Julie Julie's Comments (member since Jan 04, 2009)

Julie's comments from the All Ears Audiobooks group.

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Jun 28, 2013 09:30AM

12636 Minnie wrote: "Alas, Babylon. Author: Pat Frank. Actor: Will Paton 4 Stars

This book was first published in 1959 and its most notable aspect is its optimism and confidence in the basic goodness of man.
I could ..."

Wow, Minnie! What an amazing review. Sounds like an upbeat book with a good dose of promise and optimism. Your great review has added it to my list!
Jun 27, 2012 06:37AM

12636 Minnie wrote: "The Hunger Games Book 2. I give it 4 Stars

Once again i was riveted. I was somewhat nervous as to how the new Hunger games would come about but the author deftly managed to give a excellent spin o..."

Sounds like you'll be reading Mockingjay soon. Enjoy!
May 26, 2012 05:59PM

12636 Minnie wrote: "The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Narrator: Carolyn McCormick
My rating: 5 stars
I purchased this book in Audio format on my Kindle by accident. I will be listening to it and will let you kn..."

So glad you enjoyed the book - it's one of those rare titles that appeals to people of all ages. I felt the same way about Emma Donoghue's Room. The topic in the book seemed way too sensationalist or voyeuristic. I didn't think I would enjoy it. Maybe because it's told through the eyes of a child, it didn't feel that way at all. I ended up really liking it.
May 18, 2012 02:15PM

12636 Hi Dawn,

Sorry for the late reply - we've been burning the midnight oil getting ready! Yes - same hours, 10 -8, Monday through Saturday. But since I got to meet you at the store on Thursday, you probably already figured that out. Wow - you are an amazing reader, not only in the quantity of books you read, but in the diversity of style. Keep on listening!

Take care,

May 09, 2012 06:58AM

12636 Minnie wrote: "Frozen Charlotte by Priscilla Masters

My rating 4 0f 5 stars

This was a very very good listen. Of late I have convinced myself that I prefer books read by men. However the actress Patricia Gallim..."

Thanks for sharing Minnie. I love your teaser about the ending - now I just have to give it a shot. I haven't heard of the author or the narrator - something to check out!

Minnie, I just finished listening to Robinson Crusoe (which was surprisingly good!) and I saw that South African author J.M Coetzee had written a book Foe, which is the same story but from a different perspective. Have you read it by any chance?
May 06, 2012 01:11AM

12636 Dawn wrote: "Hi Julie! An audiobook blog sounds wonderful! If you need any help packing up the store after the sale, please let me know. I'm happy to help.
September sounds like a good opening time. Do you kno..."

So glad you like the idea of the blog. We'd love to set it up so that members can post their reviews or comment on other reviews - have some of that great dialog that occurs in the store, but online!

We aren't sure of our exact location within the store. The original plan was that as part of the Kepler's 2020 project, there would be big remodel of the store, but that has been postponed. There is going to be a Future Search conference for Kepler's 'Reinventing the Community Bookstore: Kepler's, the Next Chapter' in July, and the thought is to wait until that is complete before moving everything around in the store. There is a blog that has been started to describe the conference - http://www.keplers2020.com/blog.html. It's very exciting. I'm on the steering committee and we're inviting members from all different parts of the book industry - authors, publishers, booksellers, ebook vendors - it will be amazing to get everyone together to reinvent bookselling and bookstores for the future. That and closing up our El Paseo location is keeping us busy!
May 04, 2012 03:45PM

12636 Hi Dawn,

I'm so glad that you're keeping current with Kepler's. So much going on right now with the Kepler's 2020 program. Praveen Madan is an amazing leader and has many great ideas on Kepler's transformation. Lilly and I really need to add an audiobook blog to their website, but we are currently swamped with the move. We'll send out an announcement when we're up there - it's looking to be the end of August, early September.
May 03, 2012 01:22AM

12636 Hi Mike,

Thanks for the kind words. Looking forward to catching up with you. I hope you're listening to some good books while you are training for your long distance events. And welcome to goodreads!
May 01, 2012 05:38PM

