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Beth Anne

i like to read. i like to listen.

Philadelphia, PA, United States | Member Since 2012

174
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 110 reviews
  • 160 ratings
  • 452 titles in library
  • 22 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
35

  • Telegraph Avenue: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Michael Chabon
    • Narrated By Clarke Peters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (341)
    Performance
    (282)
    Story
    (284)

    As the summer of 2004 draws to a close, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are still hanging in there - longtime friends, bandmates, and co-regents of Brokeland Records, a kingdom of used vinyl located in the borderlands of Berkeley and Oakland. Their wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffe, are the Berkeley Birth Partners, a pair of semi-legendary midwives who have welcomed, between them, more than a thousand newly minted citizens into the dented utopia at whose heart - half tavern, half temple - stands Brokeland Records.

    Darwin8u says: "26,784 sq in (and 4.5 miles) surrounded by REALITY"
    "Stay with it. Interesting Story Race & Family"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Telegraph Avenue the most enjoyable?

    The story itself.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Telegraph Avenue?

    The final scenes with Julius and Gwen in the hospital as she delivered her baby, and then when he left and went looking for Titus...I found Julius to become a great hero of this novel and really liked it.


    What aspect of Clarke Peters’s performance would you have changed?

    I think the way he performed all the women and children sounded the same...and sometimes I that annoyed me. His encapsulation of the 70's vibe of Nat and Archy were on point, though.


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

    No, but it was a good, solid story.


    Any additional comments?

    this book really took me by surprise. i listened to the first chapter and honestly thought -- i'm not going to make it through. it seemed...er...do i want to say pretentious? maybe? or...perhaps i'll just say, it seemed like it was going to be too much for me. just too much.

    but something kept me listening. and i'm super glad i did.

    i found the lives of archy and gwen, nat and aviva, julius and titus, so enthralling....i ached for more of each of their stories. yeh, i totally just said that.

    it's funny, because i know that this book was intended to be about the two men -- archy and nat -- but i found myself more riveted with the other characters' stories. i mean, i loved those guys. archy was a particularly intriguing character. i wanted him to do the right things. i rooted for him to be the good guy.

    but overall, gwen was my favorite character in this book. she was tender but serious. a no nonsense woman who was raised to never sit by and let her situation get out of control. yet, all the lives around her were out of control....and she struggled to take charge and be the woman she was intended to be. her sensibility was right on.

    i also loved julius. he was such a sorry little boy. my heart went out to him every time he looked at or thought about titus. i think he was one of the true heroes of this novel. as i said, his scenes at the end of the book when gwen was in labor were truly special.

    this is another book where all the ancillary characters were so strong and well developed. 'chan the man,' gibson goode, 'the king of bling', luther...every single one of them had depth and purpose. i enjoyed each and every story that intertwined with our main protagonists.

    i think the most interesting part of this book was the underlying (and at times overlying) element of race that was the theme of the novel. the world views that are so different between nat and archy, aviva and gwen, titus and julius. the ability they have to coexist, as best friends, business partners, lovers...yet the inability to absolutely understand the other's point of view...never able to grasp the uniqueness of the other's race. and the wedges that formed between them all because of race.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Funny Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Nick Hornby
    • Narrated By Emma Fielding
    Overall
    (327)
    Performance
    (275)
    Story
    (274)

    Set in 1960's London, Funny Girl is a lively account of the adventures of the intrepid young Sophie Straw as she navigates her transformation from provincial ingnue to television starlet amid a constellation of delightful characters. Insightful and humorous, Nick Hornby's latest does what he does best: endears us to a cast of characters who are funny if flawed, and forces us to examine ourselves in the process.

    Joe Stanley says: "Brilliantly written and read"
    "funny girl, lovely book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I needed this book right now. The perfect story of a young woman rising through the ranks of television stardom in England during the 60's. Loved the references to the music and stars of that era. Loved Sophie Straw and her crew of crazy friends and colleagues. Loved the perfect balance of humor and poignancy and disfunction.

    It was a simple story told well right when I needed it most.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Nightingale

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Kristin Hannah
    • Narrated By Polly Stone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1430)
    Performance
    (1237)
    Story
    (1230)

    From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes Kristin Hannah’s next novel. It is an epic love story and family drama set at the dawn of World War II. She is the author of twenty-one novels. Her previous novels include Home Front, Night Road, Firefly Lane, Fly Away, and Winter Garden.

