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  • reviews
  • 12
  • helpful votes
  • 26
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  • Bad Blood

  • Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
  • Written by: John Carreyrou
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 790
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 720
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 720

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose start-up “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fund-raising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes’ worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great and informative book

  • By Jonah Ferguson on 2019-06-29

Made my blood boil!

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

Reviewed: 2018-09-28

A horrifying true story of the breakdown of a Silicon Valley darling that kept me captivated to the end. While this isn't a traditional "true crime" book with unsolved murders and missing corpses, I would highly recommend it to all the "murderinos" out there. The fact that no one died is a miracle! To push out a phone or app before it is ready is ill-advised; to do the same with a device that people are intended to use to make life-altering medical decisions is unethical and criminal! I hope that Holmes and Balwani are both held to account for their actions. Fantastic writing and investigating on the part of Carreyrou; his role in the unmasking of Theranos goes to show why long-form reporting is still so important. Narrator Damron handled the salacious story well.

  • Educated

  • A Memoir
  • Written by: Tara Westover
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,292
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,013
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,022

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Memoir

  • By Vicki Anderson on 2018-09-14

Tragic and uplifting

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

Reviewed: 2018-09-14

This book came highly recommended from a coworker and when I saw that the audiobook was read by one of my favourite narrators, Julia Whelan, I knew I had to give it a listen. Westover's story was so full of trauma and abuse, it made getting through it tough at times, despite the compelling writing. She showed that breaking free of a toxic family is never easy and, even if I felt like yelling at young Tara for going back to her father's house again and again, her writing made it clear that healing is a process that takes time and often involves going backwards in order to go forward. I definitely recommend this one, either in print or as an audiobook. #Audible1

  • Bellweather Rhapsody

  • Written by: Kate Racculia
  • Narrated by: Jessica Almasy
  • Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

Fifteen years ago, a murder/suicide in room 712 rocked the grand old Bellweather Hotel and the young bridesmaid who witnessed it. Now hundreds of high school musicians, including quiet bassoonist Rabbit Hatmaker and his brassy diva twin, Alice, have gathered in its cavernous, crumbling halls for the annual Statewide festival; the grown-up bridesmaid has returned to face her demons; and a snowstorm is forecast that will trap everyone on the grounds. Then one of the orchestra’s stars disappears—from room 712.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A missed treasure!

  • By Dani on 2018-08-21

A missed treasure!

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

Reviewed: 2018-08-21

I discovered this book through a Twitter thread of tragically underexposed books and I recommend it HIGHLY. It’s like the Westing Game and Glee and The Shining had a book baby together. As a person who used to do high school arts retreats (yep, I was a theatre geek), the little dramas of the teenage musicians rang so true! Amidst all the hormones and the angst are murders and adults dealing with their own, darker issues in a snowed-in hotel. There’s a reveal in the later chapters that had me crying. I’m really excited that the author has announced she has a new book coming from HMH in 2019 and can’t wait to read it!

  • The Song of Achilles

  • A Novel
  • Written by: Madeline Miller
  • Narrated by: Frazer Douglas
  • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 336
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 310
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 311

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. “The best of all the Greeks”—strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess—Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine—much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If I could only have one book for the rest of my life

  • By Emily Hann on 2018-05-03

The Trojan War gets Miller's masterful treatment

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

Reviewed: 2018-08-15

I LOVED Miller’s most recent book, Circe. Despite this, and the fact that The Song of Achilles was highly celebrated when it first came out, I was prepared to be a little disappointed by this audiobook. How could it compare to Circe, which was so masterful?! I was pleasantly surprised to find that the two were near equals. I knew little to nothing about the Trojan War and Achilles, so I assumed that his romantic relationship with Patroclus was invented by Miller for her book. A little research afterward revealed that the ancient texts could be interpreted as the two being lovers. The more you know! Frazer Douglas' narration was on point, even for the rasping tones of Achilles' mother.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Sun Does Shine

  • Oprah's Book Club Summer 2018 Selection
  • Written by: Anthony Ray Hinton, Lara Love Hardin, Bryan Stevenson - foreword
  • Narrated by: Bryan Stevenson - foreword, Kevin R. Free
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 136
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 124
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 125

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only 29 years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free. But with an incompetent defense attorney and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in despairing silence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Unimaginable becomes Reality

  • By dave on 2018-04-04

Horrifying but ultimately uplifting

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

Reviewed: 2018-08-15

I am an extremely privileged person, so I have been protected and ignorant of the systematic abuses that people face, especially black folks in the Southern US. Listening to Anthony Ray Hinton's memoirs was difficult (and not because of Bryan Stevenson's narration, which was stellar!) It was hard to comprehend the levels of injustice that the author suffered at the hands of the State of Alabama that kept him on death row for nearly three decades. I was moved by Hinton's ability to stay true to himself and bring dignity and light to the most horrendous circumstances. I have never been a supporter of the death penalty but reading Hinton's accounts really hammered home the injustice and inhumanity of the practice; I hope that Oprah's support of this book will help change state policy where corporal punishment is still in place.

