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Lanakila

Holly Springs, NC, USA | Member Since 2006

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 137 ratings
  • 291 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
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  • The Bastard of Istanbul

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Elif Shafak
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (145)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    In her second novel written in English, Elif Shafak confronts her country's violent past in a vivid and colorful tale set in both Turkey and the United States. At its center is the "bastard" of the title, Asya, a 19-year-old woman who loves Johnny Cash and the French Existentialists, and the four sisters of the Kazanci family who all live together in an extended household in Istanbul.

    Vivienne says: "Istanbul lives"
    "Passed the Time Nicely"
    Overall

    This book passed the time nicely enough during my 2 hour daily commute, but it wasn't exactly riveting. The characters were fleshed out nicely and the author captured the oddities that families endure, and learn to endear, but the end was easy enough to see coming.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1: The Complete and Authoritative Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (519)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (228)

    The year 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Twain’s death. In celebration of this important milestone, here, for the first time, is Mark Twain’s uncensored autobiography, in its entirety, exactly as he left it. This major literary event offers the first of three volumes and presents Mark Twain’s authentic and unsuppressed voice, brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions, and speaking clearly from the grave, as he intended.

    Susan Holland says: "Not what I was expecting..."
    "Some books are better in paper"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1? What did you like least?

    I couldn't get past Chapter 2. For a book with so many footnotes and such, you really need to read this in paper. It was far to difficult to enjoy the main stream of the story with all of the interruptions for references.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unfamiliar Fishes

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Sarah Vowell
    • Narrated By Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, John Hodgman, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (920)
    Performance
    (561)
    Story
    (562)

    In Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell argues that 1898 might be a year just as crucial to our nation's identity, a year when, in an orgy of imperialism, the United States annexed Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam, and invaded Cuba and then the Philippines, becoming a meddling, self-serving, militaristic international superpower practically overnight. Of all the countries the United States invaded or colonized in 1898, Vowell considers the story of the Americanization of Hawaii to be the most intriguing.

    Kat says: "Sarah Vowell does it again!"
    "As an Islander, I approve!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I would have liked the author to have worked with a native speaker to iron out her horrific pronunciation of the Native Hawai'ian words but, otherwise, I think that Ms. Vowell did a nice job.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An Echo in the Bone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5624)
    Performance
    (3804)
    Story
    (3812)

    Jamie Fraser knows from his time-traveling wife Claire that, no matter how unlikely it seems, America will win the Revolutionary War. But that truth offers little solace, since Jamie realizes he might find himself pointing a weapon directly at his own son - a young officer in the British army. And Jamie isn't the only one with a tormented soul - for Claire may know who wins the conflict, but she certainly doesn't know whether or not her beloved Jamie survives.

    Charles says: "Read all of Gabaldon's stuff before this one"
    "The stars are really just for the last 4 hours!"
    Overall

    The star rating is also well-earned by Davina Porter's narration skills! As to the story: if I weren't already hooked on this series, my interest in this book would have died rather quickly. I only kept listening because I was "sure" that there had to be more to the story. I was finally satisfied when things began to suck me back in near the ending of the book. Wow! I cannot wait for more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Genghis Khan: Emperor of All Men

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Harold Lamb
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (271)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (74)

    In the early 13th century, a simple nomad chieftain managed to cobble together a powerful kingdom in the highlands of northern Asia, which was subsequently to challenge the greatest powers of the day. He was triumphant in all directions. This leader was Timujin, whose name meant "Iron Man". He became Genghis Khan, "Universal Ruler", the greatest conqueror ever known - a warrior feared from the British Isles to the tip of the Korean peninsula.

    Curatina says: "Fabulous!"
    "Dreadfully Dull"
    Overall

    There were many reasons that I finally gave up and set this book aside. There were far too many details to follow which bogged down the actual story. It is too difficult to keep track of which clans were which and what allegiances existed and when. I fully realize that the interplay between the clans and the changes in allegiance are intended to be the essence of the story...but the way it was done here just didn't capture it.

