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Amanda

Amanda Phoenix, AZ, United States Member Since 2010

I rate as follows: 5 Stars = Loved it. 4 Stars = Really liked it. 3 Stars = Liked it. 2 Stars = Didn't like it. 1 Star = Hated it.

HELPFUL VOTES
1858
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REVIEWS
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FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
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31
  • "Superb - But Not For All Readers or..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This audiobook is very different from most in how it is presented. Picture sitting in the library room of an old, grand manor at night, curled up on a sofa by a crackling fire, while a distinguished man in an armchair quietly reads to you from some leather-bound volume in his lap. That is the feel and quality of this recording, with both the benefits and drawbacks that come with it.

    The soft, rich voice of the author is both lyrical and melodious - and that remains a constant of the production. His voice lulls you into a nearly hypnotic state where you can end up just listening to the sound of him speaking, and miss what is actually being SAID. What this meant for me was that the book took more concentration than I normally need, because there were no audio cues of any event taking place. Accounts of a quiet afternoon tea are read with the exact same tone and cadence as the description of a dramatic, terrifying storm at sea, or the occurrence of an attempted murder. Blink, and you'll miss it.

    To me, the story was beautiful and honest. It took far more time than usual to learn about and care for the cast of characters (and through this to appreciate the story in it's entirety); but in real life, we don't really know someone's full value when we meet them. People are nuanced, complicated, and cautious; and it takes time, care, and effort to fully understand and appreciate them. We reveal ourselves slowly. I thought this story was a great reminder of this.

    In the end, whether you enjoy this book may possibly depend on what your expectations are, and what situation you will be listening to it in. I can't imagine having gotten as much from it, or enjoying it nearly so much if I was listening in the car over a handful of days, as I sometimes do; but listening to it at home, quietly, over the course of 24 hours was a rare and special treat that felt both magical and intimate.

    This story will stay with me, and I'm glad to know it.

    More

    The Cat's Table

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Michael Ondaatje
    • Narrated By Michael Ondaatje
    Overall
    (242)
    Performance
    (209)
    Story
    (204)

    In the early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy in Colombo boards a ship bound for England. At mealtimes he is seated at the “cat’s table” - as far from the Captain’s Table as can be - with a ragtag group of “insignificant” adults and two other boys, Cassius and Ramadhin. As the ship makes its way across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal, into the Mediterranean, the boys tumble from one adventure to another, bursting all over the place like freed mercury.

    Amanda says: "Superb - But Not For All Readers or All Situations"
  • "WOW, WOW, WOW."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my first book by Haruki Murakami, and it was an extraordinary experience. At one point in the book, while discussing one of the main characters, it states that something "Had shaken his heart from a strange angle". And I think that's a good description of how this book affected me. It shook my heart from a strange angle.

    I've never read a book quite like this one; it was unique. It has a certain moral ambiguity to it, especially in the first half. This caught me off guard and was unsettling, but it did fade to a much lesser issue as the story progressed.

    The story weaves common threads throughout the book; opening up questions on themes of loneliness, the vacuums left by people or loss (and whether these can or should be filled), both the damage and comfort of religion, how our childhood scars affect us as adults (and how much power we should allow them to have) and the very thin line - the delicate balance - between Right and Wrong, Good and Bad.

    Mostly, however, the book is a deep mystery that pulls you into it's dark running current and carries you along. I know some of the other reviews did not appreciate or enjoy Ms. Hiroto's narration, but I loved it and couldn't imagine the story without it. I thought it was exquisite, as was the performance of the other narrators as well.

    The stunning, stark, simple honesty that was the hallmark of any conversation held by the character of Tengo was my favorite aspect of the book. It's hard to describe, but the character always speaks and replies to questions with no pretense, no pride... it really impacted me.

    Especially towards the second half of the book, there were sudden twists of humor that were a welcome gift; inspiring short, unexpected guffaws.

