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A. Renkel

  • 25
  • reviews
  • 15
  • helpful votes
  • 124
  • ratings
  • Strong Ending

  • A Journey from Combat to Comedy
  • By: Audible Originals
  • Narrated by: Mary-Louise Parker
  • Length: 1 hr and 16 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,569
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,088
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,080

It’s always hard to make the crowd laugh - especially when joking about war, PTSD, and mental health. Strong Ending follows three military veterans as they attempt to turn their most painful stories into laughs by participating in a stand-up comedy boot camp. After joining the military, deploying to combat zones, and coming home fundamentally changed, Michael Garvey, Isaura Ramirez, and Patrick Harth challenge themselves to share their stories on stage and perform original stand up-comedy about their experiences for a packed house. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Favorite Member Selection so far

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-07-18

Profound comedy that isn't for everyone

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

Reviewed: 11-23-18

I think most veterans will appreciate this - especially those coping with PTSD, TBI, etc.
Not everyone benefits from performing comedy in front of an audience.
Some people may find more benefit from writing the jokes and helping others perform in front of an audience.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Born a Crime

  • Stories from a South African Childhood
  • By: Trevor Noah
  • Narrated by: Trevor Noah
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 102,143
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 94,617
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 94,177

One of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming of age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I expected more...

  • By Dany Avila on 12-06-18

Excellent!

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

Reviewed: 10-23-18

Thought-provoking book from Trevor Noah; he shares many life lessons learned during his unique childhood.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Girling Up

  • How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular
  • By: Mayim Bialik
  • Narrated by: Mayim Bialik
  • Length: 3 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 84
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 84

Mayim Bialik, star of The Big Bang Theory, puts her PhD to work as she talks to teens about the science of growing up and getting ahead. A must-have book for all teenage girls.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excelente lectura para madres de todos los sexos

  • By Elisa Madera on 10-09-18

Excellent for females of all ages (and males too)!

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

Reviewed: 01-22-18


This is an absolutely awesome book from Mayim Bialik who became a dedicated scientist and then resumed her acting career as Amy on The Big Bang Theory. (Yes, Mayim really is a neuroscientist - she doesn't just play one on TV.) Mayim's unique training, perspective and life experiences - including her time as a child actor on Blossom - offer rare insight into the world of becoming a woman.
At first glance, this book seems to be written for a younger audience. But adults like myself who have an interest in science will also learn a lot from the eloquently shared information. Mayim uses plain-spoken words to make difficult concepts easy to understand for girls and boys of any age and education level. She also uses physiologically and psychologically appropriate terminology when discussing information and processes concerning food, exercise, health, cultural, spiritual, and lifestyle choices. Her accurate descriptions of fetal development, physical / hormonal changes as maturation occurs, and basic reproduction are scientifically sound. Mayim also discusses the physiological and psychological effects of peer pressure, stress, depression, anxiety, etc; these are offered with compassion and without moral judgment. She does encourage all females to respect themselves, their bodies and minds, and to have confidence in setting boundaries.
The style and cadence of Mayim's narration makes this book an easy listen. Her delightful celebration of life as a woman is contagious and is bound to boost your spirit. Her anecdotes and insights offer wisdom for women of all ages (and men too)!

  • Children of Time

  • By: Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Narrated by: Mel Hudson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,696
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,493
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,467

Adrian Tchaikovksy's critically acclaimed stand-alone novel Children of Time is the epic story of humanity's battle for survival on a terraformed planet. Who will inherit this new Earth? The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age - a world terraformed and prepared for human life. But all is not right in this new Eden.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating Premise Within an Excellent Story

  • By Kurt Schwoppe on 07-30-17

Live life "forced by fear" or led by love?

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

Reviewed: 01-21-18

Unique perspective and profound insight which offers much food for thought. Will humans learn to "love thy neighbor as thyself" despite physiological and philosophical differences? Or will they introduce themselves to the universe while retaining hostile dominionist attitudes? This story contains many twists and turns - especially at the end.
I will look for more books by Adrian Tchaikovsky. And I did enjoy Mel Hudson's clear narration of the story.

