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Joan

Member Since 2006

13
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 139 ratings
  • 314 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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  • 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
    (2617)
    Performance
    (2352)
    Story
    (2351)

    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!"
    "Delightful, entertaining book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Where'd You Go, Bernadette in three words, what would they be?

    entertaining, insightful, smart


    Which character – as performed by Kathleen Wilhoite – was your favorite?

    "Bee"--the daughter


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

    Bee's awakening to how music can transport a person


    Any additional comments?

    The characters are vividly drawn and interesting. There is a wonderful sense of absurdity in the story. There was one scene that was such brilliantly crafted farce, it should be on stage. There was another hilarious scene in which a a women in an emotional frenzy, is trying to type a letter on a poorly functioning computer. I literally laughed out loud. The mother's description of Seattle reminds me of the satirical TV show "Portlandia". I am particularly impressed by the depth of understanding with which the author creates Bee, an eighth grade girl. The story handles painful human issues sensitivity but without sentimentality; it's sophisticated without being snobby. I was sorry when the story ended.And kudos to the superb reader!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Woman in White

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By Josephine Bailey, Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1069)
    Performance
    (868)
    Story
    (870)

    One of the greatest mystery thrillers ever written, Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White was a phenomenal best seller in the 1860s, achieving even greater success than works by Charles Dickens. Full of surprise, intrigue, and suspense, this vastly entertaining novel continues to enthrall audiences today.

    David says: "Gripping novel, excellent production"
    "How come I never heard about this book before?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes! It's a wonderful, engrossing story that has it all: mystery, intrigue, and suspense!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The beautifully crafted plot, which has many exciting twists and turns, and which all comes together so nicely at the end.


    What does Josephine Bailey and Simon Prebble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    They bring the story to life. I felt like I was watching a wonderful movie.


    Any additional comments?

    The characters are a bit stereotyped and flat, but I didn't really mind it, since the story line was so engaging. Think Dickens.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The End of the Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Graham Greene
    • Narrated By Colin Firth
    Overall
    (2800)
    Performance
    (2578)
    Story
    (2563)

    Graham Greene’s evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.

    Karen Downes says: "Colin whispers in my ear, and I melt"
    "Terrific narration, but story only so-so"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Listening to Colin Firth's narration of the story was well worth while. He did a superb job. I did not enjoy the story. I found the main character to be unlikable and self-indulgent, and I didn't care about him. The story is about the main character's obsession with his ex-girlfriend, a married woman. She -- the "object" of the story, was flat and unbelievable. Her husband was a cliche. The other characters are only sketchy, at best. The story is apparently a character study of the main character, so there is essentially no plot.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Graham Greene again?

    Maybe.


    Which character – as performed by Colin Firth – was your favorite?

    None.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Heartsick

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Chelsea Cain
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (639)
    Performance
    (265)
    Story
    (262)

    Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent 10 years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer. But in the end, she was the one who caught him. Two years ago, Gretchen kidnapped Archie and tortured him for 10 days, but instead of killing him, she mysteriously decided to let him go.

    Karen says: "Entertaining Listen"
    "Too gruesome"
    Overall

    This was a really disturbing book. I know the author intended it to be that way, but it was way over the top for me. It totally creeped me out, and still does, months later.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Entanglement: The Greatest Mystery in Physics

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Amir D. Aczel
    • Narrated By Henry Leyva
    Overall
    (398)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (75)

    The young field of quantum mechanics holds out the promise that some of humanity's wildest dreams may be realized. Serious scientists, working off of theories first developed by Einstein and his colleagues 70 years ago, have been investigating the phenomenon known as "entanglement," one of the strangest aspects of the strange universe of quantum mechanics. New experiments suggest it does happen, and that it may lead to unbreakable codes, and even teleportation...

    Kenneth says: "Quantum Physics + People = Good Stuff"
    "Hard to follow"
    Overall

    What's good about this book is that it gives a great history of quantum physics, with interesting biographies of key figures in the field. I can see that the history of how thought evolved around quantum physics is important to understand how it lead up to the idea of entanglement, but I expected more explanation of entanglement itself. I don't have a strong background in math or physics, but I expected to grasp more of this book, since I do have a strong background in the biomedical sciences. I have enjoyed books on the subject "dumbed down" for lay people, like the Stephen Hawking books, which I was more or less able to follow--at least enough so to get a reasonable grasp of what he was talking about. In the case of this book, I was able to get some grasp of what the author of this book was talking about, but I would have liked a bit more explanation with less hard-core math and physics. I someone with an undergraduate degree in physics or better might find this book would be readily accessible, and probably very enjoyable, too.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Highgate Rise

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Anne Perry
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (83)

    The Victorian mystery series starring Inspector Thomas Pitt and Charlotte Pitt reaches new heights. When Dr. Stephen Shaw's fancy Highgate Rise home is burned to the ground with his wife inside, the Inspector and his wife must solve a baffling mystery.

    Jennie says: "Incredible Reader!"
    "Great reader, good characters, slow moving"
    Overall

    This book is talky and slow moving, but the spectacular narration and well-crafted characters help make up for it. Nicely written and a great portrait of the period, and it takes on interesting social and political issues. The writing style is unobtrusive, which makes for smooth reading. I wouldn't have minded a bit more intrigue, and I found the end a bit weak.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Diane Setterfield
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato, Jill Tanner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4947)
    Performance
    (1827)
    Story
    (1839)

    All children mythologize their birth... So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's beloved collection of stories, long famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale. The enigmatic Winter has always kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she summons a biographer to tell the truth about her extraordinary life: Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth remains an ever-present pain.

    PA Law says: "Haunting and beautiful tale"
    "Couldn't put it down"
    Overall

    This was beautifully written and beautifully read--a wonderful, juicy, gothic-style story I just couldn't put down. The characters were engrossing, and the twists totally unexpected. One of my favorite reads in a long time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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