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Family & Relationships

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Michael

Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States Member Since 2002

I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

HELPFUL VOTES
2565
ratings
REVIEWS
1360
370
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
798
8
  • "A Rare Gem of a Short Story"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dostoevsky did not write many short stories so this is a rare gem. This is a very, very good short story narrated excellently. It is dark, surprising, touching, and real. A real bargain at a buck (don’t waste a full credit).

    More

    The Wedding

    • UNABRIDGED (21 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • Narrated By Walter Zimmerman
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (23)

    Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky is considered one of the greatest Russian writers. His works have had a profound and lasting effect on 20th-century literature. His psychological penetration into the human soul had, in novels like Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, a profound influence on the 20th century novel. He also wrote a number of brilliant short stories along these same lines. "The Wedding" is one of his best.

    Michael says: "A Rare Gem of a Short Story"
  • "Light Genocide"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Book Thief is rather light reading considering it is about death and life in Nazi German during WWII. The narrator is a mildly funny and likable Death who is being overworked by the massive carnage of WWII yet is lovingly careful with each of his human consignments and is hauntingly interested in a few of the living. The protagonist is a young girl growing up with a foster family during the horrors of war and adolescence. The Book Thief seems written for young teens, but is good enough for adults to share with their kids. If you start this, do finish it. The ending is, by far, the most powerful aspect of the book and is worth the prior, less powerful, bits. For a young person this is a compelling and heartwarming and heart wrenching, but not overwhelming, story of war and death and genocide. The narration if quite strong and clear, adding an enjoyable expressiveness to the characters. I liked this book, but did not love it.

    More

    The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (6023)
    Performance
    (4379)
    Story
    (4398)

    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"
  1. The Wedding
  2. The Book Thief
  3. .

A Peek at Nikki's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
20
 
Ogden, UT, USA 2 REVIEWS / 52 ratings Member Since 2008 0 Followers / Following 0
 
Nikki's greatest hits:
  • The Giver

    "This guy's mouth makes some serious noises..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend they read the actual book and skip the audio version. The story is okay, but the quality of the audiobook is not.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rosemary. She was very brave and noble and I like the mystery behind her past.


    What didn’t you like about Ron Rifkin’s performance?

    Many of the sentences trailed off rather than ending strong and clear. He also made noises with his mouth. I assume this happens often with actors, but that stuff is usually edited out.


    Could you see The Giver being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I guess I could see it. I am not invested enough to guess the cast though.


    Any additional comments?

    The background music was HORRIBLE! They blasted you out with tacky synth music for EVERY SINGLE significant moment! It took me out of the moment because I was rolling my eyes.

T. Oakley

T. Oakley San Diego, CA USA 06-07-10 Listener Since 2010
HELPFUL VOTES
93
ratings
REVIEWS
39
8
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
12
0
  • "Allan Corduner"

    86 of 92 helpful votes

    I am not reviewing the book. If you want to know about that, read the reviews on Amazon, or Goodreads. I am writing about Allan Corduner. This was like listening to a Broadway play; amazing. Allan Corduner brought to life this poignant story. I could never have felt such joy and pain having read this myself. Oh, my heart still breaks when Liesel says "Papa!"

    More

    The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (6023)
    Performance
    (4379)
    Story
    (4398)

    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"

What's Trending in Family & Relationships:

  • 4.2 (59 ratings)

    Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By David Lubar
    • Narrated By Ryan MacConnell, the Full Cast Family
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    From the author of Dunk comes this sparkling new novel that covers a year in the life of high school freshman Scott Hudson, who is sideswiped by the unexpected news that his mother is about to have another baby.

    Misty says: "Pick Me! Pick Me!"
  • 4.6 (35 ratings)

    Then There Were Five

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Enright
    • Narrated By Pamela Dillman
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    With Father in Washington and Cuffy away visiting a sick cousin, almost anything might happen to the Melendys left behind at the Four-Story Mistake. In the Melendy family, adventures are inevitable: Mr. Titus and the catfish; the villainy of the DeLacey brothers; Rush's composition of Opus Three; Mona's first rhubarb pie and all the canning; Randy's arrowhead; the auction and fair for the Red Cross.

    Garret says: "Great for the family"
  • 4.5 (421 ratings)

    Anne of Green Gables

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Lucy Maud Montgomery
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    Overall
    (421)
    Performance
    (230)
    Story
    (231)

    When Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert of Green Gables send for a boy orphan to help them out at their farm, they mistakenly get Anne Shirley, a feisty, independent but warm-hearted 11 year-old girl. Fortunately her sunny nature and quirky imagination win the hearts of her reluctant foster parents and everyone in the community. But not a day goes by without some memorable adventure or prank in the tragicomedy of her life.

