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Michael

Groton, NY, United States
  • 28
  • reviews
  • 107
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  • 58
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  • What Makes Us Girls: And Why It's All Worth It

  • By: Brittany Pettibone
  • Narrated by: Nicole Pettibone
  • Length: 3 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

What Makes Us Girls examines the topic of self-worth through a modern cultural lens. Using examples from the author's life experience and the life experiences of a variety of other girls, What Makes Us Girls analyzes seven of the most common issues that result in a destructive sense of self-worth: comparison, rejection, bullying, inauthenticity, purposelessness, betrayal, and guilt.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very insightful

  • By tommy busher on 02-17-19

Good for Dads

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

Reviewed: 02-16-19

I am a 53-year-old father with 3 daughters: 14, 18 and 24. This is a very fine audiobook which I’m listening to with them and also we listen separately. Without a lot of categories, but with great illustrations and stories, she gets to the real heart of the matter when it comes to what young women face these days. People from my generation have a hard time understanding emotionally how social media affects young people as they begin courting and moving toward marriage in 2019.


Her overarching advice is to become the kind of person you would like to marry. Healing hurts, but no free lunch. I also like the general tone not to expect perfection but to be discerning when you meet a guy. It’s okay if he is a project, as long as it is a project that you can handle.

Anyway, this book has really helped me as a dad and my daughters like it. It is timely and needed.


I feel that her sister was a good choice for reader because her voice really makes you appreciate the depth of the struggles girls face and touches the heart strings, while also remaining calm and consistent.

  • Vaccines, Autoimmunity, and the Changing Nature of Childhood Illness

  • By: Thomas Cowan MD
  • Narrated by: Madison Niederhauser
  • Length: 4 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 35

Over the past 50 years, rates of autoimmunity and chronic disease have exploded. In this provocative book, Dr. Thomas Cowan argues for a direct causal relationship to a corresponding increase in the number of vaccines American children typically receive. The goal of these vaccines is precisely what we’re now seeing in such abundance among our chronically ill children: the provocation of immune response. Cowan looks at emerging evidence that certain childhood illnesses are actually protective of disease later in life. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Needed Understanding!

  • By Michael on 09-18-18

Needed Understanding!

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

Reviewed: 09-18-18

This has been the best book so far for me to understand this recent class of illnes, why the US is plagued with them, and what can be done to change things.

Great writing style!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Prophet

  • By: R.J. Larson
  • Narrated by: Brooke Heldman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 93
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 85
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85

"Close your eyes, Ela of Parne. Close your eyes and you will see." Ela Roeh of Parne doesn't understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She’s undignified, bad tempered, and only 17 - not to mention that no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as the elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite's prophet, Ela knows she will die young. "Istgard has turned their back on Me. See the evil they do."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Prophet (R. J. Larson)

  • By W. on 04-18-12

I thought the reader did a good job!

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

Reviewed: 09-16-14

What did you love best about Prophet?

Explores what it would be like to represent God ("The Infinite") at a level where you were given glimpses of the immediate future in order to represent God in a time of judgment and change.

What other book might you compare Prophet to and why?

The Exodus in the Bible where God speaks to Moses, along with the prophetess Huldah, a bit of Deborah, and a bit of Isaiah thrown in just for good measure.

But, throw into the mix just a little bit of normal teenage girl who has human emotions and feelings, humor, and depression. A bit like Katness from the Hunger Games.

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

Here's the rub. She expresses A LOT of emotion! If you don't like this, you will be put off a bit. But I certainly felt that her exclamations of emotion generally fit the character well. She was passionate for the reading! Bravo! My children also really like her voice. We all think she struggles a bit with some of the darker male characters (though we think she does well with the lighter ones).

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It reminded me that God is interested in the course of history and he does see all. I am not one to cry, but I did empathize very much and cared about the characters.

Any additional comments?

I wanted to dispel some of the negative reviews. I and my children have enjoyed this book and will go on in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Theft of Swords

  • Riyria Revelations, Volume 1
  • By: Michael J. Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 22 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,190
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,719
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,698

Acclaimed author Michael J. Sullivan created instant best sellers with his spellbinding Riyria Revelations series. This first volume introduces Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater, two enterprising thieves who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the death of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy bigger than they can imagine, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery - before it’s too late.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A GOOD START TO A SERIES

  • By Randall on 12-24-18

A+ world building, story lines and deep characters

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

Reviewed: 02-13-14

Where does Theft of Swords rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Definitely right near the top

What was one of the most memorable moments of Theft of Swords?

Rescue of the princess from the dwarf rigged tower.

Have you listened to any of Tim Gerard Reynolds’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

The writing here gives him an opportunity to shine even more. He seemed to perceive the characters very well!

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

Actually, there were quite a few. Royce and Hadrian definitely end up having a Robin Hood like ability to sniff out where the evil is coming from. They then defend the helpless against powerful schemers.

Any additional comments?

