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Frances

Member Since 2012

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 47 reviews
  • 48 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 55 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
12
FOLLOWERS
16

  • Step on a Crack: Michael Bennett, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By James Patterson
    • Narrated By John Slattery
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (25)

    The nation is mourning after the death of a beloved former first lady, and the most powerful people in the world gather in New York for her funeral. Then the inconceivable occurs. Billionaires, politicians, and superstars are suddenly trapped within one man's brilliant and ruthless scenario. Detective Michael Bennett is pulled into the fray. He's just lost the love of his life and faces raising his children alone ¿ and rescuing 34 hostages.

    Marion says: "A Strange mixture of Patterson mayhem and pathos"
    "A good listen, but not a super listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In general the story starts off with the death of Caroline Hopkins, a former First Lady and her funeral is attended by the cream of the crust, consisting of the most influential and wealthiest individuals at the Saint Patrick's Cathedral. Unfortunately, a group of men take them hostage and will do anything to meet their private objectives. I thought Mr. Patterson developed the hostage characters very well. He had a knack for dropping little traits about these characters until after awhile I found myself really caring about what will happen to these people.

    Enter Michael Bennett, a detective for NY Police Department, and he is forced into the role of negotiator. Meanwhile, his personal life is in turmoil. His beloved wife is terminally ill with cancer and he is left caring for their ten children. Ten Children? Yes that's correct 10 children! At this point I thought Patterson was strettttching the Brady Bunch a bit too much to enhance the devotion of this character, but I read on. As I read on I found that Patterson was able to weave Michael's love for his wife, Maeve, and their children into many sensitive, believable scenes. There was Michael dealing with the chaos at home, while at the same time dealing with the hostage situation. Still I couldn't connect to this super father and hero.

    STEP ON A CRACK by James Patterson is good read, but not a super read. The characters a little exciting but I had wished that there was a good dose of some thriller scenes. If you want an easy listen then I recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Happy Ever After: The Bride Quartet, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (898)
    Performance
    (459)
    Story
    (468)

    No man has rattled wedding-planner Parker Brown in a long time, but the motorcycle-riding, raven-haired Mal seems to have a knack for it. His passionate kisses always catch her off guard, much like her growing feelings for him. Parker’s business risks have always paid off, but now she’ll have to take the chance of a lifetime with her heart….

    Amy says: "Wonderful ending!"
    "I laught and cried whilst listening to this book"
    Overall
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    review
    The perfect book to end this wonderful series.

    Parker Brown loves her life. Working together with her three best friends in their own wedding business is everything she wished for. She doesn't mind the long hours and hard work because she believes in love and giving couples a great start into their marriage makes her happy.
    After Mac, Emma and Laurel all found love Parker is wondering what the future holds for her. Sure Malcolm Kavanaugh is sexy, charming, a good son and friend and also hardworking. But he also irritates her whenever they meet. At first Parker isn't sure how to handle the attraction she feels for Mal but comes to realize that giving him and their relationship a chance might be one of the best decisions in her life.
    Will Mal and Parker find a way to their personal happy end although on first glance they couldn't be more different?

    It's no secret that I adore the books in the Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts and "Happy Ever After" is no exception. The book fits perfectly in this series because it's just as lovely, entertaining and full of great characters as the other three books.
    I loved reading about Parker & Mal and how they got to know each other better. On first glance they are quiet different but they value the same things and it's soon pretty clear that they are perfect for each other. I liked Parker from book one on and I was so happy to read how she found love with a great man who respects her dreams and ambitions.
    Mal is a fantastic hero. Learning more about his hard past made me want to hug him. I loved how he thinks about cheaters and bullies and that he is as open-minded as the others. Parker and Mal's relationship is even less dramatic than the ones in the other three books and I love that Nora Roberts doesn't need a big showdown to write wonderful and emotional books.
    The book is not only beautiful and relaxed but also pretty funny and I had to smile a lot while reading it. One of my highlights is how Parker and Mal dealt with Linda at Mac and Carter's wedding. I thought that there would be something dramatic but the way Nora Roberts wrote it was so much better and made me like Mal even more.
    I also loved the scenes in which the guys (Carter, Jack and Del) talked about their fiancees to Mal. To read how much they love and respect their women was heart-warming and wonderful.
    Another thing I enjoy in this series is that it's about love and friendship and that Nora Roberts doesn't make differences between heterosexual and gay couples. "Happy Ever After" and the Bride Quartet are a celebration of love and there's no place for prejudices. If you are looking for beautiful romances with great characters that concentrate on friendship and little details then you will love this book and the series.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shopaholic Takes Manhattan

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Sophie Kinsella
    • Narrated By Emily Gray
    Overall
    (693)
    Performance
    (218)
    Story
    (219)

    With her shopping excesses in check - for now, at least - and her new career as a TV financial adviser blooming, Becky's biggest problem is getting her business-minded boyfriend Luke to take a romantic getaway. But "getaway" takes on a whole new meaning when Luke says he needs to move to New York for business - and he asks Becky to come with him! International best - selling author Sophie Kinsella's sequel to the wildly popular Confessions of a Shopaholic is non-stop fun.

