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Laura

EVERETT, WA, United States
  • 47
  • reviews
  • 158
  • helpful votes
  • 293
  • ratings
  • Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

  • Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking
  • By: Samin Nosrat
  • Narrated by: Samin Nosrat
  • Length: 5 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 252
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 221
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 216

A visionary new master class in cooking that distills decades of professional experience into just four simple elements, from the woman declared "America's next great cooking teacher" by Alice Waters.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • EXCELLENT, BUT...

  • By KJNuri on 01-23-18

Enlightening and entertaining at the same time

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

Reviewed: 08-22-18

This book was enlightening in a way that no other cookbook or autobiography has been. These fundamentals, things most chefs I assume learn in school, seem simple, and probably are to many people, but weren't for me. For example, my husband doesn't cook with salt. Growing up, his father had health issues and they cooked without salt and added it at the table for those able to have it. My husband has cooked this way forever! So, when he started cooking for me, and I insisted that adding salt at the table WAS NOT THE SAME!! :) He was not convinced. I would hover while he was preparing meal, asking, want me to season that? After reading this book, I know why salt applied at different times makes a difference in how the meal tastes. I can now explain why I like salt applied before cooking, and I even learned what a difference salting meats hours or a day in advance can make! I also learned that adding lemon juice can give a salt like taste to meals and I've used it in soups when I wanted to limit salt, like when I cooked for my grandmother who like my husband's father, couldn't have a lot of salt. It works!!

Besides the great cooking advice, the stories the author tells were very entertaining, I greatly enjoyed this book. I bought it in hardback as well I liked it so much.

  • What's Tarot Got to Do With It?: The Fool's Path to Enlightenment

  • By: Jim Larsen
  • Narrated by: Clay Lomakayu
  • Length: 5 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 25

The power of Tarot goes beyond simple "fortune telling". The true power of Tarot is in its ability to speak to us of ourselves as we truly are. Every archetype of tarot is a piece of the puzzle of who we are. To put this puzzle together is to see a complete picture of ourselves, both as individuals and as a species. Tarot offers a blueprint of our soul and a road map of our spiritual journey.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best tarot audiobook

  • By talita on 02-23-16

Fun, to the point, great narrator

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

Reviewed: 08-22-18

I enjoyed this audio book. It was succinct, fun, and the narrator was great. I appreciated the description of the elements with their descriptors, such as pentacles as creation and fire as passion. I identify fire with swords and air with wands, so this separation makes it very easy for me to correlate to. The journey through the cards was simply laid out and it made for an easy listen, not too much detail for me to lose track of while listening at work.

  • False Memory

  • By: Dean Koontz
  • Narrated by: Stephen Lang
  • Length: 21 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,525
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 899
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 899

It's a fear more paralyzing than falling. More terrifying than absolute darkness. More horrifying than anything you can imagine. It's the one fear you cannot escape, no matter where you run...no matter where you hide. It's the fear of yourself. It's real. It can happen to you. And facing it can be deadly.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Koontz did it again.......

  • By Dohna on 04-24-07

One of my favorite Koontz books

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

Reviewed: 02-13-17

This is one of my favorite Dean Koontz books. I don't are for his more recent, heavily shove-it-down-reader's-throat politicized themes with gun touting violent heroes of super human quality. I prefer the Koontz style in this book, carefully thought out, richly plotted, quirky, real seeming characters that have such interesting, real yet unusual relationships. I like it when Koontz keeps me guessing until the end, doesn't hit me over the head with obvious and blatant political themes that make me roll my eyes so hard my head hurts and I end up putting the book down for good.

False Memories is a great mystery, spooky and dreadful in its dark tension. As a reader, I just knew something horrible was going on, but I couldn't put my finger on what! The characters were so real and sympathetic I didn't want anything bad to happen to any of them, and I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation, unable to put it down, listening in the car, while doing housework, while cooking dinner. I was caught up in a detailed world, expertly crafted, the scenes, the rooms, the inner thoughts, the dog, all of it. The narrator did a perfect job, conveying emotion and suspense without being an over the top distraction. I could vividly see every scene, picture every character and I worried for what was going to happen. A really good listen. One of the best I've listened to as well as one of the best Koontz novels.

