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Sandra

Arlington, VA, United States | Member Since 2005

122
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 65 reviews
  • 314 ratings
  • 429 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
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  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18418)
    Performance
    (8567)
    Story
    (8609)

    Lisbeth Salander—the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels—lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority.

    B.J. says: "Perfect."
    "Skip the first two books"
    Overall

    All you need to know is here. Unfortunately that's not entirely positive...but I must insist that if you didn't already read the Girl who Played with Fire, you didn't miss anything because this book covered book 2 completely. I think my major objection is character development by detail instead of action. I don't think I care that all Swedes wear black pants and white shirts or that Palm Treos have 3 gig, megs, bits, whatever, too much trivia does not make for character development.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12089)
    Performance
    (10980)
    Story
    (11007)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "If there's a plot here"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If there's a plot here, I missed it. I'm two and a half hours into the book and I'm still not sure what the point is. Yes the building is a mystery, the people are mysteries, but so too is the plot. I got the book based on reviewers, but fail to see why they call the book intense when it seems so trivial.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Edge of Eternity: The Century Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1690)
    Performance
    (1522)
    Story
    (1529)

    Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution - and rock and roll.

    Elisa says: "Some good, some bad"
    "If you love Follett no matter what"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Then listen to this book. Narrator does a good job with the voices of the characters, but it could get tiresome when he messed up associating one character's speech with another character's line.

    He breaks no ground, but he does one thing that is good for American readers: he gives another perspective, a British one of course, to American history-much of what we take for granted or don't pay much attention to anymore. So that was the best it had to offer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Peaches for Father Francis: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Joanne Harris
    • Narrated By Rula Lenska, Gareth Armstrong
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    When Vianne Rocher receives a letter from beyond the grave, she has no choice but to follow the wind that blows her back to Lansquenet, the beautiful French village in which eight years ago she opened a chocolate shop and first learned the meaning of home. But returning to one's past can be a dangerous pursuit. Vianne, with her daughters, Anouk and Rosette, finds Lansquenet changed in unexpected ways: women veiled in black, the scent of spices and peppermint tea - and there, on the bank of the river Tannes, facing the church, a minaret. Most surprising of all, her old nemesis, Father Francis Reynaud, desperately needs her help.

    judy says: "Charming and thoughtful."
    "Left still hungry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoy Joanne Harris' books. Have read them all. I enjoyed this one to the extent that I liked her characters, but the plot was veneer. And the ending less than satisfying. It won't be made into a movie like Chocolat and it doesn't have the depth of Five Quarters of an Orange, but it was pleasant to read about Vianne once again. I wish Anouk and Rossette had played more of a role, but they were quite peripheral to the story. Best rendered character this time is Father Francis.

    Read this only if you have enjoyed the two previous books, Chocolat and Girl Without a Shadow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bone Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Tess Gerritsen
    • Narrated By Susan Denaker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1203)
    Performance
    (382)
    Story
    (384)

    Julia Hamill has made a horrifying discovery on the grounds of her new home in rural Massachusetts: a skull buried in the rocky soil � human, female, and, according to the trained eye of Boston medical examiner Maura Isles, scarred with the unmistakable marks of murder.

    Book and Movie Lover says: "Back and forth through time"
    "What's up with this listeners"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Though Dr. Petrie had to be at least 60 years old, she sprang easily to her feet" say What? Really? she wrote that and all you reviewers missed that most insulting remark??? Plus the narrator voices her as "old." Hello, I'm 65, working, enjoying my 4 rambunctious grandchildren. I don't think you'd call me spry; you'd call me 50 and scratch your head when I told you my age. This may be minor to everyone else, but I'm stopping right here and taking amazon up on its offer of a free return. Now I just have to figure out how.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Katherine Neville
    • Narrated By Susan Denaker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (47)

    Katherine Neville's groundbreaking novel The Eight dazzled audiences more than 20 years ago and set the literary stage for the epic thriller. A quest for a mystical chess service that once belonged to Charlemagne, it spans two centuries and three continents, and intertwines historic and modern plots, archaeological treasure hunts, esoteric riddles, and puzzles encrypted with clues from the ancient past. Now the global adventure continues in Neville's long-anticipated sequel: The Fire.

    gene says: "Under rated by most reviewers"
    "Mostly enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like its predecessor, The Eight, the heroine is in pursuit of magical mystery. Unlike The Eight, it's narration of historical events is more tedious to me - probably not the author's fault, but my own since I know only a bit of middle east and African history. So I did spend some time looking up the history to get a better understanding. But not that you have to, that's just a path I travel for an historical novel.

