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Historical

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Melinda

Melinda UT Member Since 2009

So hooked by audio that I have to read books aloud. *If my reviews help, please let me know.

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  • "Umbrage and Umberto; Peanut Butter ..."

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    I love/hate Umberto Eco. "Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself..." There are very few authors as complex and knowledgeable; there are even fewer that can challenge and inspire as Umberto Eco. I have re-read, cross referenced, and researched, as much while reading his books as when writing my dissertation--but isn't that what great writers do for us? They expand us. And, while I always feel a bit obtuse reading Eco, I always come away enlightened. His mind is an encyclopedia, all-encompassing, his wit is delightful and at the same time biting and hilarious.

    Prague Cemetery's plot is intricate to say the least--19th century European espionage, conspiracy theories, Freemasons, Jesuits, Illuminati, Hitler, Dumas, Hugo, "Froide", Satanists, the New World Order and the Elders of Zion. All the more fascinating because of Eco's background in Semiotics, and the VERY interesting "A Note From the Author" wherein Eco personally explains the characters actually existed! [*see Amazon.com site to read this letter to the 'Dear Amazon Readers']. The story is told by a vitriolic schizo character with "a soul so dark as to cast a shadow in hell'; he could easily be a monster straight out of Eco's On Ugliness. Within 30 min. the mystery narrator ("pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name, woo woo.") offends, criticizes, disgusts, and outrages every race, nationality, ethnicity, sex, and religion--his only complimentary words used to describe the gourmet dishes he savors. Perhaps my only complaint: with such powerful elements and such an engrossing storyline, I'd have appreciated less venom--but I hope Eco never conforms to my personal predilections! (And wouldn't a recipe companion be too fabulous!)

    Undeniably a difficult read (for me at least), and not meant for people that tend to be easily personally insulted. It's meant to be disturbing, it's meant to agitate some brain cells. Kirkus review probably summed it up best with this one word: HUMDINGER. While The Name of the Rose remains my favorite Eco novel, I found Prague Cemetery absolutely fascinating and will enjoy the personal prerequisite second, possible third, listen. George Guidall does a lovely job of narrating the translation, as if you are reading beautiful Italian with your English brain.

    Persevere; I think of my mother saying to me, "Sit down and practice that piano! One day you'll thank me!" Read Eco and you'll thank yourself.

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    The Prague Cemetery

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Umberto Eco
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (267)
    Performance
    (232)
    Story
    (230)

    Whether it’s a critically acclaimed novel or provocative collection of essays, every work from best-selling author Umberto Eco is a highly anticipated publishing event. The Prague Cemetery is set amid conspiracy-rich 19th century Europe, where intrigue abounds—and where a lone, evil genius may be pulling all the strings.

    Melinda says: "Umbrage and Umberto; Peanut Butter and Jelly"
  • "A Spectrum of Acceptable Truths"

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    ****?Are all Audible productions of this book created equally? If they are, and you listen to the same recording I did, you are going into this novel without some fascinating information --Ripley Believe It or Not, Guinness Book of World Record fascinating -- provided by the author in a letter to the reader/listener at the beginning of the book. Francine Prose writes about an actual black and white photo she saw at an exhibition that served as the inspiration for this novel: "Lesbian Couple at Le Monocle, 1932" by famous Hungarian photographer Brassaï, taken at club Le Monocle in Montmartre, Paris. The provocative photo shows a pair of female lovers sharing a table, one dressed as a male in a tuxedo. Captivated by the image (*which you can Google easily) Prose began researching the photo, finding out about the subjects, the Le Monocle, the patrons, and the period of frivolity that seemed to be driven to excesses by the darkening threat of WW II. The provenance of the photo alone is riveting, but for a author with a such creative mind, the eyes looking out from that B&W must have demanded more from her.

