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Felicia J

Denver, Colorado
  • 45
  • reviews
  • 120
  • helpful votes
  • 45
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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet audiobook cover art
  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

  • Wayfarers, Book 1
  • By: Becky Chambers
  • Narrated by: Rachel Dulude
  • Length: 14 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 177
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 164
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 164

Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space - and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe - in this lighthearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best of humanity among the stars

  • By Felicia J on 07-06-19

The best of humanity among the stars

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

Reviewed: 07-06-19

Finally, a five-star read for 2019, and it’s outstanding! I’ve never read another book so positively humanistic and humane. Through a fully realized, fleshed-out universe, Becky Chambers explores human relationships, the meaning of family, the many difficulties and setbacks of simply existing in the world - and she always comes down on the side of people continuing to get better and to truly understand one another.

Despite the weighty themes, the story never becomes preachy. Fictional differences between the species populating her universe serve as effortless analogues for discussions in our real world - among them gender identities, acceptance of diversity and the human rights of autonomy and self-determination. Every member of the Wayfarer’s crew has hidden depths. The story focuses constantly on people striving to do their best and making meaningful connections in a vast, unfeeling universe.

Plus, she writes aliens and their cultures so well! There’s a treasure trove here for anyone who loves great world building. I hope she’ll write many more books set in this universe.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

Fool Moon audiobook cover art
  • Fool Moon

  • The Dresden Files, Book 2
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,555
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,371
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,317

Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is Chicago's only openly practicing wizard. He is also dead broke. His vast knowledge and magical skills are unfortunately matched by his talent for making powerful enemies and alienating friends. With little more than his integrity left, he accepts an offer of work from Lt. Karin Murphy of Chicago's Special Investigations Unit. He wants to redeem himself in Murphy's eyes and make enough money to quiet his rumbling stomach.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best books I've read in a long time!

  • By David Ziegler on 05-06-10

Werewolves everywhere!

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

Reviewed: 06-18-19

3.5 stars.

Another fun adventure in Dresden's wizardly Chicago, featuring a bewildering variety of werewolves. Honestly, the author jammed one too many werewolf packs into his plot; the story lost me at times. Still, this was another fun romp with an exciting ending.

Storm Front audiobook cover art
  • Storm Front

  • The Dresden Files, Book 1
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 8 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,984
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,001
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,954

A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt. Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters to vampires....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Decent story, AWFUL narrator

  • By Irena D. on 03-20-15

Flawed, but so much fun!

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

Reviewed: 06-04-19

The first of the Dresden Files is rough around the edges, but it's been awhile since I had so much fun listening to a book.

Jim Butcher serves up urban magic and mayhem with an appealing anti-hero protagonist, deftly balancing more serious moments with truly funny zingers. My favorite was a scene in which a love potion goes into effect at the worst possible moment.

Yes, the long breaths and lip smackings of the narrator (James Marsters) are annoying. This was obviously recorded in the days before Audible quality control. However, Marsters gets Harry's tone and attitude JUST RIGHT, so I had to forgive him (especially as word is that he greatly improves as the series goes on.)

If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O audiobook cover art
  • If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O

  • By: Sharyn McCrumb
  • Narrated by: Sally Darling
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48

Written in grease pencil on a tourist postcard, the lyrics are winsome and innocent. But for famous folk singer Peggy Muryan, who has moved recently to the rural community of Hamelin, Tennessee, they are a chilling reminder of a troubled moment in her past.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Another Narrator Issue

  • By Me & My Girls on 08-06-15

A thoughtfully written suspense novel

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

Reviewed: 05-21-19

"There's always a new dead girl to sing about. Always a dead girl."

3.5 stars

The characters and themes in this suspense novel were enough to keep me listening despite the weaknesses of plot. The killer was easy to guess and their motives not well-fleshed out. But the author skillfully populated her fictional Tennessee town with unique characters, using their regrets, resentments and petty revenge to explore compelling topics - casual sexism and mistreatment of women, the struggles of war veterans and the private, unsettling inner lives of ordinary people.

