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Elisabeth

Durham, NC, United States | Member Since 2008

215
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 82 reviews
  • 412 ratings
  • 656 titles in library
  • 68 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
21

  • Vanishing Acts

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Julia Gibson, Jim Jenner, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (697)
    Performance
    (245)
    Story
    (246)

    Jodi Picoult, the New York Times best-selling author of Second Glance and My Sister's Keeper, is a master at crafting powerful stories that are filled with suspense. In Vanishing Acts this acclaimed author delivers the gripping tale of a woman caught between her forgotten past and her uncertain future.

    Cindy Carson says: "One of the Best!"
    "Contrived"
    Overall

    I love Picoult but, this is not among her best.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Box: Harry Bosch, Book 18

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Michael McConnohie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2041)
    Performance
    (1732)
    Story
    (1716)

    In a case that spans 20 years, Harry Bosch links the bullet from a recent crime to a file from 1992, the killing of a young female photographer during the L.A. riots. Harry originally investigated the murder, but it was then handed off to the Riot Crimes Task Force and never solved. Now Bosch's ballistics match indicates that her death was not random violence, but something more personal, and connected to a deeper intrigue. Like an investigator combing through the wreckage after a plane crash, Bosch searches for the "black box", the one piece of evidence that will pull the case together.

    Amazon Customer says: "Disappointing"
    "Ugh!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I usually love Michael Connelly's books. There is so little action or intrigue until the very hard to believe end. My mind wandered and wandered while listening. A large part of the problem was the lack of established emotional connection with either his partner, villains or victim and the rambling story without enough detail about the Saudi Princess, which is critical to the tale. There was just an overall lack of emotion - suspense, emotional connection, etc... If you're a diehard Connelly fan like me, go ahead and listen. It will make you appreciate his many well written books. If this is your first, don't judge his body of work by this one oops.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9012)
    Performance
    (8123)
    Story
    (8130)

    Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?

    Brock says: "Grisham at his best (again)"
    "Grisham at his best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved Sycamore Row and did not want it to end. Grisham is a skilled story teller who delivers both a compelling plot and raw, relatable emotions in Sycamore Row. If you like Grisham or other well written mysteries, you will certainly enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Coming Clean

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kimberly Rae Miller
    • Narrated By Kimberly Rae Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (241)
    Performance
    (213)
    Story
    (216)

    Kim Miller is an immaculately put-together woman with a great career, a loving boyfriend, and a tidy apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. You would never guess that Kim grew up behind the closed doors of her family’s idyllic Long Island house, navigating between teetering stacks of aging newspapers, broken computers, and boxes upon boxes of unused junk festering in every room - the product of her father’s painful and unending struggle with hoarding. In this moving coming-of-age story, Kim brings to life her rat-infested home and her childhood consumed by concealing her father’s shameful secret from friends.

    Margaret says: "Vicarious Hoarding"
    "It's Like a Car Wreck..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ....you can't look away. I feel so incredibly normal after listening to Miller's tale of life with two hoarding parents. She draws a clear picture in the listener's mind of the filth and chaos amidst which she lived as a child and the impact that situation had on her as she became an adult. Though the book is relatively short, it is just the right length to keep your interest.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Gods of Guilt

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    Overall
    (3224)
    Performance
    (2857)
    Story
    (2846)

    Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game. When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life.

    Ted says: "Luxury Vehicle… Does It All"
    "Couldn't turn it off"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One of the very best Michael Connelly books I have listened to. The character development and plot twists and turns kept me listening into the wee hours of the night. I love his Lincoln Lawyer series as I find them the most interesting of Connelly's books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lookaway, Lookaway: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Wilton Barnhardt
    • Narrated By Scott Shepherd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (99)

    Jerene Jarvis Johnston and her husband, Duke, are exemplars of Charlotte, North Carolina’s high society, a world where old Southern money and the secrets behind it meet the new wealth of bankers, real estate speculators, and carpetbagging social climbers. Steely and implacable, Jerene presides over her family’s legacy of paintings at the Mint Museum; Duke, the one-time college golden boy and descendant of a Confederate general, whose promising political career was mysteriously short-circuited, has settled into a comfortable semi-senescence as a Civil War reenactor.

    Carol says: "Great book, best narrator ever"
    "Southern Characters, fo' sure!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed Lookaway, Lookaway. I should put in the caveat that I am from NC, so it was fun hearing about so many places familiar to me. That aside, Barnhardt does a great job with character development and tells the story through an interesting method. For the first few hours, I thought it was going to be all sorority and debutante fluff, but then the novel took a sharp left turn and never looked back. The matriach, Jerene Jarvis Johnson, is incredibly well drawn. Hats off to Barnhardt for his clever story line that always kept me surprised.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Good House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Ann Leary
    • Narrated By Mary Beth Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1479)
    Performance
    (1336)
    Story
    (1330)

    The Good House tells the story of Hildy Good, who lives in a small town on Boston's North Shore. Hildy is a successful real-estate broker, good neighbor, mother, and grandmother. She's also a raging alcoholic. Hildy's family held an intervention for her about a year before this story takes place - "if they invite you over for dinner, and it’s not a major holiday," she advises "run for your life" - and now she feels lonely and unjustly persecuted. She has also fooled herself into thinking that moderation is the key.

    Rhonda Morrison says: "What a great book, Hildy is a great character!"
    "Well Done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was so intriguing listening to alcoholic Hildy's story which all seems so reasonable, then hearing what actually happened from the non-inebreated supporting cast of this novel. Leary does an excellent job drawing the character of Hildy and letting us love her while still seeing her bumps and bruises. Well done!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Orphan Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Christina Baker Kline
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4277)
    Performance
    (3813)
    Story
    (3816)

    Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to "aging out" out of the foster care system. A community-service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

    Kathi says: "Moving story of sharing and transformation."
    "Interesting Topic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was intrigued to learn more about the orphan trains of the early 20th century after reading The Chaperone by Laura Moriarity. The Orphan Train is compelling, though at times heart breaking, as you learn how the older children on these trains were often viewed as free labor vs new members of adopting families. The story centers around a nine year old Irish girl who is shipped from NYC to the midwest in search of a new home after her family is killed in a fire. The story felt a bit forced and certainly was not the quality of Moriarity's tale, but overall it was a good listen - 3.8.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Skinny Dip

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    Overall
    (2407)
    Performance
    (646)
    Story
    (657)

    When Chaz Perron's wife discovers that he is running a scam (posing as a marine biologist to doctor water samples so that an agribusiness tycoon can continue illegally dumping fertilizer into the Everglades), he pushes her overboard from a cruise liner. Unlucky for Chaz, Joey survives clutching a bale of Jamaican pot. Rescued from the Atlantic by a former police officer, Mick Stranahan, she decides not to report him but instead haunt and taunt him, with Mick's help, by playing dead.

    Phillip says: "Summer's Best Read"
    "Rollicking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Carl Hiaasen is what he is - a rollicking writer of fun fluff set in southern Florida. If you want a light read that does not command your unerring attention, this is a good choice. There were definitely scenes that made me laugh out loud.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Art Forger

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By B. A. Shapiro
    • Narrated By Xe Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (763)
    Performance
    (665)
    Story
    (666)

    Making a living reproducing famous artworks for a popular online retailer and desperate to improve her situation, Claire is lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge a painting - a Degas masterpiece stolen from the Gardner Museum - in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But when that very same long-missing Degas painting is delivered to Claire's studio, she begins to suspect that it may itself be a forgery. Her desperate search for the truth leads Claire into a labyrinth of deceit where secrets hidden since the late 19th century may be the only evidence that can now save her life.

    Cynthia says: "The Art Forger"
    "Interesting Main Character"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Art Forger tells the story of the recovery of a painting (perhaps) from the famous Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist. The main character - the art forger - is well drawn. Shapiro did a good job creating a character who is nice, though a bit simpering, but is able to tamp down her morals for money. Usually characters who do this are drawn to be sinister so we do not like them. This was a pretty realistic depiction of the choices perfectly nice people make when weighing options. The story itself I found to be just average. An interesting companion is the non-fiction book Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures which is written by the FBI agent who worked on the Gardner Heist.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Interestings

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Meg Wolitzer
    • Narrated By Jen Tullock
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1187)
    Performance
    (1058)
    Story
    (1061)

    The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge. The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age 15 is not always enough to propel someone through life at age 30; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence.

    Tango says: "Needs a better title, but a good read (listen)"
    "The Insufferables"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I retitled this book "The Insufferables" because I just found the characters cloying. The fact that they name themselves The Interestings really shows their level of self absorption. The storyline was ok, but I'm not recommending it to my friends.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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