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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

107
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 163 reviews
  • 485 ratings
  • 1048 titles in library
  • 50 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
8

  • Three Fates

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Bernadette Quigley
    Overall
    (689)
    Performance
    (557)
    Story
    (553)

    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
  • Into the Beautiful North: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Luis Alberto Urrea
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (45)

    Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who left the family to work in the United States. Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn't the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village - they've all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and recruit seven men - her own "Siete Magnificos"---to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the bandidos who plan on taking it over.

    Barbara says: "The other side of the story"
    "Should have been more inspirational"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Certainly a story about a young girl and her friends on a mission to the USA to find men and bring them back to her town in Mexico. Parts of it were interesting as they went about the quest, but overall, it fell flat and lacked inspiration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Separate Peace

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By John Knowles
    • Narrated By Scott Snively
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (163)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (105)

    Now a modern classic, this story of two boys' friendship at an exclusive New Hampshire prep school as it parallels the inescapable and escalating atmosphere of World War II, is intense and engaging to the last word.

    Teddy says: "How can one fault a Classic like this?"
    "Still good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this book multiple times in high school and college, about 25 years ago, and revisited when students at my school were reading it. I found the story is still captivating and interesting, a relief when other recently revisited classics had lost their luster for me. Knowles' exploration of jealousy set at a prep school at the dawn of WWII still holds relevance today as today's teens struggle with that emotion in the midst of the technology age.

    0 of 0 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
    Overall
    (584)
    Performance
    (502)
    Story
    (501)

    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"
    "More short story than novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Think of this more as a collection of short stories about members of the same family rather than as a well developed novel. Each member of Hattie's family is developed within its section, but hardly, if ever, reappears in the book. I longed for the stories to be pulled together and for this to be a more complete novel. It lacked that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Mark Harris
    • Narrated By Andrew Garman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (73)

    It was the best of times and the worst of times for Hollywood before the war. The box office was booming, and the studios’ control of talent and distribution was as airtight as could be hoped. But the industry’s relationship with Washington was decidedly uneasy - hearings and investigations into allegations of corruption and racketeering were multiplying, and hanging in the air was the insinuation that the business was too foreign, too Jewish, too "un-American" in its values and causes. Could an industry this powerful in shaping America’s mind-set really be left in the hands of this crew?

    Robert says: "Had a lot of fun with this book!"
    "Detailed and well researched, but a bit much"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to REALLY like this book--a historical look at Hollywood's role in WWII, specifically with directors sent into the European and Pacific theatres to film the action for propaganda and training films. I enjoy this genre of writing as well as stories of Hollywood and WWII, so this book should have been perfect. In the end, it was just too much. It was so well researched and detailed that for this listener/reader I was overwhelmed with the detail and lost the larger story of how Hollywood directors supported the war. I think I would have enjoyed an abridged version of this book. The details of 20 hours of listening was a turn off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Glennon Melton
    • Narrated By Glennon Melton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (61)

    Anne Lamott meets Elizabeth Gilbert in this inspirational, side-splittingly funny exploration of the power of living with love, forgiveness, and honesty. Glennon Melton became a sensation when her personal essays started going viral. Giving language to our universal (yet often secret) experiences, her hilarious and poignant observations were read by millions, shared among friends, discussed at water coolers, quoted in The New York Times, and have inspired a social movement.

    Molly says: "Get Ready to Exercise your Bookmarks"
    "Personal and encouraging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mostly, I liked this book. It came at the right moment when I could truly hear most of what she was saying, learn from it, and apply it to my life. Her stories are personal and gut-wrenching at times. And at times, for me, the way she framed some things was a bit too sarcastic for me. Maybe it wasn't sarcasm so much as a dry humor that was a bit of a turn off at times. I got through those moments and am glad I finished the book. I was challenged and encouraged in many ways that I needed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amy and Isabelle: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Strout
    • Narrated By Stephanie Roberts
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (55)

    With compassion, humor, and striking insight, Amy and Isabelle explores the secrets of sexuality that jeopardize the love between a mother and her daughter. Amy Goodrow, a shy high school student in a small mill town, falls in love with her math teacher, and together they cross the line between understandable fantasy and disturbing reality. When discovered, this emotional and physical trespass brings disgrace to Amy's mother, Isabelle, and intensifies the shame she feels about her own past.

    Catherine says: "Honest, tough and absorbing"
    "Offensive, disappointing and poorly written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are many reasons I didn't like this novel, including both subject matter, story and writing style. Regarding the subject matter, I was offended by the explicit sexual descriptions of a relationship between a teacher and student. Not only do we not need to create more stories around the topic, we also do not need detailed descriptions. Beyond that offensive part of the book the overall story was weak and lacked a compelling theme. Two main stories were explored: the one of Amy and Isabelle and then a side story of people at Isabelle's work that should have just been edited out. Finally, the writing style was poor. In addition to having too much story in there, tidbits of the future beyond the book were given, and in a way that was not interesting as to what might take place in the future, but was just another random piece of information that continue to detract from the book. Skip it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Language of Flowers: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Vanessa Diffenbaugh
    • Narrated By Tara Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1060)
    Performance
    (912)
    Story
    (914)

    A mesmerizing, moving, and elegantly written debut novel, The Language of Flowers beautifully weaves past and present, creating a vivid portrait of an unforgettable woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past. The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it's been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude.

    Diana - Audible says: "You don't need a green thumb to enjoy this one"
    "A pleasant surprise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't remember what inspired me to buy this book, but when I found it in my library I was a little leery of it. Re-reading the synopsis did not draw me in. However, it was next up in the library, so I began listening to it. I was pleasantly surprised by the story and how quickly it drew me in. The past and present of Victoria's story are intertwined through this novel, using the Victorian meaning of flowers as a story-telling mechanism. Enchanting and interesting. I loved it to the last minute.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • China Dolls: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Lisa See
    • Narrated By Jodi Long
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (192)
    Performance
    (175)
    Story
    (178)

    It's 1938 in San Francisco: A world's fair is preparing to open on Treasure Island, a war is brewing overseas, and the city is alive with possibilities. Grace, Helen, and Ruby, three young women from very different backgrounds, meet by chance at the exclusive and glamorous Forbidden City nightclub. Grace Lee, an American-born Chinese girl, has fled the Midwest with nothing but heartache, talent, and a pair of dancing shoes. Helen Fong lives with her extended family in Chinatown, where her traditional parents insist that she guard her reputation like a piece of jade.

    Mary says: "Need a different reader!! Where is Janet Song??"
    "Not as good as See's other works"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    China Dolls is not as interesting and compelling book as Lisa See's other novels. This book tells the story of three young "orientals" who meet in San Francisco in the late 1930s, and the journey of their lives over the next several decades. The story at time seemed forced and not as natural as those in See's other novels. The narration is fair at best and did not help to bring life to each character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Choosing Civility: The Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By P. M. Forni
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    In Choosing Civility, P. M. Forni offers twenty-five rules for connecting effectively with others - at home, at work, and in our daily encounters.

    Elizabeth says: "Probably a better read"
    "Probably a better read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The information in this book is good, but I think it might be a better read than a listen. From the narration it seems that the actual book might be one of lists, highlighted boxes, and standard texts. This did not translate well into an audio book. I did finish the book, but am contemplating on getting a print version as reference and to skim over to see what I "lost in translation."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5118)
    Performance
    (4718)
    Story
    (4727)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Cynthia says: "Shadows Dissolved in Vinegar"
    "Not sure what the hype is about"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is clearly well loved by others, as evidenced by its four star rating and the written comments. For me, this book missed the mark. It wound in circles and never went anywhere. When I read that this was meant to be a short story and then got longer, it made sense to me, as much could have been edited out to create a simpler, more cohesive tale. Or, if you consider the comments of other reviewers, I must not have had much of a childhood if this book didn't speak to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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