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Kathleen

Banff, AB, Canada | Member Since 2007

20
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • Flight Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1441)
    Performance
    (1256)
    Story
    (1265)

    Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at 17. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media.

    Marcia says: "Tough Message Delivered in Silk"
    "Everything known about Monarch butterflies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Flight Behavior in three words, what would they be?

    Unique, scientific, concerning


    Would you be willing to try another book from Barbara Kingsolver? Why or why not?

    I have read many books by Barbara Kingsolver and have thoroughly enjoyed most of them.
    I liked the basic story of Flight Behavior, particularly the characters, but I did find it a bit preachy and that, in some sections, the scientific information was heavy-handed. I would have to really look at the next book before I decided to read it or not.


    What does Barbara Kingsolver bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her intonation and expression helped me understand the characters better. Because she had created these characters, she was able to give them more life and passion when she read the story.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The conversation between Dellarobia and her mother-in-law Hester towards the end of the book, where Hester finally opens up to Dellarobia, was the most moving for me as it gave Hester real humanity and explained why she had always been stand-offish.


    Any additional comments?

    I liked the story in general but it was obvious that Kingsolver was on her soap-box about climate change. The ending was not very satisfying as it left the me hanging as to what happened to the Turnbow family and was rather apocalytic.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Hidden Depths

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ann Cleeves
    • Narrated By Anne Dover
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    A hot summer on the Northumberland Coast, and Julie Armstrong arrives home from a night out to find her son murdered. Luke has been strangled, laid out in a bath of water, and covered with wild flowers. This stylised murder scene has Inspector Vera Stanhope and her team intrigued. But then a second body, that of beautiful young teacher Lily Marsh, is discovered in yet another watery, flower bestrewn grave.

    ACT1 says: "Rivetting"
    "New Favorite British Detective Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Hidden Depths to be better than the print version?

    I loved Anne Dover's reading of this novel. She gave such life and understanding to the Vera Stanhope character that I felt it was Vera herself telling the story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Vera Stanhope was someone who I felt I would like to sit down and have a cup of tea with but I also knew that she would be holding something back as we talked. She was intriguing to get to know as the novel went on.


    Have you listened to any of Anne Dover’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I would have liked to listen to it all in one sitting but I didn't have that much time so I listened to it for several days in a row. I looked forward to hearing more of the story every day that I could listen to it.


    Any additional comments?

    I am looking forward to hearing more of the Vera Stanhope series. I found out that these stories are a TV series in Britain. Unfortunately they are not available on Netflix or PBS.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    Overall
    (3604)
    Performance
    (1749)
    Story
    (1785)

    Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really be expected to stand by and watch while a bully picks on his scrawny best friend? Or not defend himself against his pre-algebra teacher when she turns into a monster and tries to kill him? Of course, no one believes Percy about the monster incident; he's not even sure he believes himself.

    Teddy says: "Fun KIDS Book"
    "Greek Mythology meets the future"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Lightning Thief rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This audiobook was very good but it isn't the best I have listened to. The narration was well done and the story line is interesting.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Percy is a very typical 12 year old boy with ADD. Anyone who has dealt with kids that age will recognize all the sign of an Attention Deficit child but the fact that there is another reason for Percy's behavior is what is intriguing.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The Lotus Hotel was a place that most of us think we will like to spend time but it fact it is a trap that takes away free will. The description made it very real to me and I kept thinking of the old Eagles' song "Hotel California".


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Greek Mythology meets the Future


    Any additional comments?

    If you like the Harry Potter series, you will probably like this one too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Speaking from Among the Bones: A Flavia de Luce Novel, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Alan Bradley
    • Narrated By Jayne Entwistle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (456)
    Performance
    (401)
    Story
    (400)

    Eleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they’re found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters’ diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the 500th anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, the English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint’s tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the crypt than Flavia, yet what she finds will halt the proceedings dead in their tracks: the body of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist, his face grotesquely and inexplicably masked.

    Donald says: "the best Flavia yet!!"
    "Had to stop listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Speaking from Among the Bones? What did you like least?

    The story line seemed okay but I had to stop listening to the story because Jayne Entwistle's voice drove me crazy.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Alan Bradley? Why or why not?

