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Ilana

Ilana Montreal, Quebec, Canada Member Since 2011

Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!

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  • "Just the right amount of cheek and ..."

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    In the first book of Greenwood's Phryne Fisher Mysteries, we're introduced to our heroine, who might at first be mistaken for a wealthy English aristocrat, though we learn she was born in Australia where she lived in poverty with her parents until the passing of a rich relation in England. Phryne, all grown up and living in England, now has more money than she knows what to do with, and is wondering what she should do with her life, since marriage isn't an option she especially looks forward to. After she uncovers a jewel thief during a dinner party, a couple asks her to investigate their son-in-law, as they suspect he might be poisoning their daughter who lives in Melbourne. Phryne doesn't hesitate to leave boring London society behind and make her way to the colonies for a bit of adventure and excitement. She finds plenty there when she encounters a communist taxi driver, meets a gorgeous Russian male dancer and is on the trail of a cocaine ring that seems to be operating out of a Turkish bath house.

    This series is firmly set in the roaring 1920s, but there's no mistaking that it was written in modern times. The doctor friend heading the women's hospital in Melbourne is a feminist who uses language to describe female troubles and anatomy that would have made a 20s female author blush. Phryne isn't afraid to use her feminine allure with an attitude that harks back to the flapper girls of old, who could have taught our modern femme fatales a lesson or two in the art of seduction. You can't help but like a girl with attitude who is also kind and caring, and takes such obvious delight in dressing to perfection for every occasion. This is pure chick lit and no mistake, all good fun and good times, with just the right amount of cheek and naughtiness.

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    Cocaine Blues

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Kerry Greenwood
    • Narrated By Stephanie Daniel
    Overall
    (778)
    Performance
    (552)
    Story
    (554)

    It's the end of the roaring twenties, and the exuberant and Honourable Phryne Fisher is dancing and gaming with gay abandon. But she becomes bored with London and the endless round of parties. In search of excitement, she sets her sights on a spot of detective work in Melbourne, Australia. And so mystery and the beautiful Russian dancer, Sasha de Lisse, appear in her life. From then on it's all cocaine and communism until her adventure reaches its steamy end in the Turkish baths of Little Lonsdale Street.

    Barbara M. Sullivan says: "A series that just gets better"
  • "Worth Revisiting"

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    I wanted to love this book, but a huge cast of characters involved with local Yorkshire politics—politics being a topic which I shrink away from—did not exactly win me over in the beginning. Soon, some key figures emerged, namely Sarah Burton, the new and youngish headmistress at the local high school, and Robert Carne, a broke and principled landowner and descendant from a venerable family regarded locally as a lord—if not in actuality, then figuratively. Little by little, as the politics took a secondary place and the various individuals became more fleshed out, in this poor community between the wars struggling to improve the lot of it's residents, I was pulled in by their various stories and struggles. I eventually found myself truly caring about Sarah and Carne, the modern and independent clever woman falling in love with the older man defeated by personal tragedy. And County Alderman Mrs Beddows,—at first seeming like a mere figurehead as the first Alderman woman (apparently as Holtby's own mother was)—a married septuagenarian more than a little bit in love with Carne too, earned my affection in the end. A book I feel I should have appreciated more than I did, and which I may very likely revisit eventually.

    Carole Boyd is one of my favourite narrators and delivers a flawless performance as always.

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    South Riding

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Winifred Holtby
    • Narrated By Carole Boyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    In this rich and memorable evocation of the fictional South Riding of Yorkshire are the lives, loves and sorrows of the central characters. There is Sarah Burton, fiery young headmistress; Robert Carne of Maythorpe Hall, a councillor tormented by his own disastrous marriage; Jo Astell, a socialist fighting poverty and his own illness; and Mrs Beddows, the first woman Alderman of the district (like Winifred's own mother).

    Ilana says: "Worth Revisiting"
  • "A different take on the Iliad"

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    While it does deal with the Trojan war and it's main participants, this is first and foremost a love story about Patroclus, a rather ordinary and not particularly talented or attractive young man, and the god-like hero Achilles. Patroclus tells us about his early childhood as a prince who couldn't live up to his father's expectations and his subsequent banishment, whereupon he is sent to live among a gaggle of boys trained to become soldiers by none other than Achilles's father. All the boys venerate Achilles for his great beauty and grace, for he is in fact the son of a goddess and as such possesses special gifts. Seemingly out of the blue one day, Achilles chooses Patroclus to be his close companion. Why he chose Patroclus, who had nothing to distinguish himself from the others, was shy and uncommunicative isn't made clear in the story, but nonetheless the boys end up spending most of their young lives together while a strong bond is formed, and eventually come to be lovers. When the war on Troy is declared, both Patroclus and Achilles are sought out by Odysseus to join the war effort. Everyone knows that Achilles is destined to be the greatest warrior of his generation, and everyone also knows about the prophesy which dooms Achilles to die shortly after having killed Hector.

    Beautifully told, this story brings mythical characters to life and makes even fantastical creatures, such as a centaur and sea goddess seem absolutely believable as essential elements in the narrative. A very interesting take on a mythical tale, this made me badly want to revisit The Iliad—in fact, I almost wished I'd read it first to refresh my memory, but this is by no means essential to fully appreciate The Song of Achilles. In fact, it may be better to come to this story fresh because I know for a fact Madeline Miller took plenty of liberties with her retelling, which could bother purists. I wasn't particularly taken with the homoerotic elements of the story, but then I'm not a fan of "straight" romance and erotica either as it's all cringeworthy to me.

    Frazer Douglas was an excellent narrator and added greatly to my enjoyment of this book.

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    The Song of Achilles: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Madeline Miller
    • Narrated By Frazer Douglas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (408)
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    (375)
    Story
    (372)

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

    Cariola says: "Didn't Expect to Like It, but I Was Swept Away"
  1. Cocaine Blues
  2. South Riding
  3. The Song of Achilles: A N...
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A Peek at Jefferson's Bookshelf

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224 REVIEWS / 251 ratings Member Since 2010 977 Followers / Following 15
 
Jefferson's greatest hits:
  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

    "Fine Romantic Urban Historical Immigrant Fantasy"

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    Helene Wecker's fine first novel The Golem and the Jinni (2013) opens with the separate unintentional immigrations to NYC in 1899 of a masterless female golem from Poland and a bound male jinni from the Syrian desert. Wecker recounts with fascinating detail the attempts of the two supernatural beings to pass as human in their new Jewish (golem) and Syrian (jinni) Manhattan immigrant communities. The golem has awakened to life on the ship over to America, so she is only a few days old, but the jinni has been imprisoned in a flask for a thousand years, and in addition to the 1899 plot strand, Wecker reveals little by little the jinni's past and how he came to be bound in human form and by whom. While sharing some traits (superhuman strength and agility, fluency in any human language, and the inability to sleep or digest food), the golem and the jinni also have different abilities and personalities. Because the golem's master dies en route to NYC, her innate need to satisfy a master renders her ultra-sensitive to the desires and fears of every person in her proximity. The jinni, essentially a creature of air and fire, chafes at being trapped in human form but excels at doing metal work and lighting cigarettes with his bare hands. The golem is more cautious, prudish, conservative, and empathetic, the jinii more irresponsible, liberated, creative, and selfish. One of the pleasures of the novel is watching the personalities of the two protagonists develop as their plot strands weave ever closer together.

    I enjoyed the fresh perspectives of the jinni and the golem about such things as the puzzling human belief in irrational religions and inconvenient social codes, the mystifying construction of large decorative marble arches that lead to or from nowhere, the magical transformations into bread and cake of dough when baked, the dark fascination of aquariums, the claustrophobic nature of commuter trains, the perfection of chicken eggs, and so on.

    I cared for the characters, from the two protagonists (so human despite their supernatural differences and belief in their own inhumanity) down to the supporting players like the kind and moral Rabbi Meyer and his honest and naïve nephew Michael Levy, the circumspect tinsmith Boutros Arbeely, the quiet boy Matthew, the tragic ice cream vendor Saleh, the bored and daydreamy heiress Sophia Winston, the heart-of-her-community coffeehouse mistress Maryam Faddoul, the bickering bakery owning Radzins, and even, at times, oddly enough, the abhorrent wizard villain. I enjoyed spending time with them.

    I was also impressed by Wecker's evocation of sublime, filthy, and vigorous 1899 NYC, its different districts devoted to the detached wealthy, the squalid poor, and various immigrant groups; it's expansive parks and noisy elevated trains and sordid rooftop demimonde.