    The cross-dresser in Brassaï's photo is the infamous Violette Morris; a French athlete that excelled in all athletic events from boxing to track and field. When she began competing in motorcycle and sports car races she had a double mastectomy to make it easier for her to slide behind the steering wheel. Some of her records still stand and were earned competing against men as well as women, even in heavy-weight boxing (Violette was a 5'5" and 150 lbs. wolverine). She was the only female to ever make the all-male French National Water Polo Team. Eventually, Violette was banned from competing in any athletics, (because of her cross-dressing and lesbianism) including the 1928 Olympics, which she dreamed of and worked for. She became a mechanic, then drove an ambulance on the front lines for her country. Her lustrous career waned, then darkened completely when she was recruited by a Nazi spy, and invited personally by Hitler to participate in the 1936 Berlin Olympics (where she won 2 gold, 1 silver, medals). In an act most likely of revenge, Violette quickly moved through the ranks to become one of Hitler's most notorious operatives, known as "The Hyena of the Gestapo" for her ability to uncover those involved in the Resistance, and her enthusiastic torture of her former countrymen. She was ambushed while on a drive in one of her sports cars, the car completely riddled with machine gun fire, the British and French Resistance the suspected executioners. Her body was never claimed; she was buried in a common grave. **** whew! now on to my review...

    * * * * *
    Prose has combined the intriguing history with an original concept, reconstructing it into a seductive fictional story written with force and beauty. Without compromising the integrity of the facts or moralizing, she creates a mystery that is just as much a parable, with profound moral questions that are never far from the surface. As a reader you are transported to the exotic left bank of the Seine, and through the streets that Henry Miller described as "capable of transforming the negativity of reality of life into the substantial and significant outlines of art," "surrounded by the men and women of Matisse." A secret password, 'Police! Open up!' throws open the doors to the fictional Chameleon Club and the patrons seeking refuge from society's imposed gender barriers. Alive with flamboyant color, the club is a decadent haven for *glorious peacocks,* women dressed like men, 'bankers and diplomats whose wives might not know they like to go out and dance in heels,' (and where perhaps Josephine Baker's infamous diamond-collared cheetah may have terrorized the orchestra). Ensconced into a leather booth, tucked against a sleek modern beauty, sits the tuxedo-clad Louisianne *Lou* Villars (Violette Morris).

    Prose's characters are alive and vibrant, which they actual were in their historical incarnation, and as a skilled author, she inhabits them completely without overlapping any personal nuances. The owner of the Chameleon Club is an Hungarian blonde beauty, always dressed in red, known as Yvonne. A throaty voiced chanteuse with a penchant for sailors, and a large pet chameleon named Louis, that lives in a terrarium in her room -- she is the master of ceremonies to the menagerie of colorful characters that gather at her club and lend their voices to the alternating narratives: the Hungarian photographer Gabor Tsenyl (Brassaï); his American friend/writer/womanizer Lionel Maine (Henry Miller); the wealthy patron of the artists, a French Baroness by-way-of-Hollywood, Baroness Lily de Rossignol; her husband Baron Rossignol, owner of the Rossignol automobile dynasty, a gay man that prefers Swedish boys to his lovely wife; and an assorted artistically advantaged ensemble not seen since Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. Looking back at the events from current time, and writing the biography of Lou Villars, is Nathalie Dunois, a neutrotic distant relative of photograper Gabor's wife. From their letters and narratives the reader must solve the mystery of Lou's evolution. Each has their own experience of Lou, their own perspective. With differing versions, the reader is faced with deciding whether any of these inherently limited truths account for a totality of truth about Lou and her transformation from Catholic schoolgirl to Hitler's favorite Gestapo operative.

    I was conflicted about a rating. Prose is definitely one of the finest contemporary writers I've read, but the introduction of these characters is detailed, a long demanding portion of the book (almost half). The intoxication of 30's Paris, the pandemonium in the club, the luminous characters and their complex stories, all make for some tricky footwork just to keep pace. This is not text you just ingest -- you have to chew on it, digest it. You don't just easily slide in and ride along. So I battled with that 5* rating...then looked back at the Nabokov quote the author uses as her lead-in to this novel...

    ❝Between the wolf in the tall grass and the wolf in the tall story there is a shimmering go-between.❞ [That go-between, that prism, is the art of literature." from Nabokov's Lectures on Literature.] He continues ..."a wise reader reads the book of genius not with his heart, not so much with his brain, but with his spine. It is there that occurs the telltale tingle..."

