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  • 10 reviews
  • 179 ratings
  • 289 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014

  • The Garden of Last Days: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Andre Dubus III
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Set in the seamy underside of American life at the moment before the world changed, it juxtaposes lust for domination with hunger for connection, sexual violence with family love. It seizes the listener by the throat with the same psychological tension, depth, and realism that characterized Andre Dubus' #1 bestseller, House of Sand and Fog, and has an even greater sense of the dark and anguished places in the human heart.

    Suzn F says: "Andre Dubus III Does It Again"
    "shallow character sketches and whiny women"

    I wouldn't recommend this title for several reasons, not the least of which there are no sympathetic characters (I disliked all of them) and the narrator makes all the female characters sound whiny and weak, which is bloody annoying. Also, a large part of the book came off as misogynistic (using the C and W words in steady stream). And the use of the hijacking of the planes in the attack on the twin towers just to add some kind of a climax at the end seemed cheap and out of place. Even though this is a dark, somewhat depressing book, I was happy that the author stayed away from getting truly depraved with one of the story lines, and thus I gave it an extra star just for that.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • David Mitchell: Back Story

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By David Mitchell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    David Mitchell, who you may know for his inappropriate anger on every TV panel show except Never Mind the Buzzcocks, his look of permanent discomfort on C4 sex comedy Peep Show, his online commenter-baiting in The Observer or just for wearing a stick-on moustache in That Mitchell and Webb Look, has written a book about his life.

    Delia says: "One of the Funniest, Clever Brits around"
    "I like David Mitchell"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of David Mitchell: Back Story?

    The lobster story. It was both hilarious and awful.

    What does David Mitchell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He says things in certain ways, and when he read the Robert Webb bit it did not sound like the way Robert Webb would have said that at all. Which is fine, but a perfect example of why it's fun to have the author also read the book to you. You get their intention and emphasis that you wouldn't necessarily get with a professional voice actor.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes. I thought it was extremely funny. Especially his childhood. I love British humour.

    Any additional comments?

    I was actually surprised at what a regular guy David Mitchell is. I thought he would be very fussy and very conservative, and maybe that's because I watched a lot of Peep Show and got him confused with his character Mark, but I really wasn't expecting to relate to him so much. His explanation of why he's agnostic, for example, rings true for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Sheryl Sandberg
    • Narrated By Elisa Donovan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Sheryl Sandberg - Facebook COO, ranked eighth on Fortune's list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business - has become one of America's most galvanizing leaders, and an icon for millions of women juggling work and family. In Lean In, she urges women to take risks and seek new challenges, to find work that they love, and to remain passionately engaged with it at the highest levels throughout their lives.

    Claudia says: "Make your life count - no matter what you do"
    "Important Read for Women AND Men"
    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When she mentioned that we must sit at the table. I actually remember one meeting where I chose not to sit at the table which was not that detrimental, as it turned out, but I now make a habit of sitting at the table and speaking up, even at the risk of looking like a newb.

    Any additional comments?

    This is an important book for both women and men to read to understand why we still must fight for equality. I am a feminist because feminism means questioning the current social and cultural norms and asking why is it like that and why does it have to be that way? Gender stereotypes and gender-based predjudices hurt everyone because they keep people from being their true selves and striving toward their true calling whether it be a woman as a CEO or a man as a stay at home dad. Women's rights are human rights and this book is a gentle, relateable reminder why it is important to acknowledge unfair, entrenched practices (for both genders!) and ask how we can level the playing field so that we can all be in the game! Or at the table! Oh and just to be clear: this book is not a feminist manifesto or anything political. It's about how we can all work towards a fairer workplace and home -for everybody involved. We're all in this together.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Graceland

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Chris Abani
    • Narrated By Chris Abani

    The Elvis Oke of Chris Abani's novel is a child left to fend for himself in the urban jungle of Lagos, Nigeria. He has a talent for Elvis impersonations (hence the name) and wants to make it big so he can escape his violent and tumultuous life. In a place where angels fear to tread and only fools rush in, Elvis searches for redemption and a small piece of graceland.

    Hadassah says: "He can write... but he can't read"
    "From promising start to dismal tragedy"

    The author may have made a mistake in reading his own book. Maybe it's a cultural thing and I'm used to a different narration style because I'm not from Nigeria but I felt like he just droned on and on. Also, this is barely about an Elvis impersonator and more about a boy who would like to be an Elvis impersonator but has a bunch of truly terrible things happen to him. If it had been sold as such I would have been fine with it but it started out with such promise (and I eventually got used to the droning) and then became dark and depressing and never came back from it. There were scenes in this book which should have been pivotal moments which just felt like yet another tragedy to heap on the pile of pain and sorrow. I can handle stories like that if I am told ahead of time that it's going to be like that, but to sell this book as something which may be a bit light or have true moments of levity is not fair and made me dislike it because I felt tricked.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dark River: The Fourth Realm, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By John Twelve Hawks
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Dark River opens in New York City with a stunning piece of news. Gabriel's father, who has been missing for nearly 20 years, may still be alive and trapped somewhere in Europe. Gabriel and his Harlequin protector, Maya, immediately mobilize to escape New York and find the long-lost Traveler.

    Mary says: "I Liked It"

    Where "The Traveler" was a fun beach read, the Dark River is disappointingly uneventful and has a lame ending (not really an ending because there is a third book in the works). It's really frustrating to read a book that's in the middle of a series that feels like it's just the warm-up for the actual story.

    And as for the narrating: atrocious! All of the "foreign" accents sound like stereotypical Transylvanian accents. I've never heard an Italian person sound like Count Chocula before! Don't waste your money on this one.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

    Kindle Customer says: "Great Narration!!"
    "Lions and romance and elephants, oh my!"

    I love, love, love this book so much. The dual narrators are superb. The story telling is excellent. I wouldn`t change a thing, even the niggling question at the end: did it really happen or did he make it up...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Holy Cow!: An Indian Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sarah Macdonald
    • Narrated By Kate Hosking
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    After backpacking her way around India, Sarah Macdonald decides she hates the country with a passion. When a beggar at the airport reads her palm and insists she will one day return, and for love, she screams "Never!" and gives the country, and him, the finger.

    Meredith says: "Inspiring and witty"

    I listen to this book when I wish I were travelling but don't have the time or money. The first chapter made me wonder what I had gotten myself into, as she rages about how much she hates India. If you can get past this you'll realize that this is to juxtapose next to the spiritual journey the author later undertakes to better understand where her hate and anger come from. And the author is honest about how her western judgments of India soften and turn inside out the longer she is there and the more she tries to understand. This was a really brave but totally fun effort of a westerner trying to come to terms with her assumptions about a culture wildly different (but in some surprising ways similar) that her own. Her descriptions of holi still colour my dreams!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Middlesex

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By Kristoffer Tabori

    In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry-blonde classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop physically - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

    Christopher Allen walker says: "Great Pulitzer Winning novel!"
    "I didn't want it to end"

    "Middlesex" was so much fun to listen to. I loved all of the characters, and the fun bits of American history shown through the eyes of an insider but outsider. The narrator was on point the entire time; I loved his range of voices and accents, and got swept up in the story every time I listened to it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Scott McClellan
    • Narrated By Scott McClellan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Scott McClellan belonged to President Bush's select inner circle of trusted advisers during one of the most challenging, contentious periods of recent history. Over a period of more than seven years, he witnessed, day-to-day, exactly how the presidency veered off course, not only by its decision to topple Saddam Hussein, but by an embrace of confrontational politics in the face of an increasingly partisan Washington and a hostile media.

    Frank J. Regan says: "Something is Missing"
    "Interesting but I expected a bit more depth"

    It's not entirely clear why so many were shocked with the contents of this book other than the assumption that what happens at the White House stays at the White House. I don't think the author betrayed anyone, but rather was setting the record straight to repair his reputation which he believes was damaged when he was thrown under the bus as press secretary. Mostly, it's a study of the permanent campaign and how it has made the job of governing come second to being reelected. The author acknowledges his own culpability somewhat, but his disillusion with Bush and his cabinet really tinges this cautionary tale with a slight bitterness. I do wish that there had been a bit more depth or explanation in some parts but I'm sure that's just me. Overall, a fascinating story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Rhonda Byrne
    • Narrated By Rhonda Byrne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It has been passed down through the ages, highly coveted, hidden, lost, stolen, and bought for vast sums of money. Fragments of this Great Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions and philosophies throughout the centuries. In this audiobook you will discover the Secret, and you will learn how to have, do, or be anything you want.

    Elisabeth says: "Good for an intro to the Law of Attraction"
    "Brainwash hogwash"

    I have several reasons for disliking this selection:
    1. "The Secret" is positive thinking. Positive thinking is not a secret.
    2. All of the "world-renown" scientists and leading thinkers on The Secret are people of whom I've never heard... and are all American. Why aren't there any Indian or Swiss or British or Japanese thinkers on here? Why only Americans? Also, most of them are motivational speakers or self-help types. In other words, professional cheerleaders who give you just enough motivation to buy their next book or go to their next seminar.
    3. The author (who is an Australian TV producer, BTW) seems to espouse a fairly selfish way of thinking. In no part of this book does she mention how this ethic can help the ills of the world, only the ills of me.
    4. It's incredibly ignorant and callous to imply that people who were killed in massacres or natural disasters died because they weren't thinking enough positive thoughts. Well that explains why 100 million people died in the Russian prison camp system! Too many negative thoughts!
    5. I am fat because I eat too much and don't exercise enough, not because I think that food makes me fat.

    Here's some free advice: Think positive thoughts and don't buy this book. There is no secret to life: live with passion, focus and love and good things will come to you. Any fortune cookie could tell you the same.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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