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Rena

I'm always on the search for engaging, intelligent books & authors who give me a story I can relate to. Through Audible I'm finding a lot! When I'm not reading or listening, I'm writing, cooking, traveling or working on my house or in the yard. Politics is also central in my life; I feel it's important to be aware of what's going on and give voice to protecting all that we value & hold dear.

Alberta Canada | Member Since 2012

ratings
24
REVIEWS
12
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
8

  • Texas Cooking: Texas Hill Country Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Lisa Wingate
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (86)

    According to USA Today, best-selling author Lisa Wingate “dishes up fun and charm” with her touching romance novels. In Texas Cooking, Wingate tells the story of Colleen Collins, a big city reporter who thinks she’s seen and heard it all until she visits the tiny town of San Saline. Listeners from all walks of life will relish this tale of passion, new beginnings, and the comfortsof good food and good conversation.

    Jen says: "Odd Title for Such a Wonderful Book!"
    "Enjoyable Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Texas Cooking?

    It's a refreshing departure from all the violence and tension out there. A sweet story with Christian undertone. The story is plausible enough to have actually happened.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The overview of rural life and the rewards of being part of a mostly tolerant and generous community.


    What three words best describe Johanna Parker’s performance?

    Young adequate narrator


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Many parts bought a smile and a laugh....nice!


    Any additional comments?

    If you,re looking for an easy, enjoyable listen with a sprinkle of old fashioned morality thrown in - this is it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Equalizer

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Michael Sloan
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Robert McCall is a former covert operations officer for the CIA who tries to atone for past sins by offering, free of charge, his services as a troubleshooter (often literally), a protector, and an investigator. People in need find him through a newspaper ad: "Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer.” Aided by a group of sometimes-mysterious contacts (some of whom date back to his spying days), McCall traverses the streets of New York City, visiting justice upon those who prey upon the weak.

    shelley says: "THE EQUALIZER is truly worthy of an AWARD!!"
    "Modern day Superhero"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes- its an action packed super hero fiction where the hero always comes out shining inspite of non stop obstacles and injuries that would leave most dead at the first blow.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I was impressed how the book went on and on and on ... and actually that wasn't a bad thing - in fact it made the book more enjoyable ...that and the comic aspect of it. In some ways it read like a comic book with the hero and villans and cast of characters. Its not the kind of book I normally would listen to but once I got on to the comic reality of it, I sank in and kind of enjoyed it in spite of the wham bam shootem up at every turn (I fast forwarded some of the gory parts). I think its the kind of book that could even get a cult following - particularly guys.


    Which character – as performed by Jeff Gurner – was your favorite?

    All of them - the narrator was incredible.


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

    The narrator was outstanding - what an amazing voice!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    Overall
    (8434)
    Performance
    (7609)
    Story
    (7607)

    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)"
    "Great book - great Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    i would absolutely recommend this book! One of his one of his best if not *the* best. The narrator - Michael Beck is brilliant, brings the characters to life and never misses a beat...flawless delivery; I am in awe how this is possible.
    The storyline is engaging, interesting and what a surprise for an ending; I loved it. Also reinforced for me why I disdain most lawyers so much.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Beck’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No but I will look for more by him; he's amazing!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gideon the Cutpurse

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Linda Buckley-Archer
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    Overall
    (250)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (125)

    The year is 1763. Gideon Seymour, cutpurse and gentleman, hides in dense underbrush from the villainous Tar Man. Suddenly the sky peels away like fabric and from the gaping hole fall two curious-looking children. Peter Schock and Kate Dyer have fallen straight from the 21st century, thanks to an experiment Kate's father was running with an antigravity machine.

    Anne says: "Like Harry Potter, it's great lit for any age!"
    "Engaging Young Adult Fantasy Sci-Fi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Gideon the Cutpurse to be better than the print version?

    I'm certainly not a young adult but I really enjoyed this story. Combining physics and cosmology (explaining things like dark matter) made the book very engaging. Characters were well developed and I loved the narrator.


    What other book might you compare Gideon the Cutpurse to and why?

    The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel come to mind. That series was incredible!
    I'm expecting that a follow up book to Gideon and the Cutpurse is in the works as the story ended quite abruptly.


    Which character – as performed by Gerard Doyle – was your favorite?

    I loved the children.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The unseen world of past and future.


    Any additional comments?

    There seemed to be an underlying theme of good vs evil in the book and on some level the invitation for goodness. It wasn't preaching but the consequences of not living a good life were conveyed through Gideon.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Over the Moon at the Big Lizard Diner

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Lisa Wingate
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    National best-selling author Lisa Wingate has inspired countless readers with her homegrown tales from her Texas Hill Country series. Archeologist Lindsey Attwood is distraught that her ex-husband has taken their eight-year-old daughter to Mexico for the summer. To take her mind off her worries, she agrees to visit her twin sister Laura and best friend Collie to help find stolen fossilized dinosaur tracks. But Lindsey soon discovers more than she bargained for, including a friendly mutt and hunky cowboy/veterinarian Zack Truitt.

    Gayle says: "A Fun, Light Read!"
    "Uptight Heroine"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Over the Moon at the Big Lizard Diner in three words, what would they be?

    Whiny Victim Revived.


