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Julie A. Levin

Marriage and Family Therapist

Pleasant Hill, California | Member Since 2005

0
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 109 ratings
  • 184 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • Flight Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1263)
    Performance
    (1096)
    Story
    (1104)

    Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at 17. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media.

    Marcia says: "Tough Message Delivered in Silk"
    "Kingsolver is so masterful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The writing is pitch perfect. The characters are so well painted. You can hear their voices. They are real - not villains or heroes, but people struggling to do their best, given their live's struggles. As always, Kingsolver weaves these individual perspectives against a backdrop of the social, environmental and political aspects of climate change - allowing us, through fiction to see the potential losses heading our way.

    In some ways, this is one of her sadder stories. But she brings hope into the picture as well, and a touch of redemption too.

    Normally, I'm wary when an author reads their own work, but she did an amazing job bringing her story and characters to life.

    Ultimately, a very satisfying listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent
    Overall
    (2641)
    Performance
    (2346)
    Story
    (2348)

    Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Walkabout"
    "Love and redemption on a very long walk"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sometimes magical thinking works. Harold sets off to save a friend in a way that makes his wife question his sanity, but his quirky quest leads to more being saved than either could have imagined. Sweet, funny, moving. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Maria Semple
    • Narrated By Kathleen Wilhoite
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1842)
    Performance
    (1650)
    Story
    (1646)

    Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

    Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle - and people in general - has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands.

    S says: "One of my top 10 listens of the year!"
    "Great story. Great narration."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Just the right pacing, great exploration of a precocious kid's perspective. Love the quirkiness of Bernadette, the exploration of "crazy" vs. eccentric, the rejection of norms that keep people boxed in to small lives. Great tale of personal and artistic freedom in a world where most people cling to security.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cutting for Stone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Abraham Verghese
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4520)
    Performance
    (1944)
    Story
    (1953)

    Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

    Audiophile says: "An Epic Medical Novel"
    "Slooooow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Abraham Verghese and/or Sunil Malhotra?

    Probably not.


    What was most disappointing about Abraham Verghese’s story?

    It takes forever to get going. Interestingly, there is a passage when an adult is reading a story to the kids, and the narrator comments on how slow the story is, and how they need to adjust to the speed of it. Is this meant to be an instruction for us too? If so, it just doesn't work for me.


    What about Sunil Malhotra’s performance did you like?

    Great accents and conveyance of emotion.


    Did Cutting for Stone inspire you to do anything?

    To buy another book instead ;-)


    Any additional comments?

    I know a lot of people LOVE this book, and I know there are times when I read something and it doesn't work for me, then a few years later I read it again and it does. So take my review with a grain of salt. It's not a bad book in any way. I'm just not into a slower moving story right now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Then Again

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Diane Keaton
    • Narrated By Diane Keaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (209)
    Performance
    (186)
    Story
    (181)

    “Mom loved adages, quotes, slogans. There were always little reminders pasted on the kitchen wall. For example, the word THINK. I found THINK thumbtacked on a bulletin board in her darkroom. I saw it Scotch-taped on a pencil box she’d collaged. I even found a pamphlet titled THINK on her bedside table. Mom liked to THINK.” So begins Diane Keaton’s unforgettable memoir about her mother and herself. In it you will meet the woman known to tens of millions as Annie Hall, but you will also meet, and fall in love with, her mother, the loving, complicated, always thinking Dorothy Hall.

    ronald says: "Wonderful. Sad. Hopeful."
    "Disjointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn???t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    If you LOVE Diane Keaton, you might like this more than I did.


    What was most disappointing about Diane Keaton???s story?

    Keaton tries to integrate her mother's biography with her own, comparing their lives, dreams and journals as well as their experiences as mothers. It may be different on the written page, but spoken, the two stories feel disjointed. Diane seems to think of herself as a plain ordinary girl, and so the story comes across as plain and ordinary.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Up from Orchard Street

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Eleanor Widmer
    • Narrated By Lorna Raver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (328)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (102)

    Three generations of Roths live together in a crowded tenement flat. Long-widowed Manya is the family's head and its heart. But Manya is no soft touch, except, perhaps, where her granddaughter Elka is concerned. Precocious Elka is her closest companion and confidante. Through Elka's eyes we come to know the fascinating characters who move in and out of the Roths' lives.

    Patti says: "Another Favorite"
    "Loved it!"
    Overall

    Wonderful characters, vivid descriptions allow the listener to experience the character's lives. One of my favorites.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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