    Linda says: "HEARTBREAKINGLY POIGNANT AND INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL"
    "there are better female ww2 stories out there"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ** spoiler alert ** I have had a hard time determining how to review this book. In some ways I enjoyed it. It did bring me to tears more than once while I was listening to it. But that being said, it also had me comparing it to other books of this genre and in some comparisons it does not live up.

    I think the entire story of the "present day" 90's narrator was unneeded and ended up being really tedious and annoying. That should have been edited out and let this story just be about ww2 and the brave women who fought in their own ways.

    The romance side is the stories also bothered me. For different reasons. Perhaps I would not have minded Vianne's so much if they didn't have Isabelle so mired in her infatuation. But I am not a romance story person. So maybe other readers wanted that type of break from the war story. I don't know.

    Either way. I think the story was well written and we definitely got a good amount of character development throughout. The tragedy of the war is well documented here. The strength of what the women "back home" in France had to endure as well as how they each chose to fight their own private (or not so private, but secret) battles was well written.

    I much preferred City of Women over this book, so I would recommend that one (and probably a few others) before this one. it just wasn't great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lock In (Narrated by Amber Benson)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Amber Benson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (886)
    Performance
    (789)
    Story
    (811)

    Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

    Anthony says: "Love Amber's Narration"
    "roller coaster read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was exciting. And then it got a bit convoluted. And then it got exciting again. And then it ended.

    It was my first Scalzi novel but definitely not my last. The premise was unique and well conceived. The characters were developed well. It was thrilling and smart.

    I am definitely going to check out some more of Scalzis books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Boys Symphony: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Mark Ferguson
    • Narrated By Nicholas Tecosky
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    After Henry's girlfriend, Val, leaves him and transfers to another school, his grief begins to manifest itself in bizarre and horrifying ways. Cause and effect, once so reliable, no longer appear to be related in any recognizable manner. Either he's hallucinating, or the strength of his heartbreak over Val has unhinged reality itself.

    Bethany says: "Wonderful Performance, Difficult Storyline"
    "could've been a good short story, not a good book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    i wanted to rate this book higher, and i thought i would when it started...but as i slogged through it, i started to get really annoyed by all the Henry's and their mysteries and obsessions and complaining and got especially frustrated by their time travel and/or psychotic breaks.

    i think the real problem with this story is that it relied so heavily on the ever present question is Henry insane or is he a time traveler that it never took the tie to give any of the characters depth or personality or likability or really anything to make a person want to read about them. the idea was there, but the execution was lacking. i got bored hearing multiple Henry's complaining about what they've lost. I got bored hearing Gabe talk about the music. I for bored with Val, period. She was one of the worst written female characters I've read in my life.

    At first I thought the book could benefit from some heavy editing...then I realized that with the editing that would be needed to save this story, the book would be 4 chapters or so...oh well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with All the Gifts

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By M. R. Carey
    • Narrated By Finty Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4111)
    Performance
    (3687)
    Story
    (3686)

    Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

    Amazon Customer says: "Spoiler-free review below - Amazing book!"
    "Awesome take on this oft stale genre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was amazed how captivating this story was. It took me completely by surprise how invested I was in the story. I think this is a must read for anyone who likes post apocalyptic novels. This one over delivers in a good way. I was engaged until the very last word.

    Cryptic review because I don't want to give anything away, just read it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Remember Me Like This: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Bret Anthony Johnston
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (61)

    Four years have passed since Justin Campbell’s disappearance, a tragedy that rocked the small town of Southport, Texas. Did he run away? Was he kidnapped? Did he drown in the bay? As the Campbells search for answers, they struggle to hold what’s left of their family together. Then, one afternoon, the impossible happens. The police call to report that Justin has been found only miles away, in the neighboring town, and, most important, he appears to be fine. Though the reunion is a miracle, Justin’s homecoming exposes the deep rifts that have diminished his family.