    Julie says: "Delightful!"
    "I hate shopping but love listening about others sh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love the Shopaholic books. I've never really been a big spender myself but living vicariously through Becky Bloomwood. Even though I'm not a big spender, it definitely doesn't mean that I don't like hearing about other people's shopping exploits. Au contraire, I do very much; I just have extremely good willpower (haha)!

    One of the things that I love best about these books is Becky herself. She's quirky and she makes a lot of mistakes but underneath it all, she's still easy to love. While I did find myself *facepalm*-ing throughout the book like I did in the first book, she's too hilarious to get mad at.

    In this installation, Becky follows her dreamboat, Luke, to a bigger pond than London. She finds herself in the middle of NYC faced with all sorts of new stores to explore. She figures new country, new start and is determined to put off paying her bills waiting for her back in her home country. She spends with abandon and seems surprised when once again, it gets her into big trouble. On top of that, it gets her into much, much bigger trouble.

    These books are a lot of fun. While I don't think that it's necessary for you to have read the first book in this series in order to enjoy the book, I think you could still definitely enjoy the books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Savor the Moment: The Bride Quartet, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (845)
    Performance
    (411)
    Story
    (414)

    Laurel McBane has always relied on her friends for support, especially when her dream of attending culinary school was almost ruined by her parents’ financial problems. Now Laurel is repaying the kindness of her friends by creating extravagantly luscious tiers of cakes and other confectionary delights that add the perfect touch to their clients’ weddings.

    Maha Bali says: "Very flat, but great ending"
    "A adorable romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This series is about four lifelong friends, Mac, Emma, Laurel and Parker, who have combined their individual talents to setup a very successful wedding business, called Vows.

    Mac and Emma found their own version of "The One" in the two previous books, and it's now Laurel's turn. Laurel's been in love with Parker's brother, Del, for the longest time, however Del regards her as a sister. Things change one night, however, when she gets really frustrated at him, and tries to prove a point that she is NOT his sister.

    Del's unsure of his feelings in the beginning, but as with all of Nora Robert's books, it ends with a happy-after ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lewis Carroll
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (502)
    Performance
    (282)
    Story
    (292)

    First published in 1865, these endearing tales of an imaginative child's dream world by Lewis Carroll, pen name for Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, are written with charming simplicity. While delighting children with a heroine who represents their own thoughts and feelings about growing up, the tale is appreciated by adults as a gentle satire on education, politics, literature, and Victorian life in general.

    Steve says: "Awesome!!!!!"
    "A well deserved classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The beginning of this review must not be understated. What have I been missing all these years? Admittedly, this is a first read. And while chucking the shame of having not read it until 47 (yes, that is the current age of said reviewer!), I am flushed with pleasure of having made the trip(they were originally published separately). On listening to it, I quickly noticed Carroll's playing out, if not outright scorn, for logical fallacies, and while on a few occasions Alice displays a few of her own, there is such a heavy handedness in the use of ill-logic by the "adults" of the story, that I wonder if Carroll isn't taking more than a few digs into the minds of adults, who from time to time engage in circuitous and contradictory arguments. Both books seem to be playing with and poking fun at the fact that as adults, the bigger wonders are often reduced to such reductionism in order to boost one's ego, which you see time and time again with all the adult characters in the book. In fact, a primer for reading this book may in fact be C. K. Chesterton's argument for fantasy in the Introduction to this edition:

    "It seemed to me that he didn't follow me with sufficient delicacy, so I softened my tone. 'Can you not see", I said, "that fairy tales in their essence are quite solid and straightforward;but that this everlasting fiction about modern life is in its nature essentially incredible? Folk-lore means that the soul is sane,but that the universe is wild and full of marvels. Realism means that the world is dull and full of routine, but that the soul is sick and screaming. The problem of the fairy tale is-what will a healthy man do with a fantastic world?" (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass; Introduction, vi).

