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Molly-o

English major. Love to read

Seattle | Member Since 2007

329
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 66 reviews
  • 84 ratings
  • 946 titles in library
  • 46 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
13
FOLLOWERS
77

  • Middlemarch

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By George Eliot
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (579)
    Performance
    (491)
    Story
    (483)

    Dorothea Brooke is an ardent idealist who represses her vivacity and intelligence for the cold, theological pedant Casaubon. One man understands her true nature: the artist Will Ladislaw. But how can love triumph against her sense of duty and Casaubon’s mean spirit? Meanwhile, in the little world of Middlemarch, the broader world is mirrored: the world of politics, social change, and reforms, as well as betrayal, greed, blackmail, ambition, and disappointment.

    M Kaner says: "I will listen to anything Juliet Stevenson reads"
    "Best Audible book ever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have been an audible listener for close to five years now and this is the best book I have ever listened to. I hated this book in college and,if it hadn't been for a friend who suggested I try it again,I would have continued to hate it. I now say pish on my earlier self, this is a fantastic story and George Eliot is an insightful woman whose perspective on life is timeless. But the very best part of this listen is Juliet Stevenson. Oh my, what a narrator: I may be forever spoiled by her mastery. My favorite characterizations were the stuffy Englishmen whose voices were so perfectly captured that I was in awe each time I heard them. This is a must read.

    41 of 41 people found this review helpful
  • Nora Webster: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Colm Toibin
    • Narrated By Fiona Shaw
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (24)

    Widowed at forty, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love of her life, Maurice, the man who rescued her from the stifling world to which she was born. And now she fears she may be drawn back into it. Wounded, strong-willed, clinging to secrecy in a tiny community where everyone knows your business, Nora is drowning in her own sorrow and blind to the suffering of her young sons, who have lost their father.

    Doggy Bird says: "Very moving portrait, interesting times"
    "What a gift!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't remember how I found this book, but it popped into my life and, as soon as I finished it, I started it all over again. I know now that I have many other Toibin books that will sustain me through the dark PNWest winter which makes me very happy.

    First of all, the narration on this is phenomenal. I had thought it was more than one person until I went back to check. Fiona Shaw makes this novel come alive and Colm Toibin gives her a lot to work with - beautifully drawn characters, simple but compelling story line and an undercurrent of sorrow turning to coping turning to joy. I loved it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Some Luck: A novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Jane Smiley
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    From the winner of the Pulitzer Prize: a powerful, engrossing new novel - the life and times of a remarkable family over three transformative decades in America. On their farm in Denby, Iowa, Rosanna and Walter Langdon abide by time-honored values that they pass on to their five wildly different children: from Frank, the handsome, willful first born, and Joe, whose love of animals and the land sustains him, to Claire, who earns a special place in her father’s heart.

    Sara says: "Takes Times To Develop But Is Really Worth The Effort"
    "Huh?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have liked Jane Smiley in the past - A Thousand Acres was one of my all time favorites. This story is SO slow, so cumbersome and so full of unnecessary detail that I want to scream from the sidelines - "Jane, get on with it!" The premise that she would think her characterization of a child's view of the world would sustain us for a very long time was, in my mind, not a good calculation. I didn't even want to finish this. That doesn't happen very often with me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Love Life

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Rob Lowe
    • Narrated By Rob Lowe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (648)
    Performance
    (597)
    Story
    (595)

    Love Life serves up another delicious selection of intimate stories and observations from Rob Lowe's life, told with humor, warmth, and brutal honesty. After writing his acclaimed debut effort, Lowe felt he had more stories to share and many more friends to introduce. The result is a touching memoir about the business and craft of acting, the pitfalls of success, family, love, and much more.

    russell says: "He did it again"
    "Not as good as the first"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I never would have read the first one of Rob Lowe's books but I did because my daughter told me I would like it. I loved that one. This one not so much -- I still think he is a great writer and his self-effacing manner in regards to describing his life is so delightful, so one might say "what is there not to love?" It's the story - he preaches a bit too much. He took a good thing and stretched it too thin on another attempt. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for him because I learned quickly in his first book that he is waaaay more than just a pretty face, but this one didn't measure up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Tale for the Time Being

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Ruth Ozeki
    • Narrated By Ruth Ozeki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (537)
    Performance
    (479)
    Story
    (479)

    In Tokyo, 16-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century. A diary is Nao's only solace - and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox - possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami.

    Karen says: "Engaging story beautifully read"
    "So unusual"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book. I am not sure I can articulate everything about why,but I will try -- it is a wonderful story and pulls in many,many layers of human angst and resolution at just the right time while keeping the story line sane and magical at the same time. Ruth Ozeki reads it beautifully (not always the case with authors) and the characters are well drawn with a clear and significant plunge into new worlds. It was this - the fact that the book took me to another world. that captivated me

    The fall season is a good time to be transported to another place while a transition is happening before our eyes. Don't miss this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Hazel Rowley
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (43)

    Franklin Delano and Eleanor Roosevelt’s marriage is one of the most celebrated and scrutinized partnerships in presidential history. It raised eyebrows in their lifetimes and has only become more controversial since their deaths. From FDR’s lifelong romance with Lucy Mercer to Eleanor’s purported lesbianism - and many scandals in between - the American public has never tired of speculating about the ties that bound these two headstrong individuals.

