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Simone

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Member Since 2006

301
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 242 reviews
  • 377 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 43 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
45

  • The Distant Hours

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1351)
    Performance
    (864)
    Story
    (870)

    Edie Burchill and her mother have never been close, but when a long lost letter arrives one Sunday afternoon with the return address of Milderhurst Castle, Kent, printed on its envelope, Edie begins to suspect that her mother’s emotional distance masks an old secret.

    Simone says: "Right Mood At The Right Time"
    "Right Mood At The Right Time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You have to be in just the right mood to enjoy this book, like being in the right place at the right time; thankfully I was and therefore, I just adored it! I got so drawn into the characters and the world they inhabit, that I even DREAMT about them! That’s a first for me.

    It’s also the first time I can use the expression “curled up” with a book and mean it – it was like comfort food and getting back to it was like going to find out what my good friends have been up to while I was away.

    In a nut shell, it’s a slow moving mystery about a woman who delves into her mother’s past and stumbles upon the story (and secrets) of three sisters during the 1940s, now old spinsters living in a dilapidated castle. Their tale is told through discoveries made by our present-day protagonist, weaved in with scenes from the prescriptive of the various key characters as their story unfolds before the war.

    The characters were so perfectly depicted, I felt like I knew them personally and it was easy to get so completely sucked into their orb. The author’s ability to paint scenes with words was so first-rate to me that I felt like I was actually there at times, as if I could FEEL the surroundings yet it was not so overly descriptive that I couldn’t use my own imagination to flesh out the view in my mind.

    My mood was ideal for getting carried away in this story. It’s not an “edge of your seat” mystery, but rather a tale that uncoils slowly with bits and pieces of clues revealed here and there, leaving you guessing until pretty much the end. Like a ribbon slowly unravelling.

    If you want wall to wall action, put it aside and get back to it when you feel the need for slow (almost drawn out but never boring or tedious) escapism instead.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Incontinent on the Continent: My Mother, Her Walker, and Our Grand Tour of Italy

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jane Christmas
    • Narrated By Eileen Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    In this travelogue of self-discovery, Jane Christmas brings her wickedly irreverent style to a new mother-daughter experience. Since the beginning of time, mothers and daughters have had notoriously fraught relationships. "Show me a mother who says she has a good or great relationship with her daughter," Jane Christmas writes, "and I'll show you a daughter who is in therapy trying to understand how it all went so horribly wrong." To smooth over five decades of constant clashing, Christmas takes her arthritic, incontinent, and domineering mother, Valeria....

    Simone says: "Whiny Rant"
    "Whiny Rant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was a disappointment. It wasn’t funny; it just came across as a whiny rant. Too bad because the subject matter had the potential to be very funny!

    I also did not like the narrator – her Italian sounded Spanish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Carol Burnett
    • Narrated By Carol Burnett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (912)
    Performance
    (548)
    Story
    (552)

    Carol Burnett is one of the most beloved and revered actresses and performers in America. The Carol Burnett Show was seen each week by millions of adoring fans and won 25 Emmys in its remarkable 11-year run. Now, in This Time Together, Carol really lets her hair down and tells one funny or touching or memorable story after another.

    Robin says: "Do not listen while driving"
    "Nice For Fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoy this type of Anecdotal Celebrity Biography, it feels more personal than the typical bio format of: born here, went to school here, caught a break, got married, had 3 kids, had dinner with my celebrity friends, The End.

    First hand anecdotes and recollections are much more enjoyable to read.

    Overall, the book reminded me a lot of Betty White’s book “If You Ask Me”, and my feeling on this book are the same: If you are a fan you’ll love it, if you are not then don’t bother.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Husband's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    Overall
    (1865)
    Performance
    (1662)
    Story
    (1673)

    Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive....

    FanB14 says: "Soap Opera Digest"
    "What goes around comes around!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My mother warned me that I might get fed up with this book because she felt as if there was a cliff-hanger at the end of every chapter. I agree that would be irritating, but I did not get the same feeling.

    I loved this story. To me, it was another great example of a book where you can just enjoy the ride and let the plot slowly unfold, let the various narratives run along, let all the stories eventually knit together into a drama and who cares how it ends because the ride was fun.

    I never felt like I was left dangling, I was just intrigued throughout and driven to keep going because I liked the characters and wanted to read more about them.

    If Liane Moriaty’s books are all this good, I’d like to read more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heirs and Graces: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (995)
    Performance
    (899)
    Story
    (895)

    As 35th in line for the throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch may not be the most sophisticated young woman, but she knows her table manners. It's forks on the left, knives on the right - not in His Majesty's back….

    Nancy says: "Enjoyable light murder mystery"
    "All caught up!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I’m sad to come to the end of the available instalments; I have at least a 6 month wait to go for Book 8!

    I wanted to spread the episodes out a little more, but I was in the mood for a fast easy and enjoyable to read before going on vacation so picking up Book 7 right after Book 6 seemed like a no-brainer.

    Like I said in my review of Book 6: When you’re in the mood for a fun little break from longer heavier books, it’s so nice to have such an enjoyable series at hand.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Twelve Clues of Christmas: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1558)
    Performance
    (1384)
    Story
    (1375)

    On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me—well, actually, my true love, Darcy O’Mara, is spending a feliz navidad tramping around South America. Meanwhile, Mummy is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with that droll Noel Coward! And I’m snowed in at Castle Rannoch with my bumbling brother, Binky, and sourpuss sister-in-law, Fig.

    Felicia The Geeky Blogger says: "It was a great Christmas Who-Done-It!"
    "Always Refreshing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As predicted, it was another uplifting break thanks to the continuing adventures of Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie Rannoch.

    When you’re in the mood for a fun little break from longer heavier books, it’s so nice to have such an enjoyable series at hand.

    Rhys Bowen (and especially Katherine Kellgren) deliver so consistently - I always get what I expect out of each instalment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Darwin's Radio

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Greg Bear
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (569)
    Performance
    (214)
    Story
    (216)

    In a cave high in the Alps, a renegade anthropologist discovers a frozen Neanderthal couple with a Homo sapiens baby. Meanwhile, in southern Russia, the U.N. investigation of a mysterious mass grave is cut short. One of the investigators, molecular biologist Kaye Lang, returns home to the U.S. to learn that her theory on human retroviruses has been verified with the discovery of SHEVA, a virus that has slept in our DNA for millions of years and is now waking up.

    Paul Krasner says: "Really good science fiction"
    "Science Fiction or Medical Thriller?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a great medical mystery book! A mix between Robin Cook and Michael Crichton; a real pager turner!

    My only complaint and the reason I could not go all the way and give it 5 stars was because it was just way too “jargony” and it lost me quite a few times along the way. There was a lot of dumbing-it-down-for-the-common-man and the author provided plenty of explanations of the medical terms and processes (so much so that it started to feel like he was showing off his research) but there was still WAY WAY too much technical detail for my liking. As soon as it started getting interesting, it got text-booky.

    I also felt like I lost huge chunks of the developing story; many times I found myself thinking “How did we get to this point?” or “when did that happen?” … did I miss something crucial?

    If you have a good attention span (better than mine anyway) you won’t have trouble – I on the other hand was confused for a lot of the time. Still, it was a great story and I can’t wait to dig into Book 2!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suite Francaise: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Irene Nemirovsky
    • Narrated By Daniel Oreskes, Barbara Rosenblat
    Overall
    (426)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (89)

    Irene Nemirovsky was arrested soon after completing the second part of Suite Francaise. Ten days later, on August 17, 1942, she died of typhus in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Her husband, Michel, perished in a gas chamber on November 6. Their daughters, Denise and Elizabeth, survived, hidden in safe houses and convents, carrying a suitcase packed with clothes, photographs, and their mother's manuscript written in tiny letters to save paper.

    Robert says: "The best book I've read all year"
    "Abandoned"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't review this book properly because I never really got into it.

    I made it 25% of the way in back in November 2012 before putting it aside because I wasn't paying any attention and had no clue what was going on.

    I tried all over again now in March 2014 but only made it to 16% this time before I abandoned it for good.

    I just can't get into it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death of Riley

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (250)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (218)

    Molly Murphy has finally begun to forget the unpleasant murder of a would-be rapist back in Ireland, not to mention her investigation into the murder of a fellow recent Irish immigrant, and is finally free to begin her life in New York City. Given her experiences so far in the New World, Molly has decided that her first order of business is to become a private investigator, a people finder of sorts, working for families in Europe who've lost touch with relatives in America.

    Robert says: "Delightfully fun series"
    "Very Enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like this series and I am looking forward to moving along in the life of Molly Murphy.

    It’s a fun distraction - suspend your disbelief about the plausibility of the story and just enjoy!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The Clifton Chronicles, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (153)
    Performance
    (131)
    Story
    (137)

    Be Careful What You Wish For opens with Harry Clifton and his wife Emma rushing to the hospital to learn the fate of their son, Sebastian, who has been involved in a fatal car accident. But who died, Sebastian or his best friend Bruno? When Ross Buchanan is forced to resign as chairman of the Barrington Shipping Company, Emma Clifton wants to replace him. But Don Pedro Martinez intends to install his puppet, the egregious Major Alex Fisher, in order to destroy the Barrington family firm just as the company plans to build its new luxury liner, the MV Buckingham.

    cristina says: "The demise of a great, fun author"
    "Skip it and wait for Book 5"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not in love with Book 4 in the series.

    The story felt weak to me - disjointed and random; too many short stories about this plot and that plan and this escapade and that scheme… it just left me feeling like there was nothing really concrete going on to justify a 4th book. At times, I felt like I was reading a movie script.

    Not surprisingly it ended with a cliff-hanger, so in addition to not being that great a read – there was no conclusion! Ugh! I say skip it and wait for Book 5.

    I would have appreciated a touch more exposition to remind me of who is who and why they matter. If you have a hard time keeping track of characters like I do, I would recommend a little “Wikipedia Refresher” before starting this book; I will be doing that myself before Book 5.

    (yes, despite this lacklustre instalment, I will persevere)

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Secret Lives

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Diane Chamberlain
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    Actress Eden Riley's decision to make a film about her mother plunges her into a shattering confrontation with her own past, irrevocably altering her life and the lives of those she loves. Her mother, Katherine Swift, was a renowned children's author who died when Eden was very young. Now Eden, recovering from a divorce and disillusioned with her glamorous life, returns to the childhood home of the mother she barely knew. She moves in with her uncle, archaeologist Kyle Swift and his wife, Louise. Eden gets more than she bargained for when Kyle gives her the journal her mother had kept from the age of 13 until her death.

    Simone says: "Drama-o-Rama"
    "Drama-o-Rama"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lord I am exhausted!

    Diane Chamberlain is one of those authors whose books I read because she is the author. So far it’s been a steady way to go but this book makes me leery about reading others.

    It was a preposterous drama-onion, with seemingly never ending layers of emotional twists and turns that just left me rolling my eyes in the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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