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Lauri Donahue

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  • Barrayar

  • A Vorkosigan Adventure
  • By: Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,390
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,818
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,817

In the wake of interplanetary war, former commander Cordelia Naismith has deserted her own planet to marry the leader of the defeated enemy, Aral Vorkosigan. On his home planet of Barrayar, two rival factions are eyeing the recently vacated throne, and Aral, recently appointed Regent of Barrayar by the Emperor on his deathbed, must stand between them. Lord and Lady Vorkosigan, Aral and Cordelia struggle to establish stability in a fragile government thrown into confusion by the transition of power.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lois Bujold always delivers!

  • By Karen S. Coyle on 02-04-10

Wonderful!

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

Reviewed: 11-15-18

This might be my favorite Vorkosigan book. It’s a delicious mix of humor, adventure, wit, and genuine emotion, with moments that made me tear up and whoop. The narration is sublimely matched to the text and a masterpiece in itself.

  • Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen

  • The Miles Vorkosigan Adventures, Book 17
  • By: Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,302
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,211
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,208

Future imperfect: Three years after her famous husband's death, Cordelia Vorkosigan, widowed vicereine of Sergyar, stands ready to spin her life in a new direction. Oliver Jole, admiral, Sergyar Fleet, finds himself caught up in her web of plans in ways he'd never imagined, bringing him to an unexpected crossroads in his life. Meanwhile, Miles Vorkosigan, one of Emperor Gregor's key investigators, this time dispatches himself on a mission of inquiry into a mystery he never anticipated - his own mother.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Back to Barrayar

  • By Don Gilbert on 02-04-16

A weaker entry in a wonderful series

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

This book is enjoyable, but lacks stakes and the usual larger plot. It’s more of a domestic dramedy in a science fiction setting.

  • The Way of Kings

  • The Stormlight Archive
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
  • Length: 45 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,114
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,992
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,989

According to mythology, mankind used to live in 'The Tranquiline Halls': heaven. But then the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms, but the Voidbringers followed. The Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, the Shardblades. Led by 10 angelic Heralds and 10 orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won (or so the legends say).

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-22-11

Dull

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

Reviewed: 08-24-18

This was recommended to me, and I listened to 7 chapters (out of 76) before I gave up on it.

I found it slow and dull and lacking drama, emotion, and humor.

The world-building felt annoyingly over-elaborate but trivial -- does it really matter that there are "sky eels" or whatever instead of birds?

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Just the Funny Parts

  • ...And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood Boys' Club
  • By: Nell Scovell
  • Narrated by: Amy Hohn
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 215
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 196
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 194

Just the Funny Parts is a juicy and scathingly funny insider look at how pop culture gets made. For more than 30 years, writer, producer, and director Nell Scovell worked behind the scenes of iconic TV shows, including The Simpsons, Late Night with David Letterman, Murphy Brown, NCIS, The Muppets, and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, which she created and executive produced. In 2009, Scovell gave up her behind-the-scenes status when the David Letterman sex scandal broke.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • First return

  • By Sara Kershaw on 08-06-18

Laughing, nodding, and cringing.

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

Reviewed: 04-13-18

An insider’s guide to the life of a Hollywood TV writer, with plenty of insights and LOL moments... as well as cringe-worthy instances of sexism in action. A cautionary tale... and an inspiration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Ruby in the Smoke

  • Book One
  • By: Philip Pullman
  • Narrated by: Anton Lesser
  • Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 818
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 419
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 418

In search of clues to the mystery of her father's death, 16-year-old Sally Lockhart ventures into the shadowy underworld of Victorian London. Pursued by villains at every turn, the intrepid Sally finally uncovers two dark mysteries, and realizes that she herself is the key to both.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Must Read For All Ages

  • By Bonita on 06-23-04

A riveting mystery/thriller series!

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

Reviewed: 03-01-18

I adore this series. It's so detailed and atmospheric. The characters are great. The stakes are high (and keep rising). It's thrilling and funny and smart and beautifully written and I just can't say enough good things about it. The narration is gorgeous. I just wish the 4th book in the series was available on Audible!

