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Jan

ratings
147
REVIEWS
95
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
51
HELPFUL VOTES
398

  • Ranger Confidential: Living, Working, and Dying in the National Parks

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Andrea Lankford
    • Narrated By Julia Motyka
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (208)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (190)

    The real stories behind the scenery of America’s national parks. For 12 years, Andrea Lankford lived in the biggest, most impressive national parks in the world, working a job she loved. She chaperoned baby sea turtles on their journey to sea. She pursued bad guys on her galloping patrol horse. She jumped into rescue helicopters bound for the heart of the Grand Canyon. She won arguments with bears. She slept with a few too many rattlesnakes. Hell yeah, it was the best job in the world! Fortunately, Andrea survived it.

    Charles says: "Cringeworthy"
    "Candid, Honest and Educational"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I downloaded the book before our summer vacation to one of the parks, so it was timely. A collection of National Park "slices of life" from a Ranger's perspective. Gives the reader a good look at not only "a day in the life" of a ranger, but also a broader insight into the career of a ranger. I liked it.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Ordinary Grace

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By Rich Orlow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1437)
    Performance
    (1290)
    Story
    (1287)

    Award-winning author William Kent Krueger has gained an immense fan base for his Cork O’Connor series. In Ordinary Grace, Krueger looks back to 1961 to tell the story of Frank Drum, a boy on the cusp of manhood. A typical 13-year-old with a strong, loving family, Frank is devastated when a tragedy forces him to face the unthinkable - and to take on a maturity beyond his years.

    Jen says: "Wonderful Wonderful - In Every Way"
    "Here You Go... One You Won't Want To End"
    Overall
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    In the library of your mind, if you browse through the nostalgic coming-of-age shelf, you will find Ordinary Grace somewhere between "A River Runs Through It" and "Stand By Me."

    William Krueger's writing style is true to the title, as he rewards his readers with graceful prose and stunning imagery in this "slice of life" as told through the eyes of a man looking back 40 years on the timeline of his life.

    The story is one of a small town pastor and his family as their love is challenged by loss, personal secrets, and a murder mystery that serves as the overall catalyst for peace among them.

    The narrator was born to read this story.

    This is a smooth read that kind of just floats along. It's not thrilling or suspenseful, and it's not a page turner..but you will keep turning the pages.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ennara and the Fallen Druid

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Angela Myron
    • Narrated By Crystal Marcano
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Eleven year-old Ennara Gaern has a serious grudge against the dragon on her right hand. Born with a mask that foretold magical powers, she was immediately inked with the fiendish, fire-breathing tattoo that forces her to study boring texts, cover her hand continuously, and worst of all, keeps her from visiting the beautiful capital city, Dordonne. But her quiet life changes when one night she is attacked by a shadowy demon.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "Angela Myron has all the important ingredients"
    "Magic, Monsters, and Sorcerers What's not to Like?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A few years ago, I read a book called "The Warded Man", and thought it was one of the most mystical and original books I had ever read.

    Angela Myron has managed to bring an equally magical adventure to paper for the pre-teen reader.

    One thing that I really like about young adult fiction is the way it grabs the reader quickly and pulls them right into the story. Young adult fiction gets right down to business, and for readers like me who require engagement from page one... it works.

    Ennara is an 11 year old with magical gifts, and is not afraid to use them. The fate of a whole society is in her hands, and she does not disappoint. Without a doubt, this book will keep the 8-12 age group engaged. Very well written.

    Unfortunately, I need to mention the narration. For whatever reason that I am not qualified to determine, Cyrstal Marcano's performance does not match the author in regards to talent. She is character consistent, and that is no small thing. But there are issues with sentence run-on and monotone dialogue. Did it ruin this great book for me? No. Would I still have listened had I known? Absolutely. Books presented in audible format are enhanced or brought down by a narrator. This novel is in the middle.

    Adults as well as the younger reader are going to enjoy this selection. Recommended!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Daniel James Brown
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4435)
    Performance
    (3920)
    Story
    (3921)

    Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

    Janice says: "Do you believe in miracles??"
    "A Boy Who Had to Put His Big Boots On"
    Overall
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    As inspirational as it is sobering, "The Boys In The Boat" takes us from the doorstep of WWII to the Olympics of 1936 in Berlin. The story centers around Joe, who was a young child growing up during The Great Depression.

    With incredible imagery and historic accuracy, Joe recalls the tragic events of his heartbreaking and homeless childhood, and reflects on the hunger and loneliness of that decade.

    With a redemption that overpowers The Great Depression, Joe's determination takes him from devastation to greatness in this inspiring true story of a 9 man Crewing Team.



    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • That Winter

    • UNABRIDGED (24 mins)
    • By Jeremy Mark Lane
    • Narrated By Jeremy Mark Lane
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Life, love, and addiction grip a young couple in a small town.

    Jan says: "That Winter"
    "That Winter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    This is the love story of two young people who meet in a small town. It unfolds as a "slice of life" and walks us through a time that separates one winter from all others in a young man's life.

    What presents at first as a simple storyline is anything but. The author's talent with imagery is impressive, and provides the reader with visual descriptions of places and characters that pull you in, Mr. Lane almost creates a kind of melancholy fog in this story, as if to warn the reader to prepare themselves.. someone is going to lose.

    When Audible announced the author as narrator, I groaned. I listen to books on Audible frequently, and can only think of a few authors who are successful narrators. Mr. Lane did an excellent job.

    Appropriate for the young adult and adult audience.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Reunion of Ghosts: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Judith Claire Mitchell
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter, William Charlton
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    Meet the Alter sisters - Lady, Vee, and Delph, three delightfully witty, complicated women who live together in their family's apartment on the Upper West Side. Though they love each other fiercely, being an Alter isn't easy. Bad luck is in their genes, passed down through the generations. But no matter what curves life throws at these siblings, they always have a wisecrack - and each other.

    Sudi says: "Strong Characters, Given Little to Do"
    "Dark Humor For Dark Times"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The three Alter sisters are determined to make a suicide pact on New Years Eve, as did the generations of Alters before them. The three sisters, who are all childless and single, reflect back in time through the generations of their family tree, which had a lot of relatives hanging from it. And with one sister terminally ill, they are determined to die together.

    The sisters dark humor comes through no matter how bad the situation is or was.

    Offbeat and funny,

    A good listen with a very original sotryline.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hypnotist's Love Story

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Tamara Lovatt Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1465)
    Performance
    (1278)
    Story
    (1273)

    Ellen O’Farrell is a bit unusual. She’s a hypnotherapist. She’s never met her father. And she can’t seem to keep a relationship going. (Okay, that’s more normal that we want to admit.) When Ellen meets Patrick, she’s hopeful nevertheless. But when he says he needs to tell her something, she fears the worst. When Patrick reveals that his ex-girlfriend is stalking him, Ellen thinks, "Is that all?" She’s more intrigued than frightened. She’d love to meet her. What she doesn’t know is that she already has.

    S says: "a twisted love story...so interesting!"
    ""Might As Well Face It, Addicted To Love" --Palmer"
    Overall
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    Story


    I read Liane Moriarty because she consistantly creates fascinating characters, and The Hypnotists Love Story did not disappoint.

    At first, the novel seems to be the simple story about the girl who got the guy and lost him, and the new girl that keeps him. But it doesn't take long to realize that Moriatry takes us deeper than that. With quirkiness, humor, and mystery, Moriarty delivers a story of the lengths we go to for those we love, and the emotional cost of losing them.

    The loser in this story is a woman who goes absolutely crackers when her partner ends their relationship. She stalks him for a couple of years, and eventually gets to the point of breaking into his home when he is out, and spying on him from the street when he is there. She knows she is out of control, but can't stop. The reader almost begins to root for her as we realize her love for this man and his little boy that she helped raise.

    At one point, she breaks into the home of her ex-lovers new girlfriend, bakes biscuits in the woman's kitchen, and then leaves them for her on the front porch as a gift. Hilarious.

    Everyone wins in the end, but maybe no one more than the loser. I think she carries the trophy home.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Earth Abides: The 60th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By George R. Stewart
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Connie Willis
    Overall
    (1722)
    Performance
    (1152)
    Story
    (1170)

    A disease of unparalleled destructive force has sprung up almost simultaneously in every corner of the globe, all but destroying the human race. One survivor, strangely immune to the effects of the epidemic, ventures forward to experience a world without man. What he ultimately discovers will prove far more astonishing than anything he'd either dreaded or hoped for.

    J. Rhoderick says: "Brilliant, beautiful, sad, terrifying"
    "Earth Abides...And So Has Stewart's Timeless Novel"
    Overall
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    Earth Abides is a post apocalyptic novel that was written by George Stewart over 60 years ago.

    Stewart writes of one man's strengths and weaknesses as he struggles with loneliness, confusion, and the realization that the world he once knew is no longer familiar after a virus wiped out most of the population.

    Stewart brilliantly stays clear of technology, which would have most likely outdated the book after a short time. Amazingly, not addressing the things he could not foresee in the future was the exact thing that keeps readers interested 60 years later.

    Well written, thought provoking, tragic, and uplifting, Earth Abides is a classic. Don't miss this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Grundish and Askew

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Lance Carbuncle
    • Narrated By Brandon Paul Eells
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Strap on your athletic cup and grab a barf bag. The Dr. Reverend Lance Carbuncle is going to kick you square in the balls and send you on a wild ride that may or may not answer the following questions: What happens when two white trash, trailer park-dwelling, platonic life partners go on a moronic and misdirected crime spree? Can their manly love for each other endure when one of them suffers a psychological bitch-slap that renders him a homicidal maniac? Will a snaggletoothed teenage prostitute tear them apart?

    Jan says: "Buy The Ticket. Take The Ride."
    "Buy The Ticket. Take The Ride."
    Overall
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    It's been a long time since I listened to a book in one sitting, but I could not set "Grundish and Askew" aside. Without a doubt, it is the funniest book I have ever read.

    Grundish and Askew are two friends who are outlandish, socially inappropriate, and irreverent. I loved them, and knew them well by the ending of the novel.

    Askew, whose family lineage has graced prisons for a couple of centuries, has simply bought one too many tickets to ride the crazy train, and just never got off. And Grundish,....well, I believe there is a whole lot more to Grundish. I'll let you decide for yourself.

    Lance Carbuncle (now that's funny) has a writing style that reminds me a lot of Hunter S. Thompson. Carbuncle has more wit than Thompson, but also has that same gift of being able to create those flamboyant, unorthodox, flawed characters that draw you in without effort or thought.

    The narrator was an exact match for this novel, and was character consistent. Impressive.

    This book is graphic and the swearing is endless.. but somehow appropriate. It accurately reflects the characters and their way of life.

    Reader, don't be overwhelmed by the reviews. It's ok. Just jump on the crazy train. Hunter S. Thompson would be the first to say, "Buy the ticket. Take the ride."

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ghosts: The Ghost Stories Of Noel Hynd, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Noel Hynd
    • Narrated By Time Winters
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (59)

    Nantucket Island. Quiet. Peaceful. Idyllic. For Oscar-winning actress Annette Carlson, it is the perfect refuge from a demanding career. For brilliant burned-out cop Tim Brooks, it's a chance to get away from the crime-ridden streets of the big city. And for Reverend George Osaro, ghost hunter, it is about to become a place of unspeakable terror.

    Jan says: "Noel Hynd's "Ghosts" Updated and Revised"
    "Noel Hynd's "Ghosts" Updated and Revised"
    Overall
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    Ghosts was originally written in the 80's. Hynd recently revised it for the new generations. And there lies the problem.

    30 years ago, these stories were unusual, new, and great for putting a chill down the bravest of spines..... and that is no small thing. But the stories have been told and retold now, and the storylines are no longer as original. Unfortunately, a revision will not fix this.

    Noel Hynd is a memorable writer, and he has a hefty fan base reviewing this novel on Amazon. This book is well written and narration is strong. It starts off slower, but about half way through, it moves faster, and holds the readers attention until the end. Don't get me wrong... it's worth reading.

    I would have enjoyed the book more if I had not read all the reviews of those who were scared out of their mind 30 years ago, and that were able to rediscover the creepiness that they remembered.

    I'm glad I read it, but I think the rave reviews will be written by those who were the first to read "Ghosts" and who kept it alive in their memories throughout the past three decades.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Departure

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By A.G. Riddle
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber, Scott Aiello
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1342)
    Performance
    (1183)
    Story
    (1182)

    Harper Lane has problems. In a few hours, she'll have to make a decision that will change her life forever. But when her flight from New York to London crash lands in the English countryside, she discovers that she's made of tougher stuff than she ever imagined. As Harper and the survivors of Flight 305 struggle to stay alive in the aftermath of the crash, they soon realize this world is very different from the one they left. Their lives are connected, and some believe they've been brought here for a reason.

    Matthew says: "The start of a new series I suspect.."
    "To Believe or Not To Believe, That's The Question"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A.G. Riddle's new novel "Departure" is written in multiple genres, which isn't easy for any author to pull off sucessfully. The original storyline is the novel's strength, and the carrying out of that storlyline is it's weakness.

    This futuristic sci-fi grabs the listener's attention right out of the gate with a plane crash. We are introduced to the surviving passengers, and are suddenly engulfed in a mystery, adventure, suspense, and a budding romance. Sci-fi via time travel is quickly added to the mix.

    Many characters and events are introduced very early in the novel with limited detail, which resulted in a lack of character development and difficulties with suspension of belief. Usually, the inability to suspend belief in a sci-fi novel is like drawing the death card. I was able to get past this, but not without it effecting my overall opinion of the novel.

    Most of the characters who are not essential to the story are weeded out by the ending of the first half of the novel. The second half, while less suspenseful, is well devoleoped... allowing the reader to focus on time travel within a post-apocolyptic world, and the mystery of how the world got that way.

    Overall, "Departure' is written with an original storyline, and although not Riddle's best, it is still above average. Both narrators are very good and character consistant. It was a good listen, but I wouldn't be interested in experiencing it a second time.

    22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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