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Allyssia

  • 21
  • reviews
  • 71
  • helpful votes
  • 27
  • ratings
  • Columbine

  • By: Dave Cullen
  • Narrated by: Don Leslie
  • Length: 14 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 659
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 600
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 594

"The tragedies keep coming. As we reel from the latest horror..."  So begins a new epilogue, illustrating how Columbine became the template for nearly two decades of "spectacle murders". It is a false script, seized upon by a generation of new killers. In the wake of Newtown, Aurora, and Virginia Tech, the imperative to understand the crime that sparked this plague grows more urgent every year. What really happened April 20, 1999? The horror left an indelible stamp on the American psyche, but most of what we "know" is wrong.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entrancing, I couldn't stop listening!

  • By Anonymous User on 05-04-18

She didn’t say yes

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

Reviewed: 01-22-19

What I liked the most about the book was how it breaks stereotypes such as the “fact” the boys were bullied, how Dylan’s parents were absent or Cassie saying yes.
That being said keep in mind this is not an easy book to read. The author does such a good job depicting the victims and their families that it becomes painful to read at a certain point, which is, at the same time, what makes this book so great and unique. A real life horror story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Stuff Matters

  • Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World
  • By: Mark Miodownik
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,855
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,483
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,472

Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does a paper clip bend? These are the sorts of questions that Mark Miodownik is constantly asking himself. A globally renowned materials scientist, Miodownik has spent his life exploring objects as ordinary as an envelope and as unexpected as concrete cloth, uncovering the fascinating secrets that hold together our physical world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly good

  • By D. MacLeod on 01-29-15

I would never believe chemistry could be so interesting

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

Reviewed: 11-23-18

This book kept my interest from start to finish. It talks about a range of materials present in our daily lives and trust me, its approach is incredible.
My favorite chapters were about chocolate, glass and plastic - the last one being narrated as far west movie!
All chapters present not only scientific facts regarding the materials or substances but also how they’ve impacted our society and shaped the world we know nowadays. I found very interesting the fact they’ve shown the social factor behind the chemistry and it changed the way I perceive this subject.
I definitely recommend this book. It’s really fun and requires no previous knowledge. It’s not overly technical and has an easy, approachable language. Great listen for when you just want to relax while learning something new!

  • How to Be a Tudor

  • A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Tudor Life
  • By: Ruth Goodman
  • Narrated by: Heather Wilds
  • Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 239
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 213
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 208

On the heels of her triumphant How to Be a Victorian, Ruth Goodman travels even further back in English history to the era closest to her heart, the dramatic period from the crowning of Henry VII to the death of Elizabeth I. Drawing on her own adventures living in re-created Tudor conditions, Goodman serves as our intrepid guide to 16th-century living. Proceeding from daybreak to bedtime, this charming, illustrative work celebrates the ordinary lives of those who labored through the era.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Really wanted to like this

  • By F. Pryor on 09-10-18

A Book About The Common Citizen

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

Reviewed: 11-17-18

This book was a pleasant surprise; when I first purchased it I thought it would be about the lives of the nobles, but instead it focus on the daily routines of common citizens.
What surprised me the most, however, was the author’s level of dedication - not only she researched about their habits but she has even tried some of them herself. I wasn’t expecting their level of hygiene to be so high. Of course they didnt take baths regularly, in fact that was believed to allow diseases into the body, however their changes of clothes, particularly underwears and the scents they used to use did the job quite good, according to the author’s experimentations.
Another interesting thing about this book is that it covers practically every important aspect of their lives; from where they slept to how they worked and studied.
The Tudor Era is surely very different from what I was expecting but here are some highlights; 1)houses didn’t have corridors. You would get from one room to another crossing the already existing rooms. 2)Apprenticeship could be expensive and take over 10 years 3)Owning a bed was quite a big deal. It was even part of inheritances. So did clothes, they’d count every single shirt 4)Nutrition was already a concern back at that time. In fact, they had some preoccupations regarding healthy habits and etiquette 5)Talking about food, the amount of money they spent on it was crazy, reaching up to 70% of their incomes, making it a big deal.
To sum up, this book kept my attention from beginning to ending and the narrator’s voice suits the text really well. I definitely recommend it for any history enthusiasts.

  • Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic

  • Lessons in Everyday Elegance
  • By: Jennifer L. Scott
  • Narrated by: Amy Rubinate
  • Length: 4 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 262
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 235
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 229

Just step out your door today, and you will notice that poise is a rarity in our wired, fast-paced, and unmannerly world. As uncivil behaviors like flip-flops at Broadway shows and digital oversharing proliferate, this timely book reminds us of the quiet power of behaving with dignity, kindness, and grace. Jennifer L. Scott's Parisian mentor, Madame Chic, embodied poise and not just with the good posture, stylish attire, and natural manners that made her extraordinarily elegant.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The speaker's voice sounds very robotic

  • By Bobbie Monroe on 01-09-16

Common sense? Yes. Commonly applied? No

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

Reviewed: 11-17-18

Let’s be honest; the author didn’t present anything new. It’s still a great book though. Sometimes we just need literature that is, as mentioned by the author, inspiring.
I didn’t really learn anything new but I definitely felt inspired to dress better, take better care of my surroundings and try to be more polished. This book is as life changing as you allow it to be.

  • Behind Palace Doors

  • By: Major Colin Burgess
  • Narrated by: Bob Sinfield
  • Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 150
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 135

In this affectionate and often hilarious inside story of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, her former equerry Major Colin Burgess reveals what life was like living with the most private of all the Royals. Behind Palace Doors is a unique and warmly remembered historic insight into one of our longest-surviving institutions. Constantly fascinating and packed with previously untold stories, this is also a celebration of a life gone - and a way of life fast disappearing.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Some fun listening.

  • By H on 01-06-13

A Collection of Chronicles from the Royal Family

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

Reviewed: 10-22-18

I must confess that at first my impression wasn't good; I didn't like the fact she forced her equerry to drink with her every single day, nor the fact she would pressure people to eat or dance. However, if you ignore these defects you'll be able to see a lovely woman who's not only kind (I know it's hard to believe after this introduction but trust me) but also fun. I can't stop thinking about when the equerry turned the television on and accidentally came across a violent fight and the Queen Mother instead of being shook started cheering!
I also liked that the book talks a lot about other members of the Royal family; it even gives some information about Diana (nothing too deep though, just brief mentions), but my favorite "extra" has to be the Christmas incident when Princess Margareth leaned to get some food and accidental set her hair on fire because of a candle. It's not that I dislike Margareth, on the contrary, what made me like this story is that I've never heard of it before, and that must be what makes this book so special: it offers new information.
I also really liked the narrator's voice and the music at the opening and ending of each chapter. This is definitely a 5/5 stars book.

  • Human Errors

  • A Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes
  • By: Nathan H. Lents
  • Narrated by: L.J. Ganser
  • Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 157
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 157

We humans like to think of ourselves as highly evolved creatures. But if we are supposedly evolution's greatest creation, why do we have such bad knees? Why do we catch head colds so often - 200 times more often than a dog does? How come our wrists have so many useless bones? And are we really supposed to swallow and breathe through the same narrow tube? Surely there's been some kind of mistake. As professor of biology Nathan H. Lents explains in Human Errors, our evolutionary history is nothing if not a litany of mistakes, each more entertaining and enlightening than the last.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Most interesting, well narrated

  • By N.Dryl on 05-04-18

A new approach on the human body

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

Reviewed: 10-18-18

I absolutely loved this book; it doesn't require any previous knowledge on the area and the chapters are marvelously written. From why our nutrition is so demanding to why we gamble this book isn't only about design flaws but also about "bugs in our minds", making it an interesting social analysis as well.
Highlights: why do we believe in fortune tellers, why sterility can be a good thing and why our brains can't stop focusing on traumatic events.

  • 1984

  • New Classic Edition
  • By: George Orwell
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,340
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,368
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,392

George Orwell depicts a gray, totalitarian world dominated by Big Brother and its vast network of agents, including the Thought Police - a world in which news is manufactured according to the authorities' will and people live tepid lives by rote. Winston Smith, a hero with no heroic qualities, longs only for truth and decency. But living in a social system in which privacy does not exist and where those with unorthodox ideas are brainwashed or put to death, he knows there is no hope for him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Come one, Come all into 1984!

