Davis, CA, United States | Member Since 2008
I enjoyed this mystery and found the subject matter new and refreshing. It never got preachy or religious, but showed an understanding and respect of the Amish people. It was an easy, light listen that kept my interest, and I finished it in two days.
I am thinking a 3 1/2 star rating, close to a 4.
This book was a daily deal and it was Matthew's review that clinched it for me to take a chance. I am so glad I did. It certainly is not a genre I usually would pick as a listen, but maybe I should rethink that.
I really enjoyed this book--it was pure easy going fun for me. I didn't have a moment of boredom and I really liked the story line. Agutter is a very good narrator and captured the voice of the younger teen sister, Cassandra, perfectly. Cassandra is the speaker, the story taken from her journals which are ongoing and a constant in her life.
In summary, Cassandra and her slightly older, very pretty sister, Rose, live on an estate in England. The family should be paying rent to the estate owner but are sinking into serious poverty having been arrears in rent for a long time. Their father, who had fabulous success with his first book, has taken to reading novels, doing puzzles, daydreaming, and hasn't worked or written a thing in years. The estate falls under ownership of two dashing and very pleasant young men, brothers, who were raised in separate households in the US. It seems the girls' romantic dreams may be answered. Or maybe not . . . ?
If this sounds at all interesting, look at some of the other many positive reviews and dive in. Hopefully you will find it as fun as I did!
My third Robotham novel and not the last! It was a very good story and it kept me in suspense 'til the very end, which is what I usually hope for. I find Robatham and narrator, Sean Barrett, an unbeatable combination, as I have said before. I don't think I would even listen to a book in this series that was not narrated by Barrett. He seeps into the characters and becomes a necessary element.
This story had a certain "uneasiness" quality for me, a sense of dread and worry. My fears were allayed at the end, happily for me. It seems that for me, there is a fine line between enjoyment and discomfort. While this book came close to that line, it didn't jump over the line and cause too much anxiety for me.
What really surprised me is that I shed a few tears at the very end, at an unsuspected moment of kindness. I really like books that evoke strong feelings and this book did not disappoint.
So, while I really liked the book and do recommend it as a great listen, I have a few caveats I need to make. This book is not for the faint of heart, as you can see from the very few less than stellar reviews. Also, I would recommend you not read this book first, as it is 5th in the series. Make it a bunch more enjoyable for yourself and get to know the main characters a bit, those being psychologist Joe O'Loughlin and ex-cop Victor Ruiz. A little knowledge beforehand can make a book much more enjoyable, I have found.
This book did not disappoint on any level. I couldn't wait to get back to it and finished it in a few days. I think it will remain hovering in my mind for a long while.
Buckle you seat belt, put on your headphones, grab a few tissues, and prepare for a ride you will likely not forget. 13 year old Jenna cannot imagine how her mother, Alice Metcalf, could have abandoned her as a very young child. A long-term employee at the elephant sanctuary was trampled by elephants and her mother, Alice, was injured. Subsequently, Alice disappeared from the hospital mysteriously leaving Jenna to grow up in the care of her grandmother.
In an attempt to obtain some closure, to find out if her mother was actually alive, and to learn why she was left behind with an unstable father, Jenna enlists the help of two very unlikely advocates. She secures help from a disgraced psychic and an alcoholic ex-cop and begins her journey to clarify exactly what her mother's motives were when she abandoned her 3 year old daughter. In addition to Jenna's current day search, this book is to a large extent derived from Alice Metcalf's journals of her days at the New Hampshire elephant sanctuary that she ran with her husband, Thomas, and several close associates.
Throughout the book, we are educated on the plight of elephants. Picoult's elephant stories and educational information are true, many of the anecdotes coming from events at an actual elephant sanctuary in Tennessee. The stories of the elephants and the plight of Jenna and her friends tears at your heart. The ending was totally unexpected and demands that you let loose your preconceived notions and stretch your imagination a bit.
I was emotionally drained at the end of this book but somehow, it was a satisfying and appropriate ending. A tad bittersweet, you can imagine, as you cannot read about elephants and not feel heartbroken for them. For Jenna, however, there was a satisfactory resolution.
