AUDITEUR

Blythe

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  • commentaires
  • 20
  • votes utiles
  • 45
  • évaluations
  • The Night Circus

  • Auteur(s): Erin Morgenstern
  • Narrateur(s): Jim Dale
  • Durée: 13 h et 40 min
  • Version intégrale
  • Au global
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 141
  • Histoire
    4.5 out of 5 stars 141

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Must-Read for All those Craving a little Magic!

  • Écrit par Utilisateur anonyme le 2018-09-13

A tale of dreamy magic without a lot of logic

Au global
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
3 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-06-12

You will like this book if you like dreamy, fantastical scenes and mysterious carnival type settings and unexplained mystery and magic. If this is you, you will probably also like (and possibly better) books like Caraval, and The High House.

You will NOT like this book if you look for: solidly explained magic systems and worldbuilding; fast-moving plots; and watertight plots and character motivations.

I picked up this audiobook simply because my company's holiday party this year is themed after it, and I wanted to know more about the theme. Goal achieved; now I know to dress in black and white, and wear a red rose or red scarf. The rest of the book was entertaining but confusing to listen to in audio form, since the timeline jumps back and forth and it's very hard to keep track of which chapter is happening in which year when you can't flip back to check the way you can on paper.

Generally speaking, most of the cover blurb is at best exaggerated and at most an outright lie. The book is really about the circus, which isn't even a circus but more of a masquerade carnival type thing. It mysteriously appears overnight, opens only between dusk and dawn, and vanishes without warning. Visitors wander between different tents as they wish, each containing a different wonder.

In the back story, we learn that two rival magicians have each chosen a student to compete in some vague type of competition that is never clearly explained even to the students. These two very problematic teachers teach and abuse their students in various ways and bind them irrevocably to this competition for life. They agree the competition will take place in the circus, but don't tell their students anything useful about what's required, how to win, or how it's scored. Instead, the students grow up and even once they both join the circus, the story wanders around for 15 years or more with both completely unaware of what they need to do to win or lose, instead entertaining themselves by making more magical marvels in the circus until they're indispensible to its continuation. The previous competition between the previous students of these teachers lasted for something like 37 years and only ended because one of them killed herself, so ya know, this book is actually relatively brief.

Anyway, without getting into plot details, plot is rather rambling and the ending seems a little contrived. So if you enjoy magical rambling tales go for it, but if you're looking for reasons, motivations, and logical plot devices, this probably isn't a book for you.

  • Canadianity

  • Tales from the True North Strong and Freezing
  • Auteur(s): Jeremy Taggart, Jonathan Torrens
  • Narrateur(s): Jonathan Torrens, Jeremy Taggart
  • Durée: 7 h et 8 min
  • Version intégrale
  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars 117
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 108
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars 108

Sprung from their hugely successful podcast Canadianity, Taggart (that guy from that band) and Torrens (that guy from that show) share a collection of showbiz tales from the road and relatable everyday anecdotes, all wrapped up in a nostalgic fondness for this great country. Canadianity takes listeners on a cross-country journey, shining the spotlight on notable local heroes (or bahds), the best places to crush food and the greasiest watering holes, coast to coast to coast.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • hilarious

  • Écrit par Lauren Bowman le 2018-09-14

Seems focused on fans of the podcast

Au global
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Histoire
3 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-06-12

Taggart and Torrens have a podcast called Canadianity and this book is essentially a companion piece to the podcast. They dedicate a chapter per province and go all across Canada with personal anecdotes, bar and restaurant recommendations, and other highlights. They also cover a lot of nostalgia that Canadians of a certain age (probably 30s and over) will appreciate - from Heritage Moments to the Friendly Giant and Mr Dressup. It's amusing but seemed aimed at fans of the podcast or the authors and not so much for a broader audience. Maybe as a bathroom book to flip through the anecdotes, but it's really more a set of sketches and lists than a coherent book. Will Ferguson probably did the "who are Canadians" type humour book better with "Why I Hate Canadians".

