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paula

Member Since 2010

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 30 ratings
  • 92 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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  • The Red Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Alice Hoffman
    • Narrated By Nancy Travis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (73)

    From the town’s founder, a brave young woman from England who has no fear of blizzards or bears, to the young man who runs away to New York City, the characters in The Red Garden are extraordinary and vivid: a young wounded Civil War soldier who is saved by a neighbor, a woman who meets a fiercely human historical character, a poet who falls in love with a blind man, a mysterious traveler who comes to town in the year when summer never arrives.

    Carol says: "pleasant but unfulfilled"
    "mgical, interesting, creative, compelling"
    Overall

    Another wonderful book from the sublime Alice Hoffman. Fabulous recording. Beautiful writing. A must listen!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Twenty-Seventh City

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jonathan Franzen
    • Narrated By Meetu Chilana
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    St. Louis, Missouri, is a quietly dying river city until it hires a new police chief: a charismatic young woman from Bombay, India, named S. Jammu. No sooner has Jammu been installed, though, than the city's leading citizens become embroiled in an all-pervasive political conspiracy. A classic of contemporary fiction, The Twenty-Seventh City shows us an ordinary metropolis turned inside out, and the American dream unraveling into terror and dark comedy.

    Darwin8u says: "A messy, ambitious, prognostic American novel"
    "interesting book..but not superb"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An interesting look at Jonathan Franzen as he began his career. The story had many interesting parts, the writing and use of language was pleasant. I enjoyed much of it, but in the end it was a little dull.

    I enjoyed the many attempts of Meetu Chilana to spice up the story through her attention to the voices of many of the different characters. However, I was dismayed at the numerous words that were mispronounced throughout. While it is clear the narrator spoke some things differently because of her non-American English background, there were numerous places where the words were simply wrong. This is very frustrating to the listener.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Caleb's Crossing

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Geraldine Brooks
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ehle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (552)
    Performance
    (398)
    Story
    (405)

    In 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold, Brooks has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure. The narrator of Caleb's Crossing is Bethia Mayfield, growing up in the tiny settlement of Great Harbor amid a small band of pioneers and Puritans. Restless and curious, she yearns after an education that is closed to her by her sex....

    Mary Sue says: "Another good entry into fiction!"
    "A lovely intriguing tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A lovely story by Geraldine Brooks though not as fabulous as her previous works. The story follows the early settlers of Massachusetts as they struggle to build lives. The narrator of the story is an intriguing woman trying to find a place in a society that wants to keep her restrained.

    The story while love is weak and the ending is disappointing. Geraldine Brooks seems to have lost steam part way through and rushes way to quickly to her concluding chapters. Usually I want better editing to cut out passages...Here I would have been happy for Brooks to have added much more depth to her story.

    I must comment on the narration of the recording. Jennifer Ehle did a competent job of reading the story. However it is unforgivable that NO ONE taught her how to properly pronounce the Hebrew words in the story nor bothered to review the recording. There are also clearly recognizable breaks in the narration where corrections were edited in. Too bad no one bothered to edit the Hebrew words. With millions of people in the world who speak Hebrew how dare the publishers not get this right.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Death Comes to Pemberley

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By P. D. James
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (867)
    Performance
    (722)
    Story
    (740)

    It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy’s magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth’s sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy’s sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball.

    Michelle says: "Not As Interesting as Print Reviewers Suggested"
    "A fun romp!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    PD James draws new depth and gives life to some of literature's best characters. He skillful capturing of Jane Austen's tone and sense of irony makes this mystery delightful and believable. There is much to delight true Austen devotees. I don't think that others will find it very interesting if they do not know Austen's complete works as there are too many references to other stories that probably get in the way. However it is fulfilling for those of us who have always wanted to find out what really happened in Pemberly following Elizabeth's and Darcy's marriage.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6383)
    Performance
    (5676)
    Story
    (5671)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Pamela says: "The circus of your dreams"
    "ENGAGING, MESMERIZING A MUST LISTEN!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I first saw this book I was dubious about buying it until I saw that the amazing Jim Dale was the reader and I am so happy I did. Erin Morgenstern creates a beautiful world of fantasies and dreams the takes you in to a happy, wonderful place. While the human emotions explored are deep and dark, the overall world created by the Night Circus captivates and engages. The characters jump out and you feel yourself caring deeply about what happens to each one. The twists and turns of the plot are as interesting as the circus tents they inhabit. I am so glad Jim Dale's presence in this work made me grab it. A lovely Adult Fairy Tale!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Gary Shteyngart
    • Narrated By Ali Ahn, Adam Grupper
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (547)
    Performance
    (289)
    Story
    (289)

