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Michelle Hammond

  • 13
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 87
  • ratings
  • For We Are Many

  • Bobiverse, Book 2
  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 43,308
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 40,565
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,448

Bob Johansson didn't believe in an afterlife, so waking up after being killed in a car accident was a shock. To add to the surprise, he is now a sentient computer and the controlling intelligence for a Von Neumann probe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Denis E.Taylor Sets A New Standard For Sci-Fi

  • By Devin on 04-18-17

Setup for Book 3

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

Reviewed: 12-14-18

I got this book as a daily deal as I had only just begun Book 1 and hadn't yet become so annoyed by it, so I thought I might as well listen to them both back to back anyway.
While this book ends without as much of a cliffhanger/lack of closure as Book 1, there are still alot of loose ends in place to try to get you to buy Book 3. This story continues the tale of the Bobs and the Deltans, the Others, and introduces a love interest for Howard and a new first contact race, the Pavs. While all of these storylines are developed in this book, none of them are brought to a conclusion. I found this book slow going at the start but enjoyed it at the end. However, I'm still annoyed that the only children in this story that ever show any intelligence or curiosity are boys, and I get it, Bob, you hate Diana and wish she would die--you don't have to keep saying it.

  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

  • Bobiverse, Book 1
  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63,705
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 59,779
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59,659

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ignore the Publisher's Summary! This is Amazing!

  • By PW on 04-12-17

No Girls Allowed

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

I love space opera and hard SF. All the reviews for this series were raves and indeed, the story started off fun, funny, and interesting, just the sort of thing I like. But it didn't take too long to notice a trend. In these books, only men/males have any sort of intelligence, and are the only real characters. Women are cardboard cutouts for either loving or hating, and are never smart, with the only possible exception being the tiny role of Representative Sharma. Even promising youngsters are always boys. As a result, I felt as though this series had been written specifically for guys, to the exclusion of SF lovers like me. People might say I am overly sensitive and this is not the point of the story, but how would all the reviews read it if had been the other way around?

  • Stephen Fry’s Victorian Secrets

  • An Audible Original
  • By: John Woolf, Nick Baker
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,555
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,936
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,906

On the surface, the Victorian age is one of propriety, industry, prudishness and piety. But scratch the surface and you’ll find scandal, sadism, sex, madness, malice and murder. Presented by Stephen Fry, this series delves deep into a period of time we think we know, to discover an altogether darker reality. The stories we’re told offer a different perspective on an era which underwent massive social change. As education, trade, technology and culture blossomed, why was there an undercurrent of the ‘forbidden’ festering beneath Victorian society? 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating content with noisy background sound

  • By Wayne on 11-12-18

Love Stephen Fry!

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

Reviewed: 11-15-18

Highly entertaining stories of Victorian secrets told by a great cast and narrated by the fantastic Stephen Fry. Much funnier than I thought it would be!

  • Dead Wake

  • The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
  • By: Erik Larson
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,993
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,969
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,953

On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Naivety VS Barbarians Of War

  • By Sara on 03-05-16

Great historical detail but reads like a novel

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

Reviewed: 11-06-18

Absolutely fascinating history of the Lusitania and her passengers, but even more interesting were all the details about U-boats, things I never knew, like their fragility, the generally low success rate of their torpedoes, etc. This book was a page-turner and I never lost interest in the story, which read almost like a novel.

  • Lab Girl

  • By: Hope Jahren
  • Narrated by: Hope Jahren
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,455
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,272
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,266

Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she's studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book might have been a revelatory treatise on plant life. Lab Girl is that, but it is also so much more. Because in it, Jahren also shares with us her inspiring life story, in prose that takes your breath away.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A paradigm-shifting perspective on plant life

  • By Elizabeth on 05-20-16

Pure poetry

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

Reviewed: 09-19-18

A good mix of memoir and science content, though heavier on the memoir. Jahren's writing is nothing less than poetry. I thought she was a good choice for narrator, though the way she pronounces "root" like "ruht" was a little jarring, as often as the word comes up. But that is a trifling complaint for as much as I loved this book and Jahren's delivery of it.

