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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

230
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 150 reviews
  • 154 ratings
  • 461 titles in library
  • 44 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
70

  • The Lost Wife: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Alyson Richman
    • Narrated By George Guidall, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1570)
    Performance
    (1396)
    Story
    (1403)

    In pre-war Prague, the dreams of two young lovers are shattered when they are separated by the Nazi invasion. Then, decades later, thousands of miles away in New York, there's an inescapable glance of recognition between two strangers. Providence is giving Lenka and Josef one more chance. From the glamorous ease of life in Prague before the Occupation, to the horrors of Nazi Europe, The Lost Wife explores the power of first love, the resilience of the human spirit, and the strength of memory.

    Sara says: "Love, Strength & Survival"
    "Never read a book so fast"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Lost Wife?

    Everything. I loved the way the two narrators wove the story of the star-crossed lovers chapter by chapter. I loved the character development and the way the accents were done.
    I enjoyed the epilogue and felt the ending was perfect. This is one of the most endearing books I've listed to and I was sorry to have it end.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lost Wife?

    Josef's careful descriptions of his feelings are precious. I felt that when he burned his letters to Lenka, he was putting to rest his restless longing for her. His dreams of his family being happy for him are foreshadowing for what is to come. Don't want to spoil the book by saying much more.


    What does George Guidall and Suzanne Toren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The two narrators brought the characters to life and I could not possibly have gotten the same feeling I got listening to their voices. I was impressed by Mr. Guidall's recitation of the Kaddish prayer, which was very authentic. I would seek out more books narrated by him.


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

    The meeting of the two grandparents at the end was memorable.


    Any additional comments?

    Run don't walk to download this book. I don't think I've ever worn my earbuds for so long!

    39 of 46 people found this review helpful
  • Big Little Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1818)
    Performance
    (1675)
    Story
    (1667)

    Pirriwee Public's annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. The school principal is horrified. As police investigate what appears to have been a tragic accident, signs begin to indicate that this devastating death might have been cold-blooded murder. In this thought-provoking novel, number-one New York Times best-selling author Liane Moriarty deftly explores the reality of parenting and playground politics, ex-husbands and ex-wives, and fractured families.

    Marci says: "Great story. Genius writing"
    "Big Little Twists"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story begins sounding like a shallow version of "Housewives of Sydney". I almost lost interest. However, Jojo Moyes utilized a very interesting technique of telling the story beginning with dates a year or so prior to the day of the "event in question"... the death of someone whose identity we are not yet told. The book progresses getting gradually closer to the "event". As we go, we are given more and more information about the characters involved in the drama. There was a social issue brought to the forefront... that of spousal abuse. In the end, I decided that this was a well-written book and that the shallowness at the beginning of the book was intentional. Gradually, Ms. Moyes peeled back layers of the onion of the various characters. well done.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jacob's Oath: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Martin Fletcher
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Martin Fletcher's Jacob's Oath is a heart-wrenching and heart-warming thriller about the consequences of revenge that will be a huge word-of-mouth and book club favorite. As World War II winds to a close, Europe's roads are clogged with 20 million exhausted refugees walking home. Among them are Jacob and Sarah, lonely Holocaust survivors who meet in Heidelberg. But Jacob is consumed with hatred and cannot rest until he has killed his brother's murderer, a concentration camp guard nicknamed "The Rat". Now he must choose between revenge and love, between avenging the past and building a future.

    DIANE says: "Sensitive and Beautiful"
    "Sensitive and Beautiful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read a number of books pertaining to the holocaust. This one was especially poignant, and featured a girl, Sarah, who was not interred in a concentration camp but endured the entire war in Berlin as a "submarine", a Jew hiding at the mercy of kind Germans, and Jacob, a young man who had been an inmate at Bergen Belsen Concentration camp. Jacob has made an oath to his deceased brother, with whom he suffered the atrocities in the camp. As he meets Sarah, he must grapple with a very difficult decision... should he fulfill the oath he made to his brother and risk losing Sarah? Can he live with the consequences, should he in fact keep that oath? A very good listen, made even better by the masterful George Guidall.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Brutal Telling: A Three Pines Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1381)
    Performance
    (953)
    Story
    (952)

    As autumn descends upon Three Pines, a stranger is found murdered in the village bistro and antiques store at the center of town. No one admits to knowing the murdered man, but as secrets are revealed, chaos begins to close in on the beloved bistro owner, Olivier. What past did he leave behind, and why has he buried himself in this tiny village?

    Marie says: "Satisfying but sad"
    "Ralph Cosham rules!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I absolutely love these stories and the characters in them. Louise Penny is brilliant.
    But Ralph Cosham makes these books come alive. Bravo! Going back to book one and going in order.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Orphan Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Christina Baker Kline
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4277)
    Performance
    (3813)
    Story
    (3816)

    Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to "aging out" out of the foster care system. A community-service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

    Kathi says: "Moving story of sharing and transformation."
    "Second time was a charm"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I actually started listening to this book once, stopped and then started again. The second time was a charm. I found myself being drawn deeply into the lives of the two girls who later, it is revealed, have more in common than is initially evident. This book gives a disturbing window into the life of orphans who were sent on trains to find "people" who would look after them. Often they were abused and led very sad lives, often hardening into criminals. This was a book I enjoyed reading from beginning to end in just over a day.
    The author's writing style was very authentic and beautifully done in order to allow the reader into the heads of the two girls. A wonderful read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Well-Tempered Heart: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jan-Philipp Sendker
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (42)

    Almost ten years have passed since Julia Win came back from Burma, her father's native country. Though she is a successful Manhattan lawyer, her private life is at a crossroads; her boyfriend recently left her, she has suffered a miscarriage, and she is, despite her wealth, unhappy with her professional life. Julia is lost and exhausted. One day, in the middle of an important business meeting, she hears a stranger's voice in her head that causes her to leave the office without explanation.

    dean f reynolds says: "a book that touches all senses"
    "The Art of enjoying Sendker"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book follows Julia, a successful lawyer who, in the first book by this author, travelled to Burma to find her father who had left his family to find the true love of his life, left behind in Burma. Julia returns to Burma to visit her half-brother, whom she had met on her first journey 10 years previously. During the course of the book, Julia finds what she is looking for... herself. Beautifully written and a joy to listen to. Bravo Cassandra Campbell.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • One Plus One: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Bower, Ben Elliot, Nicola Stanton, and others
    Overall
    (762)
    Performance
    (694)
    Story
    (700)

    Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied, and your math-whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can't afford to pay for. That's Jess' life in a nutshell - until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess' knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages...maybe ever.

    Kathy says: "Sometimes I need a book that is just fun to read."
    "Dysfunction gone right"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After having read Me Before You which I enjoyed to a large extent, I chose to read this book as I enjoyed Ms. Moyes' writing style. This story grabbed me from the outset, with its wonderful accents, endearing, quirky characters and a study in dysfunction gone right.
    The protagonist, a woman with a Goth stepson, a math wizard of a daughter and a large black clumsy dog named Norman, this story appeals to the heart. The awkward Ed, up on charges of insider trading and totally unable to tell when a woman really cares for him and when one is taking him for his money, undergoes a bit of a transformation throughout this story as he helps the protagonist trek up to Scotland so her daughter can sit a math Olympiad to help her get a scholarship to a prestigious private school that her mother cannot afford to send her to. As the journey unfolds, an unlikely relationship forms between Ed and Tansy's mother. This is a feel-good story written with great skill. If you are looking for a heavy read, this is not your best bet. But you'll love it.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs)
    • By Paulo Coelho
    • Narrated By Jeremy Irons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3754)
    Performance
    (2390)
    Story
    (2420)

    Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its simplicity and wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an Alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest.

    Joanna says: "A quest for dreams come true"
    "Very special... a keepsake."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is one that I will read (listen to) over and over. The lessons one learns from this book are very similar to those one understands when studying Law of Attraction. The principles are sound and the story is a wonderful one. Jeremy Irons does a fabulous narration. Some chide me for not "reading" books... but when one can have the treat of hearing a talented actor such as Jeremy Irons do a rendition of such a special book, it's a win win as far as I'm concerned. I am now anxious to read other books by Paulo Coelho!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Letter from Your Lover: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Susan Lyons
    Overall
    (380)
    Performance
    (345)
    Story
    (344)

    A sophisticated, pause-resistant double love story spanning 40 years - an unforgettable Brief Encounter for our times. It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing - not the tragic car accident, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply "B", asking her to leave her husband. Years later, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper's archives....

    FanB14 says: "What's so Great About Jennifer?"
    "Fabulous!!!!! Just Fabulous"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The only other JoJo Moyes book I had read prior to listening to The Last Letter from your Lover was Me Before You, which I really enjoyed. However, this book took me through a deep range of emotions and I was entranced. Heartbreak and triumph, happiness and sadness. Wonderful characters and wonderful, real relationships. This is a great story and the writing is beautifully and artfully done. Bravo! Can't wait to read One plus One.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Written in My Own Heart's Blood: Outlander, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (44 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3248)
    Performance
    (3045)
    Story
    (3032)

    Hurtled back through time more than two hundred years to 1743 Scotland, Claire Randall finds herself caught in the midst of an unfamiliar world torn apart by violence, pestilence, and revolution and haunted by her growing feelings for a young soldier, James Fraser.

    G. House Sr. says: "Eloquent Fabulous Historical - Grand Continuation"
    "Sorry, Diana.... Not a 5 star from me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I waited a long time for this book as I wanted to know what would happen to Jemmie and Bri and her family. This book certainly dealt with that and did it well. I found that the book was very disjointed, and the story pertaining to Roger and Bri appeared to be interspersed with a lot of war politics and the story of Lord John and his son, who is really Jamie's son.
    I felt that there was no particular raison d'être for the arrangement of the stories in this book and again, Bri's family was sort of dealt with and then left dangling. I found some of the stories boring, which has never happened to me before with the Outlander series. Don't get me wrong... this was a great listen, but I felt it did not measure up to some of the other stories in the series. Davina Porter as usual, was masterful. I am really hoping that Ms. Gabaldon will produce at least one more story in this series... It would be so cool to see Jamie travel forwards in history! Might be very complicated, but he and Claire could go searching for Roger and Bri and the kids. Just a thought!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Queen of the Big Time

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Adriana Trigiani
    • Narrated By Adriana Trigiani
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    In the late 1800s, the residents of a small village in the Bari region of Italy, on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, made a mass migration to the promised land of America. They settled in Roseto, Pennsylvania, and re-created their former lives in their new home, down to the very last detail of who lived next door to whom.

    DIANE says: "Really enjoy Adriana Trigiani"
    "Really enjoy Adriana Trigiani"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an interesting study of family dynamics. I enjoy having Adriana's books narrated by herself. One of her books was narrated by another person and the effect was startling... really lost something. I am hoping that Adriana comes out with a new series of stories, as I really enjoy her writing. She always does studies of families and relationships. My only complaint is that the female protagonists often "mess up their relationships" and Ms. Trigiani walks the reader through the knowledge on the part of the protagonist that she is aware that her thinking and behaviour is faulty. This can occasionally get annoying. However, the stories are always worth the listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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