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cdesq8

Added Audible to my 2 hour commute, consuming books at rapid pace, and rating books based on keeping me engaged and making time fly!

SHARPSVILLE, PA, United States

ratings
17
REVIEWS
13
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
6
HELPFUL VOTES
17

  • 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
    (6842)
    Performance
    (4814)
    Story
    (4803)

    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"
    "Frustrating."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Bleak" popped up in the handful of reviews I read, but seemingly acceptably so since the idea of slavery and life in a plantation is, well, bleak.

    But the string of tragedies and the soapy drama artificially created by an unending series of crossing letters, mixed messages, and assumptions, has me willing to, and in fact, is forcing me to abandon the book at its "climax" because there can be no resolution that will not be frustrating and annoying. I was literally shouting and raising my arms in the car in response to plot twists, and not in the way I might have with a well written suspense.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Reconstructing Amelia

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Kimberly McCreight
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (526)
    Performance
    (471)
    Story
    (475)

    When Kate, single mother and law firm partner, gets an urgent phone call summoning her to her daughter's exclusive private school, she's shocked. Amelia has been suspended for cheating, something that would be completely out of character for her over-achieving, well-behaved daughter. Kate rushes to Grace Hall, but what she finds when she finally arrives is beyond comprehension. Her daughter is dead.

    FanB14 says: "Gossip Girl"
    "Transcends the "Gossip Girl" genre. xoxo"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wouldn't have hated this book if the blog posts and secret clubs stuck strictly to the "Gossip Girl"/"Cruel Intentions" form, which are enjoyable in their own right. But swinging this to the mother's perspective looking in to her daughter's world, and the constant twists and turns and unexpected events, elevated Reconstructing Amelia to a compelling mystery with lessons to be learned. Maybe a bit far-fetched that Kate would do so much sleuthing on her own, but the odd-couple pairing of she and Lou worked for me in the end. Narrator does fine work characters ranging in age, gender, and background, even if the British and Brooklyn accents are somewhat jarring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Killer Angels: A Novel of the Civil War

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Michael Shaara
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    Overall
    (1149)
    Performance
    (572)
    Story
    (586)

    After 30 years and with three million copies in print, Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War classic, The Killer Angels, remains as vivid and powerful as the day it was originally published.

    Gene says: "Almost a Perfect Audiobook"
    "Excellent for a taste of Civil War history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    With the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg last month, and my relatively close proximity to the battlegrounds, I was interested in knowing more about that battle in particular, but the Civil War in general. Having recently read more novelized versions of historical events, I went in search of fiction rather than textbook. The Killer Angels delivered, preserving fact and context, but presenting it in a story-like way that made the events feel much more personal, as it should. Narration was very adept, especially given the various perspectives that are presented in this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (6313)
    Performance
    (5748)
    Story
    (5757)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "Thank you, lawyers, for outing JK Rowling!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like to think that positive reviews would have led me to this book anyway, but the leaked news that JK Rowling is Robert Galbraith made the purchase a no-brainer. I tried to tune-out that fact as I listened, but it became difficult for all the right reasons - Rowling's descriptive storytelling that brought Hogwart's to life did the same for this modern day trip around London to solve one of the best mysteries I have enjoyed - in print or on screen - in a long time.

    I am looking forward to a continuing series featuring Cormoran Strike (and hope that Robin comes along for the ride!) and I hope that Robert Glenister continues to serve as the narrator. He did excellent work with the various British accents and brought Rowling's characters to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Handmaid's Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Claire Danes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3461)
    Performance
    (3122)
    Story
    (3140)

    Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name....

    Melinda says: "Not So Far-Fetched -- Still Chilling"
    "Don't discount this great listen!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Initial draw to this Claire Danes narrated novel was undercut by Audible's insistence to keep putting this title on sale! In my mind it said something about the listening value. Obviously that's not how Audible prices (all) of its titles. When it finally landed in my library in a BOGO sale, it was a favorite listen. As Margaret Atwood herself protested, this is less science fiction than it is social science fiction or speculative fiction.

    The subject matter and 1980s women's perspective is just as relevant and poignant today and Claire Danes does excellent work with the compelling material. My 4 star rating on the story is only because I like a neat and tidy ending, but, without spoiling anything, I can accept that such a resolution would mess with the could-be-ness of the plot.

