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Member Since 2006

  • 17 reviews
  • 92 ratings
  • 272 titles in library
  • 33 purchased in 2014

  • Stumbling on Happiness

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Daniel Gilbert
    • Narrated By Daniel Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A smart and funny book by a prominent Harvard psychologist, which uses groundbreaking research and (often hilarious) anecdotes to show us why we're so lousy at predicting what will make us happy, and what we can do about it.

    Terril Lowe says: "Great Book!"
    "A total bore with cheesy humor."

    Painfully corny, boring and unfortunately, unenlightening. Yoga, meditation and Pema Chadron are all more life-changing and happiness-inducing.

    0 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Light Between Oceans: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By M. L. Stedman
    • Narrated By Noah Taylor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1918, after four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on remote Janus Rock. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes only four times a year and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel.

    Sandra says: "Wonderful story.....terrible narrator."
    What would have made The Light Between Oceans better?

    Further development of the characters which are thin.
    When a plot is slow, bring in a dead man or a gun. The author chose a dead man, but it was slow for him to enter and while authentically moving, this book is utterly depressing and sad.

    Would you be willing to try another one of Noah Taylor’s performances?

    No, he has a lovely accent and voice, but it sounds as if his tongue is too fat for his mouth. There's way too much lisping and the reader sounds as if he might fall asleep on the story himself, as if he's whispering through most of it.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Sloooooow start, but when it picks up it was page-turning. It's a semi-tragic tale and asks the reader to answer tough moral questions. It's authentically emotional and moving.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    What disappointed you about Gone Girl?

    It's got a great hook in the beginning, and is sheer entertainment. But quickly the storyline reveals how unrealistic silly it is. It's so ridiculous, that it feels like teen literature. The readers make it even more bubblegum.
    The writing is nothing special. This is just a trashy fun read if you have time to waste, pickup the book -- the female reader makes this story even worse.

    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Lame. Not believable. The author must be psycho to have come up with this.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    This story already smacks of trashy teen lit. The readers take it there all the way.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was entertaining 2/3 of the way through.

    Any additional comments?

    Don't bother.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rules of Civility: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Amor Towles
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Set in New York City in 1938, Rules of Civility tells the story of a watershed year in the life of an uncompromising 25-year-old named Katey Kontent. Armed with little more than a formidable intellect, a bracing wit, and her own brand of cool nerve, Katey embarks on a journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool through the upper echelons of New York society in search of a brighter future.

    Emily - Audible says: "Like a Country Pastoral for City Rats"
    "Certain to be optioned for film by 2013"
    If you could sum up Rules of Civility in three words, what would they be?

    Cinematic. Memorable. Rich.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    The opening scenes of Tinker, Katya and Eve meeting and their escapades.

    Who was the most memorable character of Rules of Civility and why?

    Tinker, Eve, Ann Grandin, Wallace. All interesting, rich in detail and character. I didn't want any of them to vanish.

    Any additional comments?

    Absolutely fantastic reader.SO well cast.Interestingly, I had to read back over the first chapter to feel better about the ending. It's not the ending anyone wants, but at least it's not overly neat and unbelievable. Warning – spoilers:Despite the good, there are some things in this story that don't add up in this book:1.)It just wasn't believable that Tinker would not have had other important finance clients given that he was so intelligent, monied, living and mingling among the powerful, adorable and charismatic. Readers shouldn't buy it that he wouldn't have been smart enough to build a clientele to sustain him.Also, I don't know a soul who will believe that Tinker was happy living destitute, nor that he wouldn't have climbed up to make it on his own again. Totally not believable if you read with any analytic nature.2.)Anne Grandin is a fascinating and likable antagonist, well written. However, I didn't believe that a character that smart who so carefully crafted everything she said would "lose her cool" so badly and shove her tongue down Katey's mouth. Not after the setup she'd crafted so smartly just prior. It's too messy for Anne.3.)There's no "Brooklyn" in the main character, who's supposed to be from Brooklyn.And there's definitely a miss in the perspective of a female from this male author. For instance, Katey and Eve seem so close, yet all they have is friction between one another so you're left to think they really can't be close. And when Katey sleeps with her first guy in the book, she was most likely a virgin for the experience, but the author misses that entirely. 4.)There's lots of cinematic rambling in this book. So many details that are not "aiding" the story or crafting a character nor pushing the story forward in any way. These unnecessary on-and-ons about architectural details or paper airplanes are not something most writers are afforded without criticism.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Cheryl Strayed
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

    FanB14 says: "Glad I Took the Trip"
    "WORST READER EVER. Syrupy smiley reader."
    Where does Wild rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book is so good, it's possible to get through, but I don't recommend it. Pick up the hard copy instead. The reader just ruins the voice of this author completely. She sounds like she's smiling even when she's narrating the most grim circumstances of the story.

    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Bernadette Dunne?

    Someone who sounds like a person, and not a Mousekateer.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Gabrielle Hamilton
    • Narrated By Gabrielle Hamilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Before Gabrielle Hamilton opened her acclaimed New York restaurant Prune, she spent twenty fierce, hard-living years trying to find purpose and meaning in her life. Above all she sought family, particularly the thrill and the magnificence of the one from her childhood that, in her adult years, eluded her. Hamilton’s ease and comfort in a kitchen were instilled in her at an early age when her parents hosted grand parties, often for more than one hundred friends and neighbors.

    loix says: "A sensory feast"
    "GREAT reader. Didn't want this magica book to end."

