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ReluctantReader

ratings
67
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
8

  • Sister of My Heart: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (23)

    From the award-winning author of Mistress of Spices, the best-selling novel about the extraordinary bond between two women, and the family secrets and romantic jealousies that threaten to tear them apart.

    ReluctantReader says: "I enjoyed reading this book much more"
    "I enjoyed reading this book much more"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this book many years ago - it actually still sits on my bedside table. The story of Sudha and Anju is one of love, secrets, heartbreak and ultimately family. The story and characters of the girls will stay with you, even after you have finished reading it. I have always enjoyed Divakaruni's style of writing. The words are beautiful, the scenes she sets are beautiful even many of the characters she writes are beautiful, even when they are ugly. There is a follow up book to this one called The Vine of Desire. If you enjoyed this book, you might want to pick up that book - Anju and Sudha are adults now, but there's still never a dull moment - especially when one's husband is attracted to the other.
    Now for why I couldn't give this audio book full stars:
    Lisette Lecat has spoiled me for listening to stories about characters from other countries. Her delivery of the accents are flawless and honest. Julia Whelan reads well, but she sounds just like me, and this accent is NOT for this book. I wish someone would have considered it. I mean, Im sure they considered it - what would people who buy this book want to hear - what would they spend their money on? This may be the voice that many people would appreciate, but this is not the voice I wanted to hear - not for this book.
    Why not Sarita Choudhury? Why not Frieda Pinto? Why not Sarita and Frieda together?
    The performance really made this book difficult for me to listen to. Nothing genuine - not even pretend.
    Disappointing about to me. I loved reading this book, I just really hated hearing it.
    I understand, that these feelings are mine alone. I still recommend this book - the story is good, and Divakaruni is a brilliant writer.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Family Way

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (55)

    Molly Murphy - now Molly Sullivan - is a year into her marriage, expecting her first child, and confined to the life of a housewife. She’s restless and irritable in the enforced idleness of pregnancy and the heat of a New York summer in 1905. So when a trip to the post office brings a letter addressed to her old detective agency asking her to locate a missing Irish serving maid, Molly figures it couldn’t hurt to at least ask around, despite her promise to Daniel to give up her old career as a detective. On the same day, Molly learns that five babies have been kidnapped in the past month.

    lilr3dstar says: "Read Royal Spyness instead"
    "Convoluted to say the least..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would stick to one very well thought out and presented storyline


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I'm leaving the Molly Murphy series, I think I'll stick with Her Royal Spyness


    What about Nicola Barber’s performance did you like?

    She is a fantastic Narrator, she made a difficult book a bit easier to stomach!


    Was The Family Way worth the listening time?

    Well that completely depends on the listener. It didn't take me long to listen to, so it was not an utter waste of my time.


    Any additional comments?

    Tackling at least 3 different storylines- missing girl, strange convent, hero brother - was entirely too much. I'd rather a simple delicious meal, than a bland feast.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wonder

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By R. J. Palacio
    • Narrated By Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (673)
    Performance
    (612)
    Story
    (608)

    August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school - until now. He’s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?R. J. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and writing that shines with spare emotional power.

    Jay says: "A Beautiful Story"
    "I Loved this Book, I enjoyed it a great deal."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Wonder to be better than the print version?

    I have only ever heard the audio version, I'm not sure it would be better than the print version. I'm considering content as opposed to performance.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved August's family. The loving parents and sister really made this book a soft place to relax for a few hours. We understand that the children's friends loved being with this family, and I did too. We never got the idea that the parents, and sister did anything but love Auggie - even when it wasn't easy.


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

    I appreciated the narrators, but it wasn't a book I would say to someone - listen to this! You MUST hear how it's read!


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

    Yes, although I couldn't, I have listened to this book twice now. the first time in 3 sittings, the second time in 2.


    Any additional comments?

    "The Universe was not kind to August Pullman"I don't know if I can claim that whole heartedly. August was not beautiful and had to grow up in this society which places so much value on what someone looks like. I do not have the condition Auggie did, but experienced many of the situations this book portrayed. We have to accept that there are many more Julians in the world than Summers, Many understand by the end that it wasn't only what August looked like, but how he lived that made him a wonder, but the family that August had made such a difference for him. I know it's just a book, but even if the parents were written differently - it wouldn't have been the same book. If anything Auggie was fortunate to have a family who cared so deeply for him. This *was* kind.I just loved this book, I loved the underdog prevails "Matilda"-ness (another favorite) of it. It's heart warming in such a cold time. I wish the author would write another book visiting these characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 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
    (2715)
    Performance
    (2371)
    Story
    (2368)

    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"
    "Predictable and Amazing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Storyteller again? Why?

