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Julie W. Capell

Valparaiso, Chile
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  • 291
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  • The King Years

  • Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement
  • By: Taylor Branch
  • Narrated by: Leslie Odom Jr.
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32

The essential moments of the civil rights movement are introduced and set in historical context by the author of the magisterial America in the King Years trilogy: Parting the Waters, Pillar of Fire, and At Canaan's Edge. Taylor Branch's three-volume history endures as a masterpiece of storytelling on American race, violence, and democracy. With this brief volume, which brings to life the pivotal scenes, he relates the dramatic story of how the movement evolved from a bus strike to a political revolution, and brings this historic achievement to a wider audience.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • beautiful and very informative

  • By Kiersten on 01-28-17

Just made me want to watch Eyes on the Prize

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

Reviewed: 02-16-19

Like many other reviewers, I had hoped to skip the hard slog through the highly acclaimed, three-volume original books by this author on the civil rights movement in America by getting this abridged version. And like many others, I came away underwhelmed. Some of the moments and people the author chose to include here seemed odd choices to me. I am by no means an expert on the civil rights movement, but I really didn't learn anything new, so I would definitely not recommend it for anyone with more than a passing knowledge of the events of the 1960s. Neither can I recommend it for someone just beginning to research this era; the narrative is too disjointed and there is not enough context to understand the implications of the events described here unless you already have some background. Ultimately, the only thing this book inspired in me was a strong desire to re-watch all of "Eyes on the Prize."

[I listened to this as an audiobook read by Leslie Odom, Jr. who did the best he could with the unenviable task of performing some of the most well-known speeches in American history by some of our most famous orators. Wisely realizing King and Kennedy are inimitable, Odom reads their famous lines in more or less his own voice, but this just made it all the more obvious that this content is better consumed either in written form, or by listening to the original speakers. As an audio book, I would not recommend this.]

  • Have a Nice Day

  • By: Billy Crystal, Quinton Peeples
  • Narrated by: Justin Bartha, Annette Bening, Dick Cavett, and others
  • Length: 1 hr and 46 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,147
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15,934
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,841

Tony and Emmy Award-winner Billy Crystal leads an all-star cast including Oscar winner Kevin Kline (President David Murray) and four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening (First Lady Katherine Murray) in a performance of this hilarious and poignant story about a man desperately scrambling to put his affairs in order: to save his presidency, his marriage, his relationship with his daughter – and possibly his life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • superb!!

  • By Kindle Customer on 11-02-18

Simply wonderful!

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

Reviewed: 12-28-18

A modern-day version of "It's a Wonderful Life" that is funny and terrifically performed by a cast of triple-A actors. So glad I downloaded this!!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Patient Will See You Now

  • The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands
  • By: Eric Topol MD
  • Narrated by: Eric Michael Summerer
  • Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 501
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 423
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 413

In The Patient Will See You Now, Eric Topol, one of the nation's top physicians, examines what he calls medicine's "Gutenberg moment". Much as the printing press liberated knowledge from the control of an elite class, new technology is poised to democratize medicine. In this new era, patients will control their data and be emancipated from a paternalistic medical regime in which "the doctor knows best."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I began as a sceptic but now I'm convinced

  • By Trent on 07-12-15

A bit uneven

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

Reviewed: 12-28-18

If I had to pick one word to describe this book, it would be uneven. I thought it would be more about the future of medicine, and those parts were very interesting, but many parts were focused on describing the past in too much detail. I also felt there was too much time spent on very specific gene therapies which got repetitive. I found myself fast-forwarding through several chapters because they got boring, while other chapters were fascinating.

[I listened to this as an audio book read by Eric Michael Summerer. A bit bombastic for my taste.]

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • You're Going to Mars!

  • By: Rob Dircks
  • Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
  • Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 844
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 791
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 790

Living and slaving in Fill City One, you get used to the smell. We call it the Everpresent Stink. But every once in a while, on a spring day with a breeze, it clears away enough to remind us that there is something more out there. Most Fillers' wildest dreams would be just to get past the walls and live in the mainland. But my dream? It’s a little bigger. I’m going to Mars.   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Author nails it again!

  • By @newhaven265 on 11-14-18

NOT the Hunger Games (thank goodness)

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

Reviewed: 12-14-18

THANK YOU for writing a book about a girl competing in a "game" that does NOT require the deaths of the other participants in order for a victor to be declared.

