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Shelly

La Mesa, CA, United States

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 22 reviews
  • 22 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Tongues of Serpents: Temeraire, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Naomi Novik
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (489)
    Performance
    (333)
    Story
    (330)

    A dazzling blend of military history, high-flying fantasy, and edge-of-your-seat adventure, Naomi Novik’s Temeraire novels, set in an alternate Napoleonic era in which intelligent dragons have been harnessed as weapons of war, are more than just perennial bestsellers—they are a worldwide phenomenon. Now, in Tongues of Serpents, Naomi Novik is back, along with the dragon Temeraire and his rider and friend, Capt. Will Laurence.

    Shelly says: "Didn't drop the excitement for me"
    "Didn't drop the excitement for me"
    Overall

    I know many people have felt this book was a disappointment compared to the rest of the series and that it didn't go anywhere. While I would be dissatisfied with the book if this was to be the end of the series, it is not and I believe leads to numerous possibilities in the last few books yet to be released (and some not yet written). The addition of several new dragons and foreign lands was enough to keep me engaged and I am terribly sad to know that I will have to wait at least a year before the next book is published and released. BOO! "I want more Temeraire daddy and I want it now!"

    If you liked the series up till now, give this book a try and once again, Simon Vance rises to favorite reader status in my book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Cutting for Stone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Abraham Verghese
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4714)
    Performance
    (2122)
    Story
    (2131)

    Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

    Audiophile says: "An Epic Medical Novel"
    "More stars please *******"
    Overall

    Any review I write on this book will not do it justice. Abraham Verghese is an EXCELLENT writer. I love his writing style, his characters and his obvious passion for his career. If his two other books (My own Country or a Tennis Partner), were available on audible or on e-books, I would have already read them. I just cannot say enough about the author. As for the characters and the story, just incredible. I loved every minute of following these boys and their family and extended family through their lives. I found myself getting depressed when I only had 10 hours left in this book!!! I wanted it to never end. As for the narrator, Sunil has made his way to my top 3 narrators now. He was perfect for this book and I wouldn't have enjoyed it on audiobook nearly as much without him. If you like long, detailed stories about "real" feeling character then try this book. It has found its place to number 1 on my all time favorite novels.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13051)
    Performance
    (5500)
    Story
    (5567)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

    Kindle Customer says: "Great Narration!!"
    "Better than I expected"
    Overall

    I figured with all the hype and the movie and all, I would be disappointed by this book. But several people recommended it to me saying it was a worthwhile read, so I tried it. It didn't change my life, but I will say that I found it an enjoyable read and better than average narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Conor Grennan
    • Narrated By Conor Grennan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (492)
    Performance
    (339)
    Story
    (348)

    In search of adventure, 29-year-old Conor Grennan traded his day job for a year-long trip around the globe, a journey that began with a three-month stint volunteering at the Little Princes Children's Home, an orphanage in war-torn Nepal. Conor was initially reluctant to volunteer, unsure whether he had the proper skill, or enough passion, to get involved in a developing country in the middle of a civil war. But he was soon overcome by the herd of rambunctious, resilient children.

    Angela says: "Amazing experience + Inspiring tale"
    "An unexpected joy"
    Overall

    I didn't expect to love this book. First off I read it after just finishing Book Thief and Cutting for Stone. So I really thought that nothing would be an enjoyable read for me right after reading two such phenomenal books. But the "real" little princes got under my skin and into my heart the same way they did to Conor Grennan. Don't expect an expertly written novel or a great narration from this book. you will be disappointed if you can't just accept the book for what it is. And what it is, is a remarkable REAL story of an average guy who gets his heart invested in something he never planned to and decides that he has to help change the world for these children. I laughed, I cried, I cheered and I got angry and I had a hard time putting this book down. Do yourself a favor and buy this book. Support this worthy cause that Conor Grennan has created, sit down with some spiced chai, put your feet up and just enjoy expanding your horizons a bit. Namaste Conor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (7435)
    Performance
    (5667)
    Story
    (5681)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Shannon says: "Word Thief"
    "Surprised by some of these reviews!"
    Overall

    I must say that I am surprised that some people are not able to understand and make heads or tales of the book. I have used the introductory chapter with my patients who have brain injury and stroke so that they can use their listening and deductive reasoning skills to decide "who" the narrator is and what they anticipate the book will be about. They all seem to "get it". I believe that perhaps people who are having difficulty trying to understand the book, maybe are trying it at a time when they cannot give it their full attention. I personally thought the book (which I also read on an e-reader), was an exceptional story. So well written, and I personally loved the uniqueness of prose. I think Mark Zusak could have gone overboard and missed the mark, but for me, that mark was RIGHT ON. The narrator was phenomenal!!!! I was so glad that I listened to this on audiobook and not just read it. I would have missed the humor that the narrator has in parts. The relationship between characters in the story was wonderful and so touching. I cried and I laughed and I cried and I laughed and I feel like I got every penny and more out of this book. Everyone I have recommended it to has felt the same special place in their heart for this book. This book has moved up to top 3 of my all time favorite novels. Bravo!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Betty Smith
    • Narrated By Kate Burton
    Overall
    (1061)
    Performance
    (494)
    Story
    (494)

    A moving coming-of-age story set in the 1900s, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn follows the lives of 11-year-old Francie Nolan, her younger brother Neely, and their parents, Irish immigrants who have settled in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Johnny Nolan is as loving and fanciful as they come, but he is also often drunk and out of work, unable to find his place in the land of opportunity.

