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ilene

palm desert, CA, United States | Member Since 2007

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 83 ratings
  • 1003 titles in library
  • 67 purchased in 2014
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  • The Invisible Bridge

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Julie Orringer
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    Overall
    (340)
    Performance
    (217)
    Story
    (211)

    Julie Orringer's astonishing first novel, eagerly awaited since the publication of her heralded best-selling short-story collection, How to Breathe Underwater, is a grand love story set against the backdrop of Budapest and Paris, an epic tale of three brothers whose lives are ravaged by war, and the chronicle of one family's struggle against the forces that threaten to annihilate it.

    Howard says: "The Critics Got in Right"
    "A good character development"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book builds the characters so that when WWII comes about you are going through their struggles with them. I was a little disappointed with the ending but the reader did a good job bringing out the personalities of the characters. It is sad and depressing and a difficult subject to read but the author did an amazing job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5117)
    Performance
    (4717)
    Story
    (4726)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Cynthia says: "Shadows Dissolved in Vinegar"
    "Not for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    I usually like fantasy in fiction. But this story was too vague and really I was sorry I wasted my time finishing the book. There is nothing to pull it together or give you insight into why the magic changed the mans life. I would stay away from the pond he calls an ocean. This little story does not fill an ocean.


    0 of 0 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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4550)
    Performance
    (4050)
    Story
    (4057)

    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."
    "Outstanding subject matter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Orphan Train to be better than the print version?

    This is about an interesting period in American history. There was a real effort to deal with orphans and as the book demonstrates we as a society, have made little progress. I found the story interesting but unrealistic. The 90 year old woman only described the part of her life relevant for the book. The foster child was not well developed. I thought the read was ok.


    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
    (9251)
    Performance
    (8331)
    Story
    (8339)

    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)"
    "Interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    While I finished this book I cannot recommend this book to anyone except fans of the author. The subject matter was very sad but the trial and investigation were too long and drawn out and the character development was weak.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9855)
    Performance
    (9019)
    Story
    (9033)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    Cynthia says: "What a slog"
    "Must read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is the best book I read in so long. It is among my few favorites. Enjoy and give yourself a treat


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Moonlight Mile

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Dennis Lehane
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (277)
    Performance
    (145)
    Story
    (146)

    Amanda McCready was four years old when she vanished from a Boston neighborhood 12 years ago. Kenzie and Gennaro risked everything to find the young girl - only to orchestrate her return to a neglectful mother and a broken home. Now Amanda is sixteen - and gone again. Haunted by their consciences, Kenzie and Gennaro revisit the case that troubled them the most. Their search leads them into a world of identity thieves, methamphetamine dealers, and more....

    Ian says: "Smart, asks and answers some tough questions."
    "Now worth the listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I recently heard the author, Dennis Lehane, speak at a literary society and wanted to listen to the book badly. He is a wonderful speaker. The book jumps around to too many different scenerios and never lands on its feet. The beginning was OK but the middle and ending were uneventful. Recommend his other books but not this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Marriage Plot

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1774)
    Performance
    (1468)
    Story
    (1463)

    It’s the early 1980s—the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafés on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels.

    FanB14 says: "Esoteric, Vapid, Trite"
    "Another great job"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Through the characters Jeffrey Eugenides is showing the change in our society toward the dissoving of the traditional marriage and the underlying sacrifices of true love. It is a beautiful story that reminds us of the social pressures "to get married" and then all the illusions are broken to give us a deeper meaning into relationships. Great Job. A must read for all who are waiting to get married and live happily ever after.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Home Front

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Kristin Hannah
    • Narrated By Maggi-Meg Reed
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (297)
    Performance
    (249)
    Story
    (248)

    From a distance, Michael and Joleen Zarkades seem to have it all: a solid marriage, two exciting careers, and children they adore. But after twelve years together, the couple has lost their way; they are unhappy and edging toward divorce. Then the Iraq war starts. An unexpected deployment will tear their already fragile family apart, sending one of them deep into harm’s way and leaving the other at home, waiting for news. When the worst happens, each must face their darkest fear and fight for the future of their family.

    Elizabeth says: "Very Disappointed"
    "What really goes on in war"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book had a profound inpact on me. First it deals with a family women going off to war and being a woman myself I really identified with the main character. It then dealt with the diability of losing a body part and the recovery process and the effects of war on the "soul" causing PTSD. The author did an amazing job and changed my whole reality of war and the heros that come home and have served our country. I salute them all!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • State of Wonder: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4367)
    Performance
    (3175)
    Story
    (3174)

    Research scientist Dr. Marina Singh is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have disappeared in the Amazon while working on an extremely valuable new drug. The last person who was sent to find her died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding answers to the questions about her friend's death, her company's future, and her own past.

    F. B. Herron says: "Do yourself a favor and listen to this book!"
    "So good and Well Written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started reading this book and was not taken away with the plot but as it further developed it became more and more interesting. The characters in the story all had to face dilemmas and were well developed so you were really interested on how everything would turn out for them. The story became interesting and I have not listened to anything better in a long time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Never Let Me Go

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Kazuo Ishiguro
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1759)
    Performance
    (575)
    Story
    (580)

    From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, comes an unforgettable edge-of-your-seat mystery that is at once heartbreakingly tender and morally courageous about what it means to be human.

    Christopher says: "Moving, haunting, but slow developing"
    "The future if we let it be so"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book strikes the moral question of how far science can go to cure the living with cloning. It is very interesting and disturbing to look at this issue. Well done in presentation and well written.
    It is a very good read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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