    The novel also has plenty of good writing, many funny, moving, suspenseful, ironic, or beautiful passages. As when the jinni "comfort[s] himself with the thought that although he might be forced to live like a human, he'd never truly be one," speculates that "perhaps this God of the humans is just a jinni like myself, stuck in the heavens, forced to grant wishes," and rides the Elevated train between two cars: "The noise was deafening, a rattle and screech that penetrated his entire body. Sparks from the track leapt past, blown by a violent wind. Lamp-lit windows flashed by in bright, elongated squares. At Fifty-ninth street he jumped out from between the cars, still shaking."

    Other choice passages are the detailed description of the jinni's mesmerizing tin ceiling map-picture of his home desert, down to "a miniscule boar, stout and barrel-chested, the last of the sun glinting off tin-plated tusks," and the moment when the golem sees the jinni for the first time: "His face--and his hands as well, she saw now--shone with that warm light, like a lamp shaded with gauze. She watched him come nearer, unable to take her eyes away."

    And the novel is often very funny, as when Radzin and his wife talk about a boy who compulsively counted everything until he died young:

    "But he died, the year before we left. A mule kicked him in the head. " She paused, and then said, "I always wondered if he provoked it deliberately."
    Radzin snorted. "Suicide by mule."

    "Everyone knew that animal had a temper."

    Upon reflection, I suppose that the climax of the novel, though suspenseful and satisfying, is a little too iffy and cinematic, but the book pulses with human life, wisdom, stories, and interesting themes, like the balance between autonomy and servitude in our souls and lives, the nature of love, the quality of community, and the vigorous attraction of the modern city.

    This is the first book that I have heard Robert Guidall read, and I quickly became enamored of his savory and compassionate voice. In fact, I suspect that his intelligent, restrained, and sensitive reading of the novel (from his quiet golem to his flighty jinni) increased or enhanced my appreciation of it. I will listen to more books read by him.

    Fans of romantic historical urban fantasy (if it is a genre) would probably enjoy this book.

  • The King's Coat

    "Tom Jones as Horatio Hornblower meets Fanny Hill"

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    In the Tom Jones-esque prologue to Dewey Lambdin's The King's Coat (1989), the 17-year-old bastard Alan Lewrie is caught by an outraged posse--his natural father, his half-brother, his father's servant, his father's lawyer, and the new vicar--in bed in flagrento delicto with his half-sister. She immediately begins screaming that he has raped her (despite having been seducing him for two weeks) and Alan is in a fix. He is disowned, banished, and, what is worse, shipped off to sea to join the British Navy as a "gentleman" midshipman during the Revolutionary War. Alan, whose only notion of the navy has been that it is a floating prison with the added danger of drowning, nevertheless soon determines to learn and thrive there so as to get some measure of revenge on his scheming family.

    Lambdin depicts Alan's reluctant entry into the navy and subsequent adventures with enthusiastic detail. Frigates, orlops, topgallants, fo'c'sles, kedges, 9-pounders, warrant officers, dog watches, and more. Along with Alan we learn about the ships, masts, sails, lines, knots, duties, punishments, foods, eating, sleeping, relieving, and cleaning arrangements, weapons, tactics, and men (and boys) of the 18th century British navy. I can't visualize which sail is being used when, etc., but the gist of what happens is always clear. And there are some exciting and horrific naval battles to experience.

    In addition to vividly depicting the world of the navy, Lambdin has a sense of humor, as in this description of the father of the elfin and nubile Lucy Beauman:

    "Pere Beauman was squat as a toad, crammed into a bright green velvet coat, a long skirted old style waist coat, awash in silver brocade, buff britches and hose, with calves as thick as tiller-heads, and the high-roached, elaborately curled bag wig he wore fairly screamed, 'Country!' of the worst hunting, shooting, riding, drinking, tenant-trampling, dog-loving, view-halloo variety."

    Fans of C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower series should enjoy The King's Coat, but should be aware that Lambdin relishes recounting Alan's sexual encounters with women, from lonely married ones to prostitutes, and also has him swear like, well, a sailor. A couple of sequences involving Alan's hedonistic pleasures on shore leave nearly had me wondering whether I'd entered John Cleland's Fanny Hill. Sex is as much a part of the human experience as violence, so if Lambin wants to spend as much graphic detail on Alan's amorous engagements as on his naval ones, why not?