    Yes, the book can be unsettling on many levels; but it's also very impactful. I'll never forget my time in 1Q84, under the two moons.

    More

    1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3704)
    Performance
    (3226)
    Story
    (3199)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Amanda says: "WOW, WOW, WOW."
  • "Expanding The Story In Every Direction"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are very few books that I've waited as long for, or in as much anticipation of. I was a big fan of "The Passage" when it came out, and made a point of reading it again just before the release date of "The Twelve". This turned out to be a much smarter thing to do than I had anticipated, and I encourage anyone that's considering doing so to do it. "The Twelve" takes the surface story we got in "The Passage", and adds depth, breadth, and context to it. One of the main ways Cronin does this is by fleshing out the background and history of the characters; some of which were not major players in the first book.

    Readers of "The Passage" know that part-way through, there was a very... unexpected (and for many readers, myself included) unwelcomed turn of events that meant we were not going to continue with many of the characters and plot lines we'd come to care about. I know from other people's reviews that some readers even stopped reading at that point. I made the choice to continue, and was incredibly glad that I did - but it was still a hard pill to swallow at the time.

    Now I realize that I should have given more credit to Justin Cronin's grand plan for his trilogy.

    The first thing that really struck me as I began was that the quality is just as good as the first novel; the tone, the pacing, and the mood were all consistent and it was great to have Scott Brick back as the narrator. Once the story begins, we are promptly taken BACK to Year Zero. We see what happened to other characters we knew, and get a view of how the country handled the beginning of the crisis. More importantly, we slowly start to understand how these people end up affecting the world of 97 AV. I really enjoyed being able to fill in these holes, and the connections that are artfully woven between the characters in both times.

    Time moves fluidly in this novel; transporting us not just to Year Zero and 97 AV, but also too a "mid-way point" of 79 AV, which allows for more background and history of the world and people in 97 AV.

    This novel crystallizes what a huge, clear vision the author has for this trilogy. While I hate that it's over, and waiting until 2014 for the final chapter, I thought this book was fantastic and took the level of story-making to the next level, compared to the first book.

    Finally, I just want to note that although we visit a few different times to allow for more plot development, I never felt I was being kept from the characters I wanted to spend time with. The book was done so incredibly well, it leaves me at a loss - so all I'll say is 5 stars, and enjoy the adventure.

    (The kindle version of this book provides a list of all characters, organized by what year and place they were in, at the very end of the novel. After not having much luck online finding a list to help clarify a few things for myself, I got the Kindle version and just opened up the cloud reader option to open the book. If you choose "Table of Contents" from the books menu, right near the end you'll find an option in bold caps: "Dramatis Personae". If you click on that, it pulls up the characters. For me, this ended up being worthwhile. I have a feeling there are even more character connections than I picked up on yet; and I'm sure more are coming with book 3.)

    More

    The Twelve: A Novel: The Passage Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Justin Cronin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (2478)
    Performance
    (2181)
    Story
    (2178)

    In the present day, as the man-made apocalypse unfolds, three strangers navigate the chaos. Lila, a doctor and an expectant mother, is so shattered by the spread of violence and infection that she continues to plan for her child’s arrival even as society dissolves around her. Kittridge, known to the world as "Last Stand in Denver", has been forced to flee his stronghold and is now on the road, dodging the infected, armed but alone and well aware that a tank of gas will get him only so far. April is a teenager fighting to guide her little brother safely through a landscape of death and ruin.

    Amanda says: "Expanding The Story In Every Direction"
  1. The Cat's Table
  2. 1Q84
  3. The Twelve: A Novel: The ...
  4. .

A Peek at connie's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
3214
 
Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 395 REVIEWS / 1443 ratings 1437 Followers / Following 142
 
connie's greatest hits:
  • A Son of the Circus

    "If you liked "Q+A"..."