  • I Know How She Does It

  • How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time
  • Auteur(s): Laura Vanderkam
  • Narrateur(s): Laura Vanderkam
  • Durée: 7 h et 36 min
  • Version intégrale
  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars 8

Balancing work and family life is a constant struggle, especially for women with children and ambitious career goals. It's been the subject of countless books, articles, blog posts, and tweets in the last few years, and passions run high in all directions.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting strategy for time management

  • Écrit par Blythe le 2019-06-12

Interesting strategy for time management

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-06-12

Instead of just a bunch of anecdotes about how to do it all, Vanderkam actually collected time logs rom women who earn at least $100,000 per year and got real data to analyze how these women spent their 168 hours per week. She looks at both what the data actually shows (such as, EVERYONE overestimates the amount of hours they work and how little sleep they get, so thinking you need to work 80 hour weeks and sleep 6 hour nights to "keep up" is factually wrong); and also looks at different strategies these women used to get their schedules to work towards what they found most valuable. Whether that is figuring out how to run a side business or how to spend time with family, there are various strategies they use to make time for that, and Vanderkam digs into the different strategies to show how to make similar decisions.

The author focused on getting her initial data from women who have a career AND children, simply because their lives have heavier time demands and therefore the time management challenges were bigger and clearer, but the data is relevant to everyone regardless of parenting status. I found it an interesting book, and her technique of doing a time log for a week or two definitely seems helpful if you feel your schedule is out of balance and want to start figuring out how to fix it. And whether or not you want to get that detailed personally, her data did bring up some interesting points and ideas about ways to think about and manage time.

  • Unaccustomed Earth

  • Stories
  • Auteur(s): Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Narrateur(s): Sarita Choudhury, Ajay Naidu
  • Durée: 10 h et 8 min
  • Version intégrale
  • Au global
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Histoire
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

From the internationally best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, a superbly crafted new work of fiction: eight stories that take us from Cambridge and Seattle to India and Thailand. In the stunning title story, Ruma, a young mother in a new city, is visited by her father, who carefully tends the earth of her garden, where he and his grandson form a special bond. But he's harboring a secret from his daughter, a love affair he's keeping all to himself.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Stories of Bengali/American immigrants

  • Écrit par Blythe le 2019-06-12

Stories of Bengali/American immigrants

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-06-12

I saw this book on several "best" lists from last year so I picked it up without any idea what it was about at all. Turns out it's a collection of short stories mainly featuring Bengali Indians and the Americans who interact with them. The stories are all focused around personal stories of changing relationships - between children and parents, between spouses, between families. The author has a descriptive and evocative but very readable writing style, bringing out little important details that make the feel of these lives and households seem very real. Most of the stories are stand-alones but the characters in the last three are interconnected and cover a passage of time from childhood to marriage through the eyes of two different characters. All of the stories are interesting to read but overall left me with a slightly bleak feeling as if the author is illustrating that nobody is ever completely happy and happiness is always fleeting - probably true, of course.

Overall it was an interesting read and the author is a good writer, but the themes were so narrow and repetitive in many ways (immigration, relationships, family, same races and classes of people usually even in the same settings) that I didn't find it as interesting as, say, a Margaret Atwood collection where you really never know what's going to happen next or where the next story will take you. (Also, probably since I am in neither Bengali or American, perhaps I didn't identify all that much with the settings.)

  • The Wise Man's Fear

  • (Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 2)
  • Auteur(s): Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrateur(s): Nick Podehl
  • Durée: 42 h et 55 min
  • Version intégrale
  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars 1 006
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 937
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars 938

"My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • Écrit par Andrew Bishop le 2019-03-08

In which Kvothe remains a Mary Sue

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-06-12

Second book in the Kingkiller probably-trilogy (as yet unfinished). Points to this book as it wraps up well, not on a cliffhanger like the last one, although clearly the story is still unfinished. Not quite as good as the first, but covers a TON of ground; Kvothe continues at the university, takes a break to go work for rich-as-kings Maer Alveron, hunts down bandits stealing Alveron's tax collections, continues investigating the mysterious murderers of his parents, continues failing to do anything one way or another about Denna, befriends an Adem warrior and starts to learn their martial arts and language, meets Faenriel of the fae realms, and goodness, so much more I can't even summarize. It was all interesting but did seem as if it could have been a bit more concise... but, hard to judge how much of this detail will turn out to be needed until the third book is done.

Kvothe remains very much a Mary-Sue character; ridiculously powerful and can't seem to do anything wrong for long. Still, he's a fairly charming narrator so I continue to mostly forgive him, despite the fact he can apparently do almost anything he puts his mind to and some things he doesn't. Third and final book will be the proof of whether all this wandering gets wrapped up neatly or whether it really was just wandering from an author who isn't sure how this all ends any more than we are!. Jury's still out on my part, but looking forward to finding out.

  • The Name of the Wind

  • (Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 1)
  • Auteur(s): Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrateur(s): Nick Podehl
  • Durée: 27 h et 55 min
  • Version intégrale
  • Au global
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1 322
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1 240
  • Histoire
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1 242

This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Don't read it.

