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Mark

Reno, NV, United States
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  • All Systems Red

  • By: Martha Wells
  • Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
  • Length: 3 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,864
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,588
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,589

All Systems Red is the tense first science fiction adventure novella in Martha Wells' series The Murderbot Diaries. For fans of Westworld, Ex Machina, Ann Leckie's Imperial Raadch series, or Iain M. Banks' Culture novels. The main character is a deadly security droid that has bucked its restrictive programming and is balanced between contemplative self-discovery and an idle instinct to kill all humans.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I LOVE MURDERBOT

  • By Michael - Audible Editor on 11-06-17

Not much world or character building

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

Reviewed: 10-29-18

A standard sci-fi action novella with a tiny bit of world and character building. I'll try the next in the series to see if it goes anywhere, but right now, it’s just OK. (I started reading the Kindle version and imagined the “murderbot” as female in spirit but the Audible version has a male narrator. Did I miss mention of gender for this “security unit” with “organic parts” but no genitals?) Bechdel test: Pass. Grade: B

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Coddling of the American Mind

  • How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure
  • By: Jonathan Haidt, Greg Lukianoff
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Haidt
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,091
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 972
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 961

The culture of “safety” and its intolerance of opposing viewpoints has left many young people anxious and unprepared for adult life. Lukianoff and Haidt offer a comprehensive set of reforms that will strengthen young people and institutions, allowing us all to reap the benefits of diversity, including viewpoint diversity. This is a book for anyone who is confused by what’s happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live and work and cooperate across party lines.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enrich Understanding

  • By Lee Gilner on 09-22-18

Thoughtful, measured look at iGen fragility

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

Reviewed: 10-29-18

I really appreciated that this was such a thoughtful, measured look at campus free speech debates rather than being filled with the hysterical judgment that so often encompasses discussions of this issue. It’s also about much more than campus call-out culture, going into the parenting techniques and university policies that not only make young people weaker intellectually and emotionally but increase rates of anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide. This was the part of the book that struck me most: Identity politics that creates an us-vs.-them, good-vs.-evil mentality — as opposed to identity politics that creates a common-humanity mentality — is linked to negative physical outcomes in those who practice it. The first half of the book is very compelling; the next quarter is interesting; and the last quarter consists of recommendations on how to move forward. The book quotes Pauli Murray, a black and queer Episocopal priest and civil rights activist who, in 1965, at the age of 55, earned a degree from Yale Law School: “When my brothers try to draw a circle to exclude me, I shall draw a larger circle to include them.” Words to live by. Grade: A-

Regarding the narration, I enjoyed Haidt's performance and the modifying of the book's language to reflect Haidt's reading. It made the book, which can be academic at times, more personal.

  • A Doll House

  • By: Henrik Ibsen
  • Narrated by: Calista Flockhart, Tony Abatemarco, Tim Dekay, and others
  • Length: 2 hrs and 10 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,045
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 956
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 951

A new recording of Henrik Ibsen's masterpiece, starring Calista Flockhart. Nora Helmer has everything a young housewife could want: beautiful children, an adoring husband, and a bright future. But when a carelessly buried secret rises from the past, Nora's well-calibrated domestic ideal starts to crumble. Ibsen's play is as fresh today as it was when it first stormed the stages of 19th-century Europe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Independence

  • By Renee on 01-24-15

Actors race through the words

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

Reviewed: 10-28-18

The performance is distracting for quite a while because the actors seem to be racing through the words. They go so fast that they rarely feel like they are listening to what the others say. A few times they are plowing through the words so fast, they step on each other's lines. Also, at the end, the slam of a door sounded like a gunshot to my ears, which completely confused me until I played it back a couple of times and checked the written version; then I realized I was wrong. Still, the performance is good enough. I’d rather hear an audio version of a performance before a live audience than someone reading the words.

As for the play itself, it gets better and better until, by the end, I was riveted. Sure, it’s a little dated as it’s from 1879, but the patriarchy hasn’t diminished much in the intervening years — I had a conversation not long ago that wouldn’t been out of place here, when a Mormon friend explained how his wife was put on a pedestal and preferred to be home taking care of their children.

The Rolf Fjelde translation here is better than the Dover Thrift Edition I have on Kindle.

