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Beth Anne

i like to read. i like to listen.

Philadelphia, PA, United States | Member Since 2012

73
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 69 reviews
  • 96 ratings
  • 293 titles in library
  • 41 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
16

  • The Drowning Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Caitlin R. Kiernan
    • Narrated By Suzy Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (191)
    Performance
    (172)
    Story
    (172)

    India Morgan Phelps - Imp to her friends - is schizophrenic. Struggling with her perceptions of reality, Imp must uncover the truth about her encounters with creatures out of myth - or from something far, far stranger....

    Diane says: "A Modern Haunting"
    "Bleh. Felt like the story was too forced."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    i really wanted to love this book. i set myself up to rave about it....but i just can't. based on all the reviews i have read (here, on goodreads and otherwise), this book seemed to have all the makings of a story i would love. fantasy, female narrator, gothic horror and the promise of an incredibly talented author.

    Caitlin Kiernan is a talented author. this much is true. there are words and paragraphs and portions of this novel that are so beautifully written they begged to be framed as art. but then there were parts that were so...so...hmmm.
    let me try to explain.

    Imp could be an interesting narrator, but the fact that you never quite know (because of her schizophrenia) what is reality and what is fiction gets quite tiresome very quickly in this novel...an element that never sat right with me -- and never gets resolved. the novel ends in ambiguity with more questions than answers...and not that i need a neat and tidy ending, but i would like to feel some sort of resolution or growth or something that makes me feel like the book ended where it should have ended.

    some of Imp's ramblings are so difficult to pick apart and understand, it is frustrating. i dont want to be tired after reading a novel. not to say i don't like reading a difficult book. look at how American Gods left me...thats a difficult book that i found immensely satisfying. but this book felt like all work with no payoff. again, i just felt that i was left with nothing at the end. just confusion and sadness and i was actually rather annoyed. maybe if i had read the physical book instead of listening to this it would have been more manageable?

    final note -- no real likeable characters in this. including Imp. i wanted so much to like her. really i did. but i just couldn't.

    there is a lot of folk lore and fairy tale in this book, which i did enjoy...but as i said, those portions were few and far between, and couldn't hold the rest of the book up on their unsteady stilts.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Susannah Cahalan
    • Narrated By Heather Henderson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (714)
    Performance
    (639)
    Story
    (643)

    In 2009, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room strapped to a bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records - from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory - reported psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four-year-old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter

    Brian Quaranta says: "For those interested in neurology & psychology"
    "really interesting journey through 'madness'"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    this book was pretty intense. what an amazing story of family loyalty and faith in someone who clearly seems insane! i think that at the heart of it, that's what this story is about -- i mean, the mystery around her circumstances were really strange and disturbing -- but the family/friends that stood by her believing every step of the way there was a reason, and a cure, for her problems is what resonated most with me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Raising Stony Mayhall

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Daryl Gregory
    • Narrated By David Marantz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (791)
    Performance
    (696)
    Story
    (701)

    In 1968, after the first zombie outbreak, Wanda Mayhall and her three young daughters discover the body of a teenage mother during a snowstorm. Wrapped in the woman's arms is a baby - stone-cold, not breathing, and without a pulse. But then his eyes open and look up at Wanda, and he begins to move.The family hides the child - whom they name Stony - rather than turn him over to authorities who would destroy him. Against all scientific reason, the undead boy begins to grow....

    Dave says: "The Undead Have Never Been So Fresh (or Funny)"
    "just fine. not great."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    another "zombie" novel that really doesn't have anything to do with traditional zombies. there were actually times i forgot that i was reading about zombies. there is no real flesh/brain eating, no scary chases through the woods with moaning and dragging limbs. not that that matters...per se...if the novel is good enough to sustain the story.

    what there is, however, is a relatively smartly written novel about prejudice and humanity. its an interesting social statement. a bit long winded at parts, and i wasn't all that happy with the final few pages...not a real resolution as much as a ho hum shrug of the shoulders.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Blazing World: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Siri Hustvedt
    • Narrated By Patricia Rodriguez, Eric Meyers
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    With The Blazing World, internationally best­selling author Siri Hustvedt returns to the New York art world in her most masterful and urgent novel since What I Loved. Hustvedt, who has long been celebrated for her “beguiling, lyrical prose” (The Sunday Times Books, London), tells the provocative story of the artist Harriet Burden. After years of watching her work ignored or dismissed by critics, Burden conducts an experiment she calls Maskings: She presents her own art behind three male masks, concealing her female identity.

