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  • The Stand

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides - or are chosen.

    Keith says: "Worth the wait!"
    "A dystopia to despise."
    What disappointed you about The Stand?

    It was mostly about mean, petty, hateful, stupid, and dysfunctional people. What is ENTERTAINING about killing, maiming, torturing, and mental cruelty of one person to another? If King wrote these things, he must believe that humanity is just a pile of crap. Well, I don't. After witnessing the generosity, kindness, and compassion that occurs time after time during natural disasters, I simply can't believe King's projection that most humans are basically the above characteristics. Which means that the book's premise is incorrect and makes it, to me, just a series of gratuitous violence and mayhem.

    Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen King again?

    11-22-63 was a well written, thoughtful and enjoyable book. But The Stand has cured me of reading any more of Stephen King.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The reader was excellent. His reading of it kept me listening way longer than I enjoyed what was written.

    Any additional comments?

    After reading about 2/3 of this book, I quit listening. It was way too depressing to continue. Ick.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Invention of Wings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

    Jan says: "Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!"
    "Beautifully Written!"
    What did you love best about The Invention of Wings?

    The characters and culture seem particularly authentic. I've read quite a few novels written both in the 19th and 20th centuries. Plus some history. The author doesn't dwell on every detail, but can leave many obvious things to the reader's imagination--therefore avoiding tedious passages.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Invention of Wings?

    The gifting of a slave to Sara. Sara seemed to have been born horrified by slavery, so the interplay of her abhorrence and the reactions of the witnesses to the gift of a slave on her eleventh birthday is particularly poignant.

    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. I thought all 3 readers were most excellent both in accent and in delivery of their reading.

    If you could take any character from The Invention of Wings out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I'd like to take Nina out to dinner along with her husband. Nina was not as fully sketched as Sara, but intriguing in her abilities to speak well and capture an audience. I bet she'd tell some really great stories about her speaking life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Anna Quindlen
    • Narrated By Anna Quindlen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this irresistible memoir, the New York Times best-selling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize Anna Quindlen writes about looking back and ahead - and celebrating it all - as she considers marriage, girlfriends, our mothers, faith, loss, all the stuff in our closets, and more. Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is filled with the sharp insights and revealing observations that have long confirmed Quindlen’s status as America’s laureate of real life.

    Sheila A. Dechantal says: "Worth a listen!"
    "Anna nails our generation."
    If you could sum up Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake in three words, what would they be?

    Right on target.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake?

    The explanation of how puzzled were the lives of baby boomer women. They entered the world having experienced their 1940's/50's stay-at-home mothers who knew exactly what was expected of them, and then reinvented their lives via women's liberation, etc.

    What about Anna Quindlen’s performance did you like?

    She is very down to earth. No frills, yet genuine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Winifred Watson
    • Narrated By Frances McDormand

    Miss Pettigrew is a down-on-her-luck, middle-aged governess sent by her employment agency to work for a nightclub singer rather than a household of unruly children. Over a period of 24 hours, as she becomes caught up in the life of Delysia LaFloss, her own life is changed - forever. This charming, funny, light-hearted 1938 novel was a bestseller on its first appearance. Read by Academy Award winning actress Frances McDormand, who stars in the 2008 film as Miss Pettigrew.

    Holly C. Salley says: "Adorable"
    "Vintage at it's best."
    What did you love best about Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day?

    So many of those old chiclet type books from the pre-50's era were over written and over long. This one is just right in those 2 ways. It's predictable, but the characters are so dear that I was delighted all the way to the end.

    What does Frances McDormand bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    The reader had just the right accent, and read without over-dramatizing the material. I like the bright quality of her voice.

    Who was the most memorable character of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and why?

    Uptight Miss Pettigrew was a wonderful juxtaposition to her new found friend, free-spirit Miss LaFloss. I loved their interaction, and Miss Pettigrew's

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Dirty Job

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Fisher Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    People start dropping dead around Charlie, giant ravens perch on his building, and it seems that everywhere he goes, a dark presence whispers to him from under the streets. Strange names start appearing on his nightstand notepad, and before he knows it, those people end up dead, too. Yup, it seems that Charlie Asher has been recruited for a new job, an unpleasant but utterly necessary one: Death.

    colleen says: "I loved it!"
    "A Silly Job"

    A Dirty Job is an episodic string of situations that Charlie, a death merchant, participates in. The episodes seem to have been written for a TV series. I could almost hear the commercial breaks.

    The author hates to miss an opportunity for introducing anything to do with bodily excretions: snot, blood, feces, mucous, and so on, ad nauseum--elementary school style.

    There are some pretty good laughs, but I found the book to be contrived, unintegrated, and an irritating attempt at "funny Goth" fantasy. I was interested in about the first half of the book for some of the laughs, but then it began to go downhill into what seemed to be an unrevised, rough draft badly in need of an editor. About three hours before the end, I skipped to 15 minutes before the end of the book, and it was still irritating; then five minutes before the end and the summing up of what happened to all the characters. hohum

    Middle and high school kids might like this book, but I would hesitate to let my children read some of the gratuitous kinky sex stuff.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Annie Dillard
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this classic of literary nonfiction, Annie Dillard takes us through a year of on-foot explorations through her own landscape, bringing anecdotes, curiosities, and insights about all she observes and experiences. In the summer, she stalks muskrats in the creek and thinks about wave mechanics; in the fall, she watches a monarch butterfly migration and dreams of Arctic caribou. She tries to con a coot, unties a snakeskin, witnesses a flood, and plays "King of the Meadow" with a field of grasshoppers.

    Rand says: "pilgrim at tinker creek"

    At first I liked the musings on the bugs, birds, animals and so on; the arcane facts. I was expecting more of a spiritual connection, which is there, but rare. Mostly it's a random encyclopedia of observations. The reader is dry--how else could she be with such material?

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful

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