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Rachel

Fitzroy, Australia

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 32 ratings
  • 85 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
4

  • At Home: A Short History of Private Life

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    Overall
    (280)
    Performance
    (120)
    Story
    (117)

    Bill Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business. This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, considering how the ordinary things in life came to be.

    Andrew says: "New Speaker Needed acquire within!"
    "Best use of a credit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to "a short history of nearly everything" before and I enjoyed "at home" just as much. It's great for listening to in short bursts as each chapter doesn't rely on the previous one, but is explained in such a way that listening for a longer period isn't overwhelming. I can see myself listening to this again as there is no way I will be able to remember all of it after one reading and I think it would be just as enjoyable a second time around. Bill Bryson is a fantastic reader, really drawing you into his superb writing. I couldn't recommend this more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Kitchen House

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs)
    • By Kathleen Grissom
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy, Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    In 1791 when seven-year-old Irish orphan Lavinia is transported to Virginia to work in the kitchen of a wealthy plantation owner, she is absorbed into the life of the kitchen house and becomes part of the family of black slaves whose fates are tied to the plantation. But Lavinia’s skin will always set her apart, whether she wishes it or not. And as she grows older, she will be torn between the life that awaits her as a white woman and the people she knows as kin....

    Rachel says: "A must listen"
    "A must listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow, just wow. I think this is hands down the best audiobook that I have listened to on Audible. I highly recommend this book.

    The Kitchen House is set in the late 1700's/early 1800's in Virginia, and tells an enchanting tale of the complicated relationships and interactions between the slaves and their owners, with poor Lavinia, an orphaned white Irish girl, caught somewhere in between. Told from two points of view in alternating chapters, we hear from Lavinia and Belle (a slave) as their story unfolds. Taking us through from when Lavinia is brought to the plantation, her growing up among the slaves and her transition into being a 'white woman' as she becomes an adult. The first half of the story was interesting, but it was the second half that had me gripped.

    Kathleen Grissom has written a treasure in this book. The story is both horrific and beautiful at the same time. Not shying away from the difficult sections, just puts the rest of the story into better perspective. The key theme of the book is the complexities of the relationships between Lavinia, the family and their slaves. The characters she develops are well rounded and you can't help keep listening to find out how things turn out.

    The book is read by two narrators, one for Lavinia and one for Belle, and both do a fantastic job. Adding just the right sentiment to the words, and keeping the individual personality of the narrator at the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Winter of the World

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (166)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (147)

    Five linked families live out their destinies as the world is shaken by tyranny and war in the mid-20th century. Berlin in 1933 is in upheaval. Eleven-year-old Carla von Ulrich struggles to understand the tensions disrupting her family as Hitler strengthens his grip on Germany. Into this turmoil step her mother’s formidable friend and former British MP, Ethel Leckwith, and her student son, Lloyd, who soon learns for himself the brutal reality of Nazism.

    Anne says: "Listen and learn"
    "Just as good as the first"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Upon finishing "Fall of Giants" and checking out other books by Ken Follett I was thrilled to discover that there was a sequel! I downloaded it instantly and listened in every available moment until I finished.

    Building on the background of Fall of Giants, Winter of the World picks up a fair few years after Fall of Giants finishes, and focuses on the children of the characters from Fall of Giants. I found this a refreshing way to go about writing a sequel; it had the perfect combination of familiarity and novelty.

    While I recommend listening to/reading Fall of Giants first, that is by no means essential, with the two books complementing each other rather than requiring each other.

    There are some scenes in this book that I think will stick in my brain forever. I enjoyed it just as much as the first and cannot wait for the third book to be published.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Breakfast at Darcy's

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Ali McNamara
    • Narrated By Beth Chalmers
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (13)

    When Darcy McCall loses her beloved Aunt Molly, she doesn't expect any sort of inheritance - let alone a small island. Located off the west coast of Ireland, Tara hasn't been lived on for years, but according to Molly's will Darcy must stay there for 12 months in order to fully inherit, and she needs to persuade a village full of people to settle there, too. Darcy has to leave behind her independent city life and swap stylish heels for muddy wellies.

    Jan says: "A light read"
    "An Enjoyable Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this audiobook, and have actually listened to it a couple of times since downloading it. The story was great, the characters well developed and I really enjoyed listening. I can't think of much more to say than that, except if you are after a nice, light hearted story, this might be the one for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fall of Giants

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (262)
    Performance
    (232)
    Story
    (234)

    A huge novel that follows five families through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for votes for women. It is 1911. The Coronation Day of King George V. The Williams, a Welsh coal-mining family, is linked by romance and enmity to the Fitzherberts, aristocratic coal-mine owners. Lady Maud Fitzherbert falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German Embassy in London.

    S. R. Gibb says: "Disapointing"
    "Words cannot do Fall of Giants justice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I downloaded this audiobook somewhat on a whim. Four and a half stars from a few hundred ratings, sounds like it will be a good book, and then over 30 hours, how's that for value for money?!

    Then I started listening... and I basically didn't stop. I was hooked from the first chapter. The writing is brilliant, and the characters even better. I usually struggle with books with heaps of characters, but Ken Follett introduces all the characters gradually and in a logical order so I didn't struggle even once.

    As well as really enjoying the specifics of each characters story and becoming really invested in how their lives will turn out, the historical context of this book was fantastic for me. I'm ashamed to admit that my history knowledge is shockingly bad; I'd like to blame my schooling but that only takes me so far. So now, my favourite way to learn about history is like this; by reading (or more commonly listening to) a well researched historical fiction book, where the story keeps me listening but I learn all sorts about that period in history at the same time.

    This book had me laughing out loud, and at one point tears running down my cheeks. John Lee did an amazing job at narrating an even more amazing story. I could not recommend this enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Goodbye, Jimmy Choo

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Annie Sanders
    • Narrated By Jilly Bond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (53)

    Under normal circumstances bohemian, skint Izzie would never have met Maddy, a Gucci-clad, Beemer-driving urbanite. But when they are dumped in the English countryside, fish out of water, with five young children between them, they discover a shared hatred of ghastly ladies' lunches and a longing for the mucky London streets and residents' parking permits they've left behind. Then a tragedy, and a chance discovery, leads Maddy and Izzie iinto a surprising new direction.

    Jill says: "Good, clean fun"
    "Frivolous Fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I downloaded this because the narrator was Jilly Bond, and I've really enjoyed her performances in the past. In addition to the narration being fantastic, the story turned out to be pretty good too! I wasn't really paying enough attention at the beginning and got a little confused that there were two points of view, but as soon as I got that sorted in my head I settled into really enjoying the story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Winter White: A Belles Novel, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Jen Calonita
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    Isabelle Scott and Mirabelle Monroe are still reeling from the revelation that they share more than just the roof over their heads. The media has pounced on their story and the girls are caught up in a flurry of talk-show appearances and newspaper interviews. They’ve put on a happy public face, but someone is leaking their true feelings to the press. While it seems like the world is watching their every move, at least they have each other. But with cotillion season right around the corner, Izzie and Mira have barely had time to process their newfound sisterhood.

    Rachel says: "Hooray for a series!"
    "Hooray for a series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Shortly after listening to "Belles" and proclaiming that I would like for it to be the first in a series, I discover that it is! If you enjoyed Belles then I definitely recommend Winter White. Again Julia Whelan does a great job with the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Love in the Afternoon

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Alison Packard
    • Narrated By Gia St. Claire
    Overall
    (813)
    Performance
    (693)
    Story
    (691)

    Kayla Maxwell is eager to shed her slasher-flick bimbo image - and she plans to do just that in her new role on daytime's most popular soap. With a chance to showcase her dramatic range, Kayla will be able to wash away the lingering betrayal and public humiliation left by her controlling, philandering ex-boyfriend. Sean Barrett, the son of an influential, award-winning actor, is the hottest soap star in the country. Paired on-screen with the talented and beautiful Kayla Maxwell, Sean is determined to keep her at arm's length, burned before by fame-seeking actresses who had no qualms about using him to get to his famous father.

    MAB says: "Shocked that I enjoyed this so much"
    "Worth every dollar ;)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I downloaded this for free as part of the Valentines Day promotion, and am very glad that I did. Don't expect more than this genre of book will be, but it was a nice little story and I enjoyed listening to it. Gia St. Claire did a great job narrating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated By Anne Hathaway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1730)
    Performance
    (1607)
    Story
    (1600)

    One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year’s most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.

    JT says: "Anne Hathaway Shines Throughout This Audio Edition"
    "A must listen, both the story and narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've never actually read the wonderful wizard of Oz, so thought I'd download it as an audiobook. It turns out I made a fantastic choice, this book is considered a classic for a reason! While different to the popular movie, the story has many similarities. It's a charming story, with enough differences from the movie to make it worth reading/listening to. My enjoyment of this audiobook was greatly increased by Anne Hathaway's narration - she was fantastic! If she narrates any other books I would definitely like to listen to them. Her voices, tone and inclination were perfect, really drawing you into the story. While you could definitely tell it was her reading, that just added to the effect. I strongly recommend downloading this audiobook, I don't think you'll regret it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Belles

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Jen Calonita
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (61)

    Isabelle Scott’s life may not be easy, but she loves it. She is a star swimmer and lifeguard, has great friends, and has been spending the summer with Brayden, a cute surfer—though they’re just friends. But her grandmother, with whom she’s lived since her mother died five years earlier, is declining quickly, and Izzie’s whole world is upended. She’s whisked away from the poor, rough neighborhood where she grew up to live with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in the exclusive Emerald Cove.

    Crystal says: "Great Characters!"
    "Wish it was the first in a series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another one I really enjoyed, a good listen that doesn't need your full attention. I reached the end of the audiobook and was disappointed that it finished - I found myself wishing it was the beginning of a series. Julia Whelan did a great job narrating, really bring the characters alive with her narration.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Accidental Wife

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Rowan Coleman
    • Narrated By Jilly Bond
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Alison James thinks she might be living the wrong life. She loves her husband Marc and their children but somehow, in the process of building a perfect life for her family, she seems to have lost herself. And sometimes she worries that she's being punished for running away with her best friend's boyfriend.

    Colleen says: "Good Story!"
    "Great Book, Great Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another book in the normal "genre" I like to listen to, and exactly what I was after. A light-hearted story that kept my attention throughout. I picked this audiobook because it was narrated by Jilly Bond, and was not disappointed. I've already listened to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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