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Valley Village, CA, United States | Member Since 2005


  • Great House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Nicole Krauss
    • Narrated By Alma Cuervo, George Guidall, Celeste Ciulla, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From the internationally best-selling author of The History of Love comes this stunning novel. Great House follows the multiple owners of one writing desk and how the desk shapes their lives. A young novelist inherited the desk from a poet taken by Pinochet’s police. Then the desk is stolen from her by the poet’s supposed daughter. In its drawers, another man discovers a long-kept secret about his wife....

    Lisa says: "Beautiful writing, but probably better to read it"
    "Beautiful writing, but probably better to read it"

    This novel and its mediations on loss and loneliness and the connections that the characters from different stories eventually have with each other are hard to dwell on when you are listening to it. I believe that reading it would be better. I got a hard copy and after reading certain sections and seeing words repeated, I was able to make the connections that a careful reader would pick up on, which answered a bunch of questions for me about who is who in the novel. Just listening in the car, this was not something I could do, and I was happy I read it. The different stories all have separate narrators and this was helpful as they are interspersed with each other, and otherwise it would have been hard to know who was talking.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Mockingbird

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Kathryn Erskine
    • Narrated By Angela Jayne Rogers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In Mockingbird—a poignant gem by acclaimed author Kathryn Erskine—a talented young artist struggles to overcome a disability. Diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, 10-year-old Caitlin faces a range of social and emotional challenges. The unexpected death of her caring brother makes matters even worse, but will the memory of his words of wisdom and the help of a compassionate counselor be enough to enable her to connect with others?

    L. says: "Wonderful story of Healing"
    "Well read, but this did not keep my interest"

    The voice of a young girl with Asperger's Syndrome rings a bit false to me. I have read a number of these types of things and I was surprised this won the National Book Award considering it was a bit plodding and predictable. The narration was excellent, but that did not save the book for me.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Woods Runner

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Gary Paulsen
    • Narrated By Danny Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Samuel, 13, spends his days in the forest, hunting for food for his family. He has grown up on the frontier of a British colony, America. Far from any town, or news of the war against the King that American patriots have begun near Boston.

    Lisa says: "good but bit unlikely story"
    "good but bit unlikely story"

    I enjoyed this audiobook and the narrator was very good. The issue with the story, however, is that it hinges on quite a number of coincidences in order to propel the plot, and a writer as good as Paulsen dosen't have to do that. It could have been longer and those issues could have been resolved more imaginatively. The little historical factual notes at the end of chapters serve to complement the plot and I thought they were particularly interesting. I could see how they could take away from the narrative, however, if someone was reading it, and not listening. The book contains some rather violent scenes so I would not recommend it for younger than 10 years old.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Million Shades of Gray

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Cynthia Kadohata
    • Narrated By Keith Nobbs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A boy and his elephant escape into the jungle when the Viet Cong attack his village immediately after the Vietnam war.

    Lisa says: "beautiful writing"
    "beautiful writing"

    This was well read and held your interest. The point of view of a young boy in Vietnam during the war there is unique to children's literature in English, I think, and the writing is tight and well plotted, and lovely. Very appropriate for a 4th - 6th grade reader, and can be listened to by all ages.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Freedom: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jonathan Franzen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul - the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter - environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man - she was doing her small part to build a better world.

    Lawrence says: "Believe the Hype"
    "Long, but stick with it!"

    Like in "The Corrections", the author delves into the psyches of some pretty unlikeable people, but even though each one of them has faults, and rarely can the listener identify with any of them particularly, they are all simply humans with flaws and you grow to love them. It is well read, and the satisfying ending left me in tears while sitting in the car--and not tears of sadness, but of the moving realization that we are probably all scarred by our individual stories, but choosing to live our best lives is what keeps us sane as long as we continue to see the beauty in the world and our relationships to others.

    This book stayed with me for days after finishing it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Out of My Mind

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Sharon M. Draper
    • Narrated By Sisi Aisha Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory that makes her the brightest kid in her school. Unfortunately, her teachers and doctors don’t believe she can even learn. Unable to talk, walk, or write, she longs to tell what she thinks and knows. Trapped inside her own mind, she finally discovers how to “speak.” And yet some may not be ready to hear her voice.

    Tim says: "I have CP"
    "Perfect narrator!"

    This story is told in the voice of a 5th grade girl and Sisi Johnson gets it absolutely right. I highly recommend this as a great book for a family, or especially for young people in grades 4 and up. The author helps you to see the world through the eyes of a disabled child who is very intelligent but can't speak--and it can really change the way people see and treat others with disabilities.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Jonathan Aris, Paula Wilcox
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1799, the artificial island of Dejima lies in Nagasaki Harbor as Japan’s outpost for the Dutch East Indies Company. There, Jacob de Zoet has come to make a fortune large enough to return to Holland and marry the woman he loves.

    Darwin8u says: "A NEAR Perfect Novel."
    "brilliant narration"

    The narrators do a wonderful job with the many voices and characters, making this a much better listen than reading it alone. Great fun, and fascinating history is learned too.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Gate at the Stairs

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Lorrie Moore
    • Narrated By Mia Barron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In her dazzling new novel--her first in more than a decade--Moore turns her eye on the anxiety and disconnection of post-9/11 America, on the insidiousness of racism, the blind-sidedness of war, and the recklessness thrust on others in the name of love.

    Wendy says: "Great Writing - Not Great Book"
    "A simile-fest"

    Lorrie Moore never met a simile she didn't like--there must be hundreds of descriptions in that form throughout this book. It is writing so clever that one must stop to admire it, which distances the reader from the plot, as thin as it is. Mostly it is the slow revelations of a young college narrator who learns about love and loss in a year of her life. I enjoyed listening to it, although it is not a book I would recommend to people as a book "you can't put down" because it meanders often and sometimes feels like a meditation on life, which doesn't always compel me in an audiobook.

    But the narrator, Mia Barron, is spot on with her ironic smarminess and voice of youthful longing. Get this one if you admire the great wordsmiths and like to be amazed by unusual talent.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of All Flesh

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Samuel Butler
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This brilliant satirical novel, tracing the life and loves of Ernest Pontifex, has continued in popularity since its original publication in 1903. Every generation finds in The Way of All Flesh a reaffirmation of youth's rightful struggle against the tyranny of harsh parents and its admirable will for freedom of personal expression.

    Jake says: "Really spectacular"
    "sardonic wit"

    Frederick Davidson does a great job as the droll, sarcastic narrator of this story. It is still funny, even a century later. The plot does get bogged down in philosophical thoughts and bits of Christian theology, and the first part of the book is better than the second, but I enjoyed the reading and marveled at how much the truth of how we are treated as youth matters as to what kind of adults we become.
    After reading this book, it is fascinating to look up history on the life of Samuel Butler and see how thinly this novel is a disguised autobiography. He is really a tremendously talented writer.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Known World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Edward P. Jones
    • Narrated By Kevin Free

    Henry Townsend, a black farmer, bootmaker, and former slave, has a fondness for Paradise Lost and an unusual mentor, William Robbins, perhaps the most powerful white man in antebellum Virginia's Manchester County. Under Robbins's tutelage, Henry becomes proprietor of his own plantation, as well as of his own slaves. When he dies, his widow Caldonia succumbs to profound grief, and things begin to fall apart.

    Rachel says: "wonderful and highly recommended"
    "totally engrossing"

    I certainly can understand how some may think this book to be complex because it has so many characters and there is some work involved in keeping them straight. But boring and meandering? Not at all. I was fascinated from start to finish and still wonder if this story could have really happened in history, as I discoved later that the author did not research. Doesn't matter--a great book!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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