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Melinda

Melinda UT Member Since 2009

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  • "Intriguing--Captivating--Altering"

    Overall
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    "The first thing you must know about me is that is I am colossally fat. I eat what I want, and furthermore, I eat whenever I want...and I do feel very shy and sort of encassed in something, as if I were a cello, or an expensive gun..." so the character Arthur writes about himself in an unflinching confessional letter to a former love whom he has not seen for decades..when he was merely "plump." The self-described grossly obese Arthur is given a distinguished and compassionate voice by narrator Keith Szarabajka, in a remarkable performance that brings real heart and soul to this wretched lonely human being.

    On the opposite end of the physical scale is Kel: tall, blonde, high school heartthrob that leaves his letter jacket on the shoulders of his girlfriend, then drives off in his BFF's BMW. But, Kel crosses the tracks and goes to a run down home, to a mother he disdains for her weaknesses; she is passed out on a sofa wearing a holey T-shirt that reads: It's 5:00 Somewhere! His father walked out when he was 4--he is so sure that his father is the source of his own tall good looks, his extraordinary athleticism, and all that is good in himself; while Mom represents imaginary illnesses, excuses, failures, and all he deems repellent. Also in this wonderful cast is Yolanda, the tiny pregnant Latino cleaning girl, whose sequined-sneakered feet dangle over the sofa when she breaks to watch her favorite soap on TV, and who yells at the honking cars during a huffing Artur's first arduous walk in years, "Hey! I'm pregnant here!"

    Heft is a superb character-driven novel that had me in tears more than once. From Arthur's apprehensive yet straighforward introduction, to Kel's self-aware confessions of sorrow and regret, and the streetsmart directness of sassy Yolanda--- Moore has written a bittersweet intersection masterpiece that will etch itself in your heart. With such a significant novel...it is hard to conform to M. Twain's advice: "when you catch an adjective, kill it!" With apologies to Twain...Heft is elegant, beautiful, unforgettable, wise, tender, hopeful, humble, and what it is to be HUMAN; one of my all time top picks. I hope you enjoy this one.

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    Heft

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liz Moore
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne, Keith Szarabajka
    Overall
    (874)
    Performance
    (791)
    Story
    (789)

    Forrmer academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career - if he can untangle himself from his family drama.

    Melinda says: "Intriguing--Captivating--Altering"
  • "Brilliant Meandering--what was in t..."

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    In Haruki Murakami's own words:
    "It's all pointless--assuming you try to find a point to it." Kafka on the Shore
    "It's not that meaning cannot be explained. But there are certain meanings that are lost forever the moment they are explained in words." 1Q84

    I read this book last year, my first HM read, which I jumped into with no knowledge of the author, and having read no reviews of the book at all. Since then I have read several of Murakami books, and not because I am an enthusiastic fan at all--I actually found myself a little disturbed by Kafka on the Shore. I was bothered by the wierd sexuality, the blurry boundaries and constructs, the pointless ramblings, the silliness I thought bordered on insult to the reader. I read interviews Murakami had done, I read about his background, I read very dissected critiques by scholars of Murakami books, and still held on to a bit of repulsion towards Murakami's books. But...I kept reading his books! I was drawn to them; they haunted me, they stayed with me, persistently colored my mind.

    When 1Q84 was released, I bought it impulsively,then wondered why. I realized that Murakami writes for the reader; I understood that what brought me back time and time again to HM was the fact that somewhere in me, I knew that in HM's books I was in the presence of genius. I could read/listen to HM and drift through a dream, like closing my eyes and floating on a raft in the pool, I didn't need to make sense of the journey--I just enjoyed it.

