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Susan

oakland, ca, United States | Member Since 2008

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 42 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • Best Kept Secret: The Clifton Chronicles, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (552)
    Performance
    (478)
    Story
    (477)

    Best Kept Secret opens a moment after the end of The Sins of the Father, with the resolution of the trial and the triumphant marriage of Harry Clifton and Elizabeth Barrington, finally uniting their family. Harry, now a best-selling novelist; Emma; their son, Sebastian; and orphaned Jessica make a new life for themselves, but all is not as happy and secure as it could be. Emma's brother, Giles, is engaged to a woman who may be more interested in Barrington's fortune and title than in a long and happy marriage.

    cristina says: "Plot without characters"
    "So so annoyed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was supposed to be historical fiction. There is so little history in it that I don't think it qualifies. And, silly me, I didn't know this wasn't the last book in the chronicles - and what a stupid place to end the book - cheap - unreasonable - I have no idea if I will continue with this series. I like HISTORICAL fiction - the only little tidbits I got didn't come close to satisfying that genre. Boo Jeffrey Archer. The only reason I gave it three stars is that for much of the book it would have been a fine vacation read.

    Oh, and one other annoying thing. Usually when a part of a book has a label on it, like a character name, the story is told from that character's point of view. In this book, sometimes, even in the midst of one character's story, the narrative jumps to something about another person that the main character in that part couldn't possibly know about - totally disjointed.

    I repeat - boo Jeffrey Archer!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wild Lavender

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Belinda Alexandra
    • Narrated By Kate Hood
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (67)

    Simone Fleurier is wrenched from her home on a Provencal lavender farm at the age of 14 after the accidental death of her father. Forced to become a maid at the boarding house of her Aunt Augustine in Marseilles, Simone's life is hard and impoverished. But one of her aunt's boarders, the beautiful Camille Casal, a star at the local music hall, gives Simone a dream: that one day she too will be a famous singer and dancer.

    Wade says: "An Extrodinary Story"
    "So so disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a huge Belinda Alexandra fan. I can hardly believe she wrote this. It was predictable and transparent from the start. I didn't care for the reader at all. I don't want to be overly critical - after all, it is simply my opinion. But I will never get another book narrated by her again. So very disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7414)
    Performance
    (6800)
    Story
    (6804)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Not sure if it was worth it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The bottom line is that I was worn out by this book. There were some compelling parts, but the level of detail about some parts of the story was interminable. My son said the ending was worth it all. The ending - the last 30-40 minutes - was very compelling, and there were other sections that I was really involved in, but most of it was just drudgery for me. I also didn't care for the reader. Some readers are able to bring characters to life with different voices. With Boris he did a great job. Most of the women sounded the same. I was often confused with the men, as well. Not sure I can recommend this book. I'm pretty conflicted.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Husband's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2650)
    Performance
    (2367)
    Story
    (2387)

    Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive....

    FanB14 says: "Soap Opera Digest"
    "Amazing thoughtful story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a fabulous listen and I am even considering getting the book to re-read. I would have been highlighting lines left and right.

    The only thing I didn't like was some of the production. Caroline Lee was her usual wonderful self, but there were these long pauses between chapters and sections that were very annoying. Even still I might even listen to this again - marvelous!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Handmaid's Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Claire Danes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3324)
    Performance
    (2997)
    Story
    (3012)

    Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name....

    Melinda says: "Not So Far-Fetched -- Still Chilling"
    "Really loved this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Loved this so much that I want to listen to it again sometime and I really want to learn more about its writing and its author. Can't believe this book was written in 1985 but identifies so many issues that are in the forefront of our lives now. Really wonderful - recommending this to everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Garth Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Evan Welch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5516)
    Performance
    (3470)
    Story
    (3478)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: If you’ve ever loved a dog - or even patted a dog - this book, told from the perspective of man’s best friend, will tug at your heartstrings...and won’t let go until long after Welch performs the last word. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively and by listening very closely to the words of his master.

    Lora says: "Enzo (because he's so wize) for president."
    "A little gimmicky, but very enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    But I REALLY hated the music between parts - it even drowned out the reader sometimes - horrid - but at least it was infrequent.

    The story was very sweet - the metaphors were very good - the book was thought provoking, the characters were likable. Makes me look at my dog a little differently.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10043)
    Performance
    (9345)
    Story
    (9348)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "Unexpectedly fabulous"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't remember why I bought this - there is nothing about the description that would entice me. But I am so thrilled that I followed the reviews - what a wonderful, carry-me-away story. I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed it as much if I had read it - Will Wheaton's reading was so wonderful - his expression, voices, timing - all amazing.

    I can't recommend this enough. I knew nothing about 80's video games, so I probably missed a bunch of inside jokes. I don't care. I loved the pacing, the silliness, the romance, the geeky references - all terrific.

    Get this book. You will thoroughly enjoy it!

    Susan

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Blood of Flowers

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Anita Amirrezvani
    • Narrated By Shohreh Aghdashloo
    Overall
    (1197)
    Performance
    (645)
    Story
    (645)

    In 17th-century Persia, a 14-year-old woman believes she will be married within the year. When her beloved father dies, she and her mother find themselves alone and without a dowry. With nowhere else to go, they are forced to sell the brilliant turquoise rug the young woman has woven to pay for their journey to Isfahan, where they will work as servants for her uncle, a rich rug designer in the court of the legendary Shah Abbas the Great.

    Shaddi says: "I loved this book!"
    "Fabulous listen - jump in!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book creates beautiful imagery, contains wonderful themes and fabulous insight into another time and place. The narration just sings with the narrator's sweet voice. The story is beautiful and heart wrenching and left me with a feeling of strength and wisdom and hope. I cannot recommend this more highly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter Sea

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Susanna Kearsley
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2652)
    Performance
    (2221)
    Story
    (2225)

    History has all but forgotten.... In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown. Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next best-selling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write. But then she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction....

    Martha says: "Get Out Your Hankies"
    "Really engaging and enjoyable listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Winter Sea again? Why?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this. Took a bit of time to get used to it, but once I was hooked I was a fan. The story is wonderful, the gimmicks used not to far fetched that I had to suspend reality, and the characters were likable.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Peach Keeper: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Sarah Addison Allen
    • Narrated By Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (294)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (185)

    The New York Times best-selling author of The Girl Who Chased the Moon welcomes you to her newest locale: Walls of Water, North Carolina, where the secrets are thicker than the fog from the town’s famous waterfalls, and the stuff of superstition is just as real as you want it to be.

    Barbara says: "Narrator was terrible"
    "Fell short"
    Overall

    This started out so well - full of mystery, unanswered questions and characters that I liked. But it dropped the ball and missed opportunities. The mysteries were simplistic - no surprises, the references to magic led nowhere - turned into a few love stories -- I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop - like there just had to be nothing more. There wasn't. If you want nothing more than a love story that is simple, uncomplicated, go for it. I wish I had saved my money.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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