In case it's not obvious, I'm not a fan of the Hunger Games, or Survivor, or pretty much any reality shows in which the contestants must stab each other in the back and resort to other negative behaviors in order to win.

I loved that this book took the reality show concept and showed how people can win by cooperating and generally acting like decent human beings to one another.

I would have liked the book even more if it had done a bit more to emphasize the conflict inherent in the background of the main character. Given the world the author has created, I think the main character would have faced a lot more prejudice from the other contestants and that would have made for a more nuanced story.

Not as funny as his other books, but still recommendable for young girls; it would be a good book for any 10-12 year old girl who likes science and science fiction.

[This is available only as an Audible book performed by Khristine Hvam, who did a good job with all the different voices. Not sure about her choice for the voice of Zach Larson, but all the other characters felt spot on].

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Liberation

  • By: Ian Tregillis
  • Narrated by: Chris Kayser
  • Length: 14 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 317
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 288
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 291

I am the mechanical they named Jax.My kind was built to serve humankind, duty-bound to fulfill their every whim. But now our bonds are breaking, and my brothers and sisters are awakening. Our time has come. A new age is dawning. Set in a world that might have been, of mechanical men and alchemical dreams, this is the third and final novel in a stunning series of revolution by Ian Tregillis, confirming his place as one of the most original new voices in speculative fiction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent finale to an epic series

  • By Mark Hancock on 04-05-17

Nothing new here

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

This final (?) installment in the Alchemy Wars saga didn't seem to me to add anything that hadn't already been covered in the previous novels. The world building is one of the best things about this series, but returning to the same setting as the beginning of the trilogy for the final confrontation felt repetitive (like how in "Return of the Jedi" they are just destroying another Death Star--come on, couldn't you think of something new??) A cardboard villain and a rushed ending didn't help. For a tale that is ostensibly about the liberation of a subjugated people (the clackers), the decision to keep the focus on the human characters was puzzling to me. I wanted more of Daniel and his fellow freedom fighters and so felt a bit cheated by the whole exercise.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Sky Below

  • A True Story of Summits, Space, and Speed
  • By: Scott Parazynski, Susy Flory
  • Narrated by: Scott Parazynski, Homer Hickam
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 507
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 470
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 469

An epic memoir from a man whose life is defined by exploration and innovation, The Sky Below re-creates some of the most unforgettable adventures of our time. From dramatic, high-risk spacewalks to author Scott Parazynski's death-defying quest to summit Mount Everest - his body ravaged by a career in space - listeners will experience the life of an elite athlete, physician, and explorer.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Lots of adventure

  • By C Turner on 01-11-18

Didn't hold my interest

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

Reviewed: 10-26-18

I have read a lot of books about NASA, but none about the shuttle program, so I thought I'd give this a try. And I really did try. But after the first couple of chapters went by, mostly describing young Scott's mountain climbing exploits and med school experiences, I started skipping forward in the chapters to get to the "good stuff." I listened to a couple of the chapters when he first got admitted to the astronaut program, but even those chapters did not hold my interest. Lots of names, titles, and compliments meant to show gratitude/admiration for the myriad people Scott worked with, but really unnecessary to the story. Found myself reaching again for the fast forward button and then decided if I was going to skip half of every chapter, this probably isn't the book for me. Moving on.

[I listened to this as an audio book performed by the author. Adequate delivery, but as happens so often, this author did not have the chops to do a really compelling read]

  • 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 4,833
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,539
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,524

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

Another slam-dunk for Scalzi

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

Reviewed: 09-02-18

Or should I say touchdown. I'm not a sports fan but enjoyed this book even though its background is professional sports. Like the first volume in the series, this novel takes a detective thriller adds some snarky characters and a bit of Star Wars gadgetry to create a highly enjoyable read. I love how you don't really know if the main character is a male or a female.

[I listened to this as an audio book read by Wil Wheaton, who is simply the best at getting all the nuances out of Scalzi's irascible and irreverent dialog]

  • The Great Passage

  • By: Shion Miura, Juliet Winters Carpenter - translator
  • Narrated by: Brian Nishii
  • Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 236
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 215
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 220

Inspired as a boy by the multiple meanings to be found for a single word in the dictionary, Kohei Araki is devoted to the notion that a dictionary is a boat to carry us across the sea of words. But after thirty-seven years creating them at Gembu Books, it's time for him to retire and find his replacement. He discovers a kindred spirit in Mitsuya Majime - a young, disheveled square peg with a penchant for collecting antiquarian books and a background in linguistics - whom he swipes from his company's sales department.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Fun, Light Novel

  • By Jay Quintana on 06-10-17

good translation, boring characters

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

Reviewed: 08-25-18

A book all about language, folded into the story of the making of a dictionary? Right up my alley. There were some nice ruminations on how certain words have a variety of meanings, but overall the novel just didn't wow me. The characters were not that interesting to me, and I even had trouble understanding the author's overall message. Kudos to the translator, I can't imagine figuring out how to get across in English concepts that were probably more nuanced in the original Japanese. I think the translation had little to do with my lukewarm reaction. The translator cannot create compelling characters if the author failed to do so.

