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Stacy

STILLWATER, OK, United States
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 132
  • ratings
  • A Little Life

  • A Novel
  • By: Hanya Yanagihara
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 32 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,321
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,665
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,672

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I had to call in SAD to work

  • By Angela on 10-17-15

Starts out strong, but ultimately disappointing

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

Reviewed: 08-03-16

A Little Life does some things incredibly well. While exploring her characters’ thoughts and reflections, Yanagihara’s prose is delicate, beautiful, and touching. What I initially thought was the premise of the book (the changing dynamics of four friends over their adult lives), is a wonderful concept and I was enthralled by this idea as the first third or so (up through Jude’s adoption) of the book unfolded. However, the remaining two thirds lost its way and left me ultimately disappointed. As the focus abandoned the foursome to dwell only upon Jude’s torturous past, the book became gratuitously depressing as well as terribly implausible.

The narrator, Oliver Wyman, was an excellent choice to read this book. His style matches the author's very well, I thought.

  • The Bone Clocks

  • By: David Mitchell
  • Narrated by: Jessica Ball, Leon Williams, Colin Mace, and others
  • Length: 24 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,279
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,942
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,954

Following a scalding row with her mother, 15-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: A sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as "the radio people," Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a masterful writer, an uneven narration

  • By S. Weaver on 11-13-14

Loved every minute!

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

Reviewed: 06-19-16

I loved every minute! The audio production was fantastic. All six narrators were stellar.

The Bone Clocks is broken up into six different sections, each narrated by a different person at a different point in time progressing forward. While each narrator was richly developed and engaging on their own merit, they also wove different threads around and through a continuous plot that was magical and captivating. I would recommend this to anyone who appreciates rich character studies, or who enjoys fantasy or magical realism.

  • A Bigger Prize

  • How We Can Do Better Than the Competition
  • By: Margaret Heffernan
  • Narrated by: Margaret Heffernan
  • Length: 15 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 24

From the cranberry bogs of Massachusetts to the classrooms of Singapore and Finland, from tiny start-ups to global engineering firms and beloved American organizations like Ocean Spray, Eileen Fisher, Gore, and Boston Scientific, Heffernan discovers ways of living and working that foster creativity, spark innovation, reinforce our social fabric, and feel so much better than winning.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Margaret Heffernan is brilliant!

  • By Eric Willingham on 06-09-16

Fascinating and inspiring!

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

Reviewed: 05-09-16

As an undergrad enrolled in Game Theory class, there was a lot of talk about competition vs. cooperation. Although cooperation would nearly always yield a better outcome in those theoretical scenarios, it seemed to defy the way human nature worked in reality. A Bigger Prize turns that assumption on its head. Not only does Heffernan provide evidence that competition is not as productive as it is often touted to be, she also provides inspiring examples that show what has already been accomplished by good collaborators. She argues powerfully for dispensing of the idea that we are stuck in a zero-sum game (in order for me to win, you have to lose). Instead, she proposes and supports with evidence that greater outcomes (or bigger prizes) can be enjoyed by both of us when we work together.

Heffernan covers a wide variety of industries: education, music, entertainment, academia, medicine, scientific research, plant and animal farming, pharmaceuticals, and even religion. The recurring pattern that emerges from these examples is that competitive models promote conformity, cheating, fraud, selfishness, and risk intolerance. Conversely, cooperative models promote creativity, innovation, a higher degree of investment and accountability, intrinsic motivation to produce quality work/products, and freedom. Cooperative models aren’t without challenges, however. They require good communication, units that are small enough to safely fail, willingness to share resources, and most importantly of all, TRUST. A cooperative environment, therefore, has the best chance to solve our modern world’s most complex problems.

  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

  • By: Jack Weatherford
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis, Jack Weatherford
  • Length: 14 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,608
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,403
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,418

The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant, insightful, intriguing.

