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African-American

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A Peek at Jen's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
424
 
ravenna, OH, United States 131 REVIEWS / 176 ratings Member Since 2007 90 Followers / Following 20
 
Jen's greatest hits:
  • The Good Lord Bird

    "If You Can't Say Anything Nice......"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was eager to read James McBride’s novel The Good Lord Bird. John Brown spent a portion of his life where I grew up and am very familiar with him.

    Frankly, I am not sure if I enjoyed the book or not. I did struggle to finish this book. The main force to complete this had more to do with commitment and less to do with anticipation in the ending and enjoyment of the text. Yeah, parts of it are humorous but much of it is “bathroom” humor and “dirty old man” humor. I certainly didn’t find it witty or clever.

    First, if enjoying this through Audible, Michael Boatman’s narration is odd to say the least. Overacted would best describe his reading. I found it hard to listen to and uncomfortable. It’s like when at a community theatrical production where there is that one guy that camps all his lines and monkey shines for the audience, putting everyone ill at ease. I felt that ill at ease feeling for the first third of the book till Boatman seemed to finally tired of doing it.

    Told in first person, Henry, the protagonist, is a slave boy that possesses feminine qualities that allow him the luxury of assuming the alias of a female, Henrietta, when abolitionist John Brown mistakes his gender while in Kansas. John Brown considers him/her as a good luck charm and their lives intertwine through the next 17 years. Though this is fictional history I felt that large portions were fiction than was really necessary.

  • Forty Acres

    "Exciting Social Conscience Twister"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Forty Acres is an enjoyable political thriller that quickly peaks your interest, builds in intensity and has you up late into the night in suspense. You will be asked to delve into your own thoughts on social injustice and civil rights. Not as a history lesson but, as modern day choices in the midst of peer pressure.


    Martin Grey is a young attorney that you are instantly drawn to and look for good things coming his way. When he finds himself the attraction of powerful patricians during a high profile court case, you can easily see how he is drawn into stepping out of his norm when invited. It feels to him as a step forward after a job well done. Imagine the surprise when in actuality it leads into the past.


    Forty Acres takes you to uncomfortable places that you won't see coming. I want you not to see it coming as well - so I won't be telling you more of the plot. The best part of this book is that the author does an exceptional job in blindly leading the protagonist and readers into a modern day American expedition. When Martin comes to the realization that he is at a loss to his current physical location, amongst other things, I was right there with him grabbing for the worthless smart phone.

    This is Dwayne Alexander Smith's first novel coming from a career as a screen play writer. The first part of this book, for me, was superior. It's fresh, face paced and exciting. There comes a point in the plot where it jumped the shark, for me, I am sad to say. Did it ruin the book for me? OH NO - exactly the opposite. It just had me spending a few additional days pondering how I wish it had gone differently and at what point did it revert to a screen play. It's a fine book and well worth the credit. It's very thought provoking.


    Andre Blake's narration is flawlessly transparent. He accentuates the text with his exceptional performance.


    I look forward to each and every future work by both.

MissSusie66

MissSusie66 02-26-14

MissSusie

HELPFUL VOTES
460
ratings
REVIEWS
180
127
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
100
7
  • "Narrator adds the perfect amount of..."

    1 of 1 helpful votes

    Even though our heroine is female it didn’t bother me at all that this one was narrated by a man because he was amazing and added to the spookiness of this book. Dave Fennoy has this voice it’s the voice of every scary Voodoo witch doctor that’s ever been heard or read he was perfect for this book. His voice is a cross between Barry White & Dion Graham and I really liked it and was very surprised to find out this was his only audiobook on audible so did some digging and found out he is a voice over actor and has some impressive credits to his name in commercials, animations, games and documentaries. I for one hope he narrates the second book in this series because it won’t be the same without him! I also hope he will narrate more books because I could listen to him all day! There were times the music between chapters was annoying and times it felt like it fit in so just a warning to those of you who don’t like music in your audiobooks.

    I really liked this book; however I am not sure I would have liked it as much if I had read it in print. But since I did listen I really enjoyed it, it was suspenseful and kept me on the edge of my seat. This is paranormal suspense about Voodoo and Hoodoo.

    Melody’s grandmother dies and asks that Melody take her ashes back to the Louisiana Bayou, but what her grandmother doesn’t tell her is the inheritance of “The Sight” that she also passed on and that there is an old book that she needs to take care of as there are many willing to kill for. Melody didn’t know anything about Voodoo or Hoodoo but soon finds out her grandmother did which comes as a shock to Melody. When she gets to Louisiana things get even weirder plus she is threatened by a man who says the book her grandmother stole is his and he will get it back no matter what. So we have a mystery a family story with some ghosts and hoodoo going on!

