyons Fleming
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,828
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,608
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,597

Cassie Forrest isn't surprised to learn that the day she’s decided to get her life together is also the day the world ends. After all, she’s been on a self-imposed losing streak since her survivalist parents died: she’s stopped painting, broken off her engagement to Adrian and dated a real jerk. Rectifying her mistakes has to wait, however, because Cassie and her friends have just enough time to escape Brooklyn for her parents’ cabin before Bornavirus LX turns them into zombies, too.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved every minute of this

  • By Natalie Harris on 09-05-14

Low-key zombie 'thriller'

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-15-17

Any additional comments?

Meh. I listened all the way through because I needed some light-hearted fluff. Generally, though, I'm not looking for fluff when it comes to post-apocalyptic zombie outbreak tales.

To be fair-- I'm obsessed with the genre, and there are a lot of writers out there who have raised the bar very high for zombie media. I just didn't see anything new, unique, or unpredictable in the storyline, and honestly, the character development was too cheesy for a "thriller"-- it totally overshadowed the suspense and action.

I did enjoy the diversity of the characters! But would I read this again? Not until the end of the world.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Bad Feminist

  • Essays
  • By: Roxane Gay
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,117
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,908
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,891

A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay. In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman ( Sweet Valley High) of color ( The Help) while also taking listeners on a ride through culture of the last few years ( Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown).

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • "I am a mess of contradictions" - RG

  • By Cynthia on 12-27-15

This book will totally consume you...

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-13-17

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. If you're nervous about a collection of intellectual essays being boring or too heady, you'll be in for a pleasant surprise.

These essays will take you through plenty of ups and downs; you'll feel viscerally moved to anger, joy, sadness, and there are plenty of moments to make you laugh too.

Roxane Gay is amazing. Even if you don't agree with her, you have to respect her strength and ability to acknowledge her own weaknesses, and the way she can examine complexities with nuance (without being too wordy) and relate big political ideas to pop culture.

This book deals with some really heavy stuff (our issues with fat culture, rape culture, racism, and on and on) but somehow manages to keep the tone mostly light-hearted and full of hope. That is impressive in itself.

Which scene was your favorite?

The literary review passages were all highlights for me, as a writer and avid reader. The chapter on Prince Charming is an all time favorite and I re-listen to it regularly.

There were also passages that moved me to tears,

Any additional comments?

I recommend this audiobook particularly because I tried to read my hard copy and ended up skipping some passages with difficult subjects. It can feel very lonely to read about something like gang rape in silence while your partner sleeps, or on a train car full of strangers, and I (mistakenly) thought I wouldn't lose anything by skipping around to different essays based on their titles.

I was wrong-- it's really best to listen in order, the essays build on each other in a powerful way. Though gang rape is never fun to discuss, listening made it much easier to take in.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Mists of Avalon

  • By: Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 50 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,693
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,367
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,379

A posthumous recipient of the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, Marion Zimmer Bradley reinvented - and rejuvenated - the King Arthur mythos with her extraordinary Mists of Avalon series. In this epic work, Bradley follows the arc of the timeless tale from the perspective of its previously marginalized female characters: Celtic priestess Morgaine, Gwenhwyfar, and High Priestess Viviane.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding Must Listen Tome

  • By GH on 08-08-15

Amazing deal!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-11-16

Would you listen to The Mists of Avalon again? Why?

Probably, yes! It's a great reimagining of a classic, timeless tale, and the performance is the audio equivalent of snuggling up with a big meaty tome on a snowy grey day by the fire with a cup of tea.

What did you like best about this story?

The depiction of the transition of power from pagan to christian religions throughout the story is expertly done.
Also, the way Bradley puts the reader in Morgaine's POV and makes it impossible not to sympathize with a character that, in most retellings of this story, is seen as a villain-- love it!

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

The paperback book is great, but long and HUGE! Actually too heavy to carry around or even hold open sometimes. The audio is read in a way that makes it very easy to follow, even if you tune in and out from time to time.

Any additional comments?

In terms of hours of entertainment per dollar spent, this audio book is an AMAZING deal! I work from home and listen to audiobooks/podcasts all day, so this was a really rewarding buy for me. Kept coming back to it time and time again when other books/genres became tiring, always found it easy to fall right back into the story.

Highly recommend for fans of Game of Thrones books!

  • Kindred

  • By: Octavia E. Butler
  • Narrated by: Kim Staunton
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,191
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,636
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,623

Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes she's been given a challenge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great view of black Antebellum South in a novel

  • By Kathy on 08-22-10

Better to read than listen...

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-28-16

What made the experience of listening to Kindred the most enjoyable?

Excellent story with a very unique perspective, highly recommend.

What did you like best about this story?

This combines two classic stories -- time travel, slave memoir -- so well that it seems almost surreal that there aren't more stories like this out there!

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

This novel is well written, and deals with some complex issues. It is a sophisticated book. The performer reads it like it is a children's story: over-annunciating everything and speaking every line of dialogue with enough melodrama to gag on. It makes it hard to take the story seriously, which is a bummer, because it deserves to be taken as seriously as any literary masterpiece.

Any additional comments?

Octavia E. Butler is a genius.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl with All the Gifts

  • By: M. R. Carey
  • Narrated by: Finty Williams
  • Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,724
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28,378
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28,379

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • FLEETWOOD MAC

  • By Jim "The Impatient" on 09-04-15

A book you can really sink your teeth into...

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-21-16

Would you consider the audio edition of The Girl with All the Gifts to be better than the print version?

The narration really enhanced the story here. Easy to listen to, and the depictions of different character voices was really distinct and clear.

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

The entire relationship between Ms. Justineau and Melanie was touching and was ultimately what set it apart from any other post-apocalyptic zombie remix. Their relationship gave the story a kind of depth that is hard to find in the horror genre.

Any additional comments?

Don't want to explain much more of the plot-- this story has twists and surprises that are worth waiting for, avoid spoilers and let the story unfold in its own time!

  • Three Dark Crowns

  • By: Kendare Blake
  • Narrated by: Amy Landon
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 738
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 684
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 686

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn't solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it's not just a game of win or lose...it's life or death. The night the sisters turn 16, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good writing ruined by poor performance

  • By Emma on 10-17-16

Good writing ruined by poor performance

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-17-16

Any additional comments?

I think I would have enjoyed this story much more if I'd read it on paper.

I liked the concept: a nice mix of the macabre and ethereal, like an eerie fairy tale.

The narrator's performance was so wooden, though, that it was almost robotic.

Her voice reminded me of Siri. It made it VERY difficult to keep track of the storyline, especially because it changes perspective between the 3 sisters and the narrator reads all of their characters with EXACTLY THE SAME TONE.

Decent story, though. I'd recommend buying a hard copy over the audiobook any day.

If you found this review helpful, please indicate so!

25 of 26 people found this review helpful