    I might try another another Alan Bradley book but only if someone else is narrating it. I might go to the public library and see if they have a print copy of the book/series so I can read the story without having to listen to the high whiny voice of Jayne Entwistle.


    How could the performance have been better?

    If Entwistle had spoken like a normal young girl instead of adopting such a high whiny voice, it might have been tolerable. I know many young girls and none of them talk like that. If they did, their parents would tell them to stop whining and say what they want in a proper tone of voice.


    Could you see Speaking from Among the Bones being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I couldn't say because I didn't get that far into the book because of the performance.


    Any additional comments?

    I was looking forward to this book because of an interview with Alan Bradley on CBC with Shelagh Rogers. I thought that the book sounded interesting because of the characters and the plot but I was very disappointed in the performance.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • My Antonia

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Willa Cather
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings, Ken Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (384)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (205)

    Through Jim Burden's endearing, smitten voice, we revisit the remarkable vicissitudes of immigrant life in the Nebraska heartland, with all its insistent bonds. Guiding the way are some of literature's most beguiling characters: the Russian brothers plagued by memories of a fateful sleigh ride, Antonia's desperately homesick father and self-indulgent mother, and the coy Lena Lingard. Holding the pastoral society's heart, of course, is the bewitching, free-spirited Antonia.

    Tammy says: "Enthralling!!"
    "Still Relevant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to My Antonia the most enjoyable?

    The narrator made this book come alive for me. I could imagine the landscape and the characters because of Cather's description but also because of the way Jeff Cummings read the story. Somehow Cummings' voice seemed like part of the environment and kept me listening for hours.


    What other book might you compare My Antonia to and why?

    W.O. Mitchell's "Who Has Seen the Wind?" has many of the same qualities - the young boy who is learning about the hard life on the prairie and who can observe others who are struggling through hard times. Both Jim and Brian have families who give them security and ground them. Both authors love the prairie landscape as well.


    Have you listened to any of Jeff Cummings’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Not that I am aware of.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I found I wanted a break to savour some of the images and characters but I looked forward with anticipation to the next time I could listen the rest of the story.


    Any additional comments?

    I chose this book because of listening to Michael Enright on CBC's Sunday Edition where he described of the effects that this book had on him. As I enjoy listening to Mr. Enright who makes me think and challenges me, I wanted to hear this book so that I could understand what made him so excited. I am glad that I did.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The End of Your Life Book Club

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Will Schwalbe
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (397)
    Performance
    (352)
    Story
    (352)

    >"What are you reading?" That's the question Will Schwalbe asks his mother, Mary Anne, as they sit in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2007, Mary Anne returned from a humanitarian trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan suffering from what her doctors believed was a rare type of hepatitis. Months later she was diagnosed with a form of advanced pancreatic cancer, which is almost always fatal, often in six months or less. This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother.

    Mark says: "A good book, but not really for me."
    "Inspirational Story of Facing the End of Life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The End of Your Life Book Club in three words, what would they be?

    Inspirational, moving, entertaining


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked that although the book club was the basis of the story, it was really about the relationship between a son and his dying mother. The honesty and candor with which Will Schwabe told the story made these two people and their experience very real. They became people that I wished I could meet. The courage that Mary Ann Schwabe showed in facing her illness and her impending death was inspirational. I also loved listening to which books they chose and what they found that inspired them about each of these books.


    Have you listened to any of Jeff Harding’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not listened to any other story that Jeff Harding has recorded but I will definitely look for other stories that he has narrated.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book made me both laugh and cry. Like any relationship between two people this srory has both its funny moments and its sad, sentimental moments. It also inspired me to find out more about the organizations that she was involved with and to research her life more.


    Any additional comments?

    I am glad that I bought this book and that I had the opportunity to listen to this story. It reminded of some of my favorite books that I hadn't read for awhile and it allowed me to share in the time that this mother and son spent together.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2910)
    Performance
    (2590)
    Story
    (2592)

    Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Walkabout"
    "Unique charcters in a unique story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry to be better than the print version?

    I enjoyed listening to this story because of the emotion and insight Jim Broadbent gave to the characters in this reading.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The plot line was different than any other story I have read/listened to. The characters that Harold Fry met on his journey were interesting and very human. I liked the ending of the story was different than I had expected. It had a good twist at the end.


