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Katy J. Berner

Amherst, NY United States | Member Since 2006

  • 8 reviews
  • 108 ratings
  • 246 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014

  • The Road

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

    Steven says: "Spellbinding"
    "Great Post-Apocalyptic Novel"

    I didn't intend to like this book, but I couldn't stop listening and ended up loving it! We're actually thinking of adding it to our reading list at the school where I teach for American Lit. This is an incredible story of a man and his child's journey to survive in an America we hopefully never have to experience. The fear of evil, and the light within us carries the reader through. In some ways we can all identify with the narrator, a man trying to survive and learning to parent in a world where there is little good except that in his own child. A beautiful story, and it's not overly "sci-fi-ish" so anyone can really enjoy it. I think it's a book anyone of any age or sex can really enjoy.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Gods of Gotham

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Lyndsay Faye
    • Narrated By Steven Boyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It is 1845. New York City forms its first police force. The great potato famine hits Ireland. These two seemingly disparate events will change New York City. Forever.... Timothy Wilde tends bar near the Exchange, fantasizing about the day he has enough money to win the girl of his dreams. But when his dreams literally incinerate in a fire devastating downtown Manhattan, he finds himself disfigured, unemployed, and homeless. His older brother obtains Timothy a job in the newly minted NYPD, but he is highly skeptical of this new "police force".

    Joanne says: "A wonderful book"
    "Best Book I Read in 2012"
    What did you love best about The Gods of Gotham?

    I love historical fiction and I love learning about the history of NYC; this book covered both. I am secretly hoping this becomes a series because I will read them all.

    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes! Although the book began slow and I thought it just might be a little mild of a drama once the action begins you can't stop listening. Tim and Valentine's struggle to find the truth in a city filled with lies is incredible.

    What about Steven Boyer???s performance did you like?

    His accents and his attitude were spot on!

    Who was the most memorable character of The Gods of Gotham and why?

    I loved Tim. He was just so pure even though life had wronged him. I learned to love Valentine.

    Any additional comments?

    If you enjoyed the movie Gangs of New York, you will LOVE this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of One

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower

    Born in a South Africa divided by racism and hatred, this one small boy will come to lead all the tribes of Africa. Through enduring friendships with Hymie and Gideon, Peekay gains the strength he needs to win out. And in a final conflict with his childhood enemy, the Judge, Peekay will fight to the death for justice.

    Bob says: "Compelling story lifted higher by the narration"
    "Beautiful Novel that Reads Like a Painting"
    What did you love best about The Power of One?

    The main character Peekay's mix of childhood trauma and unintentional humor make him heartwarming and beautiful. His adventures with Grandpa Choock (which made me laugh out loud), Hoppie, Doc, and finally Hymie and Gideon show that family isn't always made by the blood running through us but with the head and the heart. I fell in love with the beauty of South Africa, the tadpole angel, and began to understand a little of life during the Aparthide. A beautiful work, I can't wait to recommend to someone! (BTW my mother swore it would be a religious text because of the title, and it isn't).

    What did you like best about this story?

    The unity and colorless love of the African people.

    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    The voice gives Peekay shape

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

    Not exactly, (it is quite long) but I couldn't wait to find time to go back to it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ghostwalk

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Rebecca Stott
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A Cambridge historian is found drowned, clutching a glass prism in her hand. The book she was writing about Isaac Newton's involvement with alchemy remains unfinished. When her son, Cameron, asks his former lover, Lydia Brooke, to ghostwrite the missing final chapters of his mother's book, Lydia agrees and moves into Elizabeth's house. Soon Lydia discovers that the violence that has fallen across present-day Cambridge may have its origins in the troubling evidence that Elizabeth's research has unearthed.

    txkimmers says: "More of a stroll"
    "Not Very Good"

    Although I somewhat enjoyed this book, it just wasn't all that great. The story is completely unbelievable and has giant holes that don't make a whole lot of sense. I kept waiting for the story to get better, but it didn't. It tried too hard to mix too many ideas together in one place, and the mixing of the stories didn't come together like a beautiful ballet, but more like a forced crash. There were some redeeming factors, and I did enjoy some parts of the story, but it was too much for one book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Piece of Cake

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Cupcake Brown
    • Narrated By Bahni Turpin

    There are shelves of memoirs about overcoming the death of a parent, childhood abuse, rape, drug addiction, miscarriage, alcoholism, hustling, gangbanging, near-death injuries, drug dealing, prostitution, or homelessness. Cupcake Brown survived all these things before she'd even turned 20.

    Kim says: "Amazing , Brutal, Inspiring"
    "Great But Really Long Memoir"

    Cupcake Brown is a woman I couldn't help but cheer on. Her ability to change her life and make me take a look at my own was unforgettable. Everyone who is over-priviledged and ignorant should be required to read this book. Everyone who wants to teach should read this book. I was so moved by her story and so angry at a system that would allow this to happen. Listening to Cupcake change her world, made me want to make changes in mine and help others. We need voices like hers to create change and increase understanding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girls

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Lori Lansens
    • Narrated By Stephanie Zimbalist, Lolita Davidovich

    Meet Rose and Ruby: sisters, best friends, confidantes, and conjoined twins. Since their birth, Rose and Ruby Darlen have been known simply as "the girls". They make friends, fall in love, have jobs, love their parents, and follow their dreams. But the Darlens are special. Now nearing their 30th birthday, they are history's oldest craniopagus twins, joined at the head by a pot the size of a bread plate.

    Barbara says: "Terrific material, great presentation:"
    "Beautiful Novel"

    I truly loved this novel. The two "voices" of the twins were so unique and individual that you almost forget that they are conjoined. The story at first seems like a dumb premise, but it is beautifully done and I'd compare this reading experience to The Secret Life of Bees, one of my favorite narrative novels of all time. The author writes a very unique and poingnant story that has many universal and heartfelt themes. Have tissues, you'll need them.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By John Grogan
    • Narrated By John Grogan

    John and Jenny were just beginning their life together. They were young and in love, with a perfect little house and not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wriggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same.

    Reade says: "One of the worst"
    "Decent Book Bad Reader"

    I liked the book, but I think I'd have liked it better reading it rather than listening to it. The author reads the book, and although he is a good storyteller, he reads as if he's reading his memoir to a group of 1st graders. His tone and pacing is somewhat irritating and I felt like in some senses it was like being read "down" to. It's hard to explain, but if you listen to a sample you'll understand.
    The book is great, the reader is not. Buy the actual book, it's soooo worth not listening to him read it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Kite Runner

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Khaled Hosseini

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Never before has an author’s narration of his fiction been so important to fully grasping the book’s impact and global implications. Taking us from Afghanistan in the final days of its monarchy to the present, The Kite Runner is the unforgettable story of the friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them.

    Joseph says: "A storyteller's story"
    "Good but Mature"

    Like another reviewer noted this books turning point is a somewhat graphic and incredibly emotional event. That I think this moment is what makes the book so great - we all have a moment in our life which changes us - for the narrator his changes our lives too. It is beautifully written novel that gives readers a look at a world most of us may never experience. It is truly a wonderful experience, although like our lives - it is slow in parts - but the story is worth it. Beautiful book, incredible characters, and a story that sticks with you. Hopefully we all can learn about ourselves as well as the lives of his characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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