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Rachel

YAKIMA, WA, United States
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  • 282
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  • 186
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  • The Argonauts

  • By: Maggie Nelson
  • Narrated by: Maggie Nelson
  • Length: 4 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 746
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 657
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 656

Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts is a genre-bending memoir, a work of "autotheory" offering fresh, fierce, and timely thinking about desire, identity, and the limitations and possibilities of love and language. At its center is a romance: the story of the author's relationship with the artist Harry Dodge. This story, which includes Nelson's account of falling in love with Dodge, who is fluidly gendered, as well as her journey to and through a pregnancy, is an intimate portrayal of the complexities and joys of (queer) family making.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A relaxing meditation on identity, gender and art

  • By redhidari on 10-01-15

Not for me

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

Reviewed: 09-08-18

I have heard great things about this book, and I gave it a solid chance, but it was 100% not for me.

It was exceedingly depressing. It tells the story of the narrator and her significant other, but the story is just a litany of the ways society fails the couple because of prejudice. I didn't care about the main characters. It sucks that people are unpleasant to them, but I didn't want to read an unremittingly negative litany of all the terrible things society does to them with no way out and no way through. The author's life must just be completely awful with no silver lining and no good experiences ever. I can't even understand why the couple stays together. Nelson in the book felt like the inspiration for Debbie Downer or Eeyore.

The narration emphasized this feeling with a plodding, monotone. I really tried to appreciate the book. I tried listening to it on at least 5 separate occasions, trying out the possibility that I was in the wrong mood or frame of mind. I even increased the narration speed--first to 1.25 and then to 1.5. I thought I could plod through it--it's fairly short.
Nothing helped. I gave it a real chance and I can confidently say that I heartily disliked it.

  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Book 3

  • By: J.K. Rowling
  • Narrated by: Jim Dale
  • Length: 12 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 41,523
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 38,117
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 38,072

When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it's the start of another far from ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run - and they say he is coming after Harry. In his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry's tea leaves.... But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Jim Dale at his best

  • By Amazon Customer on 01-12-16

Purchased for at least the 4th time

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

Reviewed: 09-08-18

This is my go-to book for when I'm feeling blue. I was feeling blue and I no longer have a tape player or CD player, so I bought this on audible. Of course the book is great and Jim Dale is perfection and I'm delighted that Audible finally has the series.

Listening to the series, but especially book 3 just calms me when I'm sad or upset. I listen to it in my studio while making sculpture and it helps me work.

I first read the book in 2001, but it was a friend's loaner copy. I bought the tape set in graduate school and might have also bought the CD set--or maybe I just borrowed it from the library. I bought my daughter a copy of the book when she was ready to have me read it to her, and this year we bought the illustrated version. That's how much I love this book.

Jim Dale is absolute perfection (though I've heard such good things about the British narrator I want to buy a copy of that version, too).

  • The Tangled Tree

  • A Radical New History of Life
  • By: David Quammen
  • Narrated by: Jacques Roy
  • Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 226
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 209

In the mid-1970s, scientists began using DNA sequences to reexamine the history of all life. Perhaps the most startling discovery to come out of this new field is horizontal gene transfer (HGT), or the movement of genes across species lines. For instance, we now know that roughly eight percent of the human genome arrived not through traditional inheritance from directly ancestral forms, but sideways by viral infection - a type of HGT. In The Tangled Tree David Quammen chronicles these discoveries through the lives of the researchers who made them.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very Enjoyable and Readable

  • By Dennis on 08-18-18

kind of interesting topic, but not engaging book

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

Reviewed: 09-08-18

The topic sounds interesting and it kind of was, but I had trouble keeping with it. I listened, but my mind would wander or I'd immediately forget what was being discussed. Somehow it wasn't as engaging as I'd hoped for.

The main story throughout the book is a history of the different ways folks thought about and represented the "tree" of live throughout it's history. That's actually just fine, but not really radical. I was hoping for a bit more "action" about how people didn't used to think that we had other forms of life inside our bodies and now we know we do. But besides gut microbes and their ilk, there wasn't much discussion of what that means. There was some discussion of viral DNA in placentas, but it could have been presented in a more engaging way, I felt.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Single Undead Moms Club

  • By: Molly Harper
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,122
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,905
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,881

Widow Libby Stratton arranged to be turned into a vampire after she was diagnosed with late-stage cancer. It wasn't the best idea she'd ever had, but she was desperate - she wasn't about to leave her seven-year-old son to be raised by her rigid, overbearing in-laws.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved!!!

  • By Jessica on 10-28-15

Eh, it's ok

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

Reviewed: 09-08-18

I had just read a really great book, Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw, and wanted to spend more time in that universe when this book came up on sale (and I had some money in my Audible account). So I tried it.
I knew this book was way late in a series I hadn't read, but that didn't seem to matter for the listener.
I thought this one looked interesting because of the combination of being a mom and a new vampire, but whatever your imagining is basically what this book is. There wasn't anything particularly surprising or interesting. The world of half-moon hollow sounds interesting, because they have a visible minority of vampires who participate, kind of, in regular daily life, but nothing much happens in this particular book except some sexy times.
Probably if you enjoy the series you'd like this one, IDK.

The narrator was pretty great, though.

  • A Natural History of Dragons

  • A Memoir by Lady Trent
  • By: Marie Brennan
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,959
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,834
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,827

You, dear listener, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart - no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon's presence, even for the briefest of moments - even at the risk of one's life - is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten….All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world's preeminent dragon naturalist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Fantastical, Scientific, and Captivating Joy Ride

  • By Abbygail on 03-06-16

Decent

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

I liked this one okay. It is a bit old fashioned in style, but is a fairly interesting story. I'm not usually a huge fan of this kind of old-timey fantasy genre, but this one was a pleasant read for someone who isn't always comfortable with similar books.

