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Janis

ARLINGTON, MA, United States | Member Since 2005

33
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 101 ratings
  • 318 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • The 19th Wife: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By David Ebershoff
    • Narrated By Kimberly Farr, Rebecca Lowman, Arthur Morey
    Overall
    (437)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (188)

    It is 1875, and Ann Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Expelled and an outcast, Ann Eliza embarks on a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. A rich account of a family's polygamous history is revealed, including how a young woman became a plural wife.

    Kenneth says: "Two Mysteries: One Fictional, One Historical"
    "Intriguing mysterious historical fiction"
    Overall

    This book tells two tales - a modern story of polygamy and mystery, and a view into the early days of polygamy as the Morman Church was first founded. The historical story is lightened by the modern one which has more twists of mystery and danger. I found it to be style that worked. There are 4 readers for this book, which also makes it quite interesting. It is long and involved, but if the subject intrigues you, you will be drawn in.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Casual Vacancy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By J. K. Rowling
    • Narrated By Tom Hollander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2918)
    Performance
    (2562)
    Story
    (2584)

    When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty fa├žade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

    cristina says: "I was surprised by how much I liked it"
    "Total Immersion in Pagford"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Casual Vacancy again? Why?

    I enjoyed the book, which was long, but slowly developed the many characters' stories and had humor, darkness, pain, woven through the entire tale. Once I got into the rhythm of the novel, I eagerly returned to each listening session. As long as you understand it is not a quick moving linear story you should enjoy. I haven't read the Harry Potter books and was intrigued to read an adult novel of this very successful author. I would definitely recommend.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Glass Palace

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Amitav Ghosh
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (237)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (145)

    Set in Burma during the British invasion of 1885, this masterly novel by Amitav Ghosh tells the story of Rajkumar, a poor boy lifted on the tides of political and social chaos, who goes on to create an empire in the Burmese teak forest. When soldiers force the royal family out of the Glass Palace and into exile, Rajkumar befriends Dolly, a young woman in the court of the Burmese Queen, whose love will shape his life. He cannot forget her, and years later, as a rich man, he goes in search of her.

    Janis says: "Wonderful Family Saga Set in Burma and Malaysia"
    "Wonderful Family Saga Set in Burma and Malaysia"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a big story written by one of my favorite authors, Amitav Ghosh. He gives the full sweep of history in this region in the 20th century, starting with the end of Burmese royalty, the movement of Indians into the culture of Burma, the horrendous toll of suffering and displacement during WW II, ending with the restrictive political climate of the new "Myanmar". It is told through the intertwined families of the book, a large and intertwined lot. I loved the attention to the characters, and the coming together of many different family connections that span the generations. The characters are quite unique, and the woman are very independent. Ghosh is a great story teller and I would recommend his other books as well. The book's length and detail draw you in, the narrator is very good and brings all the characters alive. It is not a book for someone looking for a fast moving plot, but there is a lot of drama throughout the novel and a fascinating book for a good, long listening experience.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Loving Frank

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Nancy Horan
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (685)
    Performance
    (267)
    Story
    (275)

    I have been standing on the side of life, watching it float by. I want to swim in the river. I want to feel the current. So writes Mamah Borthwick Cheney in her diary as she struggles to justify her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. Four years earlier, in 1903, Mamah and her husband, Edwin, had commissioned the renowned architect to design a new home for them.

    Eva Gannon says: "Fascinating"
    "Excellent historical novel"
    Overall

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book - a great story which gives the reader a fascinating look at the early years of Frank Lloyd Wright . It also gave me a good sense of the society and feminism in the early 20th century. The book is apparently very well researched and feels quite realistic. I recommend this highly!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lush Life: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Richard Price
    • Narrated By Bobby Cannavale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (614)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (126)

    What do you do? Whenever people asked him, Eric Cash used to have a dozen answers. Artist, actor, screenwriter...But now he's 35 years old and he's still living downtown, still in the restaurant business, working night shifts and serving the people he always wanted to be. What does Eric do? He manages.

    Richard Delman says: "Eerily real"
    "A Crime Story for the Rest of Us"
    Overall

    This is such a great book! I never read crime novels, but saw that the NY Times gave this a "Bear in Mind" review, which means they liked it. The story has such depth in its descriptions of the people - all the people that are involved with the crime - the family, the victims, and the police who try their best to solve this. Although there is tension to the plot, that is not really the whole point - this author is creating a feel for the characters and the setting. The reading is excellent, and I found this to be a very enjoyable and engaging book - something I wanted to listen to as much as I could, as fast as I could!

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Junot Diaz
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Staci Snell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2258)
    Performance
    (976)
    Story
    (984)

    Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fuku: the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.

    Kathleen says: "Fabulous listen"
    "Janis"
    Overall

    I loved this book! Entirely captivating and the reading brings you right into the characters. He uses Spanish in a very different way than I've ever experienced before - and this book would be a particular delight if you understand Spanish. It's a crazy story but one that you will enjoy listening to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Two Lives

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Vikram Seth
    • Narrated By Vikram Seth
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (12)

    Two Lives is both a history of a violent century seen through the eyes of two survivors and an intimate portrait of their friendship, marriage, and abiding yet complex love. Part biography, part memoir, part meditation on our times, this is the true tale of two remarkable lives, a masterful telling from one of our greatest living writers.

    Vivek says: "A slow start but keeps getting better"
    "Excellent!"
    Overall

    I really enjoyed this book - it gives a perspective on the writer, Vikram Seth, and is a compelling story about the lives of 2 very different people, brought together by a war. The format is the letters of Shanti and Henny to each other, and their friends. It gives a very realistic view of what life was like during and after the war as well, which was very unsettling - to see the effects on ordinary people. If you like memoirs, you should like this book. The reading is also done very well, with 3 different readers contributing.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • My Life in France

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme
    • Narrated By Kimberly Farr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (702)
    Performance
    (258)
    Story
    (267)

    This memoir is laced with wonderful stories about the French character, particularly in the world of food, and the way of life that Julia Child embraced so wholeheartedly. Above all, she reveals the kind of spirit and determination, the sheer love of cooking, and the drive to share that with her fellow Americans that made her the extraordinary success she became.

    Sara says: "What a pleasure!"
    "Excellent book"
    Overall

    This book gave me a much better understanding of Julia Child's background and how she developed her expertise in cooking. I had always been aware of Julia as an American, and now I realize how thoroughly she was involved with France and French cooking. The book also gives a very interesting account of the development of their cookbook and how the push to be a celebrity chef was already happening in the 1970's before the Food Channel!
    I agree with the previous reviewer that the narrator's french was not always pronounced properly, but I found the narration pleasant and easy to listen to. I would highly recommend this book to foodies and francophiles.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Corrections

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jonathan Franzen
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    It is a New York Times best seller, an Oprah's Book Club pick, and was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Crafted by New Yorker writer Jonathan Franzen, this novel draws parallels between the problems in one family and the malfunctions of modern society.

    Oliver says: "Wow, one of my favorites."
    "A Captivating Listen"
    Overall

    This book is marvelous- funny, depressing at times (especially if you are getting older), with characters wonderfully alive, and fully described. It's the perfect far-reaching novel with a full story for every character and will make you long to spend more time in your car, if you listen on the way to work. Particularly brilliant and disturbing is Franzen's ability to capture the increasing debility and decline in the father figure. The book will stay with you for quite some time after you are done. The reader captures the various voices very well. Highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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