    I relate this only to try to explain the experience I had with Kafka on the Shore, It was in many ways magical and lasting. I'm not sure I loved it, but it captured me. I could compare it to the other books of his but I will not because it has been done--I will leave you with my experience and say that Murakami, like any author, is not for everyone--just like Beethoven or Mozart are not for everyone--but their genius cannot be argued. I am looking forward to listening to 1Q84--just picking the right time to be consummed. If you are compelled to find meaning in every event, to right each word with your own understanding, read again the top 2 quotes by Murakami...you may "find" something that isn't even really there at all.

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    Kafka on the Shore

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett, Oliver Le Sueur
    Overall
    (1457)
    Performance
    (779)
    Story
    (771)

    Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at 15, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down.

    Melinda says: "Brilliant Meandering--what was in those brownies.."
  • "Oh-ooo Say, Can We See?"

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    Can't say what drew me to this odd title--I knew that Ben Fountain received the PEN/Hemingway Award for the collection of short stories, Brief Encounters With Che Guevara--but I hadn't read the reviews or the publisher's summary. I didn't know that some critics are calling Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk this era's Catch 22, (oh! did we love Yossarian!) and THE best novel about the Irag war. I just saw this title on a list of suggested Beach Reads; "Beach" and "Read", two of my favorite words, and I was in. Turns out this was an unexpected treasure, the perfect approach, and an experience I won't be forgetting soon. So, I don't want to go into details and ruin your experience other than to say....WOW; I loved this book!

    I thought it was almost perfection, from the very concept, to the brilliant depiction of Billy's youthful naivety and his contrasting soldier's wisdom, to the sentence structure, and every perfectly placed word. It was laugh-out-loud funny, then at once sobering, like laughing at someone that just biffed it on the stairs, then realizing the tumble resulted in a compound fracture. There are a lot of cliche's as far as characterizations go, and Texans probably won't like this one, but the powerful message contained in this short read goes far beyond little criticisms--indeed to the very core of what we as Americans value. The detailed description of the football team's equipment (in it's context) was as powerful and perfect as anything written, and could alone justify getting this book.

    A short listen, at just 6 1/2 hours, but what an experience--what an impact. I'm just sorry that what I am sure will be the highlight of my summer reading is over before summer even begins.

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    Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Ben Fountain
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (265)
    Performance
    (238)
    Story
    (238)

    A ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents at "the battle of Al-Ansakar Canal" - three minutes and forty-three seconds of intense warfare caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew - has transformed the eight surviving men of Bravo Squad into America's most sought-after heroes. For the past two weeks, the Bush administration has sent them on a media-intensive nationwide Victory Tour to reinvigorate public support for the war. Now, on this chilly and rainy Thanksgiving, the Bravos are guests of America's Team, the Dallas Cowboys....

    Melinda says: "Oh-ooo Say, Can We See?"
  1. Heft
  2. Kafka on the Shore
  3. Billy Lynn's Long Halftim...
  4. .

A Peek at Ryan's Bookshelf

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Somerville, MA, United States 244 REVIEWS / 309 ratings Member Since 2005 354 Followers / Following 14
 
Ryan's greatest hits:
  • Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel

    "Dystopia Now"

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    Brilliant. I very much enjoyed Steyngart's Absurdistan, which satirized the former Soviet Union, but his writing reaches a whole new level here. This is a book about the near future America seems to be headed for, a country that's become a bankrupt, corporate-controlled police state on the verge of collapse, while mainstream Americans lead lives of vapid indifference, aggressively obsessed with youth, beauty, media profiles, and their rankings on a facebook-like service that publicly rates citizens on everything from their credit score to their "f***ability" (this is not a book for the prudish). It's very pointed satire, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, but often depressing because it's just close enough to reality.

