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I listen to books while doing housework. The more interesting the book, the more housework gets done!


  • Envy

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Victor Slezak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    New York book editor Maris Matherly-Reed knows a best seller when she sees one - even if it is just a tantalizing partial manuscript submitted by a writer identified only as P.M.E., with the return address of an obscure island off the Georgia coast. Maris is intrigued enough to search for him.

    DMHVetSurveyor says: "Envy"
    "Who cares?"

    What a waste of money. 1 hr and 22 minutes into this book I have abandoned it. Didn't I listen to the sample before I bought it? Of course.

    But the book starts off well. The prologue is the submission that captures Maris' attention. And yes, it is well written and I would certainly want to follow the progress from that book.

    However, once we start on the publisher's story, it all falls apart. The narrator becomes lifeless, probably because the story does too.

    I came back and reread the blurb to find out why I had saddled myself with this millstone. I can see why it attracted my attention. And alas, I can see where the story is going to go.

    The characters ARE thin and transparent. The publishing plot is thin and unbelievable. And quite frankly, I don't care what happens next. In fact, I'm probably better off not knowing.

    So I'm taking this book off my mp3 player right now. Let's hope for better luck in my next choice.

    6 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • A Little Night Magic

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Lucy March
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Olivia Kiskey needs a change. She’s been working at the same Nodaway Falls, New York, waffle house since she was a teenager; not a lot of upward mobility there. She’s been in love with Tobias, the cook, for the last four years; he's never made a move. Intent on shaking things up, Olivia puts her house on the market, buys a one-way ticket to Europe, and announces her plans to her friends - but then she meets Davina Granville, a strange and mystical Southern woman....

    Shelly says: "I really hope this turns into a series..."
    "A chick fantasy magical romantic romp!"
    Where does A Little Night Magic rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    A Little Night Magic can't be compared to other audiobooks I've listened to, as I have a wide range of books for a wide range of moods. This is a light, entertaining book; when life is too stressful for a deep or cruel novel, it can lift your mood.

    What other book might you compare A Little Night Magic to and why?

    There is a trend for light-hearted vampire romances. A Little Night Magic is a bit like those: light-hearted, but without the vampires. Yes, there is evil to be defeated, and a sound storyline. But there is no doubt throughout that the girl will get her man in the end.The magic system is not entirely serious: one of the characters in the book has a talent for conjuring the most awesome cakes and pastries out of thin air.

    What does Amanda Ronconi bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Audiobooks bring a lot more detail to a book than reading it, as you can't flip forward through the boring or tedious bits. So they have to be well-written and engaging -- I abandon far more audiobooks than I ever did printed ones. That said, Amanda Ronconi reads it well; she has the tone and light-heartedness of the story just right. Some of the parts may seem a bit syrupy and "goody two-shoes" were you to read them; Amanda Ronconi makes them sound at least sincere.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    This is not a moving book; it is entertaining. But you know there has to be a bad guy. And you know they have to defeat the bad guy... and get rid of the body. I did smile at their solution.

    Any additional comments?

    What I liked about this book is that the heroine does not do any of those intensely stupid things that make you want to run a mile. (I turned to it after reaching sticking points in two other books where you just know something incredibly bad is going to happen and you don't feel like facing it just yet.) Yes, our heroine does do stupid things that advance the plot, but you can always understand her reasons for doing so. And there are a lot of decisions she makes that you question the wisdom of. But overall it is a light and likeable story that will easily see you through the pile of ironing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Paul Torday
    • Narrated By John Sessions, Samantha Bond, Fenella Woolgar

    Written as a "report into the circumstances surrounding the decision to introduce salmon into the Yemen", this is a novel that is made up of e-mails, letters, diary extracts, records of the prime minister's Question Time, interviews, and chapters from the memoirs of a fantastically weasely Peter Mandelson-type figure.

    Sheila says: "Brilliant"
    "A lose lose outcome..."

    It is a sad fact that I like happy endings, and this book does not have one. It is beautifully written, and engrossing, but for the characters and myself the adventure ends up being at best, a waste of time. At worst, the characters lose everything in their chase of this foolhardy dream, and not through anything they have done themselves.
    It's more a comment on British bureaucracy and the blame others, take no responsibility attitude that seems to pervade British politics and the workplace, with no concern for the impact on otherwise innocent lives.
    The writing format of letters, emails and diaries is very effective, although the diaries are possibly a little more literary and descriptive than one would expect from scientists. However, the highly improbable plot becomes very believable as a result of the delivery mechanism.
    If you like happy endings, skip this one. If you like a good yarn, then don't miss it.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Rococo

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Adriana Trigiani
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Bartolomeo di Crespi is the acclaimed interior decorator of Our Lady of Fatima, New Jersey. To date, Bartolomeo has hand-selected every chandelier, sconce, and ottoman in OLOF, so when the renovation of the local church is scheduled, he assumes there is only one man for the job.

    gingerpenny95 says: "I wanna be Italian!"
    "A book to keep you company"

    This book has no actual plot, so don't read it expecting one. It is charming though, and entertaining, with observations on family and community life. Recipes and descriptions of furnishing are scattered throughout as you follow the saga of the church renovation and the lives that surround it. If you want a little warmth and comfort in your life at the moment, you will find this a companionable read. If you want tension, self-discovery, murder or mystery, then perhaps wait on this one until you are ready for it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Life Expectancy

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Jimmy Tock comes into the world on the very night his grandfather leaves it. As a violent storm rages outside the hospital, Rudy Tock spends long hours walking the corridors between the expectant fathers' waiting room and his dying father's bedside. It's a strange vigil made all the stranger when, at the very height of the storm's fury, Josef Tock suddenly sits up in bed and speaks coherently for the first and last time since his stroke.

    mdd says: "New life for Koontz"
    "Too much action for me..."

