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Carol

ratings
7
REVIEWS
6
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
3

  • The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (71)

    One afternoon over coffee at Cat’s delicatessen, a friend of Isabel’s shares a call for help from Duncan Munrowe. Crafty thieves have stolen a prized painting from his collection, a work by the celebrated French artist Nicolas Poussin that was earmarked for donation to the Scottish National Gallery. Munrowe has been approached by the thieves and hopes that Isabel will assist him in recovering the painting. Never one to refuse an appeal, she agrees, and discovers that the thieves may be closer to the owner than he ever would have expected.

    Benedict says: "Great story, simply gorgeous narration..."
    "Another Isabel winner!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The plots of the Isabel Dalhousie novels are subtle: more about human nature and interactions than action or events. That said, this one held together very well and kept me moving forward as interesting things were revealed and just when I (or Isabel) thought I knew something, it was likely to be revealed that maybe we were off base. Nicely done!


    Which character – as performed by Davina Porter – was your favorite?

    Oh, Isabel is always my favorite. I always listen to Porter's performances because her accent gives just the right flavor. To me, she IS Isabel.


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

    I don't listen to this series to get an extreme reaction. I listen because getting inside Isabel's head, where most of the story takes place, reveals things to me about my own interior monologues, both generous and sometimes a tad too quick to intellectualize and draw conclusions.


    Any additional comments?

    Eagerly awaiting the next Isabel Dalhousie novel! Each gets better than the last.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Olivia Fox Cabane
    • Narrated By Lisa Cordileione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (985)
    Performance
    (842)
    Story
    (839)

    What if charisma could be taught? For the first time, science and technology have taken charisma apart, figured it out and turned it into an applied science: In controlled laboratory experiments, researchers could raise or lower people's level of charisma as if they were turning a dial. What you'll find here is practical magic: unique knowledge, drawn from a variety of sciences, revealing what charisma really is and how it works. You'll get both the insights and the techniques you need to apply this knowledge. The world will become your lab, and every person you meet, a chance to experiment.

    Chlo-bell says: "An excellent treatment of a fascinating topic."
    "Very helpful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I felt other reviewers may have expected too much from this book or may not be open to the idea of taking responsibility for ALL the messages sent forth in every human interaction. Deliberately controlling body language and speech in order to gain the cooperation of others is not a violation of ethical human behavior codes. This book reminded me of specific ways in which I need to be more careful. I felt it was well worth the time invested.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Speaking from Among the Bones: A Flavia de Luce Novel, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Alan Bradley
    • Narrated By Jayne Entwistle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (392)
    Performance
    (350)
    Story
    (349)

    Eleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they’re found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters’ diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the 500th anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, the English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint’s tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the crypt than Flavia, yet what she finds will halt the proceedings dead in their tracks: the body of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist, his face grotesquely and inexplicably masked.

    Donald says: "the best Flavia yet!!"
    "Series gets even stronger"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jane Entwhistle continues to narrate her alter-ego Flavia's adventures in a pitch perfect way. Good story, well told. If you have enjoyed the earlier Flavia novels, you will NOT be disappointed with this one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rules of Civility: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Amor Towles
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1633)
    Performance
    (1290)
    Story
    (1275)

    Set in New York City in 1938, Rules of Civility tells the story of a watershed year in the life of an uncompromising 25-year-old named Katey Kontent. Armed with little more than a formidable intellect, a bracing wit, and her own brand of cool nerve, Katey embarks on a journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool through the upper echelons of New York society in search of a brighter future.

    Emily - Audible says: "Like a Country Pastoral for City Rats"
    "Irresistable!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book received excellent reviews when it was published and it definitely lived up to the hype. The narration by Rebecca Lowman added another delicious layer of enjoyment because she was SPOT ON; the novel is entirely in the voice of a female narrator and Lowman's voice became the voice of Katy Kontent for me. It sounded as if she were very naturally telling me her own story. When reading the words of other characters, her vocal shifts were distinguishable but not overdone in a way that distracts.

    This isn't a quick read, but I felt regret every time I was required to put it aside in order to get on with my daily life. I wanted to "stay tuned" and see what happened next. The story was believable but not predictable, which was intriguing. I would eagerly explore any other novel Towles writes.

    At the outset, I didn't know that "Amor" (the author's given name) was actually a man's name. The female lead character's reactions and interior conversations resonate with a woman reader as completely authentic.

    As an older reader, this book helped me recall what it is to be in one's mid-twenties and making decisions about who you are and who you will become.

    This is an unsolicited review, but one I felt compelled to include it in the list, if it is selected. I look carefully at other listeners' comments before making a selection and I hope this review leads another person to discover this wonderful rendition of a first-rate novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (989)
    Performance
    (857)
    Story
    (845)

    No outsiders are ever admitted to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec, where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace and prayer. They grow vegetables, they tend chickens, they make chocolate. And they sing. Ironically, for a community that has taken a vow of silence, the monks have become world-famous for their glorious voices, raised in ancient chants whose effect on both singer and listener is so profound it is known as “the beautiful mystery.”

    Sparkly says: "Engaging, entertaining, and heartbreaking."
    "Great series and great narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Beautiful Mystery the most enjoyable?

    Ralph Cosham is an excellent narrator and his comfort with the pronunciations of French Canadian phrases definitely polishes the listening experience.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    I highly recommend this series and recommend going through the books in order. The plot lines just get better and better as you get more familiar with the characters. There are threads which weave through and connect the novels. You get very caught up in care and concern about the recurring characters, but each book brings fresh dimensions.


    Have you listened to any of Ralph Cosham’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I choose to listen to the Gamache books, narrated by Cosham, rather than reading them myself because he is so very excellent in smoothly transitioning from one character to another. There is enough differentiation for clarity, but he never overacts. Great pronunciation of the French Canadian terms and idioms.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The ending! Don't want to spoil it for others by describing it.


    Any additional comments?

    Will try to be patient as I wait for the next in the series. Will do the audiobook version if Cosham is the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The End of the Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Graham Greene
    • Narrated By Colin Firth
    Overall
    (2180)
    Performance
    (2005)
    Story
    (1998)

    Graham Greene’s evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.

    Emily - Audible says: "Colin Firth Kills It"
    "Absolutely riveting and read just as it should be"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The End of the Affair in three words, what would they be?

    Engrossing, nuanced, intimate


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Maurice was my favorite character because he candidly revealed so many darkly contradictory sides of human nature.


    Have you listened to any of Colin Firth’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is Firth's first audible performance and I selected this book because I read an interview in which he described the challenges of doing this sort of work. He said he didn't want to overact the individual characters; he succeeded in making effectively subtle differentiations without slipping into parody or caricature. I would jump at the chance to hear more of his performances.


    If you could take any character from The End of the Affair out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Since the novel was set more than 60 years ago, I would go to dinner with Maurice and ask him how his perspective about God evolved in the intervening years.


    Any additional comments?

    I have recommended this audiobook to several friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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