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Danvers, MA, United States | Member Since 2009

  • 12 reviews
  • 61 ratings
  • 150 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015

  • The Seamstress

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Sara Tuvel Bernstein, Louise Loots Thornton, Marlene Bernstein Samuels
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon

    Told with the same old-fashioned narrative power as the novels of Herman Wouk, The Seamstress is the true story of Seren (Sara) Tuvel Bernstein and her survival during wartime. This powerful eyewitness account of survival, told with power and grace, will stay with listeners for years to come.

    Meryl H. Ruth says: "Overcome with Emotion"
    "Memorable Memoir of the Holocaust!"

    This memoir begins with the author's childhood in Transylvania and describes the discrimination that Jews had to live with in their ordinary lives and takes you through her survival during the holocaust and then into her life afterward. It's a great story that is very well read. I was sorry to see it end.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Ex-Debutante

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Linda Francis Lee
    • Narrated By Susan Bennett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When Carlisle Wainwright Cushing leaves her native Texas to start a new life in Boston, she has no regrets. The former Texas debutante, who never felt at home in her Southern skin, has found liberation - or so she thinks until, one day, she gets an urgent call from her mother.

    Beth says: "Fun and a Delight"
    "A light, entertaining read"

    This book is one that I would categorize as a beach read. Light, entertaining, and not too taxing on your brain. I enjoyed the narration, except when she attempted a Boston accent. Being from Boston, the accent sounded VERY odd, definitely not a Boston accent.

    The story is of a woman who grew up in a wealthy family in Texas but escapes for a career as a divorce lawyer in Boston. She is sucked back home to represent her mother in her divorce proceedings, and is later given the task of running the annual debutante ball. She takes a leave of absense from her job and fiance to complete these tasks.

    In the end, the story is about facing your past, especially the past that you ran away from.

    I'm not sure the time interval of the entire book - was it a couple of months? 6 months? a year? It was a little difficult to keep track of time.

    In the end, I enjoyed the story and would recommend it to anyone looking for something that does not involve a lot of thinking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wedding Gift

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Marlen Suyapa Bodden
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, January LaVoy

    When Cornelius Allen gives his daughter Clarissa’s hand in marriage, he presents her with a wedding gift: the young slave she grew up with, Sarah. Sarah is also Allen’s daughter and Clarissa’s sister, a product of his longtime relationship with his house slave, Emmeline. When Clarissa’s husband suspects that their newborn son is illegitimate, Clarissa and Sarah are sent back to her parents, Cornelius and Theodora, in shame, setting in motion a series of events that will destroy this once-powerful family.

    C. Crawford says: "Wow! You must listen to this audio book!"
    "Slavery as viewed by 2 sisters, only 1 a slave"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to a friend. Historic fiction gives us different views of how life existed. How life today is different and yet so similar.

    What other book might you compare The Wedding Gift to and why?

    This book is very similar to Sue Monk Kidd's The Invention of Winds in that it looks at slavery as viewed from two sisters. However, in this book, the father is the plantation master and he has two daughters. His wife gives birth to a daughter and then one of his slaves gives birth to his other daughter, a slave. The slave daughter becomes the lady's maid to her sister. I appreciated this view because it made me think more about what it would be like to be born a slave and as the daughter of the plantation owner. It is sad to think that someone would have two children and think of each so differently, because of their skin color.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Orphan Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Christina Baker Kline
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy, Suzanne Toren

    Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to "aging out" out of the foster care system. A community-service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

    Kathi says: "Moving story of sharing and transformation."
    "Historical fiction - but a little far-fetched."

    This book was a book club read in which most of the members liked the book.
    I found it a good in describing a period of time in the US in which poor, immigrant children were sent from NYC to the midwest. Many people are not aware that this happened. For the most part, I enjoyed that part of the story.
    The melding with the modern day, I found a little far-fetched.
    I also felt that the story was too Disney-esque in that most of the women in the story was portrayed negatively.

    The reading of the book, for the most part, was good. However, some of the accents were annoying.

    Finally, if you are considering this book for a young adult, you might want to read it first. There are a few scenes in the book that you might want to check out before you child reads it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Someday, Someday, Maybe: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lauren Graham
    • Narrated By Lauren Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From Lauren Graham, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, comes a witty, charming, and hilariously relatable debut novel about a struggling young actress trying to get ahead - and keep it together - in New York City. It’s January 1995, and Franny Banks has just six months left of the three-year deadline she set for herself when she came to New York, dreaming of Broadway and doing "important" work. But all she has to show for her efforts so far is a part in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters, and a gig waiting tables at a comedy club....

    Dina says: "Missing Lorelei"
    "How can you not love a book by Lauren Graham?"

    Loved this book.
    My daughter and I are die hard Lauren Graham fans. We love her in every tv show, movie, or guest appearances. When I saw that she both wrote and read this book, I had to give it a try. It's a great story and the performance was awesome. I hated to see the book end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • And One Last Thing...