    David says: "Magical"
  • 4.4 (29 ratings)

    Anne of Green Gables

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Lucy Maud Montgomery
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, is one of the best loved Canadian books of all time. Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, middle-aged brother & sister, live together at Green Gables, their farm on Prince Edward Island. They decide to adopt a boy from an orphanage in Nova Scotia to help out on the farm. Through a series of mishaps, the child that arrives at their door is not a boy, but Anne Shirley, a precocious 11 year old girl!

    Joseph R says: "Some Girls Go to Heaven, Some to P.E.I."
  •  
  • 4.6 (32 ratings)

    Anne of Avonlea

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By L.M Montgomery
    • Narrated By Megan Follows
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    It seemed only yesterday that the skinny, freckled redhead had first come to Prince Edward Island. Now here was Anne, a pretty sixteen, teaching at the Avonlea school and all grown up. Well, not quite grown up. In fact, Anne was not very different from her restless young pupils, their rows of bright, inquisitive eyes staring at her that first day of class. Anne was as mischievous and high-spirited as ever.

    Joihelene says: "A Fan of the Anne of Green Gables Series"
  • 4.6 (37 ratings)

    The Four-Story Mistake

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Enright
    • Narrated By Pamela Dillman
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Following up on the classic children's novel The Saturdays, Elizabeth Enright continues the engaging tale of the Melendy family (Mona, Rush, Randy, Oliver, Father, and Cuffy, the housekeeper) and their move from an old brownstone in New York City to a charming house in the country. Called the Four-Story Mistake for its odd look and confused architectural history, the house offers the Melendys wonderful quirks and surprises.

  • 4.3 (61 ratings)

    Away Laughing on a Fast Camel: Even More Confessions of Georgia Nicolson

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Louise Rennison
    • Narrated By Louise Rennison
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    New York Times best-selling author Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicolson series, hailed as Bridget Jones's Diary for teens, is an international phenomenon. Loaded with colorful British slang and the occasionally mad ravings of a teenage girl trying to find herself, each book provokes uncontrollable laughter.

    Bev says: "Great"
  • 4.7 (28 ratings)

    Spiderweb for Two: A Melendy Maze

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Enright
    • Narrated By Pamela Dillman
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Randy and Oliver Melendy awake one morning full of gloom. Their brothers and sisters are away, the house seems forlorn and empty, and even Cuffy, their adored housekeeper, can't pick up their spirits. Will they have to face a long and lonely winter?

  •  
  • 4.3 (102 ratings)

    A Single Shard

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Linda Sue Park
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (43)

    Foraging in fields and on rubbish heaps, and sharing food with his friend Crane-man, used to be enough to fill Tree-ear's days. But now all Tree-ear wants to do is watch master potter Min at work.

    D. Court says: "Don't miss this book"
  • 4.6 (398 ratings)

    Where the Red Fern Grows

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Wilson Rawls
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (398)
    Performance
    (186)
    Story
    (191)

    Since its publication over forty years ago, this heartwarming tale of a boy and his dogs has touched millions. A tale of adventure, special friendship and coming-of-age, Where the Red Fern Grows makes for delightful listening. This unabridged production, featuring a moving performance by Anthony Heald, brings this enduring classic to life and makes a powerful story even more unforgettable.

    Mary A. says: "What a great story!"
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (6023)
    Performance
    (4379)
    Story
    (4398)

    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 Giver

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
    Overall
    (1385)
    Performance
    (755)
    Story
    (770)

    December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man, the man called only the Giver, he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.

    Stephanie says: "Awesome story, suspenseful, lots to think about!"
  • Paper Towns

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (553)
    Performance
    (421)
    Story
    (429)

    Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life - dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows.

    Natalia P. Valdes says: "I picked you"
  • The Graveyard Book

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6048)
    Performance
    (2846)
    Story
    (2862)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Gaiman’s not just an award-winning author, but a narrator who earns rave reviews – and fields requests from other authors to perform their books, too! Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead....

    Guillermo says: "Masterful Fantasy for the Jaded Heart"
  •  
  • If I Stay

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gayle Forman
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (429)
    Performance
    (218)
    Story
    (217)

    In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck.

    Heidi P :) says: "Loved the story!"
  • The Outsiders

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By S.E. Hinton
    • Narrated By Jim Fyfe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (445)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (238)

    Ponyboy can count on his brothers. And on his friends. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up "greasers" like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect, until the night someone takes things too far.