    You could say that 5th star was a victim of the telltale tingle. Lover's at the Chameleon Club is a book of tingly genius; just imagining Montparnasse during the early twentieth century -- this crossroads of artistic revolution, with Stravinsky, Copland, Picasso, Duchamp, Chagall, Diaghilev, Hemingway -- French intellectuals Proust, Sartre...I was already primed with a tingle. Absolutely, Prose created a prismatic and hypnotic novel, but a grand portion of that colorful magic was provided by history, and a black and white photo...and that is where I place my fifth star. Beyond the story, or within the story, I felt Prose incorporated a parable that provides some eternal wisdom: the parable implies that even though one's subjective experiences can be true, theirs doesn't account for other truths, or the totality of truth. There is some relativism to truths, or 'an inexpressible nature of truth,' a deficit that requires communicate and respect for different perspectives. History (and sometimes fiction) is a great teacher, and Lovers at the Chameleon Club a great book.

    Highly recommend with the suggestions to persevere, and to look up Violette Morris (if you have any time left after this reading this looong review.) I appreciate your time and hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.



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    Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Francine Prose
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini, Rosalind Ashford, Geoffrey Cantor, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (48)

    Paris in the 1920s: It is a city of intoxicating ambition, passion, art, and discontent, where louche jazz venues like the Chameleon Club draw expats, artists, libertines, and parvenus looking to indulge their true selves. It is at the Chameleon where the striking Lou Villars, an extraordinary athlete and scandalous cross-dressing lesbian, finds refuge among the club's loyal denizens, including the rising photographer Gabor Tsenyi, the socialite and art patron Baroness Lily de Rossignol, and the caustic American writer Lionel Maine.

    Melinda says: "A Spectrum of Acceptable Truths"
  • "The Bee's Knees and So Much More"

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    The Chaperone simultaneously depicts the changing social culture during the 1920's, as well as the feminist self-awakening of small town Wichitan, Cora Carlisle. The author uses actual historical events, places, and people to shuffle us through this momentous era - almost Forest Gump style - with recognizable period icons gliding along in Cora's backdrop like pictures in a scrapbook of her life, (flapper girls, bathtub gin, the Jazz age, racism and the KKK, women's suffrage, birth control, etc.). These fascinating images embellish Cora's recollections; they are recognizable, relatable, and immediately draw in the listener. The most exciting vehicle in Cora's transforming journey is the famous silent film star Louise Brooks, who is used more as a catalyst for the stoic Cora's introspection, and a representative image (and result) of rebellion, than a co-star in the book.

    This book is immediately enchanting and breezy with nicely shaped characters, that coincidentally represent different personal pathways in this changing time (almost allegorical); sometimes appearing a little too convenient, a little too token--but understandably necessary to carry this story in its evolution. The pacing was a little bothersome...initially, I enjoyed being able, while I listened, to compare where we are now with our social mores, how we are still struggling with some of the same issues and restrictions; later, the story seemed to jump ahead, speed up, step back, and skip over important details. Moriarty so skillfully lays out the images and feelings of the era, the vivid streets of New York, the tumultuous social clashes, and I would have liked for her to use that talent to tell us more about the war, the depression, the Dust Bowl (which would have made a book double the size - but would have been all right with me; call me selfish).

    I can't end without mentioning one of the most important underlying issues; the sexual abuse of Louise. I haven't read Louise's own account of her childhood, or testimonies to the 15 yr. old's psychological maturity, but, I know that being routinely sexually abused from the age of 9 yrs. old would not create a 15 yr. old girl that is cool, savvy, and spunky--as Louise was portrayed. The author hints at the self-destruction, and the reader follows the logic that she was a self-driven, uncannily beautiful woman, at ease with her sexuality and ahead of her times, when in reality, a background of such extreme abuse would sadly play itself out throughout a victimized person's life--and that was what was so heartbreaking about, and destructive to, Louise.

    A touching and entertaining read I highly recommend. Elizabeth McGovern does a beautiful job, giving each character the emotional depth and individuality needed to do justice to such a huge story. You can't go wrong picking this one; a classic in the making.

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    The Chaperone

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Laura Moriarty
    • Narrated By Elizabeth McGovern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2136)
    Performance
    (1883)
    Story
    (1870)

    >The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that would change them both. Only a few years before becoming a famous actress and an icon for her generation, a 15-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita to make it big in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle is a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip.

    Amanda says: "Perfection."
  1. The Prague Cemetery
  2. Lovers at the Chameleon C...
  3. The Chaperone
  4. .