    Once in the navy, Alan exhibits a Hornblower-like knack for being in the right place at the right time and for reacting in dangerous situations quickly, courageously, and effectively (despite his confusion and fear). Alan is interesting because his temper and foul mouth sometimes get the better of him, but his sharp tongue may also ooze honey, and whenever he is loathing himself for toadying to some senior officer, one suspects that he really means his flattery because at heart he is a good person and an earnest midshipman. And at times Alan resonates with the wind in the sails, the sun in the sea, and the membership in a community of men who are diligently working in some of the most complicated and impressive things human beings have created, wooden sailing ships.

    John Lee reads The King's Coat with his characteristic wit and manner, and fully enjoys himself with it, especially when voicing the snide or uptight characters.

    I am looking forward to the other volumes in the series.

  • The Things They Carried

    ""Vietnam Was Partly Love""

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    The Things They Carried (1990) is a powerful audiobook, perfectly read by Bryan Cranston, and written with searing and sensitive honesty by Tim O'Brien. The book contains twenty-two Vietnam war stories based on O'Brien's experiences and those of his fellow soldiers during his one-year tour of duty in 1969. The pieces combine to vividly evoke what it was like before, during, and after the Vietnam War. And it's not only a Vietnam War book; it also explores universal questions of memory, imagination, language, reality, story, war, and love. For O'Brien, Vietnam becomes at times a metaphor for the world, and a state of mind as much as a physical place.

    The title story introduces the war and the American men who fought in it by listing and explaining what they carried: war gear (helmets, boots, bandages, weaponry, etc.), practical things (canteens, c-rations, toilet paper, bug repellent, etc.), personal things (comic books, condoms, dope, photos, letters, basketballs, etc.), unpleasant things (infections, diseases, lice, molds, etc.), intangible things (fear, guilt, longing, grief, memories, etc.), and Vietnam itself (soil, sky, monsoons, etc.). They carried it all without any "sense of strategy or mission" or hope, moving by inertia. Through the lists O'Brien weaves the desperate fantasy love of Lieutenant Jimmy Cross for Martha, an unresponsive girl he dated once in college.

    "Love" depicts Jimmy Cross' visit to O'Brien some years after the war, when the subject of his love, Martha, came up in conversation.

    The third story, "Spin," concerns how memory makes the war now, while story makes it forever.

    "The Rainy River" examines what to O'Brien was a colossal failure of conscience and nerve, his choice not to flee to Canada to avoid Vietnam: "I was a coward. I went to the war."

    "Enemies" shows how the enemy is not always the guy fighting for the other country.

    "Friends" ironically develops the situation between two enemies in the previous story.

    "How to Tell a True War Story" anatomizes war, memory, fiction, and reality. "If you feel uplifted in the end [of a war story], if there is any rectitude, you've been made a victim of a years old and terrible lie."

    "The Dentist" is a vignette about a bully's fear of dentists.

    "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong" depicts the seductive call of nighttime jungle patrols to the soul of a 17-year-old girl visiting her boyfriend soldier: "I feel close to my own body. I'm glowing in the dark. I know exactly who I am. I couldn't feel that anywhere else."

    "Stockings" proves the talismanic protective power of pantyhose.

    "Church" is a quiet story in which the platoon occupies a pagoda, monks cleaning machine guns and soldiers talking about religion.

    In "The Man I Killed" O'Brien describes a young VC soldier he killed, delicate body and smooth complexion, black pajama pants, blown out of his rubber sandals, one eye staring open, the other a star-shaped wound, his jaw knocked into his throat, his hopes and fears and goals and wife.

    In "Ambush" O'Brien tells how he killed the man, and when his daughter asks him, "Have you have killed a man?" he says "No," but is still seeing "the young man step out of the fog."

    In "Style" O'Brien depicts a callous soldier mocking the graceful dance of a Vietnamese girl before her burnt house and killed family.

    After the war in "Speaking of Courage," Norman Bowker is at a loss at home, driving round and round his small town's prairie lake, houses, and 4th of July park, imagining telling the story of how he failed to get the silver medal for uncommon bravery.

    "Notes" explains the "true" story behind "Speaking of Courage," revealing in a "slip" that it was O'Brien who failed to win that medal by failing to prevent his buddy from sinking into a field of excrement and mud during an appalling mortar barrage.

    In "In the Field," the platoon searches that muck for the corpse of their fellow-soldier as O'Brien (?) tries to come to terms with his role in his friend's death.