    Steyngart does a marvelous job with his two main characters: there's Lennie, a shlumpy, trod-upon 39 year old who works as a salesman at a life extension company, has a set of hilariously-rendered Russian immigrant parents who spend their day watching "Fox Liberty Ultra", hangs out with self-righteous hipster friends, and clings to his antiquated hobby of collecting old books in a post-literate era. He falls obsessively in love with Eunice Park, a young Korean-American woman who personifies much about Generation iPhone, with her short attention span, text message vocabulary, constant online shopping (for brands with names like "Juicy P***y"), and lifelong immersion in a culture of looks and casual sex, and who struggles with her own old-country parents (including a mom whose advice-filled, English-challenged emails are quite funny). Their relationship captures, in a rich way, so much about the America we're living in. Steyngart doesn't take the easy path of simply mocking his self-absorbed characters (flawed though they are), but gives them them earnest voices, making them people we empathize with as the artificial bubbles of their worlds burst. Perhaps, in part, because it could soon happen to us.

    Funny, depressing, sweet, and frightening all at once.

  • The Sense of an Ending: A Novel

    "The mutability of afterimages"

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    I quite enjoyed this exquisitely crafted short novel, which reflects on the way we reshape our memories, creating a self-justifying narrative that might lead us away from the complete truth. On page, the protagonist, a retirement-aged man named Tony who's led an unremarkable, solidly upper-middle-class British life, recounts what sounds at first like idle reminiscences of his schoolboy and university days in the 1960s. We learn of a brilliant schoolmate and friend named Adrian, a former girlfriend named Veronica, and the falling out that drove them out of each other's lives and towards different fates.

    However, an enigmatic letter in the present day brings the half-forgotten past back to life, forcing Tony to come to new terms with what happened and why. As the story progresses, it becomes evident that we're hearing more than just a casual recall of long-ago events, and that Tony might not be the reliable narrator he wants to believe he is. Or connected to events in the minds of others the way he wants to be.

    Like Jonathan Franzen's last novel (and what I remember of Flannery O'Connor's short stories), this is the sort of literature that relies on discomfiting the reader, first testing our sympathies for the characters, then making them cross some ill-defined frontier of reasonable behavior where we ourselves would probably not go. The implicit question, naturally, is: how far would we go? And when would our self-deceptions become apparent to us? This kind of literary screw-turning doesn't work for every reader, of course, but given the book's short length, I think it's bearable.

    Both the writing and plotting are marvelous, the story winding delicately around a hidden truth that's not fully revealed until the last page. Each unwinding puts previous information in the story in a new light, until even the seemingly throwaway exchanges between smarmy British prep students and pedantic schoolmasters raise questions about how a mind might plant its own evidence in the past while searching for clues about it. Or, as one character puts it, how “history is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.”

    All in all, a complex, self-enfolding work of fiction, showing that the acts of rearranging the future and rearranging the past are never disconnected, and even a path towards reconciliation and sincerity can hold its own subtle self-delusions. Like other brilliant examples of the craft, it feels satisfactorily ended but leaves me with questions that continue to swirl in my mind.

  • What Is the What

    "Beautiful"

    Overall

    Having read the highly self-referential A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius a few months ago, I had no idea what to expect from Eggers in a novel about a Sudanese refugee. I couldn't imagine how the same writing style would work on that topic.

    But Eggers plays it straight this time and simply tells a story. And it's a beautiful, moving story told with thoughtfulness, compassion, and a sense of humor. The narrative of the central character, Valentino, doesn't fail to convey the horrors of the Sudan conflict, but neither does it beat the reader over the head with tragedy. Valentino's calm voice instead makes East Africa (and the American experience of an African immigrant) real, impressing the reader with the fact that the Sudanese are as colorful, complex, and rich in their lives as anyone else. The fact that Valentino's both remarkably aware and astonishingly naive as a character makes him a fascinating witness to this turbulent history.

    A wonderful book.

    As far as the audio aspect of the novel goes, the reader did a great job with Valentino's accents and mannerisms, as well as those of Afro-American characters. The voices he does for some of the side characters were a little too cutesy for my liking, but it didn't drag down the overall listening experience.