12636 Just love the support from you Coloradians!
Apr 28, 2012 04:45PM

12636 2012 has been a great year for audiobooks for me personally. I have found several that I have given a 5 star rating - pretty rare for me. Here are just a few of my favorites for the year:

The Art of FieldingThe Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every once in awhile you find a book that has the rare combination of a good plot, complex and believable characters with complex and believable relationships. The Art of Fielding is one of those stories. Set in a small liberal arts college, the story revolves around 5 people. Henry Skrimshander is a farm boy who is amazingly talented at short stop - so talented that he is being pursued by scouts from many of the pro teams. Mike Schwartz, the captain of the baseball team, has been Henry's mentor throughout his college career. Owen Dunne (my favorite character), Henry's roommate is an amazing ball player, but unlike the other members of his team, enjoys reading Greek classics in the dugout during the game. The final two characters are Guert Affenlight, the college president, and his daughter Pella, who has returned home after a failed marriage. The story is compelling and very readable - definitely one of my favorite books of the year.

Please Look After MomPlease Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A heart-wrenching story of a Korean family whose elderly mother goes missing on a subway train. The life and characteristics of this old amazing woman, Park Sgyuen, gradually unfolds as each member of the family tells in his or her words of his relationship with Mom. We learn about the sacrifices that the woman made for every member of her family. Although Park Sgyuen was a simple illiterate woman, she made a huge impact on her family (and many other people) and her absence leaves an enormous void. The stories are filled with sadness and regret. Listening to this book, I definitely felt and could relate to the feelings of remorse of not spending time and attention with the people we love. Beautiful story that made me miss my mom.

Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The year is 2044 and the world is pretty bleak. Why? The world economy never recovered from today's recession (yikes - could that really happen?) and poverty is everywhere. People escape their miserable lives by hooking into the OASIS, a virtual reality where everything is possible and is much more pleasant than real life. But upon his death, the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday, has inserted into his virtual world a series of clues that will give the solver an amazing inheritance. But after 5 years of searching by geeks, corporations and every day people, no one has uncovered even the first clue. All that changes when teenager Wade Watts solves the riddle and wins the key to the first gate. Ready players? The game is on!

Life is not nearly as awful as the setting of this book, but if you feel like you want an escape into a world of fun, 1980's video game nostalgia, or pure adventure, then pick up this story. This book is a thrill from beginning to end. Ready Reader One...

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don't know how John Green does it. Every time he writes a book, I find that I can't put it down. It makes me laugh out loud. I run around telling people about parts that I found especially moving or funny. And for his latest book, which I finished sitting in the doctor's office while my son was getting allergy shots, it made me weep.

Like all John Green stories, The Fault in Our Stars is about teenagers. But what is different about this book is the challenge isn't the usual difficulties of growing up, but about living and surviving when you have a terminal illness. Hazel was diagnosed with stage IV thyroid cancer when she was 12. She was on the brink of death when a miracle drug came along and shrunk her tumors - but her cancer is still terminal and at some point in time, her cancer will kill her. Now 16, Hazel and her family are trying to live a "normal life," which Hazel spends going to cancer support meetings and watching America's Top Model. All this changes when Hazel meets Augustus Waters, another cancer survivor, and together they try to have a teenage romance.

As I write this review, my summary of the plot almost seems trite or even a bit like a soap opera. But the story and characters of this book are well written and complex. Green is so adept at capturing the quirky behaviors and deep emotions of all the players in this story, from the adolescent boy suffering from the angst of his girl friend, to to the heartbreak of adult parents who know their child is going to die.

Like all John Green stories, this one will stay with me for a long time.

