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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

191
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 139 reviews
  • 143 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
71

  • 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
    (149)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (134)

    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
  • The Haj

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Leon Uris
    • Narrated By Neil Shah
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (64)

    Leon Uris retums to the land of his acclaimed best-seller Exodus for an epic story of hate and love, vengeance and forgiveness. The Middle East is the powerful setting for this sweeping tale of a land where revenge is sacred and hatred noble. Where an Arab ruler tries to save his people from destruction but cannot save them from themselves. When violence spreads like a plague across the lands of Palestine - this is the time of The Haj.

    L. Lewis says: "Palestine finally made clear."
    "A sweeping saga of Arab/Israeli conflict"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a book that confirmed my impressions about blind hatred and how much damage it can do. I found it so sad that the family who were the "protagonists" of the story, that of Haj Ibrahim, were all victims of the hatred that they espoused and continued. One by one, the children died due to savagery on the part of their own people, not the Israelis. There were a number of references in the book to the fact that the Arabs really had very little problem with the "Jews" but had a lot of problems with their own people. The notion that one was raised from infancy to hate a people for no reason blew me away, though I have known for some time that this happens. It is like a family feud that is fuelled by nothing but a history of the feud itself. Many of the Arabs refused to take supplies offered by the Jews so as not to give them the impression that they needed them in order to survive. And yet, the Arabs in this story fed on hatred and it ultimately consumed them in both a spiritual and physical sense. There were very disturbing parts of this book but I feel it was probably fairly accurate. I am sure that there are people who would think that this book was biased. I do not think so. The Haj was a very good book and a sad story of a family self-destructing.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Still Life: Chief Inspector Gamache Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Adam Sims
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    The discovery of a dead body in the woods on Thanksgiving Weekend brings Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his colleagues from the Surete du Quebec to a small village in the Eastern Townships. Gamache cannot understand why anyone would want to deliberately kill well-loved artist Jane Neal, especially any of the residents of Three Pines - a place so free from crime it doesn't even have its own police force.

    DIANE says: "Love Louise Penny's writing"
    "Love Louise Penny's writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read Still Life out of order. I had already read a number of books in the Inspector Gamache series and decided that it was a good idea to go back and start from the beginning. One of the disappointing things about this decision was hearing the rendition by Adam Sims. Had I not heard Ralph Cosham's masterful rendition in later books, I would not have had anything to compare this book to. But I have, and Mr. Cosham brings something special to Ms. Penny's books that Mr. Sims was not able to accomplish, despite a good performance overall. As usual, this was a twisted, convoluted story that left the reader wondering "who dun nit" until quite far into the story. I just love the characters... especially Ruth Zardo.
    This is a fascinating group of people and I will keep reading until I have caught up. Can't wait to read the new book!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Dorothy Gilman
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    Overall
    (729)
    Performance
    (621)
    Story
    (625)

    Mrs. Virgil (Emily) Pollifax of New Brunswick, New Jersey, was a widow with grown children. She was tired of attending her Garden Club meetings. She wanted to do something good for her country. This first in the series sends Emily on her first case after she successfully persuades a skeptical CIA recruitment officer that she is the best person for the job.

    Linda says: "Miss Julia Does Bond"
    "Delightful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a delightful tale of a depressed older lady who begins to think that her life no longer holds meaning. She decides that what she would really like to do is be a spy. The tale unfolds and Mrs. Pollifax has the adventure of a lifetime. I just loved this story... I found it fun and yet, poignant. I felt that Barbara Rosenblat did a wonderful job of doing Mrs. Pollifax's voice. I would like to see some sequels down the road and follow Mrs. Pollifax on more adventures. Bravo Dorothy Gilman.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Heft

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liz Moore
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne, Keith Szarabajka
    Overall
    (1143)
    Performance
    (1034)
    Story
    (1035)

    Forrmer academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career - if he can untangle himself from his family drama.

    Melinda says: "Intriguing--Captivating--Altering"
    "Heartbreakingly beautiful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Heft in three words, what would they be?

    The Lonely Heart


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved everything about this story. My heart broke over and over again as I listened to Kel's story and his frustration as he sought out his real father, and as I empathized with Arthur throughout his struggle with loneliness. The relationships in this book were very real and painful. Was the book "fun"? No! Peoples' pain is never enjoyable, but this was a very special narrative that will follow me for a very very long time.


    Have you listened to any of Kirby Heyborne and Keith Szarabajka ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, I have never heard either of these narrators before.


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

    If I could have, I would have listened in one sitting. I was drawn to the book with such a strong pull as to have been magnetic.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a wonderfully written and narrated story. I can't recommend it highly enough. Many reviewers give a précis of the story but I feel that takes something away, for the potential reader of the book. Just buy this book... you will never regret it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Power Relationships: 26 Irrefutable Laws for Building Extraordinary Relationships

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Andrew Sobel, Jerold Panas
    • Narrated By Jerold Panas, Andrew Sobel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    There are powerful but invisible laws that determine whether your relationships —with your clients, colleagues, and friends—will thrive or wither. These relationship laws are ever-present. When you align with them, the results are dramatic. Your network will grow rapidly. You’ll be seen by clients as a trusted partner rather than an expense to be managed. And you’ll find the people around you eager to help you succeed.

    DIANE says: "excellent"
    "excellent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Power Relationships again? Why?

    I will listen to this over and over again. Though there were a lot of applications appropriate for business, I found that a lot of the "laws" were very applicable to family and friend relationships and made me re-examine my own relationships.


    What other book might you compare Power Relationships to and why?

    The only other book I could even remotely compare it to would be The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. But this book was more specific to relationship building. Some overlaps between the two books though.


    Have you listened to any of Jerold Panas and Andrew Sobel ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, I have not, but I feel I should. Next step- hunting for other books by this dynamo team.


    What did you learn from Power Relationships that you would use in your daily life?

    The whole book. I won't summarize. Read the book! You won't regret spending the money for this one.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Chris Hadfield
    • Narrated By Chris Hadfield
    Overall
    (87)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (81)

    As Commander of the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield captivated the world with stunning photos and commentary from space. Now, reading from his first book, Chris takes listeners deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible.

    DIANE says: "Fascinating account"
    "Fascinating account"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth in three words, what would they be?

    Quite a story


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There were no characters in this story. It is an account of Chris Hadfield's experiences as he went from dreaming of being an astronaut at age 9, to actually being one.


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

    I enjoyed hearing his story in his own voice. The story could not have rung as clear if narrated by someone else.


    What did you learn from An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth that you would use in your daily life?

    I learned so many lessons. Chris taught us to learn preparedness, not get full of ourselves, find solutions to problems and many other valuable lessons. I found it bittersweet that by fulfilling his dream, he had to create distance between himself and those he loved. That must have been extremely difficult and heart-wrenching. But kudos to Chris for following his dreams and his heart. Many of us do not have the courage to do this.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a very enjoyable book though it really did not have any ups or downs... just steady.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The Clifton Chronicles, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings
    Overall
    (422)
    Performance
    (361)
    Story
    (366)

    Be Careful What You Wish For opens with Harry Clifton and his wife Emma rushing to the hospital to learn the fate of their son, Sebastian, who has been involved in a fatal car accident. But who died, Sebastian or his best friend Bruno? When Ross Buchanan is forced to resign as chairman of the Barrington Shipping Company, Emma Clifton wants to replace him. But Don Pedro Martinez intends to install his puppet, the egregious Major Alex Fisher, in order to destroy the Barrington family firm just as the company plans to build its new luxury liner, the MV Buckingham.

    cristina says: "The demise of a great, fun author"
    "A blockbuster! Waiting for the next book!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Be Careful What You Wish For rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Among the Clifton Chronicles, I would say this was one of the best so far. I really enjoyed it and it kept me riveted.


    What other book might you compare Be Careful What You Wish For to and why?

    I have nothing to compare this to as the Clifton Chronicles are unique to themselves.


    What about Alex Jennings’s performance did you like?

    I love Alex Jennings and his performance was a welcome addition to my enjoyment of this book.


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

    I found myself hating Pedro Martinez and what he stood for. There is a real "good guy bad guy" element to this story... There is the Emma Clifton and at the other end of the spectrum, you have an evil scumbag who has no scruples and no humanity.


    Any additional comments?

    The ending of this book was as sudden and unexpected as that of The Best Kept Secret and leaves no doubt that Mr. Archer is already working on Book 5 of the Clifton Chronicles. Bring it on!!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Thomas Hager
    • Narrated By Adam Verner
    Overall
    (576)
    Performance
    (468)
    Story
    (463)

    At the dawn of the 20th century, humanity was facing global disaster. Mass starvation, long predicted for the fast-growing population, was about to become a reality. A call went out to the worlds scientists to find a solution. This is the story of the two enormously gifted, fatally flawed men who found it: the brilliant, self-important Fritz Haber and the reclusive, alcoholic Carl Bosch. Together they discovered a way to make bread out of air, built city-sized factories, controlled world markets, and saved millions of lives.

    sarah says: "Riveting"
    "Very technical but interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Perhaps a scientist would have enjoyed this book more. Though there was some human interest in the book, there was also a lot of technical jargon especially in the first half of the book.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Thomas Hager? Why or why not?

    I think it would depend on the topic. I found Hager's writing somewhat mechanical overall.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator was dreadful. His voice reminded me of a robot most of the time and I found this only served to strengthen the mechanical nature of the book


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The story was interesting enough to keep me listening until the end. But it was painful in spots. I must admit that I found it interesting to see the details of how Hitler rose to power and reassured me that there were many anti-Nazi Germans at the time of Hitler's rise to power.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't say I regret reading the book but it was a chore, which reading usually is not, for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Invention of Wings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4920)
    Performance
    (4477)
    Story
    (4468)

    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

    Jan says: "Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!"
    "One of the best ever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Invention of Wings in three words, what would they be?

    Buoyed my heart


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I think Handful was my favourite character... her strength, her ability to revere her mother's life and story as told in her quilt... she was so special. The family ties that Handful perpetuated were moving and meaningful.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I think when Handful reunited with someone important in her life... no spoiling here.


    If you could rename The Invention of Wings, what would you call it?

    Black and White


    Any additional comments?

    This was an awesome and all encompassing book which chronicled the inception of women's rights as well as black rights in the southern United States. It also told the story of the unique relationship between a black slave and a white "belle" who counters her family's values to champion the anti-slavery movement. This was a truly delightful and moving book that I did not want to stop listening to. I can't recommend it highly enough.

    0 of 0 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
    (6055)
    Performance
    (5756)
    Story
    (5766)

    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 plain old "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

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