FREE: Ponzi Supernova audiobook cover art
  • FREE: Ponzi Supernova

  • By: Steve Fishman
  • Length: 2 hrs and 38 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,270
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,919
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,916

Free for a limited time. Ponzi Supernova is an original audio series that profiles Bernie Madoff, the Wall Street financier sent to prison for orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in history. The series, hosted by journalist Steve Fishman, includes hours of unheard conversations with Madoff behind bars, as well as interviews with law enforcement and the victims.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • wow the story is a deep one

  • By Josh on 04-19-17

Very Scary!

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

Reviewed: 05-24-17

I expected this FREE book from Audible about the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme to be dry and boring.
It wasn't!
Apparently corruption runs rampant throughout our financial industries here in the United States of America. And the agencies responsible for keeping them honest are failing miserably. Too many people are making personal profit by enabling corruption instead of asking reasonable, relevant questions and enforcing common sense checks and balances. As usual , it's lower and middle-class people who end up paying the price for illegal, unethical attitudes and behaviors of the wealthy.
Not all wealthy people are evil; only those who feed their insatiable greed at the expense of others.
I sincerely hope the lower and middle classes have learned not to trust stock markets, hedge funds, investments, or any excessively hyped institutions whose 'job' is really nothing more than high-stakes gambling.
Now it's 2017 and thanks to another round of deregulation by Congress - especially GOP 'leadership' - the United States is headed for another Great Recession or - even worse - Great Depression.
Listen to this FREE book from Audible to learn about the red flags that can signal danger in financial institutions and practices.

  • Mycroft Holmes

  • By: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Anna Waterhouse
  • Narrated by: Damian Lynch
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,875
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,676
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,668

"When I say, therefore, that [my brother] has better powers of observation than I...I am speaking the exact and literal truth." (Sherlock Holmes). This story occurs when Mycroft, an athletic Cambridge graduate, assists the secretary of State. He becomes embroiled in a mystery in Trinidad based on actual history. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a huge Holmesian, seven-foot-two tall, basketball's all-time leading scorer, and a US cultural ambassador. Anna Waterhouse is a professional screenwriter and script consultant.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Finally a good Mycroft story!

  • By Sherlock Fan on 09-28-15

Excellent novel Kareem and Anna!

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

Reviewed: 03-21-17

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this book.
It offers a very interesting, plausible backstory for Mycroft Holmes.
I listened to the entire audiobook in one day.

The authors use subtle interaction of the characters as well as the dramatic action of the storyline to display the development of Mycroft's well-known characteristics. It's a little like reverse engineering. Kareem and Anna have a thorough knowledge of the 'product' Mycroft; they have successfully - and believably - captured the essence of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character. I often found myself thinking: "so that's why (in the Sherlock Holmes stories) Mycroft has those motives, mannerisms, tendencies, beliefs, etc". The interaction between Mycroft and Sherlock, though limited, is also believable and sheds light on the familial awkwardness and competitive nature of the brothers.

Damian Lynch gives the voice actor's perfect performance: he makes you forget it is only one person playing all the parts. He effortlessly switches between male, female, young, old, naive, brusque, menacing, and major / minor characters. He portrays each character's uniqueness with ease and without hesitation. He expertly assigns a distinct voice to each character - including two smarmy bureaucratic flunkies on two different continents! Damian offers a wide range of skills including several British dialects; Northern and Southern American Civil War era inflections; and a plethora of other International accents. His portrayal of this myriad of characters is phenomenal; it enhances the emotional impact and development of each character.

I noticed Kareem will release a Mycroft Holmes graphic novel in September 2017.
I sincerely hope he and Anna will collaborate to continue the story of Mycroft for those of us who prefer full-length novels and audiobooks. I'd buy that series - especially if Damian Lynch narrates!

I rarely write book reviews because I am a disabled veteran who has difficulty writing / typing and I am not proficient at using the speech-to-text feature on this computer. It is definitely worth the time and effort to review this well written and very interesting book. The cool art design for the book's dust jacket is an added bonus!

