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Carol

Can't stop listening

Member Since 2010

55
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 73 ratings
  • 225 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
3

  • The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen Greenblatt
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (785)
    Performance
    (667)
    Story
    (664)

    Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late 30s took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic by Lucretius—a beautiful poem containing the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles.

    Ethan M. says: "Very compelling history, a less compelling thesis"
    "Wonderful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stephen Greenblatt tells the story of a treasure hunter of the 1400's who unearths a remarkable manuscript. But there is another story told about the way ideas are disseminated and remembered as well as censored and forgotten. The radical shifts of cosmological views during the Renaissance are also explored through the colorful characters that are touched by the ideas contained in the ancient manuscript. For those who love books, for those who love ideas, and for those who enjoy seeing how the two can change the world, this is a great listen.

    The narrator is also wonderful. The right pace and a clear voice.

    22 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Robert M. Edsel, Bret Witter
    • Narrated By Jeremy Davidson
    Overall
    (411)
    Performance
    (319)
    Story
    (324)

    In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture.

    Paul Bennett says: "Fine book, adequate narration"
    "Read BEFORE the movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As an art lover and someone who lived in Europe many years ago, I had only heard whispers of these stories, random crumbs about Nazi art thefts of some of my most beloved masterpieces, but I never knew the extent of the theft or that the art and architecture I have spent my life learning about came so close to being lost, completely, before I was born. This was a revelation, and well told. I am left with a burning desire to thank the heroes of this story and to hope that the movie offers a fitting memorial to their mission. This is the kind of book I want everyone to read, certain that lives will be enriched knowing this worthy story, and certain that it will be closer to the truth than any film can offer. Read first before the movie has some fun with it.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3729)
    Performance
    (3454)
    Story
    (3462)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Cynthia says: "Shadows Dissolved in Vinegar"
    "Will read more Gaimen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Clearly, this is a writer, and an extraordinary performer of his own work. I wasn't in the mood for such dark and scary stuff, but that is entirely my fault, not his. As my first read of Gaimen, I had not expected the dreamy landscape that blurs reality and it took me awhile to immerse myself in it. As others have pointed out, it is almost too short. Just as I had my bearings, it was over. I will say, it captures an almost forgotten sense of how we all struggled between our make-believe and our reality at some point in our lives. One of the better childhood perspectives I have encountered.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Robin Sloan
    • Narrated By Ari Fliakos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2017)
    Performance
    (1818)
    Story
    (1808)

    The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything....

    Susan says: "Fun, thought-provoking, mysterious.... and FUN !"
    "You don't have to be a geek"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Robin's romp through hi-tech magic and ancient knowledge (aka OK) was so completely refreshing and entertaining, my only complaint is it ended too soon. Would have loved to hang out with Clay and gang a lot longer!

    You also do not have to be young to enjoy this. But if you like (even a little) typography, design, communication, codes, and fun, then you are the right person for this adventure. I especially enjoyed Clay and his tongue in cheek, don't-take-it-too-seriously attitude.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Son

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Philipp Meyer
    • Narrated By Will Patton, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Shepherd, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (904)
    Performance
    (816)
    Story
    (834)

    Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching portrait of the bloody price of power, The Son is an utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American West through the lives of the McCulloughs, an ambitious family as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim. Spring, 1849: Eli McCullough is 13 years old when a marauding band of Comanches takes him captive. Brave and clever, Eli quickly adapts to life among the Comanches, learning their ways and waging war against their enemies, including white men - which complicates his sense of loyalty and understanding of who he is.

    Melinda says: "Five Stars for the Lone Star, The Son, & Meyer"
    "When men were Men."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After the first violent episode, the rest were a bit easier to read through. I loved the different characters sharing a story across the ages, each bringing a different perspective and each a fascinating character in their own rights. The writing is rich and engaging. The research impressive. But the narration steals the show for me. Not sure the print version would have been as engaging. I loved Eli from start to finish, much the way good girls like bad boys. "Might makes right" echoes from these pages and reminds me why Texas can be such an ornery and difficult place. If anything, the book makes me like the state even less than I did before by confirming stereotypes, but that didn't make the read any less enjoyable.