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Lacey Terwilliger's shock and humiliation over her husband's philandering prompt her to add some bonus material to Mike's company newsletter: stunning Technicolor descriptions of the special brand of "administrative support" his receptionist gives him. The detailed mass e-mail to Mike's family, friends, and clients blows up in her face, and before one can say "instant urban legend", Lacey has become the pariah of her small Kentucky town and a media punch line....

    Ducky says: "For me this was such a HOOT!!!"
    "Fast moving, entertaining story!"

    This book was a fun read or the genre that I would call a beach book!
    Not terribly taxing mentally but something that you don't want to end.

    Briefly, the book is about a young woman, Lacey, whose husband, Mike, cheats on her with his bimbo secretary. Lacey ends up telling everyone on the company email list both what he did and that she is leaving him in an emailed newsletter that she wrote. After Lacey leaves, Mike moves his secretary into the family home.

    The only issue I had in the story is the blame that Lacey and everyone seems to put on her, rather than on the cheating scumbag. Seems like the entire town thinks that she should forgive him and stay married.

    I find that the reader can make or break a book, and Amanda Ronconi made the book. In fact, I will look for other books read by her.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The School of Essential Ingredients

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Erica Bauermeister
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell

    Once a month on Monday night, eight students gather in Lillian's restaurant for a cooking class. Over time, the paths of the students mingle and intertwine, and the essence of Lillian's cooking expands beyond the restaurant and into the secret corners of their lives, with results that are often unexpected, and always delicious.

    Molly-o says: "Lovely, lovely book"
    "Not for me"

    This was a book club choice. I listened for a couple of hours and found that I really did not care about the characters or the story as a whole.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Thomas S. Kuhn
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland

    Named one of "The Hundred Most Influential Books Since the Second World War" by the Times Literary Supplement, and one of the "100 Best Nonfiction" books by the Modern Library, Thomas S. Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is a landmark of scientific thought. Written in 1962, Kuhn's book took an entirely different view of how scientists perceived and achieved changes in basic theoretical assumptions - what he termed "paradigm shifts".

    Matthew says: "Better than prior reviews led me to believe"
    "A classic for any scientist or science educator"

    Reading this book was a requirement for a graduate course that I am taking. I read this book and then listened to it to reinforce what I had read.

    Thomas Kuhn has changed the way that scientists, historians of science, and philosophers of science look at the development of science. The traditional view of the progress of science has been as development-by-accumulation in which achievements, theories, facts, and methods are accumulated as scientific knowledge. This is the way that science is often explained in science textbooks.
    Kuhn believes this is not correct. Rather, that our society’s scientific knowledge has been built through a series of scientific revolutions. Beginning with theories that create paradigms that define the science and in which scientists work in "normal science" until an anomaly is found which causes a crisis and extraordinary scientists then create new theories which create new paradigms.

    It is difficult to listen to a book like this in audio.
    In this instance, the reader has a nice voice but can't possibly have any clue about what he was reading. This was a negative about listening to the book. Pauses, lilting of the voice, etc. in places that they should not be. I found myself thinking - how would I have read that sentence?

    Whenever possible, a book like this should be read by the author OR a someone who is very knowledgeable about the works of the author.

    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

    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!"
    "I don't get the hype over this book."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    For me this book was just OK. I found much of the story not very believable.
    I don't believe that someone would go through the detail to fake their own murder.
    I don't believe that anyone would remain in a relationship with someone who tried to have them convicted of murder.

    Would you be willing to try another book from Gillian Flynn? Why or why not?

    I would be willing to try another book from Gillian Flynn. I think the writing was well, I just didn't find the story believable.

    Have you listened to any of Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?


    Do you think Gone Girl needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Definitely not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What Alice Forgot

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Tamara Lovatt-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    What would happen if you were visited by your younger self, and got a chance for a do-over?Alice Love is twenty-nine years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. So imagine her surprise when, after a fall, she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! she HATES the gym!) and discovers that she's actually thirty-nine, has three children, and is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce.

    Elisabeth says: "Clever and Fresh, but Painful"
    "Great listen, couldn't stop listening."
    If you could sum up What Alice Forgot in three words, what would they be?

    Makes you wonder!

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character was Alice. I loved the person that she was with the forgotten memory. I think that she had become somebody that was so different and someone that her younger self did not like. However, things happen, life changes, we have new experiences and with that, I think that we all change.

    What about Tamara Lovatt-Smith’s performance did you like?

    Tamara Lovatt-Smith read this book perfectly. I will definitely check out some of her performances.

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

    Imagine waking up and not remembering anything that had happened over the last 10 years.

    Any additional comments?

    I liked the way the author did not reveal many of the life defining experiences that had happened to Alice allowing the reader to experience the confusion that Alice also felt.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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