  • Écrit par Mark le 2018-09-18

Captivating hero & world but cliffhanger ending

Au global
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
5 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-06-12

OK, so, really enjoyed this book; a detailed, imaginative fantasy framed as the autobiography of a hero as told by himself to a chronicler who has sought him out. This book covers his childhood - early happy days, difficult struggle period, and eventual entry into the Academy to study alchemy/magic and try to learn more about the enemies who attacked his parents' caravan when he was young. The magic system seems detailed and well-thought out, the world is deep and absorbing, and the hero is likeable - although portrayed as rather close to perfect, it is after all the hero himself telling the story, so this is at least understandable. In the sweeping scope and attention to detail, this book reminded me of some of the best of Guy Gavriel Kay.

That said ... I hate cliffhangers, and generally avoid reading books in a series until I know the last one has been published. I made an exception for this book, but am now rather annoyed, since it definitely ends in a cliffhanger and the series is far from finished. Although the next book is also published, it's been 7 years and the third book still isn't out yet. Soooo.... debating whether to just stop here and wait for him to finish, or pick up the second book. I don't mind continuing series when the authors end each book satisfactorily (see: Vorkosigan saga by Bujold) but I do mind when you're left with completely unfinished business and a partial story (I'm looking at you, David Eddings). So, if you're reading this review before the series has been concluded, take this under advisement and make up your own mind depending on your preferences. But, if the series has been completed by the time you read this, I highly recommend this book and enjoyed the writing very much.

  • The City in the Middle of the Night

  • Auteur(s): Charlie Jane Anders
  • Narrateur(s): Jennifer O'Donnell, Laura Knight Keating
  • Durée: 13 h et 56 min
  • Version intégrale
  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars 8

January is a dying planet - divided between a permanently frozen darkness on one side, and blazing endless sunshine on the other. Humanity clings to life, spread across two archaic cities built in the sliver of habitable dusk. Sophie, a student and reluctant revolutionary, is supposed to be dead, after being exiled into the night. Saved only by forming an unusual bond with the enigmatic beasts who roam the ice, Sophie vows to stay hidden from the world, hoping she can heal.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Visionary

  • Écrit par silverquick le 2019-06-13

Really interesting world but very abrupt ending

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-06-12

Hard science fiction but focused primarily around three characters, so the science is more of a background than the primary focus. On a future colony world that will be settled by Earth descendents, daylight and night are so extreme that the full light of day literally sets crops on fire. Cities have to be carefully shuttered and crops shaded in order to survive. The world is clearly at least several generations post-settlement and much of their ancestors' original equipment is breaking down, while weather changes to the planet cause additional problems.

In between the strictly regimented city Xiosphant and the criminal-controlled city Argel, the plot follows a pair of friends, Sophie and Bianca, and a smuggler, Mouth. Sophie tells her part of the story in first person, so is clearly the 'main' character, and when she is thrown out of Xiosphant into the Night to die, she discovers that one of the native alien races (the "crocodiles") are actually sapient. If there is a fourth main character in the book, it's the crocodiles; through Sophie, they try to communicate with the humans to explain that human actions are what's destroying the planet and causing the devastating weather changes, as well as causing huge suffering and death to the crocodile population.

Sophie, however, is both powerless and rather easily distracted, mainly by Bianca, who she adores for reasons that become less and less easy to sympathize with. Bianca, a privileged rich girl from the upper class section of Xiosphant, initially appears to be a good friend to Sophie but through the course of the book becomes more and more selfish and closed-minded, to the point it rapidly becomes very frustrating watching Sophie continue to trust and follow her.

Mouth is probably the most interesting character in the book. Initially she's fairly unlikeable, but as you learn more about her background and what she's suffered, and as she grows to be a better character, she becomes more and more sympathetic.

Ultimately Sophie, with the help of Mouth, attempt to initiate communication between the crocodiles and the human settlers. And at this point, the book ends very abruptly, without a satisfactory conclusion or a clear indication of what the outcome will be.

Overall, the book was very interesting; I really liked the alien world; the crocodiles were a great species; the society and politics were interesting; and the book was well written. However, the ending was a let down and felt as if it cut short several chapters too soon. I am guessing there's a sequel planned? But I'm not a fan of leaving a book unsatisfactorily short, even if it does have a sequel coming.