    In "Good Form" O'Brien says that apart from his having done a tour of duty in Vietnam, everything is invented. He didn't kill that young man but, having been present, he might as well have killed him. Story vs. truth. Or the truth of story.

    20 years later in "Field Trip," visiting that same muck field with his 10-year-old daughter, he goes for a cleansing swim in it.

    In "Ghost Soldiers" O'Brien deals with his second wounding injury and his vengeful hatred for the rookie medic who nearly killed him by mistreating him.

    In "Night Life" a fellow soldier bugs out from the stress of high alert nights.

    In the last story, "The Lives of the Dead," O'Brien interweaves his sad memories of Linda, a girl he loved as a boy ("Why do you think I'm dead?") with his memories of death during his tour of duty.

    After The Things They Carried, an hour-long "bonus featurette" written and read by O'Brien, "The Vietnam in Me," (1994), closes the audiobook. This non-fiction piece depicts his return in 1994 to Vietnam with his lover, Kate, revisiting places of terrible carnage from his tour of duty and speaking with local people and trying to deal with his nightmarish memories, vivid nightmares, and love for Kate. I found this non-fiction piece more moving than The Things They Carried. I had felt that occasionally in his stories he is at times too consciously telling stories, both in his comments about the nature of memory, story, and truth, and in his talent for crafting perfect tales. That coupled with Bryan Cranston's stellar professional reading made for a moving and harrowing experience that at times felt crafted, acted, and story-like. By contrast, O'Brien's craggy, tenor voice is the voice of a plain, sensitive, and damaged person reading his failures, survivals, and losses, along with the self-delusional nature of America's mythology of righteous innocence. The burning truth of "The Vietnam in Me" as read by O'Brien scorches the stories.

    Finally, O'Brien, who may feel like a coward to have gone to war, exercises intense bravery in his honest fictional autobiographies.

  • Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West

    "A Violent, Apocalyptic, Beautiful Western"

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    Blood Meridian thrusts us into the deserts of 1849 Mexico, a pumice-floored, dust-coated, sun-blasted, blood-soaked, bone-punctuated wasteland of the soul. This ???hallucinatory void??? is home to snarling flies, demonic swine, vampire bats, ghostly wolves, spitting basilisks, harpy eagles, muttering ducks, and buzzards like black bishops. But the horrifying creatures are the wandering bands of Indians and Americans, performers of creative torture, casual murder, and orgiastic massacre, including eye-gouging, tongue-skewering, skull-crushing, intestine-spilling, scalp-hacking, ear-collecting, genital-lopping, skin-flaying, girl-raping, and baby-hanging. And the ???calamitous??? and ???boiling??? sun rises to meridian ???like the eye of God,??? bookended by bloody skies bookended by starry darkness.

    Through it all wanders ???the kid,??? a 16-year-old blessed or cursed ???pilgrim.??? He may be the moral center of the novel, though his trajectory is warped by his amoral father figure, ???the judge,??? a giant, hairless, devil-idol-polyglot-polymath-philosopher who wants to become the ???suzerain??? of the world by cataloguing or killing everything in it. The judge, white as Moby-Dick and charismatic as the Confidence-Man, says that ???war is God,??? and who may gainsay him?

    Unlike Virginia Woolf, McCarthy reveals the souls of his characters through speech, action, and landscape rather than through stream of consciousness thought. A grim beauty flares in his biblical style, vivid descriptions, and dramatic similes (though at times he may stretch too far for portent): ???in the night bats came from some nether part of the world to stand on leather wings like dark satanic hummingbirds and feed at the mouths of those flowers.???

    Reader Richard Poe relates all with a compelling hint of morbid fascination or appalled excitement behind his gravelly, hard-boiled voice.

    If you like unromantic, unpredictable, violent, apocalyptic, and beautiful westerns that expose the hellish pit in the human heart, listen to this book.

Robert

Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 08-20-11 Member Since 2009

Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

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  • "Glad I took a chance."

    130 of 135 helpful votes

    I had my doubts about reading this book. I have a hard time with books about WWII Germany. I knew this would probably be a heartbreaker too but for some reason I decided to take it on. Maybe because the book was about books, and I usually like that genre; maybe because the reviews were so good; certainly not because I read it was appropriate for "sophisticated teens and adults." For whatever reason, I am glad I selected The Book Thief. It was incredibly well-written. The characters completely came to life. While there certainly was heart-brake, the heart-warming more than made up for it. This is a book for all ages. The narrator was outstanding and all and all, it was a book I will not soon forget.