    I wouldn't listen to the entire thing, I would listen to Minka's Story again. I found it Heart wrenching and enthralling. Also I would listen to the story Minka wrote. Even though I liked Leo, even if he was (to me) a little too good to be true. I wouldn't want to listen to the story between him and Sage...unless his first question to her was - where's Eva? We walked into the house and Eva wasn't here - where's Eva Sage? And if indeed she did have Eva, why would she have had her if she didn't know what had happened?


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

    Two friends, a bad tooth and a fountain pen. When someone loves you - they'll do anything to help you.


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

    The Narrator Suzanne Toren brought Minka's memories to life in a way hearing it read in my own head by my own voice -never would have.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes I did shed a tear listening to Minka. And I laughed with Sage at a moment when the person whose face she laughed in - somehow didn't expect it,


    Any additional comments?

    There was a point when Leo went to speak to Minka - and I knew how it would end - I felt it was the only way it should end, and was I pleased that it did end that way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Good House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Ann Leary
    • Narrated By Mary Beth Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1232)
    Performance
    (1117)
    Story
    (1109)

    The Good House tells the story of Hildy Good, who lives in a small town on Boston's North Shore. Hildy is a successful real-estate broker, good neighbor, mother, and grandmother. She's also a raging alcoholic. Hildy's family held an intervention for her about a year before this story takes place - "if they invite you over for dinner, and it’s not a major holiday," she advises "run for your life" - and now she feels lonely and unjustly persecuted. She has also fooled herself into thinking that moderation is the key.

    Rhonda Morrison says: "What a great book, Hildy is a great character!"
    "Interesting Story. Fantastic Narrarator!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Good House again? Why?

    I would listen to The Good House again. The writing is solid - the character development of Hildy is very good, but the narration - the narration is spectacular. Was it just my ears - did Hildy seem to slur a bit more as the chapters went on?


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Good House?

    How to answer this without giving things away well - perhaps the first time she reveals what she does each evening. It is the first time you start to wonder about what Hildy is telling you, or, if you are so blessed, you start to wonder about the people you know who favor Hildy a great deal.


    Have you listened to any of Mary Beth Hurt’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't listened to any of Mary Beth Hurt's any other performances, but based on this one, I would absolutely consider it. She was that good. She really was "Hildy". That is the voice I would have imagined,


    If you could take any character from The Good House out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Well, I feel like Hildy would be busy in the evening...
    So perhaps Peter. What he did was questionable morally, but you never got the feeling that he was just in it for himself, and when things looked like they were going to go that way - He...corrected it - although in a devastating way.


    Any additional comments?

    I just finished a book, that was only 2 hours longer than this one, but took me an amazing amount of time to listen to. It was so incredibly boring, I wanted to dig my eyes out. Because I respected the author so much that I wanted to see if maybe things would change - they didn't. I bought this book 3 months ago, and thought eh, I might as well continue to clear my library. I started listening to this day before yesterday, and I wish there was another book about this community. I always wanted to know...what is Hildy up to? What's going to happen next? I enjoyed it. I hope you will too

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Case of the Missing Servant

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Tarquin Hall
    • Narrated By Sam Dastor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (291)
    Performance
    (195)
    Story
    (199)

    In hot and dusty Delhi, Puri's main work comes from screening prospective marriage partners, a job once the preserve of aunties and family priests. But when an honest public litigator is accused of murdering his maidservant, it takes all of Puri's resources to investigate. How will he trace the fate of the girl, known only as Mary, in a population of more than one billion? Who is taking pot shots at him and his prize chilli plants?