    Alice's reactions to those who claim to be much more mature than her, can rest with her wonder as a child not to be corrupted by the cynicism of ideas reduced to mere philosophical positions and suppositions. This would be one of the main points in the conversion of C.S. Lewis to Christianity. And to some respects, it is an invitation for us to give our minds a rest, and let the universe pan itself out. Alice comes out much better than her "betters", because she is willing to let go, as many children do, rather than be sucked in and drowned in a world of so many abstractions that one misses the opportunity to just pick up scented rushes and smell them for all their worth.
    So with wholehearted approval, I support Alice's trips to wonderland, and for Lewis Carroll who gave us the exclusive trip to go along with her.
    And like me, take great pleasure in laughing at our pretenses and take once more the mantle of a child's innocence and wonder along the way!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dead or Alive

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy, Grant Blackwood
    • Narrated By Lou Diamond Phillips
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4846)
    Performance
    (2626)
    Story
    (2643)

    Jack Ryan, the former president of the United States, is out of office, but not out of the loop about his brainchild, the “Campus” - a highly effective, counter-terrorism organization that operates outside the Washington hierarchy. But what Ryan doesn’t know is that his son, Jack Ryan, Jr., has joined his cousins, Brian and Dominic Caruso, at the shadowy Campus. While a highly effective analyst, young Ryan hungers for the action of a field agent.

    Robert B. Wales says: "Same great Clancey - Great narration"
    "This book is full of action and intrigue"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Dead or Alive" brings back the men of Rainbow Six, Jack Ryan, and Mary Pat Foley. It seems that Ding and John Clark are being mustered out of the service but find themselves employed by "The Campus". The Campus is a secret agency posing as a financial institute that runs covert operations but has no direct connection to the American Government. The Campus was set up by Jack Ryan before he left the Presidency.

    A terrorist group led by the "Emir" is scheduled to coordinate several actions that are going to bring the United States to its knees. The Emir has been responsible for many terrorist actions and has foiled all attempts to bring him to justice.

    The men of Rainbow Six are determined, not only to capture the Emir, but also to stop the horrific attacks from taking place. This proves to be a daunting task as clues are few and are hidden in coded messages.

    A measured portion of brain and brawn will be necessary to bring the terrorists to justice. Joh Clark and his men ae not held down by government regulations when interrogating prisoners, and trust me they will use all means to get the answers they need.

    "Dead or Alive" is very reminiscent of Clancy's other books, although this has more depth and revelence. It is a book that takes on the problems being faced today in a world filled with uncertainty.

    This book is full of action and intrigue. The action moves quickly from country to country and city to city. The intrigue is supplied by the use of computers, cell phones, and coded messages.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elegance of the Hedgehog

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Muriel Barbery
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat, Cassandra Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2038)
    Performance
    (1028)
    Story
    (1048)

    An enchanting New York Times and international best seller and award-winner about life, art, literature, philosophy, culture, class, privilege, and power, seen through the eyes of a 54-year-old French concierge and a precocious but troubled 12-year-old girl.

    Pyles says: "It surprised me"
    "A sweet book about clear-seeing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A sweet book about clear-seeing, i.e. seeing what is really in front of you whether beautiful or ugly, rather than what you want to see. It's also about a bunch of other things: class relations, art, philosophy, snobbery, meaning vs. meaninglessness, what true intelligence is, (and what is it good for?), and how people sometimes prevent themselves from finding true happiness.

    All this sounds like a warm-fuzzy wrapped in a personal affirmation scented with camellias and delivered with sprinkly cupcakes to your frontdoor with a copy of Eat Pray Love, right? But the book cleverly counterbalances this with a healthy dose of skepticism and misanthropy.

    The conclusions are still too easy/obvious sometimes, but I would rather a book risk the dangers of sentimentalism than sit comfortably on its sanitized throne of intelligent and secure discourse.

    There is very little plot, but instead we get a series of monologues, philosophical asides and observations from two of the main characters. One is an elderly concierge, and the other is a precocious 12 year old girl. Both belong to that class of human beings that most other human beings ignore: they are invisible in the grand scheme of things. Yet under the surface, they live rich and imaginative lives.

    I would say that there is a little bit too much black and white in this novel, though. I felt like the characters you were supposed to root for were a little too blameless and noble in their intentions, and the ones who were shallow ignoramuses were just that.

