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Michelle

Now that I am retired, I can indulge my lifelong love of books even more!

GILLETTE, WY, United States | Member Since 2012

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 90 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 38 purchased in 2014
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  • The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Dorothy Gilman
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (554)
    Performance
    (475)
    Story
    (477)

    Emily Pollifax is one of a precious few gray-haired female sleuths who solve their cases through unflagging determination, moral courage and wisdom that comes with age. In "The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax", Emily answers the call of that “nice Mr. Carstairs” to go to Istanbul as a courier and search for a missing agent.

    Coffee Lover says: "Wonderful story, perfect narration!"
    "Always a good time with Mrs. Pollifax"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've been so happy with most of the Audible books that it is hard to rank them. But I would give this book a high ranking, because I enjoyed both the story and the narration style. The narration flowed without any aggravating affectations--just very comfortably told the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I've read all the Pollifax books in the past; Mrs. Pollifax is always fun, full of gumption, has a unique way of looking at life and her part-time job as CIA courier; gets into trouble and danger, finds a way out, and often saves the day. This book is typical Mrs. Pollifax and definitely worth the listen. Just remember that it was written long enough ago that the world situation has undergone changes since her time.


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

    I've listened to her on Amelia Peabody Emerson series (by Elizabeth Peters). She does a great job on those also.


    Any additional comments?

    Just because a book was written a few decades ago does not lessen the story. Mrs. Pollifax stories aren't deep literary works. They are lively, fun, suspenseful, and well told. Relax a bit and go adventuring with Mrs. Pollifax. Her adventures always start out with such a simple assignment. . . .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death Without Company: A Walt Longmire Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2285)
    Performance
    (1698)
    Story
    (1689)

    When an elderly local woman is found poisoned, Sheriff Walt Longmire begins an investigation that soon has him ensnared in a deadly spider's web. From Craig Johnson, author of the acclaimed novel The Cold Dish, comes this enthralling Sheriff Longmire mystery. With a distinctive literary flair, Johnson leads us into the wide open space of Absaroka County, Wyoming.

    Laura Harley says: "What a wonderful find!"
    "Old Secrets Can Be Lethel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book starts approximately one month after the events in The Cold Dish, the first Walt Longmire tale. It is still winter in Absaroka County, Wyoming, and the weather plays a significant part in this adventure. Walt is still trying to recover from things that happened in the prior month, but when his old mentor, former sheriff, and friend suspects another resident in the assisted living home has been murdered, Walt undertakes the investigation. What had seemed to be a natural death of an old woman blossoms into a wild ride of murder, attempted murder, 50-year-old events that are bearing deadly fruit, near drowning, gunshot wounds, and more.

    And much of the action is complicated by a Wyoming blizzard. BRRRR! I live near the area where this story is set, and Craig Johnson can really write a great blizzard. I find myself expecting to see snow when I look out the window--and I listened to this in July.

    It is a great read/listen.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Crocodile on the Sandbank: The Amelia Peabody Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Peters
    • Narrated By Susan O'Malley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (448)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (124)

    Amelia Peabody embarks on her first Egyptian adventure armed with unshakable self-confidence, a journal for her thoughts, and, of course, a sturdy umbrella. On her way, she rescues Evelyn Barton-Forbes, who has been "ruined" and abandoned on the streets of Rome by her lover. With a typical disregard for convention, Amelia promptly hires her fellow countrywoman as a companion and takes her to Cairo, where strange visitations and a botched kidnapping convince Amelia that there is a plot afoot to harm Evelyn.

    Todd says: "Outstanding!"
    "Amelia Peabody's First Appearance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I believe that when Elizabeth Peters wrote this book, she was not planning for it to be a series. But that it did become, and a great series it is. As the series developed a few things were changed from the appearance of Amelia as established in this book. She went from tall to short! However, that is a small quibble. The characters of Amelia, Evelyn, and the Emerson brothers are carried through the series, though Walter and Evelyn in somewhat lesser roles. I've always felt this was perhaps the weakest book in the series, having been written more in the style of the romantic suspense genre. But smart, independent, outspoken Amelia just won't really fit into that mold, and the Egyptian settings and archaeological tidbits add an extra depth.

    I've always liked this story, but listening to it gave it a new dimension, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I listened to the Susan O'Malley narrated version. I also have some of the Amelia books narrated by Barbara Rosenblat, who does an excellent job. But I enjoyed the O'Malley version also. I actually prefer her reading of Emerson's lines. Rosenblat's Emerson sounds like an elderly asthmatic, rather than the brilliant, high-energy, hot tempered, emotional, passionate man of the stories. His energy and intensity come through better in O'Malley's reading.

    Whichever, version you listen to, you'll find a story that has interesting characters, mystery, love stories, and humor--a most enjoyable book.

