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Aura Vahtia

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  • 46
  • helpful votes
  • 22
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  • Al Franken, Giant of the Senate

  • By: Al Franken
  • Narrated by: Al Franken
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 15,063
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 13,903
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 13,762

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect. It's a book about what happens when the nation's foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I was reading this when the allegations against Franken came out

  • By Fruitsalad200 on 12-10-17

Awe, from one of the NOW previously disillusioned.

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

Reviewed: 07-30-17

I generally don't like biographies. I like politics even less. I've avoided the news and a lot of social media, because of the distress it causes me on a daily basis. But I do watch Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, and Bill Maher whenever I can. I felt I couldn't trust the sensationalist theatrics of some media (Fox & Fiends, I'm pointing at you), but I knew I could trust the jesters of our kingdom, the satirists, to tell it like it is. Or mock it like it is.

One night I watched Bill Maher and saw Al Franken as his special guest, plugging his book. I know by his reputation that he is a good man, a good senator for his state and constituents, and what really qualifies him as a potential listen for me, is his past as an excellent comedian (SNL) and political satirist. I took a chance and bought this audio book, and I was not disappointed.

He starts with his childhood and family background. He entices with his history as a comedian and work on SNL. He thoroughly conveys his thoughts, values, triumphs and learning moments as a Senator, and finishes his book with hope and dignity. He helped me understand our Government politics from an insider perspective that from deep in my gut, I trust. Politics aren't always fair or balanced. Senator Franken has a great deal to say about it, and not always in the kindest of words. But this was an interesting and enjoyable listen. This was worth every cent, and moment of my time.

  • The Dispatcher

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Zachary Quinto
  • Length: 2 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,363
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,811
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,755

Zachary Quinto - best known for his role as the Nimoy-approved Spock in the recent Star Trek reboot and the menacing, power-stealing serial killer, Sylar, in Heroes - brings his well-earned sci-fi credentials and simmering intensity to this audio-exclusive novella from master storyteller John Scalzi. One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone - 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don't know.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good Grief This Was Good

  • By Matthew on 11-09-16

Unstoppable.

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

Reviewed: 10-09-16

I thoroughly enjoyed this audio story! As usual, John Scalzi fails to disappoint, sharing an all too brief but brilliant flash of his talent (for free!) This is my first time hearing Mr. Quinto as a narrator, and really hope it won't be my last. His voice is handsome, his narration completely believable, easily allowing mental immersion into the story.

This short story is intelligent, weird, fantastic, yet plausible.




  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

  • By: Rebecca Skloot
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 12 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,539
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,366
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,405

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing Story

  • By Prisca on 04-30-10

Thank HeLa!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-13-10

The audio book was narrated by Cassandra Campbell and Bahni Turpin, both of which I first experienced in the phenomenal book, The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I remain impressed with their skills of narration, and will start perusing their lists of audio books more frequently.

This book was absolutely fascinating. Miss Skloot was able to re-humanize an important aspect of science who had been objectified and exploited from the start, but to the overall benefit and evolution of medical science, its ethics and practice. The Immortal cells of Henrietta Lacks (HeLa) as the medium, has had a profound impact on biological studies, the likes for which the entire world could and should be grateful.

This is not just a recollection of scientific and biological history, but a biography of Henrietta's legacy. The book also offers a valuable snapshot of the dismissive and often cruel nature of race relations and segregation that took place as little as 60 years ago. Though she and her family suffered greatly, I am glad to know of Mrs. Lacks. I'm also thankful for what she and the scientific community has done for me, my friends, family, and the world.

This book was easy to listen to, understand, and follow. I highly recommend this audio book!

46 of 48 people found this review helpful