  • Alias Grace

  • Written by: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: Sarah Gadon, Margaret Atwood
  • Length: 15 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 390
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 355
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 355

It's 1843, and Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer and his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders. An up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it.

  • By Amazon Customer on 2017-11-16

Historial (fictional) true crime

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

Reviewed: 2018-07-28

I'm a big fan of Margaret Atwood's work in female-led Canlit and love that it has found success beyond our borders. My favourites have to be her first novel, The Edible Woman (which I have admittedly not reread in years) and her most well known work, The Handmaid's Tale. While I enjoyed Alias Grace, I wouldn't place it alongside my favourite Atwood books. Perhaps it was the audiobook format, but I didn't enjoy the info-dumps of the epistolary sections at all. I did appreciate the depth of Grace Marks' character, along with the nuance that Atwood wrote her character with. With the recent uptick in true crime's popularity as a genre, this fictional retelling of a sensationally popular murder case has a real place in today's literary landscape, even though the book is more than 20 years old and the crime happened 175 years ago.

  • Born a Crime

  • Stories from a South African Childhood
  • Written by: Trevor Noah
  • Narrated by: Trevor Noah
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 4,271
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,923
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 3,914

One of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming of age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb

  • By Amazon Customer on 2017-11-10

Funny and heartfelt! (Bonus: learning?)

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

Reviewed: 2018-07-28

I’ll admit that I knew very little about South Africa and its Apartheid Regime, beyond the broadest of strokes. While Noah’s memoirs were by turns hilarious and heartfelt, I most enjoyed learning about the history of his country: the arrival of the colonizers, their violent oppression of the native tribes, the 20th century implementation of Apartheid and the transition that the country went through to achieve hard-fought (though by no means perfect) equality. The personal lens of Noah’s family made for a fascinating account of racism and oppression. Highly recommend in audio, especially to hear Trevor’s many accents!

  • Circe

  • Written by: Madeline Miller
  • Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 656
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 611
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 607

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child - not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring, like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power - the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating story, expertly read

  • By libragal on 2018-06-20

Strength of a Goddess

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

Reviewed: 2018-07-05

A great narrative following Circe as she finds her strength throughout the centuries of her life was so compelling. Having the Who's Who of Greek mythology pop up in her story was fantastic, plus having lesser known entities make appearances had me doing extra (enjoyable) research. Circe's voice and growth were believable and relatable, despite her being the immortal daughter of a sun god. I highly recommend this one and will be looking to read Miller's other Greek retelling, The Song of Achilles.

It was a well-done audiobook and Perdita Weeks' narration was full of goddess-like bearing.

FREE - The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition cover art
  • FREE - The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition

  • Written by: Margaret Atwood, Valerie Martin - essay
  • Narrated by: Claire Danes, Ray Porter, Margaret Atwood, and others
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 646
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 591
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 587

After a violent coup in the United States overthrows the Constitution and ushers in a new government regime, the Republic of Gilead imposes subservient roles on all women. Offred, now a Handmaid tasked with the singular role of procreation in the childless household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife, can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost everything, even her own name.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful!

  • By TC on 2017-09-24

Scarily relevant

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

Reviewed: 2018-06-15

Why did I read this... again?! This has to be one of the scariest dystopian books ever written, but I still love it. I have read this now in three chapters of my life: high school, undergrad and adulthood. It never fails to give me the chills and fill me with anger.

Claire Danes was fantastic as Offred and the additional content at the end was fantastic.

  • The Hobbit

  • Written by: J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Narrated by: Rob Inglis
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 532
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 488
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 487

Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Always one of my favourites

  • By Sarah on 2019-04-30

A classic for a reason... but where are the gals?!

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

Reviewed: 2018-06-15

With all the badness in the world, I needed a palate cleanse. My one disappointment was the complete lack of lady characters, which I obviously didn’t register the last time I read The Hobbit (at 10). Still a great adventure that took my mind off the world and its woes for a little while.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful