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Amanda

Saint Louis, MO, United States
  • 13
  • reviews
  • 30
  • helpful votes
  • 94
  • ratings
  • Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Ramon De Ocampo
  • Length: 6 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,215
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,946
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,956

The author of the Mistborn trilogy and Elantris, Brandon Sanderson is winning abundant praise for this rollicking - and unusual - tale. Alcatraz Smedry can’t exactly be described as someone who doesn’t break things. In fact, he breaks lots of things. The truth is, he’s a major klutz. Breaking things, however, might just be the ace in the hole he needs when he goes up against a cabal of nefarious (gasp!) librarians.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Highly Entertaining + Great Narration

  • By JARED on 08-19-12

Series ending is a nasty trick on young readers.

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

Reviewed: 01-02-18

What disappointed you about Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians?

My son is reading this book and I'm taking it away because the series end is awful.

What could Brandon Sanderson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

End of last book could turn young readers off of reading forever. Maby just don't have a child kill his dad by choosing for him to be a human sacrafice. It doesn't fit with the limitations on violent outcomes for the rest of the series. You jumped from people getting shot with "coma guns" that people could wake up from unharmed to the protagonist choosing for his dad to become a human sacrafice in his place and dying. That's not a clever trick to play on young readers.

What about Ramon De Ocampo’s performance did you like?

The reader was great.

What character would you cut from Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians?

I'd cut the author after seeing how the series ends.

Any additional comments?

Hey Brandon Sanderson, what were you thinking?

  • The Dark Talent

  • Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Ramon de Ocampo
  • Length: 5 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,017
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 948
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 949

Alcatraz Smedry doesn't seem destined for anything but disaster. On his 13th birthday, he receives a bag of sand, which is quickly stolen by the cult of evil Librarians plotting to take over the world. The sand will give the Librarians the edge they need to achieve world domination. Alcatraz must stop them...by infiltrating the local library, armed with nothing but eyeglasses and a talent for klutziness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Listen to the end!

  • By avery on 09-09-16

The ending is a terrible trick to play on young readers.

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

Reviewed: 01-01-18

Seriously, the ending is enough to turn your kids off reading for life. Even after a long list of the author thanking everyone the less than two minutes saying the story will be continued is insufficient recompense for the ending.
My nine year old son loves reading and I’d like to keep it that way. He’s on book one and I’m canceling the series before he gets any deeper into it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Stranger in a Strange Land

  • By: Robert A. Heinlein
  • Narrated by: Christopher Hurt
  • Length: 16 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,224
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,409
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,442

Stranger in a Strange Land tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, an earthling born and educated on Mars, who arrives on Earth with superhuman powers and a total ignorance of the mores of man. Smith is destined to become a freak, a media commodity, a scam artist, a searcher, and finally, a messiah.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • We live in the world this book made

  • By W. Seligman on 02-26-04

All Sexisim and Preaching

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

Reviewed: 11-28-16

What would have made Stranger in a Strange Land better?

Cutting out all the "Good Girl" and "I ought to paddle you" comments made to the "girls" (because there are only men, girls and Martians) and the redundant sermons would give us an abridged version about 4 hours long.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Either Howl's Moving Castle, Breakfast of Champions or Hercule Poirot's Christmas, since I bought them all last night on a sale.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator wasn't bad exactly, it might not be possible to make this book sound like it isn't droning on forever.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I liked the other four Heinlein books I've read much better, but I'll take a long break before trying another one. I could deal with the sexism in Double Star much more easily, for example. It wasn't crammed down my throat like it is in this one and I could see it as a creation of the time in which it was written. Something of value might float up in my consciousness after I get over the time sucking waste of trying to dial into this book.

Any additional comments?

If you feel like you can't just walk away after a few hours of trying to get into this book, just skim over the Cliff Notes and save yourself the effort of trying to stay interested.

