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Anon

  • 18
  • reviews
  • 388
  • helpful votes
  • 369
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  • Goodbye, Things

  • The New Japanese Minimalism
  • By: Fumio Sasaki, Eriko Sugita - translator
  • Narrated by: Keith Szarabajka
  • Length: 4 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,732
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,366
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,338

Fumio Sasaki is not an enlightened minimalism expert or organizing guru like Marie Kondo - he's just a regular guy who was stressed out and constantly comparing himself to others, until one day he decided to change his life by saying goodbye to everything he didn't absolutely need. The effects were remarkable: Sasaki gained true freedom, new focus, and a real sense of gratitude for everything around him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Practical , Deep and Self-Reflection

  • By Anonymous User on 05-11-17

Just what I needed!

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

Reviewed: 10-29-17

This book has made a difference to my life! I've been thinking about decluttering for a couple of years, but couldn't quite get started. After listening to this I couldn't wait. So far, two truckloads to the thrift store, several items sold online, and some given to friends. I've just got started. My goal is at least one drawer every day. My house is starting to look much nicer and I have momentum. Of course the fruit has to be ripe to fall from the tree. Marie Kondo just didn't do it for me a year ago.

Obviously I was waiting for the right push, and what made the difference as far as I can tell is the mix of Mr. Sasaki's personal history, philosophical musings, and recapping of important points so that the book was easy to digest in audio format.

I do hope he finds the minimalist wife he dreams about!

The only negative for me was the narrator, who mangled the Japanese names and words. Yes, I speak Japanese and know the difference.

  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

  • A Novel
  • By: Helen Simonson
  • Narrated by: Peter Altschuler
  • Length: 13 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,640
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,270
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,263

You are about to travel to Edgecombe St. Mary, a small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills, thatched cottages, and a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familiar as the members of your own family. Among them is Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson's wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, Major Pettigrew is one of the most indelible characters in contemporary fiction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Charming book with an excellent narrator

  • By jc on 03-05-10

Why do the Pakistanis sound Irish?

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

Reviewed: 12-08-11

I'm halfway through. The story is delightful and well-written. I really want to hear what happens to Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali. The problem is that I'm English and the narrator obviously isn't. He is doing really horrible and random things to his vowels. The Pakistanis never actually sound Pakistani but they do have regular attacks of sounding Irish. Sometimes he uses his "child" voice for adults. English characters lurch unreliably between posh and common accents. Sloppy, sloppy.

I'm putting up with him because the book has an "over the top" quality that enables me to laugh... but I also feel sufficiently irritated to write this midstream review and I'll avoid this narrator in the future. He is making this excellent book struggle for me.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Fine Just The Way It Is

  • Wyoming Stories 3
  • By: Annie Proulx
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 6 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 75
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 40

Returning to the territory of "Brokeback Mountain" (in her first volume of Wyoming Stories) and Bad Dirt, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Proulx delivers a stunning and visceral new collection. In Fine Just the Way It Is, she has expanded the limits of the form. Her stories about multiple generations of Americans struggling through life in the West are a ferocious, dazzling panorama of American folly and fate.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Even the Devil can’t homestead in Wyoming.

  • By Louis on 07-01-12

Compelling tales of hard lives

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-02-10

It took me a couple of tries to get into this book. The stories are harsh and bare and gritty, like the Western landscape. Life is extremely hard, mistakes cost dearly, and nobody lives happily ever after. Having said that, I did not find the stories depressing. Lifelike would be a better word. Once I caught on, I found the book compelling.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Possum Living

  • How to Live Well Without a Job and with (Almost) No Money
  • By: Dolly Freed
  • Narrated by: Dolly Freed, Paige Williams
  • Length: 5 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 42

In the 1970s, Dolly Freed lived off the land dirt cheap and plum easy. Living in their own house on a half-acre lot outside of Philadelphia for almost five years, Dolly and her father produced their own food and drink and spent roughly $700 each per year. Thirty years later Dolly Freed's Possum Living is as fascinating and pertinent as it was in 1978. Tin House is reissuing the survivalist classic with a foreword by David Gates and an afterword by the author.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Thought I was frugal until I read this...

  • By Anon on 05-22-10

Thought I was frugal until I read this...

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-22-10

A possum (and Dolly) can live anywhere, hence the title of the book. She and her father managed to live an entirely self-sufficient life without employment or welfare. Of course you can't live independently if you have a "normal" outlook, which is the crux of the matter. The book is a fascinating account, written when Dolly was 18, of how she and her father spent their days. She shares her can-do attitude as well as practical details and recipes. Her straightforward enthusiasm makes the book easy listening, regardless of whether she is talking about how to catch, kill, and prepare a turtle for cooking or how to work up to running miles at full speed. She freely acknowledges that we might not all want to do these things. It's understood that she is just letting us know we can have choices.

