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Elizabeth

A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!

Bellevue, WA, United States | Member Since 2007

83
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 126 reviews
  • 447 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
6

  • Three Fates

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Bernadette Quigley
    Overall
    (641)
    Performance
    (519)
    Story
    (516)

    When the Lusitania sank, more than one 1,000 people died. One passenger, however, survived to become a changed man, giving up his life as a petty thief but keeping a small silver statue that would become a family heirloom to future generations. Now, nearly a century later, that heirloom, one of a priceless, long-separated set of three, has been snatched away from the Sullivans.

    Barbara says: "Nora at her best!"
    "Predictable and enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fairly predictable story, by I enjoyed sticking with it as it unravelled and finding out how it would get to the predictable ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Signature of All Things: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (626)
    Performance
    (574)
    Story
    (583)

    In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the 18th and 19th centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker - a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia.

    Dina says: "An Educational and Epic Oddity"
    "Amazing narration, so-so story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was skeptical entering into this book. Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love" was an amazing read for me, and then I found "Committed" to be a near torturous experience that I was thrilled to finish. It was with that mixed mindset that I began "The Signature of all Things."

    Gilbert's writing is poetic and lyrical. She paints word pictures that I only dream about being able to write. She provides some complex, interesting characters, and others that are flat and predictable.

    Generally, I liked the book, but I certainly don't rave about it or recommend that you run right out and get the book. I listened to it and Juliet Stevenson's narration was impeccable. I think part of the reason I give the book three stars, rather than two, is the narration.

    For me, the flaw of this book was in Gilbert trying to tell too many stories. Much of the book focused on Alma, so why was there SO much back story to include botanists and adventurers who were lightly connected to her father as a young man? Cutting the early part of the book would not impact the overall story. There are also other characters--Retta, Prudence, Hannika and even Ambrose who flitter in, and then out. Their impact on the story was minor, one-note and predictable.

    If you are interested, sure, read the book. Better yet, listen to it. Stevenson's narration is outstanding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Other Typist

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Suzanne Rindell
    • Narrated By Gretchen Mol
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (116)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (106)

    Rose Baker seals men’s fates. With a few strokes of the keys that sit before her, she can send a person away for life in prison. A typist in a New York City Police Department precinct, Rose is like a high priestess. Confessions are her job. It is 1923, and while she may hear every detail about shootings, knifings, and murders, as soon as she leaves the interrogation room she is once again the weaker sex, best suited for filing and making coffee. This is a new era for women, and New York is a confusing place for Rose. Gone are the Victorian standards of what is acceptable. All around her women bob their hair, they smoke, they go to speakeasies.

    Pamela says: "Intriguing, Original Story"
    "Slow to start, picks up later"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book started a little slow, but definitely picked up throughout, with a very interesting ending. Think "The Great Gatsby" meets "Gone Girl."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl You Left Behind

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Penny Rawlins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (293)
    Performance
    (265)
    Story
    (261)

    France, 1916: Artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his young wife, Sophie, to fight at the front. When their small town falls to the Germans in the midst of World War II, Edouard’s portrait of Sophie draws the eye of the new Kommandant. As the officer’s dangerous obsession deepens, Sophie will risk everything - her family, her reputation, and her life - to see her husband again.

    FanB14 says: "Exquisite Portrait of Sophie and Liz"
    "Enjoyable two-era story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this story, told over two different time periods, about the girl in a painting (circa 1917) and what happens with the painting (modern day). In the audio version the narration is done quite well, with excellent French, English, German and American accents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Snow Child

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Eowyn Ivey
    • Narrated By Debra Monk
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1156)
    Performance
    (1013)
    Story
    (998)

    Debut novelist Eowyn ivey’s experience living in the Alaskan wilderness brings a palpable authenticity to The Snow Child. Alaska in the 1920s is a difficult place for Jack and Mabel. Drifting apart, the childless couple discover Faina, a young girl living alone in the wilderness. Soon, Jack and Mabel come to love Faina as their own. But when they learn a surprising truth about the girl, their lives change in profound ways.

    Bonny says: "Magical, realistic and well worth listening to"
    "Cuddle up and read away"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed Ivey's story about a show child who enters the lives of a lonely childless couple who are homesteading in the Alaskan wilderness in the early 1900s. What happens when your life is filled with disappointment, and then is suddenly graced with surprise fulfillment? How do you reach out to others when you generally protect your emotions? How do you let something precious go? These questions are explored in Ivey’s touching story. Curl up in a blanket by the fire and enjoy the read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Robert M. Edsel, Bret Witter
    • Narrated By Jeremy Davidson
    Overall
    (429)
    Performance
    (337)
    Story
    (342)

    In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture.

    Paul Bennett says: "Fine book, adequate narration"
    "Abridged might be better than unabridged"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was inspired to read this book after seeing the ho-hum movie based on this book. The book is far better, and you learn the real stories behind the movie fictionalization.

    Edsel provides a thorough description of the actions of the Monuments Men in northern Europe, where they were before the war, what motivated them, and their triumphs and tragedies during and after the war. I every much enjoyed the overarching story, but found the details sometimes bogged down the story telling.

    I had the option of listening to the abridged version of this book, and chose to do the unabridged. If you are interested in the story, I might recommend the abridged version, although I have not listened that version, as my hope is that some of the copious details are left out, leaving you with a broader picture of the actions of the men and women who went to great lengths to save art during WWII. A heartfelt thanks to all of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Malala Yousafzai
    • Narrated By Archie Panjabi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (501)
    Performance
    (455)
    Story
    (457)

    When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York.

    Jan says: "So much more than expected..."
    "Slow start, better ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to really love this book because of what I knew of Malala from the news, but for me, the book just fell short. The first half of the book provided a great deal of background information on Pakistan, including political, geographic and religious histories. While some of this was necessary, and for some readers, essential, I found that it was too involved and cumbersome. For me the book improved when it finally got around to telling Malala's story, which is captivating. May she, and others like her, continue to make strides in our world to bring about equality in education.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Susannah Cahalan
    • Narrated By Heather Henderson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (718)
    Performance
    (643)
    Story
    (647)

    In 2009, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room strapped to a bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records - from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory - reported psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four-year-old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter

    Brian Quaranta says: "For those interested in neurology & psychology"
    "Deeply personal and inspiring story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Brain on Fire is the personal and excruciating story of Cahalan's health demise through psychosis and catatonia, through diagnosis and back to health. Cahalan researched her story extensively, as she has few accurate memories of her time in the hospital. The story is gripping and inspiring and I am grateful she has shared her story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • England My England: Anglophilia Explained

    • UNABRIDGED (48 mins)
    • By Mark Dery
    • Narrated By Mark Ashby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (199)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (174)

    Downton Abbey has brought out the Anglophile in American fans of the hit TV series. But Anglophilia has a long history in America. Why are some native-born residents of our Shining City Upon a Hill, where All Men Are Created Equal, seduced by the fluting tones of manor-born privilege? At last, Anglophilia explained - in American, thank you.

    Janice says: "Failure to achieve objective."
    "Not so much..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well that was a ho-hum 38 minutes of my life. The promise of our love of Downton Abbey explored just didn't happen and in the end, it was a lot of rambling about nothing. Watch Downton, love the Queen and ignore the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Girl with Glasses: My Optic History

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Marissa Walsh
    • Narrated By Margie Lenhart
    Overall
    (259)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (224)

    Being a Girl with Glasses isn't just a style choice; it's a way of life. If you've ever had your specs steam up when walking into a bar, squinted into the sun on the soccer field, or laid eyes on a new haircut only after your locks are strewn across the floor, you know what it's like to be a GWG. Marissa Walsh has worn glasses since third grade. Now - 10 pairs of glasses, one pair of prescription sunglasses, and endless pairs of contacts later - she has fully embraced her four-eyed fate.

    Caryn says: "I could not finish!"
    "Nothing special"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Girl with Glasses is just ok. Not bad, just ok. Parts of it rang true in my life as both a GWG and when the story took place; it sounds like we are about the same age. Generally I was more intrigued by the era than the chronicles of her glasses.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Happiness Project

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Gretchen Rubin
    • Narrated By Gretchen Rubin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (957)
    Performance
    (577)
    Story
    (568)

    Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. "The days are long, but the years are short," she realized. "Time is passing, and I'm not focusing enough on the things that really matter." In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.

    A User says: "The gift that keeps on giving..."
    "Both encouraging and discouraging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Generally I liked the book at the author's story of being more intentional in seeking out happiness in her life. I listned to the book, which the author narrates, and in this case, I think another narrator would have been a better choice. As I listned to the book I was challenged, encouraged, and sometimes even discouraged by Rubin's experiences, and sometimes all at the same time. While I appreciate all that she did, hearing her story created stress for me as I thought "how can I do it all?" I think that is part of her point, though: you can't do it all. Find what works for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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