    Years ago I tried to get my daughter to read the Amelias. She just couldn't get interested in the beginning of this first book. Several years later, she tried it again and went on to read all the Amelias. She became as big a fan of the series as I am. I have the entire series in book form, but with increasing vision problems I have begun collecting some of my favorite books in audio. I find that I enjoy them all over again, but differently, while listening. Reading aloud, or being read aloud to, is still a great way to enjoy a story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Dorothy Gilman
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    Overall
    (818)
    Performance
    (704)
    Story
    (709)

    Mrs. Virgil (Emily) Pollifax of New Brunswick, New Jersey, was a widow with grown children. She was tired of attending her Garden Club meetings. She wanted to do something good for her country. This first in the series sends Emily on her first case after she successfully persuades a skeptical CIA recruitment officer that she is the best person for the job.

    Barbara says: "Barbara Rosenblatt: THE Voice!"
    "An Oldie but Goodie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Certainly. I was a young woman when I first read this book. I am now a senior citizen. Emily Pollifax is a testament to living life with zest no matter what your age. It is a fun ride--humor, mystery, suspense, adventure, and travel to distant places all enter into the story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mrs. Pollifax herself is the driving force of the story. Without her unique character it would be just another spy story.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Hard to say; some parts were amusing, others suspenseful, all good escapist fun.


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

    Some parts definitely made me chuckle.


    Any additional comments?

    The reader/listener needs to remember when this story was written. The Berlin Wall was still in force and our big enemy was the USSR, with Red China looming on our horizons. The espionage situations have nothing to do with Islamic terrorists, etc. It was a different time. But the world political situation is not the important thing in the story. It is the personality, courage, grit, kindness, savvy, and even innocence of Mrs. Pollifax that make the story worthwhile, fun, and a joy to listen to. The narration is outstanding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard
    • Narrated By Bill O'Reilly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2104)
    Performance
    (1872)
    Story
    (1877)

    More than a million listeners have thrilled to Bill O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln, the can't-stop-listening work of nonfiction about the shocking assassination that changed the course of American history. Now the anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts in gripping detail the brutal murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy—and how a sequence of gunshots on a Dallas afternoon not only killed a beloved president but also sent the nation into the cataclysmic division of the Vietnam War and its culture-changing aftermath.

    Kristina says: "MUST READ/LISTEN"
    "History That Reads Like a Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Killing Kennedy in three words, what would they be?

    You Are There.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Killing Kennedy?

    Although it was discussed in the news and in magazine articles many, many times during Kennedy's presidency (and a movie was made about the incident), there were parts of the PT 109 story that I don't recall ever having heard before. (Although I may have just forgotten--it was a good many years ago.)

    Also, I found myself reacting with the tension of suspense as the president's car neared the Texas Book Depository, even though knowing what would (did) happen there and that it could not be changed. That is a mark of a well-told story.

    And then there was something at the end of the book that I won't talk about, as it would be a Spoiler.


    What about Bill O'Reilly’s performance did you like?

    Bill O'Reilly is a professional speaker. Who else could better read his book? He does an excellent job and I enjoyed hearing him narrate the words he wrote (or co-wrote--I don't know just how his partnership with Martin Dugard works).


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

    Not necessarily. While it was very interesting, very well-written, and gave a sense of immediacy to historical events, the fact that I'd lived through those times meant I did not have to keep listening to find out what happened next. So I listened to it in several sessions.


    Any additional comments?

    I think Mr. O'Reilly and Mr. Dugard have done a great service in showing that history is neither boring nor irrelevant. It is just usually so poorly presented that people lose interest.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Mummy Case: The Amelia Peabody Series, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Peters
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (980)
    Performance
    (590)
    Story
    (575)

    The indomitable Amelia Peabody and her husband, known to many as "the Father of Curses", are into archaeology and mischief again. This third in the series brings the reader once more into Egypt and the shady world of black market antiquities. The winter excavation season has hardly yet begun when Amelia stumbles onto what looks suspiciously like a ring of thieves.

    Fay says: "The Emersons and the mummy case - a must listen"
    "More Fun with the Emersons"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Mummy Case rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I can't really rate the books this way. Overall, I have been extremely satisfied with all the audiobooks I have listened to so far. Some narrators are better in one way, others in another way, but quality is good.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ramses Emerson is my favorite in this particular episode in the adventures of the Emerson family. Amelia Peabody Emerson is, of course, the main character and always a hoot. This first appearance of Ramses as a primary character is a lot of fun. He is a young genius whose escapades, while always completely logical to him, cause a lot of trouble--but eventually save the day.

    This book also marks the first appearance of the "Master Criminal," who comes to play a great part in the ongoing Emerson family adventures.


    What about Barbara Rosenblat’s performance did you like?

