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Julie Ann Koehler

Chicago, IL United States | Member Since 2015

  • 7 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 185 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2015

  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    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"
    "I FINISHED! Where's My Medal?!"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Well, it took me almost 6 months to finish this "masterpiece." I kept shutting it off in frustration after having to listen to Tartt once again describe her main character's drugged out haze. But I did it! I finished! I want some sort of award because that was such a slog. I know so many people that haven't finished this book that I feel as if I'm the lone survivor of a plane crash!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Way We Live Now

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Anthony Trollope
    • Narrated By Timothy West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this world of bribes, vendettas and swindling, in which heiresses are gambled and won, Trollope's characters embody all the vices: Lady Carbury is 'false from head to foot'; her son Felix has 'the instincts of a horse, not approaching the higher sympathies of a dog'; and Melmotte - the colossal figure who dominates the book - is a 'horrid, big, rich scoundrel... a bloated swindler... a vile city ruffian'.

    Nardia says: "Long, but well worth it."
    "Great Book, EXCELLENT READER"
    What made the experience of listening to The Way We Live Now the most enjoyable?

    Timothy West is fantastic. I will look for other books read by him for sure. This story is great too. It's long, but well worth it. Repeatitive at times, but that's probably good because it's mostly recaps to remind the listener about the multitudes of characters. There are so many hilarious moments in this book that simply sneak up on the reader. You won't regret this purchase!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Witness

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever. Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she works at home designing sophisticated security systems.

    M. Davis says: "Classic Nora - Outstanding!!!!"
    "What a snore."
    Would you try another book from Nora Roberts and/or Julia Whelan?

    Are all Nora Roberts books this tedious? No wonder she can churn them out so quickly. The actual plot in this book could have been told in 2 hours. But no. Roberts fluffs up her weak story line with enough crap to choke a horse. How many times do I have to listen to a discription of Abigal Lowery's garden? The dinner she's making? The hoodie she's wearing? The main character tells and retells the murder scenario about 100 times. I dreaded her meeting another character because it was just going to be told again. And again. And again. I wanted this book over more than any other I've listened to before. I'm sure there's a market for this crap, and I'm sure Nora Roberts is laughing all the way to the bank. But do yourself a favor and stay as far away from her pablum as possible.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mockingjay: The Final Book of The Hunger Games

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena live, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge....

    GS says: "Conflicting Emotions"
    "Fragile Katniss Became Annoying"

    By the end of this book, I wanted to kill Katniss myself. All that introspection. Sheesh. The author needed to get on with the story and not dwell so much on the inner conflicts of her heroine. Katniss, the fragile and naive killing machine. Ugh. Even when other characters gave her direct information, Katniss had to analyze the meaning for 10 long, tedious pages/minutes before somehow always making her brilliant decision. I'd like to write an alternative ending where Joanna kills Katniss in the Quell and takes over being the Mockingjay. THAT would have been more interesting and certainly less annoying.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Elusive Pimpernel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Baroness Orczy
    • Narrated By Johanna Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this sequel to The Scarlet Pimpernel, Sir Percy Blakeney's arch-enemy travels to England in pursuit of the impudent enemy of the French Republic. Monsieur Chauvelin devises a dastardly plot to annihilate, once and for all, both Sir Percy and his beautiful wife, Marguerite. Lured to France, where the entire town of Boulogne is held hostage on their behalf, they seem to be hopelessly trapped. Will the Scarlet Pimpernel prevail?

    Julie Ann Koehler says: "Witty, funny and well read."
    "Witty, funny and well read."

    I loved this book. It had me giggling from beginning to end. The reading was perfect. All the names, all the accents, all the witty dialogue. Fantastic.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Corrections

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By Jonathan Franzen
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker

    The Corrections is a grandly entertaining novel for the new century - a comic, tragic masterpiece about a family breaking down in an age of easy fixes. Richly realistic, darkly hilarious, deeply humane, it confirms Jonathan Franzen as one of our most brilliant interpreters of American society and the American soul.

    Charles Michael Elmore says: "A memorable book; flawless narration"

    I've had this book for months now and can only listen to an hour at a time before I'm so depressed I turn it off. It's smartly written and engaging but overwhelmingly dark. Not a well adjusted character for miles of prose in this novel. It's probably a very realistic book about family turmoil and failed relationships, but who wants something that realistic in their pastime reading? I use books to escape from reality, not drown in it.

    7 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • My Sister's Keeper

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By uncredited
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    New York Times best-selling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness.

    Lisa says: "Wonderful Book, Very Emotional"
    "Ridiculously Written"

    My book club selected this novel and all 15 of us hated it. The topic is fascinating but it's so foolishly written. Every character is a sterotype. At times the 13 year old protagonist sounded like a 40 year old philosophy professor. The forced and out of place love story is laughable. The ending "twist" comes out of left field and it's results defy medical science let alone logic.

    My book club agreed the novel was written to be a screen play. You can almost see the stage direction between the lines.

    I wouldn't recommend this book for anyone over 14.

    26 of 28 people found this review helpful

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