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Nina

Ithaca, NY, United States | Member Since 2009

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 39 ratings
  • 115 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6690)
    Performance
    (5954)
    Story
    (5953)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Pamela says: "The circus of your dreams"
    "The perfect match"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Night Circus as narrated by Jim Dale represents the best of the audio book genre. Author and narrator are perfectly matched. Together they create a vivid, tantalizing tale that is simultaneously thought-provoking and romantic. The imagery alone is well worth the listen.

    (For those who have listened to Dale's narration of the Harry Potter series, the audioboook feels a bit like Harry Potter for grown-ups -- although it manages to feel both more magical and more realistic.)

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 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
    (2677)
    Performance
    (2404)
    Story
    (2403)

    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!"
    "Great performance and dialogue"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A very talented performer makes the witty dialogue in this book pop. At times the performance is over-the-top, but so are the characters so the two work well together. My only disappointment was the made-for-television end -- the author left too many loose ends and frustratingly implausible connections.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3216)
    Performance
    (2859)
    Story
    (2866)

    Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Walkabout"
    "Prolonged suffering"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the story of a long, painful, slow slog of a pilgrimage. Perhaps it is fitting, then, that the story is also an interminably slow, long slog. While there is a good idea here, the author’s descriptions are dreadfully repetitive and the characters ultimately paper-thin. Still worse, are the never-ending build-ups to climaxes that ultimately fizzle. I am still kicking myself for listening to the whole thing when I should have given up after the first hour.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Family Fang

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Kevin Wilson
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (660)
    Performance
    (566)
    Story
    (564)

    Performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang dedicated themselves to making great art. But when an artist's work lies in subverting normality, it can be difficult to raise well-adjusted children. Just ask Buster and Annie Fang. For as long as they can remember, they starred (unwillingly) in their parents' madcap pieces. But now that they are grown up, the chaos of their childhood has made it difficult to cope with life outside the fishbowl of their parents' strange world.

    B. Westman says: "Surprisingly Deep"
    "Truly creative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the most creative stories I have read in a long time. So often, creativity in novels takes the form of novel literary devices and little else. Here, it is the story itself that is so unusual and so truly "new" feeling. The narrator is also excellent and well-suited to the author's writing style.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • State of Wonder: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4396)
    Performance
    (3196)
    Story
    (3197)

    Research scientist Dr. Marina Singh is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have disappeared in the Amazon while working on an extremely valuable new drug. The last person who was sent to find her died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding answers to the questions about her friend's death, her company's future, and her own past.

    F. B. Herron says: "Do yourself a favor and listen to this book!"
    "Great characters, thought-provoking, enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another great read from Ann Patchett, and one that is even more thought-provoking than Bel Canto or the Magican's Assistant. The ending is satisfying in part because it leaves so many possibilities. I so wish there were a sequel -- but Patchett gives you enough to write one in your own head, so it is hard to object too much.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Girl in Translation

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jean Kwok
    • Narrated By Grayce Wey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (478)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (197)

    When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life-like the staggering degree of her poverty, the weight of her family's future resting on her shoulders, or her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition-Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles.

    Susan B. Johnson says: "This is a keeper"
    "Splendid"
    Overall

    This is a beautifully written book with compelling characters. Language plays a central role in this book, and left me with a renewed appreciation for how the constraints of one's language affects one's sense of self. The narration is also among the best I've heard. Highly recommended.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Glass Houses

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Sandra Howard
    • Narrated By Jilly Bond
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Victoria James is at home awaiting a call from Downing Street, desperate for the telephone to ring but mindful of the impact a promotion could have on her husband and daughter. When she receives the summons, high office does indeed await her, and life will never be the same again. As a young, attractive female Minister, Victoria will be living in the public eye, challenged in her views at every turn. But nothing prepares her for what ultimately throws her off-balance: a love affair with a married man.

    Catherine says: "Good listen!"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall

    The characters were not believable, chapters seemed repetitive, and the narrator's voice for the protagonist's lover made him seem unhinged and unattractive contrary to the author's apparent intentions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Best Friends Forever: A Novel

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jennifer Weiner
    • Narrated By Kate Baldwin, Rick Holmes
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Addie Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. That's what Addie believes after Valerie moves across the street when they're both nine years old. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her school's scapegoat.

    suzanne says: "enjoyable"
    "Great fun"
    Overall

    An enjoyable romp. Would have given it more stars were it not from the abridgement.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jamie Ford
    • Narrated By Feodor Chin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2004)
    Performance
    (922)
    Story
    (923)

    In the opening pages of Jamie Ford's stunning debut, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

    Christopher says: "Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet"
    "Tell, not show"
    Overall

    This audiobook has a charming story, a good plot line, and an excellent narrator. Yet the writing is at times painful. The author leaves nothing to the reader's imagination or conjecture, instead choosing to have the characters spell out their emotions and thoughts in unrealistic detail.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • People of the Book

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Geraldine Brooks
    • Narrated By Edwina Wren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1084)
    Performance
    (530)
    Story
    (523)

    This ambitious, electrifying work traces the harrowing journey of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript created in 15th-century Spain.

    When it falls to Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, to conserve this priceless work, the series of tiny artifacts she discovers in its ancient binding - an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair - only begin to unlock its deep mysteries.

    Yvette says: "Amazing, fabulous, wonderful!!!"
    "Fantastic"
    Overall

    A compelling and intriguing narrative, an engaging narrator, and I'm still thinking about it months later. I actually looked forward to my dreadful commute just so I could listen.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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