    Overall

    ...you might like this bizarre tale of family, community, hierarchy, missionaries, twins separated at birth, and transexual serial murder in India. Unlike Q+A's Vikras Swarup, Irving isn't Indian, but he avoids cultural appropriation (I think--I'm not Indian) by stating upfront in the intro that he doesn't know India well, thanking a host of South East Asian artists for their help, and creating an ex-pat main character who is alientated from his birth country but not assimilated into the West.

    I found the novel humourous and tremendously entertaining, but it's not for everyone: Know that there are multiple quirkly characters weaving through several intersecting storylines highly dependent upon coincidence, like a modern day tale from Trollope or Dickens with a twist of PG Wodehouse's mania, all held together by excellent narration.

    Irving asks, in a postcolonial global village, "where are you from?" rather than the usual, "who are you?", and the only viable attitude he offers to complexities of human nature is that of a child's wonderment at a circus, despite the probability that the acts are based on cruelty to participants. The opposite of such wonder is fundamentalism. Many characters are shackled by fate, but a few escape predictable ends through human imagination or altruism.

    Irving presents an unflattering but loving portrait of Bombay/Mumbai in the late 80s, before the terrorist bombings of 1993 and economic boom of 2000s. I'm not sure how an inhabitant would respond to the outsider's view. Also I'm not sure how a transexual might react to some of the characters. Some also might be put off by the novel's use of "cripple"/"crippled" to describe what we refer to now as disability, but all the charaters are "crippled," if not physically than emotionally or socially.

  • A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement

    "The epic Ken Follett wished he could write"

    Overall

    James from Vancouver describes this series so well - I want just to add that the prose as an audiobook becomes music and underline the subtle humour in its unfolding. Simon Vance handles the words like a master musician. I so look forward to the remaining three "movements" because this series is new to me. If you like Brit lit, pass over Follett for Powell. I'm glad Follett wrote his "Giants" -- that's probrably why a publisher reproduced Powell for us now. Long live audiobooks for making accessible novels some of us would never otherwise experience.

  • Buddhaland Brooklyn: A Novel

    "engaging listen"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a feel good listen with dharma (though the Buddhist sect depicted is fictional). The novel is unique and not at all saccharine, though it fits in the "happily ever after without angst" category. It's such an easy read, yet this novel has substance and poetry! I'm tempted to call it Paulo Coelo light, but I don't mean that as negative.

    The publisher's label of "fairy tale" and "fable" may mislead fantasy fans. While it can be heard as a fable about finding oneself, it's a storyline/fictional memoir from everyday life with little of the fantastic except a belief in a spiritual world - one that is shared by many faiths.

    I listen to a lot of novels, and this one landed just as I needed something fresh - It really gave my spirit a lift. I've listened to many Christian and Buddhist books about becoming less judgemental-- this novel worked better than nonfiction at getting me there. I haven't enjoyed a listen so much since many, many books ago.

  • A Dance to the Music of Time: Second Movement

    "not just for nostalgic posh Brits!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unfortunately we can't hyperlink in these reviews, but even Ian Rankin testifies to the enjoyableness of this series. When replying to a question something like, "best gift book ever' he wrote in The Guardian: "I started reading the first book, thinking: not sure I'm going to like this. All snobby privilege and a world I won't be interested in. By volume two, I was hooked. Widmerpool and the others were such good company, and the writing was elegant and concise, so I bought the rest of the books in the series."

    No matter if you are an Oxbridge or a Rebus type, a Brit, a Yankee or a Commonwealther, give Powell a chance, and your mind will dance with delight: elegant, concise, good company -- what more can we ask of a novel? Maybe that it's beautifully read to you - and Vance does just that.

Julie W. Capell

Julie W. Capell Milwaukee, WI USA 10-27-13 Member Since 2007

notthe1

HELPFUL VOTES
206
ratings
REVIEWS
108
79
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
9
1
  • "So funny I barely noticed the cliff"

    26 of 27 helpful votes

    I think I missed the meeting when my book club chose this book, so I had absolutely no idea what it was about when I downloaded it into my phone and began to listen. Within a few sentences, I found myself laughing out loud. I don’t know if a person reading the book would get as much of the snarky humor inherent in this book (particularly the beginning) but it definitely comes across in the audio version as expertly brought alive by Clive Mantle. Just the way Mantle pronounces “Serrrrrrge” with a heavy, sardonic emphasis on the “r” made me laugh every time. And don’t get me started on the scene in the men’s room—hysterical!

    The beginning chapters are a bitingly droll commentary on upper middle class life in the early 21st century. I absolutely howled with laughter at the descriptions of the pretentious restaurant, the self-important maître d’ (and his pinky!) and the ostentatiously named food. Side trips into the protagonist’s memories were also—at first—amusing, particularly the passage about the garden party.

    Which brings me to another thing I loved about this book: the way the author described things. Like the woman at the garden party with a “voice like the sweetener in Diet Coke.” I also really liked it when the author described something and then wrote something along the lines of “well, no . . . it wasn’t exactly like that . . . it was more like . . .” and then went on to give a fantastic simile that left no doubt what he had in mind. In chapter 15 he gives three different descriptions of Serge’s face, each one more telling than the last: “like a new car that got its first scratch,” “like a cartoon whose chair has been kicked out from under him,” and finally “if he wore that face asking people to vote for him, no one would give him a second look.”

    There is much, much more to this book, and once the action starts to heat up the comedy is replaced by a chilling look behind the scenes of these “normal” lives. Societal issues including racism, homelessness, parenting, violence and morality are presented as I have seldom encountered them before in a novel. The end . . . well, I don’t want to give anything away, but it was sort of like in the Road Runner when the coyote realizes the cliff has dropped out from under him. A great listen!

    More

    The Dinner: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Herman Koch, Sam Garrett (translator)
    • Narrated By Clive Mantle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (683)
    Performance
    (604)
    Story
    (607)

    It's a summer's evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse - the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened. Each couple has a 15-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families.

    L. O. Pardue says: "A Dinner To Remember!"

What's Trending in Literary:

  • 4.8 (11 ratings)

    La Odisea [The Odyssey]

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Homer
    • Narrated By Daniel Quintero
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Los viajes y aventuras de Ulises. La anecdota suele regodearse sobre la figura legendaria de Homero, supuesto juglar ciego que iba de pueblo en pueblo cantando sus grandes narraciones epicas. La Iliada, una narracion de la Guerra de Troya, originada en el rapto que hizo Paris de la mujer mas bella del mundo, Helena y La Odisea, la descripcion de las aventuras del sabio Ulises u Odiseo en su vuelta a Itaca, su patria, terminada la guerra...

  • 4.8 (11 ratings)

    A Dance to the Music of Time: Second Movement

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Anthony Powell
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
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    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Anthony Powell's universally acclaimed epic encompasses a four-volume panorama of twentieth century London. Hailed by Time as "brilliant literary comedy as well as a brilliant sketch of the times," A Dance to the Music of Time opens just after World War I. Amid the fever of the 1920s and the first chill of the 1930s, Nick Jenkins and his friends confront sex, society, business, and art.

    connie says: "not just for nostalgic posh Brits!"
  • 4.4 (6239 ratings)

    The Kite Runner

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Khaled Hosseini
    Overall
    (6239)
    Performance
    (1589)
    Story
    (1609)

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

    Joseph says: "A storyteller's story"
  • 4.3 (4919 ratings)

    Atlas Shrugged

    • UNABRIDGED (63 hrs)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (4919)
    Performance
    (2911)
    Story
    (2918)

    In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error of judgment has its value gone unrecognized, its brilliant inventor punished rather than rewarded for his efforts? In defense of those greatest of human qualities that have made civilization possible, one man sets out to show what would happen to the world if all the heroes of innovation and industry went on strike.