Sourdough audiobook cover art
  • Sourdough

  • A Novel
  • By: Robin Sloan
  • Narrated by: Therese Plummer
  • Length: 6 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,540
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,441
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,439

Lois Clary is a software engineer at General Dexterity, a San Francisco robotics company with world-changing ambitions. She codes all day and collapses at night, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the neighborhood hole-in-the-wall from which she orders dinner every evening. Then, disaster! Visa issues. The brothers close up shop, and fast. But they have one last delivery for Lois: their culture, the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. She must keep it alive, they tell her - feed it daily, play it music, and learn to bake with it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Delicious!

  • By Lylo on 11-13-17

Mostly tasty, with some odd flavors

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

Reviewed: 04-03-19

This book was ... quirky, with a few detours into sheer strangeness.

I liked many things about it, chief among them its depiction of food culture and of how good food nourishes, comforts and brings us closer together. I enjoyed its satirical look at technology and corporate America. Lois Clary, the protagonist, toils endlessly at a soul-sucking job, programming robots to eventually replace other workers at THEIR jobs. Her company expects its employees to perform more like robots than to relate to each other as people. Workers stay overnight at the office and subsist on slurry, a meal-replacement gel meant to make food obsolete. The contrast between the"new" fast-paced world of tech and the "old" of food and community were sharply drawn and enlivened by a wry wit.

At times, however, the foodie and tech elements sat uneasily together. As the story progressed, it got stranger and left me wondering where on earth it was all going. Answer: Into a '50s schlock horror film. (Or perhaps a parody of one.) I laughed at the funny lines and the sheer audaciousness of it all, but it seemed disconnected from what had gone before.

The story ended with a return to the original themes, which bumped the novel from a three- to four-star read for me.

The narration was strong, although I see from other reviews the reader mispronounced the names of several San Francisco locales. The novel had such a strong sense of place that I imagine that could easily spoil things for readers more familiar with the Bay Area. The story left me wanting to visit the city and to learn to bake my own sourdough bread.

Unmentionable audiobook cover art
  • Unmentionable

  • The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners
  • By: Therese Oneill
  • Narrated by: Betsy Foldes Meiman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 549
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 504
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 502

Have you ever wished you could live in an earlier, more romantic era? Ladies, welcome to the 19th century, where there's arsenic in your face cream, a pot of cold pee sits under your bed, and all of your underwear is crotchless. (Why? Shush, dear. A lady doesn't question.) Unmentionable is your hilarious, scandalously honest (yet never crass) guide to the secrets of Victorian womanhood.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I hope my review does this book justice.

  • By jb11 on 12-13-17

A social history told with tongue firmly in cheek

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

Reviewed: 01-03-19

A laugh-out-loud romp through some of the more horrifying customs and advice of the Victorian era. At times the author lays the snark on a bit too thick, but for most of the book her tone is pitch-perfect. If you go into it expecting a humorous look at the era's etiquette manuals and medical treatises, rather than expecting an exhaustive, academic survey, you should enjoy it.

I was particularly surprised to find the Victorians discussed birth control more frankly than I had imagined. I was not particularly surprised to hear menstrual advice not so different than that given by some of today's sexist medical professionals.

FREE: Ponzi Supernova audiobook cover art
  • FREE: Ponzi Supernova

  • By: Steve Fishman
  • Length: 2 hrs and 38 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,372
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,007
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,004

Free for a limited time. Ponzi Supernova is an original audio series that profiles Bernie Madoff, the Wall Street financier sent to prison for orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in history. The series, hosted by journalist Steve Fishman, includes hours of unheard conversations with Madoff behind bars, as well as interviews with law enforcement and the victims.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • wow the story is a deep one

  • By Josh on 04-19-17

Hide your money!

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

Reviewed: 12-16-18

Listening to this audio series will make you want to take your money out of the bank and stash it in a sock under your mattress.

