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DIANE

I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.

Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2009

169
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 130 reviews
  • 134 ratings
  • 404 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
66

  • The Free World

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By David Bezmozgis
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (56)

    Summer 1978. Brezhnev sits like a stone in the Kremlin, Israel and Egypt are inching towards peace, and in the bustling, polyglot streets of Rome, strange new creatures have appeared: Soviet Jews who have escaped to freedom through a crack in the Iron Curtain. Among the thousands who have landed in Italy to secure visas for new lives in the West are the members of the Krasnansky family - three generations of Russian Jews.

    Janet says: "Excellent Character study -don't expect a plot"
    "Couldn't finish."
    Overall

    I just could not finish this book. I found the narrator's voice intensely annoying and though it seemed as if the story was going to eventually get interesting, I kept avoiding going any further and never finished.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2790)
    Performance
    (2648)
    Story
    (2651)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold ""human error"" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "A Riveting story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Martian?

    This book grabbed me right from the beginning and wouldn't let go. I couldn't stop listening.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved hearing all the technical astronautic information that I didn't really understand, but lent credibility to the story. I loved the main character. What a guy. I was taken by his ability to cope with being alone for such a long time in space, not knowing what his fate would be. I liked his sense of humour and his ingenuity.


    What about R. C. Bray’s performance did you like?

    I liked everything about the performance. The accents were well done on the whole.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I can't reveal that for fear of ruining the story for other readers.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a fabulous listen. I wasn't sure from the name or subject whether or not I would enjoy it, but it didn't disappoint.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4165)
    Performance
    (3806)
    Story
    (3807)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "A Masterpiece!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

    I wouldn't have missed this wonderful book. The intricacy of the characters was outstanding. Though I really disliked the "Russian outlaw" aspect of the book, it fit well into the context of the story.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Goldfinch?

    There were dozens of memorable moments in The Goldfinch. I refuse to ruin the story for future readers.


    If you could take any character from The Goldfinch out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Strangely enough, I might take Xandra out for dinner... because I had a sneaking suspicion throughout the book that she was a transsexual and I'd love to satisfy my own curiosity!


    Any additional comments?

    The story of The Goldfinch was a very gut wrenching one, chronicling the story of a boy who loses his mother in a tragic museum bombing. We watch as he goes from being an ordinary 15 year old boy, to entering the not so pretty world of drug and alcohol abuse. I think if I could have listened to the book in one fell swoop, I would have. I highly recommend this book. The writing is masterful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hypnotist's Love Story

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Tamara Lovatt Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (297)
    Performance
    (270)
    Story
    (266)

    Ellen O’Farrell is a bit unusual. She’s a hypnotherapist. She’s never met her father. And she can’t seem to keep a relationship going. (Okay, that’s more normal that we want to admit.) When Ellen meets Patrick, she’s hopeful nevertheless. But when he says he needs to tell her something, she fears the worst. When Patrick reveals that his ex-girlfriend is stalking him, Ellen thinks, "Is that all?" She’s more intrigued than frightened. She’d love to meet her. What she doesn’t know is that she already has.

    S says: "a twisted love story...so interesting!"
    "Love Moriarty"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I probably would. This was an enjoyable "girls read". Not the deepest book I've ever read but just enjoyable.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    strangely enough, Saskia was my favourite character. I watched as a voyeur as she invaded the privacy of her ex-boyfriend and got a look into the mind of a deeply troubled woman. However, later on in the book, her life took a different turn and I was pleased for her.


    What about Tamara Lovatt Smith’s performance did you like?

    I love that hint of Aussie accent.. I'm a sucker for them! She got different voices right even the mens' voices. I enjoyed her performance.


    If you could take any character from The Hypnotist's Love Story out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I think I would definitely take Ellen out for dinner. I'd love to know more about hypnotherapy!


    Any additional comments?

    Nope... just a quick, enjoyable read. If you're looking for depth and major literary art, this is probably not the book for you. Just a good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Coming Home, Volume 2

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Rosamunde Pilcher
    • Narrated By Rowena Cooper
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    At the Cornish home of her new friend, Loveday Carey-Lewis, Judith blossoms: but those sun-drenched Cornish days in the '30s are numbered.

    DIANE says: "A little too predictable"
    "A little too predictable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Rosamunde Pilcher and/or Rowena Cooper?

    I've already listened to Rowena Cooper and find her to be an excellent narrator.
    I have read a number of Rosamunde Pilcher's books and generally enjoy them… though The Shell Seekers was my all-time favourite.


    If you’ve listened to books by Rosamunde Pilcher before, how does this one compare?

    Sorry, Rosamunde, this does not compare to The Shell Seekers.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What Alice Forgot

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Tamara Lovatt-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (877)
    Performance
    (782)
    Story
    (779)

    What would happen if you were visited by your younger self, and got a chance for a do-over?Alice Love is twenty-nine years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. So imagine her surprise when, after a fall, she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! she HATES the gym!) and discovers that she's actually thirty-nine, has three children, and is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce.

    Judy says: "Unforgettable! I loved this story!"
    "I wish it had a different ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of What Alice Forgot to be better than the print version?

    I did not read the print version so I am unable to compare.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of What Alice Forgot?

    I think when Alice's memories came flooding back to her… I could barely imagine what that would be like.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I think if I could have, I would have read this book in one sitting… it grabbed me from the beginning and didn't let go.


    Any additional comments?

    I was very disappointed in the ending which was contained in a post script type section.I will not ruin the story for readers. However, I loved the book up until the end section, at which point I was upset and frustrated with the choices made by the protagonists. That is all I will say.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Viola in Reel Life

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Adriana Trigiani
    • Narrated By Emily Eiden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (16)

    Viola doesn't want to go to boarding school, but somehow she ends up at an all-girls school in South Bend, Indiana, far, far away from her home in Brooklyn, New York. Now Viola is stuck for a whole year in the sherbet-colored sweater capital of the world. Ick. There's no way Viola's going to survive the year - especially since she has to replace her best friend Andrew with three new roommates who, disturbingly, actually seem to like it there.

    Patti says: "A New Direction"
    "Meant for teenagers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    No, I would not change anything, but I would not market the book for adults… it is really a pre-teen or teen read.


    If you’ve listened to books by Adriana Trigiani before, how does this one compare?

    This one was light and not unenjoyable, but meant for a much younger audience.


    Have you listened to any of Emily Eiden’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, haven't listened to Emily Elden before.


    Did Viola in Reel Life inspire you to do anything?

    I can't say the book inspired me to do anything in particular other than to judge people by their moral values rather than their looks. Viola had a brief relationship with a boy in the book and was taken by the fact that he was her first boyfriend and very good looking. He turned out to be a selfish creep. She wisely separated herself from him once she saw who he really was.


    Any additional comments?

    Nope

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rococo

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Adriana Trigiani
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (26)

    Bartolomeo di Crespi is the acclaimed interior decorator of Our Lady of Fatima, New Jersey. To date, Bartolomeo has hand-selected every chandelier, sconce, and ottoman in OLOF, so when the renovation of the local church is scheduled, he assumes there is only one man for the job.

    gingerpenny95 says: "I wanna be Italian!"
    "enjoyable characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Rococo the most enjoyable?

    I really enjoyed the voice of the narrator, especially with "B" 's voice. He added to my vision of this character and helped me visualize him in my mind's eye.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Rococo?

    I didn't really find that there were ups and downs in this book… just a solid flow from beginning to end. I enjoyed visualizing the various descriptions of decor including the various parts of the church that "B" was commissioned to renovate.


    What about Stephen Hoye’s performance did you like?

    I found that Mr. Hoye's voice was particularly good for "B" (Bartolomeo)


    Who was the most memorable character of Rococo and why?

