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Julie

San Jose, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

27
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 61 reviews
  • 107 ratings
  • 281 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2018
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  • The Awakening

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Chopin
    • Narrated By Kim Basinger
    Overall
    (317)
    Performance
    (275)
    Story
    (265)

    Kate Chopin’s novel, a landmark work of early feminism, is seen as a pre-cursor to the works of American novelists such as William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. The upper-class Creole society of New Orleans and the Southern Louisiana coast at the end of the 19th century is brought to audio in a stirring performance by Academy Award-winning actress Kim Basinger.

    Deborah Jacob says: "Like Seeing a Movie with Your Eyes Closed"
    "Interesting novel; horrible reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although I don't recommend it as an entertaining read or listen, this is a very interesting book, first published in 1898. It's considered a forerunner of feminism and modern American literature from the south, with influences on Faulkner, McCullers, O'Connor, and others. It took me nearly two thirds of the book to get into it or to just plain get it. After that, the denouement was fairly quick.

    I purchased the book as a Daily Deal from Audible.com and had high hopes for the narration by Kim Bassinger, but was SORELY disappointed. The reading is just about the worst of any of the books I've listened to since I enrolled in audible.com. It sounded to me like Ms. Bassinger had put no preparation into her performance. There was no attempt to distinguish among the characters, no use of the accents which would have been prominent among the high-society, working class, and Creole characters. She read in a halting, breathy whisper through most of the book, whether it suited the situation or not.

    Up until now, the worst narration (in my opinion and experience) was the choice of reader for the Hunger Games books, but that was because the reader sounded like a middle-aged English teacher rather than a teenage girl with issues. In this case, Ms. Bassinger, who certainly has the ability to deliver a stunning performance narration, chose to do nothing at all to enhance the listener's experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brain Myths Exploded: Lessons from Neuroscience

    • ORIGINAL (11 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Indre Viskontas
    • Narrated By Professor Indre Viskontas Ph.D. University of California Los Angeles
    Overall
    (1131)
    Performance
    (1016)
    Story
    (1007)

    Much of the layperson's knowledge of the brain is predicated on a lack of understanding about this mysterious organ. To start building a more straightforward, accurate understanding of current breakthroughs in neuroscience, you have to start by shattering popular brain myths.

    Jared T Wilsey says: "Great lecturer, very enjoyable"
    "Great content"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really like the content of this Great Courses lecture series, but I found the professor's speech patterns really irritating. There was too much emphasis on too many words, intonation that would look like question marks scattered across the printed page (a particular peeve of mine), and a tendency to slur over syllables (e.g., "neurimaging" instead of neuroimaging). However, the studies, findings, personal anecdotes, and selection of "myths" along with a grounded, practical approach to the content kept me listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Painting of Sara de Vos: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Dominic Smith
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1251)
    Performance
    (1138)
    Story
    (1133)

    In 1631, Sara de Vos is admitted as a master painter to the Guild of St. Luke's in Holland, the first woman to be so recognized. Three hundred years later, only one work attributed to de Vos is known to remain - a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood, which hangs over the bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner. An Australian grad student, Ellie Shipley, struggling to stay afloat in New York, agrees to paint a forgery of the landscape, a decision that will haunt her.

    KarKinz says: "This Story Definitely NOT a Forgery!"
    "The role of women as artists"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked this, mostly because of the insight into the art world in several centuries from several perspectives. The characters are very interesting, if not exactly likeable, and the book focuses on the role of women as artists.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Chilbury Ladies' Choir: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jennifer Ryan
    • Narrated By Gabrielle Glaister, Laura Kirman, Imogen Wilde, and others
    Overall
    (962)
    Performance
    (888)
    Story
    (888)

    As England enters World War II's dark early days, spirited music professor Primrose Trent, recently arrived to the village of Chilbury, emboldens the women of the town to defy the Vicar's stuffy edict to shutter the church's choir in the absence of men and instead carry on singing. Resurrecting themselves as The Chilbury Ladies' Choir, the women of this small village soon use their joint song to lift up themselves and the community as the war tears through their lives.

    Sara says: "A Romance"
    "Women in WWII British village rally"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an excellent story about the effects of WWII on the women of Chilbury, UK. The characters and the plot lines are very interesting, and the audible version includes a few choral numbers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jacob T. Marley

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By R. William Bennett
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2344)
    Performance
    (2191)
    Story
    (2174)

    "Marley was dead to begin with...." These chillingly familiar words begin the classic Christmas tale of remorse and redemption in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Now R. William Bennett rewinds the story and focuses the spotlight on Scrooge’s miserly business partner, Jacob T. Marley, who was allowed to return as a ghost to warn Scrooge away from his ill-fated path. Why was Marley allowed to return? And why hadn’t he been given the same chance as Ebenezer Scrooge? Or had he?

