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Rena

Los Angeles, CA, United States | Member Since 2012

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 20 ratings
  • 151 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Jennifer Worth
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1172)
    Performance
    (1045)
    Story
    (1057)

    At the age of 22, Jennifer Worth left her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in postwar London’s East End slums. The colorful characters she met while delivering babies all over London - from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lived to the woman with 24 children who couldn't speak English to the prostitutes and dockers of the city’s seedier side - illuminate a fascinating time in history.

    Kathy says: "This is one I didn't want to put down!"
    "Beautiful History Lesson"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Call the Midwife?

    The characters


    What other book might you compare Call the Midwife to and why?

    It's in a class by itself. I have never read anything like it. It does kind of remind me of the film "A League of Their Own"


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

    I have not but I would like to.


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

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13165)
    Performance
    (5602)
    Story
    (5672)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

    Kindle Customer says: "Great Narration!!"
    "Incredibly Sweet Story About Life, Love and Dreams"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. It was a beautiful story and the narration was excellent.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the love story and the history lesson.


    What does David LeDoux and John Randolph Jones bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    LeDoux and Jones both do a great job conveying the emotion that Jacob was feeling. I cried when I thought 90 or 93 year old Jacob was not going to get to go to the circus.


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

    It already is a film and I think the tagline is excellent "Sometimes life is the greatest show on earth."


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Young Man from Atlanta

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 26 mins)
    • By Horton Foote
    • Narrated By Shirley Knight, David Selby
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    In 1950s Houston, an affluent couple is transformed by tragedy when their son dies under mysterious circumstances and the husband loses his job of 40 years. Shirley Knight recreates her Tony-nominated performance in this 1995 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama.

    Lindsay says: "Short, Sweet and Predictable"
    "Beautifully says the things that can not be said"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Young Man from Atlanta again? Why?

    No. I feel like I got the jest of the story the first time.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way the actors beautifully portrayed the tension of dancing around taboo topics.


    What about Shirley Knight and David Selby ’s performance did you like?

    You could not help but have a great deal of compassion for these older people making the attempt to navigate a changing world.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The last scene when Lily Dale finally accepts what happened to their son.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Steve Martin
    • Narrated By Steve Martin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2517)
    Performance
    (1127)
    Story
    (1122)

    In the mid-70s, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. Born Standing Up is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away".

    Andrew says: "Fantastic"
    "Stayed Cracking Up"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Born Standing Up again? Why?

    Yes. It was great to hear Steve talk about his stand up career and hear his philosophy about career fulfillment.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Steve... were there any others???


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

    His distinct tone. I could imagine his voice if I read the book. I am an 80s child and the earliest work of his that I have ever seen is early SNL. I'm more familiar with his movies. I have never seen his stand up and I would not have been able to properly guess the tone of the jokes if I had not listened to it.


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

    The last joke made me laugh for a good five minutes. I cried when he spoke about the death of his parents.


    Any additional comments?

    He constantly talks about what a shy person he is. He is known to be very private. I gave the story a 4 star rating because like many autobiographies that are specific to one period of a persons life you can literally feel passages where you get the feeling there is more to a story but the author is only going to tell as much as they want you to know. It is the authors right to do so but when the reader can sense the story is censored it leaves a slight feeling of dissatisfaction. I also found this in Tina Fey's "Bossypants". The only autobiography I can think of where I did not feel this was you Michael J. Fox's "Lucky Man."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kane and Abel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated By Jason Culp
    Overall
    (539)
    Performance
    (350)
    Story
    (349)

    William Lowell Kane and Abel Rosnovski, one the son of a Boston millionaire, the other a penniless polish immigrant-born on the same day near the turn of the century on opposite sides of the world-are brought together by fate and the quest of a dream. Two men - ambitious, powerful, ruthless - are locked in a relentless struggle to build an empire, fueled by their all-consuming hatred.

    Elliot says: "Kane & Abel - 30 years later"
    "Great American Saga"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Kane and Abel rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    On a scale of 1 to 10 it is a 6.5.


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

    How both men were very much alike and experienced a lot of pain do to their bad qualities. The lease interesting were the more than predictable plot twist. They may have been interesting 30 years ago when the book was written but now everyone of them is a cliche.


    Which character – as performed by Jason Culp – was your favorite?

    William Kane.


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

    The story of two great men who's desire to destroy was greater than the desire to build.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Beach Road

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By James Patterson, Peter de Jonge
    • Narrated By Billy Baldwin
    Overall
    (912)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (76)

    Tom Dunleavy has a one-man law firm in America's wealthiest resort town: legendary East Hampton. But his job barely keeps him in paper clips. His clients make a living serving the rich. The billionaires and celebrities swarming the beaches already have lawyers on their payroll.

    K. Jacob says: "Why??"
    "Lame Road"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    It may be good for someone who needs a good distraction who has a few hours to kill on a road trip.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    The 13th Tale


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Billy Baldwin?

    No


    What character would you cut from Beach Road?

    The pop star


    Any additional comments?

    This story was just LAME.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Red Tent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Anita Diamant
    • Narrated By Carol Bilger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1550)
    Performance
    (468)
    Story
    (476)

    Passionate, earthy, deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable contribution to modern fiction: a vibrant new perspective of female life in the age that shaped present day civilization and values.

    If you like The Red Tent, try The Harlot by the Side of the Road, a recounting of some of the most startling and explicit writings from The Old Testament.

    R. S. Herron says: "The key word is 'fiction'"
    "Bland"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Red Tent better?

    The narrator was awful. She did not have good infliction for her voices and did not bring any type of life to the story.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Anita Diamant again?

    Maybe


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Carol Bilger?

    No


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

    I was so bored I couldn't find anything good about it. Even though I listened intently and tried to find something.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Bossypants

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Tina Fey
    • Narrated By Tina Fey
    Overall
    (17234)
    Performance
    (13121)
    Story
    (13064)

    Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told....

    Warren says: "Tina Fey broke my new SUV"
    "AWESOME PANTS"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Bossypants in three words, what would they be?

    funny insightful interesting


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bossypants?

    Tina talking about working at the Y. It's always nice to hear about the humble beginnings of successful people I admire.


    Which character – as performed by Tina Fey – was your favorite?

    Tina


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I loved her talking about her thought process during the 2008 election and her portrayal of Sarah Palin on SNL.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish she would have talked more about her movie career.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Prince of Tides

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (1968)
    Performance
    (1152)
    Story
    (1153)

    Spanning 40 years, this is the story of turbulent Tom Wingo, his gifted and troubled twin sister Savannah, and their struggle to triumph over the dark and tragic legacy of the extraordinary family into which they were born.

    Ella says: "A "Prince" amongst novels"
    "A True Work of Art."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Prince of Tides to be better than the print version?

    Yes. I have read the print version and listened to the audio version and I will say that the audio is better. When Muller reads the descriptions of the South Carolina Low Country I feel like I can see, hear, taste, feel and smell it. To listen is an experience.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I love every single Wingo! Yes even Henry and Lila. They are PERFECTLY flawed, 3 dimensional characters. While I may not want to be friends with all of them, Conroy gives the reader so much information on what has shaped each of them.


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

    There are interpretations of certain events that Muller is able to portray with voice inflections that I can not imagine in the print version. Most specifically Tom finding Savannah with Rose Aster. This is the beginning of her illness and Muller having her sound sad one minute and angry the next is just awesome.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There are several. My favorite thing about the book is how much the three siblings love each other. I love the series of questions Tom asks Savannah after she tries to commit suicide; the Wingo children's adventures with the porpoise and the turtle; Graduation; The last time they are together on Marsh Hen Island.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an awesome book about life. The characters in the book go through very real ups and downs. Conroy allows you to know all of them so well that even when they are doing something unflattering you still like them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • South of Broad

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1161)
    Performance
    (367)
    Story
    (367)

    Against the sumptuous backdrop of Charleston, South Carolina, South of Broad gathers a unique cast of sinners and saints. Leopold Bloom King, our narrator, is the son of an amiable, loving father who teaches science at the local high school. His mother, an ex-nun, is the high school principal and a well-known Joyce scholar. After Leo's older brother commits suicide at the age of 13, the family struggles with the shattering effects of his death, and Leo, lonely and isolated, searches for something to sustain him

    karen says: "Wanted very much to like this book, but....."
    "Awesome story of friendship"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of South of Broad to be better than the print version?

    I did not read the print version but I am not sure if it would have held my attention the way the audio did.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of South of Broad?

    The group searching for Trevor in San Francisco.


    Which character – as performed by Mark Deakins – was your favorite?

    Leopold Bloom King


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

    A story of friends... that were closer than family.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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