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Janet

I'm an avid listener. Audio books are a mini-vacation for me. They fill my "need to read" when I don't have time - which is most of the time. Great element of multi-tasking!

Allen, TX, United States | Member Since 2006

84
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 56 reviews
  • 119 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 22 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
10

  • The Free World

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By David Bezmozgis
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (56)

    Summer 1978. Brezhnev sits like a stone in the Kremlin, Israel and Egypt are inching towards peace, and in the bustling, polyglot streets of Rome, strange new creatures have appeared: Soviet Jews who have escaped to freedom through a crack in the Iron Curtain. Among the thousands who have landed in Italy to secure visas for new lives in the West are the members of the Krasnansky family - three generations of Russian Jews.

    Janet says: "Excellent Character study -don't expect a plot"
    "Excellent Character study -don't expect a plot"
    Overall

    This book gives the listener a window into the lives of a family in transition between locales, relationships and cultures. It paints immigration as likely closer to reality than the relief of liberation we usually hear about. I happened to be in the mood for such a piece as I listened to it, but the narrator's deep pitch and unimaginative delivery almost stopped me from finishing. Although one of the points of the tale is that we trade one complex circumstance for another, there was NOTHING resolved for any of the characters at the end nor did the listener feel that anyone had learned anything. One of the most unsatisfying endings ever.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Cairo Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Olen Steinhauer
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (77)

    Sophie Kohl is living her worst nightmare. Minutes after she confesses to her husband, a mid-level diplomat at the American embassy in Hungary, that she had an affair while they were in Cairo, he is shot in the head and killed. Stan Bertolli, a Cairo-based CIA agent, has fielded his share of midnight calls. But his heart skips a beat when he hears the voice of the only woman he ever truly loved, calling to ask why her husband has been assassinated.

    Darwin8u says: "In the widening gyre"
    "if you liked "The Tourist," you'll love this."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story has similar themes of loyalty and betrayal, who can trust whom, etc., but with completely new characters and a contemporary setting. (An attempted overthrow of Kadafi in Lybia) Lots of characters from many nationalities are expertly narrated by Ballerini. He is excellent with both men and women, and his accent rings true (at least, consistent) with all characters. If you want every detail of a plot tied up with a nice bow, don't listen to this story: Life doesn't work that way, so why should this tale? I hope that this signals that there may be another book with some of these characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bellwether

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (455)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (207)

    Sandra Foster studies fads and their meanings for the HiTek corporation. Bennett O'Reilly works with monkey group behavior and chaos theory for the same company. When the two are thrust together due to a misdelivered package and a run of seemingly bad luck, they find a joint project in a flock of sheep. But a series of setbacks and disappointments arise before they are able to find answers to their questions - with the unintended help of the errant, forgetful, and careless office assistant Flip.

    Carol says: "Clarity and Chaos"
    "This one should have been a short story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a big Connie Willis fan, but this tale was pretty silly. I continue to love her matter-of-fact style of writing about such things as an institute in which PhDs work on such important topics as "Why the Fad of Hair Bobbing Began." I think this story would have been more appealing, however, if the drawn out character development was tightened up and the action was more concise. It was a fun listen, particularly because I got it on a "2 for 1" sale, but don't spend an entire credit on it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Boy in the Suitcase: A Nina Borg Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Lene Kaaberbøl (author and translator), Agnete Friis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (390)
    Performance
    (344)
    Story
    (344)

    Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is trying to live a quiet life. The last thing her husband wants is for her to go running off on another dangerous mission to help illegal refugees. But when Nina's estranged friend, Karin, leaves her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station, and begs her to take care of its contents, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous case yet.

    Avid Reader and Listener says: "Fantastic thriller!"
    "Scandinavian crime fiction is always dark, but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ...this one is especially so. The title sets the listener up: the first scene is a child in a suitcase. The story is told from multiple character's points of view. The tale weaves around several countries, numerous characters and agendas, and mostly resolves at the end, leaving a couple of characters depressingly unchanged by events. In the meantime, there are several unique plot twists and some well drawn characters, but only listen to this if you are ready to walk on the seamy underside of Denmark and Finland.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gods of Guilt

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2084)
    Performance
    (1840)
    Story
    (1830)

    Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game. When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life.

