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  • Wonder

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By R. J. Palacio
    • Narrated By Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd

    August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school - until now. He’s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?R. J. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and writing that shines with spare emotional power.

    Regina-Audible says: "Everyone deserves a standing ovation at least once"
    "And adults can like it too!"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I was prepared for another "kid bullied, kid triumphs" kind of story. This was much more nuanced. Auggie brings out the best in those who are open to it, while those who aren't become ever more isolated and stuck. Love wins.

    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    The performance kept my attention.

    Any additional comments?

    The intonation of the mother was sometimes too patronizing or condescending. The sister was dead on. Auggies voice reflects impairment, but could become too grating in long spells. None of it was enough to keep me from recommending the book in any form to many friends. Thinking about making it a reading project for my confirmation class!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Doomsday Book

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong.

    Sara says: "A Haunting First Book in the Series"
    "Thank G_d for Time and a Half!"
    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Good Omens

    Any additional comments?

    The basic storyline was intriguing. I normally love time-travel stories and historical novels. I couldn't escape the clear impression that the author had studied the socks off her time period and was trying to fit all the interesting tidbits about life in the middle ages into the story, with a tedious result. As "Science Fiction" it lacked courage to fully imagine a world in the future capable of time travel and enduring dreaded worst case scenarios, but without cell phones or any other forms of communication not already in place in 1970. Bells are used as a literary device, but it becomes pedantic about midway. Agnes seemed to painted with a single brush as self-gratifying and demanding, resulting in a rather caricatured portrayal of children, many of whom are capable of far more emotional and moral complexity--especially in crisis. Catherine grew in complexity with her relationships with Agnes and the priest however. I was glad to see that religion was not completely judged by post-Enlightenment standards, and Father Roche was a sympathetic character who invited respect by the end. The woman reading terrible passages from the bible to the patients was archaic --as though she had time traveled from a Civil War infirmary to that time! Once I figured out how to advance the speed to "1 1/2x" the tedium became more bearable. Would love to see this story rewritten with a ruthless editor with a passion for making stories move with motivation and the courage to remove even half of the "donkeys on the stage." (being details that contribute nothing to the forward movement of the story, balk and distract from the story, and draw attention away from the paid actors!) The available nominations for the Hugo award must have been paltry that year for this one to have won it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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