    Mica says: "Hurt version decidedly superior"
  •  
  • 4.5 (3482 ratings)

    Memoirs of a Geisha

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Arthur Golden
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3482)
    Performance
    (825)
    Story
    (827)

    In a voice both haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri describes her life as a geisha. Taken from her home at the age of nine, she is sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. Witness her transformation as you enter a world where appearances are paramount, virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder, women beguile powerful men, and love is scorned as illusion.

    Stephanie says: "Best Book in a while"
  • 4.3 (3202 ratings)

    A Prayer for Owen Meany

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3202)
    Performance
    (2167)
    Story
    (2170)

    Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

    Alan says: "Outstanding"
  • 4.3 (2639 ratings)

    The Poisonwood Bible

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Dean Robertson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2639)
    Performance
    (1492)
    Story
    (1507)

    The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them all they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it - from garden seeds to Scripture - is calamitously transformed on African soil.

    Lynda Rains Bonchack says: "A long time coming..........."
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4386)
    Performance
    (4011)
    Story
    (4011)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
  • Light in August

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By William Faulkner
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    An Oprah's Book Club Selection regarded as one of Faulkner's greatest and most accessible novels, Light in August is a timeless and riveting story of determination, tragedy, and hope. In Faulkner's iconic Yoknapatawpha County, race, sex, and religion collide around three memorable characters searching desperately for human connection and their own identities.

    Robert Stevens says: "Superb reading of an excellent work"
  • Orphan Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Christina Baker Kline
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1937)
    Performance
    (1715)
    Story
    (1707)

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

    Susan says: "Fascinating Journey for Two"
  • Tender Is the Night

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Set on the French Riviera in the late 1920s, Tender Is the Night is the tragic romance of the young actress Rosemary Hoyt and the stylish American couple Dick and Nicole Diver. A brilliant young psychiatrist at the time of his marriage, Dick is both husband and doctor to Nicole, whose wealth goads him into a lifestyle not his own, and whose growing strength highlights Dick's harrowing demise. A profound study of the romantic concept of character - lyrical, expansive, and hauntingly evocative.

  •  
  • The Things They Carried

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Tim O'Brien
    • Narrated By Bryan Cranston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (600)
    Performance
    (550)
    Story
    (552)

    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"
  • And the Mountains Echoed

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Khaled Hosseini, Navid Negahban, Shohreh Aghdashloo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1891)
    Performance
    (1687)
    Story
    (1669)

    Khaled Hosseini, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.

    FanB14 says: "Does the End Justify the Means"
  • The Kite Runner

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Khaled Hosseini
    Overall
    (6239)
    Performance
    (1589)
    Story
    (1609)

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

    Joseph says: "A storyteller's story"
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3761)
    Performance
    (3482)
    Story
    (3491)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Cynthia says: "Shadows Dissolved in Vinegar"
  •  
  • Atlas Shrugged

    • UNABRIDGED (63 hrs)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (4919)
    Performance
    (2911)
    Story
    (2918)

    In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error of judgment has its value gone unrecognized, its brilliant inventor punished rather than rewarded for his efforts? In defense of those greatest of human qualities that have made civilization possible, one man sets out to show what would happen to the world if all the heroes of innovation and industry went on strike.

    Mica says: "Hurt version decidedly superior"
  • The Other Story

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Tatiana de Rosnay
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Vacationing at a luxurious Tuscan island resort, Nicolas Duhamel is hopeful that the ghosts of his past have finally been put to rest.… He's now a best-selling author, but when he was 24 years old, he stumbled upon a troubling secret about his family - a secret that was carefully concealed. In shock, Nicholas embarked on a journey to uncover the truth that took him from the Basque coast to St. Petersburg - but the answers wouldn’t come easily.

    Susie says: "Not my cuppa"
  • Still Life with Bread Crumbs: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Anna Quindlen
    • Narrated By Carrington MacDuffie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (199)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (170)

    Still Life with Bread Crumbs begins with an imagined gunshot and ends with a new tin roof. Between the two is a wry and knowing portrait of Rebecca Winter, a photographer whose work made her an unlikely heroine for many women. Her career is now descendent, her bank balance shaky, and she has fled the city for the middle of nowhere. There she discovers, in a tree stand with a roofer named Jim Bates, that what she sees through a camera lens is not all there is to life.

