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Wendi

Canadian girl in Kansas, love audible, books on kindle or kindle fire, and old fashioned books! I enjoy fiction most, mostly books with strong female leads. Favourite authors: Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Pat Conroy, Andre Dubus III, Lisa Genova, many more!

Overland Park, KS, United States | Member Since 2012

170
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 42 reviews
  • 111 ratings
  • 649 titles in library
  • 31 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
19

  • The Storyteller

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Mozhan Marno, Jennifer Ikeda, Edoardo Ballerini, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3694)
    Performance
    (3228)
    Story
    (3244)

    Jodi Picoult's poignant number one New York Times best-selling novels about family and love tackle hot-button issues head on. In The Storyteller, Sage Singer befriends Josef Weber, a beloved Little League coach and retired teacher. But then Josef asks Sage for a favor she never could have imagined - to kill him. After Josef reveals the heinous act he committed, Sage feels he may deserve that fate. But would his death be murder or justice?

    Suzn F says: "The Baker, The Nun, The Virgin and The Monster"
    "Best Novel from Picoult in Years"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Storyteller the most enjoyable?

    Overall, I felt that the perplexity and the fantastic chrarters are definitely the best part of 'The Story Teller. I was very hard to put down. I got lost in the points of view of the Holocaust, and then I found the point of view from a guard at Auschwitz. Picoult devles into th social history of the Holocaust, and tells the story from an officer who was there, and a woman who was there to take him abuses. She adds a certain 'human' element to each character, and displays their weaknesses, flaws, and strong points.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Storyteller?

    There are so many wonderful moments in The Story Teller, however the most memorable moment was when the grandmother is speaking, and tells of her best friend being murdered in front of her eyes even though she's not done anything wrong. The entire story was really very memorable and well done. It will stick with me forever.


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

    I really loved the German accents, and the way the few lines in German sounded. I loved the different voices for each character.


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

    I was especially moved when Sage, the granddaughter of the Holocaust survivor, learned of everything that had happened to her grandmother. The comparing of 'What if that would happen now?' is simply terrifying. Also, I cried a one point where a lady had to suffocate her baby to keep it quiet. (Won't say who)


    Any additional comments?

    I think this is the most intimate book Picoult has ever written and I could not put it down. It was a fantastic read.

    19 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • One True Thing

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Anna Quindlen
    • Narrated By Christina Moore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (173)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (92)

    A young woman sits in jail, accused of the mercy killing of her dying mother. She didn't do it, but she thinks she knows who did. In the last months of her life, Ellen Gulden's mother revealed startling secrets that challenged everything Ellen believed about her family. Now, in jail, Ellen believes those secrets will tell her who had the courage to end her mother's suffering.

    Christina Z. says: "Danger!"
    "Quindlen is a True Story Telling Artist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've never read a Quindlen book that didn't sneak up on me with a resounding shock wave- I know they are coming, yet I read them anyway. It's like watching a movie that you know isn't going to end well more than one time- and hoping to see the same movie, yet wanting the ending to change..just once.. Like why did Jack have to die in Titanic- why couldn't Rose have moved over to let him on the floating piece of wood?

    Anyway, One True Thing is a beautiful novel about human compassion, and important subjects that seem taboo to discuss at dinner parties. When our loved ones get cancer and hospice comes to help in their dying days, more often than not a morphine overdose speeds along their death, decreases their horrible pain, and enables them to peacefully fall asleep.. forever.

    Our main character in One True Thing puts her life on hold and takes care of her dying mother. During the horrific process, she learns so much about her mother and father, and family- she is overwhelmed by the close feelings she develops and she is devastated when her mother passes from this world to the next. She is more surprised however, when she is arrested and put in jail for killing her mother- with a morphine overdose. She did not commit this crime- but she thinks she knows who did- and yet she finds the 'crime' an act of bravery as she recalls how her mother begged her to help her die, to help her ease her pain.

    This novel is beautiful and literature at it's very best. I would keep a box of kleenex nearby to go on this journey, which will most definitely hit far too close to home for many readers.

    4 stars across the board, I love Quindlen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gray Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Catherine Taber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2423)
    Performance
    (2157)
    Story
    (2165)

    The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer's career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track - until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the "lucky" associates. She's offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she'd get her old job back. In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about.

    Jan says: "Sorry John... wanted to like it... love you anyway"
    "Good Potential- Ends up Not So Great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Grisham's books. Heck, I even really liked 'A Painted House' for it's beautiful simplicity. When I started reading about Samantha, a laid off New York law intern, I thought I was in for a treat. Her father is a disbarred lawyer who had a spectacular reputation at suing Airlines for gross negligence. Her mother is a lobbyist, very involved in politics. Samantha is lost after 100 work weeks. She's a spoiled rich kid who decides to go to Appalachia and work as an intern for a free legal advice office.