    Molly-o says: "Inspired by the facts, not the book"
    "Inspired by the facts, not the book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book, but I wouldn't ever recommend it to anyone. I enjoyed it because I wanted to have more of an insight into Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt and thought starting with their marriage was a good beginning. So it was a very personal motivation and it succeeded in that the book does chronicle the marriage, poke into many of the rumors and paint the two main characters as noteworthy to be sure. BUT I now expect my non-fiction forays to be told by a good story teller - I guess I am spoiled, but this book just sort of loped along and relied on its facts rather than its art.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anthony Doerr
    • Narrated By Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1799)
    Performance
    (1613)
    Story
    (1614)

    Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

    Annie M. says: "Time well spent"
    "I've been waiting for this book all spring!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I have had some good reads this spring, nothing compares to the joy I have experienced in reading this beautifully written book. One of the first things I thought of when I finished it is that I have to start all over again sometime so I can stop thinking about the content and just bask in its exquisite language and imagery.

    I have read numerous books about World War II and the ones I have liked will stay in my memory for a long time. I have not listened to one as good as The Book Thief until this book, however - funny how they both center on a child's perspective. From the thoughtful characterization to the masterful unfolding of the plot, this is a book that cries out for you to download it right away.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • A Son of the Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (499)
    Performance
    (230)
    Story
    (235)

    Born a Parsi in Bombay, sent to university and medical school in Vienna, Dr. Farrokh Daruwalla is a 59-year-old orthopedic surgeon and a Canadian citizen who lives in Toronto. Once, 20 years ago, Dr. Daruwalla was the examining physician of two murder victims in Goa, India. Now, 20 years later, he will be reacquainted with the murderer.

    connie says: "If you liked "Q+A"..."
    "A good, solid read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read a lot of John Irving - some very good, some not so good. My favorite book of all time is A Prayer for Owen Meany. He can't write another one of those and I knew that when I started this book. Nonetheless, the characters are very well drawn, quirky, very human and quite Owenesque. I liked this book, the story is solid but it was missing the tight, clearly crafted writing that I think of when I think of Irving. I am glad I read it, but I am not going to run out and tell everybody to read it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Betty Medsger
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot, Betty Medsger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (86)

    The never-before-told full story of the history-changing break-in at the FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, by a group of unlikely activists - quiet, ordinary, hardworking Americans - that made clear the shocking truth and confirmed what some had long suspected, that J. Edgar Hoover had created and was operating, in violation of the U.S. Constitution, his own shadow Bureau of Investigation.

    Susie says: "Forget Ocean's 11"
    "Important book for us all - despite its flaws"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was completely enthralled with the beginning half of this book - the author wove a good story and kept me entranced with true events about a disturbing time. I found myself suggesting this to many other "boomers" who might, like I, have protested the Vietnam War in the 60s, didn't know the clear response to people like us from the FBI and have been intrigued by the despotism of J. Edgar Hoover.

    It is a good read but not all the way through. I got bogged down with the level of detail that Betty Medsger used and found that her story telling ability didn't continue through the second half of the book.

    Like a former reader, I also found it puzzling why a man read the book when it is written by a woman. I also found the editorializing he did through the way he read the book to be annoying.

    Despite all of this, I didn't stop reading the book because I do think those at the heart of the book - the men and women who carried out the burglary -- need to be honored and praised for their courage. Each of us needs to know what despicable acts were perpetrated in the name of democracy and learn from the knowledge.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9860)
    Performance
    (9024)
    Story
    (9038)

    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.

    Cynthia says: "What a slog"
    "This is SUCH a good book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not an easy read - the length and the story definitely require a commitment to the story's end and the characters' journey. But what a ride! Donna Tartt's style is riveting - she writes and you are there, caught in the web of her exquisite descriptions. Her characters are so solid, so endearing, at times so frustrating, but ultimately unforgettable. I generally stay away from "dark" books and this one is dark but it isn't ponderous or without hope. It is SO worth the ups and downs because it is such a fine piece of literature.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Americanah

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • Narrated By Adjoa Andoh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (228)
    Performance
    (212)
    Story
    (213)

    As teenagers, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love in a Nigeria under military dictatorship. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America, where Obinze hopes to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face?

    Lorraine says: "The best book bar none!"
    "So, so good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A particularly telling standard I have for if a book is good is if I listen to it as I am walking the 5 minutes -- not half hour, but 5 minutes -- to my office from where I park which I did throughout my read of this one. It definitely interrupted my life - the two strands of the love story and the commentary on race in America and in Nigeria kept me glued to the book in many unusual situations. I walked more as I read this book and I listened whenever I could and still be responsible. It is beautifully written, the characters are plucky and memorable and the story is very clever. Perhaps most important, it will shake your beliefs around a bit - and when is that not a good thing? The New York Times was right in naming this one of the year's ten best!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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