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Debra B

  • 52
  • reviews
  • 96
  • helpful votes
  • 370
  • ratings
  • The Boy Who Drew Monsters

  • By: Keith Donohue
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 159
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 153
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 153

Ever since he nearly drowned in the ocean three years earlier, 10-year-old Jack Peter Keenan has been deathly afraid to venture outdoors. Refusing to leave his home in a small coastal town in Maine, Jack Peter spends his time drawing monsters. When those drawings take on a life of their own, no one is safe from the terror they inspire.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • troubled boy, troubled waters

  • By Debra B on 10-29-14

troubled boy, troubled waters

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

Reviewed: 10-29-14

I think people who gravitate to this genre will like this one. I'm more on the periphery, but even so, there was enough suspense to keep me listening. I wasn't on the edge of my seat, but I did want to learn what was causing the strange sightings, and what it had to do with the little boy. Sometimes the writing was a little heavy handed, with lots of comparisons to blood, ghosts, etc. (I think there was one where the teeth were like tombstones?) But then, it's all part of the fun, and the ending was very good. I always enjoy Bronson Pinchot. For some reason, he sounded about the same when I played my iPod at 2x, so that's how I listened to this one.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Daily Rituals

  • How Artists Work
  • By: Mason Currey
  • Narrated by: Adam Verner
  • Length: 6 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,353
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,142
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,147

Kafka is one of 161 inspired-and inspiring-minds, among them, novelists, poets, playwrights, painters, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians, who describe how they subtly maneuver the many (self-inflicted) obstacles and (self-imposed) daily rituals to get done the work they love to do, whether by waking early or staying up late; whether by self-medicating with doughnuts or bathing, drinking vast quantities of coffee, or taking long daily walks.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Nothing else like this one

  • By Debra B on 10-23-14

Nothing else like this one

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

Reviewed: 10-23-14

Dozens and dozens of daily rituals. I listened to most of them; some I skimmed over. And, I listened over a number of weeks. I think that is probably the best way to read this book, otherwise it could get monotonous. (But don't skip over Buckminster Fuller.) It was fun to come upon famous people who have working habits similar to your own, and I would think most of us have a twin somewhere in this book, habits-wise. Personally, I found it very helpful to have so many distinct working habtts laid out, because it made me see that these daily rituals are probably hard-wired, and that it's probably better to work with them rather than against them. I found some new insights, too.

27 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Spoiled Brats

  • Stories
  • By: Simon Rich
  • Narrated by: Simon Rich
  • Length: 3 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92

>From "one of the funniest writers in America" comes a collection of stories culled from the front lines of the millennial culture wars. Rife with failing rock bands, student loans, and participation trophies, Spoiled Brats is about a generation of narcissists - and the well-meaning boomers who made them that way.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 3 ½ stars. Some clever ideas.

  • By Jane on 12-20-14

Hilarious

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

Reviewed: 10-22-14

A collection of stories, some long and some short, and all worth a listen. To sum up, very clever and very funny. The longer ones are especially good, and I've found myself thinking back to some of the lines, because they're so funny. The humor is observational, and is both dark and whimsical. None of it is mean-spirited, though, and in fact, the stories are sentimental at times. Simon Rich was a good person to narrate, and listening to him is a little like listening to the funny kid in class, or the witty guy down the hall you wish you'd run into more often.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Station Eleven

  • A Novel
  • By: Emily St. John Mandel
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,152
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,473
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,477

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An Alternative Dystopian Viewpoint

  • By CScott on 12-20-16

Post apocalypse show biz

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

Reviewed: 10-14-14

Good book! I liked the idea of the traveling entertainers in a bleak, primitive world. They were a bright spot in post apocalypse times, and on the whole, Station Eleven wasn't that depressing. You expect a certain bleakness when you pick up a book like this, and on the dismal scale, the author didn't get overly carried away. The plot moves along pretty well, and the back and forth in time was effective. There were a few times when it seemed the book was about to evolve into a full fledged what is the meaning of life kind of a book, but I'm happy to say that it didn't. The story carried the day, leaving the reader to ponder such esoteric things without feeling forced into it.

  • Battle Cry of Freedom: Volume 1

  • By: James M. McPherson
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 19 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,531
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,216
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,204

James M. McPherson, professor emeritus of U.S. history at Princeton, is one of the foremost scholars of the Civil War. In this informative and meticulously researched masterpiece, he clarifies the differing ways of life and philosophy that led to this shattering conflict. Abraham Lincoln wondered whether "in a free government the minority have the right to break up the government". And Jefferson Davis felt "forced to take up arms" to guarantee states' rights.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Incredible audio book

  • By Brian on 03-21-10

Comprehensive, detailed, fascinating

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

Reviewed: 10-12-14

(This review is for both Volumes 1 and 2.) This is a stellar work. McPherson starts the story many years before the war, and in fact most of the first volume covers events that precede the Civil War. This book is an even-handed account, but it is also an unsparing one that avoids sentimental attitudes. There is a lot here about the attitudes of the people of the time, which helped me to better understand my own fore-bearers, who lived in different parts of the country. The battles are presented in some detail, but not intricate detail, which was fine with me. I imagine the written book supplied maps, and since there are none in this format, I sometimes pulled maps up from the internet. It was hard to put this one down.