But there's more. I couldn't help wondering what kind of adult Dolly would grow into - would she live with her father forever? So for me, the most interesting part was at the end. Dolly gives her perspective on the book 30 years on, and tells us what happened to her between then and now. Listen to the very end. There is also an interesting article about her by journalist Paige Williams, and a commentary by novelist David Gates, who based a character on Dolly but clearly doesn't "get" possum living. Neither will all listeners, but that doesn't mean they won't find the book thought-provoking.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Faithful Spy

  • By: Alex Berenson
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,259
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,650
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,630

John Wells is the only American CIA agent ever to penetrate al Qaeda. Since before the attacks in 2001, Wells has been hiding in the mountains of Pakistan, biding his time, building his cover.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable New Series

  • By Lia on 07-09-17

Great road trip book!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-28-06

I was not familiar with this author and don't normally read political thrillers but - what a great book! It kept me alert and anxious to hear more during a 14-hour drive. I appreciated the balance shown in understanding the perspectives of east-west conflict, and also the balance between drama and everyday detail. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Cage of Stars

  • By: Jacquelyn Mitchard
  • Narrated by: Kathe Mazur
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 70
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 25

Twelve-year-old Veronica Swan's idyllic life in a close-knit Mormon community is shattered when her two younger sisters are brutally murdered. Although her parents find the strength to forgive the deranged killer, Scott Early, Veronica cannot do the same. Years later, she sets out alone to avenge her sisters' deaths, dropping her identity and severing ties in the process.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Mercy vs. Justice

  • By Chuck on 03-24-07

Couldn't put it down

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-12-06

This book is so serene, and yet compelling. It deals with life's greatest subjects in such a... well, a sensible way. You'll learn a little about the Mormon religion, a lot about loving children and ethics. Highly recommended!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

On Beauty audiobook cover art
  • On Beauty

  • By: Zadie Smith
  • Narrated by: Peter Francis James
  • Length: 18 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 603
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 185

Set on both sides of the Atlantic, Zadie Smith's third novel is a brilliant analysis of family life, the institution of marriage, intersections of the personal and political, and an honest look at people's deceptions. It is also, as you might expect, very funny indeed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • two thumbs up

  • By Sarah DeFeo on 11-23-07

Updated, tweaked, and modernized

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-07-06

When I began this book I was unaware that it was loosely based upon one of my favorite novels, Howards End by E.M. Forster. Updated, tweaked, and modernized, Zadie Smith's similar story unfolded at much greater length. Although some parts were entertaining, it mostly seemed like a very pale imitation. The narration, however, was excellent.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • ImmersionPlus

  • German
  • By: Penton Overseas Inc.
  • Narrated by: uncredited
  • Length: 2 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars 4

The ImmersionPlus series of original vignettes has been created especially for the intermediate to advanced foreign language students who want to improve their foreign language comprehension.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • missing translation

  • By Jackstraw on 10-11-09

Yes, this really is useful

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-30-05

You learned German in school and it's been XX years since you had to crank it up... this will remind you and renew your investment in the language. You'll hear conversations about all kinds of everyday stuff, with no English help except for a few words to introduce the general subject. That's good! Set your chosen digital device to wake you up puzzling this stuff out every day. If you need to brush up on more than one language, check out the other "Immersions" and experience the same conversation in many languages!!!

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • ImmersionPlus

  • French
  • By: Penton Overseas, Inc.
  • Narrated by: uncredited
  • Length: 2 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2

The ImmersionPlus series of original vignettes has been created especially for the intermediate to advanced foreign language students who want to improve their foreign language comprehension.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • An excellent refresher

  • By Peter on 12-23-05

Yes, this really is useful

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-30-05

You learned French in school and it's been XX years since you had to crank it up... this will remind you and renew your investment in the language. You'll hear conversations about all kinds of everyday stuff, with no English help except for a few words to introduce the general subject. That's good! Set your chosen digital device to wake you up puzzling this stuff out every day. If you need to brush up on more than one language, check out the other "Immersions" and experience the same conversation in many languages!!!

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Difficult Conversations

  • How to Discuss What Matters Most
  • By: Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen
  • Narrated by: Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen
  • Length: 5 hrs and 40 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,525
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 819
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 799

Holiday gatherings can be stressful times for families, and occasionally the conversation around the holiday table can get heated. Difficult Conversations shows you a way out of this dilemma; it teaches you how to handle even the toughest conversations more effectively and with less anxiety.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Slow Start - Powerful book

  • By Arthur Held on 04-25-03

How to have an easier, more pleasant life

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-08-05

How do we upset one another without meaning to? How can we salvage a conversation that's going wrong? How can we say "no"? And how much time do we spend agonizing over this stuff? Here are methods and principles that can be used to improve all communications. The presentation is a bit stilted but the content is excellent. Through sample conversations, analysis of what went wrong, and examples of how to do it better, you start to build an understanding of how to hear other people's points of view and present your own. Why do we need to be told? That's covered too. Time spent with this book brought me some quick results, and it's obviously one to revisit.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful