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Catherine

ratings
511
REVIEWS
53
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
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HELPFUL VOTES
36

  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Maria Semple
    • Narrated By Kathleen Wilhoite
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2785)
    Performance
    (2500)
    Story
    (2499)

    Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

    Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle - and people in general - has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands.

    S says: "One of my top 10 listens of the year!"
    "Laugh Out Loud"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this book. It is wonderfully funny detailing the highjinks of the denizens of the Seattle/Microsoft, suburban, private school crowd with a sweet underlying family story. The writing is very lively -- the story is told through the email messages, letters, etc. of various characters, each with very distinct voices. While some of the story elements are silly and outlandish for comedic effect, it is not vapid--there is humanity in the emotional unfolding of the story. The narrator gamely takes on some (briefly) required accents, but her main strength is in her energetic characterizations. She also sings exeptionally well for the one verse of a Christmas carol.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Through the Grinder

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Cleo Coyle
    • Narrated By Rebecca Gibel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (215)
    Performance
    (196)
    Story
    (195)

    There's trouble brewing at the Village Blend. Business is booming--but Clare's customers are starting to die. Soon after stopping at the coffeehouse, a regular jumps to her death in the subway. Or was she pushed? Detective Quinn is convinced that someone has an axe to grind, especially after the "suicide" of another female customer. Unfortunately, his prime suspect is Bruce Bowman--the new man in Clare's life. Bruce is the perfect blend of rugged good looks and potent personality.

    Ronna says: "Who is "The Genius"?"
    "Creepy for a Cozy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The stalker in this book was pretty creepy, which I wasn't expecting. Not full-on thriller level of suspense, but grislier than I expected for a cozy coffee shop mystery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Purple Hibiscus

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • Narrated By Lisette Lecat
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (71)

    In Purple Hibiscus, she recounts the story of a young Nigerian girl searching for freedom. Although her father is greatly respected within their community, 15-year-old Kambili knows a frighteningly strict and abusive side to this man. In many ways, she and her family lead a privileged life, but Kambili and her brother, Jaja, are often punished for failing to meet their father’s expectations. After visiting her aunt and cousins, Kambili dreams of being part of a loving family.

    Msafiri says: "Great Story"
    "Fanatical Catholic father = troubling behavior"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I adore Adichie's prose and am fascinated by the glimpse into Nigerian culture, I found the character of the father so polarized in his public vs. private behavior and his horrific treatment of his family hard to believe and hard to take.
    As to the recording, the narrator's breathing was often so clearly heard as to be distracting. I loved her performance and attribute this to poor production technique.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All the Birds, Singing

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Evie Wyld
    • Narrated By Cat Gould
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (37)

    Jake Whyte is living on her own in an old farmhouse on a craggy British island, a place of ceaseless rains and battering winds. Her disobedient collie, Dog, and a flock of sheep are her sole companions, which is how she wanted it to be. But every few nights something - or someone - picks off one of the sheep and sounds a new deep pulse of terror. There are foxes in the woods, a strange boy and a strange man, rumors of an obscure, formidable beast.... And there is also Jake's past....

    Sparkly says: "Strange, Delicate, Brutal"
    "Unusual literate storytelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The characters were intriguing and revealed in flashbacks going in reverse chronological order. The storyline was quite compelling and the prose was beautiful and descriptive. Some details were creepy and disturbing, but/and very effective.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Futures and Frosting

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Tara Sivec
    • Narrated By Romy Nordlinger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (161)
    Story
    (163)

    Carter, Claire and Gavin have formed the perfect little family. Their friends are getting married and everyone is growing up, maturing and ready to face the future. Or are they? From bachelorette party hell, porn addictions, dinner roll baseball and botched wedding proposals to finding out everyone's extended family is chock full of crazy, Carter and Claire begin to question the strength of the ties that bind them.

    Robert Zimmermann says: "Review: Futures and Frosting, by Tara Sivec"
    "Crude and Silly Fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the outrageous characters, behavior and language of this series. It is light entertainment and only for those who aren't offended by the language. I was frustrated by the reader's inability to differentiate between male and female characters which is particularly problematic as the chapters alternate from the point of view of a male and a female character, and it is impossible to tell who is talking by tone of voice alone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wicked Autumn: A Max Tudor Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By G. M. Malliet
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (380)
    Performance
    (322)
    Story
    (325)

    Max Tudor has adapted well to his post as vicar of St. Edwold's in the idyllic village of Nether Monkslip. The quiet village seems the perfect home for Max, who has fled a harrowing past as an MI5 agent. But this new-found serenity is quickly shattered when the highly vocal and unpopular president of the Women's Institute turns up dead at the Harvest Fayre. The death looks like an accident, but Max's training as a former agent kicks in, and before long he suspects foul play.