    Gary Shteyngart, author of The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, creates a compelling reality in this tale about an illiterate America in the not-too-distant future. Lenny Abramov may just be penning the world’s last diary. Which is good, because while falling in love with a rather unpleasant woman and witnessing the fall of a great empire, Lenny has a lot to write about.

    Ryan says: "Dystopia Now"
    "Another Great Book"
    Overall

    Super Sad True Love Story is a fabulously interesting and fun look at a world run amok by technological enhancements. The characters are endearing and have you cheering for their success amid the chaos in which they live. Shteyngart's witty writing makes this a delicious adventure.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cutting for Stone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Abraham Verghese
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4865)
    Performance
    (2263)
    Story
    (2275)

    Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

    Mary Lynn says: "Brilliant story, pitch perfect narration"
    "Engaging Epic Tale"
    Overall

    The poignant main story and its many subplots was engaging and interesting. Not only did I find the characters fascinating but I also learned a lot about the history of Ethiopia and its people. There were so many beautifully moving parts to this tale of love and devotion that I found it hard to stop listening. The language was lyrical and the reader, Sunil Malhotra was FABULOUS!
    Definitely a Must Listen!

    P

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • An Object of Beauty: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Steve Martin
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (699)
    Performance
    (338)
    Story
    (343)

    Lacey Yeager is young, captivating, and ambitious enough to take the New York art world by storm. Groomed at Sotheby's and hungry to keep climbing the social and career ladders put before her, Lacey charms men and women, old and young, rich and even richer with her magnetic charisma and liveliness. Her ascension to the highest tiers of the city parallel the soaring heights - and, at times, the dark lows - of the art world and the country from the late 1990s through today.

    L says: "Gifted writer, characters and context feel true"
    "Interesting, Alluring and Fun"
    Overall

    Steve Martin's book is a lovely glimpse into the art world. Full of ambition, lust and beauty. Martin's language, turn of phrase and character descriptions lyrically move us through the growth of contemporary art, world history and the excesses of the privileged of the 21st century. I was not certain I would like this book after I heard the publicity campaign, because I didn't imagine that Mr. Martin could produce such a luminous work. I am pleased to say I was wrong. It reminded me of the joy I get strolling through a great gallery and imagining the stories of the people around me. This is a great book and Campbell Scott provides a lovely reading of it! Enjoy it!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Freedom: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jonathan Franzen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3493)
    Performance
    (1211)
    Story
    (1215)

    Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul - the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter - environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man - she was doing her small part to build a better world.

    Lawrence says: "Believe the Hype"
    "Excellent!"
    Overall

    While I enjoyed Jonathan Frazen's earlier work, I wish he had had a more forceful editor. While there are a few rambling sections, this book was a much better read. The characters are compelling. Their stories interesting. The complex structure of the book was actually very easy to follow. This was a truly enjoyable book and worth all the hours.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sunset Park

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Paul Auster
    • Narrated By Paul Auster
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (60)

    An enigmatic young man employed as a trash-out worker in Florida, obsessively photographing thousands of abandoned objects left behind by the evicted families. A group of young people squatting in an apartment in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The Hospital for Broken Things, which specializes in repairing the artifacts of a vanished world. A celebrated actress preparing to return to Broadway. These are just some of the elements Auster magically weaves together in this immensely moving novel.

    paula says: "Lovely book"
    "Lovely book"
    Overall

    I love Paul Auster and his beautiful writing. This was as lyrical as his others though I was less satisfied with the ending. The journey through his characters lives was truly a pleasure to be taken on. Just sorry he seemed to run out of steam at the end. Beautiful reading too by Paul Auster!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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