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Grace

Setauket, NY, United States | Member Since 2004

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 113 ratings
  • 647 titles in library
  • 34 purchased in 2014
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  • Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jenny Lawson
    • Narrated By Jenny Lawson
    Overall
    (2013)
    Performance
    (1844)
    Story
    (1858)

    For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris - Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut. Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives - the ones we'd like to pretend never happened - are in fact the ones that define us. In Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor.

    D. S. Smith says: "How the Bloggess almost made me crash my car!"
    "Made me laugh AND cry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the best memoirs I have ever read (or listened to). I can't even begin to describe this woman's life -- just read the book.
    I have two quibbles. I am neither a prude nor the grammer police, but if Ms. Lawson would have cut the use of the f-bomb by half and the number of "totallys" by three-quarters, it would have been a five-star book. Basically, those f-in words just get to be like totally boring after a while, basically. :)

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Panther

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2111)
    Performance
    (1785)
    Story
    (1777)

    Anti-Terrorist Task Force agent John Corey and his wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield, have been posted overseas to Sana'a, Yemen - one of the most dangerous places in the Middle East. While there, they will be working with a small team to track down one of the masterminds behind the USS Cole bombing: a high-ranking Al Qaeda operative known as The Panther. Ruthless and elusive, he's wanted for multiple terrorist acts and murders - and the U.S. government is determined to bring him down, no matter the cost.

    John says: "Exciting Nelson DeMille novel with great narration"
    "One character -- and no plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I cannot imagine what book other reviewers read that kept them interested in The Panther. The main character, John Corey, is a wise-ass with little redeeming characteristics and virtually no endearing ones. His wife is hidden behind a veil (literally) for most of the book and other than metaphorically wringing her hands and saying "Oh John!" there was little for her to do. As far as the other operatives, um, who were they again?

    There is a one-note plot and it plods along for page after page, chapter after chapter. No intrigue, no twists, no mysteries. The only reason I finished the book was because I really couldn't believe it was THAT BAD.

    But it was. And at the risk of being accused of being politically correct, it was also sexist and racist. But hey, when all the references to the only woman in the book are about sex and every Arab is sneaky and blood-thirsty, what other words apply?

    Scott Brick was, as he always is, entertaining and engaging. But even he couldn't save The Panther.

    Save your money and your time. Get something else.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6167)
    Performance
    (5341)
    Story
    (5334)

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "A lovely, lyrical love story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a lovely book,lyrical when set in the La Dolce Vita Roma of the 1960s, but jarringly real when reflecting 21st century US. I enjoyed the first half more than the second half, and feel the plot in the second half was not as compelling. But I still enjoyed the book tremendously.

    The narration was lovely.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Chaperone

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Laura Moriarty
    • Narrated By Elizabeth McGovern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2322)
    Performance
    (2045)
    Story
    (2032)

    >The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that would change them both. Only a few years before becoming a famous actress and an icon for her generation, a 15-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita to make it big in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle is a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip.

    Amanda says: "Perfection."
    "Back in time, when life was not at all simpler"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like "Rules of Civility", this book casts you back into a time period that current culture tends to view as simpler than our own. It is not. Human nature doesn't change, and this lovely book illustrates that through characters drawn so completely I feel as if I know them myself.

    Rarely are audiobooks enhanced by the narrator's performance, but I think this is the case with "The Chaparone." Ms. McGovern not only tells the story, but she also gives glimpses into the character's that would not have been there with any other narrator.

    Good book, good story, GREAT narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Defending Jacob: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Landay
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4296)
    Performance
    (3681)
    Story
    (3678)

    Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

    Kelli N. Perkins says: "Still Thinking About This Tale Weeks After"
    "Defending Jacob is layered and complex"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not just your average court-room thriller. It examines family dynamics, personality, character, and ethics as well as keeping you guessing and on the edge of your seat.

    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Natural Woman: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Carole King
    • Narrated By Carole King
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (118)
    Story
    (116)

    Carole King takes us from her early beginnings in Brooklyn to her remarkable success as one of the world's most acclaimed songwriting and performing talents of all time. A Natural Woman chronicles King's extraordinary life, drawing listeners into her musical world, including her phenomenally successful number-one album Tapestry, and into her journey as a performer, mother, wife, and present-day activist.

