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I've been an avid, constant reader since I learned to read at age 5. I ALWAYS have a book going while quilting, cross-stitching, or painting

Tazewell, VA, United States

  • 12 reviews
  • 67 ratings
  • 103 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • The Tenth Circle

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Carol Monda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    New York Times best-selling author Jodi Picoult explores a complex and troubled American family in The Tenth Circle, the tale of a broken-hearted teenage girl and the father who will do anything to protect her. High school freshman Trixie Stone comes home from a party and says the boy she loves, and who recently dumped her, sexually assaulted her. Her father never imagined anything so devastating could happen, and now he's not sure how to help his daughter.

    Linda says: "Picoult wrote a disappointing story."
    "Not Picoult's Finest, by far"

    I really wanted to like this book, and for the most part I think I did. However, the ending seemed weak, after having invested 13 hours or so into the audio version and nearly 400 pages in the hardback (complete with graphic comics drawn by Trixie's father, supposedly). I guessed the killer far too early, and kept waiting for something to happen - something dramatic -but it never did. I love Picoult's writing. She can turn a phrase like none other and I love her descriptions. However, I think this one fell short of her normally stellar books. I still rated it an 8 out of 10; it is a worthwhile read, even if just to learn more about Alaska. However, it isn't going to be in my top 10 favorite books this year, sadly. Carol Monda is an excellent narrator, by the way!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Diane Setterfield
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato, Jill Tanner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    All children mythologize their birth... So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's beloved collection of stories, long famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale. The enigmatic Winter has always kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she summons a biographer to tell the truth about her extraordinary life: Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth remains an ever-present pain.

    PA Law says: "Haunting and beautiful tale"
    "Wonderfully Satisfying!"

    I both read the paper version and listened to the audio version of this book, and must say that they are different yet both wonderful experiences. I was absolutely captivated by this book as it grabbed me by the throat in the first paragraph and didn’t let go until the last word. It is the kind of book that causes the reader to close the book only to reopen it to read it again, this time looking for the hidden clues that one now knows are surely there. This is a book for book lovers. The first few pages are so full of meaningful passages that I gave up trying to write all the quotes down. This author is someone who KNOWS books, and who loves them. She understands the deep passion that some of us have for books and for the reading of them. This love of books is woven throughout The Thirteenth Tale but that is not the only wonderful thing about it. There is a deep mystery and story telling that takes place, which keep the reader always asking questions as she reads. And as all well-written books go – and this is certainly very well-written—all of the ends are tied up nicely by the last page, which makes for a very satisfying read.

    The narration of this book is so well done—rich in expression and enunciation. Both narrators have a beautiful British accent, and make the audio a deeply enjoyable experience. I loved this book! I only wish I’d read this one earlier. It lives up to all of the hype, which normally turns me off of a book. This one delivers, and without a single word of profanity!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Rug Merchant

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Meg Mullins
    • Narrated By Bill Camp

    Isolated and far from his native Iran, Ushman Khan has worked hard to build a wealthy, reliable clientele for his wares: exquisite hand-woven rugs from his home city of Tabriz. With perfect rectitude, he caters to clients like New York's Upper East Side grand dame Mrs. Roberts, who plies him for stories about his exotic origins and culture to feed her own imagination. But like many immigrants, he's living only half a life.

    gingerpenny95 says: "Elegant Novel"
    "Excellent narration!"

    This book is beautifully narrated by Bill Camp and was captivating at the first sentence. I quite liked this story but I wish it would have gone just a bit more deeply into the women’s characters. However, the rich descriptions and narration took me deep into Ushman’s world, and caused me to feel his passions and grief. I really enjoyed this book, though its tone is rather sad and bleak at times. A powerful book that looks intensely into the despondent, tender, confused yet hopeful character named Ushman Khan.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Saffron Kitchen: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Yasmin Crowther
    • Narrated By Mehr Mansuri, Ariana Fraval
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this powerful debut, Yasmin Crowther paints a stirring portrait of a family shaken by events from decades ago and a world away. On a blustery day in London, the dark secrets and troubled past of Maryann Mazar surface violently, with tragic consequences for her daughter, Sara, and her newly orphaned nephew, Saeed. Consumed with guilt, Maryann leaves her suburban home and mild English husband to return to Mazareh, the remote village on Iran's northeast border where her own story began.