So, prepare yourself to be surprised and impressed. I loved this latest Picoult story--the author really outdid herself this time. Highly recommended!
Who would thought an audiobook on language could be so utterly compelling and interesting! I enjoyed the other Great Course I listened to, so I thought I would give this one a try. What a great decision on my part!
I know almost nothing about the subject nor was I ever interested in it, yet I was entertained for the entire 18 hours. What made this book so fascinating was Professor McWhorter's obvious love of his subject, Linguistics, and his wonderful, humorous, and dynamic personality. He is a pleasure to listen to--he makes a subject that could be very dry really come alive. I can certainly imagine listening to this book again.
McWhorter answers so many questions about the development of language. If you are at all like me, you may have never had any deep thoughts about language. I have only been frustrated by my difficulty in learning a foreign language. If you listen to this book, you will find out like I did just why it is so very difficult, if not impossible, to learn languages as an adult. You will learn, among other things, how languages develop and how they become extinct, why there isn't a universal language, what is the difference between a language, a dialect, and a creole. You will also be amazed at how few of the world's 6000 languages have been written down. You will most likely be very amused at the mostly unsuccessful attempts to create artificial languages, as McWhorter had such a fun time describing the musical language Solresol. No matter how boring my description sounds, McWhorter makes it all amusing and very interesting.
If you are wanting to break out of the escapism of fiction for a moment, I highly recommend this Great Course. I promise you will learn a great deal, you will be entertained, and maybe you will even be inspired to try another in the Great Courses series of audiobooks. I know I will.
I've read numerous books by Jon Katz and enjoyed every one of them. This is my first one on audio. It had been sitting in my Library for a while, and I was in no hurry to listen to it as I thought it would be somewhat similar to the others I had already read.
I was very surprised when I started listening to it yesterday. Where was the humorous Jon Katz I had come to expect? What happened? Was it the narrator's fault?
As I continued to listen, I realized that the author had written a very different type of book. His disclaimer that no dogs died in the book, while initially making me feel a sense of relief, was a bit misleading, but only a bit. The author focused on two dogs, Izzy and Lenore, as you can tell from the title. He also spoke very candidly of his being swamped by depression and how these exceptional dogs had helped him overcome it.
A major part of the book is Katz' decision to volunteer for hospice. This endeavor was a large part of the story, along with Izzy's phenomenal success as a hospice dog who accompanied Katz on his visits. Izzy seemed to have an innate skill and ability in dealing with dying people. These vignettes of the visits to hospice patients were wonderful and heart-rending. You will need several tissues, but please don't let that dissuade you from listening to this book. It is very uplifting, too. And then there is his lab puppy, Lenore! Just listening to her description made me ache for a puppy.
I applaud the author for being so open and honest about his life. I applaud him for being the dog lover and animal lover that he is. This book was very moving for me. The next time I have a Jon Katz book in my Library, it won't be sitting there very long! Highly recommended book (with a great narration, too!)
Not really what I think of as 'science fiction', not really dystopian either, perhaps CyberStorm could be called speculative fiction. Anyway, I really enjoyed this audiobook. It took me places I didn't want to go and then brought me back again. Some reviewers felt the ending was bad--not me. The ending really surprised me, and I came away feeling better than I thought I would. It has a twist I definitely did not see coming and which I actually welcomed.
In summary, the story involves a group of New Yorkers living on an apartment floor and their interactions as they attempt to survive an unprecedented cyber attack on the U. S., combined with a series of terribly disabling blizzards. Think cold, think hunger, fear, desperation, disease and vermin, mistrust, ultimate starvation. Also think camaraderie, love, caring, banding together, and uniquely creative survival skills.
There are a variety of diverse, distinct, and often fascinating characters we come to know and either like or dislike. We get a feel for the basic day to day survival tasks as things get progressively more dire. We see how various people react to crisis of the highest order.
Tom Taylorson did an excellent job of narrating with consistently different voices for each of the characters. Give him an additional pat on the back for being able to do female voices so well! I always appreciate that!
This is a very interesting and compelling story. Don't let the thought that you don't like science fiction scare you off. It is more speculative fiction, an event that I can easily imagine happening as we become more and more dependent on technology.
James Watson admits he is telling the story of his and Crick's discovery of the structure of DNA from his own perspective. He acknowledges others may see it from a different viewpoint. (It appears Watson's book has evoked a great deal of controversy as I learned when I searched out more information on it from the web.) Then he goes on to tell the story of the ultimate discovery of the double helix attributed to himself and Francis Crick along with descriptions of the parts played by the other contending characters in the rush to make the momentous find.
Despite the controversy, is a very interesting story made even more fascinating by Watson's description of the personalities of the various players and his relationships or interactions with them. It makes for an enjoyable, easy listen and makes me want to search out more information to know other aspects of the story and perhaps, other viewpoints.
And of course, Grover Gardener always turns out a wonderful narration and is an asset to any audiobook.
This is another example of a book I purchased after reading only one review. This time, I really enjoyed the book and have no regrets. While it is not without some small flaws, over all I feel this story has a great deal going for it.
I am assuming this is a first-time author, as I did not see any other books listed for him. I am guessing that new authors do not get the old tried and true narrators that many of us have come to know and love. This narrator, Cynthia Wallace, seems like a strange choice for this type of science fiction story. Cynthia has a lovely speaking voice but she hasn't mastered many of other types of accents and she has a tough time with male voices. Yet, it was evident she really gave it her all and it certainly wasn't what I would call a bad performance. I just think I would have enjoyed a more experienced narrator, preferably male, for this type of story.
As for the plot, it is such a unique idea, and it leads to so many interesting questions which could not be answered in a book of this length. I hesitate to provide spoilers as it will be much more fun for you to let the story develop as it proceeds. There is a lot of explanatory physics in the book, as of course there should be, as how many folks know the science behind the collider at CERN and how many folks really understand string theory? Don't let that deter you from getting this book as there are clear, simple explanations, just enough so you don't feel like a total ignoramus. This book would provide great discussions for a book club! Unfortunately, I have not been able to join a club so far, and I don't imagine alot of clubs would read science fiction. This book, however, is a lot more than science fiction and really gives you surprising things to mull over.
I had hoped for a surprising twist at the end of the story, which didn't come. I even knew what I thought would happen. It didn't . . . but still, I wasn't terribly disappointed. I felt satisfied that I had found an interesting and very engaging science fiction book.
You should never buy a new car model in its first year and you should not get an audiobook after reading only 1 review! However, I purchased this book firmly convinced I would love it. It sounded intriguing and had a wonderfully positive review.
And here's the thing. It has a very skilled narrator who did everything perfectly. And, I am sure, it is very well written, very intelligently thought out and researched, technologically oriented, and it is the type of science fiction I usually like. So, what went wrong?
Well, I am still trying to figure it out, so bear with me. As far as the characters, there were none I could identify with nor any I found interesting or especially likeable. Throughout the great majority of the book, extremely odd things were happening such as mass hallucinations. Lots of symptoms were presented with only vague hints of what might be the cause. I wasn't holding my breath in anticipation, nor was I invested enough to care very much. You could say that for me, this was not a nail-biter, and that might be an understatement!
Yet, I hung in there and kept listening whenever I could, as I was sure that when the great reveal came, it would be worth all the waiting. I figured the cause of the turmoil and possible destruction of the world would be mind-bending. It just wasn't mind bending and it came way too late, maybe the last chapter! I listened to that chapter over a couple of times to grasp what happened and realized this book just didn't do it for me.
So, this is how I come to be rating the book as middling, a book that has an excellent--no superb--narration, a book that shows off the author's writing skills and seems to be well thought out.
This book stopped me cold in my tracks. It was so much more than I expected.
In summary, it is a brilliant and haunting melancholic tale of a would-be farmer who became an English professor, who was a good man, who could have been truly great but for a certain passivity, and who wound up at the end of his days with many regrets about the choices he made. I came away from this audiobook feeling deeply affected. I feel so much empathy for William Stoner.
The publisher's summary is excellent. It tells you everything you need to know. Robin Field did a fine job of narrating. This very unusual book will be on my all time favorites list.
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