    Sara says: "A Classic Cozy English Village Mystery"
    "Brilliant, but not for everybody"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved Wicked Autumn, but some may find the writing too literary and the British reader too stuffy. I enjoyed the characters and the setting and found the prose brilliant. When I first started listening, I wasn't able to concentrate to follow the rhythm and accent of the reader, and it doesn't help that they start with the list of character descriptions, which I think was a mistake. However, when I restarted I was completely drawn in and loved the intelligent and elegant prose and the uptight British reserve. It is vital to listen to a segment to see if it appeals to you as much as it does to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bone Yard: Raine Stockton Dog Mystery, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs)
    • By Donna Ball
    • Narrated By Donna Postel
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Dog trainer Raine Stockton has lived all her life in the quiet community of Hansonville, North Carolina. She is the daughter of a judge, the niece of a sheriff, and the ex-wife of a deputy. She does not lead the kind of life, generally speaking, in which people get buried in her backyard. But when Cisco, Raine's mischievous golden retriever, digs up human bones beneath the site of what will soon be her new training kennel, mayhem ensues.

    Catherine says: "Brief Pleasure"
    "Brief Pleasure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like this series with the dogs and setting, but this one is just too short and simple. I wish she would have fleshed it out more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dear Committee Members: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Julie Schumacher
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (52)

    Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters, while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remodeled offices. His once-promising writing career is in the doldrums, as is his romantic life, in part as the result of his unwise use of his private affairs for his novels.

    Catherine says: "Fantastically Funny!"
    "Fantastically Funny!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this hysterical. Cynical and sarcastic, by turns dry and over the top. Probably a whole lot more interesting and funny for people who have spent a fair amount of time at a university.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tilt-a-Whirl

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Chris Grabenstein
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1530)
    Performance
    (921)
    Story
    (915)

    There isn't much fun in the sun when a billionaire real estate tycoon is found murdered on the Tilt-a-Whirl at a seedy seaside amusement park in the otherwise quiet summer tourist town of Sea Haven. John Ceepak, a former MP just back from Iraq, has just joined the Sea Haven police department. The job offer came from an old Army buddy who hoped to give Ceepak at least a summer's worth of rest and relaxation to help him forget the horrors of war. Instead, Ceepak will head up the murder investigation.

    Bryan says: "A Guilty Pleasure"
    "Wide-eyed Innocent Side-kick Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The mystery is told thru the side-kick of the investigating officer. At first I found the narrator's voice a bit too young and disingenuous, but it did fit the character pretty well. I enjoyed the relationship between the two police officers. The tourist trap island on the (New) Jersey Shore is a funny location and Grabenstein makes nice connections between the fantasy world of tourist entertainment and real life. The mystery isn't especially believable, but I read for characters, and this was nice light entertainment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Plus One: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Bower, Ben Elliot, Nicola Stanton, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1304)
    Performance
    (1166)
    Story
    (1170)

    Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied, and your math-whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can't afford to pay for. That's Jess' life in a nutshell - until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess' knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages...maybe ever.

    Kathy says: "Sometimes I need a book that is just fun to read."
    "Multiple readers not a good choice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't like the choice of using multiple readers for this book. Each chapter is voiced by a different reader, but when the storyline includes other characters speaking, it gets very confusing. Not all the narrators are equally good at voicing the other characters, and they don't sound at all like the characters they are supposed to be. It just doesn't work and detracted from my enjoyment of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Meant to Be: An Anchor Island Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Terri Osburn
    • Narrated By Amy Rubinate
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (124)

    Beth Chandler has spent her whole life pleasing others. She went to law school to make her grandparents happy. She agreed to marry her workaholic boyfriend, Lucas, to make him happy. And, despite her fear of boats, she took a ferry to see Lucas’s parents just to make them happy. While suffering through a panic attack on the ferry, Beth meets a tall, sexy stranger who talks her down from her fear - and makes her heart flutter in the process. Soon, she has a new reason to panic: her gorgeous, blue-eyed rescuer is Lucas’s brother, Joe.

    Penelope says: "Pretty good story line - but predictable"
    "pleasant romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Solidly written, but fairly predictable romance (is that redundant?). Entertaining characters, and small town island location make it a guilty pleasure. Good for when you want something light.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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