LISTENER

Robyn

United States
  • 20
  • reviews
  • 14
  • helpful votes
  • 27
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A must-listen for fans of Jane Austen!

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

Reviewed: 02-20-19

I am a fan of Jane Austen and have read Emma before; however, this was more fun than I expected. I loved the theatrical-like reading with the different characters and some background sound effects. Best of all was the narration provided by the incomparable Emma Thompson. It was the perfect way to entertain myself as I drove from Los Angeles, CA to Ashland, OR.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Candid, insightful, poignant, and amusing

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

Reviewed: 02-20-19

Michelle Obama has done an amazing job of telling her story. Details of the book would give away too many things that a reader needs to experience directly (and in order) to truly understand the story she tells. I'm more impressed than ever with what she has done and accomplished . . . and how hamstrung she was in her role as First Lady.

There are so many stories told in a way that feels approachable (with the exception of the frequent mention of being Ivy League educated). I found her willingness to share stories that many would want to keep private make her more human. I look forward to reading Barack Obama's book and seeing how his story aligns with hers.

  • Cork Dork
  • A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste
  • By: Bianca Bosker
  • Narrated by: Bianca Bosker

Subtitle is accurate, but don't expect too much

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

Reviewed: 02-20-19

While listening to this book, more than once I wanted to shut it off and delete it from my phone . . . but, I hung in there and I'm glad I did.

First, the author, Bianca Bosker, does a respectable reading her own book. I typically steer away from books read by the author since they usually don't do very well . . . and even destroy their own literature (e.g., Frances Mayes reading "Under the Tuscan Sun" is an example).

Second, the subtitle "A wine-fueled adventure among the obsessive sommeliers, big bottle hunters, and rogue scientists who taught me to live for taste" is accurate. It's the telling of the author's one-year long enterprise to better understand wine and the world of wine. I grew weary of significant portions of the book about people who claim to love wine and know what makes a good wine but are more impressed with the absurdly high prices and the limited supply of a particular wine. The high point/low point of the book was the wine tasting with over $1 million bottles of wine where more than 20% is poured out by people eager to try the next wine while their taste buds are so numb and their brains so anesthetized that Two-buck Chuck wine would have the same impact. I kept thinking "What a waste." This is when I had to remind myself that the author was infiltrating the world to observe and report on it, not necessarily endorsing it. She even draws attention to the foolishness.

Third, this book is not an education about wine itself, but about the world of wine and the people in it at the highest levels. Do I want to eat at a restaurant where the sommelier is trying to size me up to see how much they can get me to spend? No. Not really. If anything it made me want to steer clear of that world more than ever. It only goes to reinforce the idea there are people in the world with more money than sense, style, and taste and they seem to get off making others aware of their wealth.

Last, if you want to learn more about wine, this is not the book. But, what I believe the author impresses upon the reader is the need for experience in tasting wine to understand what goes into it and how to identify what you like. It seemed like very few of the so-called wine experts she presents can tell you what makes a wine a good wine. Can someone tell me what I like? No. Not really. I have to spend the time to explore and experience.

One thing I came to appreciate is what it takes to become a Certified Sommelier. I have no desire to go down that path, but when the author lays out the requirements . . . including the depth and range of knowledge . . . which is all-consuming . . . I just hope when I encounter sommeliers that they can impart their experience and insight and not try to figure out how to get me to spend as much as possible.

I do wonder how Annie is doing and whether the foul-mouthed Morgan passed his Master Sommelier exam.


Slow and boring

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

Reviewed: 12-11-18

When I read the plot was about the daughter of a duke opening a brothel as a way of supporting herself I thought "Sounds like fun!". Nearly five hours (1/2 way through the book), we finally get to it. Then it becomes a short-lived portion of the story. Redundant in descriptions, laborious to get through, and not terribly exciting. A big yawn!

Amazing story!

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

Reviewed: 06-20-18

Code Girls was fascinating and entertaining. A story that is long overdue in being told.

Exciting story - Thank you, Audible!

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

Reviewed: 06-04-18

I'm old enough to remember Secretariat's Triple Crown win (and therefore old enough to remember Seattle Slew and Affirmed). American Pharoah's winning of the Triple Crown is an amazing accomplishment. Unfortunately I thought the story lacked the depth and fluidity of stories about other famous race horses, like Secretariat and Seabiscuit. I suspect there is more to American Pharoah's story when it comes to his breeder/owner, Ahmed Zayat and trainer, Bob Baffert. There are back stories missing and I think it impacts the story. Basically, we're given the story the author wants us to know about . . . or perhaps what was easily available to him. He definitely did not do the background work that Laura Hillenbrand, author of "Seabisbuit" or William Nack, author of "Secretariat" did when they wrote their books.

In an audio version of this book, the book suffers from the narration. The reader really needs some coaching on rate, rhythm, and prosody. Time-after-time, there were parts of the book read with enthusiasm that was misplaced.

Excellent!

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

Reviewed: 04-19-18

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and how realistic the story felt as I listened to it chapter after chapter. Forget the movie . . . this is much better!

Women during and after the Revolution

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

Reviewed: 04-19-18

This book offers incredible insight into the role of women and the burden they carried in the days of the United States. While her brother, Benjamin Franklin, was traveling the world and heralded as a innovative forerunner and scholar, Jane was spending her days caring for people suffering from consumption, while married to a deadbeat. I kept waiting for a reckoning for Jane. All I can think is how fortunate I am to not have been born 200 years earlier.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Walter Issacson can do no wrong!

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

Reviewed: 04-19-18

I love biographies of the tech titans. What I loved about this book is it goes back to the individuals and groups of people and shows how they built on what others had already done. The author helps elevate the visibility of the role of women early on and their contributions. It also shared insight into the competitiveness and animosity in who gets credit for what.

Excellent, but misrepresented

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

Reviewed: 04-19-18

I went into listening to this book with the expectation it was focused on the 1976 Paris tasting that brought California wines to the attention of many. The story starts long before this event and gives an intriguing history on the California wine industry and many of the key players involved.