    Lyle K Holden says: "This is my favorite book! I listen to it all year"
    "Excellent companion to A Christmas Carol"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I LOVE this book! If A Christmas Carol is about making amends; Jacob T. Marley is about atonement.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • When She Woke

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Hillary Jordan
    • Narrated By Heather Corrigan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (518)
    Performance
    (463)
    Story
    (461)

    Hannah Payne awakens to a nightmare. She is lying on a table in a bare room, covered only by a paper gown, with cameras broadcasting her every move to millions at home. She is now a convicted criminal, and her skin color has been genetically altered. Her crime, according to the State of Texas: the murder of her unborn child, whose father she refuses to name. Her color: red. The color of newly shed blood.

    Amy says: "A Thoughtful Dystopia"
    "Dystopian future"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is set in a not-too-distant dystopian future, similar in theme to The Handmaid's Tale. I found much of the plot (character behavior and decisions -- not the science fiction aspects) to be contrived, illogical, and unlikely, but overall enjoyed listening. As with The Handmaid's Tale, the chilling political and social environments are all too believable. The narrator is pretty good; accents and male voices are a bit weak, but not too distracting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Witches of Lychford

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Paul Cornell
    • Narrated By Marisa Calin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (120)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (112)

    The villagers in the sleepy hamlet of Lychford are divided. A supermarket wants to build a major branch on their border. Some welcome the employment opportunities while some object to the modernization of the local environment. Judith Mawson (local crank) knows the truth - that Lychford lies on the boundary between two worlds and that the destruction of the border will open wide the gateways to malevolent beings beyond imagination. But if she is to have her voice heard, she's going to need the assistance of some unlikely allies....

    Jeffrey W. McClure says: "Superb story and narration"
    "Witches vs. Fairy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the audible version of this modern fairy tale dealing with 3 women who join together to defeat some nasty fairy folk. One of the women is an older "witch;" one is a young witch who's interested in the science of the craft more than the magic; and the third is an Anglican minister who isn't sure what she really believes. All three are dealing with grief. It's the start of a trilogy, which I might continue. The writing and dialog are very good.

    Audible 20 review sweepstakes.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • News of the World: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Paulette Jiles
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4865)
    Performance
    (4535)
    Story
    (4520)

    In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

    Mel says: "A Heart as Big as Texas"
    "Surprisingly Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a surprisingly good little book (beautiful language, fabulous dialog) set post-Civil War in the Plains states about the plight of children who were captured by Native Americans, rescued/ransomed, and then returned to their families. The main characters, Captain J.K. Kidd and Johanna, are fabulous; the villains are nasty; and the story is very plausible. Per the book's afterword, very little is known about the psychology of captive children, their apparently complete transformation to Native culture, and their sometimes extreme resistance to "civilization." My rating reflects some minor disappointment about the short denouement, but I think a longer one would probably detract from the essence of *this* novel, and doing it justice would likely require whole a sequel (or two).

    The reader is excellent. I especially loved the way he captured Johanna's pronunciations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lily and the Octopus

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Steven Rowley
    • Narrated By Michael Urie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (943)
    Performance
    (872)
    Story
    (868)

    When you listen to Lily and the Octopus, you will be taken on an unforgettable ride. The magic of this novel is in the listening, and we don't want to spoil it by giving away too many details. We can tell you that this is a story about that special someone: the one you trust, the one you can't live without. For Ted Flask, that someone special is his aging companion, Lily, who happens to be a dog.

    Franca says: "Dog sighs...."
    "Coming to maturity through love and loss"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the language, story, and performance. It's a sad premise to start with, but I loved the artistic portrayal of the main character's personality and how his relationship with Lily affects him. It's also about the nature of grief from past losses, impending loss, and in-the-very-moment current loss, and how experiencing grief leads to a mature sense of self. I loved the way Lily "talks" to Ted, the octopus metaphor, and the other factors that create this story. I laughed often and cried more than once.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Black Swan Green

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (587)
    Performance
    (352)
    Story
    (354)

    From award-winning writer David Mitchell comes a sinewy, meditative novel of boyhood on the cusp of adulthood and the old on the cusp of the new. Black Swan Green tracks a single year in what is, for 13-year-old Jason Taylor, the sleepiest village in muddiest Worcestershire in dying Cold War England, 1982. But the 13 chapters, each a short story in its own right, create an exquisitely observed world that is anything but sleepy.

    Leslie says: "Great intro to Mitchell's world: Black Swan Green"
    "A new "favorite" for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book, a coming of age novel in rural England that deals in large part with the protagonist's experience with bullying, mostly related to his stutter/stammer. This book contains the magic of Mitchell's language, characterizations, and plot structure minus any paranormal activity, and refers to characters from Cloud Atlas. This one's going on my Favorite's list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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