Going into it I expected something more like magical realism or steampunk and was happy that it was different. It felt more like reading about Mary Anning's life, but she just happened to be studying living dragons instead of fossils. There was more emotional time in the book spent talking about the challenges of being a woman working in a traditionally male world, which is true enough.

This is probably a weird comparison, but it felt a bit like reading about Sybil Vimes (Sam Vimes' wife) in the Discworld Series (Terry Pratchett) but from her perspective (and less funny).

  • Head On (Narrated by Wil Wheaton)

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,734
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,502
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,488

Hilketa is a frenetic and violent pastime where players attack each other with swords and hammers. The main goal of the game: obtain your opponent's head and carry it through the goalposts. With flesh and bone bodies, a sport like this would be impossible. But all the players are "threeps", robot-like bodies controlled by people with Haden's Syndrome, so anything goes. No one gets hurt, but the brutality is real, and the crowds love it. Until a star athlete drops dead on the playing field.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • THIS is why I read SciFi! Scalzi gets into your head (be it on or off)

  • By C. White on 04-17-18

I always love Scalzi and Wheaton

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

This book was good fun: a science fiction version of a crime mystery. Like Bones/CSI/etc meets, well, robots.

I liked the first one (Lock In), I enjoyed this. I'm looking forward to the next one.

  • Time and Again

  • By: Jack Finney
  • Narrated by: Paul Hecht
  • Length: 17 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,358
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,195
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,192

Transported from the mid-twentieth century to New York City in the year 1882, Si Morley walks the fashionable "Ladies' Mile" of Broadway, is enchanted by the jingling sleigh bells in Central Park, and solves a 20th-century mystery by discovering its 19th-century roots. Falling in love with a beautiful young woman, he ultimately finds himself forced to choose between his lives in the present and the past. A story that will remain in the listener's memory, Time and Again is a remarkable blending of the troubled present and a nostalgic past....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best time travel novel; my very favorite audiobook

  • By Mark on 04-08-12

Taking a break because-misogyny

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

Reviewed: 07-14-18

I downloaded this because Stephen King recommended it at the end of 11/23/63 as an example of a great time travel story. I like time travel. But after listening to about 5 hours, I'm taking a break because I'm annoyed. It was apparently written back in the dark ages (1970) when misogyny was cool, but I'm sick of it. Every single professional woman in the book is referred to as a "girl" and just now the protagonist is going on about how he doesn't dislike women but yada yada.
I might come back to it, but life is short and I don't need to listen to an a-hole talk abut how inferior my gender is. I'm done for a while.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Calypso

  • By: David Sedaris
  • Narrated by: David Sedaris
  • Length: 6 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,583
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,788
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,719

If you've ever laughed your way through David Sedaris's cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you're getting with Calypso. You'd be wrong. When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And it's as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realization: it's impossible to take a vacation from yourself. With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation - and dark humor - toward middle age and mortality.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent, as always

  • By Ruthie on 05-31-18

like all Sedaris books, a little dark

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

Reviewed: 07-14-18

I think my favorite Sedaris writing is when he talks about language and cultural differences, as in the title essay of “Me Talk Pretty One Day” or “When you are engulfed in flames” but this book has just one or two of those sorts of essays and one is absolutely filthy (one started while the kid was in the room with me and I was rushing to turn it off).
Probably my favorite essay in this collection was one about his fitbit and trash collection which I think I’ve read twice previously. Good enough for a third read/listen but not entirely the same tone as the rest of the book.
The bulk of these essays are fairly dark. Quite good, but not my preference. I’m sure anyone who loved the most recent Sedaris books will love this one too, as they were also a bit dark for my taste.

  • The Three-Body Problem

  • By: Cixin Liu
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,243
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,433
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,439

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hard science fiction

  • By DarthVal on 03-11-16

Worth it, but I was hoping for more

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

Reviewed: 07-14-18

The book was good. I'm glad I read it, but it wasn't as good as it could have been.
There’s an interesting problem and the resolution is satisfying, but there’s a looong time in between when I wasn’t that interested in the story.
I wasn’t a big fan of the narrator (one whiny voice in particular was like fingernails on a chalkboard), and that may have contributed. I sort of thought the voices should sound Chinese, but I suppose that doesn't make sense because they would be speaking Chinese which would mean I wouldn't understand, but, um, why wasn't a Chinese American narrator chosen for this? Or a Chinese narrator who also speaks English?
The story seems like it was going to be a surprising mystery that relied on the unexpected perspective to figure it out and I guess it kinda did, but from here to there was so slow. Also, there’s this video game thing in the middle and I still don’t have any idea how that tied into the actual story, maybe we find out in the sequel?

  • American Nations

  • A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America
  • By: Colin Woodard
  • Narrated by: Walter Dixon
  • Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,774
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,567
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,575

North America was settled by people with distinct religious, political, and ethnographic characteristics, creating regional cultures that have been at odds with one another ever since. Subsequent immigrants didn't confront or assimilate into an "American" or "Canadian" culture, but rather into one of the 11 distinct regional ones that spread over the continent each staking out mutually exclusive territory. In American Nations, Colin Woodard leads us on a journey through the history of our fractured continent....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of a Kind Masterpiece

  • By Theo Horesh on 02-28-13

Paradigm Shift

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

Reviewed: 07-14-18

This book gave me a totally new perspective on the origins of European settlers to North America. I was surprised to learn so much I didn't know before. It was also interesting how these early origins and motivations of settlers, and their interactions with native peoples influenced the geographical cultures of North America through today.
I thought the book lagged a bit near the end, but I found the start really stunning.