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Nina

SANTA FE, NM, United States | Member Since 2011

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 29 ratings
  • 114 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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  • NOS4A2: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Kate Mulgrew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2283)
    Performance
    (2122)
    Story
    (2125)

    Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn't tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.

    Christopher Barnes says: "D*mn near flawless"
    "Intense, creepy read of an awesome horror story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Don't get me wrong, this isn't Shakespeare. But, it is a remarkably well told horror story, and as far as horror stories go, this one is a winner. The characters are very compelling and it is almost tragic the way the main character is labeled as mentally ill for most of her life because of her "gift." But in spite of her flaws, she goes to every length to redeem herself in the most human ways. I listened to it on audiobook and sat in my car to finish each chapter. It is descriptive and disturbing and I promise, if you ever walk past a tree in the forest with a Christmas ornament hanging on it, you will haul ass home.

    3 of 4 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
    (1876)
    Performance
    (1661)
    Story
    (1653)

    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"
    "Should be re-titled "Cliche Train""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    SLIGHT SPOILERS, but nothing a blind man couldn't see coming....

    If I sat down and listed the cliches and stereotypes that the author uses, I might be here all day, but if you like books with:

    -bitter teens in foster care who have been failed by the system
    -drunken Native Americans and Irishmen
    -foster parents who care only about the money they get for fostering
    -pervy, gross adoptive dads
    -kindly minorities
    -wicked step/adoptive mothers
    -predictable reunions
    -wealthy old white women with secrets
    -latina housekeepers

    Then this is the story for you! Honestly, it was terrible. Was everyone else reading another book? I have read other fiction that had the orphan trains as a central detail and found them interesting and entertaining. This book was neither. It feels like a rambling, painful story written by a 9th grader who thinks that all their ideas are SO original and that no other teen on earth feels like they do. The narration doesn't help the unlikable "present day" character sound anything more than whiny and ungrateful and angry at the world.

    I gagged my way through it, but do yourself a favor and skip this one.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (5854)
    Performance
    (4223)
    Story
    (4242)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Shannon says: "Word Thief"
    "Gloomy and moving"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wouldn't expect a book about WWII Germany to be uplifting, and somehow, I managed to avoid all the other reviews and the recent movie, so I didn't really know what to expect. I think I liked this book because it wasn't about just one set of events, or revolve around a single plot. It basically just takes you through years in the life of regular people during terrible times. And that is more real than anything else. It is not just a gray march though, it is lively and touching, even when times for the characters are dark.

    I was not sure how I would feel about a book narrated by a European man where the central character is a pre-teen girl, but he really nails it. And I completely forgot those reservations during the scene (you'll know it when you read it) at the end and I was walking my dogs with tears pouring down my face. The incredible narration made this book come to life for me, and I think that this may be one of those cases where the Audiobook version is much better than the written one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sharp Objects

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Ann Marie Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2442)
    Performance
    (1803)
    Story
    (1816)

    Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker's troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital, Camille's first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

    Kelley says: "I agree with Stephen King"
    "Not as addictive as her others"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved Gillian Flynn's other books. And this one did have a lot of the same components, but I just wasn't as surprised, disgusted or horrified (in a good way), the way that I have been with some of her others. The final detail that is revealed at the end re: teeth almost makes up for the rest, but overall, this one just didn't compell me in the same way. Unlikable characters can only stay afloat with a really good storyline and this one was just a little thin. Still a good read, but not great.