    My only complaint is the narrator. Her voice was much too mature for Alexandra who is suppose to be 22. She sounds 52. Denaker does a nice job with the other characters. That said, I frequently felt her performance to be forced, as if the story bored her and Alexandra as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Parrot and Olivier in America

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Peter Carey
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (62)

    Olivier, an improvisation on the life of Alexis de Tocqueville, is the traumatized child of aristocratic survivors of the French Revolution. Parrot is the motherless son of an itinerant English printer. Born on different sides of history, their lives will be joined by an enigmatic one-armed marquis.

    TX lilbit says: "Like nothing else"
    "Where's the story?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After six hours, I threw in the towel. And I used one of my two credits for this! Olivier a spoiled brat and Parrot an abused child - I should have been sympathetic, but it all felt too alien. The only part that was intriguing was Parrot becoming the chamber pot emptier for a poor abused counterfeiter. And I still don't know what this book was suppose to be about. Too long a journey for this listener.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Storyteller

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Mozhan Marno, Jennifer Ikeda, Edoardo Ballerini, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3398)
    Performance
    (2966)
    Story
    (2981)

    Jodi Picoult's poignant number one New York Times best-selling novels about family and love tackle hot-button issues head on. In The Storyteller, Sage Singer befriends Josef Weber, a beloved Little League coach and retired teacher. But then Josef asks Sage for a favor she never could have imagined - to kill him. After Josef reveals the heinous act he committed, Sage feels he may deserve that fate. But would his death be murder or justice?

    Suzn F says: "The Baker, The Nun, The Virgin and The Monster"
    "I don't get it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read Picoult's website, carefully examining her reason for why she wrote this story, but I don't get it. If she thinks she has added to the body of knowledge of the Holocaust, she is sadly mistaken.

    This story has a novel twist in it, but only one. It brings nothing new to the table regarding the Holocaust survivors. In fact, I just finished reading a few months ago the memoirs of women survivors in A Train in Winter before starting the Storyteller. In so many ways Storyteller repeats the exact same story. Picoult brings no new ways of understanding personal dynamics in the camps, no new ways of understanding survivors or their offspring. I'm to going to accuse her plagiarism, but scene for scene in the march out of the camp to the next camp, I could have been in the other book. Yes, I realize she used a lot of research but she should have read the body of literature out there already to be original.

    I read A Train in Winter for book club; Storyteller for my own entertainment because I liked My Sister's Keeper. Picoult's Storyteller is one dimensional. For a nuanced look at suffering in WWII and a book which brings a new perspective to the table, try The Book Thief, or go see the movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fragile Things

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1026)
    Performance
    (501)
    Story
    (502)

    Marvelous creations, including a short story set in the world of The Matrix and others set in the worlds of gothic fiction and children's fiction, can be found in this extraordinary collection, which showcases Gaiman's storytelling brilliance as well as his entertaining (and dark) sense of humor.

    Jill says: "Aother winner from Gaiman"
    "Disjointed and Spiritless"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Title says it all. He should have kept these stories under wraps. I prefer to remember how much I enjoyed American Gods, the Graveyard, Stardust.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • NOS4A2: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Kate Mulgrew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3285)
    Performance
    (3047)
    Story
    (3050)

    Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn't tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.

    Jacqueline says: "Finish to Start Excellent is Novel This"
    "Fooled myself"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    End user error. Thought I could enjoy a horror story because 1) I like fantasy, 2) I love Kate Mulgrew. I did enjoy Mulgrew's performance and hope to find another book she narrates. I couldn't connect with Vic on any level and just could not engage with the plot. But if horror is your genre, I'm sure you will rave like everyone else does.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Caroline Moorehead
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (36)

    They were teachers, students, chemists, writers, and housewives. They distributed anti-Nazi leaflets, printed subversive newspapers, hid resisters, spirited Jews to safety, transported weapons, and conveyed clandestine messages. The youngest was a schoolgirl of 15 who scrawled “V” for victory on the walls of her lycée; the eldest, a farmer’s wife in her sixties who harbored escaped Allied airmen. Strangers to one another, hailing from villages and cities from across France, these brave women were united in hatred and defiance of their Nazi occupiers.<

    Sher Sutherland says: "A real look at life"
    "Wanted to like"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    But after all the WWII books, fiction and non-fiction, I've read, I expect a new book about the camps and the war to bring something new to the table. It didn't. Re-reading Sophie's Choice is so much more rewarding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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