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  • Captivate

  • The Science of Succeeding with People
  • By: Vanessa Van Edwards
  • Narrated by: Vanessa Van Edwards
  • Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,171
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,956
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,933

Do you wish you could decode people? Do you want to know exactly what to say to your boss, your date, or your networking partner? You need to know how people work. As a human behavior investigator, Vanessa Van Edwards studies the hidden forces that drive our behavior patterns in her lab - and she's cracked the code. In Captivate she shares a wealth of valuable shortcuts, systems, and behavior hacks for taking charge of their interactions at work, at home, and in any social situation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Practice After Each Chapter

  • By A. Yoshida on 07-09-17

Cringeworthy: Pop-psych & anecdotes to help no one

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

Reviewed: 05-20-17

What did you like best about Captivate? What did you like least?

1) There aren't much scientific evidence provided. No details like sample sizes, race, age, given.

"We have innate ability to read people’s intelligence just by looking at their faces".
Digging online, I found that she reached that statement based on ONE study. ONE study! With the sample size of 80. JUST 80! A sample size of 80 people (out of how many BILLIONS) is RIDICULOUSLY MINISCULE for any conclusion to be made.

2) In fact, there were more personal anecdotes than scientific data to back her up. "When I was young, I did this...". "My friend, she did this...". "My other friend, he did this...". She'll name-drop without explaining who is this doctor or scientist of whom she speaks, and why anyone should care about their THEORIES.

3) Some things were common sense - like "Don't stand near the buffet area when you want to meet people. You don't want to be chewing your food and talk". Duh!

4) Cheese-factor is high too, as exemplified by the chapter titled, "How to turn people on". "Our inner Gremlins". *cringe*

5) She uses a lot of American-centric metaphors, analogies, characters from TV shows. Gossip girl, prom, etc. *cringe*

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

It's like reading an extended version of "self-help" articles found in glossy magazines like Cosmopolitan or Glamour.

What aspect of Vanessa Van Edwards’s performance would you have changed?

*cringe* Kew-pons. Inner Act (interact). Inner National (international). Kernect (connect). Apprishayshen (appreciation). Import Urn (important). Prob. Erm (problem).

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Night Stalker

  • Detective Erika Foster, Book 2
  • By: Robert Bryndza
  • Narrated by: Jan Cramer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,050
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,809
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,799

In the dead of a swelteringly hot summer's night, Detective Erika Foster is called to a murder scene. The victim, a doctor, is found suffocated in bed. His wrists are bound and his eyes bulging through a clear plastic bag tied tight over his head. A few days later, another victim is found dead in exactly the same circumstances. As Erika and her team start digging deeper, they discover a calculated serial killer - stalking their victims before choosing the right moment to strike.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another Great Police Procedural From BryndzaR

  • By Charles Atkinson on 06-08-16

Excellent narrator, and the story is GRIPPING!

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

Reviewed: 11-27-16

If you could sum up The Night Stalker in three words, what would they be?

Gripping. Frustrating end.

What other book might you compare The Night Stalker to and why?

The whole series. It's like 'The Killing'.

What does Jan Cramer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I love her versatility. The accents she tried. The emotions she conveyed in her performance.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Extremely frustrated with the ending! Poor Erika Foster. What happened to her wasn't fair! I bought the next book right after to see what have become of her fate!

Having read all three Erika Foster, this one is the best of the lot in terms of criminal case and character development.

It's also a rather sad case that resonates with me as a woman.

Any additional comments?

I always complain and return books because of production. But this is well-produced and mastered. There are parts where it was sped up, but they were minimal and unobtrusive for the most part.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl in the Ice

  • Detective Erika Foster Crime Thriller, Book 1
  • By: Robert Bryndza
  • Narrated by: Jan Cramer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,392
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,674
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,655

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation. The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound, and dumped in water around London.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Okay

  • By Meg on 05-26-16

Excellent narrator, and story is THRILLING!

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

Reviewed: 11-27-16

What did you love best about The Girl in the Ice?

The writer is so good at describing each scene. Imagine watching a gripping thriller like 'The Fall' or 'The Killing' and every episode is exciting, full of revelations and yet create more mystery.

Who was your favorite character and why?

ERIKA FOSTER is frustrating, sometimes rude, emotional, yet extremely endearing because of her determination to solve the case and her empathy for her victim. She's also the victim of patriarchy in the workplace which makes me like her even more.

Have you listened to any of Jan Cramer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I bought the next 2 in this trilogy partly because of Jan Cramer.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

YES!

Any additional comments?

I always complain and return books because of production. But this is well-produced and mastered. There are parts where it was sped up, but they were minimal and unobtrusive for the most part.

  • Dark Water

  • Detective Erika Foster, Book 3
  • By: Robert Bryndza
  • Narrated by: Jan Cramer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,120
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,961
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,945

When Detective Erika Foster receives a tip-off that key evidence for a major narcotics case was stashed in a disused quarry on the outskirts of London, she orders for it to be searched. From the thick sludge the drugs are recovered, but so is the skeleton of a young child. The remains are quickly identified as seven-year-old Jessica Collins. The missing girl who made headline news 26 years ago.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Strong Entry in a Consistent Series

  • By Lulu on 11-02-16

Excellent narrator, and the ending is WOW!

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

Reviewed: 11-27-16

What made the experience of listening to Dark Water the most enjoyable?

There are interesting twists and turns to this book. As far as the criminal case is concerned, it wasn't as good as the first two.

What did you like best about this story?

I love Erika Foster and I'm happy to see her work with her team. I like the additional characters (her family) and how exciting to see a love story developing. I look forward to the next book! Is there going to be a kidnapping? Is she thinking of a relationship?

What about Jan Cramer’s performance did you like?

The accents she could make! Not the most accurate but it's adorable to hear her try.

  • Notorious RBG

  • The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • By: Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik
  • Narrated by: Andi Arndt
  • Length: 5 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,695
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,312
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,296

Nearly a half century into being a feminist and legal pioneer, something funny happened to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The octogenarian won the Internet. Across America, people who weren't even born when Ginsburg made her name are tattooing themselves with her face, setting her famously searing dissents to music, and making viral videos in tribute.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fall in love with RBG! I did.

  • By serine on 01-23-16

A morsel of insight to her life

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

Reviewed: 10-29-16

Would you consider the audio edition of Notorious RBG to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the printed version of the book, only the supplement that came with the audio. I believe the printed book would have been better if not only because hearing the narrator say RBG over and over again gets extremely annoying. It seems demeaning to reduce the namesake of the book to just her initials.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator isn't the best, though her voice is very pleasant. The production is terrible though. The recording was sped up at random times and as a result the rhythm was way off and she sounded like a robot.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Her whole life is amazing. She truly is a pioneer in feminism and we have her to thank for many public policies that women enjoy now.

  • Gourmet Rhapsody

  • By: Muriel Barbery
  • Narrated by: Norman Dietz, Barbara Caruso, Eliza Foss, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 86
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 51

In the heart of Paris, in the posh building made famous in The Elegance of Hedgehog, Pierre Athens, the greatest food critic in the world, is dying. Revered by some and reviled by many, Monsieur Arthens has been lording it over the world's most esteemed chefs for years, passing judgment on their creations, deciding their fates with a stroke of his pen, destroying and building reputations on a whim. But now, during these his final hours, his mind has turned to simpler things.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If you are a food lover, this is a must to read!

  • By Carlos P. Zilzer on 09-13-09

CRINGEWORTHY narrations. Read the printed book.

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

Reviewed: 03-17-15

Would you recommend Gourmet Rhapsody to your friends? Why or why not?

I would recommend the printed copy.

Any additional comments?

The writing by Muriel Barbery is beautiful and vivid and it is a shame that it is tarnished by awful narrations. The narrations are so contrived and over-acted that they became more of a distraction. They built the figurative wall between me and the characters. I simply couldn't bear listening to the affectations in the voices for more than a chapter at a time.

And the post-production of the audio makes certain narrators sound mechanical. And there is nothing worse than over-acted narrations with vocal fries that are being digitally sped-up or slowed-down.

If The Elegance of the Hedgehog is an Entreé, this book is more of an Hors 'dOevres. It lacks the depth of humanity and philosophy that is so present in The Elegance of The Hedgehog.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • My Sweet Folly

  • By: Laura Kinsale
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Boulton
  • Length: 13 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 524
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 492
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 495

Through their innocent correspondence, a lonely young wife grows to love an imaginary man thousands of miles away. But when he returns to England from India, her idea of reality is turned upside down. Drawn from a safe world of tea and parlor chat into madness and mystery, she cannot find her own cherished Robert in the frightening stranger who claims her love. Laura Kinsale personally chose the exceptional talent of Nicholas Boulton to voice her favorite heroine, sweet, witty Folie with her ferret, Toot.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Kinsale's Best Heroine

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-04-15

Boring...

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

Reviewed: 03-05-15

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. If you have ever read a romance novel, then you would have already read this book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog

  • By: Muriel Barbery
  • Narrated by: Barbara Rosenblat, Cassandra Morris
  • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,885
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,684
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,709

An enchanting New York Times and international best seller and award-winner about life, art, literature, philosophy, culture, class, privilege, and power, seen through the eyes of a 54-year-old French concierge and a precocious but troubled 12-year-old girl.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It surprised me

  • By Pyles on 04-21-10

Thought provoking. Brilliant narrations.

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

Reviewed: 03-05-15

What made the experience of listening to Elegance of the Hedgehog the most enjoyable?

The narrators were brilliant. They both assumed the role of their characters and were emotionally convincing. I thought it was an elegant and smart way to translate the book, in which the dialogue of each character was printed in a different typeface.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Elegance of the Hedgehog?

The juxtaposition of the reality of Renee's death and Paloma's realisation of her will to live.

Which character – as performed by Barbara Rosenblat and Cassandra Morris – was your favorite?

I find them both equally engaging and entertaining.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Made me laugh and, towards the end of the book, cry.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ready Player One

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,448
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,373
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,371

It's the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Where's the sequel?!

  • By Gabriele on 09-08-12

Entertaining. Feast for the imagination.

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

Reviewed: 03-05-15

Would you listen to Ready Player One again? Why?

Absolutely. This book is immensely fun. The narration is by Wil Wheaton and that is a bonus. The writing captured my imagination and I found myself switching between envisioning the protagonist's real-life and the pixelated virtual reality of his avatar.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Aech. Aech proved to be a loyal friend. Aech's backstory added another dimension to the book by proving no one is really who they say they are when it comes to the internet. It also highlighted racial prejudice and gender discrimination.

Which scene was your favorite?

The origami scene, inspired by the movie 'Bladerunner'.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Log in. For the win.