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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
    (266)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (229)

    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
    (50)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (43)

    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
    (2127)
    Performance
    (1875)
    Story
    (1862)

    >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 Grace's Bookshelf

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Lexington, SC, United States 10 REVIEWS / 10 ratings Member Since 2013 2 Followers / Following 0
 
Grace's greatest hits:
  • Checkmate

    "Lymond's back but where's THE GAME OF KINGS Book 1"

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    Would you consider the audio edition of Checkmate to be better than the print version?

    If I had never read in print, I don't think I could have appreciated the audio as the work of audio art that it is.

    However, Having anxiously waited for what seems to be forever, finally The Lymond Chronicles!

    Audible, please make the The Game of Kings (Book 1) available as quickly as possible! These books should be savored in the order they were written and as I have read them in the "old-fashioned" way atleast once a year since they were originally released in print.

    It is so wonderful to have the books currently available read by such an accomplished narrator. Beautiful inflexion; realistic and measured pace just as I would have imagined Ms. Dunnett to have meant.

    So very pleased!! I will keep these books in "My Library" for always!

    Now that the Lymond Chronicles have reached their end though missing the very first book in the series; I will be moving on to the House of Niccolo series by Dorothy Dunnett that is the pre-quel series to the Lymond books. Dorothy Dunnett was perhaps the best writer of historical fiction ever.


  • Queens' Play

    "Lymond's back but where's Book 1 THE GAME OF KINGS"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Queens' Play again? Why?

    Having anxiously waited for what seems to be forever, finally The Lymond Chronicles!

    Audible, please make the The Game of Kings (Book 1) available as quickly as possible! These books should be savored in the order they were written and as I have read them in the "old-fashioned" way atleast once a year since they were originally released in print.

    It is so wonderful to have the books currently available read by such an accomplished narrator. Beautiful inflexion; realistic and measured pace just as I would have imagined Ms. Dunnett to have meant.

    So very pleased!! I will keep these books in "My Library" for always!


  • Pawn in Frankincense

    "Lymond's back but where's The Game of Kings Book 1"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Pawn in Frankincense again? Why?

    Having anxiously waited for what seems to be forever, finally The Lymond Chronicles!

    Audible, please make the The Game of Kings (Book 1) available as quickly as possible! These books should be savored in the order they were written and as I have read them in the "old-fashioned" way atleast once a year since they were originally released in print.

    It is so wonderful to have the books currently available read by such an accomplished narrator. Beautiful inflexion; realistic and measured pace just as I would have imagined Ms. Dunnett to have meant.

    So very pleased!! I will keep these books in "My Library" for always!


  • The Disorderly Knights

    "Lymond's back but where's Book 1 THE GAME OF KINGS"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Having anxiously waited for what seems to be forever, finally The Lymond Chronicles!

    Audible, please make the The Game of Kings (Book 1) available as quickly as possible! These books should be savored in the order they were written and as I have read them in the "old-fashioned" way atleast once a year since they were originally released in print.

    It is so wonderful to have the books currently available read by such an accomplished narrator. Beautiful inflexion; realistic and measured pace just as I would have imagined Ms. Dunnett to have meant.

    So very pleased!! I will keep these books in "My Library" for always!


Simone

Simone St Laurent, Quebec, Canada 05-08-13 Member Since 2006

Join me on GoodReads too!

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5
  • "Absorbing"

    5 of 5 helpful votes

    Elizabeth Street reminded me a lot of The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani however I enjoyed Elizabeth Street so much more!

    Both stories follow Italian immigrants as they settle down in New York in the early 1900s, and if you’ve read them both then perhaps you’ll agree with me:

    The Shoemaker's Wife just floated along, nothing really happened and no particular events or story lines really stood out. Overall to me, the story was not that memorable.

    In comparison Elizabeth Street was really absorbing. Things happened in this book! The plot was intriguing, the people were interesting, the story was suspenseful, there was action, drama, intrigue … really, no contest between the two books. Elizabeth Street wins hands down. I liked it very much, it was a great read!

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    Elizabeth Street

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Laurie Fabiano
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (60)

    Based on true events, Elizabeth Street is a multigenerational saga that opens in an Italian village in the 1900s, and crosses the ocean to New York's Lower East Side. At the heart of the novel is Giovanna, whose family is targeted by the notorious Black Hand - the precursor to the Mafia. Elizabeth Street brings to light a period in history when Italian immigrant neighborhoods lived in fear of Black Hand extortion and violence - a reality that defies the romanticized depiction of the Mafia.

    Janice says: "Disappointed"

What's Trending in Historical:

  • 4.8 (26711 ratings)
    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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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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!"
  • 4.8 (25 ratings)
    Flashman and the Redskins: Flashman, Book 7 (






UNABRIDGED) by George MacDonald Fraser Narrated by David Case

    Flashman and the Redskins: Flashman, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By George MacDonald Fraser
    • Narrated By David Case
    Overall
    (25)
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    (24)
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    (23)

    The seventh volume of the Flashman Papers records the arch-cad's adventures in America during Gold Rush of 1849 and the Battle of Bighorn, in 1876. This installment describes his acquaintance with famous Indian chiefs, American soldiers, frontiersmen, and statesmen.