  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist

    "An outsider alienated"

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    I’m a sucker for unreliable narrators, so the structure of this book grabbed my interest right away. A man named Changez is having a conversation at a cafe in Lahore, Pakistan with someone who might be a CIA agent. Or, maybe not -- we only hear Changez’s side of the conversation, and it becomes less and less clear, given his overly solicitous tone, that it really is a conversation. What’s going on here?

    However, Changez proceeds to confess his life story, telling the phantom agent (and the reader) how he won a scholarship to Princeton as a young man, graduated near the top of his class, met a girl, and went to work at an elite global consulting firm, the kind that gets hired to “trim the fat” from struggling companies. Then September 11 happens, and Changez finds himself feeling less and less in love with America, and more and more like an outsider, alienated its by its imperial power structures, including his own employer, and the self-righteousness and xenophobia that the attacks bring to the surface in Americans. More and more, he finds himself identifying with the country he came from, however numerous its problems. It’s a story that's not hard to imagine happening, and Satya Bhabha’s fine audiobook reading makes the voice ring true.

    Unfortunately, the narrative and its indictments are weakened by the addition of a transparently allegorical romantic relationship between Changez and a depressive girl named Erica (hmm, what does that rhyme with?), who still pines for an idealized past with a now-dead former boyfriend. Poetic, sure, but Hamid doesn't logically connect this experience with breakdown and disappointed love to anything that's symptomatic of the US or Pakistan in particular. It was hard for me not to suppose that if things had worked out with Erica, Changez probably would have overcome his angst towards the US and stayed. Is that really the point? Also, the word "fundamentalist" in the title is a bit misleading, since religious fundamentalism doesn't figure much into this novel. It's really just a play on the word "fundamentals", which is used in a different context.

    But, even with the flaws in execution, I enjoyed the concept of the book, the sincerity of its voice, and the ambiguity of its framing and conclusion. Hamid spins evocative moments out of just a few simple details, doing more with four and a half hours (of audiobook time) than some writers do with fifteen. When the protagonist recounts his exasperation at cynical US policy during the frightening 2001 military confrontation between India and Pakistan, I had to admit, to my shame, that I had only the vaguest memory that this event even took place. I can probably tell you more about what Playstation games were popular that year. So, maybe he has a point about our indifference towards the rest of the world here in the US? In sum, while not as penetrating as it could have been, the Reluctant Fundamentalist still got me to think and is a good example of fiction’s increasingly international voice.

Margaret

Margaret Alameda, CA, United States 03-16-13 Member Since 2008
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  • "An AMAZING audible book..."

    16 of 16 helpful votes

    I'm so glad I downloaded The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat (ok, I'm not crazy about the title.) It was an impulse download, but the sample had made me laugh out loud so I thought I'd give it a shot. Now that I've listened to it, I wish all of my impulses ended this well!

    The center and main narrator of the book is Odette - a middle-aged, black woman who lives in a small town in Indiana with her two best friends, her husband James, and a handful of lively ghosts - including Old Earl of the title. Odette was "born in a sycamore tree" and is rumored to be fearless. Time and time again, however, she proves she isn't just fearless, she's wise and filled with compassion.

    Also, because of the way the narrative shifts between the past and the present, I really felt like I've known these characters their whole lives, like I was a part of their circle. I don't want to give away the plot, but I can say that I will be recommending this to anyone who asks me "read anything good lately?"' and l will be looking for more from this author. Bravo!

    More

    The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Edward Kelsey Moore, Edward Kelsey Moore
    • Narrated By Adenrele Ojo, Pamella D'Pella
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (165)
    Story
    (163)

    Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat is home away from home for this inseparable Plainview, Indiana, trio. Dubbed "The Supremes" by high school pals in the tumultuous 1960s, they weather life’s storms together for the next four decades. Now, during their most challenging year yet, dutiful, proud, and talented Clarice must struggle to keep up appearances as she deals with her husband’s humiliating infidelities. Beautiful, fragile Barbara Jean is rocked by the tragic reverberations of a youthful love affair. And fearless Odette engages in the most terrifying battle of her life....