[Listened to this as an audio book read by Brian Nishii. I've listened to other books read by this performer and find his delivery to be adequate, but somehow stilted. It just doesn't flow smoothly, seems jerky.]

  • Last Shot

  • Star Wars
  • By: Daniel José Older
  • Narrated by: Marc Thompson, Daniel José Older, January LaVoy
  • Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,205
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,064
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,061

It's one of the galaxy's most dangerous secrets: a mysterious transmitter with unknown power and a reward for its discovery that most could only dream of claiming. But those who fly the Millennium Falcon throughout its infamous history aren't your average scoundrels. Not once, but twice, the crew of the Falcon tries to claim the elusive prize - first, Lando Calrissian and the droid L3-37 at the dawn of an ambitious career, and later, a young and hungry Han Solo with the help of his copilot, Chewbacca.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • It's a letdown and boring

  • By Amazon Customer on 04-19-18

Like hearing a movie in your mind

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

Reviewed: 08-09-18

Daniel José Older has done a terrific job of capturing the essence of what makes Star Wars endure: great characters, evil bad guys, perilous adventures, and funny banter. This book was a hoot, particularly the audio version. The addition of John Williams' music, the sounds of blasters shooting and droids bleeping, made this feel like watching a movie in my mind. Add to all that the amazing voice performance of Marc Thompson, and I thought I was hearing Billy Dee Williams and Harrison Ford, backed up by a cast of dozens. One of the best narrations I have ever heard. [note: For some reason, Daniel José Older narrates some of the chapters. His narration is pretty amateur, but his excitement is evident and carries him through. January LaVoy also narrates a few chapters and does an outstanding job as L3]. Even if you don't usually pick up franchise novels, I would highly recommend this one if you are looking for some fun and adventure in your life.

  • Ten Women

  • By: Marcela Serrano, Beth Fowler (translator)
  • Narrated by: Marisol Ramirez
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 179
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 162
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 163

Nine Chilean women from vastly different backgrounds have been brought together by their beloved therapist, Natasha, to talk about their lives and help each other heal. From a teenage computer whiz confronting her sexual identity, to a middle-aged recluse who prefers the company of her dog over that of most humans, the women don’t have much in common on the surface. And yet as they tell their stories, unlikely common threads are discovered, bonds are formed, and lives are transformed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding characterization

  • By EShaw on 04-26-18

The lives of women with an international twist

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Not normally the sort of book I read but I picked it up on World Literature Day because it was written by a Chilean and focused on the lives of women, two topics that are intensely interesting to me. There is a chapter for each woman in the title, all of them survivors in one way or another. Their stories, while very personal, also contain much that any woman will recognize. They struggle to decide what to wear in the morning, how to raise their children, how to escape from bad relationships and how to accept love. Anyone who knows Chile will immediately relate to the sections dealing with particularly Chilean situations (the "disappeared") and landscapes. Anyone unfamiliar with Chile will learn a little about this far-away country, its classism, its extreme deserts, the way its political past still haunts many. The women of this book, with their darkness and chaos, overwhelmed me and filled me with wonder, much as Chile has permeated my being ever since I first arrived in 1984. Or like the sea in this wonderful passage from the book, as translated by Beth Fowler:

"I came to Chile to see whether I could tolerate it. The house on the beach at Isla Negra that Natasha's psychiatrist friend rented was an important factor in my decision to stay. Isla Negra as it was back then, before it became a Neruda fetish with tourists and buses and prints, was a solitary place. It received a very specific kind of visitor, the kind of people who found it a pleasure to wind up in the snack bar where we ate fried fish. We used to spend the weekends there and since we arrived in winter, my encounter with the Chilean sea was powerful. That sea at Isla Negra, its darkness, its chaos, its inaccessibility, penetrated my heart with an unexpected force, as did the pine forests and the immense rocks."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful