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Atlanta | Member Since 2014

  • 15 reviews
  • 388 ratings
  • 749 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2015

  • The Known World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Edward P. Jones
    • Narrated By Kevin Free

    Henry Townsend, a black farmer, bootmaker, and former slave, has a fondness for Paradise Lost and an unusual mentor, William Robbins, perhaps the most powerful white man in antebellum Virginia's Manchester County. Under Robbins's tutelage, Henry becomes proprietor of his own plantation, as well as of his own slaves. When he dies, his widow Caldonia succumbs to profound grief, and things begin to fall apart.

    Rachel says: "wonderful and highly recommended"
    "2004 Pulitzer Prize/Ntl Bk Critics Circle Award"

    Winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and a National Book Critics Circle Award Winner. An excellent book. It is much more than a story of free blacks owning slaves. It is a complex story set in times of American slavery and involves good people, bad people, good people who become bad people, and wonderful things and terrible things happening. The word "Property" is used to describe and call the slaves. An excellent story line, woven in elaborate time warps and beautiful language. Well narrated.

    This book is great literature and carries itself along with well-developed characters with whom you will identify -- painfully so at times. This book is attractive for its quality writing, memorable characters and intriguing story line, not for page-turning suspense.

    This African-American author's first novel.

    Book prizes are no guarantee of a good book, but this book clearly well deserved its awards.

    The last ten minutes of the audio is a fascinating interview with the author.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gabrielle Zevin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The irascible A. J. Fikry, owner of Island Books - the only bookstore on Alice Island - has already lost his wife. Now his most prized possession, a rare book, has been stolen from right under his nose in the most embarrassing of circumstances. The store itself, it seems, will be next to go. One night upon closing, he discovers a toddler in his children’s section with a note from her mother pinned to her Elmo doll: I want Maya to grow up in a place with books and among people who care about such kinds of things. I love her very much, but I can no longer take care of her.

    Trish says: "Loved, Loved, Loved It!!"
    "GoodBook With a fantastic ending"

    Very well narrated. A warm story with a fantastically powerful and unexpected ending. Very well drawn characters revolve around books and each other.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kalooki Nights

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Howard Jacobson
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Two young friend, Max Glickman and Manny Washinski, get together in an abandoned air-raid shelter and create a comic-book history of Jewish suffering. Years later, Manny is in jail for a horrible crime and Max is a comic book artist. After Manny's release from prison decades later, the two meet again when Max is hired by a production company to write a film treatment based on Manny's life.

    Bette says: "Laugh-Out-Loud Seriousness"
    "Membership in the tribe is necessary to absorbthis"
    What would have made Kalooki Nights better?

    Less inwardly focused on tribal jokes, stories, habits,

    Has Kalooki Nights turned you off from other books in this genre?


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    I suppose. My sympathies to the narrator.

    You didn???t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    None that I could discern

    Any additional comments?

    As an amazon reviewer said,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jamie Ford
    • Narrated By Feodor Chin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In the opening pages of Jamie Ford's stunning debut, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

    Christopher says: "Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet"
    "Engaging and Lovely. Highly recommend."

    A poignant, endearing, complex, imaginative, and well-executed plot with wonderful fully-developed characters. Flash backs from adult lives are interleaved seamlessly and cleverly as two 12/13 year olds come of age under very difficult circumstances. Some characters are seriously flawed in realistic ways. One set of flawed parents is complemented by another set of parents cut out of whole cloth. Adult friends of the children add a special dimension in unexpected ways. Some of the objects and events loom large and carry their heartbreaking meaning from the west coast internment of Japanese-American US citizens. I would be surprised if you don't simultaneously laugh and get misty-eyed from the last few words spoken at the end of the book. Audio is very well narrated. It is as good a young adult/parent/any-adult book as is the excellent The BookThief.

    35 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • Serena

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ron Rash
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The year is 1929, and newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton arrive in the North Carolina mountains to create a timber empire, vowing to let no one stand in their way, especially those newly rallying around Teddy Roosevelt's nascent environmental movement.

    Kevin says: "Great Listen"
    "Gothic Garbage with Cardboard Characters"

    Comparisons to Macbeth and Greek tragedy notwithstanding, this novel is a waste of time. Its prose is pedestrian. That it is on the NYT's Best Seller List says more about the tastes of the American public than the quality of the book. Serena is the ultimate sociopath. Other authors create "bad" characters but manage to invest them with characteristics and personalities which make them interesting in spite of their flaws -- not so with Serena.
    The narrator affects a grating southern accent which he uses for the locals as well as the Bostonian Pemberton.
    The book deserves a bodice ripping cover to convey its nature.

    15 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner

    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.

    Amazon Customer says: "Word Thief"
    "A Must Read"

    Engaging, moving, delightful and well-written. This book deserves a place among the best.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gilgamesh: A New English Version

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Stephen Mitchell
    • Narrated By George Guidall

    This brilliant new treatment of the world's oldest epic is a literary event on par with Seamus Heaney's wildly popular Beowulf translation. Esteemed translator and best-selling author Stephen Mitchell energizes a heroic tale so old it predates Homer's Iliad by more than a millennium.

    George says: "A defense of this "translation""
    "Fun and Enlightening"

    An unknown poet writes the world's oldest known epic poem. (2 hours for story; 2 hours for interpretation and explanation by the editor.) Superbly narrated by George Guidall in what is undoubtedly the way most received the story in its time. Uniquely and appropriately audio. The narrative pace translates beautifully to an easy to listen to story(publisher's notes say that earlier translations are stiff and academic). Fun and Enlightening -- not to worry if poetry puts you off -- this story flows beautifully. The interpretations and explanations of editor are worthwhile. I question his easy-to-ignore comparisons to very current events that can only be judged appropriately in the lens of history and his speculations on a homoerotic relationship between the two main characters. Very worthwhile.

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Alexander Hamilton

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Scott Brick

    Ron Chernow, whom the New York Times called "as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we've seen in decades", now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history, who never attained the presidency, but who had a far more lasting impact than many who did.

    Robert says: "Captivating & Fluid Bio Unique American immigrant"
    "Captivating & Fluid Bio Unique American immigrant"

    Four +++ Stars. Ron Chernow provides thorough insight into the life and times of Hamilton. Hamilton's difficult childhood, his prodigious intellectual writings and incredible accomplishments, and all his many shortcomings are fluidly described in 35 hours of captivating audio. Chernow demonstrates how Hamilton, particularly in partnership with Washington, is father to many of the institutions practices and ideals that make our country great and how Hamilton's temperament held him back from accomplishing more. Eliza Hamilton, Washington, Jefferson, and Adams loom large in this book. Though I was grateful for the faster listening speed of my 4G iPod, I think that opting for the abridged version would not be wise. Chernow himself said that the abridged version is a very different book. Chernow did not fall into the trap of lionizing his biography's subject, treating Hamilton with well-balanced affection and honesty.

    Try Washington's Crossing and Samuel Adams, other audible titles that round out understading these founding fathers.

    36 of 37 people found this review helpful
  • The Portrait of a Lady

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Henry James
    • Narrated By Nina Foch

    Robert says: "Book suffers greatly from Abridgement"
    "Book suffers greatly from Abridgement"

    I was surprised to be disappointed in this audio given the acclaim given it and its author. Feeling that I needed to re-read two confusing key scenes, I found the complete book on-line and read two entire chapters. This reading confirmed to me that the abridged version does not do the book justice. Hold out for an unabridged version!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • State of Fear

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By George Wilson

    Once again Michael Crichton gives us his trademark combination of page-turning suspense, cutting-edge technology, and extraordinary research. State of Fear is a superb blend of edge-of-your-seat suspense and thought provoking commentary on how information is manipulated in the modern world.

    F says: "Did I read the same book as some of you?"
    "Four Stars. Thought Provoking."

    Gripping modern-day thriller. Difficult to put down -- finished in 5 days. Just off the press on Dec 7 and number 2 on the Independent Book Sellers list. Thinly veiled characters taken from real life in a thought-provoking discourse on Global Warming and eco thought. Not for the closed-minded, absolutely politically correct. A surprise treat of 20 minutes of serious interview with author at the end. Appears to be well researched. I found the narrator good. I listened to in faster mode on 4G iPod.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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