  • Behind the Wheel - Italian 1

  • By: Macmillan Audio, Mark Frobose
  • Narrated by: Mark Frobose
  • Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9

Behind the Wheel - Italian 1 covers beginner to intermediate level Italian, providing a flexible, solid, and universal foundation in speaking, understanding, and creatively expressing yourself in Italian.

The program features an English speaking instructor to guide you through the lessons and a native Italian speaker to aid with your pronunciation. Includes a companion book to reinforce and enhance the audio experience.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not possible behind the wheel

  • By Michelle Hammond on 08-07-18

Not possible behind the wheel

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

Reviewed: 08-07-18

This recording contains many useful Italian words and phrases, but rather than teaching you how to say them, Mark Frobose and his native speaker simply give them to you in long laundry lists, allowing you no time to assimilate anything. Mark keeps barking, "Remember to repeat, people!" and comes off as vaguely condescending. It's a shame, because the words and phrases contained in this audiobook were some of the most potentially useful I might have learned. Since I can only listen in the car, I thought this audiobook would be perfect, but be prepared instead to pause and rewind far more than I find safe behind the wheel.

  • Collins Italian with Paul Noble - Learn Italian the Natural Way, Part 1

  • By: Paul Noble
  • Narrated by: Paul Noble
  • Length: 4 hrs and 24 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 424
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 352
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 321

Collins Italian with Paul Noble combines an exciting, new non-traditional approach to language learning with the easy, relaxed appeal of an audio-only product.No books. No rote memorisation. No chance of failure.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible

  • By Mike on 07-17-18

The BEST language learning audio series

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

Reviewed: 02-20-18

One month ago, I bought Pimsleur Italian Level 1, Lessons 1-5 and 6-10; Innovative Language Learning's "Italian Survival Phrases"; and this, Collins Italian with Paul Noble, Part 1. While all had pros and cons, Collins Italian with Paul Noble was BY FAR the best of the lot. I felt I had a much better grasp of the language, more words to work with, and more confidence overall after listening to this audiobook just one time.
I listened to the Pimsleur audiobooks first. The native speakers talk very fast, much faster than the Collins speaker, but I like how they broke down the words and phrases from end to beginning. However, they give you almost no time to reply before the native speaker cuts in with the correct response. I had to listen to each lesson twice before I "got" it. "Italian Survival Phrases" was the same way. This makes it nearly impossible to learn in the car. That's the only time I have! Also, after starting Collins, I learned that Pimsleur had started me out wrong, teaching phrases with the pronoun for emphasis before telling me that people don't really do that, basically setting in place the habit for incorrectly adding emphasis in everyday speech before saying, no, never mind, don't do that. Collins teaches you in the opposite way— here's how Italians actually talk, and if you need extra emphasis, add the pronoun.
In addition, Collins, in teaching about the Latin roots of common English words, reveals that native English speakers essentially already know thousands of Italian words-- any word that ends with -TION or -IC or -ICAL, for example. This blew my mind. By simply changing the ending of these words, I already know the pronunciation and meaning of thousands of Italian words, and I just started learning Italian a month ago! This gave me a huge amount of confidence that I can actually learn a language that seemed impossibly daunting before.
"Italian Survival Phrases" did have great Italian survival phrases, without question. But the whole thing went so fast that I felt this was not made for a beginner listening to their first Italian phrasebook. Also, the musical cue that it was time to repeat what the speaker had taught got very annoying, very fast, and was completely unnecessary.
One final and maybe minor nitpick about Pimsleur: As soon as they teach you how to say, "I would like to drink something," they teach you how to say "wine" and "beer," but no other Italian words for beverages. Much of the second audiobook revolves around ordering wine and beer or asking someone to drink wine or beer with you. Since my husband and I don't drink alcohol, this was not at all helpful. Why would I want to learn words that will have no impact on my travel? Collins Italian with Paul Noble taught the word for "coffee." Humorously enough, I don't drink coffee either, but at least Paul Noble taught enough other words that the entire audiobook did not seem to dwell on this one concept, of ordering coffee.
Only Collins Italian with Paul Noble, Part 1 taught me much of what I needed to know and gave me the confidence to speak Italian right away. This is without a doubt the best language learning audio series out there -- highly recommended and worth every penny. I will definitely be continuing with the other books in the series

