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Indianapolis, India | Member Since 2003

  • 7 reviews
  • 475 ratings
  • 559 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2015

  • In the Face of Jinn

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Cheryl Howard Crew
    • Narrated By Bryce Howard

    Two American sisters, Christine and Elizabeth Shepherd, are on a silk-buying trip in India for their business in California. After Elizabeth mysteriously disappears, Christine is compelled to challenge the ineffectual U.S. and Indian bureaucracies and venture alone, with various strangers as guides, to find her sister. Disguised in the traditional female garb of some Islamic cultures, Christine continues her search in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She navigates the mysterious tribes of the Pashtuns, has a dangerous encounter with the Taliban, and learns to fear the "Jinn", the devils that dominate the superstitions of the people she must understand in order to survive.

    Lisa says: "Don't waste you time or money"
    "Do Not Bother"

    This might be one of the weakest books I have ever heard. Christine Shepherd, the protagonist, is portrayed as everything from a weak, sick, helpless, pathetic female to a Ninja sporting an assault rifle and fighting the Taliban as she scours a harsh landscape to find her sister--who she believes is dead? Is she a prisoner or a freedom fighter? Christine manages, single handedly to take out a much sought-after terrorist after suffering multiple rapes, illnesses, starvation and beatings. One minute she is so weak she can not walk then suddenly she is sprinting after middle eastern thugs. AND she knows everything there is to know about AK-47s and Kalashnikovs.

    Other characters are thinly drawn. Christine runs into many people during her dash across three countries--we're never sure where she is or how she got there--those characters are never fleshed out and all run together as gun clad mobs of dirty, bearded men with lust in their eyes and the veiled, beaten women who service them. At one point Christine manages to grab an imprisoned, battered woman and they escape the bad guys. For some reason she decides to return (with her fellow escapee) to her captors because...

    Even Christine's sister, Elizabeth, is never a real character. As for the Aussie with melanoma, I have no idea why he was even a character in this book except to remind readers to wear sunscreen. Money in large quantities changes hands, disappears and appears with little explanation. Christine remains attractive enough in her blood and urine soaked robes to attract the attention of one of the bearded guys--the one with great eyes. What? She had been raped, beaten, and practically killed but she heals enough to have a romantic liaison with a Muslim guy she's know long? It's never clear how much time has passed. Was it a month or a year?

    How did this book ever get published?

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Rick Hanson
    • Narrated By Rick Hanson

    Why is it easier to ruminate over hurt feelings than it is to bask in the warmth of feeling loved? Your brain was wired in such a way when it evolved, primed to learn quickly from bad experiences, but not so much from the good ones. It's an ancient survival mechanism that turned the brain into Velcro for the negative, but Teflon for the positive.

    Karen says: "Creating & savoring positive experiences"

    I thought this books sounded pretty good, but I was mistaken. I should have known when the author is the narrator of his own book, never a good sign, and starts by listing all of the people to whom he is's downhill from there. There is nothing that captures the attention of the listener, not to which the listener can easily relate. The author lists three categories that he mentions over and over and over: the categories are purely subjective and none of it makes sense. All he winds up saying (albeit over and over) is remember the good things that happen to you, focus on those things for 20 seconds and your good brain parts will grow. Bad book, bad bad bad bad.

    10 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    FanB14 says: "Sad Premise, Fantastic Story"
    "A Beautiful Story"

    I hesitated to buy this book after I read the synopsis, I was reluctant to get into something grim or saccharine. But, I finally got it and I am so glad I did. I know this is characterized as a YA book but it is such a lovely story and offers such insight into the triteness with which sick people are treated. The book also makes one step back and realize what incredible gift it is to be living a disease free existence--but that is not the crux of the story. Interestingly, the story takes place in Indianapolis, Indiana, Hazel lives at 83rd and Springmill Road, only a few blocks from my house. All of the local references are excellent--except the hospital names.