Okay, I'm going ahead in getting into these because they are on audio which is what I have time for in the narrator is very good. I actually thought that the plot twists in this book were extremely funny and well done. For example, having the overly pampered prince rescued from the Castle via the sewer was funny! The dialogue there made me laugh hard and help me to get to know the two main sword thieves.

These guys are basically Robin Hood types overall in that they always tend to help those who are down and out and are not very supportive of tyrants.

Generally speaking, his characters are very human in their flaws and good qualities as well. So far, I have really liked the fact that the church is worked into these tales (both Saints and scoundrels) for example, they help a monk named Myron to reconstruct a church library.

The author has a healthy restrained from being overly graphic and the humor is top-notch. Very entertaining!

He's also very good at explaining the plights of scullery maids and common blacksmiths. And of course, the swordfights are very well described!

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Tandem

  • The Many Words Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Anna Jarzab
  • Narrated by: Amanda Dolan
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 263
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 251
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 248

Sixteen-year-old Sasha Lawson has only ever known one small, ordinary life. When she was young, she loved her grandfather's stories of parallel worlds, inhabited by girls who looked like her but led totally different lives. Sasha never believed such worlds were real - until now, when she finds herself thrust into one against her will. To prevent imminent war, Sasha must slip into the life of an alternate version of herself, a princess who has vanished on the eve of her arranged marriage. If Sasha succeeds in fooling everyone, she will be returned home; if she fails, she'll be trapped in another girl's life forever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Top Notch! My daughter and I both enjoyed!

  • By Michael on 12-12-13

Top Notch! My daughter and I both enjoyed!

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

Reviewed: 12-12-13

Would you listen to Tandem again? Why?

Already did. The concepts were very intriguing and it took the second time around to really appreciate it. Easily entertaining enough. My daughter Mercy went through it twice in a row too.

What did you like best about this story?

Sasha's character, the way she deals with the amazing set of circumstances she's thrown into and empathizes with others.

Have you listened to any of Amanda Dolan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but now she will be on my radar screen as a narrator! Excellent job Amanda! I liked the way she did male voices and the King's voice which was a difficult conundrum.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes

Any additional comments?

One of the ways I can gauge whether I like an audiobook is that, as soon as I get to the end, I want to go right back and listen to the beginning again. This was one such book!

I'm becoming a big fan of Anna's writing in general-- her characters have a realism that springs from their home life, caring about their parents (or not for a time), connection to Shakespeare and literature in general, appreciation for history and science. Her books motivate young people to want to learn!

As for this book, I would seriously like to see it as a movie.

The idea that you would have a person like you in a parallel universe is really cool to begin with, but she executes it brilliantly! If you enjoy books like the Hunger Games, but also like princesses and having to deal with difficult situations that you find yourself in by using your wits, this is a big winner.

The science of this gradually unfolds, as do major plot twists and interpersonal relationships. There are secret codes to discover, and personalities to figure out. When she goes into the alternative universe, she has to figure out gradually who is to be trusted. This becomes extremely difficult!

I really like the main character, Sasha, mainly because she empathizes with people that seem to be her enemies. She is thoughtful, likable and for me, very believable.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • On the Jellicoe Road

  • By: Melina Marchetta
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Macauley
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 247
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 214
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 215

Taylor Markham is now a senior at the Jellicoe School, and has been made leader of the boarders. She is responsible for keeping the upper hand in the territory wars with the townies, and the cadets who camp on the edge of the school's property over summer. She has to keep her students safe and the territories enforced and to deal with Jonah Griggs - the leader of the cadets and someone she'd rather forget. B ut what she needs to do, more than anything, is unravel the mystery of her past and find her mother.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Strange but good

  • By Dorothea on 07-05-11

Deep and emotionally charged. Good to listen to t

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

Reviewed: 06-27-13

What did you love best about On the Jellicoe Road?

I actually really enjoyed this one as an audiobook. Marchetta's ability to paint with words is simply amazing. She is strong exactly where I am weak as a writer. She was really good at describing Taylor's emotional pain and struggles from the first-person point of view.

The dialogue was Believable. She sets up a lot of tension in the conversations. As you read, you learn most of what you learn in dialogue. Taylor is trying to find out who she is because she's at a boarding school and she doesn't really know who her mom is and she has missing pieces in her memory.

The story arc is hard to follow in the beginning, but it's the kind of book you can go back to the beginning and get a lot more out of it the second time. This definitely had a lot of depth.

What about Rebecca Macauley’s performance did you like?

Great job of getting the Australian feel and distinguishing parts.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It is very emotional.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Centurion’s Wife

  • Acts of Faith, Book 1
  • By: Janette Oke, Davis Bunn
  • Narrated by: Susan Lyons
  • Length: 11 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 499
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 412
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 414

Three-time Christy Award winner Davis Bunn collaborates with Janette Oke to evoke the tumult of first-century Judea in the wake of Christ’s crucifixion. Although she prefers service in Pontius Pilate’s palace to a loveless marriage, Leah is betrothed to a Roman centurion. Before he can have Leah, however, he must go on a secret mission. But when a rabbi’s missing body sends Leah and Alban after the same answers, what they discover could change all they hold dear.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Gets you into the events in a fresh way

  • By Michael on 05-20-13

Gets you into the events in a fresh way

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

Reviewed: 05-20-13

What made the experience of listening to The Centurion’s Wife the most enjoyable?