5 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Pimsleur Italian Level 1 Lessons 1-5

  • Learn to Speak and Understand Italian with Pimsleur Language Programs
  • By: Pimsleur
  • Narrated by: Pimsleur
  • Length: 2 hrs and 38 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 624
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 486
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 428

Each lesson of Italian Level 1 Lessons 1-5provides 30 minutes of spoken language practice, with an introductory conversation and new vocabulary and structures. Detailed instructions enable you to understand and participate in the conversation.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Overpriced part of a complete Italian course

  • By Mike Spencer on 02-06-18

Better than high school language class for certain!

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

Reviewed: 02-07-18

This was a decent introduction to Italian. Although not terribly expensive, I still wish there were more than five little lessons in this single audiobook. I will say that each lesson was the exact length of my 35-minute daily commute, so that worked out perfectly! (Not sure that was planned though, haha.) I had to listen to each lesson exactly twice before I felt comfortable enough to move to the next lesson, so this book lasted me five days, six if you count the day I listened to the intro. Each lesson was a manageable amount of information to learn, as long as I went through it twice. My only real gripe with the format is that I felt there was not always enough time for me to respond before the native speakers cut in with their replies. This sometimes left me frustrated, because I knew what I wanted to say but couldn't get the whole thing out by the time the native speakers began their replies, which meant I couldn't hear what they were saying, and my own response (correct or not) was cut off, and sometimes I gave up my reply altogether. I know part of this method is not to learn by rote but by reflex, but this was still frustrating. I also felt that sometimes a ridiculous amount of time was spent on stupid things (the difference between Americano and Americana, for example), while much more complex phrases were given relatively short shrift, and I wish those would have been broken down in the same way, word by word or sound by sound. However, overall, I feel as though I know vastly more Italian now than I did before listening to this single audiobook, and I think I'm more likely to retain it, too. I wish my high school language classes had been taught this way!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Sun of Suns

  • Book One of Virga
  • By: Karl Schroeder
  • Narrated by: Joyce Irvine
  • Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 123
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 80
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 77

It is the distant future. The world known as Virga is a fullerene balloon 3,000 kilometers in diameter, filled with air, water, and aimlessly floating chunks of rock. The humans who live in this vast environment must build their own fusion suns and "towns" that are in the shape of enormous wood and rope wheels that are spun for gravity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By Eivind on 03-04-10

Space pirates!

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

Reviewed: 01-31-18

This story was incredibly unique and a great yarn. I loved the steampunk feel and yet the fact that it was not really true steampunk at all. In some ways it felt like a combination of fantasy and science fiction. The characters were relatable. The only real flaw was that the big villain, Falcon Formation, is completely faceless and evil and you learn nothing at all about them. It is a completely one-dimensional cardboard cutout held up for all the characters to unite and fight against. But other than that one complaint, I absolutely loved this book and every quirky thing about it.

The narrator is exceptional and may be the best female reader of male voices I've ever heard. In short, I highly recommend this audiobook!

  • Presence

  • Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges
  • By: Amy Cuddy
  • Narrated by: Amy Cuddy
  • Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,772
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,070
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,033

Brilliantly researched, impassioned, and accessible, Presence is filled with stories of individuals who learned how to flourish during the stressful moments that once terrified them. Every listener will learn how to approach their biggest challenges with confidence instead of dread, and to leave them with satisfaction instead of regret.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Watch the TED Talk

  • By A. Yoshida on 07-10-16

Outstanding

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

Reviewed: 01-06-18

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Although it is based in part upon Amy Cuddy's famous Ted Talk, as other reviewers have stated, it expands upon that talk so much and with so many other important details that just watching the Ted Talk does not even begin to cover all the topics that this book does. I found that this book ties in closely with many of the topics we covered in a leadership workshop in which I participated at work, which I found interesting. The ideas of powerlessness and empowerment and how those manifest themselves in leadership were fascinating. Best is that Cuddy gives you the tools to become more powerful in every aspect of daily life, and the research that backs up the simple steps to get you there. This book made such an impact on me that I immediately bought the hardback for a friend. This is absolutely worth the listen.