    I was also very, very annoyed at the use of 'thee' and 'thine' in the statements of allegiance that many characters made to Khan. Top that with the fact that the narrator delivered them with an English accent and the whole effect was even messier.

    This might be one of those books that I just plain have to read on paper.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Lisa See
    • Narrated By Janet Song
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1250)
    Performance
    (486)
    Story
    (487)

    Lily is haunted by memories of who she once was, and of a person, long gone, who defined her existence. She has nothing but time now, as she recounts the tale of Snow Flower and asks the gods for forgiveness.

    Barbara A Danner says: "Disappointing"
    "An Absolute Delight!"
    Overall

    This book offers an excellent inside look at the class and gender discrimination that pervaded the era. The author did a lovely job of weaving the relationship of the girls into an intimate and heartwrenching story. Some might say that this book is "women's work" and would not be enjoyed by men, but my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it as it passed the time on our daily commute.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cloud Atlas

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Cassandra Campbell, Kim Mai Guest, and others
    Overall
    (3216)
    Performance
    (2411)
    Story
    (2421)

    A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation: the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history.

    Elizabeth says: "thoroughly enjoyed"
    "So Where Does It All Come Together?"
    Overall

    I kept plowing through this story hoping that things would come together in some brilliant way but was sorely disappointed! While there were bits and pieces of interesting storytelling, the Louisa Rey vignettes mostly, the piece as a whole was a real loser.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Middlesex

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By Kristoffer Tabori
    Overall
    (6065)
    Performance
    (2243)
    Story
    (2267)

    In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry-blonde classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop physically - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

    Christopher Allen walker says: "Great Pulitzer Winning novel!"
    "An Excellent Tale"
    Overall

    This was a delightfully rich story filled with characters so carefully crafted that you felt you knew them. The descriptions of social change, and the devolvement of Detroit are incredibly accurate. The narrator was fantastic at capturing all of the personalities in their accents and timbre, enriching the telling of the story even more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lionboy: The Truth

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Zizou Corder
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    The nefarious lion-tamer Maccomo, recently escaped from captivity, kidnaps Charlie with the intention of selling him and Rafi to the Corporacy! A full-scale chase ensues as Charlie's parents, his Venetian gondolier friend, and his ever-faithful lions pursue Maccomo's ship across the sea.

    Amazon Customer says: "Magnifico"
    "Oh No!"
    Overall

    I cannot believe that this story is over! I have so enjoyed the trilogy that I sought more works by the two Zizou's immediately upon completing this book. Sadly, there are not yet more tales. I'll be the first in "line" when another tale comes out, although it will be difficult to top Charlie and his adventures :)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lionboy: The Chase

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Zizou Corder
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (25)

    A friendly Bulgarian king, a dastardly lion tamer, a pair of kidnapped parents, a pride of lions, and a brave young boy on a mission: Together again in the second installment of the popular Lionboy series.

    Robert A. says: "Lionboy: The Chase was a great listen!"
    "Good Guys/Bad Guys"
    Overall

    I loved this story just as much as the first in the series. The twists and turns leaving you guessing who's "safe" and whether the good guys are as bad as the Corporacy. The primary theme of true friendship is refreshing and the loyalty that abounds warms the heart as it entertains!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Burnt House

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Faye Kellerman
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (630)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (94)

    A small commuter plane carrying 47 passengers crashes into an apartment building, and LAPD Lieutenant Peter Decker works overtime to calm rampant fears. But a grisly mystery lives inside the plane's wreckage: the unidentified bodies of four extra travelers. And there is no sign of an airline employee who was supposedly on the catastrophic flight.

    Audiophile says: "Recommended for Faye Kellerman Fans"
    "Nice Twists"
    Overall

    This is a well-woven story with rich characters. The blend of cultural references that manage to span decades, along with the excellent word-painted descriptions make the story an excellent way to pass a long drive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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