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Washington, DC, United States | Member Since 2010

  • 8 reviews
  • 20 ratings
  • 151 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014

  • The Tiger's Wife: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Tea Obreht
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden, Robin Sachs

    In a Balkan country mending from years of conflict, Natalia, a young doctor, arrives on a mission of mercy at an orphanage by the sea. By the time she and her lifelong friend Zóra begin to inoculate the children there, she feels age-old superstitions and secrets gathering everywhere around her. Secrets her outwardly cheerful hosts have chosen not to tell her. Secrets involving the strange family digging for something in the surrounding vineyards. Secrets hidden in the landscape itself.

    Howard says: "Left me unfulfilled!"
    "Only audio book I've actually stopped listening to"

    I didn't even finish this book, so I can't really review it as a whole because maybe it gets a lot better at the end. But, in the first half, I never developed any interest in or care for the main characters. So great was my diffidence that I stopped listening altogether.
    Maybe I'll take it up again if I'm trapped somewhere and have no other option....

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Place Beyond Courage

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Chadwick
    • Narrated By Peter Wickham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It is a time for ambitious men to prosper, and royal servant John FitzGilbert Marshal is one of them. Raised high, as the kin of the deceased King Henry battle each other for England's throne, John reaps rich rewards but pays a terrible price for the choices he makes - as does his family. His wife, fragile, naïve Aline is hopelessly unequipped to cope with the demands of a life lived on the edge and, when John is seriously injured in battle, her worst nightmare is realised.

    Kemdi says: "A Must for Chadwick fans"
    "Good story - well researched - starts slow"

    Pros - good historical background, interesting characters.
    Cons - narrator's rendition of John's first wife is pretty awful and grating. Thankfully she is not major character throughout the entire book

    This book starts very slow but once it gets going it is an enjoyable listen

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Alison Weir
    • Narrated By Stina Nielsen, Davina Porter, Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The child of a scheming father and ruthless mother, Lady Jane Grey is born during a time when ambition dictates action. Cousin to Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I, she is merely a pawn in a political and religious game in which one false step means a certain demise. But Lady Jane has remarkable qualities that help her to withstand the constant pressures of the royal machinery far better than most expect.

    Jt says: "Superior listen!"
    "Highly Recommended! Informative and Entertaining"

    I loved this audiobook - the narration was really well done (I didn't have trouble distinguishing the different female characters - everyone was quite distinct) and the story itself was quite enjoyable - although it was of course a very sad ending :(
    Worth the credit!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dreams of Joy: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Lisa See
    • Narrated By Janet Song
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In her beloved New York Times best sellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and, most recently, Shanghai Girls, Lisa See has brilliantly illuminated the potent bonds of mother love, romantic love, and love of country. Now, in her most powerful novel yet, she returns to these timeless themes, continuing the story of sisters Pearl and May from Shanghai Girls, and Pearl’s strong-willed 19-year-old daughter, Joy.

    Maida says: "Dreams of Joy and all of Lisa See's books"
    "If you liked Shanghai Girls, this is a MUST!"

    I enjoyed this book very much. I would definitely recommend listening to or reading Shanghai Girls first because otherwise you won't know what's going on. The characters were at times a bit flat (especially Joy, geez I just wanted to shake her during most of the book), but I think Lisa See is a great "historical fiction" writer and I liked the narration.
    It's both informative and emotionally interesting - my favourite type of audiobook!
    I do wonder however if Lisa See will write another book in this series - the way it ended, I could definitely see another sequel!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Room: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Emma Donoghue
    • Narrated By Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Robert Petkoff, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, but what she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

    Kathleen says: "A truly memorable read"
    "Disturbing, and the child's voice gets annoying"

    The child's perspective, which is carried all the way through the book, gets quite annoying - especially in the second half of the book.
    I don't think I would have actually read this book, so I guess it's an OK listen, but towards the end I really was looking forward to it ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Emerald Atlas: Books of Beginning

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By John Stephens
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Kate, Michael, and Emma have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage. Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about. Until now. Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey to dangerous and secret corners of the world....

    Stacey says: "Fantastic addicting fantasy"
    "Good, but no Harry Potter..."

    It's a fun listen and the narration is quite good, but it's not as exciting as the Harry Potter books or as complex and interesting as Tolkien.
    But, overall it's a safe bet for an enjoyable, if not all that memorable, listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Middlemarch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 1 min)
    • By George Eliot
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At the center of Middlemarch is Dorothea Brooke, a thoughtful and idealistic young woman determined to make a difference with her life. Enamored of a man who she believes is setting this example, she traps herself into a loveless marriage. Her parallel is Tertius Lydgate, a young doctor from the city whose passionate ambition to spread the new science of medicine is complicated by his love for the wrong woman.

    Deborah says: "Human nature revealed in all its complexity"
    "Don't give up on it - listen to the end!"

    Middlemarch is incredibly well written - so much so that you'll often rush over to whatever you're listening on and "bookmark" certain phrases.
    However, it starts out slow and there are a lot of characters.
    But, if you stick it out, it really is an excellent 'read.'
    It is actually the only audiobook I've gone back and listened to more than once.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Shantaram

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Gregory David Roberts
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower

    This mesmerizing first novel tells the epic journey of Lin, an escaped convict who flees maximum security prison in Australia to disappear into the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city's poorest slums and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The keys to unlock the mysteries that bind Lin are held by two people: his mentor Khader Khan, mafia godfather and criminal-philosopher; and the beautiful, elusive Karla, whose passions are driven by dangerous secrets.

    Jamie says: "Do Not Miss This"
    "Excellent Narration, Great Story"

    Worth a listen
    *This novel is really well narrated - the reader knows when to pause and does a good job infusing the words with emotion. I love the Indian accents as well.
    *The book is surprisingly funny - there are parts that will make you laugh out loud. It is also surprisingly violent.
    *You'll learn some bad words in Hindi: I liked listening better than reading because I'd seen many of the Hindi words used here written in other books, and in my mind, I was pronouncing them completely wrong - it was good to hear the real pronunciation here.
    *Engaging story - demonstrates a good understanding of Bombay and Indian culture there.

    *There are sections of this book that are so violent and disturbing, I have to say I wish I had never "read" them because the imagery is incredibly graphic and disturbing. I'll say this to anyone like me who does not have the stomach for depictions of violence against animals - when the narrator starts talking about his little mouse friend from jail, please do yourself a favor and fast-forward - I'm still shuddering to think of it.
    *The part that takes place in Afghanistan drags a bit.
    *The narration of women's voices is not great - the female voices of Karla and Lisa sound odd.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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