    Ms. Rosenblat has a very pleasant voice to listen to, has good expression in bringing out the meaning and tone of each passage, and does a mostly excellent job in voicing the individual characters. My only reservation is with her voice for Emerson. He comes out sounding like an 80-year-old heavy smoker nearly on his last gasp. Though this portrayal of Emerson is disappointing to me, the rest is so good that I manage to overlook it in the overall experience of the story.


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

    Adventure, suspense, and humor amongst the relics of ancient Egypt!


    Any additional comments?

    I have the entire Amelia Peabody Emerson saga in book form. I enjoyed experiencing it in a new way through the audio book. I have some vision problems which make it increasingly difficult to read fine print, so I am now "collecting" an audio library as well as the print library I have.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lord John and the Hand of the Devils

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (696)
    Performance
    (437)
    Story
    (439)

    In these tales, Lord John vows to avenge a murder, investigates a terrifying "night-hag" on the battlefields of Europe, and discovers treason in His Majesty's ranks.

    Teahouse Fox says: "Lord John Grey comes to life"
    "Reliable Gabaldon, Good Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend it because it is a reliably interesting Diana Gabaldon book, which means that the story pulls you in, the historical setting is so well-drawn you feel you are there, and the reader gains insight into what was happening to one of the lesser characters (Lord John) in the Outlander series between his appearances in the "Big Books."


    Which character – as performed by Jeff Woodman – was your favorite?

    Lord John is voiced so very well by Jeff Woodman that his voice is the one I will hear in my head when I read other Lord John episodes in the Outlander series as well as the Lord John novels and novellas.


    If you could take any character from Lord John and the Hand of the Devils out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Of course it would have to be Lord John. These are his stories, and he has led a very interesting and adventurous life.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like Diana Gabaldon's books, you will like the Lord John stories. Just don't expect this book to be about the Fraser's. It is not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Beekeeper's Apprentice

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Laurie R. King
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1778)
    Performance
    (1107)
    Story
    (1109)

    In 1914, a spirited American girl named Mary Russell meets a retired Sherlock Holmes in the English countryside. Instantly realizing that Mary is gifted with astonishing deductive powers, the Great Detective emerges from retirement to join her as she tracks down a fiendish assassin.

    Marie-Elizabeth Finamore says: "Best of British restraint"
    "First of a Great Series, but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Beekeeper's Apprentice?

    I very much enjoy the reimagined Sherlock Holmes adventures by Laurie King. The whole series is a favorite of mine, and with increasing vision problems I wanted to add at least some of them to my Audible library. The brilliant, awkward, lonely, and troubled Mary Russell meets a middle-aged Mr. Holmes. The mentorship that grows into a partnership is the saving of them both. I like the fact that Laurie King expands on the Sherlock Holmes legend without doing violence to it. Frankly, she writes more logical stories than did Doyle. He invented a great character; she improves upon him.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters are very complex and well-developed. They all have deep back stories that are revealed only slowly as their pasts affect the present action. In fact, the back story revelations continue across many of the books in the series. The intelligence and complexity of the characters reflect the intelligence and skill of the author. These books are a good read/listen on many levels.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration is very good when voicing Mary Russell and suits the character of this British/American young orphan as she grows into an accomplished young woman. Unfortunately, when it comes to voicing Holmes, the narrator falls far short. I have a hard time listening to the parts where Sherlock speaks. Although Holmes is described as having a rather high pitched voice for a man, she also gives him a supercilious, expressionless tone. I love these books, the narrator reads well, but I cannot like her interpretation of Holmes. For this reason I have not yet decided whether to invest in any more of the series on Audible. I do have them all in print.


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

    Action, Adventure, Suspense, Surprise


    Any additional comments?

    The story is lively, adventurous, fun, suspenseful, and very well written. It also has intelligence and depth of character and thought.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Washington: A Life

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1690)
    Performance
    (1170)
    Story
    (1166)

    In Washington: A Life celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation. This crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French and Indian War, his creation of Mount Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president.

    ButterLegume says: "A sad day when my book was done!"
    "History Made Fascinating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I'd definitely recommend this book--the writing, storytelling, care for accuracy, and the reading skill of the narrator are all first rate.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    The reader has a very pleasant voice, excellent reading skills, and good vocal expression without going over the top.


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

    I haven't completed the book yet (it is 42 hours of listening time!), but I was both moved and enlightened by the winter at Valley Forge segment. I've always heard about the hardships of that terrible winter, but this book helped me understand why it was so bad and why the troops were near starvation in an area surrounded by farms.


    Any additional comments?

    Again, I've always heard/read about the greatness of George Washington. In this book I'm learning how his character grew and developed through his life experiences. He did not start out as a great military tactician! He learned a lot through hard experience, and he had a lot to put up with during the Revolution due to the independent nature of the colonies and the inexperience and lack of unity in the Continental Congress.

    The author also shows the lifelong contradictions regarding freedom beliefs and slaveholding that Washington experienced. I'm also learning about his family life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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