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Cathy

Northern CA Coast | Member Since 2002

238
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 53 reviews
  • 760 ratings
  • 1114 titles in library
  • 68 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
16

  • Time Travelers Never Die

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Jack McDevitt
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (269)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (149)

    When physicist Michael Shelborne mysteriously vanishes, his son Shel discovers that he had constructed a time travel device. Fearing his father may be stranded in time---or worse---Shel enlists Dave Dryden, a linguist, to accompany him on the rescue mission.

    Dave Cole says: "meh."
    "Staccato Steams of Simple Sentences"
    Overall

    I made the mistake of listening to this after an elegant piece of literature (The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet). The story line is extremely simple bedded in a rambling series of excursions into the past to participate in first-person experiences straight out of a textbook (civil rights march, Ben Franklin, Greek figures, presidents, authors, etc.) This is good fourth grade entertainment. I did manage to make it through the book, but the never-ending series of 'he said' and 'she said' combined with lusterless reading made it a trial.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Killer Ambition: A Rachel Knight Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Marcia Clark
    • Narrated By January LaVoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (39)

    When the daughter of a billionaire Hollywood director is found murdered after a kidnapping gone wrong, Los Angeles Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight and Detective Bailey Keller find themselves at the epicenter of a combustible and high-profile court case. Then a prime suspect is revealed to be one of Hollywood's most popular and powerful talent managers - and best friend to the victim's father. With the director vouching for the manager's innocence, the Hollywood media machine commences an all-out war designed to discredit both Rachel and her case.

    Cynthia says: "It's a Perfect (Rachel) Knight"
    "Not impressed with attention to detail"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the story, which is as the publisher describes. I am a detail-oriented person, and found the inattention to detail just a little unsettling. As an example, Rachel starves herself and constantly appears to be watching every calorie. However, she seldom has an evening without alcohol. The drinking didn't detract from the story, but as every calorie-counter knows, alcoholic drinks contain lots of calories. That's just a little example, there were others. I was entertained by the story, but would prefer cleaner editing. Just saying in case others are also slightly rankled by inattention to detail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Astonish Me: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Maggie Shipstead
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (87)

    Astonish Me is the irresistible story of Joan, a young American dancer who helps a Soviet ballet star, the great Arslan Rusakov, defect in 1975. A flash of fame and a passionate love affair follow, but Joan knows that, onstage and off, she is destined to remain in the background. She will never possess Arslan, and she will never be a prima ballerina. She will rise no higher than the corps, one dancer among many.After her relationship with Arslan sours, Joan plots to make a new life for herself.

    Cathy says: "Not what I'd hoped for"
    "Not what I'd hoped for"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I picked up Astonish Me after listening to a review of it on National Public Radio. The reviewer really liked the book, and it seemed like it would give me a glimpse into the (unknown to me) world of classical ballet. Two thirds of the way through the book I decided I could use my time more wisely and abandoned it. This is very unusual for me - I am a stick-to-it kinda gal. I found the reader's presentation to be ostentatious and pompous, when the story had very little pomp about it. Overall, I sum it up this way: I gave up, unastonished.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9465)
    Performance
    (8527)
    Story
    (8535)

    Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?

    Brock says: "Grisham at his best (again)"
    "Grisham As A Storyteller Returns"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love legal fiction, and I always enjoy Grisham. This time he's returned to a platform of telling a compelling tale and wrapping it in well-developed characters with baggage, charisma, and the incidental details of life that don't particularly add to the storyline, but definitely add to the reader learning about the character (which then significantly broadens the opportunities for story interpretation). I loved this book and no more perfect a reader could have been found - bravo to both Misters Grisham and Beck. I think I'll go back and re-read (listen) to some older Grisham books. Again, again. . .

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12126)
    Performance
    (11014)
    Story
    (11040)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "Engaging -Too Exciting to Lull One To Sleep"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I frequently set my iPod timer with the speaker under my head on the pillow top and 'listen myself to sleep.' This is not a good candidate for that type of listening/reading. The last quarter of the book wasn't as strong as the first three quarters (as many of the reviewers have mentioned) but I didn't find myself ready to end just because the story ending was a bit odd. All in all I found it to be a modern take on H.P. Lovecraft style writing - wierd fiction that kept my attention. It is exciting; it isn' particularly scary, gory or Stephen-King-style-thrilling. It's a good book. Listen to it.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Birchbark House

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Louise Erdrich
    • Narrated By Nicolle Littrell
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (34)

    With exquisite care, National Book Critics Circle Award winner Louise Erdrich has fashioned a story rich in the way of life and heritage of the Ojibwa people, a story that begs to be told out loud. As each season in a year of Omakayas' life is lovingly portrayed, the satisfying rhythm of her days is shattered when a stranger visits the lodge one night, bringing with him an invisible enemy that will change things forever.

    Mary says: "My children loved listening to this story with me"
    "Rather disappointing based on her other novels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have become quite impressed with the writing of Louise Erdrich, so when I saw this small older offering with no reviews I gave it a try. It is a young adult book, with a poor reader. The story is simple, not particularly well constructed and a bit jumpy as it does not follow emotional threads or action threads through for a "reader"s complete understanding. If you, like me, are an admirer of Ms Erdrich's novels, don't bother with this little, inexpensive offering. It bears no resemblance to her writing of the last decade, except it concentrates on Native American life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Saving Ceecee Honeycutt

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Beth Hoffman
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2775)
    Performance
    (1470)
    Story
    (1484)

    Laugh-out-loud funny and deeply touching, Beth Hoffman's sparkling debut is, as Kristin Hannah says, "packed full of Southern charm, strong women, wacky humor, and good old-fashioned heart." It is a novel that explores the indomitable strengths of female friendship and gives us the story of a young girl who loses one mother and finds many others.