    I can not recommend this book enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shantaram

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Gregory David Roberts
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower

    This mesmerizing first novel tells the epic journey of Lin, an escaped convict who flees maximum security prison in Australia to disappear into the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city's poorest slums and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The keys to unlock the mysteries that bind Lin are held by two people: his mentor Khader Khan, mafia godfather and criminal-philosopher; and the beautiful, elusive Karla, whose passions are driven by dangerous secrets.

    Jamie says: "Do Not Miss This"
    "I don't get it!"

    I absolutely do not understand all of the great reviews this book has received. I found the book tedious, the main character completely unrealistic, philosophically challenged, and pretty ridiculous. How can one man charm and gain the complete trust of practically every Indian person he meets while mastering two dialects, mentoring young Indian children, acting as the only “doctor” in a 12,000 person slum (with only rudimentary first aid training) and solving political and criminal dilemmas at the same time. The book is LONG and arduous, I gave up after more than 16 hours of listening--the first two segments, I rarely leave a book unfinished. But I could no longer stand hearing about the great Lin.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The House Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Tara Conklin
    • Narrated By Bahni Turpin

    The year is 2004: Lina Sparrow is an ambitious young lawyer working on a historic class-action lawsuit seeking reparations for the descendants of American slaves. The year is 1852: Josephine is a 17-year-old house slave who tends to the mistress of a Virginia tobacco farm - an aspiring artist named Lu Anne Bell. It is through her father, renowned artist Oscar Sparrow, that Lina discovers a controversy rocking the art world: Art historians now suspect that the revered paintings of Lu Anne Bell, an antebellum artist known for her humanizing portraits of the slaves who worked her Virginia tobacco farm, were actually the work of her house slave, Josephine.

    Jeanette Finan says: "Disappointing"
    "Lots of Characters, not much depth"
    What made the experience of listening to The House Girl the most enjoyable?

    Bahni Turpin was an excellent narrarator, especially for Josephine. She might have changed her voice, intonation or something when doing Lena's part of the story. She always sounded like Josaphine to me.

    Would you be willing to try another book from Tara Conklin? Why or why not?

    Yes, the story was interesting I just felt there were too many plots and not enough depth into the characters.

    Which character – as performed by Bahni Turpin – was your favorite?


    Who was the most memorable character of The House Girl and why?

    Josephine, probably because Ms Turpin sounded like Josephine.

    Any additional comments?

    This book seemed more like the first draft--before the characters were all beefed up and given personalities, backgrounds, a reason for being in the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings—and Life

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 4 mins)
    • By Laura Vanderkam
    • Narrated By Laura Vanderkam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    According to time management expert Laura Vanderkam, mornings hold the key to taking control of our schedules. If we use them wisely, we can build habits that will allow us to lead happier, more productive lives. Drawing on real-life anecdotes and scientific research that shows why the early hours of the day are so important, Vanderkam reveals how successful people use mornings to help them accomplish things that are often impossible to take care of later in the day.

    Teresa says: "A statement or two could summarize this book"
    "It Just Makes Sense!"
    What made the experience of listening to What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast the most enjoyable?

    This book was written with a great deal of thought and a touch of humor.

    What did you like best about this story?

    Everything the author said made sense and was totallly "do-able".

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I would have liked to listen to every last word of this book before removing my headphones.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Home: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Marilynne Robinson
    • Narrated By Maggi-Meg Reed
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Glory Boughton, aged 38, has returned to Gilead to care for her dying father. Soon her brother, Jack - the prodigal son of the family, gone for 20 years - comes home too, looking for refuge and trying to make peace with a past littered with tormenting trouble and pain.

    S. Elder says: "Wish that I had read this one"
    "The most irritating narrator!"

    I had to stop listening to this book, I was so irritated by the person reading I found I could no longer concentrate on the plot. She drones on and on--like a really bad Joan Crawford immitation. This is only the second time I've given up on a book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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