    William says: "Another good one!"
  • 4.9 (28 ratings)
    Written in My Own Heart's Blood (






UNABRIDGED) by Diana Gabaldon Narrated by Davina Porter

    Written in My Own Heart's Blood

    • UNABRIDGED (44 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (28)
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    (28)
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    (28)

    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.

    Kerrie says: "Rambling"
  • 4.8 (23 ratings)
    Children of the Storm: An Amelia Peabody Novel of Suspense, Book 15 (






UNABRIDGED) by Elizabeth Peters Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat

    Children of the Storm: An Amelia Peabody Novel of Suspense, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Peters
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
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    (23)
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    (19)
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    (19)

    The Great War has ended at last. Archaeologist Amelia Peabody and her husband, Emerson, the distinguished Egyptologist, no longer fear for the life of their daring son, Ramses, now free from his dangerous wartime obligations to British Intelligence. Delightful new additions to the growing Emerson family and new wonders waiting to be discovered beneath the shifting Egyptian sands mark a time of new beginnings in Luxor.

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  • 4.8 (17 ratings)
    The Remains of the Day (






UNABRIDGED) by Kazuo Ishiguro Narrated by Dominic West

    The Remains of the Day

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Kazuo Ishiguro
    • Narrated By Dominic West
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    (17)
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    (17)
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    (17)

    A contemporary classic, The Remains of the Day is Kazuo Ishiguro's beautiful and haunting evocation of life between the wars in a Great English House. In the summer of 1956, Stevens, the ageing butler of Darlington Hall, embarks on a leisurely holiday that will take him deep into the countryside – and into his past.

    Rochelle says: "Beautiful"
  • 4.6 (17 ratings)
    Sophie's Dilemma: Daughters of Blessing, Book 2 (






UNABRIDGED) by Lauraine Snelling Narrated by Stina Neilsen

    Sophie's Dilemma: Daughters of Blessing, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Lauraine Snelling
    • Narrated By Stina Neilsen
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    (17)
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    Award-winning historical novelist Lauraine Snelling delivers a compelling sequel to A Promise for Ellie. When 17-year-old Sophie abandons her North Dakota family in 1901, she never dreams tragedy will turn her again toward home. But she fears the loved ones she hurt will reject her - and that she'll never love again.

  • 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)
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    (5)
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    (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.

  • 4.8 (13 ratings)
    Two Testaments: Secrets of the Cross Trilogy, Book 2 (






UNABRIDGED) by Elizabeth Musser Narrated by Kirsten Potter

    Two Testaments: Secrets of the Cross Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Musser
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (10)

    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.

    Patrick says: "Great great series!"
  •  
  • 4.9 (13 ratings)
    The Unicorn Hunt (






UNABRIDGED) by Dorothy Dunnett Narrated by Christopher Kay

    The Unicorn Hunt

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Dorothy Dunnett
    • Narrated By Christopher Kay
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    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...

    Grace says: "O Niccolo"
  • 4.9 (13 ratings)
    Checkmate (






UNABRIDGED) by Dorothy Dunnett Narrated by Andrew Napier

    Checkmate

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Dorothy Dunnett
    • Narrated By Andrew Napier
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    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"
  • 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
    (319)
    Performance
    (292)
    Story
    (288)

    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"
  • 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
    (4845)
    Performance
    (4411)
    Story
    (4402)

    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
    (7650)
    Performance
    (5863)
    Story
    (5882)

    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
    (8819)
    Performance
    (5488)
    Story
    (5512)

    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!"
  •  
  • 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
    (7466)
    Performance
    (4676)
    Story
    (4642)

    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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26711)
    Performance
    (13346)
    Story
    (13390)

    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
    (3986)
    Performance
    (3511)
    Story
    (3503)

    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!!!"
  • 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
    (3716)
    Performance
    (3227)
    Story
    (3207)

    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 Space Between: An Outlander Novella (






UNABRIDGED) by Diana Gabaldon Narrated by Davina Porter

    The Space Between: An Outlander Novella

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (179)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (169)

    Joan MacKimmie is on her way to Paris to take up her vocation as a nun. Yet her decision is less a matter of faith than fear, for Joan is plagued by mysterious voices that speak of the future, and by visions that mark those about to die. The sanctuary of the nunnery promises respite from these unwanted visitations...or so she prays. Her chaperone is Michael Murray, a young widower who, though he still mourns the death of his wife, finds himself powerfully drawn to his charge.

    Kathy says: "A Delight!"
  • 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
    (12492)
    Performance
    (4878)
    Story
    (4915)

    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."
  • The Signature of All Things: A Novel (






UNABRIDGED) by Elizabeth Gilbert Narrated by Juliet Stevenson

    The Signature of All Things: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (928)
    Performance
    (850)
    Story
    (857)

    In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the 18th and 19th centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker - a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia.

