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Julie

la vernia, TX, United States
  • 24
  • reviews
  • 119
  • helpful votes
  • 102
  • ratings
  • Pandemic: Beginnings

  • The Pandemic Series, Book 1
  • By: Bobby Akart
  • Narrated by: John David Farrell, Kris Adams
  • Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 330
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 298
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 298

Terrorists kidnap and blackmail a young French scientist in Western Africa. The outbreak of an ancient disease kills everyone in a village located in a remote jungle of Guatemala. US government operatives uncover a secret biological laboratory in Trinidad. An isolated death at the hands of this killer virus is discovered in Greece. Is there a connection, or are these simply a string of coincidences?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If you liked "Hot Zone" you will love this!

  • By Bryon L on 08-03-17

Attention to detail makes the difference

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

Reviewed: 09-17-17

Such a tight story, but the lack of attention to detail prevents me from giving a overall 5 star rating. The writer's (and many reviewers on this site) constant use of "virus" for "infection" is like nails on a chalkboard. He clearly identifies pneumonic plague as a bacterial infection, but then writes "the plague virus" when other words such as infection, illness, or disease are correct. Neither the US Navy or USPHS wear "dress whites" for day-to-business. The correct term is "working whites" for both services. Metal rank devices (gold for LCDR and silver for CDR) are not worn on either the dress or working whites. Shoulder boards carry the gold stripes that identify the rank on the working whites, and sleeve stripes identify the rank on dress whites. Khaki uniforms are the ones where officers pin the metal rank devices on the collar. There are others, such as the terminal rank of Mac's mother, but I'll leave those alone. Despite these annoyances, this is a great story. I'm about to listen to book 2 albeit prepared for the "plague virus" references!

  • Happiness for Beginners

  • By: Katherine Center
  • Narrated by: Marguerite Gavin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 881
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 801
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 801

A year after getting divorced, Helen Carpenter, thirty-two, lets her annoying younger brother talk her into signing up for a wilderness survival course. It's supposed to be a chance for her to pull herself together again, but when she discovers that her brother's even more annoying best friend is also coming on the trip, she can't imagine how it will be anything other than a disaster. Thus begins the strangest adventure of Helen's well-behaved life.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Hard to get through.

  • By Dear_Abby on 07-04-16

Wasn't what I thought- it was even better

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

Reviewed: 08-10-16

I think I bought this off the daily deal thinking it would be tougher and more along the lines of a spiritual awakening. I went back and forth between giggling, eye rolling, irritation, and back again. At some points, I felt like I was listening to a millennial version of Cheryl Strayed's Lost (and I'm probably the only person on the planet that hated that book) and was irritated with the snarky Helen and all the too frequent use of "seriously??" for my tail end baby boomer liking. At times I wanted to smack Helen and say, "Get a clue, dummy," but the story had an easy going flow that didn't come across as an in-your-face tale of self-realization filled with meme worthy inspiring insights. I ended up really enjoying Helen's see-saw emotional moments, her self doubts, her cluelessness to the obvious, Jake's dogged determination to win her over, and Grandma Gigi's gentle way of clueing Helen in. I'm happy the book never digressed into pulp romance or awe-inspiring "let me change my life" platitudes. The healing of family, enduring love, and boundless hope are the themes that won me over.

  • Angela's Ashes

  • By: Frank McCourt, Jeannette Walls - introduction
  • Narrated by: Frank McCourt, Jeannette Walls - introduction
  • Length: 15 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,890
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,295
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,301

Why we think it’s a great listen: There’s no gentle way to put this – Frank McCourt’s performance of Angela’s Ashes is just better than the Pulitzer Prize-winning book. Frank McCourt shares his sometimes heartwarming, sometimes heartbreaking story of growing up poor, Irish, and Catholic in the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir Angela's Ashes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A classic book *and* a classic audiobook

  • By Karen on 01-30-03

Wonderful listen

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

Reviewed: 07-06-15

Charming, delightful, witty, sad, melodramatic, maudlin.... just not enough adjectives to encompass the range of emotions in this incredible memoir.

  • Finders Keepers

  • A Novel
  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 13 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,893
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 18,219
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,187

A masterful, intensely suspenseful novel about a reader whose obsession with a reclusive writer goes far too far - a book about the power of storytelling, starring the same trio of unlikely and winning heroes King introduced in Mr. Mercedes. "Wake up, genius." So begins King's instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn't published a book for decades.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars for Will Patton reading Stephen King

  • By PlantCrone on 06-21-16

Yes! The paranormal sets in!