  • Remnant Population

  • By: Elizabeth Moon
  • Narrated by: Vanessa Hart
  • Length: 11 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 536
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 493
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 497

For forty years, Colony 3245.12 has been Ofelia’s home. On this planet far away in space and time from the world of her youth, she has lived and loved, weathered the death of her husband, raised her one surviving child, lovingly tended her garden, and grown placidly old. And it is here that she fully expects to finish out her days - until the shifting corporate fortunes of the Sims Bancorp Company dictates that Colony 3245.12 is to be disbanded, its residents shipped off, deep in cryo-sleep, to somewhere new and strange and not of their choosing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • THERE ARE NO BAD PARTS IN REMNANT POPULATION

  • By Nancy on 03-13-13

Overall, surprisingly well done

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

Reviewed: 02-13-17

I would listen to this audio book again. I found the character unusual and the story charming. Too many characters are the same it seems, with very similar story lines, lots of action, less thought and character development. In Remnant, I found the characters interesting, the culture created different and the character was well suited for the environment and culture. Too often, the main heroes of the story are rebels bent on change, when often, people aren't like that. It's refreshing to read about am older adult shaped by her circumstances responding to something unusual.

The author described the environment and people (or aliens) with few but very descriptive words. I don't like when books are so heavy on description that I'm wading through page up page or an hour in an audio book on descriptions of excruciating detail. I much prefer Moon's style, sparser on wordiness but creating rich worlds to envision.

The narrator does a great job, conveying emotion and tension without being over the top or distracting to the story. I would listen to other books by this narrator.

The only small negative reaction I had, was that at the initial alien encounter, I had difficulty believing the old woman would have simply had such a small reaction to encountering aliens. The colonists were mostly shielded from the native wildlife, she was alone for the first time in her life, and I just couldn't buy that she would have gotten over the encounter so quickly and just started treating them like ignorant children.

  • Blood Oath

  • By: Christopher Farnsworth
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 10 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,302
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,092
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,089

The ultimate secret. The ultimate agent. The President's vampire. Zach Barrows is an ambitious young White House staffer whose career takes an unexpected turn when he's partnered with Nathaniel Cade, a secret agent sworn to protect the President. But Cade is no ordinary civil servant.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fabulous summer read

  • By Carol on 06-24-10

An exciting, fun listen

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

Reviewed: 12-29-16

Would you listen to Blood Oath again? Why?

I would (and have) listen to this series again. I have bought it on Kindle and paperback as well. This is a fun, uncomplicated, exciting suspense story. I love the characters, the back story and the plot.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The ending was honestly rather predictable, but I enjoyed it all the same. It was rewarding and satisfied all plot threads.

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

Pinchot brings life and a voice to Cade that I don't get from reading the book alone. now, when I read the book, Cade has Pinchot's voice! He imparts a dry humor that isn't as obvious in the book that I very much like. I have to admit, this book it not well written. The writing style is immature and amateurish enough that if I had started out reading it, I would have stopped. Point of view changes in the middle of scenes, characters sometimes do and say childish things that make me cringe when I read them, but when read by Pinchot, it was easier to follow and gave what came across as immaturity and poor writing in print form that dry humor that I find appealing in Cade. The shifting points of view are easier to follow with a narrator who changes tone subtly to indicate different characters.

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

Unlike the second two books in this series, this book was easier to put down. Even with the excellent narrator, it was hard for me to get past the poor writing, strangely childish comments made by supposedly mature, experienced, capable people, the badly portrayed women and over exaggerated descriptions. However, I liked the characters, premise and story line enough that I kept going. I'm glad I did, because subsequent books are even better, well written, with less childish (though still sarcastic) characters and interesting, inventive plots. As I said, I own the series in three formats, my husband even loves these books, so even though I had some criticism, I still rate this audiobook at 4 stars overall. I encourage listeners who might have some of the same initial reactions that I had to give the story a chance, and definitely give the rest of the series a chance, because I've enjoyed these books more than most.

Any additional comments?

If this was a TV series, I would watch it. In fact, would someone please make this a TV series?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Handmaid's Tale

  • By: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: Claire Danes
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,308
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26,649
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26,645

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Top Pick for 2012

  • By Emily - Audible on 11-30-12

I wish I'd read this book sooner

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

Reviewed: 12-29-16

Would you listen to The Handmaid's Tale again? Why?

I would listen to this book again. The story was simply told but very complex. I found myself concentrating on one aspect of the story and thinking about it as I was listening, and at the same time, I realized there were other concepts I wasn't focused on or thinking about. I can see myself getting at couple listens out of this book there is so much in it to think about.

