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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

ratings
124
REVIEWS
58
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
9
HELPFUL VOTES
89

  • Touch & Go: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Lisa Gardner
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2135)
    Performance
    (1793)
    Story
    (1805)

    Justin and Libby Denbe have the kind of life you’d find in the pages of a glossy magazine: A beautiful 14-year-old daughter. A gorgeous brownstone on a tree-lined street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. A great marriage, admired by all. A perfect life. When investigator Tessa Leone arrives at the crime scene in the foyer of the Denbes’ home, she finds scuff marks on the floor and a million tiny pieces of bright green Taser confetti. The family appears to have been abducted.

    lisa says: "Wait for it to go on clearance!"
    "I'm exhausted! In a good way."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We've all read/listened to books in which a seemingly perfect family has a crisis, which causes lots of secrets to unravel. This is NOT one of those books! Well, yes, I guess it is, but with carefully developed characters and a complex plot line that is unlike anything in this genre I have ever read. Some of the bad guys commit heroic acts. Some of the good guys commit unforgivable acts. The story could have come to a conclusion several times and still have been satisfying, but Lisa Garder milked every ounce of drama she could out of the situation. There are a number of pivotal characters, so pay attention at the beginning: You'll need the information before it's over! Elisabeth Rodgers does a fine job of switching between the first person narration of Libby and the third person objective story-telling with dialogue of everyone else. A really compelling experience!

    33 of 37 people found this review helpful
  • Written in My Own Heart's Blood: Outlander, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (44 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (2331)
    Performance
    (2192)
    Story
    (2184)

    Hurtled back through time more than two hundred years to 1743 Scotland, Claire Randall finds herself caught in the midst of an unfamiliar world torn apart by violence, pestilence, and revolution and haunted by her growing feelings for a young soldier, James Fraser.

    G. House Sr. says: "Eloquent Fabulous Historical - Grand Continuation"
    "Gabaldon has scored again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Each time I start a new "Outlander" book, I feel as if I am attending a reunion of dear friends - I can't wait to find out what happened since we last met! This book continues the difficult-to-define genre in which these stories are told. There appears that this book has more steamy romance than most of the others, as well as really graphic scenes of violence and medical practice in 2 different centuries. Many plot lines are resolved, and many others just begun. I can't wait for the promised 9th book! Davina Porter is the only possible voice in which I can imagine these stories being told - she is wonderful, as always, with the exception of a few mispronounced words here and there. A bit unexpected. NOTE: Read all of the previous 7 books in the series before you begin this one. Subtle elements will not make sense otherwise. A great listen!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Me Before You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Susan Lyons, Anna Bentink, Steven Crossley, and others
    Overall
    (2944)
    Performance
    (2677)
    Story
    (2687)

    Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life - steady boyfriend, close family - who has never been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life - big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel - and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy - but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected.

    Bonny says: "Will & Louisa - each has what the other one needs"
    "One of my top 5. Ever."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The synopsis of this book's plot might cause you to assume a dreary medical procedural, with lots of discussion of treatments. Almost none of that occurs. The male protagonist is a quadriplegic, but the story is about what happens when people from completely different walks of life are thrust together in co-dependence. The story is told variously from the points of view of several of the primary and secondary characters, weaving together a plot that is driven by need, desire and deep emotional development. It contains every element a memorable book requires: pain, humor, love, fear, selfishness and kindness. A little bigotry and understanding thrown in, too. I am telling everyone to read or listen to this book. One of the best ever.

    0 of 0 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
    (273)
    Performance
    (239)
    Story
    (240)

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Bellwether

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (597)
    Performance
    (323)
    Story
    (327)

    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.

    Pam says: "Pattern Recognition" Meets "Office Space"
    "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 1 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
    (499)
    Performance
    (440)
    Story
    (440)

    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
    Overall
    (3000)
    Performance
    (2659)
    Story
    (2642)

    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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (212)
    Performance
    (140)
    Story
    (142)

    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.

    Amazon Customer 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
    (1109)
    Performance
    (1002)
    Story
    (1002)

    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
    (1323)
    Performance
    (900)
    Story
    (901)

    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
    (1463)
    Performance
    (1377)
    Story
    (1375)

    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

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