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Maria

Lachine, Quebec, Canada | Member Since 2011

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 23 reviews
  • 49 ratings
  • 113 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Stephen Chbosky
    • Narrated By Noah Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2269)
    Performance
    (2064)
    Story
    (2083)

    Most people think 15-year-old Charlie is a freak. But then seniors Patrick and his beautiful stepsister Sam take Charlie under their wings and introduce him to their eclectic, open-minded, hard-partying friends. It is from these older kids that Charlie learns to live and love.

    FanB14 says: "Intelligent, Absorbing Coming of Age Story"
    "So many issues tackled..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ...but pretty gracefully.
    For a book that discusses so many issues, it still manages to not take itself too seriously. The story unfolds like peeling the many layers of an onion.

    This book didn't "wow" me but I quite enjoyed the listen. The characters are likeable and each bring a flavour to the book.

    Overall, would encourage you to give it a go!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dog Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Peter Heller
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1136)
    Performance
    (1008)
    Story
    (1012)

    Hig survived the flu that killed everyone he knows. His wife is gone, his friends are dead, he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor a gun-toting misanthrope. In his 1956 Cessna, Hig flies the perimeter of the airfield or sneaks off to the mountains to fish and to pretend that things are the way they used to be. But when a random transmission somehow beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life exists beyond the airport.

    Melinda says: "Absolutely Stellar!"
    "Not for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Post-apocalyptic novels are not my preferred genre. Perhaps that's what why it didn't strike a chord. Descriptions are bountiful and action, in my opinion, rather scarce. I found it long in parts. I kept waiting for something to happen.

    At least by the end of the book I felt satisfied enough that something changes in the status quo of the protagonist's life and the reader's (listener) as well as the protagonist's perception shifts to give place to a deepened understanding.

    Not one to say this, but perhaps a book better enjoyed when read rather than listened to. At the bookstore, I happened to flip through the book and realized that it's supposed to be read in a staccato, bits of thoughts on the protagonist's part. Doesn't have the same flow/effect when listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

    • UNABRIDGED (47 mins)
    • By Arthur Conan Doyle
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming
    Overall
    (5731)
    Performance
    (4917)
    Story
    (4925)

    The season of gift-giving is here, and this year we've got something special for our members: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Yuletide whodunit "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle". In this holiday-themed short story, Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Dr. Watson, follow the trail of a lost hat and a Christmas goose through the streets of London and into a rapidly expanding mystery.

    Katheryne says: "Superb! Love Alan Cumming"
    "Fun listen!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Can't go wrong with Sherlock Holmes, always a fun listen. Thanks, Audible, for this Holiday gift.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Kitchen House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kathleen Grissom
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy, Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7111)
    Performance
    (5053)
    Story
    (5042)

    Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction.

    B.J. says: "Good, but with reservations"
    "One of my favorite books this year"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was an unexpected gift. What an awesome, wholesome story. I was really worried I wouldn't like the ending, but the whole story just ebbs and flows beautifully.

    Loved the characters, the complexity of the relationships, the world of slavery and human compassion and the world of yesteryears that the author plunges you into.

    To add the perfect counterpart, the readers are absolutely fantastic and I wouldn't shy away from looking for more books read by them.

    Thank you to all involved in delivering a lovely book. And to you, reading this, give it a go.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Stephen R. Covey
    • Narrated By Stephen R. Covey
    Overall
    (5814)
    Performance
    (2782)
    Story
    (2782)

    Stephen R. Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has been a top seller for the simple reason that it ignores trends and pop psychology for proven principles of fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity. Celebrating its 15th year of helping people solve personal and professional problems, this special anniversary edition includes a new forward and afterword written by Covey that explore whether the 7 Habits are still relevant.

    Russell B. Ivey says: "Great book bad audio"
    "Interesting but very preachy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked The 7 Habits. I generally enjoy books that feel to me like their content rings truthful, and there are many parts to this book that have made me feel that way.

    That being said, I found it a little sermon-y. I could have pictured a priest in a Roman-Catholic Church reading the contents of this book. That didn't appeal to me so much. I want a book to teach me something new but I don't want it to have that kind of tone. It's very cheesy at times and though some may want to/ would be able to do some of the "applications" that he suggests, I have found many to be...tawdry and unconvincing (e.g. have a family mission statement).

    I found it difficult to get through the better part of the whole first half. The second one went better. I was committed to it and still felt that I was derving some benefit but was glad when it was done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jonathan Safran Foer
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman, Barbara Caruso, Richard Ferrone
    Overall
    (2278)
    Performance
    (1427)
    Story
    (1437)

    Jonathan Safran Foer's best-selling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated, wowed critics on its way to winning several literary prizes, including Book of the Year honors from the Los Angeles Times. It has been published in 24 countries and will soon be a major motion picture. Foer's talent continues to shine in this sometimes hilarious and always heartfelt follow-up.

    Peter J. Maerz says: "Suffused my being..."
    "Not what I expected..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ...although I'm not quite sure what I expected.

    I downloaded this book to listen to on vacation and was a little skeptical about a sad book down by the beach. It wasn't quite like that though. The book is surprisingly heartwarming, the characters loveable, the innocence of youth, refreshing.

    The book isn't ABOUT 9/11. It's about the life that happens around it. It's about the sadness, but it's also about how life continues buzzing even after dreadful events. Not just 9/11 but the war, too.

    Simply put, it's a balance: on one hand, its the pain, the sorrow, the hurt, the sadness, the loneliness, the scars. On the other, it's the beauty of innocence, the wonder of life itself, the power of imagination, the strength of love. It's all beautifully woven together.

    Worth the listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Neverwhere

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    Overall
    (6372)
    Performance
    (3146)
    Story
    (3168)

    Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but shrewish fiancée. Then one night he stumbles upon a girl lying on the sidewalk, bleeding. He stops to help her, and his life is changed forever. Soon he finds himself living in a London most people would never have dreamed of: a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels. It is a world that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations.

    Thomas says: "Neverwhere is Great"
    "Good read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Neil Gaiman can certainly put together a good story! The book takes you in and guides you through its winding paths. I like Neil Gaiman as a reader, too.

    That being said, something about the story didn't make it a page-turner for me. I couldn't quite relate to the characters. I had moments where I didn't want to stop the book... and then there were moments where I tuned out for a several seconds at a time. Maybe it was just me, though...

    I would still recommend it, though. It's a good book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Garth Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Evan Welch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5943)
    Performance
    (3855)
    Story
    (3869)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: If you’ve ever loved a dog - or even patted a dog - this book, told from the perspective of man’s best friend, will tug at your heartstrings...and won’t let go until long after Welch performs the last word. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively and by listening very closely to the words of his master.

    FanB14 says: "Artful Surprise"
    "Oddly wonderful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really didn't think I'd enjoy this book- and to be 100% honest, there were parts in it (you'll see he talks a lot about racing) that were less interesting to me.

    Nevertheless, it was just... wonderful. The story-telling was different and refreshing and it definitely strung some chords in my heart. I'm not a huge animal person but I believe that animals have that crazy capacity for love- and in that respect, the book totally resonated with me.

    Listen to it. It's not very long and you'll be happy you did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Win Friends & Influence People

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Dale Carnegie
    • Narrated By Andrew MacMillan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10337)
    Performance
    (4943)
    Story
    (4932)

    You can go after the job you want...and get it! You can take the job you have...and improve it! You can take any situation you're in...and make it work for you!

    Ralph says: "This is well worth listening too! Main points are."
    "A classic...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ...and I certainly understand why it is one.

    Definitely recommended reading for anyone who wishes to learn how to 'deal with people' better. This is THE starting point.

    The book reads like a series of anecdotes that all come together to prove very specific points. This makes the listening light, while remaining on point and being effective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Mark Goulston
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1248)
    Performance
    (997)
    Story
    (986)

    You’ve got a business colleague who’s hostile...a client who’s furious...a staffer who’s deeply cynical—how do you get people to do what you want in tough situations like these? In Just Listen, veteran psychiatrist and business coach Mark Goulston reveals the secret to how to get through to anyone, even when productive communication seems impossible.“Here's the challenge,” Mark says.

    Joseph says: "Not for everyone"
    "Pragmatic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ok, I'm going to cheat and write this review knowing more than I knew when I first listened to this book. It's true: if you read/ listen to Carnegie's "How to make friends and influence people", you will find that Dr. Goulston's advice is very similar with that of Dale Carnegie's. To the author's credit, even Carnegie says in his book that most of his advice stems from lessons learned long ago by our predecessors. I don't see a problem in reiterating good advice.

    I, for one, have tremendously enjoyed the book. In fact, I found it so interesting that I listened to it twice. In a row.

    Dr. Goulston gives pragmatic advice: he gives examples for how to deal with very common situation and he gives it in a simple step-by-step fashion. As a young professional given the opportunity to thrive in a high-level position, I particularly enjoyed one part of a chapter at the end. "When the student is ready, the teacher will come": thank you Dr. Goulston, you have, without a doubt, improved my interactions with the people that surround me. Sometimes I wish I had a mentor like THAT in my life.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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