    By the time I finished the first half, I couldn't take any more.

    This is a book of disasters, one after the other. It is a prime example of what is considered a good modern novel. Things keep getting worse and worse for the hero. I guess at some point it will get so bad that you think he must fail, and then he recoups and wins the day.

    Aargh. I can't stand it. I like to see a hero have at least a chance of coming through. And the hero is so likeable and charming.

    It is masterfully written, with powerful imagery, and a punch you in the throat plot.

    But I'm not going to finish it now. Maybe after a long spell of quieter books I can screw up the courage to come back to it.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Florence of Arabia

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Christopher Buckley
    • Narrated By Carrington Macduffie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Christopher Buckley's comic thriller takes readers to the Arab land of Matar, where a philandering emir allays his restless wife by allowing her to start a TV network for Arab women. She is joined in this endeavor by a maverick American State Department officer known as Florence, who wants to use the TV network to start a revolution among Islamic women.

    Lisa says: "Buckley is at the top of his game"
    "No going back"

    This book comes in two parts, and I listened to the first half. When I dislike a book, I normally try and listen to the first half so that if I ever think I might like to hear how it ended, I can start the second half clean.

    Some weeks have passed, and I think part two will remain unheard. The premise of the story is interesting but there is a delicate balance to achieve and I don't think the author has pulled it off. The result is a book that is uncomfortable.

    The emphasis on Middle Eastern politics is more racist than amusing. Satirising stoning to death and beheading is a difficult thing to do and not something I would attempt lightly. Before the end of the first half the heroine has lost half her support group and we know that she cannot end the problems of the Middle East. Just listen to the news.

    The story cannot go anywhere in view of this. It's really just a question of will she escape. Given the fact he's writing the book in the first place and it is meant to be a comedy, I guess she does. I'm not really interested in how.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Stormy Weather

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By George Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Stormy Weather centers on the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. The devastation of the storm has attracted crowds of voyeurs and impostors to Florida. Drawn by the chance to prey on Andrew's victims, misfits like the murderous ex-con Snapper and the dangerously seductive Edie find easy targets for their insurance scams. They're not prepared, though, when they meet their opposition, led by a hoary ex-governor who smokes toads.

    Both hilariously funny and deadly accurate, Carl Hiaasen's novel will take you into a Florida that is far from the frilly palms and pink flamingos of its post cards.

    Edmund says: "You love it or hate it...."
    "Read it for the writing"

    Car Hiaason is a new author for me and I am pleased to have discovered him. This is not his best book, but it is well worth a read.

    What is funny about a bunch of outlandish characters stranded in Flordia after a storm? Well, they aren't exactly stranded. Most of them are there by choice. The jerk, of course, is not. What is funny is the characters themselves, and in this particular story, the characters are the plot.

    Mostly Carl Hiaason writes interesting mysteries, but here there is no mystery to solve. The readers knows all from the beginning, but the characters have to find out what's going on.

    And unusually for the author, he ties up all the loose ends in an epilogue so that you know exactly what happened to everyone. But that is in the character of this particular book too.

    If you want a pacy, riveting mystery, then this is not the book for you. But if you have a sense of the ridiculous and want a nice companionable book, I think you will enjoy this one enormously.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Xenocide

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Gabrielle de Cuir, Amanda Karr, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Xenocide is the third installment of the Ender series. On Lusitania, Ender found a world where humans and pequeninos and the Hive Queen could all live together; where three very different intelligent species could find common ground at last. Or so he thought. But Lusitania also harbors the descolada, a virus which kills all humans it infects, but which the pequeninos require in order to transform into adults.

    David says: "full of passion"
    "Too much"

    Ender's Game had me riveted. I got so much housework done because I couldn't bear to leave the book (and I listen to books while doing housework.)

    With Xenocide, however, the house is a mess. The ironing is piling up. I have to leave the story for long periods just to recover. I'm nearly at the end of the second part download, and the thought of a third just fills me with dread.

    Which is a pity. What I've read so far is well written, and the narration is good. But I dislike so many of the characters, the odds against the planet are just too overwhelming. I know there's another book so I assume it all turns out well. I just don't want to hang around to find out.

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty: The First of the Classic Erotic Trilogy of Sleeping Beauty

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Anne Rice
    • Narrated By Genvieve Bevier, Winthrop Eliot

    In the traditional folktale of Sleeping Beauty, the spell cast upon the lovely young princess and everyone in her castle can only be broken by the kiss of a Prince. It is an ancient story, one that originally emerged from and still deeply disturbs the mind's unconscious. Now Anne Rice's retelling of the Beauty story probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire.

    Denise says: "Dark Erotica"
    "Spanking awful!"

    This is a book about spanking and bondage. And spanking. In fact, as one of the many sex slaves in the Prince's castle, Beauty - and the other sex slaves - are spanked as often as possible and in a multitude of situations. I do not find spanking erotic. If you do, you will enjoy this book. Maybe even pick up a couple of spanking tips.

    The bad writing I will put down to the abridgement. I normally dislike abridged books and this one just reinforces that view.

    Pity. I have read and enjoyed some of Anne Rice's other books. I don't think I'll be able to finish this one. I did try. I won't be reading the others. Or any more abridged books either.

    26 of 32 people found this review helpful

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