    INGRID-KARIN says: "Pure joy to read and interesting ideas"
    "not for everyone, but definitely interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    there were times i hated this book, and times i loved this book, and then times i hated it again. and that is why i'm giving it 5 stars.

    i have a very soft spot in my heart for books that invoke in me extreme emotions. this book did that. enter -- soft spot.

    but seriously. i think that Harriet "Harry" Burden was fantastic. the chapters narrated by her were just the pinnacle of perfection. this novel is a moving and interesting portrait of an extremely unique and obscure artist. the rest of the cast of characters narrating the other portions, some boring and annoying, some riveting and empathetic, made this a well rounded story.

    it's definitely not the type of novel for everyone, but it was for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jonas Jonasson
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (740)
    Performance
    (650)
    Story
    (662)

    After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash.

    Sylvia says: "Full of Surprises and Unexpected Events"
    "fun romp with great amusing characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    loved this story. laughed out loud so much while listening to it. it's one of those madcap stories with a zany mix of characters who bring absolute perfection to their specific roles in the story.

    i love the hundred-year-old man...and i love his story. finding out his past, and how he rubbed elbows with presidents and world leaders just made it even more humorous.

    the narrator was perfect -- a dry english gentleman's voice telling this silly little story.

    this is the kind of book that your read to put a smile on your face, and don't want to take it too seriously.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Long Man: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Amy Greene
    • Narrated By Dale Dickey
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (8)

    From the critically acclaimed author of Bloodroot, a gripping, wondrously evocative novel of a family in turmoil, set against the backdrop of real-life historical event - the story of three days in the summer of 1936, as a government-built dam is about to flood an Appalachian town, and a little girl goes missing.

    Beth Anne says: "fascinating and beautiful story of family"
    "fascinating and beautiful story of family"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    i love amy greene. i want her to write stories like this (and Bloodroot) forever and ever.

    as with Bloodroot, this book is perfectly written. not a wasted word, not a misplaced thought. the characters are so full of emotion and sadness and nuance. i truly believe that they are jumping off the pages and living in the real world.

    this is a story of family. a mother's love (both annie and beulah). how far someone will go for what they believe in.

    it's just amazing, beautifully written - beautifully read and will be revisited soon.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James Scott
    • Narrated By Kate Udall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (38)

    In the winter of 1897, Elspeth Howell treks across miles of snow and ice to the isolated farmstead in upstate New York where she and her husband have raised their five children. Her midwife's salary is tucked into the toes of her boots, and her pack is full of gifts for her family. But as she crests the final hill, and sees her darkened house and a smokeless chimney, immediately she knows that an unthinkable crime has destroyed the life she so carefully built.

    Caroline says: "A Beautiful, Bitter Pill"
    "tragic story, not to be missed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    this is a really really stark but beautifully written novel. it's so sad...full of winter and death and really nothing hopeful to cling to. but gosh if it wasn't a great book.

    its the story of a mother and son out to avenge the deaths of their murdered family. at the start, their relationship is tepid at best...but this was not a novel of family ties binding together in the face of adversity. the relationship between Elspeth and Caleb was as sad and cold and stark as the wintery scenery...and it remained so through most of the book. the secrets that they both keep throughout the novel are detrimental to their relationship and their lives. and they never come to understand the other's emotional needs enough to help the other through. it's a painful story to read...because there is really no redemption. even if they succeed in getting revenge...you know their lives will never be redeemed.

    kate udall reads this book with perfection.

    tragedy oozes from every sentence in this novel...in the sadness and emotion evident in every choice that both main characters make. it's a moving desperate story that is so full of violence it's sometimes shocking in it's outright nature, but so brings you into the minds and hearts of these two characters...it's a haunting story not to be missed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Circle

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Dave Eggers
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (636)
    Performance
    (584)
    Story
    (591)

    When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company's modernity and activity.