  • Killing Trail

  • A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery, Book 1
  • By: Margaret Mizushima
  • Narrated by: Nancy Wu
  • Length: 9 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,810
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,638
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,641

When a young girl is found dead in the mountains outside Timber Creek, lifelong resident Officer Mattie Cobb and her partner, K-9 police dog Robo, are assigned to the case that has rocked the small Colorado town. With the help of Cole Walker, a local veterinarian and single father, Mattie and Robo must track down the truth before it claims another victim. But the more Mattie investigates, the more she realizes how many secrets her town holds. And the key may be Cole's daughter, who knows more than she's saying.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not bad for a first novel, but shallow mystery.

  • By MidwestGeek on 02-08-17

Great new series!

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

Reviewed: 03-14-17

I love this new series!
I listen to the entire book in one day and immediately bought the second book.
Interesting character development especially between the new partners Robo and his handler Mattie Cobb.
Margaret Mizushima is a welcome addition to that rare group of authors who know how to capture the essence of the bond between an animal and his caretaker. As an animal lover, I really enjoy her astute descriptions of Robo's expressions and behaviors. I also appreciate her understanding of the fierce loyalty, trust, and sensitivity that exists between a working dog and his Handler.
Nancy Wu offers excellent narration; I hope she narrates the entire series.

Six Degrees of Assassination: An Audible Drama audiobook cover art
  • Six Degrees of Assassination: An Audible Drama

  • By: M J Arlidge
  • Narrated by: Andrew Scott, Freema Agyeman, Hermione Norris, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 48 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,473
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,362
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,357

On a sullen, cloudy July day ten years since 7/7, the happy, confident and optimistic British Prime Minister is visiting a charity in East London. It’s just two months after the general election which saw John Campbell's government returned to power with a clear majority, the economy is on the mend and the coalition is fast becoming a bad memory. Suddenly, a man appears out of the crowd and shoots him three times in the chest.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good Original Drama Pity About the "Music"

  • By lynn on 01-15-15

Excellent action drama with much food for thought!

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

Reviewed: 02-18-17

Six Degrees of Assassination is a very well-acted Audio Drama.
It contains many plot twists with some subtle clues which keep you guessing until the end.
It also contains much food for thought. Some of the characters' actions and motives may lead The Listener to re-examine the meaning of pride, patriotism, motives, scruples, and core values.
I listened to this great drama without interruption all in one day.
Excellent!

  • Gunner Skale: An Eye of Minds Story

  • The Mortality Doctrine
  • By: James Dashner
  • Narrated by: Erik Davies
  • Length: 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54

From James Dashner, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of the Maze Runner series, which includes The Maze Runner - now a number-one movie worldwide - and The Scorch Trials - soon to be a major motion picture from Twentieth Century Fox that hits theaters on September 18, 2015 - comes an original audiobook returning fans to the fast-paced, high-tech world from The Eye of Minds and The Rule of Thoughts, the first two books in the Mortality Doctrine series.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Short but worth the cost of a daily deal!

  • By A. Renkel on 06-03-16

Short but worth the cost of a daily deal!

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

Reviewed: 06-03-16

I enjoyed the Maze Runner series by James Dashner.
I was looking for other books by this author, but I was uncertain about the Eye of Minds series.

I bought this precursor (book 1.5) as a daily deal.
It has definitely captured my interest. I did not want this short book to end.
Now I am very eager to hear the Eye of Minds series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ignite Me

  • By: Tahereh Mafi
  • Narrated by: Kate Simses
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,073
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 979
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 982

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world...but that’s not all he wants with her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stunning conclusion!

  • By Marjorie on 02-08-14

outstanding series!

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

Reviewed: 04-17-16

Many profound moments scattered throughout the story.
Offers much food for thought without preaching.

Kate Simses does a wonderful job narrating.
She creates slight but distinct differences in the characters personalities.
Her subtle changes help portray the personal growth of each character.

I do wish there was an epilogue to this last book in the series.