    Bottom line, don't let the fire sale pricing discourage you - just thank Audible for the great pricing on a great listen!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11555)
    Performance
    (7530)
    Story
    (7564)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Anastasia Burke says: "Hillenbrand could make even laundry fascinating!"
    "As they say, Essential Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had heard that this book is a "must read", and as a granddaughter of two WWII vets, thought I would pick it up one day to get a better connection to their experiences (also having had a great uncle survive the Bataan Death March). What point me over the top in selecting this for my next audiobook was learning that Edward Herrmann - Richard Gilmore, to me - would provide the narration.

    Fittingly, I completed the last minutes of the book during my Memorial Day travels. The story shocked me, impressed me, and educated me. It is a very personal yet universal story of surviving the odds.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heft

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liz Moore
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne, Keith Szarabajka
    Overall
    (1354)
    Performance
    (1229)
    Story
    (1230)

    Forrmer academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career - if he can untangle himself from his family drama.

    Deborah says: "Mesmerizing Performance"
    "Hefty heart"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Loneliness has never seemed so appealing, if being lonely means finding family in unexpected ways. I was pleasantly surprised to pick this title then recognize the narration of Kel's portion is Kirby Heyborne, whose narration brought something special to Gone Girl. All in all an unexpectedly compelling combination of plot and examination of self esteem and family.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sharp Objects

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Ann Marie Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3102)
    Performance
    (2410)
    Story
    (2428)

    Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker's troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital, Camille's first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

    Kelley says: "I agree with Stephen King"
    "How?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like Gillian Flynn's other novel, Gone Girl, I was left wondering how in the world she even conceived of his dark and twisted plot, but she dolls out the darkness in gradual doses you almost get comfortable with what could come next. The narration is so matter of fact, it almost makes it creepier.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Therese Anne Fowler
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (415)
    Performance
    (369)
    Story
    (369)

    Picture a late-May morning in 1918, a time when Montgomery wore her prettiest spring dress and finest floral perfume - same as I would wear that evening.... Thus begins the story of beautiful, reckless, 17-year-old Zelda Sayre on the day she meets Lieutenant Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald at a country club dance. Fitzgerald isn’t rich or settled; no one knows his people; and he wants, of all things, to be a writer in New York. No matter how wildly in love they may be, Zelda’s father firmly opposes the match....

    L.W. says: "Great! From the first page to the last....."
    "characters of character-creators come to life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not a student of the jazz age or even early 20th century literature, I was fascinated by the colorful lives of the many individuals in Zelda's circle, most especially her own and F. Scott. An entertaining blend of history, literature, and the trappings of mental illness, the narration captured the superficial but creative and captivating mind of Zelda Fitzgerald. Makes me want to return to the Great Gatsby and other short stories. Maybe even introduce myself to Ernest Hemingway. Who knew of the intersection between these famous figures?

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Truth in Advertising: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By John Kenney
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (238)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (203)

    Finbar Dolan is lost and lonely. Except he doesn’t know it. Despite escaping his blue-collar Boston upbringing to carve out a mildly successful career at a Madison Avenue ad agency, he’s a bit of a mess and closing in on 40. He’s recently called off a wedding. Now, a few days before Christmas, he’s forced to cancel a long-postponed vacation in order to write, produce, and edit a Superbowl commercial for his diaper account in record time. Fortunately, it gets worse....

    phil b says: "Great Stuff"
    "Meh. Bummer."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to like this story. Finn Dunbar is a likeable guy - a guy you might meet at a bar and be excited to "add" on facebook and enjoy occasional witty exchange with - but get into a deeper conversation and you'd learn he's just "meh". Why? Well, the author tries too hard to be superficial and blase, and his style of writing dialogue - "I say....; Ian says...; Phoebe says..." in short bursts is just bland. This also greatly troubled the performance - despite a crisp and clear voice, the narrator could not introduce much variation to the characters because they were so flatly written. Out of a recent mass consumption of audiobooks, this one completely failed to serve its purpose - keep me entertained during one hour commutes. Instead, I caught myself daydreaming and constantly having to back up the story, if I even cared enough at the moment to even fill in the gaps of the weak plot. Sorry.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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