  • The Accidental Alchemist

  • By: Gigi Pandian
  • Narrated by: Julia Motyka
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,044
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,746
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,725

Unpacking her belongings in her new hometown of Portland, Oregon, herbalist and reformed alchemist Zoe Faust can't help but notice she's picked up a stowaway. Dorian Robert-Houdin is a living, breathing three-and-half-foot gargoyle - not to mention a master of French cuisine - and he needs Zoe's expertise to decipher a centuries-old text. Zoe, who's trying to put her old life behind her, isn't so sure she wants to reopen her alchemical past... until the dead man on her porch leaves her no choice.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Seriously?

  • By James on 10-04-15

I've read worse. OMG we get it you're vegan!!

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

Reviewed: 07-14-16

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Edit please! I feel that the inconsistencies between what the characters are supposed to be and what they are could have been fixed with a LOT of work, but it would have saved the book.Why was Zoe repeatedly startled at the predictable appearance of a character in their regular hang out?Spend more time thinking about believable word choice and less time convincing me that flax seed is a substitute for egg in a soufflé.

Would you be willing to try another book from Gigi Pandian? Why or why not?

Probably...if it was on sale for $3.95 or less. There aren't enough fantasy tinged, whimsical murder mysteries in the world for me, so I'd try another, but not for full price.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The emotional range of the narrator was akin to the many faces of Chuck Norris. The narration was fine, but wasn't about to change.

Was The Accidental Alchemist worth the listening time?

Depends.If you're a vegan and love modern fantasy mysteries, then listen to it twice. I liked the gargoyle.Also, if you listen to several books a week and don't mind comparing and contrasting what makes one audio book great and why another falls short.
I just wouldn't make this the only book I read all week.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • The 10X Rule

  • The Only Difference Between Success and Failure
  • By: Grant Cardone
  • Narrated by: Grant Cardone
  • Length: 7 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,835
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,470
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,326

Extreme success, by definition, lies beyond the realm of normal action. If you want to achieve extreme success, you can’t operate like everybody else and settle for mediocrity. You need to remove luck and chance from your business equation, and lock in massive success. The 10X Rule shows you how!

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Book summed up in two words: do more

  • By Moohigh on 11-06-18

Amature and repetative.

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

Reviewed: 11-02-15

What would have made The 10X Rule better?

A different author and narrator.

What could Grant Cardone have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Worked harder at writing a good book

What didn’t you like about Grant Cardone’s performance?

Mispronounced words. I'm sure someone along the line mentioned this in production. I feel like he must have ignored good advice.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The 10X Rule?

I only listened to the first 45 minutes of it, so I could only honestly say, "cut the first 45 minutes." I'd be guessing on anything past that point.

Any additional comments?

There's some really good fodder here for a stand-up comic. Or for a comedian who is creating a clueless motivational speaker character.

  • The Land of Painted Caves

  • Earth's Children, Book 6
  • By: Jean M. Auel
  • Narrated by: Sandra Burr
  • Length: 34 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,189
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,487
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,499

Ayla, one of the most remarkable and beloved heroines in contemporary fiction, continues to explore the world and the people around her with curiosity, insight, and, above all, courage. As the story opens, Ayla, Jondalar, and their infant daughter, Jonayla, are living with the Zelandonii in the Ninth Cave - a shelter of stone. Ayla has been chosen as an acolyte and has embarked on the arduous task of training to become a spiritual leader.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • A Sad Disappointment

  • By Fern on 04-23-11

A Historical Travel Guide, not Historical Novel.

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

Reviewed: 08-06-15

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone who has already visited all of these caves and read book 5 at least several years earlier.

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

Impatience (I had to re-read many long sections re-telling parts of prior books)

Any additional comments?