    You will begin this book in the dreamiest world that quickly crashes around the author. I loved this book so much I bought it in hard-bound, then wanted to hear the authors real voice as I read, so I bought the audio too. On a rare occasion a book is so good that I'll re-read a chapter to avoid reaching the end. It's my way of savoring every bit, and that's exactly what I did on this book.

    I don't understand why anyone wouldn't like the audio read from the author, she was excellent (unlike so many other authors who read their own books). If Hamilton seems non-pulsed a bit, it's because that's who she is. She's a self-described "bad ass" over-achiever who tries a little too hard to be lovable, yet needs no one, even you, the reader. At the beginning of the book I felt sorry for her, mid way I envied her Italian Italian husband, kids, cooking, food and summers. 2/3 in I was rolling my eyes and couldn't stand her. By the end I felt we could be friends. Fiction or non, any book with a character you love and hate that leaves you thinking about it long after is an excellent read. Hamilton is a vivid writer and she will take you through her life, into her kitchen and straight into her self-created isolation.

    I met the author at a book launch dinner and she is as prickly in person as she is on the page. It was as if she resisted even visiting with or signing a single book for the overpaying guests at her dinner (which she didn't even bother to speak at). It will be interesting to see what the effects of her books' great success will have on Gabrielle. She's certainly shared her life story with raw honesty, and she's a beautiful writer.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah's Key

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Tatiana de Rosnay
    • Narrated By Polly Stone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a 10 year-old girl, is arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

    Benson says: "Important subject and plot, pedestrian execution"
    "Pendantic, child-voice reader. Teen-level read."

    This felt like it was junior high school level reading. Harlequin meets Holocaust. Predictable with undeveloped characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Happiness Project

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Gretchen Rubin
    • Narrated By Gretchen Rubin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. "The days are long, but the years are short," she realized. "Time is passing, and I'm not focusing enough on the things that really matter." In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.

    Heidi D. Dugger says: "The gift that keeps on giving..."

    The author of this book reads it, which unfortunately, made me very UNHAPPY. Ever sentence is read instead of performed – sometimes with weird emphasis. Gretchen Rubin's monotone, throaty smoker's voice manages to make even the author sound bored with her own book.
    This is NOT a happiness project - this is an awareness project. Michele Faier (a Whole Life Coach), coaches the very same (and more) awareness practices to cultivate sustainable change that lead to happier, more fulfilled lives. I picked this book up to see what an un-coached, DIY version was like and found the first page of every chapter to be potentially valuable to anyone. The rest manages to make a math problem out of happiness - which may make it a favorite for linear thinkers. I prefer Michele's more creative, balanced approach.
    Other criticisms: it's a bit preachy coming from someone who seems to have to search for unhappiness. I would've found it more convincing if it had been written by someone with more chaos (or even a single challenge) in their life. Even someone average would've made it more compelling. But more than anything, I think a professional reader would've made me happiest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Yoga Nidra

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 10 mins)
    • By Xenia Splawinski
    • Narrated By Xenia Splawinski

    Yoga Nidra is considered to be the state in which the Gods reside. This is because the goal of Yoga Nidra is to attain complete relaxation while maintaining consciousness. The ability to do this allows for our deepest levels of creativity and healing energies to come to the surface. One session of Yoga Nidra is equal to approximately 3 hours of sleep in its ability to rejuvenate.

    Sue says: "Yoga Nidra"
    "Yoga in Bed by Johnna Trimmer is better."

    Skip therapy. Yoga Nidra heals the central nervous system, releasing trauma, and allowing us to release from reactivity. With regular listening just before sleep, and just before getting out of bed, we can become peaceful, balanced, and calm, even when "triggered" by "hot topics" or family members, heavy work stress and more. Finding several good meditations is essential to listening regularly.

    The voice in this YN is nice but it lacks music, so I still have favorites that out-rank it. My list in order of recommend:
    Yoga In Bed by Johnna Trimmer
    Swami Janakananda
    (accent is distracting at first, but this includes 3 awesome different versions)
    Richard Muller (really nice meditations, a little flat in voice & lacks music)
    The Yoga Sleep Ritual by Ann Dryer

    Not my favorite:
    Swami Bharati (monotone)

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Road

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

    Steven says: "Spellbinding"
    "Depressing, nightmare-inducing, haunting."

    The reader's voice is so annoying for the boy's character it almost ruins the writing. So read (if you must) don't listen.
    Predictable in places. I listened to this a year ago and am still haunted by the vivid imagery, ?which is of course, a testament to the great writing. If you have kids, or nephews/neices, this is painful to read and there's really no point. Without reading it you can just ask yourself what you would do in the event of the end of the world. Eat your neighbors? Kill yourself/your children? etc. And do these questions add anything good to your life?

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The History of Love

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Nicole Krauss
    • Narrated By George Guidall, Barbara Caruso, Julia Gibson, and others

    Nicole Krauss' first novel, Man Walks Into a Room, was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and her short fiction has been collected in Best American Short Stories. Now The History of Love proves Krauss is among our finest and freshest literary voices.

    KLBrookline says: "Beautiful story, beautifully written."
    "Love, Love, Love this book"

    But read it don't listen.
    This is a complex book to follow and required mindful reading, but what a genius book and fantastic, hilarious characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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