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Jonathan

ratings
315
REVIEWS
49
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
71

  • Pavane

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Keith Roberts
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (227)
    Performance
    (205)
    Story
    (206)

    Considered Keith Roberts' masterwork, this novel consists of linked short stories (six measures and a coda) of a 20th century in which the Roman Catholic Church controls the Western world, and has done so since Queen Elizabeth of England was assassinated in 1588. The Protestant Reformation never happened, and the world is kept in a Dark Age of steam-power transportation, with no allowance for electrical power, by a tyrannical Rome.

    Betty says: "Dense & rich - not a light listen"
    "LeCarre not Baldacci"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a story that unfolds slowly, with no dramatic event(s) at the end of every chapter as is so common in modern pulp fiction. I enjoyed it very much; but then, I enjoy John LeCarre novels - work that some find ploding. It is not Baldacci. (Whose writings I enjoy but would not need or want to reread). The meaning of the word 'pavane' well sums the development of the story.

    Pavane is much better characterized as alternative history than science fiction. There are no gizmos that don't exist in today's world. But ... there is a bit of fantasy.

    PS I use the term "pulp fiction" in the best sense. Hawthorne and Dafoe were pulp fiction writers of their time.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • When Crickets Cry

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Charles Martin
    • Narrated By Adam Verner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (82)

    A man with a painful past. A child with a doubtful future. And a shared journey toward healing for both their hearts... It begins on the shaded town square in a sleepy Southern town. A spirited seven-year-old has a brisk business at her lemonade stand. But the little girl’s pretty yellow dress can’t quite hide the ugly scar on her chest. The stranger understands more about it than he wants to admit. And the beat-up bread truck careening around the corner with its radio blaring is about to change the trajectory of both their lives.

    Amazon Customer says: "My all time favorite read!!!"
    "It is all about the heart"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Given the zillion reviews of When Crickets cry, I doubt I'm giving anything away to say that the heart plays starring role in the novel. Literally.

    One of extras in a good book for me occurs when I learn something about something. Building cathedrals in the middle ages in the Pillars of the Earth. Aboriginal life in the Inspector Bony stories or monastery life via Brother Cadfael. A favorite of mine in this regard is Prayers for Sale which illustrates much about life in the Colorado mining country (above 8,000 ft) in the late 1800's. Crickets explains much about the heart.

    If you are like me and thirst for some knowledge with your sweet relationship story, this is quite an enjoyable listen. I would say the same about the rowing details except that I know enough about rowing to spot a few errors. By and large Mr. Martin gets rowing right, however, so there is much to learn there too for non-rowers.

    I gave the book 5 stars overall for the reasons above. I gave the story only 4 stars because of a few too many points about which I was required to "willing suspend disbelief." The biggest one has to do with his ... oh, heck, I can't spoil it for you. Just lets say that any one who has struggled to get or renew a medical license will spot it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Girl with Glasses: My Optic History

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Marissa Walsh
    • Narrated By Margie Lenhart
    Overall
    (257)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (222)

    Being a Girl with Glasses isn't just a style choice; it's a way of life. If you've ever had your specs steam up when walking into a bar, squinted into the sun on the soccer field, or laid eyes on a new haircut only after your locks are strewn across the floor, you know what it's like to be a GWG. Marissa Walsh has worn glasses since third grade. Now - 10 pairs of glasses, one pair of prescription sunglasses, and endless pairs of contacts later - she has fully embraced her four-eyed fate.

    Caryn says: "I could not finish!"
    "Calling all four-eyes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've worn glasses for longer than you can remember, this is the book for you.

    If barns and bat sh&t look the same to you without glasses, welcome.

    If tortoise shell is an epithet, com'ere.