    Dana says: "Gripping"
    "Impressive Novel of Loss and Family"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    loved this dissection of an American family in the aftermath of a tragedy and how each member copes (or doesn't) with it.

    i think the characters were so strong...it was like i was living this story through them. i knew how each of them thought, felt, existed.

    the way Johnston handled the thought provoking experience of losing (and finding) a child was really expertly done. i couldn't stop the story from running in my head -- and i expect to continue to think about it for a while.

    i was surprised and extremely impressed with how this novel ended...really really liked it

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hundred-Year House

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Rebecca Makkai
    • Narrated By Jen Tullock
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (33)

    Meet the Devohrs: Zee, a Marxist literary scholar who detests her parents' wealth but nevertheless finds herself living in their carriage house; Gracie, her mother, who claims she can tell your lot in life by looking at your teeth; and Bruce, her step-father, stockpiling supplies for the Y2K apocalypse and perpetually late for his tee time. Then there's Violet Devohr, Zee's great-grandmother, who they say took her own life somewhere in the vast house, and whose massive oil portrait still hangs in the dining room.

    Beth Anne says: "Great Book Immediately Placed On My ReRead Pile"
    "Great Book Immediately Placed On My ReRead Pile"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    i love how this novel jumped back in time to four generations of inhabitants of the hundred-year house. starting in the "now" and going back with so many secrets intertwining all three generations. every section answers questions, gives you more questions, and wraps you up in the secrets and lies and intensity of the house.

    i loved the character development, even in the shortest sections -- i loved the interactions between the artists, the owners, the caretakers and the house itself. the house was the main character (obviously) and held all the secrets in its walls and under it's soil and in every part of it.

    would read again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Headmaster's Wife

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Thomas Christopher Greene
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye, Kevin T. Collins, Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (113)

    Like his father before him, Arthur Winthrop is the Headmaster of Vermont’s elite Lancaster School. It is the place he feels has given him his life, but is also the site of his undoing as events spiral out of his control. Found wandering naked in Central Park, he begins to tell his story to the police, but his memories collide into one another, and the true nature of things, a narrative of love, of marriage, of family and of a tragedy Arthur does not know how to address emerges. Luminous and atmospheric, the novel is part mystery, part love story and an exploration of the ties of place and family.

    Kathi says: "Love, tragedy and descent into madness"
    "Slow Building Story With No Real Payoff"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ok. spent some time thinking about this book...and maybe the fact that I couldn't decide how to review it should make me give it a higher review..but i don't know, i just can't.

    while the book is beautifully written...i just felt something was incomplete in the story. it is a very slow build and nothing in particular made me want to keep reading (though i did, to the end, so maybe it's sadness made me want to know how it ends). i guess i just felt like while there was some worthwhile prose and some interesting commentary on grief and how people handle it....but i'm not sure the book as a whole felt complete and i don't think i would recommend it to anyone.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Broken Monsters

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Lauren Beukes
    • Narrated By Christine Lakin, Terra Deva, Sunil Mohatra, and others
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (84)

    Detective Gabriella Versado has seen a lot of bodies. But this one is unique even by Detroit's standards: half boy, half deer, somehow fused together. As stranger and more disturbing bodies are discovered, how can the city hold on to a reality that is already tearing at its seams? If you're Detective Versado's geeky teenage daughter, Layla, you commence a dangerous flirtation with a potential predator online. If you're desperate freelance journalist Jonno, you do whatever it takes to get the exclusive on a horrific story.

    sara says: "Fascinating Final Twist"
    "Great Creepy and Graphic Horror Crossover"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    i like the way Beukes writes. one of the better writers in this type of crossover genre that i've read.

    this book in particular is extremely graphic and thrilling and very well done. all of the narrators are great...well thought out and have unique and exciting voices. i loved layla the best...but was also quite interested in TK's path in the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Miniaturist

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jessie Burton
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (236)
    Performance
    (212)
    Story
    (212)

    On a brisk autumn day in 1686, 18-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office - leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

    Beth Anne says: "Magical Historical Story of Secrets and Misery"
    "Magical Historical Story of Secrets and Misery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Really well written book. It made me sad to read, but kept me fascinated with the magic and history and characters. It's a book about secrets and more secrets. And as each of the secrets came to be revealed more and more trouble fell upon the characters. I truly didn't want the story to end...I could have followed these characters infinitely.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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