Bechdel test: Pass. Grade: A-

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Book of the Unnamed Midwife

  • The Road to Nowhere, Book 1
  • By: Meg Elison
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe
  • Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,878
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,741
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,747

When she fell asleep, the world was doomed. When she awoke, it was dead. In the wake of a fever that decimated the earth's population - killing women and children and making childbirth deadly for the mother and infant - the midwife must pick her way through the bones of the world she once knew to find her place in this dangerous new one. Gone are the pillars of civilization. All that remains is power - and the strong who possess it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • "Equals" = "Annoying"

  • By Lulu on 12-26-16

Fantastic account of post-apocalyptic horror

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

Reviewed: 10-27-18

This book gets so many things right that other writers of post-apocalypse fiction get wrong. I found myself holding my breath in many scenes, waiting for missteps that never came. Simply wonderful depiction of a horrific world where almost all humans die and, through it all, one strong woman carries forward a belief in consent, LGBT equality, and the joy of sex, as well as disdain for the patriarchy. I especially enjoyed the time spent in Utah as industrious Mormons try to maintain their doctrines as violence and chaos threaten from all sides. Bechdel test: Pass. Grade: A

Perfect narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Youtility

  • Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype
  • By: Jay Baer
  • Narrated by: Marcus Sheridan, Jay Baer
  • Length: 4 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 209
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 210

Jay Baer's Youtility offers a new approach that cuts through the clutter: marketing that is truly, inherently useful. If you sell something, you make a customer today, but if you genuinely help someone, you create a customer for life. Drawing from real examples of companies who are practicing Youtility as well as his experience helping more than 700 brands improve their marketing strategy, Baer provides a groundbreaking plan for using information and helpfulness to transform the relationship between companies and customers.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good Framing, Examples and Supporting Concepts

  • By Adam Helweh on 10-13-13

Lots of (similar) ideas for making an org useful

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

A colleague suggested our executive team read this. It wasn't like she thought it would be: She thought there would be more about why "hype" is NOT useful in promoting your organization. There's almost nothing on that angle of the subtitle. But I still got a lot out of the book, even if most of it was hammering one point: answer questions that people have about your industry, no matter how silly/dumb — and make sure you answer them publicly, transparently, and fully, with a dash of humor if you can. Do this, and watch your brand exposure explode. What made the book valuable to me were all of the real-world examples, which inspired lots of ideas that our nonprofit organization could try. Grade: B+

  • The Coroner’s Lunch

  • The Dr. Siri Investigations, Book 1
  • By: Colin Cotterill
  • Narrated by: Clive Chafer
  • Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,218
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,053
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,051

Laos, 1975: The Communist Pathet Lao has taken over this former French colony. Dr. Siri Paiboun, a 72-year-old Paris-trained doctor, is appointed national coroner. Although he has no training for the job, there is no one else: the rest of the educated class have fled.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Deeply Satisfying Listening Experience

  • By Elizabeth on 09-11-11

Main murders weren't interesting to me

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

Reviewed: 06-30-18

A Goodreads friend wrote of this book something like, “Wonderful characters, too much woo-woo.” I thought this was the perfect review while I was reading the book but now that I’ve finished, I’ve got a different viewpoint. The characters are indeed wonderful, and the setting (1970s Laos under Communist rule) is interesting and surprisingly charming. But I didn’t mind Dr. Siri talking to ghosts. It felt more folkloric than supernatural. My issue was with the mystery itself — this is a detective novel, where the detective is an elderly coroner. I simply didn’t care about the military-intrigue murders at the core of the story. But the setting and characters were so good that I'll try at least one more in the series. Bechdel test: Fail. Grade: B

The narration is perfect.

  • Lunch with Buddha

  • By: Roland Merullo
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 794
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 724
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 723

A novel about family, open-minded spirituality, and the American road, Lunch with Buddha accompanies the characters from Breakfast with Buddha as they move further along the path toward lasting peace of mind. Facing one of life's greatest emotional challenges, Otto Ringling takes comfort in a loving family and offbeat lessons from eccentric spiritual teacher Volya Rinpoche.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Better than Breakfast!