    Nancy says: "Leaves you wondering what happened next -"
    "Took awhile to get into but then excellent"
    Overall

    I have heard things about this book from various people and no one seems to be able to put into words what they like about it, what makes it a worthy classic, and what the book is even really about. After listening to it I see why no one can explain these things. I can't seem to either. But I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Characters that feel "real" (not all evil or all good, JUST HUMAN), I do not care for female readers but I will say that Kate Burton did an excellent job, especially with the accents. I beautiful coming of age novel in hard times, with interesting and intricate details of the mundane parts of life that people go through every day. I would say that if you are considering this novel, just take a chance and try it. While not on my top 10 list of books I have read in recent years, still an excellent read with interesting characters just trying to live life with what they have been given.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Atossa Leoni
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4998)
    Performance
    (1237)
    Story
    (1239)

    Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss, and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them, in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul, they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

    David says: "Somber but gripping"
    "Worth it in the end"
    Overall

    This book, like many I read, was very difficult emotionally in parts, but the story is absolutely worth it in the end. A book of struggle and such unfairness that has you angry in many parts of the book. I really enjoyed the kite runner, but I liked this book at least as much if not a bit more. I would give 5 stars just for the book, but I have to reduce it 1 star because I really struggled to love the narrator. I know part of it is just "me", because I typically don't care for for female narrators as much. But a lot of it is that I didn't feel a connection of the narrator AS the women. I felt her flat and detached and difficult to listen to at times. The sentence structure unnatural and having pauses in places they didn't belong. However her accent and pronunciation of non English words I found very good and added to the story. Once I got into the story and the characters enough, I found the narrator easier to listen to and tune out the things I didn't care for. A worthy book in my opinion nonetheless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Edith Hahn Beer, Susan Dworkin
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (663)
    Performance
    (309)
    Story
    (307)

    Edith Hahn was an outspoken young woman in Vienna when the Gestapo forced her into a ghetto and then into a slave labor camp. When she returned home months later, she knew she would become a hunted woman, so she went underground.

    Catherine says: "An Amazing Story & Narration"
    "DO NOT MISS THIS BOOK"
    Overall

    I got this book randomly on a sale because the reviews were good, but I was expecting such a HUGE downer of a book. I was wrong. While the story IS incredibly sad (what stories in this genre are not?), I felt the strength of Edith Hahn Beer deep in my soul and it carried me through. The areas that made me tear had nothing to do with the sad moments of the book, but instead with the moments of a random strangers kindness during such horrible times.

    It was refreshing to hear the story of what the Jewish who were not imprisoned in a concentration camp had to go through. As was hearing what your average German citizen who had NOTHING to do with the Nazi party had to experience as well. The propaganda fed to them, the fear and rationing they experienced with great sadness all around them.

    The narrator was EXCELLENT! A perfect fit for this book and really made you feel she was the true voice of Edith.

    I HIGHLY recommend this book. I can't say enough good things about it. Just read it... don't pass it up!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Master and Commander: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (638)
    Performance
    (266)
    Story
    (268)

    This, the first in the series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging.

    Lisa says: "Surprised that I loved it!"
    "Wonderful for either gender!"
    Overall

    I was originally hesitant to purchase this audiobook because I thought it would be better geared for men than women, but after reading several reviews that stated otherwise I decided to try it. I loved the book! What a wonderful crew of characters, great battles and interesting experiences. The writing is superb and the story most enjoyable. I am "sold" on the series and looks like I will have to make my way through all 20 now!

    Some notes on the narration of these books. I HIGHLY suggest you listen to samples of this book and several others in the series from both Simon Vance and Patrick Tull. I know most people feel that Patrick gives the best narration and lends the appropriate "feel' to the book, but I happened to be irritated by certain aspects of Tull's speech. There is a breathy and airy aspect to his speech that ruins it for me personally even though I can see what an excellent narrator he is. I couldn't finish any of the samples as it grated on me. Whereas Simon Vance may not lend as accurate of a feel to the book, I love him as a narrator. This completes 11 books I have listened to by Vance (the girl with the dragon tattoo series, the temeraire dragon series and the kings speech) and I have yet once to be disappointed by him. He is consistently a good reader and with some books an excellent one. So take the time to listen to the samples of both narrators and decide which is the best for you. They are both quite different.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Black Powder War: Temeraire, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Naomi Novik
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (659)
    Performance
    (354)
    Story
    (354)

    After their fateful adventure in China, Captain Will Laurence of His Majesty's Aerial Corps and his extraordinary dragon, Temeraire, are waylaid by a mysterious envoy bearing urgent new orders from Britain. Three valuable dragon eggs have been purchased from the Ottoman Empire, and Laurence and Temeraire must detour to Istanbul to escort the precious cargo back to England. Time is of the essence if the eggs are to be borne home before hatching.

    Margaret says: "really enjoyed the book"
    "NEW Interesting characters!"
    Overall

    LOVED some of the new characters we meet in this book! I enjoyed the places they traveled too and the challenges they faced. One of my favorite books in the entire series and the narrator is a pleasure to listen to as always.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Empire of Ivory: Temeraire, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Naomi Novik
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (625)
    Performance
    (310)
    Story
    (306)

    Tragedy has struck His Majesty's Aerial Corps, whose magnificent fleet of fighting dragons and their human captains valiantly defend England's shores against the encroaching armies of Napoleon Bonaparte. An epidemic of unknown origin and no known cure is decimating the noble dragons' ranks, forcing the hopelessly stricken into quarantine. Now, only Temeraire and a pack of newly recruited dragons remain uninfected; they stand as the only means of an airborne defense against France's ever-bolder sorties.

    Ethan M. says: "So you've made it to book four..."
    "A turning point in the series"
    Overall

    While I didn't get quite as much enjoyment (only less by a micron really) from this book compared to all the others, I did enjoy it and saw it as a pivotal turning point in the series. I did feel a bit disconnected when they were in most of Africa, but the interesting story line, the return of our dragon friends (after being away from them for several books) and their cause were well worth it. Great narrator as always.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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