    Marie says: "Hearing it is even better than reading it!"
    "I really wanted to like this!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have been a fan of Carole King's since her (and my) teenage years. I really wanted to like this book. I really wanted to enjoy Carole reading her life story. But I couldn't.
    The book itself needed some serious editing. It interrupted its own flow in places so much that I found myself actually disoriented at times. Paragraphs and pages were devoted to miscellaneous and trivial events, such as winning a court case over the privacy of a road or getting lost in Japan, but only one brief sentence to sending one's youngest son off to live with his father. I'm still confused about how she fell in love with her first husband. Did he just look like a picture she fell in love with that she kept in her wallet of some random model guy or did he have other, endearing qualities? We don't know. There is no depth.
    And the narration is just plain awful. I'm sorry. I continue to love Carole's music and if I ever get the chance to see her perform again I will run, not walk, to get tickets. But please don't ask her to read a book again.
    I feel like a traitor. I really wanted to enjoy this book. But I didn't.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Summer Rental

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Mary Kay Andrews
    • Narrated By Isabel Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (486)
    Performance
    (360)
    Story
    (358)

    Ellis, Julia, and Dorie. Best friends since Catholic grade school, they now find themselves, in their mid-thirties, at the crossroads of life and love. Ellis, recently fired from a job she gave everything to, is rudderless and now beginning to question the choices she's made over the past decade of her life. Julia—whose caustic wit covers up her wounds—has a man who loves her and is offering her the world, but she can't hide from how deeply insecure she feels about her looks, her brains, her life.

    Sharon says: "Perfect fun summer reading!"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Because I've enjoyed other books by Ms. Andrews, I anticipating enjoying this as well. It was a waste of time. The characters had no depth; in fact I could hardly tell them apart. The story was predictable. The narrator did her best to fake a Southern accent but failed miserably. Most of the book was taken up by every character repeating the major plot points periodically. I couldn't believe anything about this book including the fact that I actually listened to it all the way through. I'm sorry to be so negative, but this is my honest opinion.

    Let's hope it is an aberation and Ms. Andrews' next is up to her usual standard.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Fast Company: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Motorcycles in Italy

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By David M. Gross
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (3)

    David Gross is working as a corporate lawyer in New York when he gets a call from a friend inviting him to move to Bologna to help turn around a legendary Italian motorcycle company, known for its dominance on the track and its inability to turn a profit. Off he heads to the fabled home of marbled meats, radical leftist politics, and bespoke shoes, diving into his new life as the "corporate image consultant" to gearheads while learning to navigate the giddy mores of Bolognese society.

    Grace says: "More"
    "More"
    Overall

    The writing is top notch as is the narration, but I was a little unsettled by the descriptions of the author's lovers and love life. These parts of the book seemed to go nowhere and they disrupted (to me) the flow of the book.
    But it was a good "listen".

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • State of Fear

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By George Wilson
    Overall
    (2102)
    Performance
    (523)
    Story
    (529)

    Once again Michael Crichton gives us his trademark combination of page-turning suspense, cutting-edge technology, and extraordinary research. State of Fear is a superb blend of edge-of-your-seat suspense and thought provoking commentary on how information is manipulated in the modern world.

    F says: "Did I read the same book as some of you?"
    "Not the WORST book I ever read...but close"
    Overall

    I am sure I have read worse books in my life but I really can't think of any. I'm giving it one star because the man can string together a sentence without making glaring grammatical errors. But the plot was unlikely, the hero(ine)s not particularly compelling, the politics over the top and the ending disappointing.
    If you must give it a listen, try the abridged version. Then, if you dislike it as much as I did, you won't have wasted 18 hours of your life.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Twisted

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Jonathan Kellerman
    • Narrated By Lindsay Crouse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (161)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (25)

    Hollywood homicide detective Petra Connor has helped psychologist Alex Delaware crack tough cases in the past. And in Jonathan Kellerman's New York Times best seller Billy Straight, she took the lead in the desperate hunt for a teenage runaway stalked by a vengeful murderer. Now the complex and wryly compassionate Petra is once again at the center of the action, in a novel of cunning twists and page-turning suspense.

    Woody says: "Vintage Kellerman"
    "Agreed --- the reader ruins the book!"
    Overall

    I agree with another reviewer --- the reader of this book is AWFUL. I have no idea whether the book itself is good or not because so many passages were ruined by the reader's tone --- it was mono or it was pitched, but it was never appropriate.
    I will be sure to never purchase a title read by Ms Crouse ever again.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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