  • By Kit McIlvaine (GirlPluggedN) on 02-18-08

What about the coral paperweight?

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

Reviewed: 10-08-18

There were countless reviews explaining and congratulating Orwell on his work talking about the thought police, Newspeak and the very own concept of Big Brother. Don't get me wrong, I really liked all that during my reading however, I felt like there had to be something else, and there was.
In order to notice it, I confess I had to took a class on 1984, but it was worth it; I found out why I like this book so much. It doesn't really focus on showing a dystopic society but on the quest of a man trying to keep the simple things of life we take for granted. Here is one quotation from The Modern Scholar: World of George Orwell by Professor Michael Shelden that explains it:
"The novel pleads for preservation of many things—old liberties, old loyalties, old delights. There must be a place in every life for things that have no power associated with them, that would advance no one’s career nor make anyone fortune nor allow one person’s will to dominate another’s. There must be room, in other words, for paperweights and fishing rods and penny candies and the village shops that sell them. And there must be time for making the perfect cup of tea or reading old novels or spending a summer on an island with a green bay. Such things may be derided by stern intellectual types, but they are the things that form the real texture of a life."
After these words, I could remember a passage of the book in which the thought police invades Winston and Julia's hideout and breaks the paperweight, destroying the coral and releasing it from it's private world. In my opinion, this is the most powerful moment of the whole book; this is the moment that shows Winston's "artificial natural world" being broken apart and it is as full of meaning as any of the other so acclaimed elements such as the 2 minutes of hate, if not more. This is definitely my favorite fiction book and I'll read it again for sure.

  • Hints on Etiquette and the Usages of Society

  • By: Longman, Rees, Orme
  • Narrated by: Ben Ottridge
  • Length: 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

"Well-bred people arrive as nearly at the appointed dinner hour as they can. It is a very vulgar assumption of importance purposely to arrive half an hour behind time; besides the folly of allowing eight or 10 hungry people such a tempting opportunity of discussing your foibles." It may be 150 years since this essential etiquette bible was first published, but within its pages is timeless advice on all manner of matters, from the dinner table to marriage, and from smoking to fashion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It's very vulgar to repeat fish or soup on dinners

  • By Allyssia on 10-07-18

It's very vulgar to repeat fish or soup on dinners

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

Reviewed: 10-07-18

One thing that is worth mentioning about this book is that it's an etiquette book made for men; oh and it's also set on the Victorian Era.
One thing I found particularly interesting was how some rules remain so contemporary such as; do not drum your fingers on the table or do not make sounds with your mouth while eating while some others seem to be from a whole different world like not to cut bread shorter than 1.5 inches because it's very "plebian".
And talking about outdated rules, oh my, I remember at least five rules concerning gloves.
Overall speaking, this is a nice - although short - reading but I really recommend it if you're into history. It allows you to get into the Victorian Era mindset in a real subtle way. It's so good it almost feels like fiction. Enjoy!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Power of Body Language

  • An Ex-FBI Agent's System for Speed-Reading People
  • By: Joe Navarro
  • Narrated by: Joe Navarro
  • Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,499
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,320
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,309

Instantly discover what's really going on around you!Know the truth before you ever hear a word! Approximately 80% of communication is expressed nonverbally. When you know how to unlock the secrets of people's nonverbal cues, you'll always have the upper hand in any situation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • (...) and in the end, they would confess.

  • By Allyssia on 10-04-18

(...) and in the end, they would confess.

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

Reviewed: 10-04-18

In order to better remember and use as future reference, I've made a summary with all main contents. It doesn't by any mean replace the reading, but it helps remember future useful hints! Hope it's helpful!

ABOUT OUR BRAIN
*The hippocampus learns and expands, the amygdala senses danger and helps to keep us safe. The limbic system is designed to react, it's subconscious and non cognitive. Good emotions are dealt by the limbic system as well.
The neocortex is the cognitive part. It allows us to create things, think and lie. Boo!
*Whenever we feel a threat, we have freeze (predators sometimes don't chase things that don't move), flight (the modern equivalent is not running but distancing yourself) and fight reactions (nowadays usually manifests by arguing). 3 Fs. Not 2.

ANALYSING BEHAVIOR
*Behaviors can basically be categorized into comfort and discomfort demonstrations.
*Are behaviors limbic or cultural? Cultural= something that has been taught to us as a common reaction.
Limbic= it's easier to look for clusters to identify limbic reactions. Its reactions also happens very fast, immediately.
*Fragment information - in order to know what generates which feeling, fragment the information and discuss part by part. It will help you read the reactions way better.
*Pacifier reactions can either be used to add physical comfort to good situations or to ease stress. It can manifest through sucking your thumb, playing with your hair or touching your ears etc... Context matters.
*Happy couples have synchronized body patterns, they walk at the same pace and have similar body movements.

ANALYSING THE BODY
FEET 1)when couples get along their feet often touch.
2)When we are comfortable around people, our feet tends to go towards their direction.
3)When someone is empathetic towards someone else, the feet points to them. If they aren't keen to the person, it will point towards the exit.

LEGS 1)Crossing your legs is usually a demonstration of comfort and trust since it breaks your sense of balance.
2)When we cross our legs towards someone it is a sign we trust and like this person the best.
3)Usually depressed people won't bounce their legs or feet because they are so overwhelmed by their emotions they can't "defy gravity", like they are carrying all the weight of the world on their back.
4)Our legs are usually used to defend us. When we are relaxed we spread them a little wider but if we feel tense it closes shut.

HIPS 1) we may lean our hips towards someone to welcome them, but if our feet aren't pointed to their direction, it shows it was just out of politeness.
2) Hip contact is used to demonstrate affection.
3)Hips can also sign discomfort towards what someone is hearing - If the person is agitated it can be one major indicator that the situation is bothering them.
4)Hands on hips with elbows sticking out is one way to demonstrate we have an issue with someone or something. If the legs are also slightly spread apart it shows a very territorial pose. It universally transmits power issues. If the thumbs are pointed to the back it indicates there is an issue here. If the thumbs are pointed forward it changes the impression and makes you look inquisitive rather than intrusive.
5)Thucking the thumbs into the pants or belt in an equivalent distance is a way of framing the genitals and showing sexual interest.

TORSO 1)It transmits how we present our health to the world, as well as our youth.
2)The torso is also called the human billboard because we can "decorate" it in many ways. It can also be an indicative of social status (i.e. imagine a polo shirt with a fancy logo)
3) Looking at the torso also can indicate who this person is, what kind of position they have in society, how their self esteem is etc...
***4)The way we treat our torsos shows how we perceive ourselves
5)When people can see our torsos they perceive us as being more honest. Hiding our torsos is a way of showing we are not approachable, whether it may be because we feel superior or uncomfortable.
6)Positioning our torsos towards someone is called ventral fronting. The extreme opposite, turning our back to someone is ventral denial.
7)Visible tattoos, specially on the torso, nowadays, are perceived negatively in areas in which a high degree of trust is necessary

SHOULDERS 1)When asked a question and only one shoulder comes next to the ear, it's probably less likely that the answer will be truthful. When both shoulders come next to the ear, it's seen as more credible. One explanation is that their limbic system is coherent.
2)The turtle effect, in which the shoulders come next to the ear and the head comes down, indicates that what is being said isn't that strong.

NECK 1)Touching our necks is a kind of pacifying reaction. We often see this in relation to a stressful event.
2)Covering part of your neck shows something negative bothered you. Not covering it when talking about something negative can indicate lying.
3)When we're very comfortable we tend to tilt our heads.
4)The head going from tilt to straight tends to show something went wrong.
5)Tilting our heads to everyone makes people uncomfortable because that's a sign of affection.

HANDS 1)When we like someone we tend to touch them with our full hands. When we don't care, we use only or fingertips.
2)Putting the index and the thumb together indicates precision
3) When we are stippling (putting or fingertips together but not palms, hands spread out) indicates we're very sure about what we're talking about.
4)When we like something, our thumbs tend to appear.
5)One of the ways of showing lack of confidence is hiding our thumbs.
6)Preening behaviors are often associated with good health and with respect; since we usually try to look good when someone matters to us.
7)Preening however can also be bad; doing so while the person speaks without acknowledging them is a sign of disrespect
8)it's also possible to pacify others with our hands, which is a way of pacifying ourselves. We can also achieve the same results by pacifying animals.
9)Handshakes are reflections of the society we grew up in. In some cultures, a strong handshake is important, in some others, a weak one is the social norm. There are some cultures in which you don't even do handshakes at all.
10)One interesting thing to do, is to mimic their handshake in order to create empathy.
11)One rude handshake however, is to use both your hands to cover their hand during the handshake. It's perceived very negatively. This is called the politician handshake. If you feel like you need more touch, then touch the shoulder or the elbow, but don't cover their hands. Also, make eye contact.

