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Shelli Bell

Member Since 2014

  • 5 reviews
  • 161 ratings
  • 401 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2015

  • Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Garrison Keillor
    • Narrated By Garrison Keillor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Garrison Keillor's latest book is about the wedding of a girl named Dede Ingebretson, who comes home from California with a guy named Brent. Dede has made a fortune in veterinary aromatherapy; Brent bears a strong resemblance to a man wanted for extortion who's pictured on a poster in the town's post office. Then there's the memorial service for Dede's aunt Evelyn, who led a footloose and adventurous life after the death of her husband 17 years previously.

    Shelli Bell says: "Brillliant but not lighthearted"
    "Brillliant but not lighthearted"

    Did the person who wrote the "publisher's summary" even read the book? Definitely not. First of all, it is not about "Dede" (or Debbie as she is really called in the book), it is really about Evelyn (who is NOT Debbie's aunt. No relation) and her life/death/family/town/bowling ball. There were NO mormon missionaries, only Lutheran pastors from Denmark who were being sent on a tour of the USA to get them out of their Bishop's hair. It is terrific Garrison Keillor, I give it top marks. However, those looking for Mr. K's lightheartedness and endless chuckles, need to know that this one is dark. Terrific , but you will be crying more than you are laughing. As a former Midwestern Lutheran I certainly did. Very real characters. Very well done. Read by GK, as no one else could really do it justice. Check a synopsis somewhere else, though since Highbridge Audio couldn't bother to get someone to write one properly.

    102 of 103 people found this review helpful
  • Her Fearful Symmetry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Audrey Niffenegger
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When Elspeth Noblin dies of cancer, she leaves her London apartment to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina. These two American girls never met their English aunt; they only knew that their mother, too, was a twin, and Elspeth her sister. Julia and Valentina are semi-normal American teenagers - with seemingly little interest in college, finding jobs, or anything outside their cozy home in the suburbs of Chicago, and with an abnormally intense attachment to one another.

    Shelli Bell says: "What a waste"
    "What a waste"

    It would be nice to rate the first 2/3 of the book and the last 1/3 separately. Four and a half stars and then one star. It felt kind of like fourth work really hard on a story, it is going well, then you get tired of doing it and go for a bizarre ending to get out of having to think anymore. Kind of like, "and then the aliens landed and all the pilgrims were eaten by carnivorous plants." If this book were discussed in a Thursday Next (Jasper Fforde) novel, they would probably say that the author had bought a cheap and ridiculous plot device to get out of finishing it. What a waste of interesting characters and complex issues. Could have been great.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • The Friday Night Knitting Club

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Kate Jacobs
    • Narrated By Carrington Macduffie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Walker & Daughter is Georgia Walker's little yarn shop, tucked into a quiet storefront on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The Friday Night Knitting Club is the ad hoc creation of some of Georgia's regulars, who stroll into the shop looking for tips on knitting and end up finding much, much more. Once a week, they gather to work on their latest projects and to chat - and occasionally clash - over their stories of love, life, and everything in between.

    flimfrik says: "Wanted to like it but constantly disappointed."
    "Not awful, but definitely not bestseller worthy"

    I would have given it 3 stars for fluffy chick lit, but since it is on the bestseller list, it enters a new scoring category and barely makes 2 stars. I did actually finish it, but only because I wasn't home and couldn't download something else. The accents were indeed lamentable and pronunciations were sometimes laughable. The dialogue would have scored a passing grade in high school creative writing. I was surprised at the end to find I didn't really care about any of the characters at all. I cry for just about any story that calls for gratuitous emotion, but was definitely unmoved about all the characters in this book. I agree with another reviewer that it would be fine for a Goodwill purchased beach book, but not for real money. This one will not stand the test of time. Nor will it ever find a place on my book shelf.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Jane Austen Book Club

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Karen Joy Fowler
    • Narrated By Kimberly Schraf

    Six Californians join to discuss Jane Austen's novels. Over the six months they meet, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens. With her finely sighted eye for the frailties of human behavior and her finely tuned ear for the absurdities of social intercourse, Fowler has never been wittier nor her characters more appealing. The result is a delicious dissection of modern relationships.

    Kathy says: "agree with Lisa"
    "It passed the time"

    I have lower expectations for audiobooks. I expect them to help me pass the time driving, cleaning, sorting laundry, running on the treadmill, etc. This book did a good job of that. I didn't have to think too hard and the story was benign. I don't think I'd ever recommend it to anyone as a book they must read as there wasn't much story, the characters were underdeveloped, and there wasn't near enough Jane Austen. However, it was pleasant, I kept listening, and it didn't last too long. If you put it in the 'light read/listen' category instead of with the likes of Jane Austen it is missable but decent. There were times that the narrator was irritating but not enough to avoid anything else read by her.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Winnie-the-Pooh: A.A. Milne's Pooh Classics, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By A. A. Milne
    • Narrated By Peter Dennis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Come with us to an Enchanted Place, a forest where Winnie-the-Pooh lived with Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Eeyore, Kanga, and Little Roo. The stories are about Christopher Robin and these good companions having wonderful times getting in and out of trouble. It is all very exciting and, really, quite thrilling no matter how young or old you may be. It is painful to try and imagine what the world would be like without them.

    Richard says: "A man's best friend is a bear called Pooh"
    "Can't stand the reader"

    It may be that I have heard Alan Bennett's reading of Pooh for 15 years and I am used to it, but I couldn't get past this reader's voice for Pooh, Christopher Robin and Piglet. At that point I stopped. We needed to replace our Alan Bennett tapes and I couldn't find new ones so I thought this would do. I realize Pooh is a bear of very little brain, but the reader not only gives him no brain at all, but makes him sound like a brainless old man with a sore throat. It is a voice much more suited to Eeyore. Christopher Robin sounds much too old and Piglet gives a little farty noise (that is supposed to be an oink) every time he speaks. That said, the reader's plain narrator voice is very good. As that was the only sample audible gave, I thought that I would enjoy the rest of the voices. I'm off to find another Alan Bennett.

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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