    Anthony Wilson says: "Wonderful"
    "A Enjoyable Listen!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is of a servant who goes missing, the man who is accused of being responsible for it and the full of himself yet loveable detective who gets to the bottom of it all. From the nick only names of his staff and wife, to his love for delicious fried Indian treats Puri is very well flshed out as a character. He reminded me of someone I know in real life - right down to the step by step self congratulatory accounts of resolved cases he conveyed to his poor secretary. As the story went on, it did become predictable, but not boring, so that was a plus!
    So no it was not shockingly surprising, but it was a solid offering (I wouldnt be surprised if this author used to be a technical writer - things are so concise and tied up in the end.), with well written characters (Mummy is my fave) and I liked the Poirot-like ending with everyone gathered around in the livingroom for the revelation. I also especially enjoyed the telling of the pre marital cases he worked and was working on. I certainly plan to have another listen at this authors other works!.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Life of Pi

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9953)
    Performance
    (5278)
    Story
    (5299)

    Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

    Theresa says: "Best audio of the year for me"
    "Worth a Listen!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Life of Pi is definitely about 4 stories in one - its about a zoo, a boy's love of God and religion, a journey on the sea, and the story of it all. I started listening and didnt really stop until I was done. I always just wanted to know what happened next.
    There is a part in this book that I think the suthor could have eliminated altogether, because - it just didnt connect, but it's not so big of a part that it overshadows the rest. If you want a very intersting not much like any story youve heard before - take a chance on this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Amazing Thing

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
    • Narrated By Purva Bedi, Soneela Nankani, Neil Shah
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (14)

    Winner of a Pushcart Prize for poetry and an American Book Award for her short stories, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni explores themes of women, immigration, and her vibrant Indian culture to great effect. Divakaruni expands on these ideas in One Amazing Thing, a project long in the making and full of electric prose.

    ReluctantReader says: "An ok way to kill some time"
    "An ok way to kill some time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would hire a woman who can do a consistent and realistic Indian accent, a man with the same and an African American man to do the different parts. The "fake but clear" accents here - do nothing for me. The performance was not 5 stars for me at all.


    Would you recommend One Amazing Thing to your friends? Why or why not?

    Probably not. I can only think of one who might try this book.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Realistic, consistent accents would have helped - REALISTIC, CONSISTANT. Not just a smidge with nothing but the hope to help non native speakers.better understand.


    Could you see One Amazing Thing being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Yes, I can see this being made into a made for TV movie -like Lifetime. I dont know who I would cast - perhaps a whole crew of newcomers.


    Any additional comments?

    Some of the sentences in this book, give me hope that I can write my own. I really love Divakaruni's other work. This one, not too much. Of all of the stories shared none were particularly fresh orginal or unpredictable. I will read divakaruni agan though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Casual Vacancy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By J. K. Rowling
    • Narrated By Tom Hollander
    Overall
    (2540)
    Performance
    (2223)
    Story
    (2235)

    When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

    Darwin8u says: "Pagford upon Avon"
    "Seriously Depressing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As I read this thr first thing I thought was - wow the men in this book are severely flawed idiots that I wouldn't like to meet....
    Then I thought - wow, the women in the book are severely flawed idiots that I wouldn't like to meet.
    I've seen complaints about Rowling's character development, but I honestly don't think she has a problem there; I think her character development is fine, but I think we are quite uncomfortable with the characters she has developed. The thing you come to ask yourself is - are we are as a people really like this? And I think the sad truth is - yes, we are quite pathetic.
    The way the book ended depressed me, but I dont think this book could have ended any other way and remain...authentic.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Please Look After Mom

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Kyung-Sook Shin, Chi-Young Kim (translator)
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall, Samantha Quan, Janet Song, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (108)

    On a family visit to the city, Mom is right behind her husband when the train pulls out of Seoul Station without her, and she is lost, possibly forever. As her children argue over how to find her, they each recall their lives with her. Have they lived up to her expectations? Was she happy? Through the piercing voices of daughter, son, and husband, and through Mom’s own words in the novel’s shattering conclusion, we learn what happened that day, and explore an even deeper mystery—of motherhood itself.

    Diana - Audible says: "A moving family portrait"
    "You must listen closely to a book that whispers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Please Look After Mom in three words, what would they be?

    Moving, & Thought-Provoking,


    What did you like best about this story?

    We dont often think of the aftermath a family experiences when one of its members goes missing, a member who isnt a child in anycase.
    I'll also admit to being a sucker for stories written in second person narrative form.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I appreciated greatly the fact that each chapter is read by its 'thinker'/experiencer (yes I made that word up).


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Tears. I often thought of my own mother who is now deceased. I wouldve loved to pick up the phone, call, and ask her 100 questions and listen closely to the answers to things I no longer remember; things I never knew.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is very respectful… it whispers. It whispers and slowly you surrender. If you are used to or prefer a barge in jump up and grab you bestseller, this one might be difficult for you. It’s a heartbreaking story, if you don’t appreciate your mom now, after reading this you might appreciate her a bit more. Especially if she was the kind to dote upon you..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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