Defending JacobDefending Jacob by William Landay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

No better way to start off a year than finish a book that reads well, has a great plot, and leaves you thinking about what you would do in the same situation. Andy Barber is the assistant DA in Newton, MA, and is at the peak of his career. But all this changes when he takes on the case of the murder of a teenage boy, and his 14-year old son, Jacob is accused of committing the crime. The story was suspenseful and had a great cast of real, multi-faceted characters. This book releases in February and I predict it's going to hit the best sellers list - fantastic story!
Apr 28, 2012 09:58AM

12636 Hi everyone!

I'm starting a new folder for audiobooks you've listened to this year. I'd love to see what's playing on your earbuds...
Apr 28, 2012 09:56AM

12636 Hi everyone. Sorry I've been very quiet in this group recently. As many of you know this group was originally formed to connect members of our San Jose, California store. I have always loved it when people exchange their excitement about a certain book or narrator in the store and wanted to recreate it in a virtual world. And when people joined from outside our local community - even from as far away as Colorado or South Africa, I was thrilled.

Well, one reason I have been virtually absent is that I have been physically swamped. Our San Jose store is closing and we will be moving to a different location, Kepler's Books in Menlo Park. It's exciting and fun to be part of a bookstore that sells print books and to find new people to connect with over books. I will try and share stories about our journey and I will post more reviews and discussions. Looking forward to hearing from all of you!
Dec 13, 2011 07:48PM

12636 What It is Like to Go to WarWhat It is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Definitely one of my favorite books of 2011. With brutal honesty, Marlantes describes his combat experience in Vietnam. The book is a combination of riveting stories from his years as an officer and a well thought out analysis of society and the role that war has played in our past and present. It is clear that as much we prepare our soldiers for the tactical skills needed to fight or handle weapons, we don't prepare them emotionally or spiritually to handle the horrors of war. And even sadder, we don't help them return back to a 'normal' civilian life. Absolutely amazing book that should by everyone.
Nov 24, 2011 03:32PM

12636 Doctor Who: The Hounds of Artemis & Eye of the Jungle: The New Adventures, Vol. 3Doctor Who: The Hounds of Artemis & Eye of the Jungle: The New Adventures, Vol. 3 by James Goss

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The 3-CD package includes two Doctor Who adventures written exclusively for audio. The stories both feature the Eleventh Doctor and his sidekick Amy Pond. In the first story, The Hounds of Artemis, the Doctor and Amy arrive in Smyrna, Turkey in 1929. Lord Woolcroft and his team of archaeologists have discovered the lost Tomb of Artemis and are just about to open the tomb. But wait! Something evil is lurking about and archaeologists seem to be disappearing one by one. Is it aliens? A wrathful goddess? Daleks in disguise? Only the Doctor can solve this one! This story is just over and hour, but is packed with excitement. It is narrated by Matt Smith – yes the Matt Smith who plays the Doctor on the BBC television series and Clare Corbett who reads entries out of Amy’s diary. Although having Corbett as co-narrator is not as spectacular as a performance by the actress from the TV series, Karen Gillan, it is still nice to have Amy’s point of view.

In the second story, The Eye of the Jungle, Amy and the Doctor are joined by Amy’s husband Rory. This episode takes the adventurous trio to the heart of the Amazon in the 1829. A British naturalist is collecting live animals from the jungle for the opening of the London Zoological Gardens. But as on every Doctor Who adventure, disaster abounds and villagers are disappearing. Is it a wild animal? Something creature in the jungle is hunting people down and the Doctor, Amy and Rory are in a race to find the answer before more people are taken.

This audio book is produced by BBC Audiobooks and is complete with all the bells and whistles of a BBC program. Both stories start out with a quick scene to give the listener a general feel for the setting and the potential danger. This is immediately followed by the theme music from the series. The stories are interspersed with sound effects that add to the feeling of danger about to jump out from every corner. Fast and fun, these stories are definitely entertaining. So grab your sonic screwdriver, plug in your ear buds and get ready for a wild ride.
Nov 11, 2011 05:33PM