    What does Jim Broadbent bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His reading gave Harold and the other characters real life. I could relate to Harold and several of the other characters because Jim Broadbent made them "come alive" for me.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and why?

    Harold was definitely the most memorable character but I also really came to like Maureen, his wife, as well. Not only was Harold on a physical pilgrimage but also an emotional one as well. Although Maureen doesn't go on a physical journey, she certainly made a personal and emotional one as well.


    Any additional comments?

    I was driving through the country-side while listening to this story and kept imaging Harold walking on the roads that I was on and what he was experiencing as he went. Although the Canadian prairie is very different than the English country-side, the fact that both the character of Harold and I were travelling through vast areas of open country made him much more real to me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • An Unmarked Grave: A Bess Crawford Mystery, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Charles Todd
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (88)

    In the spring of 1918, the Spanish flu epidemic spreads, killing millions of soldiers and civilians across the globe. Overwhelmed by the constant flow of wounded soldiers coming from the French front, battlefield nurse Bess Crawford must now contend with hundreds of influenza patients as well. However, war and disease are not the only killers to strike. Bess discovers, concealed among the dead waiting for burial, the body of an officer who has been murdered.

    Kathleen says: "A Nurse Bess Crawford mystery"
    "Interesting perspective on WWI"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would definitely recommend this audiobook to a friend especially if that friend likes mysteries and has an interest in World War I. The characters and the plot were interesting as well as the details about the time and the people living through WWI.


    What other book might you compare An Unmarked Grave to and why?

    Any of the other Charles Todd books that deal with the same time period. The other series that comes to mind is the Inspector Foyle programs on PBS. They deal with a changing society during the two World Wars and the changing role for women in that society.


    What about Rosalyn Landor’s performance did you like?

    She portrayed the characters very well and was extremely easy to listen to.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I loved the end of the book when Bess Crawford was able to give the murdered soldier's family the comfort in knowing that he had not committed suicide and restored his honour.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Hunger Games

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34107)
    Performance
    (25269)
    Story
    (25611)

    Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

    Teddy says: "The Book Deserves The Hype"
    "Not just for young adults"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Hunger Games to be better than the print version?

    Loved the audio version of this book because I felt that Carolyn McCormick managed to make the character of Katniss become real to me. She also did a very job a portraying the personalities of the other characters.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Although the story line was similar to a few old classics like Shirley Jackson's


    What does Carolyn McCormick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    As stated above, she made the character of Katniss real to me while still giving personality to the rest of the story's characters.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No as I wanted to absorb some of the details before I went on to listen to the rest. This was a good thing.


    Any additional comments?

    This book isn't just of interest to the young adult audience that it was written for, it is a good story and therefore interesting to a wide variety of age groups.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Brutal Telling: A Three Pines Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1275)
    Performance
    (857)
    Story
    (858)

    As autumn descends upon Three Pines, a stranger is found murdered in the village bistro and antiques store at the center of town. No one admits to knowing the murdered man, but as secrets are revealed, chaos begins to close in on the beloved bistro owner, Olivier. What past did he leave behind, and why has he buried himself in this tiny village?

    Marie says: "Satisfying but sad"
    "Not as good as Penny's other books"
    Overall

    I have read/listened to all of Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache books and up until now have enjoyed the quaint characters and interesting plots. "The Brutal Telling" left me much less satisfied, however. All the familiar characters were there with a few new ones. I enjoyed the characters and actually laughed out loud with the description of some of their actions.

    The problem for me was the plot. It was too complicated and Penny tried to put in too many twists. She seemed to be trying to put in too many characters who revolved around famous Canadians - Emily Carr and Jean Vanier. Nothing seemed to connect. Why did Gamache go to Haida G'wai? That part of the story was interesting but didn't really connect to the plot. At the end of the novel, the listener still doesn't know who the victim was or why he had all these treasures. It didn't seem realistic to me that the person identified as the murderer, was the murderer. I felt she just didn't know how to end the story. I felt that she had two, if not three, plots that she was trying to develop in one novel. It just left me with more questions than answers.

    I am disappointed in this book because I liked her others so much.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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