LISTENER

yarngirl1952

NY
  • 19
  • reviews
  • 4
  • helpful votes
  • 22
  • ratings
  • Get Well Soon

  • History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them
  • By: Jennifer Wright
  • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,223
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,807
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,788

In 1518, in a small town in Alsace, Frau Troffea began dancing and didn't stop. She danced until she was carried away six days later, and soon 34 more villagers joined her. Then more. In a month more than 400 people had been stricken by the mysterious dancing plague. In late-19th-century England an eccentric gentleman founded the No Nose Club in his gracious townhome - a social club for those who had lost their noses, and other body parts, to the plague of syphilis for which there was then no cure.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Once over lightly with a nasty tone

  • By Helen Feddema on 08-20-17

Be prepared for ill- attempted humor

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

Reviewed: 02-19-19

As a microbiologist, I am fascinated by pandemics or plagues of the past and what scientists predict for the future. The topics chosen were interesting, but some I would not consider plagues like lobotomies or encephalitis lethargica.
Each plague was thoroughly covered, but heavily sprinkled with an attempt at humor that bordered on sarcasm. The author poked fun at society, the victims, the perpetrators, the doctors, and whoever else was present. I thought this writing style was inappropriate given the topic. I was happy when the book was over.

  • The Reckoning

  • A Novel
  • By: John Grisham
  • Narrated by: Michael Beck
  • Length: 17 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,609
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,660
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,622

Pete Banning was Clanton's favorite son, a returning war hero, the patriarch of a prominent family, a farmer, a father, a neighbor, and a faithful member of the Methodist church. Then one cool October morning in 1946, he rose early, drove into town, walked into the church, and calmly shot and killed the Reverend Dexter Bell. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Would make a 5 star four hour novella, ...

  • By Wayne on 11-03-18

Somewhat depressing [spoiler alert]

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

Reviewed: 02-19-19

Grisham often takes on controversial topics like the death penalty, big drug companies, greed, and the like and he pulls out all the stops in this novel. He covers the death penalty, greedy litigation, family secrets, lies, WW 2 and Japanese brutality, and the list continues. Despite these topics, I listened in the car, while knitting, weaving, or doing house work. I usually reserve audio books for the car.
Unfortunately, the twists and turns, present in this other novels like The Rooster Bar and The Pelican Brief, where the bad guys are exposed and get what they deserve, are missing in this novel. I kept waiting for some obscure point of law that would save the Banning farm. It didn't happen. I nearly cried. Nevertheless, I kept listening.
The narrator was perfect. The voices of the characters with the Mississippi drawl were also perfect.

  • Twain’s Feast

  • By: Audible Originals
  • Narrated by: Nick Offerman
  • Length: 4 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,072
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,424
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,397

Mark Twain, beloved American writer, performer, and humorist, was a self-proclaimed glutton. With the help of a chef and some friends, Nick Offerman presents the story of Twain’s life through the lens of eight of Mark Twain’s favorite foods.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Audible Recycling

  • By Greg Hill on 11-17-18

A Feast for my Ears

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

Reviewed: 12-31-18

I listened to Twain's Feast while threading my loom with a new project. This is not a task to do while distracted by a fascinating topic: Mark Twain or Samuel Clemens.

I thought I knew Twain and his writing because I had read Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn in school, but I didn't have a clue. I had never heard of most of the writing mentioned in the audio book, so now I have more reading to do. No only of Twain, but Jessica Harris and others highlighted in the book.

The menu was secondary, but I began to crave the African cuisine of the South: gumbo, shrimp and grits, red beans and rice, and so on. I am a mid Westerner by birth; I live in the Northeast, but my heart and stomach are from Tennessee , the Carolinas, and Louisiana.

  • Blink

  • The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
  • By: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,725
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,345
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,315

In his landmark best seller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant, in the blink of an eye, that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting read with contradictory messages

  • By Danny on 04-21-05

Thinking w/o thinking Oxymoron?

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

Reviewed: 12-21-18

Another home run for Mr. Gladwell. He explains how our snap judgments about people, products, and situations can be informative, dangerous or deadly.

I was particularly interested in the part about being "mind blind" like those with autism.

As for an audio book, the topic is complicated enough that a print book might be a better option.

ETA Upon a second listening with pen and paper nearby, I was able to write down books I want to read: One Doctor by Brendan Reilly, Into the Kill Zone, and anything about or by van River.