  • Classic Tales of Hauntings

  • By: Bram Stoker, Ambrose Bierce, Lafcadio Hearn, and others
  • Narrated by: Hayward Morse, Liza Ross, Garrick Hagon, and others
  • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38

Sixteen classic stories from masters of the genre: "The Judge's House", by Bram Stoker; "A Jug of Sirup", by Ambrose Bierce; "The Reconciliation", by Lafcadio Hearn; "The Woman With a Candle" by W. Bourne Cooke; "The Ebony Frame", by E. Nesbit; "On the Northern Ice", by Elia W. Peattie; "The Haunted Doll's House", by M. R. James; "The Old House in Vauxhall Walk", by Charlotte Riddell; "The Underground Ghost", by John Berwick Harwood; "Haunted", by Anon (from Tinsley's Annual); plus five more....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great narrations of classics

  • By Zaubermond on 12-01-14

Classic vintage ghost stories

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

Reviewed: 09-14-14

These stories were more fun than seriously creepy. They were probably pretty creepy in their time, though. The characters and situations are all pretty stock by present day standards.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A 1000-Mile Walk on the Beach

  • One Woman's Trek of the Perimeter of Lake Michigan
  • By: Loreen Niewenhuis
  • Narrated by: Loreen Niewenhuis
  • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 28

In 2009, Loreen Niewenhuis walked completely around Lake Michigan. This audiobook chronicles that journey, a 1,000-mile walk around the world's fifth-largest lake. The audiobook explores both the geology of the lake and the measure of a person - a woman, married, mother of two sons (who joined her for portions of the walk). But most of the walk was done solo, an adventure in discovery of self and place. Niewenhuis conveys a sense of the magnitude of the lake she loves, a place so elemental to the four Midwestern states that form its shores.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • That's my Lake

  • By Dennis on 03-28-16

Not edgy, but enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 09-13-14

As someone who has spent a lot of time around the Great Lakes, I found Loreen Niewenhuis's trek interesting. She was strongest when she spoke about ecology and environmental issues. I say this not to raise the flag for this important cause, but as someone who has always been curious about what I was seeing out there. This book filled in some blanks for me. All in all, this book has a pleasant, friendly tone, especially since it's read by the author. And while this was a hearty trek, it's not fraught with the kind of peril encountered on the Appalachian Trail. So, not a lot of drama.

For my tastes, there could have been more description of the many moods of the lakes, and of the scenery. Sometimes I wasn't even sure how close she was to the lake. But I'm glad she did it, and it's a little crazy that we don't have more of a hiking path for people who want to do the same.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Hold the Dark

  • A Novel
  • By: William Giraldi
  • Narrated by: Richard Ferrone
  • Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 111
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 98

At the start of another pitiless winter, the wolves have come for the children of Keelut. Three children have been taken from this isolated Alaskan village, including the six-year-old son of Medora and Vernon Slone. Saken with grief and seeking consolation, Medora contacts nature writer and wolf expert Russell Core. Sixty years old, ailing in both body and spirit, and estranged from his daughter and wife, Core arrives in Keelut to investigate the killings.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Short but compelling.

  • By matt on 09-14-18

Alaska is the star of this book

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

Reviewed: 09-11-14

This book is set in Alaska, and the author does a terrific job in bringing the land to life. I'm not always able to see the surroundings in other books as well as I did in this one. The characters and the story did not pull me in quite as much, although the book did start out strong. It's about primal, animal natures (in humans and wolves), and the author takes this very interesting underside of the human condition in a direction that may not please everybody. What is primal to some may seem senseless to others. I wished some of the characters had their beliefs challenged more - not to change them, but just to make it more interesting. At the end, there could be more resolution, so if that bothers you, you might not like this one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Just After Sunset

  • Stories
  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Stephen King, Jill Eikenberry, Holter Graham, and others
  • Length: 14 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,126
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,380
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,384

Just After Sunset - call it dusk, call it twilight, it's a time when human intercourse takes on an unnatural cast, when nothing is quite as it appears, when the imagination begins to reach for shadows as they dissipate to darkness and living daylight can be scared right out of you. It's the perfect time for Stephen King.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not the usual

  • By Sixty Some on 03-21-09

At last! Short stories that aren't boring!

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

Reviewed: 08-29-14

A good collection of stories of everyday life, but naturally, with a macabre bent. Stephen King knows how to take middle class/upper-middle class problems - almost boring by definition - and give them the twist that will fill you with unease. Things are not what the seem. None of the stories were gory, but all of them messed with your mind. The sheer volume of blood spilled in horror stories usually keeps me away, but this one wasn't so bad. The stories all had a long buildups, but mostly, I was only aware of the mounting tension, and of an intense desire to know the outcome.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • AWOL on the Appalachian Trail

  • By: David Miller
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,342
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,907
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,895

In 2003, software engineer David Miller left his job, family, and friends to hike 2,172 miles of the Appalachian Trail. AWOL on the Appalachian Trail is Miller’s account of this thru-hike from Georgia to Maine. Listeners are treated to rich descriptions of the Appalachian Mountains, the isolation and reverie, the inspiration that fueled his quest, and the rewards of taking a less conventional path through life. While this book abounds with introspection and perseverance, it also provides useful passages about hiking gear and planning.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable but severely lacking.

  • By Amazon Customer on 07-01-13

Adventure and endurance

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

Reviewed: 08-19-14

I found this book inspiring, and never boring. I don't want to make a big thing of it, but like other commenters, I sometimes wanted to know more about what was going on inside of his head. It's quite a feat walking the entire trail like he did, and I couldn't help but be very curious about his mind-set. But still, he is forthcoming enough, and in general, he seems to know what the reader would want to hear about. The narrator didn't seem quite right (a tad stodgy?), but it didn't get in my way.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful