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Johanna

CHICAGO, IL, United States
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Collins Italian with Paul Noble - Learn Italian the Natural Way, Part 3 audiobook cover art
  • Collins Italian with Paul Noble - Learn Italian the Natural Way, Part 3
  • Italian Made Easy with Your Personal Language Coach
  • By: Paul Noble
  • Narrated by: Paul Noble

Very good, but...

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

Reviewed: 08-21-17

I'm a huge fan of the Paul Noble language series. On various trips over the past few years I've used his courses to help learn some valuable French, German, Spanish, and Italian. This series has 'done me a solid' countless times. Paul Noble is a great teacher, and I constantly recommend this audio series to friends and family.

HOWEVER, after completing both the French and Italian courses through all 3 levels, I can definitely say that the French one is so much better. Truth be told, I was a little frustrated by the 3rd part of the Italian series. Paul's priorities seemed a little weird. He spent tons of time teaching us how to say "heat stroke" and yet he spends hardly any time at all on present tense verb conjugations and on using all of the different forms of "you." At the end of the course, it was like he was trying to cram in all of the really important stuff he still hadn't taught. On a trip to Italy, I felt tongue-tied and restricted several times, especially when trying to bumble through the present tense.

My advice--get this series, because it's awesome. However, study present tense verb conjugations on your own.

And if you get heat stroke, you'll be set!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

The Duchess audiobook cover art

Captivating Biography with Outstanding Narration

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

Reviewed: 05-15-16

The story of Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire is inspirational at times, tragic at times, and chock-full of juicy gossip. I enjoyed learning about this fascinating woman and her crazy social circle.

Amanda Foreman’s knowledge is mesmerizing, and Wanda McCaddon’s narration is equally as engaging. McCaddon even uses character voices to read the many letters in the book!

As you will notice from the book cover, the 2008 movie, The Duchess, with Keira Knightley was based on this biography. I wasn’t a huge fan of the movie, but have now learned after listening to the book that the film is riddled with historical blunders. It doesn’t nearly do justice to the complexity of Georgiana’s rich life.

If you like this biography and time period, I would highly recommend listening to the novel Evelina by Frances Burney next.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Whose Body? audiobook cover art

Not on the Edge of My Seat

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

Reviewed: 05-08-16

I love this genre, so I was looking forward to bingeing a new series. This isn’t it. The story wasn’t as cleverly crafted as pretty much everything ever written by Agatha Christie. I didn’t relate to Lord Peter nearly in the same way that I immediately fell in love with Poirot, Miss Marple, and other cunning sleuths.

Most of the book is comprised of conversations back and forth. David Case doesn’t do a good enough job of using distinctive voices, and the narration is too fast, yet indolent.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

Britt-Marie Was Here audiobook cover art

A ‘Coming of Age’ Story about a 63-Year Old

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

Reviewed: 05-07-16

Backman’s storytelling is powerful, yet quaint and elegant. Nevertheless, as many listeners have noted, Britt-Marie is not as engaging as Ove. There are a lot of striking similarities between the two books, but this one falls just a little short. Still, I always enjoy Backman’s unlikely heroes, odd couples, and his ability to make you laugh and cry at the same time. Britt-Marie encompasses all of these things, and reminds us to “jump into life” no matter how old you are. It’s charming, and worth a listen if you enjoy Backman’s style.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Learn Japanese - Level 1: Introduction to Japanese, Volume 1: Lessons 1-25 audiobook cover art

Some good things & some not so good things

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

Reviewed: 04-12-16

Lately I've been very spoiled with the Paul Noble language series. Unfortunately, he does not have a course for Japanese, so I settled for this one.

PROS:
*It does teach some very basic conversation skills.
*It teaches the numbers pretty well.
*There is some good general info about Japanese culture, food, alphabet, etc.
*On a trip to Japan, I found myself understanding more than I thought I would, and able to speak a little.

CONS:
*The narrators have weirdly scripted conversations back and forth. It sounds very contrived, and doesn't add in any way.
*I found myself needing to go back and re-listen to the dialogues many, many times before I really started to make sense of them.
*In general, it doesn't seem like this series puts any effort into understanding how the human brain learns language, which is why you will constantly need to go back and re-listen.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

The Professor audiobook cover art

An Interesting Listen

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

Reviewed: 01-27-16

I think The Professor is well worth a listen. No, it's not as good as Jane Eyre. But honestly, how many books are?

The similarities and differences to Jane Eyre are fascinating if you get into that sort of thing.

The story is good, but not as plot driven as many readers might wish.

I very much enjoyed James Langton's narration. In my opinion, his voice sounds similar to Simon Vance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Evelina audiobook cover art

Get This Version!

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

Reviewed: 01-10-16

I decided to get this version of Evelina due to the poor reviews that the other recording receives from Audible UK listeners. It was a good choice! Make sure to listen to the audio samples of both. The cast here is fantastic.

Evelina is a charming novel with some unforgettable comedic moments. Now if only Audible would also record Cecilia & Camilla!

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

Shamela audiobook cover art

A fun listen after Pamela

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

Reviewed: 12-23-15

If you've successfully waded through Pamela, then congratulations, you've earned this audio book!

What if Pamela Andrews fooled us all, and her "virtue" is just an act? Fielding's satire is wonderfully silly.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded audiobook cover art

Six hours too long

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

Reviewed: 12-23-15

I love classic books, but I had a rough time with Pamela. I've always wanted to read it, and I'm ultimately glad I slogged through. However, be prepared for it to go on, and on, and on. The plot leaves something to be desired.

The modern woman revolts at Pamela's big "reward." Therefore, you'll have to try hard to appreciate this book in it's historical context.

I highly recommend reading Shamela by Henry Fielding for dessert!

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

The Bassoon King audiobook cover art

Exquisite narration!

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

Reviewed: 11-13-15

Rainn Wilson is an awesome narrator. You will get the most out of this book by listening to him read it rather than reading it yourself.

I enjoyed Wilson's prose and storytelling. Likewise, he has a unique way of defining spirituality and happiness that is beautiful and understandable--not creepy or weird at all.

I did find a few parts of the book to be somewhat tedious, but overall it's very well written.

As a side note, this book has absolutely nothing to do with the bassoon besides a few funny quips. If you're also a bassoon player like me, let's face it, you're probably going to get this book for Christmas. Luckily, it's worth reading, although Wilson's unfortunate bassoon experience doesn't accurately reflect the joy that I encounter daily from my bassoon students. I suppose any publicity is good publicity, right?

27 of 27 people found this review helpful