    While she's there she becomes involved in petitions and law suits against big coal companies who are literally destroying the Appalachian mountains just for their greed. There don't seem to be many laws protecting the simple folk in the lands, and people are dying from cancer at unheard of rates due to the mess 'Big Coal' leaves behind in the water and the environment.

    The story gets dull immediately after Samantha moves to Virginia. Some of it is interesting and fresh, but most of it comes off as an environmentalist's petition. It's preachy and it's not typical Grisham. I was expecting more.

    That being said, if someone else had written it aside from John, I probably would have given it another star- but I just simply expect more from him.

    I thought the narrator did a fine job- she was just the right voice for Samantha and the Southern characters. The book isn't a total waste- it's worth reading. It's just, sadly, underwhelming.

    3 stars across the board.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ten Tiny Breaths: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By K. A. Tucker
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Louise
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (540)
    Performance
    (485)
    Story
    (487)

    Four years ago Kacey Cleary's life imploded when her car was hit by a drunk driver, killing her parents, boyfriend, and best friend. Still haunted by memories of being trapped inside, holding her boyfriend's lifeless hand and listening to her mother take her last breath, Kacey wants to leave her past behind. Armed with two bus tickets, Kacey and her 15-year-old sister, Livie, escape Grand Rapids, Michigan, to start over in Miami. Kacey's not worried. She can handle anything - anything but her mysterious neighbor in apartment 1D.

    Jordy says: "One of my Favorite Books this year!"
    "An Average Smut Book... Nothing New"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought Ten Tiny Breaths because I was compelled with the story and because it had such great reviews. I was so totally disappointed.

    It all starts okay. A horrible accident which kills Kacey's whole family except for she and her younger sister spawns the first foster father who immediate tries to take advantage of Kacey's only living relative. Kacey packs up and moves her sister to Miami to start fresh- to forget, and to forge a life for them.

    While they are there they meet a nice neighbour who happens to be a stripper. Kacey takes a job at the strip bar which has a pretty 'good guy' owner. Kacey's little sister babysits for the stripper- and all seems well. Until of course, they start getting involved in tumultuous relationships and people who live a much more wild lifestyle than Kacey is used to. And of course, she meets a guy that she really wants to open up to- but just can't after all that's happened.

    The story is cliche, the characters are predictable, and it's hard to listen to without falling asleep or getting bored. Too much sex and detail made me feel like I was reading another '50 Shades.' And I don't think that honouring women who have made very poor choices in life makes for a good story line.

    I know this review won't be popular, but I just didn't like Ten Tiny Breaths. I think it's an over-hyped smut book and I didn't enjoy it at all.

    2 stars- the narrator is good.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • My Sunshine Away

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By M.O. Walsh
    • Narrated By Kirby Heybourne
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (41)

    My Sunshine Away unfolds in a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, cauldrons of spicy crawfish, and passionate football fandom. But in the summer of 1989, when 15-year-old Lindy Simpson - free spirit, track star, and belle of the block - experiences a horrible crime late one evening near her home, it becomes apparent that this idyllic stretch of Southern suburbia has a dark side, too.

    Melinda says: "'I dreamt I held you in my arms...'"
    "Extremely Depressing With a Different Perspective"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I pre-ordered 'My Sunshine Away' by M.O Walsh because of the description of the book, and the recommendations by some of my favourite authors. I think that Kirby Heybourne did a decent job narrating the novel, although his voice lulled me to sleep a few times.

    The story centers around a young boy who's coming of age, and he's in love with the girl next store. In fact, obsessed is probably a better word. The story draws you in, because the girl of the story tellers dreams gets raped- and our boy is a suspect. The book then narrates the story of the time the boy experience before the rape and after, with his crush Lindy.

    Other things that happen are extremely depressing. We have divorce, arguments, abused children and fatal car accidents- it's really not an uplifting story in the least.

    The prose are beautiful and the novel has a soul- the soul is tragic, however it is also touching, loving and remarkable. This audiobook tore me from wanting to be angry with the story to feeling so much empathy for the boy narrating the book. His raw honesty is refreshing and very touching.

    This wasn't my favourite listen and I was somewhat disappointed by the depression factor, but it's definitely worth the time.

    3 stars across the board

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Nightingale

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Kristin Hannah
    • Narrated By Polly Stone
    Overall
    (319)
    Performance
    (272)
    Story
    (272)

    From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes Kristin Hannah’s next novel. It is an epic love story and family drama set at the dawn of World War II. She is the author of twenty-one novels. Her previous novels include Home Front, Night Road, Firefly Lane, Fly Away, and Winter Garden.

    Gayle says: "Beautiful Story of a Horrific Time in History"
    "Like Nails on A Chalkboard! AWFUL!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First off- I love Kristin Hannah. I have enjoyed her books thoroughly over the years. In fact, I have loved every single one I've read- with no exaggeration. The story of the Nightingale is probably no different- about two girls in Paris growing up during the war, and their struggles. Hannah has a knack for addictive characters and drawing empathy from her readers- which is why we all love her and her novels.

    That being said, I am going to have to return this book and buy the novel instead.

    This is the most annoying narrator I have ever listened to. I have probably listened to over 300 audible books or more- and I have listened to some pretty bad narrators- but this by far is the worst.

    She pronounces the letter S like a snake. Ssssssssssssssssssssssstop doing thisssssssssssssss to me! I always fall asleep lissssstening but I actually had to download another book. It was horrible! She also sounds ridiculous when she does a French accent- I literally wanted to cry I was so disappointed.

    I don't know who produced this, but Hannah will lose money on this audible book unless they change the author and fix it. It's absolutely dreadful and I am so disappointed. I had pre-ordered this book and was so looking forward to it!

    As I said, the story is probably very good but the narrator ruins it and makes it absolutely unbearable- like nails on a chalkboard.

    Urgh.

    32 of 42 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil You Know: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Elisabeth de Mariaffi
    • Narrated By Andi Arndt
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (66)

    The year is 1993. Rookie crime-beat reporter Evie Jones is haunted by the unsolved murder of her best friend Lianne Gagnon, who was killed in 1982, back when both girls were eleven. The suspected killer, a repeat offender named Robert Cameron, was never arrested, leaving Lianne's case cold. Now 21 and living alone for the first time, Evie is obsessively drawn to finding out what really happened to Lianne.

    JIMENA says: "Awful"
    "You May Like It If You're From Ontario"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I will start by saying that there is definitely a flow issue with this book. The story is somewhat disjointed, although some parts of it are fairly alluring.

    The reason I found enjoyment in deMaraffi's book is because I was born and raised in Ontario Canada and I was the same age of the main character in the setting. In the early 1990's, the Province of Ontario was under high alert and stress because a serial killer and his wife, Paul Bernardo and Karla Holmolka, respectively, were kidnapping, raping, and killing teenage girls. Bernardo's wife Karla helped with the kidnappings and torture, but since she ratted Paul out first, he went to prison and she got off with basically a slap on the wrist. It was later found that Bernardo was the infamous 'Scarborough Rapist' as well, and was responsible for several rapes in a suburb of Toronto.

    The main character Evie is a reporter hot on the Bernardo break out story, which triggers memories from her past. When she was in second grade, her best friend was taken and murdered, and everyone now knows her as the 'girl who's friend died.' While she continues to have panic attacks, she starts putting puzzle pieces together to find her friend's killer- and puts herself in danger at the same time.

    There is no problem with the narration of this book. In fact, it's quite good. And, I enjoyed the descriptions of the towns and areas where the story took place because it was nostalgic for me. However, the author is all over the place and it's very hard to connect or care about the characters.

    I will give this 3 stars total- I doubt those without local knowledge of the scenes and setting will be as patient as I was with the disjointed story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Best of Me

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Nicholas Sparks
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1396)
    Performance
    (1182)
    Story
    (1181)

    In the fall of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply, irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for one another seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.

    L.W. says: "Horribly depressing"
    "Same Formula With Same Results"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You want to read 'The Best of Me' by Nicholas Sparks- Well- you really don't have to bother. You can read one of his dozens of other books and come up with the same sense of satisfaction.

    Boy and girl know each other- Boy and girl are departed for a period of time- Boy and girl reunite but it's too late because some tragedy has happened and one has moved on.

    The ending is ultimately depressing- but it's bittersweet. The hero of the story really does give the heroine 'the best of him.'

    Nick needs to start moving on from formulations and start to make a few changes in his story lines. I think the last book I really enjoyed from Sparks was 'Dear John.' Of course it was really depressing and I cried like a baby while reading it- but at least I really connected to the characters.

    There is no connecting to the characters in 'The Best of Me' and I found myself rolling my eyes at the predictable ending. The narration is well done and die hard Sparks fans will love it- but it was just 'meh' in my opinion. Although, I will admit- I probably will read his next book as I am a glutton for punishment.