    A User says: "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt"
    "For This Book Jenna Lamia Was the Perfect Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Loved this! There have been tragic events in my life that left me completely ready for the elements of the story - that of a bright girl tumbled into a new, unsought life through a series of life events which were sad, and troubling, but unremarkable due to the frequency of these very events maybe in your life, or certainly the life of someone you know. That was a long sentence for a three sentence review of why I enjoyed Ceecee.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sing You Home

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer, Brian Hutchison, Mia Barron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1171)
    Performance
    (587)
    Story
    (589)

    Music has set the tone for most of Zoe Baxter’s life. And it’s music that brings her back to love. When fertility issues lead to a divorce, Zoe throws herself into her career as a music therapist. As an unexpected friendship with a woman slowly blossoms into love, she makes plans for a new life, but to her shock and inevitable rage, some people - even those she loves and trusts most - don’t want that to happen.

    CDN says: "A Good Listen (except the music)"
    "Be ready to "fast forward""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Read the other reviews - they pretty much sum it up. The story is well written but formulaic. Maybe this was written for a much younger listener, but I certainly think this book was painted not with the full rainbow, but with black and white. My world is in shades of color - people are not just good and bad.

    As for the music, I found it not only distracting but awful. After listening to the first half of the first performance, I tried the first quarter of the second (just in case it was better - It Was Not) and just forwarded through the rest of the singing spots for the rest of the book. If I wanted to listen to music I'd listen to music. I want to listen to writing. That's why I like Audible

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Cheryl Strayed
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3687)
    Performance
    (3252)
    Story
    (3266)

    At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

    FanB14 says: "Glad I Took the Trip"
    "This Book Is About Personal Growth - Not the PCT"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Cheryl Strayed and/or Bernadette Dunne?

    I wouldn't try another from the author, but definitely would from Ms Dunne.


    What was most disappointing about Cheryl Strayed’s story?

    The idea of hearing about her adventures on the Pacific Crest Trail was exciting, but the book was really about her relationship with her family, personal exploration and coming to terms with grief.


    What about Bernadette Dunne’s performance did you like?

    Ms Dunne is a solid performer to whom I would listen again. I've enjoyed her reading in the past, and look forward to it in the future.


    Do you think Wild needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    This book needs an editor. I'm not sure who the audience should be, but as an outdoors person it wasn't directed to me. Ms Strayed's experiments with heroin use lent color to the story, and contributed to a general understanding of her as a character. With that said, I bought the book for the story of her encounters with nature, and that was covered in this book with no need for follow-up.


    Any additional comments?

    I reviewed this book after listening to several interviews with the author. I was considering it as a book we might offer to customers in our park visitor centers. I was interested enough to have my attention held by the book, but found it unsuitable as an offering in a nature-related book store. The author's language is colorful (I consider four-letter words colorful when used in context), but her sexual exploits and drug experiments take the course of the book from a wilderness, nature experience to one describing personal awareness as the central theme.

    22 of 32 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (18713)
    Performance
    (16660)
    Story
    (16622)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Suspenseful Novel Unlaced With Technicolor Horror"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to 11-22-63 the most enjoyable?

    The story is enticing, and, if it wasn’t an Audible version, I’d call it “a real page turner.” Thirty plus hours was not a minute too long to tell the complex tale of interwoven lives, braided time, and resonance. It’s not difficult to follow, even with its complexity. I thoroughly recommend this book to people who love a well-told story, and can stand suspense but step back from horror.


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

    I've never before listened to Mr. Wasson, but I'll look for other books he's read. He was adept at keeping his characters different and identifiable (even if he did slip into a Jimmy Stewart drawl for several of them).


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

    I may have wanted to (because it was hard to turn of my MP3 player and get my mind on something else), but at 30 plus hours it would hardly have been possible.


    Any additional comments?

    In my mind Stephen King is one of the truly brilliant story tellers of our time. That amazing ability of his to bring a mundane scene to Technicolor is both a huge plus and a huge minus to me. When I read “Cujo”, the story of a family pet, the writing was riveting and horrifying, but (just barely) acceptable to me, as was “Christine” and “Thinner”. However, “It”, “The Tommyknockers” and “Misery” put me over the edge into places my mind did not want to dwell (who can really love a clown after they’ve thoroughly read King?) and as a result I quit reading every King novel. I tried “Lisey’s Story” a couple of years ago thinking Mr. King had ventured from terror into telling a good yarn, but it turned out to be a bit much for me. Then I found “11-22-63: A Novel.” I am again enamored of Mr. King, and look forward to enjoying his prowess as a weaver of the threads of fiction.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Second Glance

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (862)
    Performance
    (304)
    Story
    (298)

    An intricate tale of love, haunting memories, and renewal, Second Glance begins in current-day Vermont, where an old man puts a piece of land up for sale and unintentionally raises protest from the local Abenaki Indian tribe, who insist it's a burial ground. When odd, supernatural events plague the town of Comtosook, a ghost hunter is hired by the developer to help convince the residents that there's nothing spiritual about the property.

    Ella says: "Not up to par"
    "Entertaining But Oddly Worthless Story"
    Overall

    I have read at least four of Ms. Picoult's books and really enjoyed them. Even after reading this one I have to say she can tell a story that keeps you listening/reading to the end. This selection is a strange combination of ghost story, science fact, science fiction, history, wildly-fictional imagination, anthropology review, love story, loss story, and (did I mention?) ghost story. It is mildly entertaining and the narration is brilliant. As a previous reviewer mention it is packed with every simile Ms. Picoult ever jotted into a notebook as something to use some day. All round, an odd book. I'm glad it wasn't the first of hers I'd ever read because I probably never would have tried the others which deserve higher rating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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