    Jen says: "Exceeded My High Expectations"
  • Americanah

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • Narrated By Adjoa Andoh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (60)

    Marilyn says: "Love this love story!"
  • The Realm of Last Chances

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Steve Yarbrough
    • Narrated By James Colby
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    When Kristin Stevens loses her administrative job in California' s university system, she and her husband, Cal, relocate to Massachusetts. Kristin takes a position at a smaller, less prestigious college outside Boston and promptly becomes entangled in its delicate, overheated politics. Cal, whose musical talent is nothing more than a consuming avocation, spends his days alone, fixing up their new home. And as they settle into their early fifties, the two seem to exist in separate spheres entirely.

  • The End of the Point: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Graver
    • Narrated By Hillary Huber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    A precisely observed, superbly crafted novel, The End of the Point by Elizabeth Graver charts the dramatic changes in the lives of three generations of one remarkable family, and the summer place that both shelters and isolates them. Ashaunt Point, Massachusetts, has anchored life for generations of the Porter family, who summer along its remote, rocky shore. But in 1942, the U.S. Army arrives on the Point, bringing havoc and change.

    Kathi says: "Absorbing family saga"
  • Cracks

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Sheila Kohler
    • Narrated By Jeri Silverman
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
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    A beautiful schoolgirl mysteriously disappears into the South African veld. Forty years later, 13 members of the missing girl's swimming team gather at their old boarding school for a reunion, and look back to the long, dry weeks leading to Fiamma's disappearance. As teenage memories and emotions resurface, the women relive the horror of a long-buried secret. A stunning and singular tale of the passion and tribalism of adolescence, Cracks lays bare the violence that lurks in the heart of even the most innocent.

  • Tender Is the Night

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Set on the French Riviera in the late 1920s, Tender Is the Night is the tragic romance of the young actress Rosemary Hoyt and the stylish American couple Dick and Nicole Diver. A brilliant young psychiatrist at the time of his marriage, Dick is both husband and doctor to Nicole, whose wealth goads him into a lifestyle not his own, and whose growing strength highlights Dick's harrowing demise. A profound study of the romantic concept of character - lyrical, expansive, and hauntingly evocative.

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  • Mr. Darwin's Shooter: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Roger McDonald
    • Narrated By Steffan La Touche
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    As a boy of 13, Syms Covington leaves his home in Bedford and goes to sea, passing into manhood as he sails the world, surveying Patagonia, and losing his virginity in the Pampas. Aboard the HMS Beagle, he enters the service of Charles Darwin as an energetic and precocious 15-year-old, and in the course of their voyages together he shoots and collects hundreds of specimens for his "gent", specimens that become fundamental to the formulation of Darwin’s theory of evolution.

  • Trying to Save Piggy Sneed

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    Trying to Save Piggy Sneed contains a dozen short works by John Irving, beginning with three memoirs, including an account of Mr. Irving’s dinner with President Ronald Reagan at the White House. The longest of the memoirs, The Imaginary Girlfriend,” is the core of this collection.

  • Bliss, Psychology, and Her First Ball

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 10 mins)
    • By Katherine Mansfield
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Ryder
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    Three delightfully intriguing short stories from the pen of Katherine Mansfield (born Wellington, New Zealand, 1888 - died Fontainebleau, France, 1923). In "Bliss" the listener is introduced to 30-year-old Mrs Bertha Young. She has everything…. The nameless He and She in "Psychology": He is 31; she is 30. She has invited him to tea. Their discourse turns to the future of the psychological novel.... Exactly when the ball began 18-year old Leila would have found it hard to say. This, "Her First Ball", is an enthralling experience but, at the same time, quite terrifying.