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skyblue21

Santa Monica, CA | Member Since 2011

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 78 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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  • Paris in Love: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Eloisa James
    • Narrated By Eloisa James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (43)

    In 2009 Eloisa James took a leap that many people dream about: She sold her house, took a sabbatical from her job, and moved her family to Paris. Paris in Love: A Memoir chronicles her joyful year in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. With no classes to teach, no committee meetings to attend, no lawn to mow, Eloisa revels in the ordinary pleasures of life - discovering corner museums that tourists overlook, chronicling Frenchwomen’s sartorial triumphs, walking from one end of Paris to another.

    CathyGrace says: "Interesting"
    "I wanted to love it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I thought I would love this book because I am so enchanted with Paris, and I want to do what Ms. James did and spend a year in Paris (sans enfant). I also love travel memoirs, and was sold on reading this book when I read the cover blurb written by Elizabeth Gilbert. However, this was no Eat, Pray, Love. I understand that the author wanted to give a slice of life feeling to the book by just re-printing and/or expounding her Twitter and Facebook entries from the year she lived in Paris, but instead of coming of as charming insights into her year as it happened, it just comes across as disjointed observations. She had good intentions, and there are a few nice spots, but there is not much of a story at all, so it mostly just felt like reading somebody's Twitter feed. She didn't make me want to invest in what happened to her or her family. If you enjoy watching "slide shows" from people's travels, or reading Facebook entries about the daily dramas of a girl who is the daughter of somebody you sat next to in high school, then you will probably enjoy this book. I however, just kept saying in my head to the author, "Only you think that is cute because you are their mother. It's really not that cute."


    If you’ve listened to books by Eloisa James before, how does this one compare?

    I haven't heard or read any others.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    It seemed like she was trying too hard to be cute. It came out as took sing-songy and annoying after a while.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom.


    Any additional comments?

    Nice effort, but didn't quite work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12904)
    Performance
    (8781)
    Story
    (8829)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Annie M. says: "Hillenbrand could make even laundry fascinating!"
    "Edward Hermann is perfect comfort food!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Unbroken?

    It's very inspirational, and well researched. I also find Edward Hermann's voice to be like a comfortable chair that you are familiar with if you watch any History Channel documentaries. The combination of the writing and narrating was riveting.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's Laura Hillenbrand as you would expect, if you read Seabiscuit. She is a great biographer who does very thorough research, and goes the extra mile to give additonal details which provide context and perspective to the story she is telling.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Chapter 15, the men in the raft.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    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
    (6157)
    Performance
    (5332)
    Story
    (5325)

    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"
    "An elegant masterpiece, narrated perfectly!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Beautiful Ruins the most enjoyable?

    The truly expert craftsmanship of this writer, and the effortless ease the narrator narrates all the voices, accents, and languages.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Pasquale because he is fearless. He is the voice of purity and integrity.


    Have you listened to any of Edoardo Ballerini’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I will now.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The best love stories sometimes come from under the ruins.


    Any additional comments?

    The story didn't go where I initially wanted it to go, but Jess Walter is such an expert storyteller, that I loved it anyway. It's such poetry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By E. L. James
    • Narrated By Becca Battoe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8280)
    Performance
    (7273)
    Story
    (7293)

    When unworldly student Anastasia Steele first encountered the driven and dazzling young entrepreneur Christian Grey it sparked a sensual affair that changed both of their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and, ultimately, repelled by Christian’s singular erotic tastes, Ana demands a deeper commitment. Determined to keep her, Christian agrees. Now, Ana and Christian have it all - love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of possibilities for their future. But Ana knows that loving her Fifty Shades will not be easy.

    SIMARA says: "We ate the dessert first..."
    "I should have stopped at book two!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Fifty Shades Freed?

    I don't want to ruin the ending, but honestly, part three ruined the whole series. I gave books one and two good ratings because they made me want to keep reading. But I could not wait be done with book three. Terrible. It never went anywhere. Very boring, and did not add anything to the series.


    What was most disappointing about E. L. James’s story?

    Nothing happened.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Everything was good except her voice for Grey. She made it sound like she was a kid acting like an adult man....like that overly exaggerated deep voice. It wasn't sexy, and it was VERY corny and hokey.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    annoyed and disappointed.


    Any additional comments?

    If you stop at book two, you will already know how the series ends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Cheryl Strayed
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3477)
    Performance
    (3059)
    Story
    (3070)

    At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

    FanB14 says: "Glad I Took the Trip"
    "Loved this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Wild to be better than the print version?

    The narration was great. She has a very warm voice, and does characters perfectly. She was perfectly cast as Cheryl Strayed in first person.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Cheryl Strayed herself, because it was really her journey, and about how she felt from the beginning of the trail to the end of her travels.


    Which character – as performed by Bernadette Dunne – was your favorite?

    Cheryl Strayed. She captures all of her emotions--the highs and the lows, without being overly dramatic. Excellent narration!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Cheryl talking about memories of her mother.


    Any additional comments?

    Very inspirational and moving. Felt like I was talking to a friend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19898)
    Performance
    (17815)
    Story
    (17876)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Great storytelling!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Gone Girl to be better than the print version?

    I didn't read the print version, but the narration was very good, and I am sure it added to the story.


    What other book might you compare Gone Girl to and why?

    A good psychological thriller.


    What does Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    You really get an idea of the psychology behind the characters.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    She was lost in her marriage. Now she's completely disappeared.


    Any additional comments?

    Full of great surprises.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blame: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Michelle Huneven
    • Narrated By Hillary Huber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (36)

    Patsy MacLemoore, a history professor in her late 20s, has a brand-new Ph.D. from Berkeley and a wild streak. She wakes up in jail after an epic alcoholic blackout. "Okay, what'd I do?" she asks her lawyer and jailers. In fact, two Jehovah's Witnesses, a mother and daughter, are dead, run over in Patsy's driveway, and Patsy will spend the rest of her life trying to atone. She goes to prison, gets sober, and upon her release finds a new community (and a husband) in AA.

    Rex says: "Amazing character study!"
    "Very unsatisfying story. No interesting characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Blame?

    I was waiting for something to happen. Nothing ever did. I got it based on a recommendation that it would take you on surprising journey. Instead it went nowhere. I kept waiting for a surprise that never came.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    In Sunlight and in Shadow


    What does Hillary Huber bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Very good reader, except for when she did the characters of Joey and Gilles. Her voice was kind of shriek-y when she did those younger voices.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I'm bored and annoyed.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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