If 5 or 10 years had passed since I finished the last book, the long sections lifted from earlier books would not bother me as much.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Frog and Toad Audio Collection

  • By: Arnold Lobel
  • Narrated by: Arnold Lobel
  • Length: 1 hr and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 509
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 349
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 345

Frog and Toad, those famous pals, are beloved by generations of children. Their every adventure is filled with the magic of true friendship, whether they're telling ghost stories, searching for a lost button, or eating too many cookies. This captivating audio collection features all four of the Frog and Toad books, read with humor and charm by award-winning author Arnold Lobel.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Story read by author!

  • By Soni on 02-13-12

Best ever reading for young readers

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

Reviewed: 02-02-15

The score is Peter and the Wolf good. Arnold loebel did such a great job breathing life into his stories with the reading.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A First-Rate Madness

  • Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness
  • By: Nassir Ghaemi
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 555
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 491
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 481

Here, Nassir Ghaemi draws from the careers and personal plights of such notable leaders as Lincoln, Churchill, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., JFK, and others from the past two centuries to build an argument at once controversial and compelling: the very qualities that mark those with mood disorders—realism, empathy, resilience, and creativity—also make for the best leaders in times of crisis.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A First Rate Journey Into Resilience

  • By Pearl Glacier on 02-19-13

An excellent insite on leadership and neurology

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

Reviewed: 05-02-12

What made the experience of listening to A First-Rate Madness the most enjoyable?

The thesis is so well developed, the gifts which accompany depression and mania create the best crisis leaders. I feel I better understand leaders like Sherman, FDR, Lincoln, JFK and the business leadership of Ted Turner.

Warning---SPOILER ALERT---Don't look down if you haven't read the book yet.

What did you like best about this story?

The contrast between JFK when he was poorly medicated and well medicated. I've often read about the difference between his early and late presidency in terms of critical decision making, but never with such insight.

I really want to follow up with a book on Churchill.

Which scene was your favorite?

I can't say it was exactly my favorite, but I am glad that I know Hitler was taking intravenous methamphetamine five times a day for the last four years of his life. I feel like I better understand how horrific results follow an evil mind wielding limitless power when it is clinically sick and made even worse through severe drug addiction.

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

I got choked up at the march on Washington. Looking at the momentous occasion while cognizant of the depression forged empathy of both JFK and Martin Luther King made it all the more moving.

Any additional comments?

I had no idea that JFK nearly died so many times. I liked the comparison of FDR before and after polio.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • The Hunger Games

  • By: Suzanne Collins
  • Narrated by: Carolyn McCormick
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50,770
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,020
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,455

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great story. Absolutely grating narrator.

  • By tcp100 on 12-27-11

Action and Adventure without deep depression

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

Reviewed: 04-21-12

What made the experience of listening to The Hunger Games the most enjoyable?

The attention to morality without smashing down my throat was a good balance.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The protagonist-Katness

Which scene was your favorite?

I can't say, it would be a spoiler.

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

Absolutely. I finished it in one day.

Any additional comments?

I'm looking forward to listening to the rest of the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Switch

  • How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
  • By: Dan Heath, Chip Heath
  • Narrated by: Charles Kahlenberg
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,149
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,921
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,912

In a compelling, story-driven narrative, the Heaths bring together decades of counterintuitive research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how we can effect transformative change. Switch shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you, whether your interest is in changing the world or changing your waistline.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Even Better Than Made to Stick

  • By Jeremy on 02-24-10

Another WIN from the Heath Brothers

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

Reviewed: 04-21-12

Where does Switch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's a top-shelf book. I read more okay books than really good ones, more really good than great. This book is great.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Switch?

The story about reducing accidental deaths in hospitals and the first grade teacher who inspired ill-prepared students to achieve 3rd grade performance. Well done.

What about the narrator’s performance did you like?

I think it was the same narrator who read the last few books by the Heath brothers. I read all three within about a month or two of each other, so the consistency was nice.

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

feeding Vietnamese children a healthier diet with the same resources.

Any additional comments?

This book is a great pick for anyone who wants to be current with a modern approach to management, teaching, parenting and just living.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful