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Diana

Antelope Valley, CA, United States
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  • My First Planet: The Complete Series 1

  • By: Phil Whelans
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Lyndhurst, Vicki Pepperdine, Tom Goodman-Hill, and others
  • Length: 1 hr and 51 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 88
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 77

The complete first series of My First Planet - a sitcom set on a shiny new planet, starring Nicholas Lyndhurst, Vicki Pepperdine (Jo Brand's Getting On) & Tom Goodman-Hill ( Another Case of Milton Jones) The story so far: Unfortunately, Burrows the leader of the colony has died on the voyage, so his Number 2, Brian (Nicholas Lyndhurst), is now in charge. He's a nice enough chap, but no alpha male, and his desire to sort things out with a nice friendly meeting infuriates the colony's Chief Physician, Lillian (Vicki Pepperdine), who'd really rather everyone was walking round in tight colour-coded tunics....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good comedy

  • By chuknzig on 01-19-17

Entertaining - Light

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

Reviewed: 01-17-19

This was an entertaining escape, the humor is a tad on the silly side. Good for something to lighten the heart in audio book format.

  • The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man

  • A Novel
  • By: Jonas Jonasson, Rachel Willson-Broyles - translator
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2

It all begins with a hot-air-balloon trip and three bottles of champagne. Allan and Julius are ready for some spectacular views, but they’re not expecting to land in the sea and be rescued by a North Korean ship, and they could never have imagined the captain of the ship would be harboring a suitcase full of contraband uranium on a nuclear-weapons mission for Kim Jong-un. Yikes! Soon Allan and Julius are at the center of a complex diplomatic crisis involving world figures from the Swedish foreign minister to Angela Merkel and President Trump. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Current world events and humor

  • By Diana on 01-17-19

Current world events and humor

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

Reviewed: 01-17-19

If you aren't aware of the past few years current events, or if you own a MAGA hat, this book might not be as fun for you as it was for me.

With a background set all over the world, the main character Allan Karlsson turns 101 and manages to blithely go around the world meeting world leaders and both causing mayhem and preventing disasters at the same time.

Current world leaders feature in the story - Donald Trump, Angela Merkel, and Kim Jong-Un most prominently - and others are mentioned

If there are Americans who wonder what a European point of view is of our President or country since the election of 2016, this might be insightful.

As in the first book, Alan Karlsson's adventures are a bit like Forest Gump meets Mr. Magoo, and the humor is sophisticated, witty, has depth, and is perceptive.

The narrator didn't nail the variety of world wide accents, but that's okay. He portrayed the characters very well with how he voiced them - one leader in particular was very well done.

Very enjoyable audio book for me, your mileage may vary..

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Devil You Know

  • By: Mike Carey
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 13 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23

Felix Castor is a freelance exorcist, and London is his stomping ground. It may seem like a good ghostbuster can charge what he likes and enjoy a hell of a lifestyle, but there's a risk: sooner or later he's going to take on a spirit that's too strong for him. When Castor accepts a seemingly simple ghost-hunting case at a museum in the shadowy heart of London, what should have been a perfectly straightforward exorcism is rapidly turning into the Who Can Kill Castor First Show, with demons and ghosts all keen to claim the big prize. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Horror combined with misogynistic characters

  • By Diana on 01-11-19

Horror combined with misogynistic characters

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

Reviewed: 01-11-19

Another book with women victims being forced to be prostitutes, or raped and killed. The only strong female is a demon, who is, of course very sexy.

The writing has action, and a plot, but only some of the characters get described enough to give the mind's eye something to go on. Sometimes the character's descripition comes quite a bit down the storyline, and in the meantime the mind's eye has a blank figure to work with.

The long descriptions of bodies, sex, and the loving detail in describing how women are recruited and funneled through the sex slave industry from Eastern Europe to Britain is not the stuff I look for in a book. Thus, this needs to be explained to potential buyers of the book.

I thought about returning the book after the first sex scene - but I am not used to reading books where there is so much sex, and misogyny that I thought that would be it. No. The book has more. I kept going to other books, mostly comedies to clean my brain, and wondered why the series got such a rave review on a facebook group I am on. I would go back to try to finish the book and just wondered what kind of person this appeals to.

I did go back to the Facebook group to search for the rave review and realized it was just one person.

The narration was not a favorite for me. It was a bit clipped and snooty.

The book blurb should mention that the book has sex in it, that women are abused, and that one woman is killed while being raped. Perhaps this book shouldn't belong in the Fantasy - Contemporary section it is now in.

Women don't fantasize about being tricked to go to another country and be forced to be a sex worker, or be conditioned to accept that fate, or be raped, or be murdered.

This was not enjoyable for me. Perhaps a better book blurb would help the author and publisher attract the people who find this good reading and also help people who don't find these themes entertaining avoid the book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Reluctant Messenger - Tales from Beyond Belief

  • An Ordinary Person's Extraordinary Journey into the Unknown
  • By: Ms. Candice M. Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Lisa Michelle Negron
  • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 83
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77

The Reluctant Messenger leads the listener through a doorway into another dimension that exists simultaneously with what most people would describe as reality. Author Candice Sanderson is a psychologist whose training taught her to engage her world by the physical senses. That all changed one morning when she began to receive messages from other realms of existence, and her ordinary life transformed as she embarked upon this extraordinary journey into the unknown.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Psychologist Becomes Messenger-Captivating Story

  • By Amazon Customer on 08-13-18

Returning -multiple tries, but can't listen to it

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

Reviewed: 01-10-19

The writing may have a slow start, but even after a couple of hours the book hasn't gotten to anything meaningful yet. The worst part is the narration. Something is very strange about it and off-putting. The cadence is basically one where a small number of words - like six or seven - are spoken enthusiastically and then there's a brief pause, and then the next group of words, pause, and then the next group of words, pause . . . etc etc etc

There are many other books to be listened to. I would set this aside for another try, and again and again. After today, I realize I can't stand the narration and the iPod says there are over 8.5 hours of this book left.

No. Not for me.


  • How Does That Make You Feel? Series 1-10

  • The BBC Radio 4 Comedy Drama
  • By: Shelagh Stephenson
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Saire, Marcella Riordan, Frances Tomelty, and others
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

Psychotherapist Martha is reasonably compassionate, but deep down she's losing patience. It seems all her clients want to be something they are not, and it's driving them (and her) out of their minds. Across a series of 15-minute comedy vignettes, How Does that Make You Feel? offers a fly-on-the-wall view of Martha’s sessions, each one shedding more light on the lives of her entertaining clients. Starring Frances Tomelty, Roger Allam, Marcella Riordan, Tim McInnerny, Cathy Belton and Rebecca Saire. Produced and directed by Eoin O’Callaghan.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amusing look at life today - social media, food

  • By Diana on 01-09-19

Amusing look at life today - social media, food

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

Reviewed: 01-09-19

There was a slow start for me as each session served to introduce the characters and get them to a point where they were 3-D. Until that was done I wasn't certain about this. Yet, I was constantly bemused and amused by this comedy drama. Then, there were bursts of laughter that started for me.

The entire series is a good snapshot of our lives today. We still muddle around with our goals, accomplishments, relationships, and embarrassing moments. But these days we do it with similar experiences - facebook, instagram, twitter, texting, smart phones, google, and we have common references - gluten free foods, new food prep machines, drawn-on eyebrows, Tinder dates, quantum physics, reiki, feng shui, annoying neighbors, custody of the dog after divorce, and viral fame or infamy due to social media.

My favorite character was Richard, played by Roger Allam. His portrayal got me to laugh out loud enough times that my belly got sore. Although my laughter was sometimes at moments that I suppose should have been sad - but Roger Allam manages to show the irony of situations with deftness.

This isn't a story with a beginning and an end. We pop into these people examining their lives, and at the end there is no resolution. There has been evolution and change, but there is no defined ending. Just like life.

It was enjoyable. The writing ranged very broadly in topics it touched on - if you are well-read or aware of many new issues there will be many times that you "ping" on shared knowledge..

Thoughtful and perceptive observations throughout the writing. The voice acting was superb.

  • Norman Tuttle on the Last Frontier

  • A Novel in Stories
  • By: Tom Bodett
  • Narrated by: Tom Bodett
  • Length: 4 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21

As Norman contemplates a long and lonely adolescence on the Last Frontier, he's sure there's more to life than being the klutziest kid in Alaska. In 15 closely linked stories that follow Norman from age 13 to going-on 16, Tom Bodett combines rugged Alaskan adventure with a warm and funny story of a boy who may not be as lonely as he thinks.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyed it very much

  • By Carolyn on 06-10-07

Unabridged Norman Tuttle stories

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

Reviewed: 12-19-18

The collected stories of varied characters and events are, apparently, abridged versions. I had listened to all the collected stories on Audible first before listening to this one and while this audio book focuses on one character, and the stories are longer with details missing from the variety story collections, I don't think the unabridged versions are much better than the abridged versions. Actually the abridged versions seemed to be tighter, the editing honed the stories to be better.

Still, this was enjoyable.

  • Meet the Hybrids: The Lives and Missions of ET Ambassadors on Earth

  • By: Miguel Mendonca, Barbara Lamb
  • Narrated by: Alexis Brooks
  • Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

Meet the Hybrids explores the lived experience of eight individuals who understand that they are part human and part extraterrestrial. Guided by their star families and other entities, they are dedicated to personal missions that contribute to a larger process involving the flourishing of human consciousness and the protection and evolution of life on Earth at this critical time. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful collaboration

  • By Vanessa on 07-02-18

Belief over Discernment

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

This is rooted in a very New Age belief system. Love and Light is often mentioned. It took me 3 months to get through this audiobook because it often became too much love and light and sometimes disturbingly silly. In contrast David Jacobs’ books frighten me. But at least David Jacobs books seem more rooted in reality. Or at least show an attempt to figure out what is going on. To simply believe in the way these love and light people do is actually more frightening. The narration became harder to listen to over time. The voice used was overly sweet and syrupy and was one reason it took me months to finish this audiobook. Loyalty to Humanity isn’t here. For some reason the name Judas kept coming to mind as I neared the end of this book. I do recommend reading this book though. It is educational in its own way

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lies Sleeping

  • Rivers of London, Book 7
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 612
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 576
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 575

The Faceless Man, wanted for multiple counts of murder, fraud, and crimes against humanity, has been unmasked and is on the run. Peter Grant, detective constable and apprentice wizard, now plays a key role in an unprecedented joint operation to bring him to justice. But even as the unwieldy might of the Metropolitan Police bears down on its foe, Peter uncovers clues that the Faceless Man, far from being finished, is executing the final stages of a long-term plan. A plan that has its roots in London's 2,000 bloody years of history and could literally bring the city to its knees. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A very satisfying read

  • By Tim on 11-21-18

The best book in the series so far, smart and fun

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

Reviewed: 11-22-18

This book is the best one of the series so far, and I have enjoyed every book in this favorite series. In this book many of the characters introduced in previous stories take part in an exciting story. There are historical and cultural references throughout but the best part is the use of sensory descriptions. Sounds aren't used often by other authors like Ben Aaronovitch does and his descriptions of fights or crashes are superb and show an imagination and skill in detailing observations.

The humor threads through the story line and the characters are defined with unique personalities. The plot is twisty and unpredictable.