    A User says: "The Outsiders"
  • Twilight: The Twilight Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Stephenie Meyer
    • Narrated By Ilyana Kadushin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7104)
    Performance
    (2554)
    Story
    (2607)

    About three things I was certain. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him, and I didn't know how dominant that part might be, that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

    Mitch says: "My Not-So-Guilty Pleasure"
  • Eclipse: The Twilight Saga, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Stephenie Meyer
    • Narrated By Ilyana Kadushin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5575)
    Performance
    (2022)
    Story
    (2055)

    As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob - knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?

    Kirsty says: "Continues to Please"
  •  
  • Breaking Dawn: The Twilight Saga, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Stephenie Meyer
    • Narrated By Ilyana Kadushin, Matt Walters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6296)
    Performance
    (2735)
    Story
    (2776)

    To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare, woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, she has endured a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife to reach the ultimate turning point.

    Angie says: "I couldn't wait for the audio book"
  • New Moon: The Twilight Saga, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Stephenie Meyer
    • Narrated By Ilyana Kadushin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5608)
    Performance
    (2028)
    Story
    (2069)

    For Bella Swan, there is one thing more important than life itself: Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is even more dangerous than Bella ever could have imagined. Edward has already rescued Bella from the clutches of one evil vampire, but now, as their daring relationship threatens all that is near and dear to them, they realize their troubles may be just beginning.

    cmclien says: "Emotionally Painful..."
  • Getting the Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Stig Wemyss
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Rube never loved any of them. He never cared about any of them. He just wanted each one because she was next, and why not take the next thing if it was better than the last? Needless to say, Rube and I aren't too much alike when it comes to women. Cameron and Ruben have always been loyal brothers, but that loyalty is about to be tested to the limit when Cam falls for Octavia - Rube's latest girlfriend. Will he get the girl? Will his love for her tear their brotherly bond apart?

  • Close Your Pretty Eyes

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sally Nicholls
    • Narrated By Emilia Fox
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Eleven-year-old Olivia Brown has been in care since she was five. She has just been asked to leave her eighteenth placement. Her new home is a secluded farmhouse, centuries old, where she slowly bonds with her foster family. But the house holds dark secrets. The danger is real - but does it come from the twisted mind of a very disturbed child?

  • Me Myself Milly

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Penelope Bush
    • Narrated By Felicity Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    What happened to Milly last summer? She can’t talk about it. Instead, she’s writing in her journal. About growing up in the shadow of her twin sister, Lily. About the American boy who’s moved in upstairs. (There’s something he’s not telling either.) Milly can’t keep her secret forever... can she?

  • The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Rodman Philbrick
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (11)

    Through a series of fascinating events, Homer's older brother has been illegally sold to the Union Army. It is up to Homer to find him and save him. Along the way, he encounters strange but real people of that era: two tricksters who steal his money, a snake-oil salesman, a hot-air balloonist, and finally, the Maine regiment who saved Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg and won the war for the Union.

    Holly says: "Teacher's Perspective"
  •  
  • The Considine Curse

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Gareth P. Jones
    • Narrated By Judy Flynn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Fourteen-year-old Mariel returns to England for her grandmother’s funeral. It is the first time she has been back since she emigrated with her mother as a baby, and it is the beginning of the uncovering of some really extraordinary truths about the Considine family. Why did Mariel’s mum argue with Grandma all those years ago? Why does Amelia wear so much perfume? Why is there a very large cat flap in Louvre House? And most importantly, what is the dark secret that lies at the heart of the family?

  • Skin Deep

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Laura Jarratt
    • Narrated By Lisa Coleman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    After the car crash that leaves her best friend dead, Jenna is permanently scarred. She struggles to rebuild her life, but every stare in the street makes her want to retreat further from the world. Until she meets Ryan. Ryan's a traveller. When he and his mother arrive in the village, he can't imagine why this place shouldn't be as unwelcoming as the rest. Until he meets Jenna. But as Jenna and Ryan grow closer, repercussions from the crash continue to reverberate through the community. And then a body is found.

    Delah says: "Very Good Young Adult Story"
  • Once Was Lost

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Sara Zarr
    • Narrated By Sara Zarr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Samara Taylor used to believe in miracles. She used to believe in a lot of things. As a pastor's kid, it's hard not to buy in to the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, Sam has a lot of reason to doubt. Her mother lands in rehab after a DUI and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family.

  • Grace

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Morris Gleitzman
    • Narrated By Mary-Anne Fahey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Eleven-year-old Grace only knows one world: the world of her mum and dad and twin brothers, and the strict religious community they belong to. But when her dad is thrown out of the church for asking questions, Grace is torn. How can she stay in the church and keep her family together?