    This isn’t a story I would have been drawn to but since it is up for an Audie Award I listened to it and am glad I did, it had just the right amount of suspense and the paranormal add a little Catholic Church baddies to the mix and this made for a good story. I was glad a certain someone didn’t end up being a bad guy (you’ll know if you read it) and I am curious if that relationship will go on to the next book (which there is not an audio and that needs to be remedied!). I am curious if certain characters will carry over and which ones that will be. I liked Melody I thought she took everything in stride and it was a lot to take in and I’d love to see how she goes forward and what becomes of ‘the Sight’. This book grabbed me enough to want to continue on with the series.

    4 Stars
    5 Star narration

    More

    The Book of Obeah: Crossroads, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Sandra Carrington-Smith
    • Narrated By Dave Fennoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Upon the passing of her beloved grandmother, Melody Bennet receives startling instructions that she is to take the ashes of Grandmama Giselle to southern Louisiana. Melody must step far outside her comfort zone in the suburbs of North Carolina to fulfill this dying wish. She finds herself blindly navigating the exotic, sometimes hostile environs of New Orleans and Bear Bayou, and immersed in a subculture based on an ancient West African religion. At this unexpected crossroad, she discovers new cultures and beliefs - and new dangers - and awakens to a new way of seeing the world and her role in it.

    MissSusie66 says: "Narrator adds the perfect amount of spookiness"

What's Trending in African-American:

  • 4.8 (35 ratings)
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    • By Charlayne Woodard
    • Narrated By Charlayne Woodard
    Overall
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    Performance
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    Story
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    In Neat, writer/performer Charlayne Woodard shares her memories of growing up black in America in the '60s and '70s. The play focuses around the life of Woodard's Aunt Beneatha, Neat, who was mistakenly fed camphor oil as a baby, resulting in permanent brain damage. Stories of family and of time spent with Neat are weaved together with touching results.

    Mary Robins says: "A Must Read"
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    Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 - when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate - and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister", a brutal man who terrorizes her.

    Lauren says: "Good Listen"
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    Why we think it’s a great listen: Zora Neale Hurston’s classic novel begs to be read aloud, and Ruby Dee answers the challenge with utter perfection, capturing the wide range of characters and their diverse accents with grace and power. Their Eyes Were Watching God is the luminous and haunting novel about Janie Crawford, a Southern Black woman in the 1930s, whose journey from a free-spirited girl to a woman of independence and substance has inspired writers and readers for close to 70 years.

    Leslie says: "a pleasure"
  • 4.4 (369 ratings)
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UNABRIDGED) by Lawrence Hill Narrated by Adenrele Ojo

    Someone Knows My Name

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    • By Lawrence Hill
    • Narrated By Adenrele Ojo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    Aminata Diallo is the beguiling heroine of Lawrence Hill's Someone Knows My Name. In it, Hill exquisitely imagines the tale of an 18th-century woman's life, spanning six decades and three continents. The fascinating story that Hill tells is a work of the soul and the imagination. Aminata is a character who will stir listeners, from her kidnapping from Africa through her journeys back and forth across the ocean.

    Ariela says: "Rich in history and moral messages"
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    Dream says: "Epilogue brings the story together"
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    Who Asked You? opens as Trinetta leaves her two young sons with her mother, Betty Jean, and promptly disappears. BJ, a trademark McMillan heroine, already has her hands full dealing with her other adult children, two opinionated sisters, an ill husband, and her own postponed dreams - all while holding down a job as a hotel maid. Her son Dexter is about to be paroled from prison; Quentin, the family success, can't be bothered to lend a hand; and taking care of two lively grandsons is the last thing BJ thinks she needs.

    JALAYNE says: "brillant"
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    Big Girls Do Cry

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    • Narrated By Teresa Floyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Story
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    In this sequel to Something on the Side, two Rubenesque beauties kiss the Big Apple goodbye and launch a new chapter of the Big Girls Book Club in Richmond, Virginia. But this time, the size-14-and-over ladies’ club is welcoming a chunky (and very male) player into its ranks—and plus-size shenanigans are sure to follow.