    Would you recommend Over the Moon at the Big Lizard Diner to your friends? Why or why not?

    If you want a light listen to pass the time and don't mind all the self reflection and whining, this might be a better choice than a gory murder mystery.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Johanna Parker?

    Possibly. If only the author offered more depth and realty rather than morality and obsessive self talk.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Can't comment because this book isn't worth a film.


    Any additional comments?

    Give us some depth.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Loyalty in Death: In Death, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1110)
    Performance
    (721)
    Story
    (714)

    An unknown bomber is stalking New York City. He is sending Eve Dallas taunting letters promising to wreak mass terror and destruction among the "corrupt masses". And when his cruel web of deceit and destruction threatens those she cares for most, Eve fights back. It's her city...it's her job...and it's hitting too close to home. Now, in a race against a ticking clock, Eve must make the pieces fit - before the city falls.

    Shelly says: "arizona"
    "Cheesy Trash"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Loyalty in Death better?

    Other than re-writing the entire thing, nothing could save this. The characters are unrealistic - pit bull gorgeous cop married to a billionaire whipping boy. I am so sick of this set up. Give me real people doing real things; behaving in civilized ways.


    Has Loyalty in Death turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I will still buy and listen to murder mysteries but will stay away from JD Robb and the Death series.


    What didn’t you like about Susan Ericksen’s performance?

    There was nothing I liked. She made the main character - Eve come across like a pit bull. It got tiresome in a hurry. Its so unlike how people converse in the real world. Roark was another failure. Portraying him as someone who could rise above the pit bull was laughable. My time is too valuable to waste on such badly written books.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    None - absolutely none.


    Any additional comments?

    There is an entire 'Death' series - even the name creeps me out and if this book is any indication - the rest have to be as much a waste of time.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Faithful Place: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3599)
    Performance
    (1991)
    Story
    (1994)

    New York Times best-selling author Tana French has won the prestigious Edgar, Barry, Macavity, and Anthony awards. As her third novel featuring the Dublin Murder Squad opens, 19-year-old Frank Mackey is waiting in vain for Rosie, who he’s supposed to run away to London with. But when she doesn’t show, Frank leaves Dublin without her—thinking never to return.

    Buffalogal says: "Incredible"
    "Refreshing Departure from Typical Murder Genre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Faithful Place?

    The sweet and endearing relationship and love that Detective Frank Mackey has for his daughter and the wonderful conversations between them. I wish I had a dad like him!


    What did you like best about this story?

    A really good story and the awesome narrator that brought it all to life.


    What about Tim Gerard Reynolds’s performance did you like?

    This man is a true genius. The accent he had to use and variations of it for the cast of characters must have been difficult - but he did it. Thank you Mr. Reynold's!


    Any additional comments?

    Very much worth listening to!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Poet

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3480)
    Performance
    (2123)
    Story
    (2111)

    Our hero is Jack McEvoy, a Rocky Mountain News crime-beat reporter. As the story opens, Jack's twin brother, a Denver homicide detective, has just killed himself. Or so it seems. But when Jack begins to investigate the phenomenon of police suicides, a disturbing pattern emerges, and soon suspects that a serial murderer is at work.

    Tom says: "Is Connelly the Best Crime Writer Or What?"
    "Connelly at his BEST"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely great writing and narration. From the first chapter to the end it was engaging.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    They were all so real and plausible ... All great but glad the story was told through the eye of our journalist.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're a murder mystery fan - this one is a must listen. Truly one of the - if not the best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Witness

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7301)
    Performance
    (6363)
    Story
    (6347)

    Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever. Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she works at home designing sophisticated security systems.

    Amazon Customer says: "A great book"
    "Enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Witness?

    The story line was one that for the most part was actually believable. Also it was not packed with over the top violence, gore and over the top 'shoot-em up' scenes that I no longer want to put up with.


    Would you recommend The Witness to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would because it has some nice romance and normal stuff mixed in.


    What does Julia Whelan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She has a very calm voice - east to listen to. Very precise articulation - takes pride in her profession.


    Any additional comments?

    The heroine was a great superhero kind of character - every man's dream. But she was not really believable. I had to overlook that plus I had to overlook boyfriend/cop Brooks who was every woman's dream but again - hardly typical of what most men are really like (unfortunately).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Thunderhead

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1382)
    Performance
    (749)
    Story
    (745)

    Nora Kelly, a young archaeologist in Santa Fe, receives a letter written 16 years ago, yet mysteriously mailed only recently. In it her father, long believed dead, hints at a fantastic discovery that will make him famous and rich - the lost city of an ancient civilization that suddenly vanished a thousand years ago. Now Nora is leading an expedition into a harsh, remote corner of Utah's canyon country, but what she unearths will be the newest of horrors.

    Yurgel says: "Oh my god"
    "Great Writing & Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Thunderhead the most enjoyable?

    Scott Brick's narration is amazing - he's a true artist. Writers were great as well but I would have enjoyed it more if it were more based on reality. I'm getting tired of books that rely on magic and the supernatural. This element made the book a bit frightening.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The writers are masters of detail (almost too much) but they seemed to fizzle out at the end and I was glad for it even though it translated to parts missing.


    What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    This man is pure genius!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    A bit too suspenseful/ scary due to what came across as supernatural.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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