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

This book didn't make me laugh or cry, but it did give me foreboding chills. I have never read this book before, and a few commenters on news articles I read about recent political developments and actions around the country kept saying that the previously seemingly extreme plot of this book seemed more possible. I was curious and wanted to find out if that was true. I'd heard a lot about this book and wanted to see for myself how dystopian it was and whether or not it seemed more possible now. I have to admit, after reading the book, the seeds that started the plot in this book I can see in current happenings and that did give me chills. I still think the book it extreme in it's premise, extreme to make a point and issue a warning of how easily rights can be taken away and that there are more than a few in this world who would like to take those rights away. While I think A Handmaiden's Tale is still an extreme representation, I know it seems closer to really happening now that it would have if I'd read it a year ago.

Any additional comments?

The narrator did very well. She conveyed nuance and emotions in a simple, sparely worded story, when often all there was to go on was brief descriptions and spoken words without tone descriptors, the narrator communicated the inflection perfectly to the story!

  • Cold Fire

  • By: Dean Koontz
  • Narrated by: Carol Cowan, Michael Hanson
  • Length: 14 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 849
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 574
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 580

Reporter Holly Thorne is intrigued by Jim Ironheart, who has saved 12 lives in the past three months. Holly wants to know what kind of power drives him, why terrifying visions of a churning windmill haunt his dreams, and just what he means when he whispers in his sleep that an enemy who will kill everyone is coming.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • A real disappointment

  • By Malia Nash on 11-11-11

Not as good as previous works

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

Reviewed: 11-15-16

Would you try another book from Dean Koontz and/or Carol Cowan and Michael Hanson ?

I have read other books by Dean Koontz and might read another but more and more I find his books to be rather ridiculous. The narrators both did a great job and I would listen to them both again.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Maybe the new John Sandford Prey book.

Which scene was your favorite?

I liked the way Koontz wrote and described the initial scene with the main hero in the supermarket, when he had his first "fit" of the book. The descriptions of the sun on the cars in the parking lots, how he felt, what he thought, the description of his travelling to Portland were very well done and gave me such high hopes for the rest of the book.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Maybe. If they did a better job with the character depictions.

Any additional comments?

I really wanted to like this book. But, as with so many of Dean Koontz's more recent books, I found his character depictions over the top caricatures. His bad guys were tattoos, earringed, long haired, psychopaths who murder husbands and fathers and abduct innocent, helpless women and children, and his hero was a divinely anointed John Wayne super hero. The cardboard bad guys straight out of a bad 80's B-movie got to be too much and the unrealistic car chases and gun battles on the side of roads had be rolling my eyes by 1/4 of the way through. None of the characters were believable or likable and the story line was so unrealistic as to be ridiculous. I enjoyed his book Watchers and the first couple Odd Thomas books, but more and more his books are like this one and I have no interest in pursuing them.

  • The Way of Kings

  • Book One of The Stormlight Archive
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
  • Length: 45 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 52,573
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 47,568
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 47,570

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow - 45 hours long and leaves you wanting more!

  • By Lore on 03-31-12

Monotone narrator and VERY detailed writing

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

Reviewed: 04-08-16

Would you listen to The Way of Kings again? Why?

Maybe. I don't know. It was ok. The story was interseting. The world was unique and kept my attention. BUT, and this is a big but, the writing style was almost painful to listen to at times. I've tried so many times to read and/or listen to this book, for literally years, and it's very difficult. The writer describes EVERYTHING in such minute detail that at times a simple scene takes FOREVER! Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, is described in so many ways and so many words, every step, every move, every sword slash, every thought, all take an entire paragraph. I would recommend reading through this rather than listening. I for one can read much faster than I can listen to an audio book, and reading allows me to skim sometimes when the sheer description is tiring. If you like The Wheel of Time series (another series that took me SOOOOO long to get through because of the page and pages of only description) then you'll probably like this series as well. I think this author is the same one who finished out that series anyway, so they are the same style.

I think this explains the narrater's monotone while reading this book. Its probably hard to create inflection when there are paragraphs upon paragraphs of description. Yeah, the narrater read most of this in an annoying monotone.

Who was your favorite character and why?

None of them. They all kind of blend together. They all seemed the same. I didn't feel there was much characterization or difference between the characters. Disappointing. This was probably my biggest critisism.

What aspect of Kate Reading and Michael Kramer ’s performance would you have changed?

More inflection. The monotone reading style made the high amount of descriptions harder to get through.

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

Not really. Due to the writing style and the monotone reading style, the whole book just sort of blended together.

Any additional comments?

If you like The Wheel of Time series, you'll probably like this. If you're trying to decide to read or listen to the audiobook, I recommend reading it.