12636 The MagiciansThe Magicians by Lev Grossman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The tagline for this book is a 'Harry Potter for adults'. Well, there are definitely similarities. People with innate magical abilities are tested and have the option of going to Brakebills, a magical training academy instead of college. But Brakebills is no Hogwarts. The overall feeling of this book is much darker and innocent activities like drinking butter beer and 'snogging' have been replaced by much more adult and depraved behavior. And unlike Harry Potter, there isn't a clear battle of good vs. evil. Instead graduates from Brakebills have perfected their craft, but have no real purpose in life. Much of the criticism toward this book has been about the whiny behavior of the main character Quentin. But, although I agree - what a whiner! - Quentin's emotions were so authentic and make sense. Imagine mastering all these amazing magical skills and not having to work at a typical job to make a living. Life becomes trite and meaningless - Harry Potter meets Madame Bovary. But everything changes when Quentin and his Brakebills friends discover that the world of Fillory, the setting of a children's fantasy series, is a real place with real villains and a need for real heroes. Definitely a good story. Looking forward to the sequel.

View all my reviews
Oct 25, 2011 04:22PM

12636 Donna wrote: "...So gotta brag here - Nov 12th Geraldine Brooks is going to be in Fort Collins to speak. I've had my tickets for weeks - can't wait! ..."

Wow... I'm turning green with envy... Have a great time, Donna. Wish I could be there!
Oct 24, 2011 07:30AM

12636 Minnie wrote: Its what they call Joanna Trollope's novels. An Aga is an English..."

Thanks, Minnie! I just love the global aspect of Goodreads. You learn something new every day!
Oct 23, 2011 06:32PM

12636 Probably my favorite genre is Historic Fiction and I've finished quite a few audio books that I really enjoyed in this category. My favorite was Caleb's Crossing Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks by Geraldine Brooks. I've enjoyed all of her books, but this is one of my favorites. The setting is the 1600s in Martha's Vineyard (one of my favorite places) and the story is about the son of a Wampanoag chief who is educated by the settlers on the island and becomes the first Native American to graduate from Harvard. Great book for a book club - good discussion points about how Americans have smothered other cultures in the effort to save and convert 'heathens'.

The next two are more of a mash up of Sci-Fi and Historic Fiction. The first is In the Garden of Iden In the Garden of Iden (The Company, #1) by Kage Baker by Kage Baker. The premise behind this book is that in the future, mankind has discovered how to modify children to make them practically immortal. This technology is taken into the past to create agents for 'The Company' whose goal is to preserve culture by cataloging and documenting the past, as well as preserving rare items that will give The Company huge profits in the future. In this story, a Company Operative, Mendoza, is researching plants in Elizabethan England. The country is in turmoil with the marriage of Queen Mary to the Spanish (and Catholic) Price Philip. Excellent descriptions of the time period with some fun and light banter.

My last historical fiction novel is the first of the Temeraire series, His Majesty's Dragon, by Naomi Novik. His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1) by Naomi NovikThis book takes place during the Napoleonic Wars and England is fighting the French on land, on sea, and in the air ... with dragons. Although this book provides some insight to the Napoleonic Wars, it is more of an action/adventure type story. Very fun and narrated by Simon Vance. This one was good enough for me to pick up the sequel, Throne of Jade. Also a great one for teenagers who love action and will pick up a bit of history at the same time.
Oct 23, 2011 06:17PM

12636 Minnie wrote: "Just Finished "Marrying the mistress", a real "aga-saga", love and loss in Britain and it was an excellent joanna Trollope books.They don't really have happy endings but things seem to work out to ..."

Nice review, Minnie! But, what is an "aga-saga"??
Oct 21, 2011 09:40PM

12636 Donna wrote: "Unbroken A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption  by Laura HillenbrandUnbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by [author:Laura Hill..."

I agree - this is also one of my favorite audiobooks of the year. I also found the scenes in the Japanese prisoner camps very disturbing. I have to say that it really bothered me that war criminals like the Bird received amnesty. There are some crimes that need to be brought to trial just so we can feel that there is justice in our society. Don't you think that it's interesting that Nazi war criminals are still being tried - 60 years after the war and the Japanese war criminals received amnesty just 5 years later?
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