  • Where the Crawdads Sing

  • By: Delia Owens
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 37,119
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,909
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,777

For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life - until the unthinkable happens.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful

  • By Seattle blues on 08-17-18

Abandoned by family, shunned by townspeople

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

Reviewed: 12-17-18

Kaiya Clark is a wild child. Illiterate, abandoned to the marsh by age 10, Kayia's days are spent surviving.

She has no friends, no social life, but she has the lagoons and estuaries teeming with water birds and the forest with it's critters and plants. She collects and paints. She knows love and the pain of loss and loneliness.

Cassandra Campbell is perfect as narrator. Her voice captures the nuances in tone and inflection in the conversations of coastal North Carolina.

The book has been well edited. I noticed one error where the fire tower was referred to as the water tower.

  • Jingle Bell Pop

  • By: John Seabrook
  • Narrated by: Erin Moon
  • Length: 1 hr and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,200
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,907
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,904

On Christmas Eve, 1818, in a small Austrian village, a local Catholic priest and a church organist composed a Christmas carol that changed the course of holiday music forever. Exactly two hundred years later, it’s not the holiday season until you’ve heard “Silent Night” in the car, at the store and on TV – all in the same day. 

In Jingle Bell Pop, John Seabrook, acclaimed author of The Song Machine, takes us deep inside the holiday music business. We go behind the scenes to meet some of the producers, songwriters and recording artists responsible for the timeless tunes we hear on repeat between Thanksgiving and Christmas every year.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Making of a Christmas Hit

  • By Kingsley on 12-07-18

Short, interesting account of holiday song writing

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

Reviewed: 12-11-18

The emphasis is on writing a new holiday hit rather than analyzing the existing favorites we hear each season. Silent Night, and O Little Town of Bethlehem are exceptions. Most of the more recent hits I had not heard of.
I would had liked a longer show highlighting more traditional songs. The political statement at the end should have been cut.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Tipping Point

  • How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
  • By: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,792
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,320
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,283

In The Tipping Point, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in society happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sociology for the masses.

  • By Dean on 10-28-10

This book could create a Tipping Point

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

Reviewed: 12-01-18

Another home run for Malcom Gladwell. The book covers ideas such as the importance of word of mouth epidemics, mavens, connectors and stickiness. All these factors make an idea tip.

Gladwell uses ideas as different as Paul Revere's ride to teen smoking to tennis shoes to a treasure box to explained his ideas.

I think the ideas expressed in this book were harder or more complex than in the others I have read. I think I will read the print version.

  • Louder Than Words

  • The New Science of How the Mind Makes Meaning
  • By: Benjamin K. Bergen
  • Narrated by: Benjamin K. Bergen
  • Length: 8 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 387
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 351
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 347

Whether it’s brusque, convincing, fraught with emotion, or dripping with innuendo, language is fundamentally a tool for conveying meaning - a uniquely human magic trick in which you vibrate your vocal cords to make your innermost thoughts pop up in someone else’s mind. You can use it to talk about all sorts of things - from your new labradoodle puppy to the expansive gardens at Versailles, from Roger Federer’s backhand to things that don’t exist at all, like flying pigs.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Almost too thorough

  • By kwdayboise (Kim Day) on 06-04-17

Like listening to a textbook

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

Reviewed: 11-30-18

I listen to audio books while I drive or do other tasks that take some concentration. This book needs to be read and reread to get the full meaning. I don't think audio is the best platform. I didn't get past the first chapter because it took too much concentration to understand what the author meant. Not an easy book to comprehend. Returned.

  • A Thousand Splendid Suns

  • By: Khaled Hosseini
  • Narrated by: Atossa Leoni
  • Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,987
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,686
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,702

Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss, and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them, in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul, they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Magnificent

  • By Bill from Florida on 05-29-07

Incredible imagery

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

Reviewed: 10-05-18

Hosseini has a gift of writing so the reader is present in the. story. I could see the giant Buddahs even though I have not seen a picture,.

I loved listening to Leoni's voice; she was the perfect narrator for this book. I had some trouble understanding some of the Urdu, Farsi, and Pashto words. So I. bought the book.

  • Outliers

  • The Story of Success
  • By: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,252
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,406
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,389

In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers" - the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Captivating (if not an outlier)

  • By KHarrang on 11-21-08

A different take on success

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

Reviewed: 08-19-18

l loved this book. I listened to it twice and they second time was just as good. Gladwell made two excellent points regarding education. Tracking children too early developmentally is detrimental. The same is true for sending a 4 year old to full day kindergarten. I waited until my son was nearly 6 before he started school.
The second point is summer vacation is too long. With 4 boys, I am all for year round school.