I actually really enjoyed this book. I know, I know Jeanette Oake. But she really did a good job of writing a story that is pretty accurate to the facts of what happened surrounding Jesus death, resurrection and Pentecost. She sets up the tension well and has a believable take on what could’ve happened to Pontius Pilate after Jesus. Also, getting at the events from fresh angles helps to remind you of the biblical narrative.
The book suffers from a lowchurch understanding in terms of baptism and communion. Also, it has some theological misunderstandings of the Jew, Gentile question, but these were small and easily laid aside.
I did find myself rooting for the main characters. I would have liked to see what became of Jacob-- maybe he becomes the apostle James or something.

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

Really good voice. Susan, you are one of my favorites

Who was the most memorable character of The Centurion’s Wife and why?

Alben

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The 5th Wave

  • By: Rick Yancey
  • Narrated by: Brandon Espinoza, Phoebe Strole
  • Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,968
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,214
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,243

After the first wave, only darkness remains. After the second, only the lucky escape. And after the third, only the unlucky survive. After the fourth wave, only one rule applies: Trust no one. Now, it's the dawn of the fifth wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother - or even saving herself.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not Your Typical YA Dystopian Fare

  • By FanB14 on 05-21-13

Really good character voicing and POV

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

Reviewed: 05-13-13

What made the experience of listening to The 5th Wave the most enjoyable?

The book keeps you in a constant state of tension because you are always waiting to understand more about the aliens and what is actually happening. This tension is something that pulls you forward.

What did you like best about this story?

Lots to like. Cassie's POV, some great action sequences, good humor, etc.

Which scene was your favorite?

I have to say the rescue of Jamie

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Maybe I'm just dull emotionally, but it sure could have done those things. For me, it was more intriguing and enjoyable and made me think what would I do in such situations?

Any additional comments?

I learned some things about writing from this book. Thanks Rick.

As to the performance, both of you did a great job and were VERY believable!

2 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Tuesday's Gone

  • A Frieda Klein Mystery
  • By: Nicci French
  • Narrated by: Beth Chalmers
  • Length: 12 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 702
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 631
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 625

A London social worker makes a routine home visit only to discover her client, Michelle Doyce, serving afternoon tea to a naked, decomposing corpse. With no clues as to the dead man's identity, Chief Inspector Karlsson again calls upon Frieda for help. She discovers that the body belongs to Robert Poole, con man extraordinaire. But Frieda can't shake the feeling that the past isn't done with her yet. Did someone kill Poole to embroil her in the investigation? And if so, is Frieda herself the next victim?  

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I like this series but...

  • By Katherine on 04-12-13

Terrific reader! You got so many voices right.

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

Reviewed: 04-13-13

Would you consider the audio edition of Tuesday's Gone to be better than the print version?

Yes, but I'm not qualified to say. However, the narration was top-quality and I look forward to more from Beth Chalmers

Who was your favorite character and why?

Freda is a person who is very tough to read at first. But it introduced me to many things in the world of the psychotherapist. I ended up empathizing greatly with her and feeling that she was basically doing the right thing most of the time.

Which character – as performed by Beth Chalmers – was your favorite?

Well, she did a good job with Carlson. But she switched very deftly for different characters.

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

It was about a third of the way through where freedom really begins to care for Mary Laughton and others. That's what makes her believable. It makes the whole story rise above a normal whodunit.

Any additional comments?

Yes, the author has a terrific feel for London, and how to work with down and out people. The word s**t comes up a lot because they all have to deal with it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • One Door Away from Heaven

  • By: Dean Koontz
  • Narrated by: Anne Twomey
  • Length: 21 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,011
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,585
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,582

In a dusty trailer park on the far edge of the California dream, Michelina wants to change the direction of her troubled life but can't find her way. When a new family settles into the rental trailer next door, Micky meets the young girl who will change her forever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Koontz outdoes himself

  • By Perk4me on 06-11-08

Mixed bag

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

Reviewed: 03-12-13

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Some parts

Would you be willing to try another book from Dean Koontz? Why or why not?

Definitely uses language to paint characters well

What three words best describe Anne Twomey’s voice?

Gentle, not hurried

Did One Door Away from Heaven inspire you to do anything?

Look out for the outcasts of society and the weak.

Any additional comments?

In terms of some good action sequences and character development, I enjoyed many parts of this.

As a polemic for utilitarian bioethics, while he does cause you to think about the issues, I think the characters and some of the horrible things they did were overdrawn. It just isn't all that winsome if you are trying to convince a utilitarian. Most utilitarians are nearly this extreme, but the story does show where these things could go under the worst of circumstances.

Some parts are gross and disgusting and go on too long being gross and disgusting.

I did enjoy the author's portrayal of Curtis and Leilani who really were interesting young characters.

This author definitely loves dogs!
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