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    The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (8074)
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    (6254)
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    (6277)

    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"

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    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
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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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    (13)
    Story
    (14)

    1557 and Francis Crawford of Lymond is back in France, leading an army against England. But even as the Scots adventurer succeeds on the battlefield, his past becomes a subject of intense interest to both sides. For whoever knows the secret of Lymond's parentage possesses the power to control him - and destroy him.

    Grace says: "Lymond's back but where's THE GAME OF KINGS Book 1"
  • 4.8 (14 ratings)
    The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla: Pink Carnation, Book 11 (






UNABRIDGED) by Lauren Willig Narrated by Kate Reading

    The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla: Pink Carnation, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Lauren Willig
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    In October of 1806, the Little Season is in full swing, and Sally Fitzhugh has had enough of the endless parties and balls. With a rampant vampire craze sparked by the novel The Convent of Orsino, it seems no one can speak of anything else. But when Sally hears a rumor that the reclusive Duke of Belliston is an actual vampire, she cannot resist the challenge of proving such nonsense false. At a ball in Belliston Square, she ventures across the gardens and encounters the mysterious Duke.

    Marianne says: "Great addition to the series"
  • 4.8 (13 ratings)
    Like Gold Refined: Prairie Legacy, Book 4 (






UNABRIDGED) by Janette Oke Narrated by Marguerite Gavin

    Like Gold Refined: Prairie Legacy, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Janette Oke
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    If Virginia could have chosen to accept or discard all the changes that came her way, she gladly would have let most of them pass right by herself and her family. She loves her life, living on the farm with her beloved Jonathan and their children, not far from her parents and her grandparents. But a change that is tearing at her heart is the gradual but steady physical decline in Grandma Marty and Grandpa Clark.

  • Edge of Eternity: The Century Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 47 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.

  • 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
    (9143)
    Performance
    (5795)
    Story
    (5815)

    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!"
  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel (






UNABRIDGED) by Anthony Doerr Narrated by Zach Appelman

    All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anthony Doerr
    • Narrated By Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (607)
    Performance
    (556)
    Story
    (555)

    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.

    Hank Reads! says: "Completely absorbing!"
  • 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
    (7716)
    Performance
    (4912)
    Story
    (4881)

    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 Invention of Wings: A Novel (






UNABRIDGED) by Sue Monk Kidd Narrated by Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd

    The Invention of Wings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5435)
    Performance
    (4950)
    Story
    (4935)

    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
    (8074)
    Performance
    (6254)
    Story
    (6277)

    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"
  • 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
    (26912)
    Performance
    (13545)
    Story
    (13593)

    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
    (4169)
    Performance
    (3682)
    Story
    (3671)

    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!!!"
  •  
  • Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Ken Follett Narrated by John Lee

    Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (7970)
    Performance
    (4682)
    Story
    (4669)

    Ken Follett's World Without End was a global phenomenon, a work of grand historical sweep beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics. Fall of Giants is his magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage.

    Louis says: "Loved it and learned alot."
  • 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
    (1001)
    Performance
    (925)
    Story
    (919)

    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.

    Melinda says: "Heavy Load"
  • 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
    (3878)
    Performance
    (3380)
    Story
    (3355)

    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.

    B.J. says: "Another terrific listen."
  • The Broken Eye

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Brent Weeks
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Without the protection of his father, Kip Guile will face a master of shadows as his grandfather moves to choose a new Prism and put himself in power. With Teia and Karris, Kip will have to use all his wits to survive a secret war between noble houses, religious factions, rebels, and an ascendant order of hidden assassins called The Broken Eye.

  • Sharpe's Havoc: The Northern Portugal Campaign, Spring 1809: The Sharpe Series, Book 7 (






UNABRIDGED) by Bernard Cornwell Narrated by Rupert Farley

    Sharpe's Havoc: The Northern Portugal Campaign, Spring 1809: The Sharpe Series, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell
    • Narrated By Rupert Farley
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A small British army is stranded when the French invade northern Portugal and Lieutenant Richard Sharpe meets the future Duke of Wellington. Sharpe is stranded behind enemy lines, but he has Patrick Harper, his riflemen, and he has the assistance of a young, idealistic Portuguese officer. When he is joined by the future Duke of Wellington they immediately mount a counter-attack and Sharpe, having been the hunted, becomes the hunter once more.

