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K. McRitchie

Lifelong Learner

Iowa, United States | Member Since 2009

ratings
123
REVIEWS
26
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
15

  • I'll Mature When I'm Dead: Dave Barry's Amazing Tales of Adulthood

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Dave Barry
    • Narrated By Dave Barry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (178)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (82)

    Some people may wonder what this subject has to do with Dave Barry, since Dave's struggled hard against growing up his entire life-but the result is one of the funniest, warmest, most pitch-perfect books ever on that mystifying territory we call "adulthood".

    Karen says: "Hilarious"
    "It will brighten your day"
    Overall

    A collection of various observances on every day life that will make you smile. It is light, funny, and a great listen when you need something to brighten your day. I would listen for awhile, then put it away for awhile, then listen again, it was great. Dave talks about the every-day things that we don't really think about in a new light.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Rosie Project: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Graeme Simsion
    • Narrated By Dan O'Grady
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1492)
    Performance
    (1359)
    Story
    (1358)

    Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a "wonderful" husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical - most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver. Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent - and on a quest of her own....

    Margaret says: "A fun listen"
    "Aspergers in Love"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was unsure about this one when I purchased it, as it was one of those recommended by the narrator. It was very good. The detail of Don's ordered life was amazing. I was able to have a greater understanding of someone with Aspergers and how the lack of emotion and almost too logical thought not only can be a difficult challenge in society but is also very enhancing in ways I never considered.

    Early on in the story, Don is lecturing to a group of students with Aspergers and their parents. He gives them an example of a situation and only the students were able to come up with solutions, because they lacked the emotion and had a logical approach without the feelings that would have been a barricade to ideas. That anecdote made an impression on me.

    I loved his interactions with Rosie, who did not at all fit his idea of a wife candidate and how they both dealt with their differences. Rosie was patient and kind and I loved her character from the beginning. Not all people are so wonderful with those with physical or mental differences. Most of all, I think she taught him to have fun. I don't think he knew what fun actually felt like in his ultra-organized world.

    The narration is also very good, as that sometimes is the factor in whether to go audio or print. It was funny in parts, sad in parts, but overall was engaging and a fairly quick "read."

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The First Phone Call from Heaven: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Mitch Albom
    • Narrated By Mitch Albom
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (414)
    Performance
    (369)
    Story
    (374)

    The First Phone Call from Heaven tells the story of a small town on Lake Michigan that gets worldwide attention when its citizens start receiving phone calls from the afterlife. Is it the greatest miracle ever or a massive hoax? Sully Harding, a grief-stricken single father, is determined to find out. An allegory about the power of belief - and a page-turner that will touch your soul - Albom's masterful storytelling has never been so moving and unexpected.

    Marci says: "Every Character is Great"
    "A little disappointing..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a Mitch Albom fan and have read all of his novels. I didn't like this one as much as I did the others. I think my expectations were high, after his other novels, so this left me with disappointment more than anything. It is a decent story, good narration and a great portrayal of what the media does when it converges on a small town for a story. I felt connected to the characters and would hope along with them that they would get another call from their loved one in heaven.

    Narration is good, works well as an audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Invention of Wings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5560)
    Performance
    (5062)
    Story
    (5047)

    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

    Jan says: "Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!"
    "Not my favorite by Monk Kidd, but a good read..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved Secret Life of Bees, much better than this novel. This was a good one too, just not as well written. The narration was perfect. I love Jenna Lamia as a narrator in everything she has done. At the end of the story, Sue Monk Kidd gives us some history and insight into her novel, which I wish I would have known going into the story. For example, the idea is based off two sisters who really were part of the abolitionism movement. I loved the main characters and their relationship as friends, who didn't know right away that they were friends. It was interesting to have a perspective of slavery from the slave owners, who didn't think anything was wrong with owning slaves. It still makes me wonder how the slave owners of that time didn't think what they did was wrong. I have since looked up more information on the Grymke sisters. I think that when a novel gets you to want to know more, it has done a great job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    Overall
    (8441)
    Performance
    (7614)
    Story
    (7612)

    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)"
    "One of Grisham's best novels!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was one of my favorite Grisham novels. Over the years, as I have read his books, some of course, better than others, but I liked this one quite a bit. There was suspense, great characters, and a good story to tell. It was interesting, also, to be a "sort of" sequel to A Time To Kill. I enjoyed meeting some familiar characters for another journey. Authors who are prolific writers sometimes lose quality in their novels, but this one was one of the good ones. I would highly recommend it for fans and those new to the legal novels.

    Narration was also great, which makes a difference for me in buying a book in print or as an audiobook. This was a great story as an audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Longest Ride

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Nicholas Sparks
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, January LaVoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1085)
    Performance
    (965)
    Story
    (978)

    91 year-old Ira Levinson is kept concious after a car wreck by visions of his late wife, Ruth, who recounts stories of their lifetime together. A few miles away, at a local rodeo, Sophia Danko, a senior at Wake Forest, meets a young cowboy named Luke. Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

    Hendie says: "I Understand!"
    "Two stories in one!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a great story. I normally stay away from the sappy, love stories, however Nicholas Sparks can write some that are more realistic and not too sappy, which makes the journey a good one. This novel is actually two separate stories that eventually come together, but all along I kept wondering, "how in the world will these two stories ever relate?" I am glad that I didn't find out until the end. It was perfect. Of course there are parts that drag a little, but overall, I would recommend this to those who like this genre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Good House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Ann Leary
    • Narrated By Mary Beth Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1425)
    Performance
    (1285)
    Story
    (1279)

    The Good House tells the story of Hildy Good, who lives in a small town on Boston's North Shore. Hildy is a successful real-estate broker, good neighbor, mother, and grandmother. She's also a raging alcoholic. Hildy's family held an intervention for her about a year before this story takes place - "if they invite you over for dinner, and it’s not a major holiday," she advises "run for your life" - and now she feels lonely and unjustly persecuted. She has also fooled herself into thinking that moderation is the key.