    Jane says: "Definitely entertaining. I had some smiles."
    "One of the best in the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Occasionally, I feel as if this series is sort of "phoned in," but "The Gods of Guilt" is thrilling - realistic and dynamic characters, fast moving story and a passionate Mickey Haller, defending his client. Good use of the court room without getting too bogged down in procedure. Peter Giles did a great job bringing the diverse characters to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amber Beach

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Lowell
    • Narrated By Robin Rowan
    Overall
    (172)
    Performance
    (107)
    Story
    (107)

    Donovan International is a power to be reckoned with in the dazzling and cutthroat worldwide gem trade -- and is therefore a target for the murderous greed of unscrupulous competitors. Though a shrewd businesswoman, Honor Donovan has been effectively shut out of the dangerous family enterprise by the Donovan males -- until her favorite brother, Kyle, mysteriously vanishes along with a fortune in stolen amber.

    Jaime says: "Love this whole series"
    "There's a reason it was on sale..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have enjoyed Elizabeth Lowell's work before, but she must have written this one in her sleep. Although a basically interesting story line, the clunky dialogue and sophomoric similies ("he looked at her like a barefoot hiker looks at a snake slithering in the forest") made it a bit difficult to get through. The narrator likely did the best she could with the material, but I doubt that this was her finest hour, either. Only buy this if, like me, you have a gift certificate and it is on sale. Not worth a credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (872)
    Performance
    (787)
    Story
    (789)

    Shadows are falling on the usually festive Christmas season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone. As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines.

    Nancy J says: "Welcome Home!"
    "Louise Penny writes a thriller!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have found the entire 3 Pines series to be very satisfying and more complex than some seem to, but the 9th book in the series is the very best yet. The same characters we love, with the expansion of some we have only just met in previous tales, and a more rapid-pace suspenseful storytelling. Several story lines get resolved, lots of intrigue and 2nd guessing, all the while building to a very dramatic cinematic climax. Penny remains true to her story telling, however by infusing the tale with a cozy feeling at the same time. Highly recommend.

    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
    (1150)
    Performance
    (738)
    Story
    (740)

    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"
    "Best of the Series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a real fan of this series already, but this book is by far the best. The expected inclusion of several new characters is amped up by surprising revelations about some of the "regulars" in the series. I am anxious to hear the next book to learn how the citizens of 3 Pines handle the change of balance in their community brought about in this story. Yes, these are "cozy" mysteries, but this story is more complex and compelling than you might expect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • On Dublin Street

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Samantha Young
    • Narrated By Paula Costello
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1207)
    Performance
    (1139)
    Story
    (1136)

    Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare.... Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well - until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

    Leesa says: "Swept me away!!!"
    "This book needs to make a decision...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Is it a character study? A romance? Soft porn? I don't think artists need to fit themselves into a genre, nor do authors, but this book has the jarring effect of moving between an almost "cozy" friendship story, to the panic attacks of a young woman with a scarred past, to extremely graphic sex scenes. I like a good romantic description as well as the next person, but....yikes! They just come out of nowhere in this book and go on and on... Pretty good narrator, moving between Scottish and American dialects, and a basic love story. You know how it will end right away. It's a good choice for those of you who like "bodice rippers."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5884)
    Performance
    (5328)
    Story
    (5322)

    Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?

    Brock says: "Grisham at his best (again)"
    "The formerly great Grisham has returned!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    How refreshing to listen to a new Grisham with an original, fresh take on life in the South. The book is billed as a sort-of sequel to a previous book, but one can completely enjoy and understand the back story of this tale with no knowledge of the previous piece - they just overlap with some primary characters and as vague story reference. Crisp, contemporary characters, realistic situations, and the kind of social complexity that living in the south inevitably brings. 3 or 4 plot twists to liven up the action, enough court room scenes to make the legal thriller crowd happy, but not so much that it bogs down the plot. Even if you've never read John Grisham before, you'll enjoy this thought provoking story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Rule against Murder: A Three Pines Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (948)
    Performance
    (621)
    Story
    (614)

    When wealthy, cultured Irene Finney and her four grown-up children arrive at the Manoir Bellechasse in the heat of summer for a memorial for her late husband, the staff springs into action. But as a heat wave gathers strength, old secrets and bitter rivalries begin to surface. And the morning after the ceremony, a body is found. The family now has another member to mourn.

    Victoria says: "You will be glad you selected this book"
    "Odd Title. Meaty Characters. Good Book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This volume of the 3 PINES series doesn't take place in 3 pines, except for a couple of scenes, which adds a bit of newness to the undertaking. Rather than serving as a catalyst, Inspector Gamache and his family are central figures. (Saying more will give important discoveries away.) Another family is the primary focus - their history, their current relationships based on the past, and how their childhoods influence their adult behavior. Much more of a psychological profile of life and death than is usual in these books, but Penny is able to add grit while maintaining much of the humor and coziness this series is known for.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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