  • By Peter on 03-05-10

Fascinating and Illuminating

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

Reviewed: 05-04-14

Completely engaging and accessible, this book is a fascinating biography of one of history's most influential individuals. Genghis Khan is responsible for originating some of the most innovative military strategies, uniting and making wealthy the warring Mongol tribes, creating the largest trading economy, and various other groundbreaking concepts such as diplomatic immunity, full religious tolerance, widows' inheritances, meritocratic promotions, etc. Unjustly vilified, Genghis Khan was not the cruel and brutal savage I had always believed him to be. He was truly an outstanding and compelling personality that permanently changed the course of history.

  • Lolita

  • By: Vladimir Nabokov
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Irons
  • Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,938
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,721
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,687

Why we think it’s a great listen: Among the great literary achievements of the 20th century, Lolita soars in audio thanks to the incomparable Jeremy Irons, bringing to life Nabokov’s ability to shock and enthrall more than 50 years after publication. Lolita became a cause celebre because of the erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Nabokov's masterpiece owes its stature not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story that is shocking in its beauty and tenderness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A masterpiece

  • By Erez on 05-29-08

Just incredible.

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

Reviewed: 08-01-12

I love the way Nabokov toys with and manipulates the English language. It was so skillful and artistic! There were plenty of erotic passages and references but they were conveyed with poetic delicacy, no crass play-by-plays here. Also, I love the Humbert Humbert (great name!) character. He's such a caricature of opposing forces, I found him to be at different times comical, admirable, and pathetic. His early descriptions of his passions for Lolita were so tender and lovely, I began to worry about how much I was sympathizing with a pedophile. Then his passion devolves into obsession (or was it always?) and we begin to see his insanity and start to loathe him. No one will ever accuse this novel of one-dimensionality. Similarly, I had an initial perception of Lolita as an innocent victim. But as the story progressed, I was more disconcerted by her sexual maturity and disdain for adults. I even began to wonder if maybe nymphets really do exist. This should be an interesting book club discussion...

I cannot rave enough about Jeremy Irons' performance. It was sublimely perfect. I didn't realize until after I finished listening that Jeremy Irons also played Humbert Humbert in the '90s remake of the movie. So, it's no wonder that he seemed to have an uncanny insight into Humbert's character. His performance was delicately nuanced, deeply emotional, and completely compelling. I wouldn't necessarily say that Lolita is my favorite book of all time, but Jeremy Irons has delivered one of my favorite performances of all time. Exquisite!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Spark

  • The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
  • By: John J. Ratey
  • Narrated by: Walter Dixon
  • Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,713
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,435
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,407

Did you know you can beat stress, lift your mood, fight memory loss, sharpen your intellect, and function better than ever simply by elevating your heart rate and breaking a sweat? The evidence is incontrovertible: Aerobic exercise physically remodels our brains for peak performance.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Spark

  • By Kathleen on 11-02-08

Exactly what I hoped it would be.

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

Reviewed: 08-01-12

This book spells out the variety of positive effects that exercise has on a person's brain. Ratey explains how the human brain has evolved to benefit in many ways from physical activity, including mood regulation, anxiety moderation, higher ability to learn, even staving off mental deterioration. He then details how exercise has benefitted particular subgroups, such as those with ADHD or depression, pregnant women, and the elderly. Despite discussing some unfamiliar neurochemical names, the narrative remains very accessible to the layperson. I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants or needs a motivational boost to start an exercise/fitness program.

  • You Must Go and Win: Essays

  • By: Alina Simone
  • Narrated by: Alina Simone
  • Length: 7 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 104
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 94
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 95

In the wickedly bittersweet and hilarious You Must Go and Win, the Ukrainian-born musician Alina Simone traces her bizarre journey through the indie rock world, from disastrous Craigslist auditions with sketchy producers to catching fleas in a Williamsburg sublet. But Simone offers more than down-and-out tales of her time as a struggling musician: she has a rapier wit, slashing and burning her way through the absurdities of life, while offering surprising and poignant insights.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful life journey

  • By Kristiina Friman on 11-08-11

Good, light amusement.

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

Reviewed: 08-01-12

I really enjoyed her lightly self-deprecating sense of humor and the colorful Russian flavor in her writing, especially after reading The Tiger, which was quite descriptive of far eastern Russia/Russians but in a different way.