A Peek at Lulu's Bookshelf

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154 REVIEWS / 921 ratings 224 Followers / Following 1
 
Lulu's greatest hits:
  • Lionheart

    "OK but could have been so much better."

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    Year's ago I read several Penman books and loved them. Many years later I read a comment by her on her website. She was asked why none of her books had been produced as audio books. She said she thought her books were too long and complex to be successfully transferred to audio. At the time I thought that was ridiculous. Other BIG books were huge audio book hits.

    I was excited when I found that one of her books was to be released as an audiobook. I read it and realized she was right. For some reason this book was dry, dull and difficult to finish. There were moments when it shone. And some of the supporting characters were fascinatingly portrayed, especially Richard's mother and sister. But they were fascinating in real life too. History tells us that Richard was larger than life, charismatic, a born leader and dead before his time. He should have been an amazingly interesting character in this novel. Instead he was one dimensional and boring.

    I don't know why this book did not translate well into audio format. Perhaps the novel itself was not up to par with her earlier work. I would still be thrilled if her trilogy Here Be Dragons, Falls the Shadow and The Reckoning ever made it to audio. But now I am worried they might disappoint.

  • The Nonesuch

    "The hero was understatedly heroic ..."

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    in spite of the goofy picture on the cover. I usually don't pay much attention to the picture on the cover of a book on Audible. For some reason though, this guy was creepy.

    I am glad I overcame the creep factor and read the book. It was very enjoyable. This was actually one of the more romantic Heyer books I have read. There was actually a clutch and a kiss near the end. Heyer did such a good job of presenting a hero who knows exactly what he wants by the end of the second chapter, a heroine who never really believes him until the very end and still makes everything that comes in between interesting and enjoyable. She fleshed out several of the secondary characters more than she does in some of her other work. And the Nonesuch's male relations were pretty entertaining, as was the cross the heroine was forced to bear - the young lady she served as a companion to. Eve Matheson does a great job on Georgette Heyer books.

    If you like Heyer you will enjoy this book.

  • The Chaperone

    "Delayed Gratification"

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    For some reason this book didn't pique my interest when it was first available. It didn't sound remotely interesting. I kept hearing great things about the book but I had no motivation to read it. I eventually bought it when it was on sale, thinking that some day it might be worth reading.

    When I finally read the book, I realized that the praise I kept hearing was well deserved. Elizabeth McGovern did a great job with the narration. She matched the period and the main characters perfectly. The characters were extremely well developed and the author did a great job of laying out a complex and multi-staged lifetime in a little over 13 hours. Not that long of book - when compared to other life-spanning fictional sagas. The plot was never predictable. I was continually surprised by the unexpected twists and turns taken.

    I assume it is difficult to write about a real person who has a somewhat mythical persona, someone considered "larger than life" through at least a portion of their life. It must be even more difficult when you are attempting to write about them as just a person, not a myth. The author brings Louise Brooks to life, not as a movie star, but as a young lady and then a middle aged woman with the same problems and issues as they rest of us face daily. She made Louise more human and so more likeable.

    I am extremely glad I finally read this book. I found it terribly gratifying and satisfying and recommend it heartily.

  • The Custom of the Army: An Outlander Novella

    "Fills in Several Blanks"

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    The first 15 minutes alone of this short novella are worth reading. Gabaldon's ability to start her stories with a bang is one of her greatest skills. The beginning to this story rivals the first 15 minutes of The Scottish Prisoner.

    Jeff Woodman has become the voice of Lord John to me. So much so that this is the single character in the Outlander series that I wish someone other than Davina Porter would narrate. And since I think the Porter and Outlander combination is pretty close to perfection, that is saying a lot.

    A lot happens in a very short period of time in this piece. And by the time it is finished, a few more questions are answered and blanks are filled in about the Lord John character, his history and how he became the man he is in the Outlander series. I highly recommend it.

DIANE

DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 07-29-11 Member Since 2009

I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.

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  • "The Fraser family is addictive"

    7 of 7 helpful votes

    I loved this book. I was so happy when Briana and Roger went through the stones to re-unite with Claire and Jamie. What a wonderful family saga. I have to say that Davina Porter does an incredible job reading these books. She brings them alive for me and how she manages to do all the accents and voices I don't know. I only know she does and it's wonderful. I'm reading Echo in the Bone and am sad that temporarily, until Ms. Gabaldon comes out with another book, I will be Fraser-less and MacKenzie-less. Something to look forward to.