  • By tha_fultonz on 08-14-15

If you loved the first book, you'll love this one

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

Reviewed: 06-30-18

There was one scene where I wanted to stop reading and write a vitriolic review about how the book went off the rails. And I might have, but not too long after, there was a passage that fit seamlessly into the storytelling where the narrator mentions that sometimes when reading a book, something will happen and you'll want to say, “That’s false, that’s a false note.” It doesn’t ruin the book, he says, but it’s memorable. If that little acknowledgment about what happened a few scenes earlier hadn’t taken place when it did, I very well might not have finished the story. I’m glad I did. This is the second book in a trilogy, and like the first book, I don’t know whom I’d recommend it to but it spoke directly to me and I was enchanted throughout. In short, a middle-aged, middle-class white guy once again takes a road trip with an Eastern spiritual master across the United States after the death of a loved one. At this point in the story, our hero has been meditating a while, he’s a loving father, is compassionate, has no real complaints, etc., but for some reason, none of his mindfulness techniques are helping him deal with his current stresses. Somehow Merullo makes this story, which could be very dull, hum along with humor and insight. Bechdel test: The test can’t be applied because it’s told in first person, but it’s a very male-centric book. Grade: A-

The forlorn narration fits the book's tone perfectly.

  • A False Report

  • A True Story of Rape in America
  • By: T. Christian Miller, Ken Armstrong
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber, T. Christian Miller, Ken Armstrong
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105

On August 11, 2008, 18-year-old Marie reported that a masked man broke into her apartment near Seattle and raped her. Within days, the police swiftly pivoted and began investigating Marie. Confronted with inconsistencies in her story and the doubts of others, Marie broke down and said her story was a lie - a bid for attention. More than two years later, Colorado detectives pursued a serial rapist who photographed his victims, threatening to release the images online, and whose calculated steps to erase all physical evidence suggested he might be a soldier or a cop.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well written, well researched, and profound

  • By Jessica on 02-15-18

Riveting

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

Reviewed: 04-08-18

A riveting book that revolves around a woman who reports being raped, is doubted by the police and her friends, forced to recant, charged with making a false report, and basically made to plead guilty. But she’s not making up the story. Everything is fascinating on so many levels because everyone is interviewed: the woman, the rapist, the detective who charged her with making a false report, the detectives who caught the rapist, other victims. At the end is a rage-inducing description of the history of women not being believed about rape claims, as well as the institutional mechanisms that keep it happening even today. P.S. If you’ve read Jon Krakauer’s “Missoula” and are wondering if you want to tackle another book about rape, please know that they cover completely different territory. Grade: A

Narration is solid.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

  • By: Marlon Bundo, Jill Twiss
  • Narrated by: Jim Parsons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jeff Garlin, and others
  • Length: 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 13,265
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 12,490
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 12,427

HBO's Emmy-winning Last Week Tonight with John Oliver presents the story of a Very Special boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny. Meet Marlon Bundo, a lonely bunny who lives with his Grampa, Mike Pence - the Vice President of the United States. But on this Very Special Day, Marlon's life is about to change forever....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This story is cute, but let's be honest.

  • By João on 03-19-18

Get the print or Kindle version instead

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

Reviewed: 04-08-18

I listened to the book first, and it was good. But then I read the Kindle version and it was so much better. The narrators are great, but it's simply a book better seen than heard because the artwork adds so much.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Natchez Burning

  • A Novel
  • By: Greg Iles
  • Narrated by: David Ledoux
  • Length: 35 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,360
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,048
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,044

Raised in the historic southern splendor of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned all he knows of honor and duty from his father, Dr. Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor has been accused of murdering Viola Turner, the African-American nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the 1960s. Penn is determined to save his father, but Tom, stubbornly invoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses to even speak in his own defense.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible Narrator - Really, really BAD

  • By Mary on 05-03-14

Long and not the full story - good narrator

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

Reviewed: 03-18-18

A white supremacist dying of cancer wants to come clean about race murders in the 1960s, but the people who benefit from the killings staying unsolved have other ideas. It's really long (800 pages, 35 hours on audio), and only when it ended did I discover it's Part One in a self-contained trilogy so the reader is only getting started. This may sound daunting, but I’m hooked. It's got the right mix of moral dilemmas, social commentary, and action so it's always interesting, either philosophically or plot-wise. And the way Iles (raised in Natchez, Mississippi) talks about race is so different from East and West coast authors that the book made me rethink some of America's recent history. Grade: A-

As for the narrator, he's better than Dick Hill (who did the first three books in the Penn Cage series), although I don’t think Hill is as bad as many reviewers think. He's just an acquired taste. David Ledoux is good and not histrionic like Hill and does women's voices better. That said, I’ve already started the next book in the trilogy and the next narrator is even better than Ledoux.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful