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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

ratings
153
REVIEWS
149
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
69
HELPFUL VOTES
203

  • Perfect Match

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Carol Monda, Susan Bennett, Michele O. Medlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (185)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (167)

    In the course of her everyday work, career-driven assistant district attorney Nina Frost prosecutes child molesters and works determinedly to ensure that a legal system with too many loopholes keeps these criminals behind bars. But when her own five-year-old son, Nathaniel, is traumatized by a sexual assault, Nina and her husband, Caleb, a quiet and methodical stone mason, are shattered, ripped apart by an enraging sense of helplessness in the face of a futile justice system that Nina knows all too well.

    Lisa says: "Perfect Match was worth the credit"
    "Too much."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I never find reading or listening to a book to be time ill spent. But this was not my favourite book of Jodi Picoult's.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Wow.. there are so many things. Firstly, I would have made Nina a more believable character who was not so hard to like. I found her hard to relate to, both as a woman and as a mother. Nina's act of murder was inappropriate and out of keeping with her character. Even the most devoted mother would be unlikely to commit murder unless the perpetrator of the crime had been proved to be at fault… and even then…
    I found that she had no ability to relate in an adult fashion to her husband Caleb. Then again, Caleb was a cold fish as well. I wouldn't given their marriage much of a chance for long-term success. I found the voice of Nathaniel as a child annoying as it was a little girl. It would have been simple enough to find a male child narrator… just a small point but it was another annoying point. I felt that the book went on way too long with too many contrived twists and turns. Just not an enjoyable book though I stuck with it til the very end.


    What three words best describe the narrators’s voice?

    Annoying.


    Did Perfect Match inspire you to do anything?

    Yes… it inspired me to find a better book to listen to… and I'm sure some of them will be written by Jodi Picoult.


    3 of 6 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
    (12)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    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
    (1323)
    Performance
    (900)
    Story
    (901)

    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.

    0 of 0 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
    (3668)
    Performance
    (3264)
    Story
    (3261)

    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.

    Susan says: "Fascinating Journey for Two"
    "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.

    0 of 0 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
    (35)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    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.

    DIANE says: "The Art of enjoying Sendker"
    "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.

    0 of 0 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
    (390)
    Performance
    (361)
    Story
    (364)

    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.

    1 of 1 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
    (3521)
    Performance
    (2181)
    Story
    (2208)

    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.

    Linda says: "Marvelous Book & Expressive Reader"
    "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!

    0 of 0 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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (348)
    Performance
    (314)
    Story
    (314)

    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.

    0 of 0 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
    Overall
    (2301)
    Performance
    (2165)
    Story
    (2156)

    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!

    1 of 2 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.

    Cathy says: "Another winner from Adrianna 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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Hearing Heartbeats: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Jan-Philipp Sendker
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (488)
    Performance
    (407)
    Story
    (410)

    When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be - until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the listener’s belief in the power of love to move mountains.

    Monica says: "Basic Story Interesting, But..."
    "A Beautiful Love Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I could not stop listening to this book. Often, I can't get into a book if the beginning does not grab me right away. This one did that and more. It is a story of the most beautiful and enduring love that spans two continents. The characters are unusual... a boy who goes blind and a girl with club feet who begin as friends and ultimately become lovers. This is probably one of the top 10 books I have read and is in the same place in my heart as Cutting for Stone and 1000 Splendid Suns. It's that good. Rarely do we see such an unselfish love. It was humbling to read The Art of Hearing Heartbeats.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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