The production tries too hard to be slick with cheesy effects, but overall it's a gripping listen. It's only partially about what Madoff had to say. The second half examines how the risk managers and regulators should have known something was off, but didn't want to upset the gravy train.

Everything Trump Touches Dies audiobook cover art
  • Everything Trump Touches Dies

  • By: Rick Wilson
  • Narrated by: Rick Wilson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,123
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,904
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,894

In Everything Trump Touches Dies, political campaign strategist and commentator Rick Wilson brings his darkly funny humor and biting analysis to the absurdity of American politics in the age of Trump. Wilson mercilessly exposes the damage Trump has done to the country, to the Republican Party he served for decades, and to the conservative movement that has abandoned its principles for the worst president in American history. No left-winger, Wilson is a lifelong conservative who delivers his withering critique of Trump from the right.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Great Listen (No Matter What Your Party Is)!

  • By Shyam on 09-02-18

Wildly entertaining, with one major blind spot

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

Reviewed: 08-30-18

Rick Wilson has a profane, wicked sense of humor that kept me laughing throughout this listen even as I lamented the daily outrages of life in Trump's America.

He had one major blind spot that annoyed me: A professed shock at finding out via Trump that so many Republican base voters are racist. Dude, you never heard of the Southern Strategy?

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Long Way Down audiobook cover art
  • Long Way Down

  • By: Jason Reynolds
  • Narrated by: Jason Reynolds
  • Length: 1 hr and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 828
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 766
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 764

A cannon. A strap. Or, you can call it a gun. That's what 15-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That's where Will's now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother's gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he's after. Or does he?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Real and Relevant!

  • By tarafarah7: Tara Brown on 11-05-17

Amazing!

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

Reviewed: 08-11-18

Wow. I would recommend pretty much everyone in America listen to this book. Especially suburban and rural folks open to a glimpse of the tragedies that are an everyday way of life for teens in the inner cities.

Will knows you NEVER break The Rules.
1. Don't cry. Ever.
2. Don't snitch to the cops.
3. Always get revenge.

So when Will's older brother is gunned down in the street, he does what he has to do. He takes his brother's gun from a broken dresser drawer and starts down the elevator from the 8th floor of his building.

The elevator stops at each floor, and a ghost gets on. All of them ghosts of people Will knew, all of them victims of gun violence.

They ask him questions. What if his shot misses? What if he kills the wrong person? What will happen to him afterward? Does he really have it in him to kill?

The story is written in narrative verse that flows effortlessly and is utterly captivating. Alone with ghosts, Will ponders how a community's rules and norms can become a prison, trapping people in a hopeless course of action with no way out.

The ending is pitch-perfect, welcoming a huge range of interpretations that each make the story's themes more profound.

This listen was outside my usual wheelhouse, but I gave it a try after hearing Audible editors praise it on the Audicted podcast. It made me want to seek out more works like it, stories that give me a window into the lives of people different from me, but struggling with the same basic questions.

'It's Not About the Sex' My Ass audiobook cover art
  • 'It's Not About the Sex' My Ass

  • By: Joanne Hanks, Steve Cuno
  • Narrated by: Kimberly Ellington
  • Length: 3 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 82
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 73
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 73

Get ready to laugh. Get ready to be outraged. And get ready to see polygamy as no one has ever revealed it before. Joanne tells their crazy story with humor and honesty. You'll share her angst over sharing her husband. You'll meet her "sister wives", a prophet calling himself a "celestial stud service" who seeks divine guidance on threesomes, and apostles who dress in weird robes to curse the White House. You'll fume at gut-wrenching tales of racism, sexual abuse, fraud, and manipulation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Serious Tale Told With Honesty, Wit & Humor

  • By Dennis Asbury on 07-01-15

A fun listen, but I wanted more substance

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

I enjoyed the snarky way the author told her story of joining a polygamist cult. "Can you believe these crazies?" she seemed to say with the benefit of hindsight. I found her voice appealing. However, I wished for more substance. I would have especially liked more insight into why she went along with joining the cult in the first place.