    This book is a hoot. While I can't vouch for the exclusively girl-only experiences, everything else is spot on. Makes me proud to have survived. And reminds me that I've had my present pair way to long. Thanks Marissa.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Run with a Naked Werewolf

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1256)
    Performance
    (1179)
    Story
    (1165)

    Anna Moder has just witnessed a shooting, seen her car pulverized, and rescued a wounded stranger - only to discover he's really a werewolf. And by her recent standards, things are actually looking up. Lycanthropes don't faze Anna. Doctoring a wolf pack outside Grundy, Alaska, is the closest thing to home life she's known in years. But hitching a ride to Anchorage with long-absent pack member Caleb Graham - that's a risk. Part of her itches to whack his nose with a newspaper. The rest is trying unsuccessfully to keep her own paws off every delicious inch of him.

    itsallaboutthestory says: "More Serious Than The Others"
    "Three's a crowd."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    S'okay. I've listened to both of the earlier volumes in this series and all of the Half Moon Hollow series. As I mentioned in a review of one of them, I'm not usually attracted to books labeled funny but ... I loved the constant stream of puns, non-sequiturs and plays on clichés and commercials in those books. The romances between the feisty woman and strong fellas was enjoyable without too much (for a guy) bodice-ripping.

    Perhaps Ms. Harper's run low on her supply of quips and one-liners. Please, if this is the first Molly Harper book you've encountered, don't buy it (now). Start one of the earlier books. They are GREAAATTTT, as my friend Tony (or was it Flicka?) used to say. Do buy it when you need the ending of the Grundy story.

    Yes, I will buy more books from Ms. Harper and sample anything narrated by Ms. Ronconi.

    [Just, please don't tell Amazon or Kindle my buying plans. I suspect them both of raising prices based on the individual's buying history ... if I buy one, the next one seems more expensive. Perhaps I should sneak in as an avatar?]

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses: Half Moon Hollow, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1782)
    Performance
    (1655)
    Story
    (1649)

    Nola Leary would have been content to stay in Kilcairy, Ireland, healing villagers at her family’s clinic with a mix of magic and modern medicine. But a series of ill-timed omens and a deathbed promise to her grandmother have sent her on a quest to Half-Moon Hollow, Kentucky, to secure her family’s magical potency for the next generation. Her supernatural task? To unearth four artifacts hidden by her grandfather before a rival magical family beats her to it. Complication One: The artifacts are lost somewhere in vampire Jane Jameson’s occult bookshop. Complication Two: Her new neighbor, Jed Trudeau, keeps turning up half-naked at the strangest times....

    Diana Turmenne says: "One of the best spin offs I have read!"
    "Get it now"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If this book is free, or close to it (as it was when I wrote this review) do yourself a great big favor and buy it NOW. I don't much like humor books, but ... Her quips, jibes, and sarcasm are delivered deadpan, just when one expects a predictable sentence.

    Just imagine what one can do with the line: "He's so vain." If your veins aren't running, that is.

    I'm now paying serious $ / credits for Ms. Harper's other books. Enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Like a Mighty Army: Safehold, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (282)
    Performance
    (266)
    Story
    (267)

    For centuries, the world of Safehold, last redoubt of the human race, lay under the unchallenged rule of the Church of God Awaiting. The Church permitted nothing new - no new inventions, no new understandings of the world.What no one knew was that the Church was an elaborate fraud - a high-tech system established by a rebel faction of Safehold’s founders, meant to keep humanity hidden from the powerful alien race that had destroyed old Earth.

    Sharon says: "Don't start this until you have a 3-day weekend!"
    "Needs to be read ... to see maps ... 3.5 stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The writing is tauter than the last book, which is good because the series is getting bloated.

    David, it is time to bring this series to a conclusion.

    What isn't good is that this book demands maps. There are constant references to various towns and terrain and the ways in which the forces are trying to out flank each other. Without access to the maps (which I assume the printed version includes) I just gave up and skipped over pieces of the plot that relied on geographical information. Buy the book. Or photocopy the maps from the book at the library. Or, better yet, take it out of the library.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3853)
    Performance
    (2887)
    Story
    (2893)

    Even in Grundy, Alaska, its unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem.

