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Ellen

EL CERRITO, CA, United States | Member Since 2008

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 132 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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  • State of Wonder: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4122)
    Performance
    (2958)
    Story
    (2953)

    Research scientist Dr. Marina Singh is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have disappeared in the Amazon while working on an extremely valuable new drug. The last person who was sent to find her died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding answers to the questions about her friend's death, her company's future, and her own past.

    F. B. Herron says: "Do yourself a favor and listen to this book!"
    "Excellent Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a great listen all the way through - holding my attention from the beginning, but getting progressively suspenseful to the very end. Great, great book. The narrator reads well and has a nice, low, female voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • At Home: A Short History of Private Life

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2484)
    Performance
    (1220)
    Story
    (1224)

    Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to “write a history of the world without leaving home.”

    Tina says: "Another wonderful Bryson"
    "Lightly funny and full of fun facts."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about At Home?

    I know a lot of people love Bill Bryson, and because of that, I had tried to listen to A Walk in the Woods several years ago, but never made it very far. For some reason, at the time, I was really turned off by his tone; he seemed pretentious and rude. I never made it very far.

    But a friend was listening to this book at work and told me a few fun-facts she had learned from it. I decided to give Bryson a second try, and LOVED this book. I'm not sure what changed, but it was a pleasure to listen - all the way through.

    Fun facts about the history of the British country home.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Girl Walks into a Bar...: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Rachel Dratch
    • Narrated By Rachel Dratch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (968)
    Performance
    (892)
    Story
    (891)

    Anyone who saw an episode of Saturday Night Live between 1999 and 2006 knows Rachel Dratch. She was hilarious! So what happened to her? After a misbegotten part as Jenna on the pilot of 30 Rock, Dratch was only getting offered roles as "Lesbians. Secretaries. Sometimes secretaries who are lesbians." Her career at a low point, Dratch suddenly had time for yoga, dog- sitting, learning Spanish - and dating. After all, what did a forty-something single woman living in New York have to lose?

    Jeanine says: "Could not stop listening"
    "Not the best of the three out there."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was most disappointing about Rachel Dratch’s story?

    There are three similar SNL memoirs out there right now: Tina Fey's, Mindy Kalling's, and Rachel Dratch's. In many ways, they all overlap. There are highs and lows to each one, and a bit of unnecessary name-dropping and fawning in all of them, but all three also have very funny parts.

    In my opinion, Tina Fey's was by far the best, funniest, and most mature of the three. Having read that one first, the other two had a hard time living up to her standard.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Shadow of the Wind

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (1636)
    Performance
    (680)
    Story
    (692)

    Barcelona, 1945: Just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his 11th birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother's face. To console his only child, Daniel's widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona's guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again.

    Katherine says: "Great With One Exception"
    "I couldn't get into it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Shadow of the Wind? What did you like least?

    It wasn't bad - it just never sucked me in.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I never made it all the way to the end.


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

    Probably.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Magicians: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Lev Grossman
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2467)
    Performance
    (1755)
    Story
    (1759)

    Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he's still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.

    Ki says: "Not an average book"
    "Downhill"
    Overall

    Starts off great, but unravels a bit in the last quarter.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Don't Get Too Comfortable (Unabridged Selections)

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By David Rakoff
    • Narrated By David Rakoff
    Overall
    (535)
    Performance
    (150)
    Story
    (152)

    David Rakoff's bestselling collection of autobiographical essays, Fraud, established him as one of today's funniest and most insightful writers. Now, in Don't Get Too Comfortable, Rakoff moves from the personal to the public, journeying into the land of unchecked plenty that is contemporary America. Rarely have greed, vanity, selfishness, and vapidity been so mercilessly and wittily skewered.

    Nell Huntworth says: "More wonderful David Rakoff"
    "Not what I was expecting:"
    Overall

    I grow weary of Rakoff's tireless self-analysis and intent to experience the costliest of lifestyles in as much misery as possible. His work on This American Life was entertaining, but I will not be buying another of his books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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