  • Guns of the Dawn

  • Auteur(s): Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Narrateur(s): Emma Newman
  • Durée: 21 h et 8 min
  • Version intégrale
  • Au global
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Histoire
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

Guns of the Dawn is a pacey, gripping fantasy of war and magic from Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author Adrian Tchaikovsky. The first casualty of war is truth.... First, Denland's revolutionaries assassinated their king, launching a wave of bloodshed after generations of peace. Next they clashed with Lascanne, their royalist neighbour, pitching war machines against warlocks in a fiercely fought conflict.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent female lead but a bit too much swamp

  • Écrit par Blythe le 2019-06-12

Excellent female lead but a bit too much swamp

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-06-12

I picked this up because I absolutely loved "Children of Time" but this is a very, very different genre of book. Still beautifully written, and with a great heroine; even though many male authors just can't write female protagonists, Tchaikovsky writes Emily Marshwic very believably and I never found myself dismayed by some jarring description or characterization that an actual woman would never write.

I listened to this on audible and the narrator was truly excellent as well, conveying subtleties of rank with different accents in such a skilled way that it wasn't at all obvious and look me a long time to notice. Listen to Emily's accent vs Brocky's or her brother-in-law -- very cleverly chosen.

I think this was a 4 star instead of 5 star read for me just because it isn't entirely a genre I enjoy - it's sort of a cross between a 1800s fiction of manners and a military fantasy. While it's not set on our Earth and there are warlocks and magic in the world, neither of these spend long in the spotlight and most of the story is just about a variety of interesting characters embroiled in a miserable war in a swamp. And while I enjoy the occasional military fantasy, I felt that maybe it was a little TOO long on swamp warfare and I'd have enjoyed learning a little bit more about the warlocks or other aspects of the world. Still, the author writes skillfully and I was captivated until the end.

  • The Zookeeper's Wife

  • A War Story
  • Auteur(s): Diane Ackerman
  • Narrateur(s): Suzanne Toren
  • Durée: 10 h et 55 min
  • Version intégrale
  • Au global
    3.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Histoire
    3.5 out of 5 stars 13

When Germany invaded Poland, bombers devastated Warsaw - and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into the empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Zabinskis' villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing, and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting subject but very dry narrative

  • Écrit par Blythe le 2019-06-12

Interesting subject but very dry narrative

Au global
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
3 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-06-12

Really interesting topic - the story of Antonina, the wife of the zookeeper of Warsaw Zoo during Nazi occupation, and how she and her husband used the zoo to shelter refugees and help Jews escape through the underground. Sounds like it should be a fascinating story written out, but sadly the writing is so dry and impersonal that it made what should have been an incredibly moving and important story really hard to stay engaged with. The author seems to have taken Antonina's memoirs and then retold them, dryly repeating the events second hand with commentary about Antonina and Jan's probable thoughts and actions at the time in such a detached manner that it makes the story seem very distant instead of close and personal.

If you can stick through the writing style, it really IS an incredible story of a family who took huge risks to help so many people, as well as the almost unbelievable amount of damage that was inflicted to Warsaw as Hitler tried to eliminate it entirely. Apparently this has been made into a movie, which might be a bit more approachable than the very detached style of narration.

  • Beacon 23: The Complete Novel

  • Auteur(s): Hugh Howey
  • Narrateur(s): Ryan McCarthy
  • Durée: 6 h et 6 min
  • Version intégrale
  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars 2

For centuries, men and women have manned lighthouses to ensure the safe passage of ships. It's a lonely job, and a thankless one for the most part - until something goes wrong, until a ship is in distress. In the 23rd century, this job has moved into outer space. A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at many times the speed of light. These beacons are built to be robust. They never break down. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sequential short stories in an overall story arc

  • Écrit par Blythe le 2019-06-12

Sequential short stories in an overall story arc

Au global
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
5 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-06-12

In the 23rd century, as Earth is embroiled in a bitter war with various other alien races, "lighthouses" are now Beacons out in space which warn jump ships away from dangerous asteroid fields and similar. They are manned by a single person, and Beacon 23 is manned by "Digger", a war hero clearly suffering from significant PTSD who requested the posting in order to be alone. He intends to stay in isolation out in space until he dies and his plan starts out okay, but over the course of the book a number of things happen that affect his plans. This is a short book comprised of 5 short stories, each of which is a chapter in the story of Beacon 23. The earlier ones are more setting the scene and groundwork, and the latter ones are increasingly connected. The protagonist is reasonably likeable outside his clear PTSD issues, and has a decent sense of humour, and meets various interesting characters in the course of the stories. I did find the ending a bit abrupt and a little hard to swallow, but still enjoyed the stories very much.