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    A Breath of Snow and Ashes

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (3755)
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    (3265)
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    (3244)

    A Breath of Snow and Ashes continues the saga of 18th-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and his 20th-century, time-traveling wife, Claire. The year is 1772, and the rift between Britain and its American colonies has put a frightening word into the minds of all concerned: revolution. In the backwoods of North Carolina, violence has already reared its ugly head, as cabins have been burned to the ground. To preserve the colony for King George III, the governor pleads with Jamie to bring the people together and restore peace. But Jamie has the burden of knowing that war cannot be avoided.

    jerry says: "Unabridged!"

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    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
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    It is June 1778, and the world seems to be turning upside down. The British Army is withdrawing from Philadelphia, with George Washington in pursuit, and for the first time, it looks as if the rebels might actually win. But for Claire Fraser and her family, there are even more tumultuous revolutions that have to be accommodated. Her former husband, Jamie, has returned from the dead, demanding to know why in his absence she married his best friend, Lord John Grey.

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    Love for war's victims keeps them apart. Will love for each other see them through? The slightest spark will ignite an explosion. And the tinderbox of broken political and racial relations in 1960s France and Algeria provides plenty of kindling. In the midst of the chaos, Gabriella Madison guards the orphans in her care while battling jealousy with Anne-Marie Duchemin, David’s former flame who has recently arrived in Castelnau, France.

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    January 1474, and Niccolo has been shunned by all who know him after revelations of his murderous mischief-making. But Niccolo's talents are too great to be squandered, and a subtle political dance ensues as rivals in Poland, Venice and Persia bid for his services in trade, war and diplomacy...

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    Scotland 1468. Merchants and musicians, politics and pagentry fill the venturesome court of the boy-king James III. In its midst, unpredictable and dangerous, is businessman and knight Nicholas van der Poele - who has a new trading empire to build and a terrible betrayal to avenge...

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    The bloody revolution in France causes upheaval in the Morland family. Henri-Marie Fitzjames Stuart, bastard offshoot of the Morland family, strives to protect his daughter, Heloise; his mistress, Marie-France; and their son, Morland. To this end, he binds Heloise to a loveless marriage with a Revolutionary, and allies himself with the great Danton.

    But in the bloodbath of the guillotine and the fall of Danton, Henri-Marie loses his head and Heloise flees to England.

  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel (






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    Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

    Tawney says: "A remarkable listening experience"
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    Story
    (4537)

    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

    Jan says: "Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!"
  • The Book Thief (






UNABRIDGED) by Markus Zusak Narrated by Allan Corduner

    The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (7760)
    Performance
    (5966)
    Story
    (5987)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Shannon says: "Word Thief"
  • Dragonfly in Amber (






UNABRIDGED) by Diana Gabaldon Narrated by Davina Porter

    Dragonfly in Amber

    • UNABRIDGED (39 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8889)
    Performance
    (5553)
    Story
    (5576)

    New York Times best-selling author Diana Gabaldon enchanted scores of fans with Outlander, her electrifying historical saga set in 18th-century Scotland. Now this sequel sweeps listeners back into the past as Claire relates more of her perilous sojourn there with her Scottish warrior husband, James Fraser. Twenty years after her strange journey back in time, Claire has returned to Scotland with her daughter, determined to share with her the secret she has harbored since her time travel.

    Daniel says: "Finally! The unabridged version is here!"
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  • Voyager (






UNABRIDGED) by Diana Gabaldon Narrated by Davina Porter

    Voyager

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7519)
    Performance
    (4724)
    Story
    (4690)

    Set in the intriguing Scotland of 200 years ago, the third installment in the romantic adventures of Jamie and Claire is as compelling as the first. Now that Claire knows Jamie survived the slaughter at Culloden, she is faced with the most difficult decision of her life. She aches to travel back through time again to find the love of her life, but, in order to do that, she must leave their daughter behind.

    Kathy says: "Hurry up! I want them all!"
  • The Help (






UNABRIDGED) by Kathryn Stockett Narrated by Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, Cassandra Campbell

    The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
    Overall
    (26755)
    Performance
    (13392)
    Story
    (13437)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
  • The Fiery Cross (






UNABRIDGED) by Diana Gabaldon Narrated by Davina Porter

    The Fiery Cross

    • UNABRIDGED (55 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (4024)
    Performance
    (3547)
    Story
    (3537)

    The year is 1771. Claire Randall is still an outlander, out of place and out of time. But now she is linked by love to her only anchor: Jamie Fraser. They have crossed oceans and centuries to build a life together in North Carolina. But tensions, both ancient and recent, threaten members of their clan. Knowing that his wife has the gift of prophecy, James must believe Claire, though he would prefer not to. Claire has shared a dreadful truth: there will, without a doubt, be a war.

    Dawn says: "THANK YOU!!!"
  • Edge of Eternity: The Century Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution - and rock and roll.

  •  
  • Lucky Us: A Novel (






UNABRIDGED) by Amy Bloom Narrated by Alicyn Packard

    Lucky Us: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Amy Bloom
    • Narrated By Alicyn Packard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Disappointed by their families, Iris, the hopeful star and Eva the sidekick, journey through 1940s America in search of fame and fortune. Iris’s ambitions take the pair across the America of Reinvention in a stolen station wagon, from small-town Ohio to an unexpected and sensuous Hollywood, and to the jazz clubs and golden mansions of Long Island. With their friends in high and low places, Iris and Eva stumble and shine though a landscape of big dreams, scandals, betrayals, and war.

  • The Things They Carried (






UNABRIDGED) by Tim O'Brien Narrated by Bryan Cranston

    The Things They Carried

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Tim O'Brien
    • Narrated By Bryan Cranston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (914)
    Performance
    (844)
    Story
    (840)

    Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried’s portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner-Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book’s hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word.

    Michelle says: "Stark and poignant!"
  • A Breath of Snow and Ashes (






UNABRIDGED) by Diana Gabaldon Narrated by Davina Porter

    A Breath of Snow and Ashes

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (3755)
    Performance
    (3265)
    Story
    (3244)

    A Breath of Snow and Ashes continues the saga of 18th-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and his 20th-century, time-traveling wife, Claire. The year is 1772, and the rift between Britain and its American colonies has put a frightening word into the minds of all concerned: revolution. In the backwoods of North Carolina, violence has already reared its ugly head, as cabins have been burned to the ground. To preserve the colony for King George III, the governor pleads with Jamie to bring the people together and restore peace. But Jamie has the burden of knowing that war cannot be avoided.

    jerry says: "Unabridged!"
  • The Pillars of the Earth (






UNABRIDGED) by Ken Follett Narrated by John Lee

    The Pillars of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12537)
    Performance
    (4917)
    Story
    (4955)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Got 40 hours to kill? You’ll find the time when you start listening to Lee’s take on Follett’s epic – and widely celebrated – novel of 12th-century England. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...and of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame....

    Joseph says: "Good historical setting, but loose story."
  • Medieval: Blood of the Cross: The Medieval Sagas, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Kevin Ashman Narrated by David Parkinson

    Medieval: Blood of the Cross: The Medieval Sagas, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Kevin Ashman
    • Narrated By David Parkinson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The Holy Land is in turmoil and desperately awaits the arrival of Edward Longshanks and his relieving army of French and English Crusaders. This is a time of brutality, an age of chivalry. A time of strong men with stronger hearts, an era with no place for the weak. Yet a thousand miles away, a 14-year-old boy learns a disturbing secret that drives him on a Crusade of his own. A quest to avenge his family, save his brother, and in the process recover the holiest relic in the history of Christendom.

  • Killer's Law (






UNABRIDGED) by L. Ron Hubbard Narrated by R. F. Daley, Corey Burton, Brooke Bloom, Enn Reitel, Bob Caso, John Mariano, Richard Rocco

    Killer's Law

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 55 mins)
    • By L. Ron Hubbard
    • Narrated By R. F. Daley, Corey Burton, Brooke Bloom, and others
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Sheriff Kyle of Deadeye, Nevada, is headed east to the nation’s capital. Like Dennis Weaver in the television series McCloud, Kyle’s about to discover that the law can be even wilder in the big city than in the Wild West. It’s a fact that hits home when he’s the one accused...of murder. Kyle’s come to the city to give a report to his senator on the misdeeds of Nevada’s filthy rich copper kings. But before he has a chance, he’s knocked unconscious, later coming to alongside his senator - now dead, with Kyle’s knife imbedded in the corpse.

  • Arctic Summer (






UNABRIDGED) by Damon Galgut Narrated by Finlay Robertson

    Arctic Summer

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Damon Galgut
    • Narrated By Finlay Robertson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In 1912, the SS Birmingham approaches India. On board is Morgan Forster, novelist and man of letters. It will be another 12 years, and a second time spent in India, before A Passage to India, E. M. Forster's great work of literature, is published. During these years, Morgan will come to a profound understanding of the infinite subtleties and complexity of human nature.

  • Love, Love Me Do (






UNABRIDGED) by Mark Haysom Narrated by Katie Scarfe, David Thorpe

    Love, Love Me Do

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Mark Haysom
    • Narrated By Katie Scarfe, David Thorpe
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    1963: The year the Beatles first top the charts. The year Martin Luther King has a dream. The year Truman Bird moves his family from their home in Brighton to a dilapidated caravan in the Ashdown Forest - then disappears. Truman's a charmer, a chancer, a liar. He's always got away with it, too. But now he's gone a dangerous step too far and only has one day to put things right - before he loses everything. For Truman's wife, Christie, life has not turned out the way she'd imagined.

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  • The Deadliest Sin (






UNABRIDGED) by The Medieval Murders Narrated by Colin Mace

    The Deadliest Sin

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By The Medieval Murders
    • Narrated By Colin Mace
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In the spring of 1348, tales begin of poisonous clouds fast approaching, which have overwhelmed whole cities, with scarcely a human being left. While some pray earnestly, there are those who hope that God's wrath might be averted by pilgrimage. When a group of pilgrims are forced to shelter at an inn, their host encourages them to tell their stories of sin, so that it might emerge which one is the best. And the worst...

  • The Red Dragon (






UNABRIDGED) by L. Ron Hubbard Narrated by R. F. Daley, Erika Christensen, Jim Meskimen, John Mariano, Bob Caso

    The Red Dragon

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By L. Ron Hubbard
    • Narrated By R. F. Daley, Erika Christensen, Jim Meskimen, and others
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    As a lieutenant in the US Marine Corps - as handsome and cocky as Richard Gere - Michael Stuart was once considered an officer and a gentleman. But that’s all changed. Now he’s seen as a renegade, a traitor, and a thief. Stuart is a man without a country...and perhaps without a prayer. Why? Because in a daring plot to foil the Japanese puppet regime in China, he set out to reinstate the country’s true emperor. Known now as The Red Dragon, Stuart is a soldier of fortune in war-torn Manchuria - and a man of honor in a world of treachery.

  • Lookout Hill: Ralph Cotton Western Series, Book 27 (






UNABRIDGED) by Ralph Cotton Narrated by George Guidall

    Lookout Hill: Ralph Cotton Western Series, Book 27

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Ralph Cotton
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    One bad turn deserves another. Arizona Ranger Sam Burrack is deep in Old Mexico, tracking two of the most heinous outlaws it' s ever been his bad luck to track. Hodding "Hot Aces" Siebert and Bobby Hugh Bellibar have nine bank robberies, three train hijackings, and more than a dozen payroll raids to their names. And they' ve left an undertaker' s fortune in dead bodies all along the border country. But there is no honor among thieves.

  • Red Death over China (






UNABRIDGED) by L. Ron Hubbard Narrated by R. F. Daley, Chris Emerson, Thomas Silcott, Tamra Meskimen, Jim Meskimen, Robert Wu, Max Williams

    Red Death over China

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By L. Ron Hubbard
    • Narrated By R. F. Daley, Chris Emerson, Thomas Silcott, and others
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    It is one of the greatest conflicts - and a pivotal turning point - in history…the Chinese civil war. On one side stands Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalists. On the other, Mao Zedong and the Communists. And their forces are about to meet in a decisive battle…the outcome of which is in the hands of one American pilot, John Hampton, a man who, like Bogart in Casablanca, couldn’t care less.… He’s a mercenary, flying for the highest bidder, his only loyalty to himself and to cold hard cash.