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J.F., CA. I am a voracious "bookaholic" who enjoys many different genres. I am often listening to/reading multiple books at the same time.

Northern California | Member Since 2008

67
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 25 reviews
  • 42 ratings
  • 446 titles in library
  • 58 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
4

  • In the Still of the Night

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Ann Rule
    • Narrated By Barbara Caruso
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (58)

    From true crime legend Ann Rules comes this riveting story of a young woman whose life ended too soon - and a determined mother’s crusade to clear her daughter’s name. Barb Thompson never for one moment believed her daughter committed suicide.

    Fred says: "Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?"
    "Disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I chose this book because I have always liked Ann Rule's books but I was really disappointed with this one. It seems unfocused with the story having a seemingly linear flow - very flat and I am sorry to say, told in a boring way. I fall asleep, awake and feel Iike I have missed nothing relevant to the story. The story is also filled with a lot of unnecessary details. I am trying continue listening out of respect to the victims.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Andy Cohen
    • Narrated By Andy Cohen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (56)

    In this dishy, detailed diary of one year in his life, Andy goes out on the town, drops names, hosts a ton of shows, becomes codependent with Real Housewives, makes trouble, calls his mom, drops some more names, and, while searching for love, finds it with a dog. We learn everything from which celebrity peed in her WWHL dressing room to which Housewives are causing trouble and how. Nothing is off limits - including dating.

    stephany says: "And then some."
    "Andy did it again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Andy is hilariously funny and chatty as always. This book reads a little like Sex in The City. His narration is on point. It is a nice fun escape listen and I can't imagine anyone not enjoying this book. Add it to you collection. You will love it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By David Ritz
    • Narrated By Brad Raymond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Aretha Franklin began life as the golden daughter of a progressive and promiscuous Baptist preacher. Raised without her mother, she was a gospel prodigy who gave birth to two sons in her teens and left them and her native Detroit for New York, where she struggled to find her true voice. It was not until 1967, when a white Jewish producer insisted she return to her gospel-soul roots, that fame and fortune finally came via "Respect" and a rapidfire string of hits.

    Unpumped says: "New and Renewed Respect For A Living Legend"
    "Hit it's mark"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was well researched and seemingly balanced. It showed the complex person that Franklin is. I have read that Franklin has or is planning to bring suite against the author but I do not feel this book takes anything away from Franklin. Public figures are just like the rest of us - multi-faceted and flawed with details of our life we are proud of and things we are not. The discography was very tedious to me - too many details. Overall though, it is s great book and I will probably listen to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Brooke Shields
    • Narrated By Brooke Shields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    Brooke Shields never had what anyone would consider an ordinary life. She was raised by her Newark-tough single mom, Teri, a woman who loved the world of show business and was often a media sensation all by herself. Brooke's iconic modeling career began by chance when she was only 11 months old, and Teri's skills as both Brooke's mother and manager were formidable. But in private she was troubled and drinking heavily.

    Dawn F Horner says: "Wow - a heart touching listen!"
    "Did Brooke meet her objective? I am not so sure..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Brooke started off the book saying that she wanted the present a better portrait of her mother to counter the object of ridicule that was often presented in the press. The first part of the book was sweet - a daughter presenting a likeable mother she admires. I have never dealt close up with an alcoholic and I can only imagine the struggle and disappointment it was for Brooke growing up and I admire her efforts to help her mother earlier on. Later on in her adulthood, even after she must have realized that alcoholism is a disease, she did not treat her mother well. Granted she may have been frustrated that her mother did not see her drinking as a problem but that is a part of the pathology. Long story short, I feel that Terri Shields end up coming off as much more likeable and sympathetic than Brooke. Brooke's poor treatment of Terri and her sometimes selfishness and slight narcissism bled through, unintentionally I imagine. Nevertheless, this is a good enough book since whether or not you like the characters is not the measure of a good book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in His Final Days

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Bill Whitfield, Javon Beard, Tanner Colby (contributor)
    • Narrated By Neal Ghant, Brad Raymond, Brian Troxell
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    Hounded by the tabloid media, driven from his self-made sanctuary at Neverland, Michael Jackson spent his final years moving from city to city, living with his three children in virtual seclusion - a futile attempt to escape a world that wouldn’t leave him alone. During that time, two men served as the singer’s personal security team: Bill Whitfield, a former cop and veteran of the security profession, and Javon Beard, a brash, untested rookie, both single fathers themselves. Stationed at his side nearly 24/7, their job was to see and hear everything that transpired.

    MObetta says: "Amazing Book! I didn't feel dirty listening to it"
    "So grateful for this book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read many biographies on Jackson - some unbiased, some questionable. With all that happened in the last few decades of his life, one struggles to decide on what the truth really is. This book talks about the human being that Jackson was - the loving parent, the kind decent person, his struggles to find people he can trust and more than anything, the of often sad lonely person he was. He was a dichotomy - a brilliant talent but someone who desperately lack basic money skills like managing his earnings, prioritizing his financial responsibilities or even knowing how to use a credit card. This book was written without the authors attributing more significance to there place in Jackson's life as many would do. Another reviewer said this and I will echo it too - this will be my last book on Jackson. Thank you Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard. I hope this book does well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Open: An Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Andre Agassi
    • Narrated By Erik Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (995)
    Performance
    (492)
    Story
    (491)

    From Andre Agassi, one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court, a beautiful, haunting autobiography. Agassi brings a near-photographic memory to every pivotal match and every relationship. Never before has the inner game of tennis and the outer game of fame been so precisely limned.