    Margaret says: "An AMAZING audible book..."

What's Trending in Contemporary:

  • 4.8 (21 ratings)

    Foreign Enemies and Traitors: The Enemies Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Matthew Bracken
    • Narrated By Mike Kemp
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (19)

    Foreign Enemies and Traitors is set in the near future in an America that is creeping steadily toward socialist tyranny, in the midst of the second Great Depression. A year after earthquakes have devastated the Tennessee Valley, survivors are resisting demands by the federal government to relocate to FEMA refugee centers. United States National Guard units have proven ineffective at forcing these survivors out of the earthquake-damaged regions, due to their reluctance to employ deadly force against fellow Americans.

    Raymond says: "A Great Trilogy That Kept Getting Better!"
  • 4.8 (18 ratings)

    Los ojos del tuareg [The Eyes of the Tuareg]

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Alberto Vázquez Figueroa
    • Narrated By Fernando Díaz
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (14)

    Obra inspirada en hechos reales, Los ojos del Tuareg narra con dramatismo y perspicacia los conflictos provocados por uno de los grandes acontecimientos deportivos y publicitarios del mundo occidental: el famoso rally París-Dakar. Frente al espectáculo televisivo que nosotros conocemos, existe otra cara muy distinta: la destrucción del medio ambiente y la falta del más elemental respeto por la vida de los nativos.

    Roman says: "Excelent and beautyfully written!"
  • 4.8 (10 ratings)

    My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Louisa Young
    • Narrated By Dan Stevens
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (8)

    Set on the Western Front, in London and in Paris, My Dear I Wanted to Tell You is a moving and brilliant novel of love, class, and sex in wartime, and how war affects those left behind as well as those who fight.

    Robyn says: "special praise for the narrator"
  • 5.0 (10 ratings)

    El Túnel [The Tunnel (Texto Completo)]

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ernesto Sabato
    • Narrated By George Bass
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Ernesto Sabato nació en Rojas, provincia de Buenos Aires, en 1911. Cursó estudios de filosofia en la Universidad de La Plata, trabajó en el Laboratorio Curie y abandonó la ciencia en 1945 para dedicarse a la literatura.

    Alexandria Milton says: "Second Calling"
  •  
  • 4.4 (6221 ratings)

    The Kite Runner

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Khaled Hosseini
    Overall
    (6221)
    Performance
    (1573)
    Story
    (1592)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Never before has an author’s narration of his fiction been so important to fully grasping the book’s impact and global implications. Taking us from Afghanistan in the final days of its monarchy to the present, The Kite Runner is the unforgettable story of the friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them.

    Joseph says: "A storyteller's story"
  • 4.4 (5196 ratings)

    The Art of Racing in the Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Garth Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Evan Welch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5196)
    Performance
    (3176)
    Story
    (3177)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: If you’ve ever loved a dog - or even patted a dog - this book, told from the perspective of man’s best friend, will tug at your heartstrings...and won’t let go until long after Welch performs the last word. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively and by listening very closely to the words of his master.

    Lora says: "Enzo (because he's so wize) for president."
  • 4.4 (4855 ratings)

    A Thousand Splendid Suns

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Atossa Leoni
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4855)
    Performance
    (1113)
    Story
    (1114)

    Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss, and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them, in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul, they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

    David says: "Somber but gripping"
  • 4.4 (4664 ratings)

    Doctor Sleep: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4664)
    Performance
    (4321)
    Story
    (4331)

    Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

    D says: "The sequel to the book; not the movie"
  • Little Bee: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Chris Cleave
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1226)
    Performance
    (532)
    Story
    (530)

    British couple Andrew and Sarah O'Rourke, vacationing on a Nigerian beach in a last-ditch effort to save their faltering marriage, come across Little Bee and her sister, Nigerian refugees fleeing from machete-wielding soldiers intent on clearing the beach. The horrific confrontation that follows changes the lives of everyone involved in unimaginable ways.

    Katerina says: "Good book, well told"
  • Orphan Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Christina Baker Kline
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1872)
    Performance
    (1656)
    Story
    (1648)

    Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to "aging out" out of the foster care system. A community-service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

    Susan says: "Fascinating Journey for Two"
  • Deadlocked: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel, Book 12

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3158)
    Performance
    (2802)
    Story
    (2805)

    Growing up with telepathic abilities, Sookie Stackhouse realized early on there were things she'd rather not know. And now that she's an adult, she also realizes that some things that she knows about, she'd rather not see—like Eric Northman feeding off another woman. A younger one. There's a thing or two she'd like to say about that, but she has to keep quiet—Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), is in town.

    pewter says: "Who, What, and Why"
  • The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs)
    • By Paulo Coelho
    • Narrated By Jeremy Irons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3119)
    Performance
    (1810)
    Story
    (1827)

    Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its simplicity and wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an Alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest.

    Linda says: "Marvelous Book & Expressive Reader"
  •  
  • Keep Quiet

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Lisa Scottoline
    • Narrated By Ron Livingston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    Jake Whitmore is enjoying a rare bonding moment with his 16-year-old son, Kurt, when disaster strikes. They get in a terrible car accident that threatens to derail not only Kurt’s chances at college, but his entire future. Jake makes a split-second decision that saves his son from formal punishment, but plunges them both into a world of guilt, lies, and secrecy. Just when Jake thinks he has everything under control, a malevolent outsider comes forward with the power to expose Jake’s secret.

    Jen says: "I Can't Keep Quiet Because it's Sooo Good!!!"
  • The Husband's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    Overall
    (1863)
    Performance
    (1660)
    Story
    (1671)

    Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive....

    FanB14 says: "Soap Opera Digest"
  • Doctor Sleep: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4664)
    Performance
    (4321)
    Story
    (4331)

    Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

    D says: "The sequel to the book; not the movie"
  • Me Before You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Susan Lyons, Anna Bentink, Steven Crossley, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1963)
    Performance
    (1786)
    Story
    (1791)

    Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life - steady boyfriend, close family - who has never been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life - big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel - and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy - but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected.

    Bonny says: "Will & Louisa - each has what the other one needs"
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  • The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gabrielle Zevin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    The irascible A. J. Fikry, owner of Island Books - the only bookstore on Alice Island - has already lost his wife. Now his most prized possession, a rare book, has been stolen from right under his nose in the most embarrassing of circumstances. The store itself, it seems, will be next to go. One night upon closing, he discovers a toddler in his children’s section with a note from her mother pinned to her Elmo doll: I want Maya to grow up in a place with books and among people who care about such kinds of things. I love her very much, but I can no longer take care of her.

    B. Sorensen says: "A Tale for Booksellers"
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jonas Jonasson
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (685)
    Performance
    (602)
    Story
    (614)

    After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash.

    Dennis says: "Dared to let the kids listen and they loved it..."
  • What Alice Forgot

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Tamara Lovatt-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (881)
    Performance
    (786)
    Story
    (783)

    What would happen if you were visited by your younger self, and got a chance for a do-over?Alice Love is twenty-nine years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. So imagine her surprise when, after a fall, she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! she HATES the gym!) and discovers that she's actually thirty-nine, has three children, and is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce.

    Judy says: "Unforgettable! I loved this story!"
  • The Rosie Project: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Graeme Simsion
    • Narrated By Dan O'Grady
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (869)
    Performance
    (793)
    Story
    (791)

    Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a "wonderful" husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical - most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver. Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent - and on a quest of her own....

    Margaret says: "A fun listen"
  • Shame and the Captives

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Thomas Keneally
    • Narrated By Paul English, Heather Bolton
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    On the edge of a small town in New South Wales, far from the battlefields of the Second World War, lies a prisoner-of-war camp housing Italian, Korean and Japanese soldiers. For their guards and the locals, many with loved ones away fighting, captive or dead, it is hard to know how to treat them - with disdain, hatred or compassion? Alice, a young woman leading a dull life on her father-in-law's farm, is one of those with a husband held prisoner in Europe.