    Dream says: "I love Carl Weber"
  • The Prada Plan 4: Love & War (






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    The Prada Plan 4: Love & War

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    • By Ashley Antoinette
    • Narrated By Cary Hite
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    The feud between YaYa and Leah has ruined the lives of everyone around them. In The Prada Plan 4, the animosity is alive, and the resentments run deeper than ever. Indie has watched YaYa's past destroy the woman he once knew, and his patience has run thin. After being left at the altar, he is heartbroken and confused. His quests to save YaYa from herself have failed, and he finally decides it's time to let the love of his life go. Her thirst for blood is unquenchable, and like a black hole she sucks the life out of everything around her.

    Angela says: "WORTH THE WAIT"
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God (






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    Their Eyes Were Watching God

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Zora Neale Hurston
    • Narrated By Ruby Dee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (911)
    Performance
    (465)
    Story
    (462)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Zora Neale Hurston’s classic novel begs to be read aloud, and Ruby Dee answers the challenge with utter perfection, capturing the wide range of characters and their diverse accents with grace and power. Their Eyes Were Watching God is the luminous and haunting novel about Janie Crawford, a Southern Black woman in the 1930s, whose journey from a free-spirited girl to a woman of independence and substance has inspired writers and readers for close to 70 years.

    Leslie says: "a pleasure"
  • Invisible Man: A Novel (






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    Invisible Man: A Novel

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    • By Ralph Ellison
    • Narrated By Joe Morton
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    Overall
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    Story
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    Ralph Elllison's Invisible Man is a monumental novel, one that can well be called an epic of 20th-century African-American life. It is a strange story, in which many extraordinary things happen, some of them shocking and brutal, some of them pitiful and touching - yet always with elements of comedy and irony and burlesque that appear in unexpected places.

    Robert says: "You've been waiting, buy it, you won't be sorry..."
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    Lauren says: "Good Listen"
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    kemba says: "Great Book!!!!"
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    Dream says: "Selling your soul for entertainment and money"
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    • Narrated By Michael Boatman
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    Performance
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    Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry’s master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town - with Brown, who believes he’s a girl. Over the ensuing months, Henry - whom Brown nicknames Little Onion - conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive. Eventually Little Onion finds himself with Brown at the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859 - one of the great catalysts for the Civil War.

    Melinda says: "An Interesting Re-Telling of a Little Known Man"
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    Never Say Never

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    • By Victoria Christopher Murray
    • Narrated By Amanda Cobb, Karen Pittman
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    (2)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    When Miriam's fireman husband, Chauncey, dies while rescuing students from a school fire, Miriam feels like her life is over. How is she going to raise her three children all by herself? How will she survive without the love of her life? Luckily, Miriam's sister-friend Emily and Emily's husband, Jamal, are there to comfort her. But all the time that Miriam and Jamal spend together - grieving, sharing, and reminiscing - brings the two closer in ways they never planned...

  • The Prodigal Son: A Reverend Curtis Black Novel (






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    The Prodigal Son: A Reverend Curtis Black Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Kimberla Lawson Roby
    • Narrated By Peter Jay Fernandez
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (37)

    The Reverend Curtis Black hasn't spoken to his son, Matthew, in over a year-not since Matthew dropped out of Harvard to marry his girlfriend, Racquel, and be a full-time father to their infant son. Curtis knows that it was he and his wife, Charlotte, who drove Matthew away, but he prays that one day his son will forgive them and come home.

    Rachel says: "Great Read!"
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UNABRIDGED) by Ashley Antoinette Narrated by Honey Jones

    The Prada Plan 2: Leah's Story

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Ashley Antoinette
    • Narrated By Honey Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (81)

    Ashley Antoinette, of the Ashley & JaQuavis writing duo, steps out on her own once again with the next installment of her scandalously sexy Prada Plan series! When you've been labeled crazy all of your life, it's easy to commit a murder, and now street fiction's most infamous bad girl, Leah Richards, holds the fate of an entire family in her hands. After coming insecond place to YaYa in the race to win Indie's affection, Leah decides that enough is enough and kidnaps the loving couple's baby girl.

    Kell says: "O..M..G...this is the story that REFUSE to end!"
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UNABRIDGED) by Naomi Chase Narrated by Diana Luke

    Betrayal

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Naomi Chase
    • Narrated By Diana Luke
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (69)

    Since she was acquitted of murder, Tamia Luke has been on a mission to prove she's a changed woman - especially to the love of her life, Brandon Chambers. She thinks she's succeeded - until Brandon reveals that his ex-girlfriend is pregnant, and it's his duty to marry her. With time running out, Tamia is determined to have one last rendezvous to win him back. But she's stunned when the man who blackmailed and betrayed her suddenly reappears on the scene - with an offer she can't refuse, though she knows she may regret it.

