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Diane Valentine

In every book, there is a little vacation'

Member Since 2005

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2014
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  • The Maytrees

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Annie Dillard
    • Narrated By David Rasche
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Toby Maytree first sees Lou Bigelow on her bicycle in postwar Provincetown, Massachusetts. Her laughter and loveliness catch his breath. Maytree is a Provincetown native, an educated poet of thirty. As he courts Lou, just out of college, her stillness draws him. In spare, elegant prose, Dillard traces the Maytrees' decades of loving and longing as they live cheaply among the nonconformist artists and writers that the bare tip of Cape Cod attracts.

    Diane Valentine says: "Too formal for an intimate connection"
    "Too formal for an intimate connection"
    Overall

    This book is beautifully crafted, but I always felt 'at arms length' from the Maytrees. Annie Dillard writes like a poet, but it's hard to 'feel' her characters from the inside out.' As I read this book, it felt as though I was hearing the story as a conversation between two other people. I like to be immersed in a character's feelings and to feel I'm present with them in that moment. If you feel the same, read 'On beauty', by Zadie Smith.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Londongrad: An Artie Cohen Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Reggie Nadelson
    • Narrated By Elijah Alexander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (15)

    In a playground in Brooklyn, Artie is led to a dead girl tied up in duct tape on a childrens swing. He soon realizes the killer murdered the wrong girl - the intended victim was Valentina Sverdloff, Tolya's daughter, long adored by Artie. Artie flies to London to tell Tolya and finds himself enmeshed on his friends behalf in a maelstrom of Russian money and crime.

    Diane Valentine says: "A multi-faceted Jewel of a story"
    "A multi-faceted Jewel of a story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Whenever I read Reggie Nadelson's stories, I get political lessons, historical information and characters who are richly crafted. This book has plots, subplots, texture and a terrific story. As usual, Artie Cohen confronts a moral dilemma or two.

    I always read everything she writes. Now, that's a recommendation!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ice Cold

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Tess Gerritsen
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1560)
    Performance
    (912)
    Story
    (903)

    Something terrible has happened in the snowbound village of Kingdom Come, Wyoming, where 12 eerily identical houses stand dark and abandoned. Meals remain untouched on dining room tables, cars are still in garages, and the town's residents have vanished into thin air. This is the disturbing setting where vacationing medical examiner Maura Isles and her traveling companions find themselves trapped during a ferocious snowstorm.

    Babs says: "Intelligent people behaving stupidly"
    "As a thriller, it was almost 'ice cold'"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book really lacked a cohesive plot. The unavailable priest who was the tortured but unavailable love interest of the doctor was such a dramatic part of the story at the start that I wondered why his character just disappeared. There was a lot of driving around in bad weather, mountain lore, and 'chick-lit' jealousy between women -- but the storyline itself did not really have a 'hook'. I would recommend this book as a mild distraction, but not as a riveting listen.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Death of an Englishman: A Marshal Guarnaccia Investigation

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Magdalen Nabb
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    The debut of Marshal Salvatore Guarnaccia of the Carabinieri, a Sicilian, stationed in Florence. It is just before Christmas and the marshal wants to go South to spend the holiday with his wife and family, but first he must recover from the flu (which has left the Florentine caribinieri short-handed) and also solve a murder.

    James says: "Boring"
    "Thin Plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love British mysteries and thrillers. This isn't one to recommend. Other than a feable attempt at humor - i.e. a main character names Carabinieri Baci (means kiss), there was an irritating cast of characters and nothing to really wonder about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Double Bind

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Chris Bohjalian
    • Narrated By Susan Denaker
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    When college sophomore Laurel Estabrook is attacked while riding her bicycle, her life is changed forever. She withdraws into her photography hobby and begins to work at a homeless shelter. There she meets Bobbie Crocker, a man with a box of photographs he won't let anyone see. When Bobbie dies suddenly, Laurel discovers that he was once a successful photographer. As her fascination begins to merge into obsession, she becomes convinced that some of his photographs reveal a dark family secret.