    Mariya says: "Preternaturally Funny"
    "Yummy cotton candy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I instinctively avoid books that are labeled "funny." I'm pretty sure that I downloaded my first Molly Harper book because it was free. Wow.

    Her humor is drop dead funny and fully evades clichés. In fact, part of the humor is in the way she takes common phrases and alters them slightly. Without giving any impression that she changed the dialogue to incorporate the phrases. Her books are my on my "go to listen list" for days when work has been tough and I need cheering up. Which means that I can listen to them more than once without being bored, which is not common for me.

    Cotton Candy? Well ... I'm closing in on my Grand Pa years and I still look forward to the cotton candy each year when the county fair rolls around.

    Ms. Ronconi's narration is savory and saucy and adds to my enjoyment. To the extent that I have looked for other books she narrates.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Best of Me

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Nicholas Sparks
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (914)
    Performance
    (757)
    Story
    (755)

    In the fall of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply, irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for one another seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.

    L.W. says: "Horribly depressing"
    "Boy I'm turning into a prude"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a guy who enjoys Nicholas Sparks' books. I believe in the power of love ... deal with it.
    That said, I have only so much empathy for characters who turn the other cheek and take the fall for others' mistakes, as the hero does here.
    What triggered my prude reaction was my realization that this is a love story between two people, one of whom is married with young children. Not many ways that can end happily unless the inconvenient spouse is killed off by the author, are there? Which may not be the way it ends - I'm not going to spoil your read / listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2780)
    Performance
    (2538)
    Story
    (2524)

    Iris Scanlon, Half-Moon Hollow's only daytime vampire concierge, knows more about the undead than she'd like. Running all their daylight errands - from letting in the plumber to picking up some chilled O neg - gives her a look at the not-so-glamorous side of vampire life. Her rules are strict; relationships with vamps are strictly business, not friendship - and certainly not anything else. But then she finds her newest client, Cal, poisoned on his kitchen floor, and only Iris can help.

    Ronda says: "Once again this should have disclaimers"
    "I Don't LIke Vampire Books ... but ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What's to like about the current craze for vampire books? Nothing much. While I don't remember how I came across this book, the title itself promised something different. Stray??? Vampires. Next, the description promised the story of a human taking care of the mundane day to day needs of vampires, which didn't sound like the usual approach in most science fiction books. So I bought it. Molly has a lot of fun with the foibles of vampires as seen from the human business woman's view point.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Defender: Kris Longknife, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Mike Shepherd
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (184)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (170)

    Kris Longknife is back in the good graces of the brass - and to demonstrate that, they've promoted her to Admiral. Now her mission is to find the home base of the space pirates who are plaguing the fringes of the galaxy. But no mission is ever simple when your name is Longknife. And this time the complications range from the military to the personal, as Kris finds herself - reluctantly - having to make some command decisions about her future....

    Richard says: "Make Love (then war .... then some more love ...)"
    "Will there be a wedding?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well, I won't spoil the suspense. There may be a wedding or maybe not. What is interesting is seeing Kris going through what all spouses (or perhaps not) experience when a loved one goes off to battle. I'm not sure this book should be read without reading earlier ones in the series. Actually, I am sure. Read earlier ones first. If you have, this one is well worth the credit..

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • In Bed with a Highlander

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Maya Banks
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1230)
    Performance
    (1122)
    Story
    (1132)

    Ewan McCabe, the eldest, is a warrior determined to vanquish his enemy. Now, with the time ripe for battle, his men are ready and Ewan is poised to take back what is his-until a blue-eyed, raven-haired temptress is thrust upon him. Mairin may be the salvation of Ewan's clan, but for a man who dreams only of revenge, matters of the heart are strange territory to conquer.

    marlene says: "Steamy as only a Maya Banks can be!!!"
    "Ninny alert"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read and enjoy many books by and about women, including quite a few labeled romance. In fact, one search engine has decided that I am a woman. I'm not ... and never have been. All my protesting is preface to this: Our heroine is a ninny, making the same mistakes over and over. Nor is the story even passingly close to reality. At any price above a buck save your money.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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