    Patrick says: "Just an Incredible Story!"
    "So Engaging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was not only well written but it is a good story often feeling like a well written novel. Agassi is honest and raw - poignant and often subtly humorous. I am not a tennis buff but did not find the tennis talk unbearable. My barometer of how good a book is how much my mind drifts from the story and this did not happen one - I was kept engaged the whole listen. The narrator was a perfect match also. I will browse for other books he narrates. The high ratings that still resulted from the cumulative rating to number of raters speaks volumes. Go ahead and get this book, you will be pleasantly surprised.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • And the Mountains Echoed

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Khaled Hosseini, Navid Negahban, Shohreh Aghdashloo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2516)
    Performance
    (2223)
    Story
    (2215)

    Khaled Hosseini, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.

    FanB14 says: "Does the End Justify the Means"
    "This book will haunt you...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got this book because I I love and respect Hosseini's works. Like his other books, this book takes the reader on deeply wonderful journey of complex characters with poignant stories that stays with the reader for a long time. I had to listen to the book a second time to fill in some of what I missed the first time. Hosseini's characters are always well fleshed out and the details in his stories are so intricately textured.This book underscores how as human beings we make decisions because in the moment we feel these decisions are the best given the circumstances. Many times, however, these decisions change the courses of lives and even those of subsequent generations. The narrators did not detract from the story for me. Rather, they gave the story more credibility and their voices seemed "right to me." This author has me for life! If he scribbles on a paper napkin I will be reading it! If you like Hosseini's other books you may love this even more! Go ahead and get it, I promise this one will haunt your soul.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Remembering Whitney: My Story of Love, Loss, and the Night the Music Stopped

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Cissy Houston
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (69)

    On the eve of the 2012 Grammy Awards, the world learned of a stunning tragedy: Whitney Houston, unquestionably one of the most remarkable and powerful voices in all of music, had been silenced forever. Over the weeks and months that followed, family, friends, and fans alike tried to understand how such a magnificent talent and beautiful soul could have been taken so early and so unexpectedly. Honest and heartbreaking, this is a mother's story of tears, joy, and her greatest love of all: her daughter, Whitney.

    Kimberly Davis Wilson says: "Nobody Knows Whitney Better Than Mama"
    "Well worth the time..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Remembering Whitney in three words, what would they be?

    A very balanced and well written account of a mother's loving yet candid view of her daughter's life.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This is not the type of book where one ends up having a favorite character. Cissy, Whitney and all the people Cissy wrote about are viewed objectively. The listener does not even leave disliking Bobby Brown. The listener is able to remain detached and learn more about Whitney, which is the point of listening to the audiobook.


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

    Robin Miles is simply the best. Her narration is always suited to whatever she narrates. Although she did not try to mimic Cissy's voice or speech pattern, she captured all the nuances and emotions intended.


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

    Yes.... it captured my attention from start to finish.


    Any additional comments?

    You definitely will not be disappointed. Whitney had a disease called addiction that she just was not able to overcome. Cissy never made excuses for Whitney, she merely told her story. It seems Whitney started dabbling in drugs at a time when entertainers did not realize the potential negative effects.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Caretaker's Story: A Grisly Tale of Supernatural Revenge!

    • UNABRIDGED (29 mins)
    • By Edith Olivier
    • Narrated By Bill Mills
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    A rich English gentleman thinks he has found the perfect caretaker for an isolated cottage near the sea: a veteran sailor with a taste for solitude. But when he returns to the cottage months later, the gentleman can find no trace of the caretaker. Then he is savagely attacked by a seagull, normally the most pacifistic of creatures.

    Amazon Customer says: "Bleh!"
    "Bleh!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This author was trying very hard to scare and to conjure up horror. I did not get it. I think it is supposed to be a classic so maybe its me but I do not like overly contrived plot details like these.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (18652)
    Performance
    (16604)
    Story
    (16564)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Stephen King at his finest!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I kept overlooking this book because although I have loved many of King's earlier books, in later years it has been hit or miss for me - some books I could not even finish. I was totally satisfied with this book. Even though one could argue that time travel is an out there theory, the plot took the reader right along with it and made every minute of the story believable and even relatable. The narration is also on point. At the end of the story I found myself missing the protagonist and feeling like I was parting with a companion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Song: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Harry Belafonte, Michael Shnayerson
    • Narrated By Harry Belafonte, Mirron Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    Belafonte grew up, poverty-ridden, in Harlem and Jamaica. His mother was a complex woman - caring but withdrawn, eternally angry and rarely satisfied. His father was distant and physically abusive. It was not an easy life, but it instilled in young Harry the hard-nosed toughness of the city and the resilient spirit of the Caribbean lifestyle. It also gave him the drive to make good and channel his anger into actions that were positive and life-affirming. His journey led to the U.S. Navy during World War II, where he encountered an onslaught of racism but also fell in love with the woman he eventually married.

    John says: "Amazing"
    "Wow!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I totally did not know Harry Belafonte this way. I had not known how important he was to the civil rights movement and I had known how big of an entertainer he was in his time. Belafonte does come across as somewhat arrogant but the reader is able to overlook this because his contribution is so vast (assuming all he says is true and I think he is credible). The reader also realizes that entertainment was actually the secondary role in his life and tackling social causes was the primary. As mentioned before, he has a pronounced ego but I suppose that worked for him in instances when he needed to be strong and self-assured. He has strong opinions on public figures that I do not always agree with but that is uniquely who he is - he usually speaks his mind. I also question some of the things he found necessary to include in the book like MLK's true feelings about his wife - it was not important to Belafonte's story and not his business to reveal. Like him a lot or a little, it is an interesting book that is well written and engagingly narrated.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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