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

Reviewed: 06-20-15

I'm enjoying this series with Det. Hodges. Will Patton is A+ with narration. Now I can't wait for the next installment with cuckoo Brady!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Baptism

  • A Vietnam Memoir
  • By: Larry Gwin
  • Narrated by: Todd McLaren
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 273
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 252
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 252

A Yale graduate who volunteered to serve his country, Larry Gwin was only 23 years old when he arrived in Vietnam in 1965. After a brief stint in the Delta, Gwin was reassigned to the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in An Khe. There, in the hotly contested Central Highlands, he served almost nine months as executive officer for Alpha Company, 2/7, fighting against crack NVA troops in some of the war's most horrific battles.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Captivating... True war stories are fascinating!

  • By Tami Fowler on 03-07-15

Narration not great, but fantastic story

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

Reviewed: 05-31-15

Rations as in nations, "0h" instead of zero with 24 time, and a few other odd way of saying things (T O C, instead of "toc" as in tick-toc) made this an annoying listen, but the story overcame those minor irks to make a great listen.

  • Secrets of the Lighthouse

  • By: Santa Montefiore
  • Narrated by: Susan Riddell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87

Ellen Trawton is running away from it all. She hates her job, she doesn't love the aristocratic man to whom she is engaged, and her relationship with her controlling mother is becoming increasingly strained. So Ellen leaves London, fleeing to her aunt's cottage in Connemara. Cutting ties with London society, Ellen gives in to Ireland's charm and warmth, thinking her future may lie where so much of her past has been hidden.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Secrets of the Lighthouse-not so secret

  • By Brenda Bass on 10-15-15

Wanted to give it 3

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

Reviewed: 05-07-15

This is the second Santa Montefiore book I've listened to, and although charming, just not as good as The Beekeeper's Daughter... until the epilogue! I was dropping chick flick tears on my commute home!

My only complaint was every now and again the narrator sounded like she had a head cold, which was a bit distracting.

  • Ordinary Grace

  • By: William Kent Krueger
  • Narrated by: Rich Orlow
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,841
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,324
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,325

Award-winning author William Kent Krueger has gained an immense fan base for his Cork O’Connor series. In Ordinary Grace, Krueger looks back to 1961 to tell the story of Frank Drum, a boy on the cusp of manhood. A typical 13-year-old with a strong, loving family, Frank is devastated when a tragedy forces him to face the unthinkable - and to take on a maturity beyond his years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Wonderful - In Every Way

  • By tooonce72 on 03-29-13

Nothing ordinary about this book

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

Reviewed: 04-14-15

I was so pleasantly surprised by this book. I thought it was more of a mystery, but it turned out to be a story of love, healing, and forgiveness.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Devil in the White City

  • Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
  • By: Erik Larson
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 14 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,227
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,706
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,737

In a thrilling narrative showcasing his gifts as storyteller and researcher, Erik Larson recounts the spellbinding tale of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Also available abridged.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Impossible to stop listening

  • By Michael on 05-26-12

Two parallel stories intersected by a fair

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

Reviewed: 04-12-15

Interesting and informative story that is really two stories in one. I doubt nothing I write hasn't already been captured in the numerous other reviews here, but unlike some of the mediocre or negative reviews, I found this book fun, captivating, creepy, and thoroughly enjoyable.

  • The Day of the Jackal

  • By: Frederick Forsyth
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,739
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,249
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,232

One of the most celebrated thrillers ever written, The Day of the Jackal is the electrifying story of an anonymous Englishman who in, the spring of 1963, was hired by Colonel Marc Rodin, operations chief of the O.A.S., to assassinate General de Gaulle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Quite a chase!

  • By Thomas Allen on 10-14-10

Really glad I never saw the movie!

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

Reviewed: 03-10-15

Thrilling up to the last sentence, and I'm glad I never saw the movie to spoil the ending! Now I'm wondering if the Jackal was British or not!

  • Dead Center

  • A Marine Sniper's Two-Year Odyssey in the Vietnam War
  • By: Ed Kugler
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 608
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 562
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 559

Raw, straightforward, and powerful, Ed Kugler's account of his two years as a Marine scout-sniper in Vietnam vividly captures his experiences there - the good, the bad, and the ugly. After enlisting in the Marines at 17, then being wounded in Santo Domingo during the Dominican crisis, Kugler arrived in Vietnam in early 1966. As a new sniper with the 4th Marines, Kugler picked up bush skills while attached to 3d Force Recon Company, and then joined the grunts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If not the best certainly tied for the best

  • By Rose Dawn Blanton on 08-04-15

Light years beyond the American Sniper book

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

Reviewed: 02-28-15

Only complaint was the constant reading of time as "oh" instead of "zero". That's it for negative comments.

The epilogue, written in 1999, pushes the button on continued failures to adopt "lessons learned" for the GWOT. This is a must read for anyone who wore the uniform and went into theater. No lessons in American Sniper, but this book is crammed full of them.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful