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HOUSTON, TX, United States | Member Since 2010

  • 5 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 252 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2015

  • The Middlesteins: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jami Attenberg
    • Narrated By Molly Ringwald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    For more than 30 years, Edie and Richard Middlestein shared a solid family life together in the suburbs of Chicago. But now things are splintering apart, for one reason, it seems: Edie's enormous girth. She's obsessed with food - thinking about it, eating it - and if she doesn't stop, she won't have much longer to live. When Richard abandons his wife, it is up to the next generation to take control. With pitch-perfect prose, huge compassion, and sly humor, Jami Attenberg has given us an epic story of marriage, family, and obsession.

    Lisa says: "Great story - Narration leaves A LOT to be desired"
    "Read this if you like feeling depressed"
    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Molly Ringwald?

    Molly Ringwald read in a flat tone that reflected the flatness of the characters and of the story. The director did not tell Ms. Ringwald how to pronounce the Yiddish and Hebrew words correctly - and this was a book about Chicago Jews!

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    This book was the "Debbie Downer" (if you remember this skit on "Saturday Night Live") of books. The characters were depressing and there was no humor. The entire book was just character sketches. The point of view shifted from one character to another and the author gave back story for each, which halted any forward momentum and prevented this reader from becoming invested in the characters because we were often told what had happened to them rather than being a part of the action. Even the first hand action that did occur was meandering, with no clear goal for the story and no ramping up of tension. It was just a story about depressing people with depressing lives. To me, that's not a story.

    It was like paying for a ticket for a scenic train ride through rolling hills and getting a ride on a slow train in an underground subway with banal signs inside the cabin and rare glimpses of the various characters painted on the tunnel walls that pass by you too quickly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Six Years

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd. But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for...but she is not Natalie....

    G. House Sr. says: "Obsession, mystery, and you're hooked!"
    "A Brilliantly Crafted Novel"
    Where does Six Years rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top ten.

    What did you like best about this story?

    All of the twists and turns. It kept me guessing and in suspense the entire book.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    Don't want to give away any spoilers, so I won't say.

    Any additional comments?

    I just thought it was a brilliantly crafted novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heft

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liz Moore
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne, Keith Szarabajka

    Forrmer academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career - if he can untangle himself from his family drama.

    Melinda says: "Intriguing--Captivating--Altering"
    "Great story,but one narrator better than the other"
    What did you love best about Heft?

    I loved the story and the psychological aspects behind both of the main characters. I liked the ending as well. I loved how the reader got to know both of the main characters through a linking character whom we never got to know first hand except through the thoughts of the other two characters. Very ingenious.

    What other book might you compare Heft to and why?

    I would compare it to other books that are character driven rather than action driven. This book has more thought than action, but it never felt slow.

    Which character – as performed by Kirby Heyborne and Keith Szarabajka – was your favorite?

    The reader who played Arthur Opp (Keith Szarabajka) was fabulous. The reader who played Kell Keller (Kirby Heyborne) sucked, in my opinion. I would have liked to give the performance a 5 for Szarabajka, but had to bring it to a 4 because of Heyborne. I'll tell you why. Heyborne read his part in a sing song voice that you hear so often at author readings. Meaning, he "read" his part rather than "acted" it. I was totally into the story whenever Szarabajka was reading, but was taken out of the story when Heyborne was reading. I tolerated it because the story itself was so compelling. This is the long and short of it: I didn't "feel" Kell Keller through Heyborne. I truly "felt" Arthur Opp through Szarabajka. I think Heyborne could become a better reader if he worked on "being" the character more. It is easy to criticize, I know. I am not an actor, just a reader. I'm just saying how I felt about the narration and hopefully it is constructive criticism for Heyborne and helpful to other readers. My apologies to Heyborne.

    Who was the most memorable character of Heft and why?

    Arthur Opp and Charlene because of the interesting psychology behind both of their characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Matthew Quick
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    During his years in a neural-health facility, Pat Peoples has formulated a theory about silver linings. He believes that his life is a movie produced by God, that his mission is to become physically fit and emotionally supportive, and that if he succeeds, his happy ending will be the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. When Pat goes to live with his parents, everything seems changed: no one will talk to him about Nikki, and his new therapist seems to be recommending adultery as a form of therapy.

    Charles says: "Heartbreaking Brilliance"
    "Fascinating story from a psychological standpoint."
    Where does The Silver Linings Playbook rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is a book that I would recommend to others.

    What other book might you compare The Silver Linings Playbook to and why?

    I would compare it to other books whose narrator and main character is one who is afflicted with a psychological disease. It was fascinating! It was a completely different story than the movie, by the way. But, Jennifer Lawrence was perfect for the movie. I thought the book was fantastic.

    Have you listened to any of Ray Porter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, I have not. I LOVED Ray Porter's performance. I have not heard him read before, but will search him out again. He portrayed the character perfectly, in my opinion.

    Any additional comments?

    Interesting book to read. I love books that get into the human psyche and why people act, think and feel they way they do.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Ayana Mathis
    • Narrated By Adenrele Ojo, Bahni Turpin, Adam Lazarre-White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A debut of extraordinary distinction: through the trials of one unforgettable family, Ayana Mathis tells the story of the children of the Great Migration, a story of love and bitterness and the promise of a new America. In 1923, 15-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented.

    Suzn F says: "Hattie and her Family Tragically Flawed"
    "The core of what it is to be human"
    What did you love best about The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)?

    This book gets at the core of what it is to be human. Yes, it is about the Great Migration, but it is about love, loss, regret, hope and so many other more subtle emotional aspects of the human psyche and heart. I was amazed by this author's ability to evoke so many different emotions in me. It was a wonderful intertwined tale that I will recommend to others. Thank you, Oprah, for recommending this one. Absolutely fabulous.

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

    The narrators were all wonderful.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Too many to detail.

    Any additional comments?

    Read this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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