  • One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By B. J. Novak
    • Narrated By B. J. Novak, Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A boy wins $100,000 in a box of Frosted Flakes - only to discover that claiming the winnings may unravel his family. An acclaimed ambulance driver seeks the courage to follow his heart and throw it all away to be a singer-songwriter. A school principal unveils a bold plan to permanently abolish arithmetic. A new arrival in heaven, overwhelmed by infinite options, procrastinates over his long-ago promise to visit his grandmother. We meet a vengeance-minded hare. We learn why wearing a red T-shirt is the key to finding love; how February got its name; and why the stock market is sometimes just...down.

  • The Hunks I Dreamed

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Neville DeAngelou
    • Narrated By Neville DeAngelou
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A dreamer may ride the rough tides of a great struggle, emboldened, or be struck by a sweet moment of genius. Nevertheless, as evidenced by the likes of Federer, Zuckerberg, Musk, Bezos and others of their ilk, for any dream to become real it must satisfy the demands of necessity, specificity, durability and scalability. Not only that!

  • Bodies of Water

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By T. Greenwood
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In 1960, Billie Valentine is a young housewife living in a sleepy Massachusetts suburb, treading water in a dull marriage and caring for two adopted daughters. Summers spent with the girls at their lakeside camp in Vermont are her one escape - from her husband's demands, from days consumed by household drudgery, and from the nagging suspicion that life was supposed to hold something different. Then a new family moves in across the street. Ted and Eva Wilson have three children and a fourth on the way, and their arrival reignites long-buried feelings in Billie.

  •  
  • Thieves' Paradise

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Eric Jerome Dickey
    • Narrated By Bill Andrew Quinn
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Twenty-five-year-old Dante Brown is down and out in L.A. After doing a stretch of hard time in juvenile jail, he cleaned up his act as a computer techie - only to be laid off when the economy went south. Now he's facing a mountain of unpaid bills, a car on its last legs, imminent eviction, and a snowball's chance in hell with Pam, a sexy waitress/actress on the hunt for a man with means.

  • For Richer, For Poorer: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Edward Stewart
    • Narrated By Joyce Feurring
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    For Richer, for Poorer is the story of Kitty Kellogg Stokes, born into a hardscrabble life in small-town Pennsylvania, who rose to become the most influential woman in the political circles of New York and Washington, DC. When Kitty marries John Stokes, Jr., she bears him two sons. So begins a deception that will continue for decades and test the limits of a woman’s desire for revenge - and a mother’s love.

  • Murder in Lascaux

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Betsy Draine, Michael Hinden
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    The cave of Lascaux may be closed to the public, but five scholars a day are allowed inside, and Nora Barnes has finagled an appointment. True, she may have fudged a bit in her letter to the authorities, but she does teach art history, and she isn’t about to miss her chance to see the world’s most famous prehistoric paintings. Nora and her high-spirited husband, Toby, are visiting the Dordogne, in the southern French region of the Aquitaine. Aware that the Dordogne’s renown for cave art is matched only by its reputation for delicious cuisine, the couple has also signed up for a cooking class at a nearby château.

  • Animal Colony: A Cautionary Tale for Today

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Thomas Allen Rexroth, Mark Andrew Olsen
    • Narrated By Sharon Rexroth
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    At the dawn of a killer colonial winter, starving and desperate to live, a brave band of animals escape the tyranny of their human masters. Led by a visionary stallion, they brave miles of wilderness and a treacherous river crossing to start a homeland of their own - Animal Colony. There, they find freedom and prosperity...for a while. But a strange new belief system invades Animal Colony. The humble beasts must then learn to tell truth from enticing lie, or risk losing everything for which they've fought and bled.