    Rasheeda says: "Good Read"
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UNABRIDGED) by K'wan Narrated by Cary Hite

    Road Dawgz

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By K'wan
    • Narrated By Cary Hite
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    ''It's the penthouse or the morgue.'' This is the philosophy adopted by Keshawn Wilson, a.k.a. ''K-Dawg',' self-proclaimed lord of the streets. Keshawn is the youngest of five kids and one of only two that doesn't belong to his mother's husband. As a little boy he feels the distance between he and his stepfather, and life becomes increasingly difficult for him as the years pass. His childhood and young adult years are spent in a home for boys and state prison, where he serves time for manslaughter.

  • Games Divas Play: Diva Mystery, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Angela Burt-Murray Narrated by Janina Edwards

    Games Divas Play: Diva Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Angela Burt-Murray
    • Narrated By Janina Edwards
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    When Laila James, self-proclaimed "Golden Goddess," sets her sights on Marcus and shops a reality show based on their affair - and then a dangerous stalker threatens his family - Vanessa turns to her best friend Nia to save her marriage and her life.

  • Vivid (






UNABRIDGED) by Beverly Jenkins Narrated by Robin Eller

    Vivid

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Beverly Jenkins
    • Narrated By Robin Eller
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    It's 1876 and Dr. Viveca Lancaster is frustrated by the limits placed upon female physicians of color. When she is offered the chance to set up a practice in the small all-black community of Grayson Grove, Michigan, she leaves her California home and heads east. The very determined Viveca knows all about fighting for her rights. But she may need more than determination to face down the distractingly handsome Nate Grayson, the Grove's bull-headed mayor.

  • Never Say Never (






UNABRIDGED) by Victoria Christopher Murray Narrated by Amanda Cobb, Karen Pittman

    Never Say Never

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Victoria Christopher Murray
    • Narrated By Amanda Cobb, Karen Pittman
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    When Miriam's fireman husband, Chauncey, dies while rescuing students from a school fire, Miriam feels like her life is over. How is she going to raise her three children all by herself? How will she survive without the love of her life? Luckily, Miriam's sister-friend Emily and Emily's husband, Jamal, are there to comfort her. But all the time that Miriam and Jamal spend together - grieving, sharing, and reminiscing - brings the two closer in ways they never planned...

  •  
  • For the Sake of Love (






UNABRIDGED) by Dwan Abrams Narrated by Jules Williamson

    For the Sake of Love

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Dwan Abrams
    • Narrated By Jules Williamson
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (0)

    Spade Spencer's life seems to be coming together. He's engaged to be married to the love of his life, Bria Murray, and he's an up and coming rapper who recently signed a major record deal. When Spade gets diagnosed with cancer, rather than lean on his fiancee for strength, he calls off the wedding, leaving Bria feeling alone and rejected. In an effort to move on with her life, Bria pours her energy into running her new company, The Spa Factory. Kerryngton Kruse, CEO of the record label that signed Spade, begins to pursue Bria romantically.

  • Cane River (






UNABRIDGED) by Lalita Tademy Narrated by Robin Miles

    Cane River

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Lalita Tademy
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Cane River is an isolated community that lies on a small river in central Louisiana. There in the early 19th century, slaves, free people of color, and Creole French planters lived and worked, loved and bore children. And there, 165 years later, Tademy discovers her amazing heritage. Beginning with her great-great-great-great grandmother, a slave owned by a Creole family, Tademy chronicles four generations of strong, determined black women.

    Lindy says: "Fascinating historical page-turner"
  • Wife Extraordinaire (






UNABRIDGED) by Kiki Swinson Narrated by Adam Alexander, Corey Allen, Lynnette Freeman, Karen Pittman

    Wife Extraordinaire

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Kiki Swinson
    • Narrated By Adam Alexander, Corey Allen, Lynnette Freeman, and others
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Two couples decide to sign up for a show called Trading Wives which is a ghetto version of the reality show Wife Swap. Instead of reaping a whopping $50,000 at the end of the show, this show will only shell out $10,000 after spending seven days the in the other wife's household. But before these two couples are able to claim their prize money, one wife isn't going to want to return home, so fist fights will erupt and there will be a lot of blood shed. In the end who will end up with whom?

    Dream says: "Selling your soul for entertainment and money"