I can see why most people give this book such high ratings. It's creative and unusual with a well developed and facinating world and culture, but at the same time, I was just bored to death by all the descriptions. It really ruined the pace and suspence of action and figh scenes for me, making them drag on and on. I like more tightly written books such as those by C.J. Cherryh and John Sandford where the fast pace and character development keep me engaged. Guess I don't find pages upon pages of detailed descriptions engrossing.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Skeleton Crew

  • Selections
  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Stephen King, Frances Sternhagen, Matthew Broderick, and others
  • Length: 5 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 80
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74

Four complete and unabridged selections from the electrifying bestseller read by a stellar group of narrators. "The Raft" is the unforgettable tale of an idyllic autumn swim suddenly transformed into an ordeal of unbridled horror. "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut" is a story in which a middle-aged woman in a Mercedes roadster finds a terrifying pathway to paradise. "The Monkey"—is it merely a child's wind-up toy, or an incarnation of the purest evil? "Gramma" is the story of a little boy left in charge of his sick grandmother, who's dying to give him a hug.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Book does not inlcude all stories listed

  • By Laura on 01-06-16

Book does not inlcude all stories listed

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

Reviewed: 01-06-16

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I would correct the description of book to inlcude only those stories actually in this audio offering. I bought this specifically for "The Mist" one of my favorite King stories only to find it was not included. There are only 4 included:

"The Raft" is the unforgettable tale of an idyllic autumn swim suddenly transformed into an ordeal of unbridled horror. Read by Stephen King.

"Mrs. Todd's Shortcut" is a story in which a middle-aged woman in a Mercedes roadster finds a terrifying pathway to paradise. Read by Dana Ivey.

"The Monkey" is it merely a child's wind-up toy, or an incarnation of the purest evil? Read by Matthew Broderick.

"Gramma" is the story of a little boy left in charge of his sick grandmother, who's dying to give him a hug. Read by Frances Sternhagen.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

All the narrators were very good. I liked every one of them. Inflection, dialogue, emphasis, all were executed perfectly. Well done.

Any additional comments?

I was excited to listen to The Mist and was very disappointed that it wasn't as advertised. The amazon product page has the correct "selections" listed, so why doens't the audible page? Misleading and deceptive. Please fix.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • The Cabinet of Curiosities

  • A Novel
  • By: Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Marosz
  • Length: 17 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,871
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,606
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,605

In an ancient tunnel underneath New York City a charnel house is discovered. Inside are 36 bodies all murdered and mutilated more than a century ago. While FBI agent Pendergast investigates the old crimes, identical killings start to terrorize the city. The nightmare has begun. Again.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • DrBB

  • By Lois on 01-26-13

Why so many negative reviews?

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

Reviewed: 08-08-14

What did you like best about this story?

I've listened to the first two books, and have grown to enjoy the characters, the strange yet somehow familiar and facinating settings and plot lines. This story in particular, was an unexpected history lesson in the strange and the facinating.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scene was set in the book's past, envoked by a letter written by an owner of a curiosity cabinet in 1870 (I think it was), the horror, the vivid descriptions, the tangible suspence, and the morbid facination was riviting.

And, I rather enjoyed all of Pendergast's manners and the ease with which he manipulates and deflates the arrogant poeple who get in his way. It never failed to be satisfying.

Any additional comments?

I missed the characters from the first two books. Pendergast and Smithback was kind of a more minor character in the first two, but they are the only two left in this book in addition to a new female scientist character that while interesting and likable was new and not what I expected. I miss the main characters I had grown rather attached to from the first two books.

In addition, the narrator does a great job. I read some pretty terrible reviews, and almost didn't buy this audio book. I must have the same narrator, but I kept thinking that couldn't be so, because I quite enjoyed his reading. Some complained of an uplift in tone (as if asking a question) at the end of sentences that weren't actually questions. I anticipated this, waited to be annoyed by this verbal affect, but honestly, I didn't notice the narrator doing this AT ALL. Unless, of course, he really was reading a question. There were a few, very few, technical mistakes where a sentence was repeated twice in a row, but it was only a few seconds, and happened so infrequently, it didn't in the least take away from the overall story. I am rather baffled by those reviewers who professed that these things completely ruined the book for them, because it was really no big deal at all for me.

I know a change in narrator can be irritating. I felt the same way when a book in Butcher's Dresden Files series was narrated by a different person, and it completely ruined the book for me. So, if you've listened to any of the other books in this series, I would recommend to listen to the sample first. But I encourage you to give this book a chance. I almost didn't and I'm glad I did. I would have missed out on something great if I had passed it by.