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Laguna Niguel, CA, United States | Member Since 2005

  • 23 reviews
  • 425 ratings
  • 407 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014

  • The Blood of Flowers

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Anita Amirrezvani
    • Narrated By Shohreh Aghdashloo

    In 17th-century Persia, a 14-year-old woman believes she will be married within the year. When her beloved father dies, she and her mother find themselves alone and without a dowry. With nowhere else to go, they are forced to sell the brilliant turquoise rug the young woman has woven to pay for their journey to Isfahan, where they will work as servants for her uncle, a rich rug designer in the court of the legendary Shah Abbas the Great.

    Shaddi says: "I loved this book!"
    "I loved this book!"

    This books appears to be have written to be read out loud. While listening to it, you feel like someone is sitting across from you in your living room and telling you their story. More importantly, with the middle east in the news every day, it educates the readers about the rich culture of Iran. 400 years later, many things have remained the same in parts of Iran, and that region. If you liked the "twentieth wife," "the bed of roses," Amy Tan's first novels or Lisa See's novel, you will love this book. I highly recommend it.

    37 of 37 people found this review helpful
  • Kushiel's Chosen

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Carey
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The land of Terre d'Ange is a place of unsurpassed beauty and grace. The inhabiting race rose from the seed of angels and men, and they live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt. Phèdre nó Delaunay was sold into indentured servitude as a child. Her bond was purchased by a nobleman, the first to recognize that she is one pricked by Kushiel's Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one.

    Suzanne Iantorno says: "Great second book in the series"
    "Needs to be Abridged!"

    I enjoyed the first book, Kushiel's Dart. I thought that I would like this book as well. The story itself is good; but there is too much repetition and whining by the heroine. She is just not likeable or sympathetic in this book. I had a hard time finishing the book and at times I found myself skipping through her whining (thank goodness for that feature on the IPOD!). I don't know if I'll listen to Kushiel's Avatar at this point. After this book, I need some rest from Phedre!

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • A Dangerous Fortune

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1866 tragedy strikes at the exclusive Windfield School when a mysterious accident takes the life of a student. Among the student's circle of friends are Hugh Pilaster; Hugh's older cousin Edward, dissolute heir to the Pilaster banking fortune; and Micky Miranda, the handsome son of a brutal South American oligarchy. The death and its aftermath begin the spiraling circle of treachery that will span three decades and entwine many lives.

    Rebecca says: "Predictable Fun"
    "Familiar Plot Line."

    This story's plot-line was similar to his "Pillars of the Earth" novel but it was set in the late 19th century. The narrator is good and I enjoyed the story but I don't think that I will be listening to anymore of his books.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Painted Veil

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By W. Somerset Maugham
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    First published in 1925, The Painted Veil is an affirmation of the human capacity to grow, change, and forgive. Set in England and Hong Kong in the 1920s, it is the story of the beautiful but shallow young Kitty Fane. When her husband discovers her adulterous affair, he forces her to accompany him to a remote region of China ravaged by a cholera epidemic.

    Kevin says: "A Joyous Realm"
    "Good Narrator; lousy story!"

    I've rarely read a book where I have had so little compassion for and understanding of the heroine. I listened to the entire book in an effort to like it. The narrator was the only reason I continued to listen to the book while I was stuck in traffic. I don't think that I would have been able to finish this book if I were just reading it. Boring!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"

    By far, one of the best books I have listened to or read in a very long time. I ordered the sequel to this book from England because I couldn't wait for it to come to the U.S. market and I haven't been able to put it down. As a sidenote, I'm not even a big fan of this genre of books. There are some graphic violence scenes (rape to be specific) and vulgar language but they are an important part of the plot--not just gratuitous violence. However, if these things really bother you, don't listen to this book. Otherwise, you really shouldn't miss it. It's a must listen.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Careful Use of Compliments: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Award-winning New York Times best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith, creator of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series of novels, delivers the fourth tale from his charming Isabel Dalhousie series, featuring the highly ethical and plucky protagonist. She's now a mother, but has an uncertain relationship with her son's father. She must also deal with academic politics and, of course, a mystery: did a Scottish painter drown, commit suicide or fall victim to a murder plot?

    Joanne says: "Another McCall Smith hit"
    "A tip..."