PALMS 1)Palms up can send a subtle message of weaknesses, like you're asking for a favor or begging to be believed. Palms down can mean we are very secure of our message and that we are sure about it.

ARMS 1)Putting our arms behind our back and holding our fingers is called the regal position and the message is: don't come near me. It happens because it's the opposite of putting our arms up and forward, which can mean we're trying to reach for someone or something.
2)Hugging ourselves our constantly needing coats when it's not particularly cold is a sign we're trying to protect ourselves.

POSTURE (how we stand) 1) One way of showing respect is adjusting to the pace of walking of those who they perceive to be superior. (I.e. no one walks in front of the Queen on England)
2) The way you stand also is going to impact a lot the credibility of your message.
***3)Criminals target individuals based on how they stand. They go after people who look weak and unaware of their surroundings.
4)The more we spread our legs and body the more territorial we look.

ANALYSING THE FACE

FOREHEAD 1)When we look at the forehead we can have a very accurate notion whether stress or comfort is present.

EYES 1)Covering the eyes is a blocking mechanism. When we hear something we don't like, we close our eyes for at least longer than a blink.
2)When the eyelids come down and remain low for a long period of time it can indicate avoidance and discomfort.
3)When we see something we like our pupils dilate. When we see something we don't like, our pupils constrict.
3)Arching eyebrows (lasts 1/10 of a second) is called the eyebrow flash and it can speed how relationships are established and increase empathy.
4)Eye aversion has more to do with social constructs than whether we're telling the truth or not. Sometimes people avoid looking eye to eye because they understand that as a sign of respect.

NOSE 1)When we are stressed the nose tends to get very dry, therefore more sensitive which can induce the person to touch their nose.
2)When we get excited about something or when we're going to do something physical, the wings of the nose dilate. This can also be a sign the person is going to run or attack us.

MOUTH 1) Social smiles move the corner of the mouth towards the ear but the eyes don't present the crow effect, they don't change, the eyes remain still.
2)When people hive their lips it's an indicator of deep discomfort
4)When the lips are full, relaxed and warm is a sign that there is comfort.
5)When we purse our lips it's a sign of disagreement
6)Yawning excessively is a possible sign that the person is under stress.
7) To exhale with puff cheeks is a sign of relief
8)When we're strong and confident our jaws come out. When we are weak and insecure we put our chins in.

65 of 66 people found this review helpful

  • Animal Farm

  • By: George Orwell
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 3 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,361
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,854
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,862

George Orwell's classic satire of the Russian Revolution is an intimate part of our contemporary culture, quoted so often that we tend to forget who wrote the original words! This must-read is also a must-listen!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • If you hate spoilers, save the intro for last.

  • By Dusty on 02-18-11

There's much more to it than what you can see

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

Reviewed: 07-19-18

When I first finished this book I felt somewhat uneasy. I wasn't even sure whether I had liked it or not. It left me with a heavy lingering sensation that I couldn't help but keep thinking about.
After a while, I felt that my efforts, despite filled with good intentions, weren't being too productive, so I decided to read another book explaining Orwell's work and Animal Farm. All I can say after getting the real message is: wow.
What I like the most about the book is that the core message isn't necessarily related to communism, capitalism or any historical time period. The core message of the book is in the interaction between the humans and Napoleon. The humans were willing to accept Animal Farm as long as it would be benefical for them. It's something hard to perceive at a first reading because the whole job is focused on what happens inside the farm - which evolves marvelously - however, the reflexion upon until which degree we would assume a partnership with someone we don't agree with to defeat someone we disagree with is what really gets me.
Despite any association with any political party or historical period, the very core message remains significant and powerful to anyone and that's what makes a true timeless classic.