    Darwin8u says: "A solid, just not great social network dystopia"
    "well written. sometimes obvious but always amusing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    when i read "heartbreaking work of...blah blah blah" i vowed i'd never read another eggers book. but this, being a novel, and being of the variety i prefer to read, and having such great buzz, i gave it a try. so glad i broke my own rule. this book was great.

    Mae was such a great awful character. i loved and hated her, so much. loved how terrible every decision she made was, how vulnerable she was, how cringe-worthy her inner thoughts were. loved how she never disappointed in being awful. i loved that she was, truly, the ultimate go-getter...even though the "getting" was often at the expense of everyone else in her life. i hated her because...well....she's really quite hateable.

    the novel overall was written so well...it kept me emotional the entire time i was reading. emotions like anger, frustration, shock, annoyance and mirth. i laughed out loud at so many parts of this book, i can't even tell you. (i can tell you, however, that i don't laugh at books...so i kept surprising myself). Mercer's dialogue amused me the most...i found his observations and social commentary quite hysterical, probably because in this book full of absurdly blind followers -- his was the voice of reason and reality.

    i feel that my problem with eggers previously might have been the memoir genre? i will be trying another novel of his soon...hoping to be as pleased as i was with these results.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Burial Rites: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Hannah Kent
    • Narrated By Morven Christie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (154)
    Story
    (151)

    A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829. Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution. Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her.

    Robyn says: "Somber but Beautiful"
    "Chilling. Quiet. Amazing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    in the middle of an isolated Iceland farm, the true story of Agnes' crime is told...along with her last year of life before her execution.

    agnes is one of the most riveting and upsetting characters i've read in a long time. her voice (in intermittent chapters) is so true and sad and doomed. as she shifts from prisoner, to farmhand, to a member of the family -- i grew to love Agnes so much as a person. as i read, i knew where she was headed -- but of course i was hoping the entire time her fate would change.

    really well written book, smart in how it portrays relationships and the changes in perceptions and opinions (both in agnes' past and in her present)...brilliant in it's quiet stark sentences. i loved it.

    ps...the fact that this is a true story makes it even more chilling and sad.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (16104)
    Performance
    (14258)
    Story
    (14209)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "great for king lovers and non-king readers alike"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    oh mr. king. you've outdone yourself with this book.

    i not only loved this story as i love a good stephen king story. but i just loved it. period.

    this novel has a lot of stephen king-isms in it. it has the supernatural aspect, the rabbit hole to another time.....it has the mystical yellow, orange, black, green card man...it has the everyman turned hero.....it has the most realistic dialogue that a person can write (is it weird that i love stephen king's dialogue).

    but it also has a lot more than that. it has love, true heartbreaking love (contrary to his own statements, stephen king can write love stories). it has moral dilemmas. it poses questions about what one man can do to history. it poses questions about how one single blink by one single person can effect the entire world's future.

    i loved this book. it kept me on my toes. will he save or kill kennedy in the end? i mean, that's history, right? the narrator kept saying that the past was obdurate...but he sure tried to combat that. did he succeed?

    i think that even if you aren't a stephen king fan, you'll love this book. and it's a great place to start if you've never read king before (wait, you've never read king before???? where have you been???)

    it's one of the best american novels i've read in a long while.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Sleep: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4765)
    Performance
    (4419)
    Story
    (4430)

    Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

    D says: "The sequel to the book; not the movie"
    "perfect second half to an already perfect story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    i'm a fan of stephen king. i love all his books...the straightforward horror stories, the more sentimental stories, the weird, magical, mystical, and murderous stories. but i recognize that some of his writing is better than others. and when he gets it right...he really gets it right. this story gets it right.

    i also will admit that The Shining was one of the scariest stephen king books i've ever read...hell, one of the scariest BOOKS in general i've ever read. and this book did not disappoint as a follow up. this story of and adult danny torrance is really quite thrilling. full of the classic king creepiness. there's a 'big bad' worth losing sleep over, an anti-hero and full on heroine that capture your heart. and there's a cast of supporting characters that only help to build up the novel and make it full of depth, excitement, terror and imagination.

    will patton is one of my favorite narrators (along with kate mulgrew and a few non-celebs), i found him to be the perfect voice of an older and much more turmoiled danny. great choice.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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