    I would have to say that "B" was the most memorable character… a consummate decorator inside and out. HE was someone I would enjoy meeting and talking to… and I would probably hire him to decorate for me!


    Any additional comments?

    I really like Adriana Trigiani's characters and stories. This one was a bit different from others I have read in that there was no burning romance. But one was always left wondering if B would become involved… whether with a man or woman. His sexuality was never developed in the book so we did not know if he was gay or not, not that this would matter or affect the story in any way. A very enjoyable read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Supreme Macaroni Company: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Adriana Trigiani
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (50)

    For over a hundred years, the Angelini Shoe Company in Greenwich Village has relied on the leather produced by Vechiarelli & Son in Tuscany. This ancient business partnership provides the twist of fate for Valentine Roncalli to fall in love with Gianluca Vechiarelli, a tanner with a complex past...and a secret.

    Debra says: "Adriana Trigiani doesn't disappoint!"
    "A pattern emerges"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What other book might you compare The Supreme Macaroni Company to and why?

    I feel that Adriana's books have a similar theme and I would probably compare this book to The Shoemaker's Wife, in that both women hesitate to get involved with their husbands and then fall deeply in love with them, subsequently losing them.


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

    Cassandra Campbell has read most of Ms. Trigiani's books and does a good job though she does not compare to Ms. Trigiani herself.


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

    No extreme reactions this time.


    Any additional comments?

    It is frustrating when authors repeat the same theme in numerous books. It makes them to some degree, predictable. I find that somewhat annoying. However, I did enjoy the book and enjoy the characters.

    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
    (5767)
    Performance
    (5213)
    Story
    (5209)

    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)"
    "Grisham nails it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Sycamore Row the most enjoyable?

    I found that the direction of this story changed sufficiently often as to draw the reader into different aspects of the storyline. Though at times, this was annoying as it seemed to be leading nowhere, the nature of the connection became obvious near the end of the book.
    I found the story engaging and I really came to like Jake, the head lawyer for the estate of Seth Hubbard.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The end was my favourite part of the story, for many reasons. I cannot reveal the details or I would ruin the book for other readers.


    Which character – as performed by Michael Beck – was your favorite?

    I particularly liked the part of Lucian (spelling?) as portrayed by Mr. Beck. I liked his character… almost a typical redneck.


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

    I found the notion of a man leaving his children and grandchildren out of his will upsetting but in the end, I came to understand the rationale for this. I empathized heavily with Lettie and her family.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a really well-done legal thriller. The accents as done by Michael Beck were excellent and very believable. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Queen of the Big Time

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Adriana Trigiani
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (28)

    From the best-selling author of Lucia, Lucia comes a novel about an Italian family living in Roseto, Pennsylvania. The eldest daughter, Nella, is ambitious and determined to make a life for herself far away from the rigors of farm and factory life. But then she meets and falls in love with a handsome carefree poet, Renato Lanzara, the son of the town restaurateur.

    Susan says: "What a lovely book"
    "Another great family saga"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Which character – as performed by Cassandra Campbell – was your favorite?

    I think I enjoyed Nella's mother and father the most, with the thick Italian accent. Cassandra gives the Italian accent a realistic slant and she is easy to listen to. Her voice is soft yet crisp.


    Any additional comments?

    Queen of the Big Time was an odd title for this book as it referred to a contest that the protagonist's niece entered rather late in the book. I don't think I would have given the book that title. More likely, I would have named the book The Nella Blouse Factory. (a la The Supreme Macaroni Company). I really enjoy Adriana Trigiani's writing style and really love the Italian families she portrays. From the epilogue and interview at the end of this audiobook, it is clear that this book was taken from Ms. Trigiani's own family story. My only criticism of this book is that this is the third book written by the author in which the protagonists's husband dies. (The Shoemaker's Wife, Brava Valentine are two others)
    It's almost at the point where I would expect it in the next book I read. However, the characters are very real and well developed. Overall, this was a very enjoyable read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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