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Simone

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Member Since 2014

578
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 367 reviews
  • 493 ratings
  • 951 titles in library
  • 38 purchased in 2015
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70

  • The Lusitania Murders: Disaster Series, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Max Allan Collins
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (15)

    Under the pseudonym S.S. Van Dine, Wright has booked passage on what would be the luxury liner’s disastrous final crossing. He claims to be interviewing celebrity passengers, but the reporter is actually investigating rumors that the ship is ferrying an illegal cache of weapons to aid the British war against Germany. His investigation is put on hold when three German stowaways are discovered and then - in an unexpected and violent twist - killed.

    Simone says: "I Want a Sequel!"
    "I Want a Sequel!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This reminded my of an Agatha Christie murder mystery: a “predictable set of charismatic characters in a closed environment” style whodunit.

    I loved the two main characters and their relationship; I really got into it and rooted for them, in fact at times I cared more about them than I did for the mystery. I want a sequel surrounded on their lives!

    I was impressed with the author’s description of life aboard the Lusitania; I want to read a non-fiction book about it now.

    I read it all in one shot on a flight; it was a great diversion since my media-screen wasn’t working and I could not watch any movies!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Face of Deception

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Iris Johansen
    • Narrated By Jill Hennessy
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (63)

    A forensic sculptor with the rare gift for reconstructing the identity of the dead from their skulls, Eve Duncan is made an offer she can't financially refuse: to reconstruct the face of an adult murder victim. It's a simple bargain, yet its' the most dangerous one she'll ever make.

    Frank says: "Great story; poor narration"
    "Over Abridged!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I should have returned this book because the fact that it was an abridged version ruined it for me.

    There is a lot to be said for the pace of a story; abridging can ruin that. This story seemed very disjointed to me - it’s started off with an intriguing premise and then all of a sudden everyone is running for their lives. Huh?

    Too much was missing... I could tell it was condensed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone for Good

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (532)
    Performance
    (266)
    Story
    (271)

    In a bold novel, Harlan Coben (Tell No One) continues to stake out new ground in suspense, unleashing a haunting tale of secrets and betrayal...and of one man's search for his missing brother that spirals into a breakneck hunt for a killer, a victim, and the truth.

    Ed says: "Excellent twists and turns"
    "Too Many Tangents"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this book in 2009 and gave it 2 stars, after rereading it now in 2015 I stand by that rating.

    I didn’t really enjoy it that much, I found that there were too many tangents and sub-plots that made following the core narrative difficult for me. It felt too convoluted and weighed down with too many characters who all have too much baggage.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Henrietta Howard: King's Mistress, Queen's Servant

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Tracy Borman
    • Narrated By Julia Franklin
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    She was far more than mistress to the king; Henrietta Howard was a dedicated patron of the arts, a lively and talented intellectual, and a passionate advocate for the rights of women long before the dawn of feminism. The mark that this enigmatic royal mistress left on the society and culture of early Georgian England was to resonate well beyond the confines of the court, and can still be felt today.

    Simone says: "Better the Second Time Around"
    "Better the Second Time Around"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I first read this book in 2011 and only gave it 2 stars. I think that’s proof that you have to be in the right mood for a book because this time I would easily give it 4 stars if not 4 ½.

    It’s all so interesting!! Not just the life of Henrietta, but the history of the Hanoverian Court, how King George I and II came to the throne, their acrimonious relationship, life in London in the early 1700s, the lifestyle of George and Caroline when they were still Prince and Princess of Wales… all of it!

    It’s a very well written book; not dry or text-booky at all. I really feel like I learned something… I’m glad I decided to pick it up again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Charlotte and Leopold: The True Story of the Original People's Princess

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By James Chambers
    • Narrated By Jilly Bond
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    From the day she was born, Charlotte won the hearts of her subjects and yet behind the scenes she was used, abused and victimized by rivalries-between her parents; between her Father (the Prince Regent, later George IV) and (Mad King) George III: between her tutors, governesses and other members of her discordant household; and ultimately between the Whigs and the Tories. Her death in childbirth-the result of medical incompetence-was followed by an unseemly scramble to produce a substitute heir.

    Simone says: "Royal Biographies"
    "Royal Biographies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I always enjoy reading Royal Biographies and the story of Charlotte and Leopold is yet another engaging chapter in a long long long line of interesting stories.

    The more I read, the more the links come together and I can better understand how all the players interconnect. I knew Leopold was Queen Victoria's uncle, but I was never sure just how she was related to Charlotte. I knew Charlotte was a popular Princess, but I never knew why.

    I first read this book back in 2012, yet I feel like I got more out of it this time. Now, I plan to reread "Henrietta Howard: King's Mistress, Queen's Servant" by Tracy Borman in the same hope of feeling like I learned something new.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hausfrau: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Jill Alexander Essbaum
    • Narrated By Mozhan Marno
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (184)
    Performance
    (159)
    Story
    (160)

    Anna Benz, an American in her late thirties, lives with her Swiss husband, Bruno - a banker - and their three young children in a postcard-perfect suburb of Zürich. Though she leads a comfortable, well-appointed life, Anna is falling apart inside. Adrift and increasingly unable to connect with the emotionally unavailable Bruno or even with her own thoughts and feelings, Anna tries to rouse herself with new experiences.

    NMwritergal says: "Wonderful writing; pathetic, passive protagonist &"
    "Self Indulgent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was hard to enjoy because the main character is so unlikable! “Oh woe is me, I’m such a bad person, I deserve all the bad things that come to me... and I look to put myself in bad situations...” I don’t find any of that interesting – I find it tedious and self indulgent.

    Also, nothing really happened in this story outside of the main character’s introspections... it made me wonder if the point of it all was just to be shocking??

    What I did like about the book, and why I read it in the first place is because it takes place in Switzerland. That was a lot of fun! I have family in Switzerland, I speak and understand Schweizerdeutsch (Schwyzerdütsch) and have been to Switzerland many times so I got all the cultural references. I know where the town she lives in is, and was easily able to picture it all.

    The narration was good, except for the doctor who’s accent was not Swiss but German. I would have been extra impressed had the narrator been able to do a Swiss accent! But it’s not easy – it’s just like French when people try to do a Quebecois accent and just sound Parisian.

    If you like all the Swiss references in this book and want to learn more, I recommend Swiss Watching by Decon Lewis.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Terminal Experiment

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (301)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (137)

    An experiment has gone terribly wrong. Dr. Peter Hobson has created three electronic simulations of his own personality. One will test life after death; another, immortality. The third one is the control unit. But now all three have escaped from Hobson's computer into the worldwide electronic matrix. And one of them is a killer.

    David says: "Incredible"
    "Typical Sawyer-Mind-Bend"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Yet again, another thought provoking book by Robert J Sawyer… but I expected no less!

    The book was written in 1995 and was set about 20 years in the future - which means right about now. This was comical to read because we now know if his future predictions about our culture have come to pass.

    He missed the mark on a few things like: Curbside Newspaper Printers, we don’t have VCRs anymore (although his VCR had all the same capabilities and programming parameters that our PVRs have), Donahue and Leno are no longer on air, and poor Peter Jennings passed away.

    He got things right like: Queen Elizabeth II is still alive and well, that there would be a Pope Benedict XVI (impressive!) and electronic readers (did we envision reading tablets in the 90s? It’s so long ago I can’t remember.

    Of course he did not predict the Iphone but he did conjure up video-phones.

    Aside from the fun of picking those details apart, the story itself was a typical Sawyer-mind-bend. I love his books, they never ever disappoint!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (3029)
    Performance
    (2105)
    Story
    (2122)

    First appearing in print in 1890, the character of Sherlock Holmes has now become synonymous worldwide with the concept of a super sleuth. His creator, Conan Doyle, imbued his detective hero with intellectual power, acute observational abilities, a penchant for deductive reasoning and a highly educated use of forensic skills. Indeed, Doyle created the first fictional private detective who used what we now recognize as modern scientific investigative techniques.

    David says: "mouth watering"
    "My intro to Sherlock"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved the language, the writing, the characters, the narration... but the stories left me a little flat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bone Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Tess Gerritsen
    • Narrated By Susan Denaker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1228)
    Performance
    (407)
    Story
    (409)

    Julia Hamill has made a horrifying discovery on the grounds of her new home in rural Massachusetts: a skull buried in the rocky soil � human, female, and, according to the trained eye of Boston medical examiner Maura Isles, scarred with the unmistakable marks of murder.

    Book and Movie Lover says: "Back and forth through time"
    "Not bad!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am mining my bookshelves looking for stories I don’t remember so I can get some “free reads”. When I started this one again, I began wondering if I had actually read it before since I truly remembered nothing! As the story progressed, some bits and pieces came back to me, but I didn’t quite remember the ending so it didn’t feel pointless to keep going.

    I gave it 2 stars back then but this time I’d rated it 3. I thought the mystery was interesting, and I enjoyed reading about the darker side of life in 1830s Boston. I feel like I learned a little something about the history of medicine and the grizzly world of resurrectionists.

    My only complaint is a reoccurring one – the romances. Both the one in the present day and the one in the 1830. They are all so easy and instant! Woman sees man, woman thinks “Ohhh what is this feeling that’s come over me?”, woman falls for man. You’re just supposed to take her word for it that she’s suddenly attracted after 2 conversations? Please.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tell No One

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Steven Weber
    Overall
    (429)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (84)

    For Dr. David Beck, the loss was shattering. And every day for the past eight years, he has relived the horror of what happened. The gleaming lake. The pale moonlight. The piercing screams. The night his wife was taken. The last night he saw her alive. But now a message has appeared on his computer, a phrase only he and his wife know. "Non-stop action with plot twists galore," says best selling author Philip Margolin.

    Michael E says: "hard to put down, enjoyable"
    "Interesting Thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this book the first time in 2011 but since I remember nothing about it, it felt like a new story.

    I only gave it 2 stars back then, but I think it deserves a solid 3 if not 4; I was along for the ride from the very first word! I thought it was a very suspenseful and interesting thriller.

    On the negative side, the story felt a little dated with references to dial-up modems and beepers and research in libraries on microfiche, and a particularly strange scenario when a woman changes her mind about boarding a transatlantic flight and just finds an exit to leave the airport... but it was written in 2001 so you have to give it a little leeway.

    This was an abridged version and while I liked that it was short and to the point with no extra fluff, I think some crucial fluff was left out because information seemed to come out of nowhere: the existence of a safety deposit box and the link to the name of a witness to a crash for example; I felt lost a times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Edge of Dreams

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (133)

    Molly Murphy Sullivan's husband, Daniel, a captain in the New York City police force, is stumped. He's chasing a murderer whose victims have nothing in common - nothing except for the taunting notes that are delivered to Daniel after each murder. And when Daniel receives a note immediately after Molly and her young son, Liam, are in a terrible train crash, Daniel and Molly both begin to fear that maybe Molly herself was the target.

    Kate says: "Good Story; annoying narration"
    "Finally Daniel is coming around!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don’t know if the books are getting better, or if it’s because by now at Book 14 I know exactly what to expect - therefore get exactly what I want – therefore am never disappointed.

    I loved this installment, and I’m so glad Daniel is loosening up on the boorish male attitude towards Molly’s investigations. I hope this is a sign of things to come, I like the idea that they will be a crime-solving duo!!


    I’m so looking forward to Book 15.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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