    Rhonda Morrison says: "What a great book, Hildy is a great character!"
    "Woman vs. Herself"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great topic: what alcohol can do to a person, family, and other relationships. It is the story of an ordinary woman with an alcohol problem, who tries to hide it from herself and family. I think that it is a great point of view, she just lives her life, like we all do and doesn't want to see her own problems with drinking. I also liked the other characters' stories woven into hers, eventually coming together. I think a book is great when I become part of the story. There is a point when the reader can "see" the characters and imagine the house or the town. When a reader engages in a book, it makes that time worth it. This was an engaging story. Narrator was good, not great, but it worked.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Color of Heaven

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Julianne MacLean
    • Narrated By Jennifer O'Donnell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (331)
    Performance
    (297)
    Story
    (298)

    A deeply emotional tale about Sophie Duncan, a successful columnist whose world falls apart after her daughter's unexpected illness and her husband's shocking affair. When it seems nothing else could possibly go wrong, her car skids off an icy road and plunges into a frozen lake. There, in the cold, dark depths of the water a profound and extraordinary experience unlocks the surprising secrets from Sophie's past, and teaches her what it means to truly live...and love.

    Cindy says: "Probably one of the best books I've read"
    "Sappy but good..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't regret reading this book, but it was a bit sappy. I am glad that iTunes allows you to skip to the next chapter. I did that a lot during the Cora/Peter/Matt stories. It was an easy listen, the story was interesting, but it didn't keep me engaged all the time. It's one of those books that I don't regret reading, but others are better.

    The narrator was not very good, however. There were times when she spoke in such a soft voice, I had to turn up the volume. (Wouldn't you think that those producing the recording would fix this?) This is probably a better read in print format.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (8179)
    Performance
    (6347)
    Story
    (6372)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Shannon says: "Word Thief"
    "Amazing story and performance!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was amazing. The author is a wordsmith. I loved the writing and the use of language just kept me engaged with the story. It was an interesting story, one not heard much-- of a German girl at the time of the Nazis. Usually stories from that genre are from the Jewish perspective. It was a horrible time and we see how not all Germans were wanting to be a part of that horrible time. I loved the relationships between the characters. The descriptions were so vivid that I could "see" mama and papa in their home as i read. I lauged and I cried and rarely is an author able to do that well. I was sad when the last chapter was over, but it was a happy, content sadness. There will come a time when I will want to listen to this one again as I am sure I missed details along the way.

    I think this is a novel that will become a classic taught in English class. There is so much to the story, characters, and beautiful arrangement of the words.

    The narrator of this story was also perfect. I even learned a few German words along the journey. This is a book, well worth your time and commitment, it just touches your heart.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent
    Overall
    (2997)
    Performance
    (2672)
    Story
    (2675)

    Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Walkabout"
    "Everyone will like Harold!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Overall this was a good story, it dragged in parts, but I kept engaged, even cried a few times along with Harold. I think it was strange when Harold had all of those followers walking with him, but I guess it was a way to have many different characters, often contrasting with Harold. (human frailty at its best) The walk, which was therapeutic for so many people, even those not walking, like Harold's wife, caused me to cheer along with everyone, hoping Harold would make it to the end in time.

    The writing was very descriptive and detailed, and allowed the reader to experience what Harold was seeing and doing. The narration was appropriate and done very well. This is the kind of easy book that requires nothing from the reader, but to tag along and enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dog Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Peter Heller
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1020)
    Performance
    (909)
    Story
    (910)

    Hig survived the flu that killed everyone he knows. His wife is gone, his friends are dead, he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor a gun-toting misanthrope. In his 1956 Cessna, Hig flies the perimeter of the airfield or sneaks off to the mountains to fish and to pretend that things are the way they used to be. But when a random transmission somehow beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life exists beyond the airport.

    Melinda says: "Absolutely Stellar!"
    "Mediocre story...great narrator!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an interesting story. I purchased it because of the reviews, however, it wasn't a great story. I enjoyed the book, taking us on a journey through the world after most of the population has died. The author made all encounters with other humans, violent, which I don't think would actually happen in such a time. Each person was only in survival mode, killing anyone that ventured near. I would have liked to see more interactions with survivors instead of just killing. I know that there would be factions of survivalists, but except for the main characters and the Mennonites, everyone was out to kill each other.

    I enjoyed the relationship with the two main characters, that made things interesting, to have such different men, but who really had a friendship. I think the entire part of the story at the Grand Junction airport was a little weird, didn't seem to fit well. The writing was well done, narrator was excellent, but I just didn't like the story as much as I thought based on previous reviews.

    I'm sure that there will be a second book, as even though the ending was good, there were a couple of possible stories waiting to evolve.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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