    3 stars overall

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10613)
    Performance
    (8855)
    Story
    (8851)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    Paula says: "Mind Boggling Thrilling Mystery! Don't Miss It!"
    "Best Book I've Ever Listened To- Hands Down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not sure why the reviews are comparing 'The Girl on the Train' by Paula Hawkins to 'Gone Girl.' Gone Girl was a great story and I even enjoyed the movie- but the main character in 'The Girl On The Train' is extremely irritating, completely pathetic, sad and quite dreary- yet extraordinarily lovable and magnetic. I couldn't wait to see what she would say next.

    Rachel rides the train past the home of her ex husband and his new family. She notices their neighbours each day- a beautiful couple she names 'Jess' and 'Jason.' Each day on the train she goes by and spots them, imagining how happy their 'perfect' lives are.

    What we don't know is that Rachel is riding the train into London because she was sacked for being a raving alcoholic- a condition brought by infertility problems and the subsequent affair her ex had, and then their divorce.

    Things turn awry when Rachel rides by one day and sees 'Jess' making out with another man. While Rachel continues to fill her days drinking and faking being at work, she also develops a habit of drunk dialing her ex husband and his wife, and stumbling around in their neighbourhood. One night 'Jess' goes missing- and she's gone for days- and the problem is Rachel cannot remember what happened that night- only that the next day she had been hanging around her ex's neighbourhood and 'she has some unexplained bruises and cuts on her head. No one knows where Jess is- if she's dead, what she's done- but it turns out that there is a lot more to the 'perfect family' Rachel has conjured in her mind- and she finds herself entangled in their realities- instead of the imaginary family she made up.

    This book is fast paced and told by three points of view. Every bit of it is interesting and I couldn't stop listening to it. The twists and turns are shocking and it's not a book I will ever forget. What an intense novel- I absolutely fell in love with it!

    Brava! I am an instant fan of the author!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Before I Go

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Colleen Oakley
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne, Rebecca Lowman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (70)

    On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant "Cancerversary" with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: Her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it's an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. Death is a frightening prospect - but not because she's afraid for herself.

    Wendi says: "Blown Away By The Human Heart"
    "Blown Away By The Human Heart"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to say, this book blew me away. I listened in the car, at work when I could, and every spare moment I had.

    Daisy has beaten breast cancer, and she is set at twenty-seven to live in marital bliss with her husband for the rest of her life. On a follow up appointment with her oncologist, she has been told that he's found a small lump in her breast, but not to worry. Well, the small lump turns out to be a sign that the cancer has taken over her body and, well.. she's not going to make it.

    She is so in love with her husband Jack and she's worried what will happen to him when she's gone. In all of her wisdom, she decides that she wants to find the perfect candidate for his next wife to ensure she can die knowing he'll be taken care of.

    She finds a candidate on an online site, but that candidate turns out to be someone who Jack already knows. Daisy begins to feel jealous and horrified that she thought she'd be able to find Jack a new wife, and Jack and the new girl spend a lot of time together..

    The story is depressing, but the main character is so lovable and relative. I loved the narration- it's very empathetic and soothing.

    The human element to this story is magnetic, and the prose are beautiful. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fantastic story or humanity and true love.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • What I Know for Sure

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Oprah Winfrey
    • Narrated By Oprah Winfrey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (797)
    Performance
    (687)
    Story
    (683)

    After film critic Gene Siskel asked her, "What do you know for sure?" Oprah Winfrey began writing the "What I Know for Sure" column in O, The Oprah Magazine. Saying that the question offered her a way to take "stock of her life", Oprah has penned one column a month over the last 14 years.

    Destinee says: "This one takes the cake"
    "Absolutely 'Oprah'- Inspiring and Beautiful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    'What I Know For Sure' is a compilation of Oprah's articles she has written over the years for O Magazine. I have always loved Oprah Winfrey and she is, in my opinion, one of the most influential people in the world.

    Oprah reads these delightful stories and has so much verity and confidence in her words and her voice. She talks about the mistakes she's made and her ways of thinking while she was in various stages (and ages) of her life. The book encompasses her struggles and some very good memories, and it flows like a beautiful glass of wine.

    Oprah has worked so hard and over the course of her life, she has been kind enough to share several epiphanies- from being promiscuous and a young age to having a baby, to getting over worrying about what everyone else thinks and wanting to do what makes her happy.

    She touches on having good friends, love, sex, relationships with her family, her struggle with her weight, her relationship with long time partner Stedman, her dogs, and her personal achievements and failures.

    I listened to this book in one setting and I appreciated it so much, I listened to it again. I will probably continue to 're-listen'- especially when I need some inspiration and motivation.

    5 solid stars

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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