    Diane Valentine says: "Intriguing and beautifully written"
    "Intriguing and beautifully written"
    Overall

    Seldom do you read a book written by a man who portrays a female character with elegance, and accuracy. His story of the woman who is assaulted and then reworks the event in her life is dramatic, horrifying and yet tender. I highly recommend the book -- literally, I couldn't unpug my earbuds.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Over Easy: A Nursery Crime

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Jasper Fforde
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (575)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (198)

    It's Easter in Reading, a bad time for eggs, and no one can remember the last sunny day. Ovoid D-class nursery celebrity Humpty Stuyvesant Van Dumpty III, minor baronet, ex-convict, and former millionaire philanthropist, is found shattered to death beneath a wall in a shabby area of town. All the evidence points to his ex-wife, who has conveniently shot herself.

    Bruce Sabin says: "Total Whimsy"
    "A pretentious folly"
    Overall

    ..Sorry to say - but this novel is just plain silly. As a mystery it lacks intrigue, and as a story it's boring. No one really cares who killed Humpty Dumpty and Jack Sprat bears a striking resemblance to Winnie the Pooh's depressed donkey friend 'Eeyore'. I love audible -- and I love books with a British flair but this one misses on all fronts. If you want to enjoy a 'niche' mystery, please consider Diana Mott Davidson's 'cooking' mysteries or Lillian Jackson Braun's books featuring Jim Qwilleran's mystery solving cats Koko and Yum Yum.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Robert Frank
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (133)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    The rich have always been different from you and me, but this revealing and funny journey through Richistan entertainingly shows that they are more different than ever. Richistanis have 400-foot-yachts, 30,000-square-foot homes, house staffs of more than 100, and their own "arborists". They're also different from Old Money, and have torn down blue-blood institutions to build their own shining empire.

    Kenneth says: "Enjoyable Read"
    "Ho Hum....being rich is work!"
    Overall

    This book certainly taught me that the rich truly ARE different -- and yet not so different from the rest of us. Once I moved past uncomfortable feelings about the day to day suffering of much of the world, I came to feel that being ENORMOUSLY rich (without serious purpose in life) is like watching a ball of dough with too much yeast. It grows and blows up into something quite unattractive. Written with 'tongue in cheek' rather than 'panting and drooling' -- it is mildly entertaining. Not a coffee table book, though..

    9 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Atossa Leoni
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5044)
    Performance
    (1277)
    Story
    (1277)

    Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss, and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them, in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul, they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

    David says: "Somber but gripping"
    "Aaah, Love above all!"
    Overall

    Another deeply moving work by the author of The Kite Runner. This story centers around relationships and hardships among women living under the 'cruel protection' of religion, culture and poltics. While not beating the point to death, nor evaluating it - it simply teaches. Despite the pain and cruelty, the human spirit still soars. The power of love, surely from God, is more compelling than the cruel enforcement of the 'word of God'. Don't miss this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Kite Runner

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Khaled Hosseini
    Overall
    (6494)
    Performance
    (1822)
    Story
    (1841)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Never before has an author’s narration of his fiction been so important to fully grasping the book’s impact and global implications. Taking us from Afghanistan in the final days of its monarchy to the present, The Kite Runner is the unforgettable story of the friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them.

    Joseph says: "A storyteller's story"
    "Surprisingly captivating"
    Overall

    I received a hard copy of this book for Christmas. I couldn't stay interested by reading in short bursts. The culture was too foreign, the details -- well, too much to remembr. Ahh, then I downloaded the audible copy and was completelly captivated. Narration by the author brought it to life. I understood his characters, understood their feelings and behavior and literally felt I understood the minds and hearts of the people of Afghanistan. Truly, I felt among them. What a wonderful experience for those of us who are 'earworms' more than 'bookworms".

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Teacher Man

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Frank McCourt
    • Narrated By Frank McCourt
    Overall
    (917)
    Performance
    (180)
    Story
    (184)

    Now here at last, is McCourt's long-awaited audiobook about how his thirty-year teaching career shaped his second act as a writer. Teacher Man is also an urgent tribute to teachers everywhere. In bold and spirited prose featuring his irreverent wit and heartbreaking honesty, McCourt records the trials, triumphs, and surprises he faces in public high schools around New York City.

    Mark says: "Fun, quick, well done!"
    "Stars for candor"
    Overall

    This book certainly has its dry spots. However, what I like most about Frank McCourt is the way he tells his story, --no holds barred, with all its sadnesses-- and remains able to write it from the inside out -- his inside, that is. I love his memoirs - they teach a hundred lessons about problem-solving, getting along, never giving up -- and putting one foot in front of another when confidence is '0' and life looks bleak. ..And yet -- it's entertaining! Bravo - again Mr. McCourt.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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