    Especially true of this is the character of Kakuro Ozu, who is like some kind of angel of Eastern wisdom and exoticism meets Western intelligence and sophistication, without a blemish in sight. Don't get me wrong, I really liked the guy, but he didn't seem very real to me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What I Saw and How I Lied

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Judy Blundell
    • Narrated By Caitlin Greer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (60)

    Evie slowly finds herself caught in a complicated web of lies in this brilliant mystery that won the 2008 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

    Frances says: "I couldn't stop listening!!!"
    "I couldn't stop listening!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
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    What I Heard and How I Lied is a coming of age novel set during the time period of post-World War II. The novel is full of nostalgic descriptions of full skirts, pumps dyed to match dresses, late afternoon cocktails, pot roast with mashed potatoes, smoking as sexy habit, and Palm Beach as an exotic location. What I Heard And How I Lied also addresses in a very subtle manner issues of segregation, anti-Semitism, soldiers recovery from war trauma, war time opportunism, gender roles, sexual politics and dark greedy motives. This book took me completely by surprise. I am not sure what I was expecting, but it was definitely not a novel that begins slowly with a young and naïve teenager and progresses into a story of a young adult learning the truth about her parents. The subject matter is not unique, but Judy Blundell manages to present the story in a very fresh way.

    There is something is so appealing about the coming of age story, the abandoning of naïveté, and first feelings of love; is there a better setting for these themes than post-World War II 194os? Ms. Blundell gives us a back a time in our history when smoking was sexy and lipstick was always apple red. The set-up is done so well, the reader is able to easily settle back into the idea that America used to be comfortable, predictable and simple. But this story is not about a simplistic free time in America. Once the reader relaxes back into the past, the thread of darkness and greed slowly winds itself around the book.

    I could not put this book down (or actually, I could not turn off the audio book), while the setting and characters seemed familiar nothing about it was typical or rehashed. I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical novels driven by characters and young adult novels.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Joshilyn Jackson
    • Narrated By Joshilyn Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1383)
    Performance
    (1193)
    Story
    (1169)

    A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty is a powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family. Fifteen-year-old Mosey Slocumb-spirited, sassy, and on the cusp of womanhood-is shaken when a small grave is unearthed in the backyard, and determined to figure out why it's there. Liza, her stroke-ravaged mother, is haunted by choices she made as a teenager. But it is Jenny, Mosey's strong and big-hearted grandmother....

    Melinda says: "This One Ought To Butter Your Biscuit"
    "Highly recommend"
    Overall
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    Three women. Grandmother. Mother. Daughter. A mysterious baby buried in the back yard - and the mystery of who this baby is consumes these women. As they search for the answer, other mysteries unfold themselves from the web of the past.

    I loved this book!!!! It was a story of truth and identity. The characters and connections were captivating. I also like how the three main characters told the story. Each chapter not only had "real time" details, but allowed whatever character was in queue to relate memories that would make the story complete for the reader.

    This book is full of twists and turns. It made me stop and think a lot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Company: A Novel of the CIA

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Littell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (4960)
    Performance
    (2071)
    Story
    (2063)

    "If Robert Littell didn't invent the American spy novel," says Tom Clancy, "he should have." In this spectacular Cold-War-as-Alice-in-Wonderland epic, Littell, "the American le Carre," takes us down the rabbit hole and into the labyrinthine world of espionage that has been the CIA for the last half-century. "Ostensibly a single novel, The Company can also be listened to as an anthology of cracking good spy stories," says (Publishers Weekly).

    Cynthia says: "Hang on to your Hat"
    "Enjoyable long listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Company is a enjoyable spy novel.

    It takes place between 1950 and 1995. We follow Jack McAuliffe recruited right after graduating Yale in 1950, Harry Torriti a seasoned intelligence officer, Eliott "Ebby" Ebbit and Leo Kritzky.
    It shows five events over the 45 years. Berlin in the early 50s before the Wall. Hungry during the failed uprising in the late 50's. The Bay of Pigs incident in the early 60's. A mole hunt in the mid 70s. The beginning of the Russian invasion of Afganinstan and finally The final nail in the coffin for Russian Communism in the early 90s. The book involved some real life big names. Kim Philby, Ronald Reagen, The Kennedy boys and some real like CIA guys.

    I enjoyed the book immensely. I like all the spy stuff. Dead Drops, Double Agents, Secret Identities. The book wasn't perfect. Some of the things that some of the characters say are "grandiose" and it was a bit hard to overcome but then I looked at it as a it was, fiction, and read it like I would of read a high fantasy novel and it kinda clicked. Couldn't turn it off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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