    Dina says: "An Educational and Epic Oddity"
  • Gone with the Wind (






UNABRIDGED) by Margaret Mitchell Narrated by Linda Stephens

    Gone with the Wind

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Margaret Mitchell
    • Narrated By Linda Stephens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2973)
    Performance
    (1945)
    Story
    (1976)

    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Margaret Mitchell's great novel of the South is one of the most popular books ever written. Within six months of its publication in 1936, Gone With the Wind had sold a million copies. To date, it has been translated into 25 languages, and more than 28 million copies have been sold. Here are the characters that have become symbols of passion and desire....

    dallas says: "not to miss audible experience"
  • Now and in the Hour of Our Death (






UNABRIDGED) by Patrick Taylor Narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds

    Now and in the Hour of Our Death

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Patrick Taylor
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Patrick Taylor’s first novel of the Irish Troubles, Pray for Us Sinners, introduced us to Provisional IRA bombmaker Davy MacCutcheon and the love of his life, Fiona Kavanagh. Davy planned to leave the Provos after one final mission. But the deadly mission backfired, and Davy ended up in prison. Six years later, in Now and in the Hour of Our Death, Fiona Kavanagh has found sanctuary in Vancouver, Canada. But news of a breakout at the Maze prison brings back memories she thought she’d left behind.

  • The Marriage Game (






UNABRIDGED) by Alison Weir Narrated by Julia Franklin

    The Marriage Game

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Alison Weir
    • Narrated By Julia Franklin
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Their affair is the scandal of Europe…Queen Elizabeth cannot resist her dashing but married Master of Horse, Lord Robert Dudley. Many believe them to be lovers. The formidable young Queen is regarded by most as a bastard and a heretic, yet many seek her hand in marriage. Desperately insecure, Elizabeth embarks on a perilous balancing act, using sex and high-powered diplomacy to play what becomes known as The Marriage Game.

  • Sisters of Treason (






UNABRIDGED) by Elizabeth Fremantle Narrated by Georgina Sutton, Rachel Bavidge, Teresa Gallagher

    Sisters of Treason

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Fremantle
    • Narrated By Georgina Sutton, Rachel Bavidge, Teresa Gallagher
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle. Lady Jane Grey has just been executed by her cousin Mary Tudor and her two younger sisters, Mary and Catherine, live in the shadow of their sister's tragic demise. Lady Catherine's fatal flaw is her compulsive desire for love, while clever Lady Mary is burdened with a crooked spine and tiny stature - and both have inherited the curse of royal blood.

  • And the Land Lay Still (






UNABRIDGED) by James Robertson Narrated by Jonathan Hackett

    And the Land Lay Still

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By James Robertson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Hackett
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    And the Land Lay Still is the sweeping Scottish epic by James Robertson. And the Land Lay Still is nothing less than the story of a nation. James Robertson's breathtaking novel is a portrait of modern Scotland as seen through the eyes of natives and immigrants, journalists and politicians, drop-outs and spooks, all trying to make their way through a country in the throes of great and rapid change. It is a moving, sweeping story of family, friendship, struggle and hope - epic in every sense.

  •  
  • Der Russe aus Nizza [The Russian from Nice] (






UNABRIDGED) by Leif Davidsen Narrated by Samy Andersen

    Der Russe aus Nizza [The Russian from Nice]

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Leif Davidsen
    • Narrated By Samy Andersen
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Marcus Hoffmann, ein erfolgreicher Geschäftsmann aus Dänemark, hat sein Leben im Griff. Zumindest, bis ihn seine Frau zu einer Reise in ihre russische Heimat überredet. Die Kreuzfahrt auf der Wolga beginnt vielversprechend, doch zwischen Moskau und St. Petersburg verschwindet Nathalie und kehrt nicht wieder. Marcus macht sich auf die Suche nach der Verschollenen, in einem Land, dessen Sprache er nicht versteht und das unterwandert ist von der Mafia und gezeichnet vom Krieg in Tschetschenien.

  • Vixen (






UNABRIDGED) by Rosie Garland Narrated by James Lailey and Alex Tregear

    Vixen

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Rosie Garland
    • Narrated By James Lailey and Alex Tregear
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Devon, 1349: In Brauntone, where seagulls screech across the fields and the wind has a mind to change, Father Thomas arrives as the new priest. Determined to impress his congregation, he quells fears of the coming pestilence with promises of protection. For Anne, the priest's arrival is an opportunity that at 16, she feels all too ready for. Convinced a grand fate awaits, she moves in as Thomas' housekeeper, though hopeful of something more. But his home is a place without love or kindness.

  • Tree Soldier (






UNABRIDGED) by J.L. Oakley Narrated by Jim Mentink

    Tree Soldier

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By J.L. Oakley
    • Narrated By Jim Mentink
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A government forestry camp set deep in the mountainous forests of the Pacific Northwest might not seem the likely place to find redemption, but in 1935, Park Hardesty hopes for just that. Blaming himself for the fiery accident that caused his brother's disfigurement and the death of the bootlegging woman he loved, planting trees, building bridges, and mentoring tough, homesick New Jersey boys brings him both penitence and the renewal of his own self-worth.