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Simone

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Member Since 2006

485
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 324 reviews
  • 458 ratings
  • 880 titles in library
  • 120 purchased in 2014
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68

  • Kinsey and Me: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Sue Grafton
    • Narrated By Judy Kaye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (69)

    In 1982, Sue Grafton introduced us to Kinsey Millhone. Thirty years later, Kinsey is an established international icon and Sue, a number-one best-selling author. To mark this anniversary year, Sue has given us stories that reveal Kinsey’s origins and Sue’s past. Kinsey and Me has two parts: The nine Kinsey stories (1986-93), each a gem of detection; and the And Me stories, written in the decade after Grafton's mother died. Together, they show just how much of Kinsey is a distillation of her creator’s past.

    Jean says: "How did Grafton create Kinsey?"
    "I WANTED to love it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoy the “alphabet series”; the books are a guaranteed hit for me every time. I love Sue Grafton’s writing style; her dry wit and sarcasm are great! but I am not so sure the short-story format is the best for murder mysteries. It felt like Kinsey was solving a new murder everyday … it was too fast, too quick, too unrealistic (yes I know its fiction).

    As for the “Me” section, it didn't do much for me. No disrespect intended because I know these are very personal stories for Sue – but they didn't hold my interest.

    I can’t wait for “W” to come out!

    3 of 4 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
    (264)
    Performance
    (254)
    Story
    (252)

    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
    (1062)
    Performance
    (934)
    Story
    (943)

    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
    (92)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (81)

    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
  • Power Play: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Danielle Steel
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (91)

    In Northern California two successful CEOs are both indispensable to their growing companies' futures. Both are brilliant at the power game. But the difference between them is huge. One is a man, the other a woman. In this riveting novel, Danielle Steel explores what that means as she takes listeners into the rarefied world of those at the pinnacle of international business and reveals the irrevocable choices they make, what drives them, and how others perceive them. The heady drug of power impacts everything they do.

    Tabea says: "The females'voices are ridiculous"
    "puh-leeeeeeeeezzze"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    OMG this story is a JOKE! The true behind the scenes lives of hot-shot CEOs… oh puh-leeeeeeeeezzze!

    I don’t even know where to begin; there is so much to complain about! Here are just a few points that sprang to mind without even trying - I am sure I could EASILY come up with more but I don’t want to spend the energy:

    • All “tell” no “show”. How lazy! Instead of letting the story develop in a way that feels organic, the reader is told what the characters are thinking and feeling and doing. Why bother at all with dialogue or scenes that move the plot along if all you’re going to do is explain everything anyway? It felt like exposition the entire way through.

    • I am sick of being beaten over the head with the 80s women can have it all mantra. All the pushing of women’s entitlement to love, work, family, romance, power… “The Modern Woman of Today can have it all and deserves it all”… Feels so dated.

    • Was the purpose to educate me on how men and women CEOs are a different breed? Women in power are like this. Men in power are like that. How two dimensional! Am I supposed to have a better insight into how a CEO’s brain works now? Please. It felt forced and contrived.

    • Everything falls into place so easily and always feels neat and tidy, no drama, no real tension, nothing original, but then again that is the way Danielle Steel operates and she does have a myriad of fans who love her books for a reason. I just think it’s eye-rollingly cliché. I'm surprised my eyes didn't get stuck!

    I read a lot of Danielle Steel in high school, but I guess I am just not that into her anymore. I gave this one a shot because it was 5$ but if they are all like this I will wait for a 99 cent sale before reading another one.

    The narration was AWFUL! Why didn’t they pick a female narrator? How do these things work? Dan John Miller may have other strengths, but women’s voices is NOT one of them!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: and Other Clinical Tales

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Oliver Sacks
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Oliver Sacks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1029)
    Performance
    (852)
    Story
    (858)

    Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.

    Darwin8u says: "A Clinician's eYe, but a Poet's HEART"
    "Interesting Enough"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book was interesting enough; I found the individual case-studies absorbing, but it got very dry and text-booky when going into detail surrounding the various medical conditions and that bored me.

    Overall – not bad for 5$

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Litigators

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3957)
    Performance
    (3236)
    Story
    (3204)

    The incomparable master of the legal thriller takes us deeper into the labyrinth that is the American justice system, always drawing us in with an irresistible hook, pulling the thread of tension tighter and tighter, and then knocking us out with a conclusion that's never "by the book". Maybe that's why, after more than 20 years of consecutive number-one New York Times best sellers, a new novel by America's favorite storyteller is still a major publishing event.

    Amazon Customer says: "Typical Grisham, entertaining"
    "I was too distracted"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don’t know if it’s me or the story, but I found most of this novel hard to follow.

    I have said in the past that I have trouble keeping track when there are too many characters in a book, but this level of confusion seemed to go beyond that. I think perhaps I was just not concentrating enough because I felt like extra people and superfluous story-lines were popping out of nowhere and it all just mixed me up.

    It was a constant litany of: Who is that again? What case was that in reference to? What was the point of that? Was that something crucial I needed to remember for later? What happened to the other lawyer? Was that connected to the first guy? Where did this case come from all of a sudden? Perhaps I should read that paragraph over again…

    Maybe two back to back Grisham Novels was not such a good idea.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9410)
    Performance
    (8476)
    Story
    (8483)

    Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?

    Brock says: "Grisham at his best (again)"
    "so-so"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I generally like courtroom drama.

    The stories are usually very compelling, and there’s an edge-of-your-seat element to them that I always enjoy.

    I didn’t devour this book as much as I thought I would because I have little interest in “The South”. The atmosphere doesn’t evoke anything for me and so I find the overall setting uninspiring and almost depressing.

    The courtroom face-off didn’t start until three quarters of the way in; most of the story centred around the groundwork and various machinations involved in preparing to go to court which although I found interesting and even educational, started to feel too drawn-out after a while.

    In the end, I felt a little deflated. I am not sure how the story could have wrapped up any better but as it is it was almost boring.

    John Grisham however is a great story teller… and reading through his bibliography and I am sure I’ve read more of his books than the 3 I have marked as read… or did I just see the movies?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Edible Woman

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (91)

    Marian is determined to be ordinary. She lays her head gently on the shoulder of her serious fiancé and quietly awaits marriage. But she didn't count on an inner rebellion that would rock her stable routine, and her digestion. Marriage a la mode, Marian discovers, is something she literally can't stomach ... The Edible Woman is a funny, engaging novel about emotional cannibalism, men and women, and desire to be consumed.

    Doggy Bird says: "Dissapointed, not much to hang onto"
    "I just didn’t get it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Was it me? Am I missing something obvious? Based on the pedigree of the author, I am more inclined to think I am overlooking something as opposed to this just being a really boring story.

    I feel that high-brow people feel obligated to say intelligent things about the book because Margaret Atwood is so renowned … whereas I just think it sucked.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hush Now, Don't You Cry

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (149)
    Story
    (149)

    In the latest in Rhys Bowen's award-winning historical series, Molly Murphy is supposed to give up sleuthing now that she’s married, but the murder of an alderman puts her on the trail of a killer.

    Joe says: "I love Rhys' books"
    "Not My Favourite Instalment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn’t like this one as much as the others, but it doesn’t matter. I'm still enjoying the series very much, and although I found there was something lacking in this instalment I am still a big Molly Murphy fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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