  • Big Magic

  • Creative Living Beyond Fear
  • By: Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Length: 5 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,099
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15,243
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,158

Readers and listeners of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert's books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Biggest Inspiration In a Long Time

  • By Gillian on 09-23-15

Really inspiring

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

Reviewed: 12-10-16

I'm not generally into "self help" or "inspirational" books but I really loved this one.

  • The Secrets of Story

  • Innovative Tools for Perfecting Your Fiction and Captivating Readers
  • By: Matt Bird
  • Narrated by: Eric Michael Summerer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 476
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 430
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 418

The Secrets of Story is a revolutionary and comprehensive writing guide for the 21st century, focused on clever ways to get an audience to fully identify with an all-too-human hero. Authors will learn to how to cut through pop culture noise and win over a jaded modern audience by rediscovering the heart of writing: shaping stories that ring true to our shared understanding of human nature.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I want this guy to be my editor

  • By Charley Dunn on 01-09-17

Probably better in print

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

Reviewed: 12-10-16

This is a pretty good book about screenwriting, and it's better-written than most. I also appreciate that the author has a sense of humor and isn't too full of himself.

However, since it's basically a "how to" book, it's more useful in print form. I gave up on the Audible version after 5 chapters.

23 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Venice

  • A New History
  • By: Professor Thomas F. Madden
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 16 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 341
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 306
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 301

An extraordinary chronicle of Venice, its people, and its grandeur Thomas Madden’s majestic, sprawling history of Venice is the first full portrait of the city in English in almost thirty years. Using long-buried archival material and a wealth of newly translated documents, Madden weaves a spellbinding story of a place and its people, tracing an arc from the city’s humble origins as a lagoon refuge to its apex as a vast maritime empire and Renaissance epicenter to its rebirth as a modern tourist hub.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely wonderful

  • By Lauri Donahue on 10-26-13

Absolutely wonderful

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

Reviewed: 10-26-13

I listened to this shortly after returning from my first visit to Venice.

It's a dramatic story, with vivid and memorable personalities. The writing is clear and elegant and overall fun to listen to. The people and the city come alive in all their colorful dimensions.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • A Brief History of Roman Britain

  • Brief Histories
  • By: Joan P. Alcock
  • Narrated by: Lisa Coleman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 31

In 55 B.C. Julius Caesar came, saw, conquered and then left. It was not until A.D. 43 that the Emperor Claudius crossed the channel and made Britain the western outpost of the Roman Empire that would span from the Scottish border to Persia. For the next 400 years the island would be transformed. Within that period would see the rise of Londinium, almost immediately burnt to the ground in A.D. 60 by Boudicca; Hadrian's Wall, which was constructed in A.D. 112 to keep the northern tribes at bay, as well as the birth of the Emperor Constantine in third century York.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Incredibly tedious

  • By Lauri Donahue on 10-26-13

Incredibly tedious

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

Reviewed: 10-26-13

What disappointed you about A Brief History of Roman Britain?

It's just an inventory of facts and figures, devoid of any drama or emotion. The people mentioned are simply names, devoid of personality.

What could Joan P. Alcock have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Focused less on checking off every item on her checklist and more on imbuing the story with interest.

What three words best describe Lisa Coleman’s performance?

Clear, sprightly, cheerful

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Boredom

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Jerusalem

  • The Biography
  • By: Simon Sebag Montefiore
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 25 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 530
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 480
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 482

Jerusalem is the universal city, the capital of two peoples, the shrine of three faiths; it is the prize of empires, the site of Judgement Day and the battlefield of today’s clash of civilizations. From King David to Barack Obama, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict, this is the epic history of three thousand years of faith, slaughter, fanaticism and coexistence. This is how Jerusalem became Jerusalem, and the only city that exists twice - in heaven and on earth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A vivid drama!

  • By Steven on 05-25-12

All the gory details

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

Reviewed: 10-01-13

Would you consider the audio edition of Jerusalem to be better than the print version?

It was an excellent performance, but it's easier to find a particular passage in a print edition.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Jerusalem?

The capture of the Kotel in the 1967 war was thrilling.

Any additional comments?

This was terrific fun, as well as being packed full of fascinating details and characters. I especially appreciated the insightful and contrasting quotes at the beginnings of the chapters and the trivia in the footnotes.