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Melissa

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2007

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 248 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Claire Tomalin
    • Narrated By Jill Balcon
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Samuel Pepys kept a diary in which he wrote with astonishing candour about the life he saw around him in London in the 1660s, and about his private desires and ambitions. The diary was kept for fewer than 10 years of his long life: Claire Tomalin tells the whole story of the Fleet Street tailor's son who made himself rich and powerful, an MP and adviser to royalty.

    Robyn says: "Meet Pepys the man, his life, and his diary"
    "A Personal Masterpiece in Detailed Context"
    Overall

    I know I like Claire Tomalins' biographies, but in this one is special because Pepys gives her some fabulous material to work with. The narrator sounds engaged in the story and overall, this is a great audiobook!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eating Animals

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jonathan Safran Foer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Todd Ross
    Overall
    (446)
    Performance
    (275)
    Story
    (278)

    Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between omnivore and vegetarian. But on the brink of fatherhood - facing the prospect of having to make dietary choices on a child's behalf - his casual questioning took on an urgency His quest for answers ultimately required him to visit factory farms in the middle of the night, dissect the emotional ingredients of meals from his childhood, and probe some of his most primal instincts about right and wrong.

    Natalie says: "Surprisingly Even-Handed"
    "(Not) Eating Animals"
    Overall

    Although--at times--I felt as though I were being scolded for eating meat it was a well argued thesis against factory farming and fishing; I did learn a lot, though at times I think it's a great time to buy this one (close to Halloween). Some gruesome images are likely to stay with me for a while.
    It is very manipulative, bookended by personal eulogy to his grandmother and memoir re: new fatherhood as his motivation to look into where meat comes from, because it matters more to him that he knows what he is feeding his child than himself.
    Very literary and moving in many ways, but also includes pages upon pages of footnotes, essays by others, and philosophical digressions. Overall, it's a very full book and worth reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26615)
    Performance
    (13258)
    Story
    (13301)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
    "Fabulous!"
    Overall

    This book has race and feminist themes (which I would like anyway), but most importantly, it's all about storytelling.

    The alternating narrators really adds to the authenticity of the reading, their voices are written well and it is how I would imagine reading each voice, as though they truly require different voices and the producer realized that fact. Very happy with this one!

    It is something I would not normally pick, except that it was so well-recieved by others and I had just finished "Wicked," by Gregory Maguire, which was also highly recommended by other audiobook listeners and I loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Wilderness: Wilderness Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Sara Donati
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    Overall
    (730)
    Performance
    (447)
    Story
    (449)

    Weaving a vibrant tapestry of fact and fiction, Into the Wilderness sweeps us into another time and place...and into the heart of a forbidden, incandescent affair between a spinster Englishwoman and an American frontiersman. Here is an epic of romance and history that will captivate readers from the very first page.

    Jeanette says: "Love and Adventure"
    "Good, if you miss the Outlander series"
    Overall

    ...but not worth 2 credits, especially the ones that follow.

    Obvious borrowing is really distracting, from the Gabaldon series (the hanging scene in a later book in the series and names from Cooper and Gabaldon) and details that are interesting but don't add to the story (like including Burns as exciseman and poet but not AT ALL necessary to the plot) are distracting.

    It's like an historical epic that might be better abridged than unabridged. It lacks the wit and complexity of Gabaldon's Outlander series, but it has adventures on sea and land, and it is--for the most part--historically accurate.

    I admit, I stopped listening to the author's notes at the end, so it is possible that the factual/timeline errors are addressed.

    That said, I did listen to them all and I enjoyed them; yet I'm sorry I paid two credits for the rest after listening to the first novel; not because I begrudge the credits, I love audio books and would happily pay two credits for many of the audiobooks I have purchased, but not this series.


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Jane Austen

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Carol Shields
    • Narrated By Donada Peters
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    With the same sensitivity and artfulness that are the trademarks of her award-winning novels, Shields here explores the life of a writer whose own novels have delighted readers for the past two hundred years. In Jane Austen, Shields follows this superb novelist from her early family life in Steventon to her later years in Bath, her broken engagement, and her intense relationship with her sister Cassandra. She reveals both the very private woman and the accomplished author.

    Catherine says: "Everything Jane"
    "With Apologies to Ms. Peters"
    Overall

    I love Austin and I think Sheilds is in the same category as Munro and Atwood, as a Canadian writer who is intelligent and writes perfectly simple sentences, full of meaning...and more meaning...and even more possible meanings...She is the kind of reader worth reading again and again.

    Nevertheless, I just cannot finish listening to this book because (even on double speed) I find the narration unbearably dull and starchy. In this case, the voice of the author is much more powerful on the page.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Elegance of the Hedgehog

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Muriel Barbery
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat, Cassandra Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1999)
    Performance
    (997)
    Story
    (1014)

    An enchanting New York Times and international best seller and award-winner about life, art, literature, philosophy, culture, class, privilege, and power, seen through the eyes of a 54-year-old French concierge and a precocious but troubled 12-year-old girl.

    Pyles says: "It surprised me"
    "Quirky & Clever"
    Overall

    And fabulous! I've listened to this book several times and still love it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • How to Stop Worrying and Start Living: Time-Tested Methods for Conquering Worry

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Dale Carnegie
    • Narrated By Andrew MacMillan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1137)
    Performance
    (471)
    Story
    (475)

    Through Dale Carnegie's seven-million-copy best seller, recently revised, millions of people have been helped to overcome the worry habit. Dale Carnegie offers a set of practical formulas you can put to work today, formulas that will last a lifetime!

    C. Mitchell says: "Excellent Read"
    "Something Else You May Already Know..."
    Overall

    This audiobook is straight-forward and the narrator does a great job, but--as it says on the cover-photo--it contains 'time-tested methods,' (read: nothing new here).
    Knowing something and doing it is still a problem, in the end.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Awaken the Giant Within

    • ABRIDGED (1 hr and 31 mins)
    • By Anthony Robbins
    • Narrated By Anthony Robbins
    Overall
    (814)
    Performance
    (453)
    Story
    (455)

    Anthony Robbins has already unlocked the personal power inside millions of people worldwide. Now, in this revolutionary new audio production based on his enormously popular Date with Destiny seminars, Robbins unleashes the sleeping giant that lies within all of us, teaching us to harness our untapped abilities, talents and skills.

    Adam says: "Bring clarity and strategy to your life!"
    "Disappointed"
    Overall

    I've heard so much about Tony Robbins and this book that I didn't think twice about buying it. Maybe my expectations were too high but I didn't enjoy it at all. Robbins sounds insincere, like a bad actor.
    That said, I'm not sorry I purchased it. This is one of those books that people talk about a lot but I couldn't sit down to read. I like having the chance to listen to it while I walk somewhere or do the dishes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The View From Castle Rock: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Alice Munro
    • Narrated By Liza Ross
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (0)

    On a clear day, you could see America from Edinburgh's Castle Rock - or so said Alice Munro's great-great-great-grandfather when he had had a drink. Then, in 1818, he left and sailed to the New World with his family. This is the story of those shepherds from the Ettrick Valley and their descendants. They were a Spartan lot: showing off was frowned upon, and fear was commonplace, at least for females. But opportunities present themselves for two strong-minded women in a ship's close quarters.

    Daryl says: "Where's the plot?"
    "Man Booker Prize Winner"
    Overall

    I wish Audible had more of Alice Munro's books on their site, she is an amazing writer: subtle, down to earth, and profound, at once.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An Echo in the Bone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5204)
    Performance
    (3411)
    Story
    (3420)

    Jamie Fraser knows from his time-traveling wife Claire that, no matter how unlikely it seems, America will win the Revolutionary War. But that truth offers little solace, since Jamie realizes he might find himself pointing a weapon directly at his own son - a young officer in the British army. And Jamie isn't the only one with a tormented soul - for Claire may know who wins the conflict, but she certainly doesn't know whether or not her beloved Jamie survives.

    Charles says: "Read all of Gabaldon's stuff before this one"
    "Love it - but I'm so tired!"
    Overall

    I often listen to audio books while doing dishes or walking to appointments in Toronto, shopping, cleaning, etc.

    The good news is, my home has never been cleaner. The bad news is, I can't turn it off - even when it's time to sleep.

    Diana Gabaldon has me absolutely hooked!
    Davina Porter is pretty great too - apparently I can listen to her for hours and hours at a time!

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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