    5 of 6 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
    Overall
    (2647)
    Performance
    (2352)
    Story
    (2354)

    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"
    "Every journey begins with one step"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are layers here. There is beauty and there is a profound sense of what life is about. I haven't been so sad to finish a book in a long time. Perfect for a walk.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shattered

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Karen Robards
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (619)
    Performance
    (368)
    Story
    (377)

    With an ailing mother to care for, Lisa Grant takes the first job she can find: research assistant to District Attorney Scott Buchanan. What Lisa expects to be a mind-numbingly boring task turns into anything but when a missing-persons case draws her attention. The details of the case are engrossing: an entire family — father, mother, and two children — disappeared without a trace more than 28 years ago. Except that’s not all: the mother in a photo Lisa finds could be her own twin.

    SassiKassi says: "All that's promised and more."
    "Shallow dime store novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Based on several glowing reviews, I gave this a try. If you like a richly evolved sentence and living, breathing characters, a sharp plot with action or at least mystery, move along. If you want simple writing, shallow characters who have sex and an unchallenging plot, go ahead. Far from the worst I've read, but certainly nowhere close to good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flight Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1266)
    Performance
    (1099)
    Story
    (1107)

    Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at 17. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media.

    Marcia says: "Tough Message Delivered in Silk"
    "Delicate, ambiguous, powerful."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As usual, Kingsolver brings characters to life in all their flawed beauty and realism. We feel we know them and even better, understand them. Flight Behavior has a point of view, but not exactly what you might expect and not a simple one. Kingsolver often gives us a complex reality dressed in butterfly wings. The story was original and even the characters struggled to make sense of it. But it is a metaphor for all the changes we face, whether personal or global in nature, how we deal with circumstances when they fall outside what we know. Another beauty and another one that sticks with the reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Art Forger

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By B. A. Shapiro
    • Narrated By Xe Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (556)
    Performance
    (474)
    Story
    (480)

    Making a living reproducing famous artworks for a popular online retailer and desperate to improve her situation, Claire is lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge a painting - a Degas masterpiece stolen from the Gardner Museum - in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But when that very same long-missing Degas painting is delivered to Claire's studio, she begins to suspect that it may itself be a forgery. Her desperate search for the truth leads Claire into a labyrinth of deceit where secrets hidden since the late 19th century may be the only evidence that can now save her life.

    Cynthia says: "The Art Forger"
    "Interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My perspective as a former studio painter and art history buff attracted me to this book and created both my favorable and unfavorable views. I started off being skeptical of the artistic license used in both the technical issues and the historic. Focusing on an Impressionist painting seemed so over-done; being a Vermeer fanatic, I would have preferred "The Concert" as subject (a real casualty in the real heist). But I was still pulled in and carried along partly because I could relate to the issues if not buying every detail. Many have commented on enjoying the technicalities of forgery, which I admit, were a fun read. In fact, there is so much more than given but Shapiro avoids tedium and gives us enough to enjoy. Strong female protagonists are always welcome and a glimpse of the art world will satisfy those who have no clue. I thought of DaVinci code (which I loved as a guilty pleasure) so I recommend this unless you know too much about painting to let a little go and enjoy yourself. In my humble opinion, more books about art and craft are needed on the shelves. This is a rich subject.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13909)
    Performance
    (12279)
    Story
    (12307)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Don't Read Reviews, read the book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I heard it was kind of dark, so I scanned reviews to get a better feel for what I was getting myself in to. But surprises and twists are what awaits you in this page-turner of a suspenseful marriage. Don't spoil any of it by knowing too much before it begins. Just enjoy the psychological mind game Gillian plays with you. It would be a GREAT selection for a book group. I promise you, it is hard not to want to discuss this one! Her best novel so far. I hope for many more!

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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