    I am an A.M.S. fan. I loved his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. The key to reading his books is really following his characters from the first book--his character development is truly exceptional and while the books aren't fast- paced, they are interesting. However, when you read his books out of sequence, they are not as engaging and in fact are a bit slow. I ordered this book not realizing that it was the 4th book in this series. I think that I would have enjoyed it more, if I had already listened to the first 3 books--this is based on my knowledge of this author. The Narrator did a great job but I don't recommend listening to this book if you haven't listened to the 1st three books.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Audition: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Barbara Walters
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    "Young people starting out in television sometimes say to me: 'I want to be you.' My stock reply is always: 'Then you have to take the whole package.'" And now, at last, the most important woman in the history of television journalism gives us that "whole package", in her inspiring and riveting memoir. After more than 40 years of interviewing celebrities of all kinds, Barbara Walters has turned her gift for examination onto herself to reveal the forces that shaped her extraordinary life.

    Shaddi says: "Absolutely Incredible Listen!"
    "Absolutely Incredible Listen!"

    This book introduces you to the world of journalism for the past 50+ years. Barbara Walters' account is honest, engaging and inspiring at the same time. She gives you inside information about many of the people she has interviewed over the past 4 decades and you get to see them in a different light. Without realizing it, you also learn a great deal about recent history. Most importantly, she is a facinating figure and if like me, you've wondered about who she really is, she covers everything in this book. It reads like a good and thorough conversation--you feel as if she is seated on a sofa in your living room and, at your request, is telling you her life story. The Narrator does an incredible job in bringing her to life.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Mary of Nazareth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Marek Halter
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Miriam - also known as Mary - was born into a Palestine oppressed by Herod the Great; she is accustomed to living with uncertainty and unrest. But when her beloved father is wrongly imprisoned by the Romans, she takes action. She calls upon a well-known rebel by the name of Barabbas, and together they set out to save her father. A daring escape is accomplished and, against staggering odds, Miriam's father is saved from crucifixion.

    Shaddi says: "Interesting!"

    This book introduces you to Mary before she became the mother of Jesus Christ. However, if you are a devote Christian with set ideas on how the story goes, you won't like this book. Marek Halter's book requires imagination, and an open mind. This is historical "fiction" after all. I enjoy his books because they are mainly "an educated guess" about each of the biblical female biblical figures. The book is engaging as long as you don't examine it for religious content. I enjoyed it a great deal and often marveled at his imagination.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Twilight: The Twilight Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Stephenie Meyer
    • Narrated By Ilyana Kadushin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    About three things I was certain. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him, and I didn't know how dominant that part might be, that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

    Mitch says: "My Not-So-Guilty Pleasure"
    "Not for Anne Rice Fans...."

    I think that I would have loved this book in my early 20s and before my introduction to Anne Rice. If you're an Anne Rice fan, you will be sourly disappointed. The story lacks complexity or even true suspense. I finished the book but am not going to listen to the rest of the series.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
    • Narrated By Paul Baymer, Susan Duerden, Roselyn Landor, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The best book club you’ve never heard of – but will be eager to join, courtesy of a full cast of true characters. January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb....

    Kent says: "MUCH better than I ever expected! Give it a try!"
    "Very Engaging listen..."

    This book is written in the first person in the context of letters. It gives you the opportunity to meet each character and gradually draw your own conclusions about that character and what was happening. The author does a very good job of keeping your interest as well as moving the story along. If you enjoyed "Fair and Tender Ladies" by Lee Smith, you will love this book! You will love the characters. You will laugh with them, cry with them and learn a great deal about WWII in the process. I highly recommend it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Fair and Tender Ladies

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Lee Smith
    • Narrated By Kate Forbes

    Author of many novels and short stories, best-selling writer Lee Smith has received numerous awards for her works, including two O. Henry Awards. Fair and Tender Ladies is an epistolary novel that traces the life of Ivy Rowe, born in the isolated Virginia mountain community of Sugar Fork.

    Vivian says: "roots"

    I believe the reader really brings this book to life. The book introduces you to the Heroine Ivy and the people in her life, thru the letters that Ivy has written throughout her life. This is the reason the reader is critical in the a book like this one and I am happy to say, this reader does a fantastic job. You feel as if you're privy to Ivy's thoughts as she writes each letter--and you hear her innocence, her incredulity, her sadness, her frustration, her anger and her happiness. I really enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone who is a lover of people and their individual stories.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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