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Simone

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Member Since 2006

486
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 330 reviews
  • 464 ratings
  • 893 titles in library
  • 127 purchased in 2014
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67

  • Voyagers of the Titanic: Passengers, Sailors, Shipbuilders, Aristocrats, and the Worlds They Came From

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Richard Davenport-Hines
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (74)

    Late in the night of April 14, 1912, the mighty Titanic, a passenger liner traveling from Southampton, England, to New York City, struck an iceberg four hundred miles south of Newfoundland. Its sinking over the next two and a half hours brought the ship—mythological in name and size—100 years of infamy.

    Tad Davis says: "Thorough, panoramic"
    "Titanic: Always Interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you’ve read as many books and seen as many documentaries about Titanic as I have, you’ll willingly add this book to your list.

    It’s like a little collection of biographies of people whom you already know a little about. Having seen movies and TV series and documentaries, you’ll recognize most names and already have an understanding of how the main characters relate to one another. This book fleshes that out in more detail by providing additional background information and interesting facts about the key players’ lives.

    Survivor’s recollections of the sinking itself were compelling, as well as the long cold wait for rescue. (Wouldn’t that make an interesting movie? A couple whose vacation plans are interrupted when their boat (The Carpathia) alters course to rescue Titanic survivors…).

    I was not expecting to learn anything new, but I did! Not just trivia like how many napkins and nutcrackers and wine bottles were on board the Titanic (LOTS) but about how so many passengers were bound for Canada for example, and what their plans would have been had they survived the sinking.

    The book also includes a lot of details of the days in New York just after the sinking; I found this the most interesting of all because this part of history is often overlooked. Attention is usually always focused on the boat, very little to the people left behind. I had no idea there were so many imposter-grievers! People pretending they lost loved ones in the sinking!!

    The “what ever happened to” section at the end where we learn the long term fate of survivors is poignant (although a little ghoulish) because it exposes how an experience like this can impact a person deeply for life.

    It was a great read – I highly recommend it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Life After Life: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Kate Atkinson
    • Narrated By Fenella Woolgar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1441)
    Performance
    (1274)
    Story
    (1288)

    On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

    Diane says: "Life after life after life after life after life.."
    "Letdown"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book kept coming up in my Goodreads recommendations so when it finally became available in Audible I snatched it up.

    What a letdown! It felt like more like a collection of short stories with the same cast, but no solid plot.

    Sure it was interesting to hear details about the same events from different points of view, and I have to admit that it did grow on me as it went along, but ultimately I was expecting something much more compelling and was left disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Girl with a Pearl Earring

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Tracy Chevalier
    • Narrated By Ruth Ann Phimister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (426)
    Performance
    (164)
    Story
    (164)

    After earning a graduate degree in creative writing from the University of East Anglia, Tracy Chevalier was immediately recognized for her literary talent. In Girl with a Pearl Earring, she recreates the 17th-century world of Johannes Vermeer.

    Elizabeth says: "A Masterpiece"
    "An Almost-Love Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I’m not sure why I decided to read the book; I’ve seen the movie so it seems pointless in a way.

    Still, stories flourish more on the page than they do on the screen and this tale was no exception.

    A great captivating almost-love story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Mimi Alford
    • Narrated By Susan Denaker
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (103)

    In the summer of 1962, 19-year-old Mimi Beardsley arrived by train in Washington, D.C., to begin an internship in the White House press office. The Kennedy Administration had reinvigorated the capital and the country - and Mimi was eager to contribute. For a young woman from a privileged but sheltered upbringing, the job was the chance of a lifetime. Mimi made an impression on Kennedy's inner circle and, after just three days at the White House, she was presented to the President himself....

    faye says: "Disturbing"
    "Interesting Memoir"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting memoir about our Favourite Philandering President.

    I had a hard time buying her recall of her first encounter with him – I find it difficult to believe her naivete. It was as if all the events were happening to her and she was just a cog in the wheel. A helpless deer in the headlights powerless to say no. Perhaps 19 year olds really were like that in the 60s as opposed to when I was that age in the 90s, but I find it hard to believe.

    Later in the book as she talks more about her motivations, she explains how she felt seduced and enamoured and flattered and special… THAT I do believe! I just think she felt that way from the word GO but perhaps does not want to remember it that way because she feels too ashamed or judged?

    I also found her “sudden” after-the-fact-realization that she stopped being intimate with him right around the time she got engaged a little too convenient.

    Ultimately, we must take her word for it. It’s her story after all so I give her the benefit of the doubt.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Kenneth McKenzie, Todd Harra
    • Narrated By Susan Larkin, Allan Robertson
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    In this macabre and moving compilation, funeral directors across the country share their most embarrassing, jaw-dropping, irreverent, and deeply poignant stories about life at death's door. Discover what scares them and what moves them to tears. Learn about rookie mistakes and why death sometimes calls for duct tape. Enjoy tales of the dearly departed spending eternity naked from the waist down and getting bottled and corked - in a wine bottle.

    Jennifer says: "Reader's Digest Vignettes"
    "Nothing Special"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A variety of anecdotes submitted by people working in what most people would conclude is an unusual profession.

    Some were mildly amusing, a few were poignant, but overall I found it rather banal.

    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
    (5246)
    Performance
    (4836)
    Story
    (4841)

    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"
    "Delightfully Bizarre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was absolutely not what I expected... to be honest, I am not quite sure what I was expecting, but I can tell you it was NOT THIS!

    It was like a quirky, trippy, strange dream; almost a nightmare! A strange fantastical adventure through the imagination of a 7 year old that keeps you guessing and is far from predictable!

    I think this was the most surprising book I’ve read all year!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Family Way

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (140)
    Story
    (140)

    Molly Murphy - now Molly Sullivan - is a year into her marriage, expecting her first child, and confined to the life of a housewife. She’s restless and irritable in the enforced idleness of pregnancy and the heat of a New York summer in 1905. So when a trip to the post office brings a letter addressed to her old detective agency asking her to locate a missing Irish serving maid, Molly figures it couldn’t hurt to at least ask around, despite her promise to Daniel to give up her old career as a detective. On the same day, Molly learns that five babies have been kidnapped in the past month.

    Alice says: "Anyone else finding Daniel insufferable?"
    "Daniel is getting tedious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this installment much more than the past few, but I have to say I am getting sick and tired of Daniel.

    Perhaps his attitude is appropriate for the times, but I am staring to find him insufferable! Ironically, I think I agree with him regarding this particular caper, but overall it’s time for him to change his tune.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Cary Elwes, Joe Layden, Rob Reiner (foreword)
    • Narrated By Cary Elwes, Christopher Guest, Carol Kane, and others
    Overall
    (357)
    Performance
    (342)
    Story
    (342)

    From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.

    Anne Morris says: "I don't normally write reviews but..."
    "Great Movie Memories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ‘The Princess Bride’ is high up there on my favourite movies list; this book is a great companion if you like behind the scenes scoops.

    My only complaint is all the saccharine overtures. “So and So was so talented” “He was so kind” “She was so generous” “One of the best actors I’ve ever worked with” “The gentlest person I know”.... alright alright already! I get it! Everyone’s amazing! ENOUGH!

    That aside, I’d recommend this book to any fan of the film – it brought back great movie memories and a provided some good reminiscing laughs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • North and South: North and South Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By John Jakes
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1071)
    Performance
    (942)
    Story
    (951)

    Two strangers, young men from Pennsylvania and South Carolina, meet on the way to West Point.... Thus begins this brilliant novel of antebellum America, spanning three generations and chronicling the lives and loves of two great family dynasties. The Hazards and the Mains are brought together in bonds of friendship and affection that neither jealousy nor violence can shatter - until a storm of events sunders the nation and brings the cataclysm of war!

    Parusski says: "Captivating novel of the Civil War"
    "Worth 5$"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book kept popping up in my recommendations list - in both Audible and Goodreads so when it came on sale for 5$ I took the plunge.

    Sale aside, the reason I didn’t read it sooner is because I am not really all that interested in the American Civil War, but since epic family sagas tend to be engaging - I dove in.

    As I suspected, the war parts bored me and the family drama entertained me.

    I have books 2 and 3 in my wish list so I can be advised if ever they too come on sale for 5$. At that price it’s worth the diversion

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rick Steves' Postcards from Europe: Travel Tales from America's Favorite Guidebook Writer

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Rick Steves
    • Narrated By Rick Steves
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (26)

    This is the audiobook millions of Rick Steves fans have been waiting for! A journal of Rick's favorite European stories, his traveling life, and how he started his business, all told in that funny, down-to-earth style that makes Rick America's favorite travel writer. Rick Steves' Postcards from Europe takes you on a European vacation, complete with the sights, sounds, tastes, and people of Europe, without ever leaving that comfy sofa or the relative safety of your own car.

    Steven says: "Classic Rick"
    "Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I’ve been lucky enough to visit just about every place in this book, and I enjoyed the walk down memory lane.

    I've read the "real" book twice, and thought I would enjoy hearing Rick telling his stories and I did! But the recording quality is not great... still, not bad for 6 bucks!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The World of Downton Abbey

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Jessica Fellows
    • Narrated By Elizabeth McGovern
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (82)

    Downton Abbey portrays a world of elegance and decadence, a world of duty and obedience, and a world of romance and rivalry. This companion book, full of rich historical detail, takes fans deeper into that period than ever before. Experience the inner workings of the downstairs life and be dazzled by the glamour of upstairs life with profiles of all the major characters, interviews with the actors, and behind the scenes insights.

    Teddy says: "Fun look at the backstory to Downton Abbey"
    "Not Really a “Behind The Scenes” Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It’s not really what I would call a “behind the scenes” book, it’s more like a historical overview of life in the Downton Abbey era.

    There were a few behind the scenes of the TV show scoops toward the end, but it just felt like a tease; I would like to read a version that goes into more detail including casting etc. If that’s what you are in the mood for this book might let you down.

    If you’re in the mood for a history lesson however, then this book is great! Since it draws on the popularity of the show and explains the parallels between the story lines and what was happening in “real life” at the time it was extremely educational. It wasn’t dry nor did it feel like a boring lesson but rather because we know and love the characters so well it was a great way to learn!

    Unfortunately it did not go beyond season 2, I wanted more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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