    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
    (2383)
    Performance
    (2174)
    Story
    (2166)

    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!"
    "Depressing and beautifully written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a lovely story - If you like feeling helpless, frustrated and terribly saddened by what was likely a relatively standard set of occurrences for slave women during the pre-Abolition era. Based very loosely on a couple of real historical figures, the real heroes are Hetty and Charlotte, the fictional characters who just want to be treated like human beings and experience a normal life, but skin color, geography and convention of the times make that tragically impossible. The deaths of a few characters (I don't want to give anything away, so pardon the lack of detail), will leave you teary eyed, if not outright crying. The writing is artistic and beautiful and the narration from the two separate perspectives make me so glad that I downloaded the audio version instead of the printed one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Memory of Running

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ron McLarty
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2762)
    Performance
    (971)
    Story
    (962)

    In late 2003, in his column in Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King called The Memory of Running "the best novel you won't read this year." This glowing endorsement of the audiobook resulted in Ron McLarty receiving a $2 million two-book deal from Viking Penguin. Also, Warner Brothers has shelled out big bucks for the movie rights to The Memory of Running, for which McLarty will write the script.

    Neal says: "Funny and Fascinating, A Wonderful Book"
    "Slob seeking redemption"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is not a believable one, but it is still enjoyable. Smithy is a bit of a loser, and he really can't catch a break, but if you like fairy tales, this would probably fall into that category as (without magic of any kind), the main character undergoes a big transformation, while still being the same person on the inside, for better or for worse.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By David Wroblewski
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2788)
    Performance
    (705)
    Story
    (707)

    Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents and an unusual breed of dogs on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. But when tragedy strikes the Sawtelle family, Edgar flees to the surrounding wilderness. He comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him.

    Ella says: "Just OK"
    "Brace yourself for the ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not going to give away the ending, but this book is odd and fascinating throughout, while the ending is nothing short of shocking. I really enjoyed it, and it takes the "boy and his dog" story to a level beyond what most of us will have the opportunity to understand. Be prepared for adventure and emotion well beyond what you would expect to be able to get out of an audiobook where the main character is mute.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Life

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Keith Richards, James Fox
    • Narrated By Johnny Depp, Joe Hurley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2356)
    Performance
    (1209)
    Story
    (1204)

    Now at last Keith Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades. And what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only to find themselves challenged by authorities everywhere....

    Jesse says: "Ins and outs"
    "Excellent, even if you know nothing about Stones"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't read many autobiographies, but this one had such great reviews, that I couldn't resist. It was worth the many hours as an audiobook to hear Keith Richards telling the stories of his life, which has been a wild ride. Being born in the 80's, there are only so many documentaries that you can watch on the 60's that will give you a grasp of the reality of the times. This book was far better than any documentary in its ability to set cultural contexts for the state of the US at a time when war, race relations, sexual revolution and art were all evolving and changing our country forever. This first person account is long, but enjoyable, even if you aren't a Stones fan.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Coming Home: A Story of Undying Hope

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Karen Kingsbury
    • Narrated By Gabrielle de Cuir, Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (58)

    This stand-alone novel will serve as either a grand introduction or a beautiful conclusion in the saga of the Baxter Family. The Baxters make plans to come together for a summer lakeside reunion, a celebration like they haven’t had in years. But before the big day, the unthinkable happens. As the Baxter Family rallies together, memories come to light in the grief-stricken hours of waiting and praying, memories that bring healing and hope during a time when otherwise darkness might have the final word.

    Kindle Customer says: "Very nice experience!"
    "Didn't realize this was a Christian book series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't realize that this was part of a Christian book series. It is nice and all, and inspirational and family friendly and whatnot, but I just wasn't expecting the content to be what it was. I was thinking it would be more like a Jodi Picoult tearjerker, not a God-give-me-a-sign story, so perhaps if I knew that, I would have been a bit more into it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Places: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins, and others
    Overall
    (3122)
    Performance
    (2448)
    Story
    (2475)

    Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas". As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived, and famously testified that her 15-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who've long forgotten her.

    Glenda Jeffers says: "Riveting but brutal"
    "Never trust a weak man!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After reading "Gone Girl," "Dark Places" felt a little formulaic- evil (not just mean) female characters, spineless male, twisty mystery... However, it is a great story. If you have a hard time following a story when you don't like the characters, then you might not be able to get into this one. But, if you like a good mystery for the story and want a cast that is as unlikable as many people are in real like, you will enjoy this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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