    Kathryn says: "Truly Rich and Haunting"
    "Truly Rich and Haunting"

    This audiobook has two excellent narrators, which beautifully reflected the thoughts and experiences of the mother and daughter of the story. I was transported to the dusty, tiny village in Iran through the descriptive and skilled writing of the author, as well as the streets of London. This was a very good story, and indeed it was haunting as well as compelling. I love how the story unfolded, as we learned more and more about Maryann’s past. I grieved with Sara as she tried to heal from her personal tragedy, and then enjoyed seeing Iran through her eyes. My heart broke for her father as he tried to cope with life as it was left to him. I highly recommend this book!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Happiness Sold Separately

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Lolly Winston
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Elinor Mackey has always done the right things in the right order: college, law school, career, marriage. But now everything's going wrong. After two painful years of trying, Elinor has learned that she can't have children. All the doctors can tell her is that it's probably because of her age. As she turns 40, she withdraws into an interior world of heartbreak.

    Christine says: "I really loved it"
    "Excellently written"

    This book has very believable and likeable characters. In fact, I found that I felt sympathetic to all of the characters, which made it difficult to “root” for any one person. It is well written, and was actually a quite good audiobook. I found myself thinking about it when I was away from my iPod, wondering how it would all turn out. It was brilliant in the way that it covered infertility – having suffered through seven miscarriages myself, I could relate very well to the feelings of the main character as she traversed the painful journal of infertility. This book, while having many light and humorous moments, deals with quite heavy subjects; dealing with the fallout from adultery, divorce, and infertility. All in all, it is a worthwhile read, and one I recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cage of Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jacquelyn Mitchard
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Twelve-year-old Veronica Swan's idyllic life in a close-knit Mormon community is shattered when her two younger sisters are brutally murdered. Although her parents find the strength to forgive the deranged killer, Scott Early, Veronica cannot do the same. Years later, she sets out alone to avenge her sisters' deaths, dropping her identity and severing ties in the process.

    Chuck says: "Mercy vs. Justice"
    "Powerful and Suspenseful"

    I found this book to be very suspenseful and quite powerful. It reads like a memoir, and the reader has a real grasp on how Ronnie felt and processed things. It is a very moving story, and covers Ronnie’s grief so beautifully. There were many passages that were quote worthy, and to be honest, they expressed exactly how I felt when dealing with grief in my own life. The reader also learns much about the modern day Mormon religion. It has been several hours since I read the book, and I still feel its deep pull and the power of the drama. This is an excellent read and very well written. The narrator is also wonderful.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Abide with Me

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Strout
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In the late 1950s, in the small town of West Annett, Maine, a minister struggles to regain his calling, his family, and his happiness in the wake of profound loss. At the same time, the community he has served so charismatically must come to terms with its own strengths and failings, faith and hypocrisy, loyalty and abandonment, when a dark secret is revealed.

    Kathryn says: "Understated and powerful"
    "Understated and powerful"

    This is a subtle, quiet book, but it spoke volumes to me. Although it was about a minister who was widowed at a young age, it certainly isn’t what I’d call “Christian Fiction” – in otherwords, it would be enjoyed and appreciated by anyone of any faith. Yes, there are a lot of scripture references, but they reflect what is going on internally with Tyler Caskey, not statements to the readers. I loved how this book flowed, and the way each character was fleshed out. This book has many messages, and I really fell in love with this book. It seemed a bit slow going at first, if I recall, but it hooked me and I was eager to listen to the story every day, even going to the hardback version and reading what I’d already listened to! Highly recommended.

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Cover the Butter

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Carrie Kabak
    • Narrated By Kate Reading

    Get ready to cheer for Kate Cadogan, a forty-something woman who has spent her life trying to please her husband, her son, her mother, and her father without a moment's thought to her own needs. Until one day when a series of events causes her to slip back in time.

    B. Latter says: "Fabulous!"
    "Absolutely Wonderful!"

    I absolutely loved this book! It was unabridged, and 10 wonderful hours of listening to narrator Kate Reading who really did “perform.” She used different voices for each character, and has the most delightful British accent. She also knows how to speak in “American” as well as Welsh and French. I came to really care about the main character, Kate, and felt I knew her well. Very good book, one of the best of the year so far! Refreshing!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

    Kindle Customer says: "Great Narration!!"
    "I Never Dreamed I Would Love This Book..."

    But not only did I love it, I have told everyone I know that they simply MUST read it. The narration is excellent, which is always wonderful when that happens. But the story itself is gripping. The writing is so descriptive that you can smell the roasting peanuts, taste the grit in the dusty air, and feel the ropes slide in your hand.

    While yes, it is a circus story, it is so much more. It is a life lived-- reflected upon from the beginning by Jacob who is now 90 (or is it 93? He can't remember) years old and in a dreaded nursing home. It is a story about nursing home care, circus life, the Depression, mental illness, alcoholism, love, and trains.

    Because I am a strict animal lover who cannot tolerate abuse in books, I want to warn others. There is some very limited abuse in the book, but trust me-- it doesn't last long, and it is WELL worth it when you get to the ending. EXCELLENT ending!! Brava to the author!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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