  • Romeren (






UNABRIDGED) by Lasse Holm Narrated by Jesper Hvilsom

    Romeren

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Lasse Holm
    • Narrated By Jesper Hvilsom
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Rom, år 91 før vor tidsregning. Folketribunen Marcus Livius Drusus bliver myrdet i sit eget hjem, og lægen Demetrios påtager sig modvilligt at opklare forbrydelsen. Sporene fører Demetrios fra Roms laveste slaver til de fornemste adelsfamilier, og videre ind i Abruzzos bjerge, hvor en borgerkrig mellem Rom og Italiens undertrykte folkeslag er under opsejling.

  • Yellow Crocus (






UNABRIDGED) by Laila Ibrahim Narrated by Bahni Turpin

    Yellow Crocus

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Laila Ibrahim
    • Narrated By Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Moments after Lisbeth is born, she’s taken from her mother and handed over to an enslaved wet nurse, Mattie, a young mother separated from her own infant son in order to care for her tiny charge. Thus begins an intense relationship that will shape both of their lives for decades to come. Though Lisbeth leads a life of privilege, she finds nothing but loneliness in the company of her overwhelmed mother and her distant, slave-owning father.

  • The Sister of Mary Dyer: The High Price of Freedom, A Biographical Novel (






UNABRIDGED) by Ann Bell Narrated by Ann Bell

    The Sister of Mary Dyer: The High Price of Freedom, A Biographical Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Ann Bell
    • Narrated By Ann Bell
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Convicted by the Puritans in 1660 for being a Quaker, Mary Dyer courageously faced the gallows on the Boston Commons. Often misunderstood by her husband and six children, she turned her back on those who loved her for the higher principle of protesting the anti-Quaker Laws.

    What must it have been like to stand beneath the gallows and watch a loved one make the ultimate sacrifice for something you do not fully understand?

  •  
  • Viking Warrior: Strongbow Saga, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Judson Roberts Narrated by Jeff Hays

    Viking Warrior: Strongbow Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Judson Roberts
    • Narrated By Jeff Hays
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The Strongbow Saga is an epic tale of one man's unstoppable quest for justice and vengeance that carries him across the ninth century world of the Vikings. In Viking Warrior, Book One of the saga, a cruel twist of fate both frees Halfdan and robs him of the mother he loves, setting him upon the path to a new destiny. But a brutal act of treachery and murder upends Halfdan's new life, sending him on the run with ruthless hunters hot on his trail.

  • Really the Blues (






UNABRIDGED) by Joseph Koenig Narrated by Kevin Kenerly

    Really the Blues

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Joseph Koenig
    • Narrated By Kevin Kenerly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Eddie Piron thinks that performing in jazz clubs in Nazi-occupied Paris is bad enough, but when the drummer in his band is found face down in the Seine and the police start asking questions, he realizes that his trouble is just beginning. Paris, 1941. American jazz musician Eddie Piron has lived in the City of Light since before the war began. But Paris under occupation is not what it once was, and things are looking a lot darker for a man like Eddie.

  • The Far Side of the Sun (






UNABRIDGED) by Kate Furnivall Narrated by Jane McDowell

    The Far Side of the Sun

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kate Furnivall
    • Narrated By Jane McDowell
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    With beautiful blue skies, sandy beaches, and glorious sunshine, the Bahamas is a slice of heaven. But in 1943, the world is at war and even paradise isn't safe. Twenty-three-year-old Dodie Wyatt thought she had escaped her turbulent past - but one night her peace is shattered when she chooses to help a man she finds stabbed in an alleyway.

  • Thunder in the Sky (






UNABRIDGED) by Molly Lefebure Narrated by Annie Aldington

    Thunder in the Sky

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Molly Lefebure
    • Narrated By Annie Aldington
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Their country needed themIn the summer of 1942, Lorna Washbourne must say goodbye to her beloved home in the peaceful East Anglian countryside, which is about to be demolished to make way for the US Eighth Army Air Force and its new airfield.War brings with it great change and Lorna and her friends find themselves called up to serve. Violetta is in the army while Megan and Bunty are sent to London: Megan, in the American Red Cross; Bunty, a clippie on the London buses.