Lately I've been disappointed by other authors whose series books I've been buying. They seem to take their fans for granted and turn out mediocre books after getting us hooked with a strong first few books. Not Ben Aaronovitch. It's probably a reason that I am so thrilled with this book, with it's amazing writing and narration too.

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith once again does an amazing job voicing characters from gruff older men to women with all types of attitudes to smart young girls. He is gifted with vocal cords that can switch between characters and a skilled ability to emote.

This is my favorite of all the books so far in this series.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Astral Prime Mission Pack 1: Missions 1-4

  • Black Ocean: Astral Prime Mission Pack
  • By: J.S. Morin, M.A. Larkin
  • Narrated by: Mikael Naramore
  • Length: 19 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75

They found a planet where none belonged. They should have left it alone. This audiobook includes the first four missions in the Black Ocean: Astral Prime series.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great addition to the Black Ocean

  • By L. Olson on 11-29-18

The Specialness is gone, just another sci-fi story

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

Reviewed: 11-15-18

I am about 2/3rds of the way through this sci-fi 4-pack series, and couldn't care less if I finish or not. The specialness of the series that was experienced in the 1 through 16.5 series is gone. No more great descriptions that kept reminding me of what the characters looked like or saw, smelled, tasted, felt, or heard. No more unique insightful moments of noticing something about life, or on a planet, or in some interaction. No more twisty plot that holds delightful surprises. No more sophistication and depth.

The story uses the world structure built in the previous books. Some of the characters or species too. But it is just basic paint-by-numbers writing and the series has slid back toward a Young Adult level.

The narrator slides around mixing up the characters' voices at times, not bothering to give distinctive voices to the characters so I am constantly guessing, wondering, and waiting for the X-said or Y-said written in the story to let me know who said what.

I will trudge through the rest of the story, but it's not a wonderful hike through someplace different. It's just another science fiction story. The unique and delightful difference that made me compare the writing to the specialness of Firefly is not here.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Colors of All the Cattle

  • By: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by: Lisette Lecat
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 305
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 284
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 281

When Mma Potokwane suggests to Mma Ramotswe that she run for a seat on the city council, Mma Ramotswe is at first unsure. But when she learns about the proposed construction of the flashy Big Fun Hotel next to a graveyard, she allows herself to be persuaded. Her opponent is none other than Violet Sephotho, who is in the pocket of the hotel developers. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable

  • By Jean on 11-15-18

A lovely continuation

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

Reviewed: 11-08-18

The evolving lives, the observations of humanity, the laugh-out-loud moments. I am always uplifted by each No. 1 Ladies Detective book.

This time the blurb promised more than was in this book.

(quote from the book blurb)

" . . . Publisher's Summary

Precious Ramotswe dips her toe into the world of politics in the newest addition to the beloved and best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.

When Mma Potokwane suggests to Mma Ramotswe that she run for a seat on the city council, Mma Ramotswe is at first unsure. But when she learns about the proposed construction of the flashy Big Fun Hotel next to a graveyard, she allows herself to be persuaded.

Her opponent is none other than Violet Sephotho, who is in the pocket of the hotel developers. Although Violet is intent on using every trick in the book to secure her election, Mma Ramotswe refuses to promise anything beyond what she can deliver - hence her slogan: "I can't promise anything - but I shall do my best."

To everyone's surprise, she wins. As it turns out, politics does not agree with Mma Ramotswe. Though everyone is supportive, she eventually resigns. She thinks there will be a new election, but she discovers the rules state that in such an event, the runner-up automatically takes the seat. Violet is triumphant and sure she will get the Big Fun Hotel planning application through without a hitch.

But Mma Makutsi and Mma Potokwane are not about to make it easy for her. Through it all, Mma Ramotswe uses her good humor and generosity of spirit to help the community navigate divisive issues and proves that honesty and compassion will always carry the day. . . ." (end of quote from the book blurb)

This book seems to cover about half of this book blurb. Or, there was more? It seemed to end abruptly.

I love these books and look forward to any future books.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful