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Santa Barbara, US, Canada | Member Since 2005

  • 17 reviews
  • 121 ratings
  • 277 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014

  • The Cure for Modern Life

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Lisa Tucker
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Matthew and Amelia were once in love and planning to raise a family together, but a decade later, they have become professional enemies. To Amelia, who has dedicated her life to medical ethics, Matthew's job as a high-powered pharmaceutical executive has turned him into a heartless person who doesn't care about anything but money. Now they're kept in balance only by Matthew's best and oldest friend, Ben, a rising science superstar - and Amelia's new boyfriend.

    Angela says: "I LOVED THIS BOOK"

    This story had so much draw, I turned it off whenever I couldn't give it my full attention. Anyone that listens to audio books on a regular basis should know what that means, hell, anyone that reads a book knows what that means. You skim the boring parts. But this book really doesn't have any. It skips all the lengthy (and largely unnecessary) descriptions in favor of really good dialog which does a much better job of developing characters, which in turn allows for a richer story. It is albeit somewhat predictable and not wholly believable, but you can hardly blame the author for that - after all, what hasn't been done?
    In the end, it's a touching, well written, and thoroughly engaging book. I strongly recommend.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret History

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By Donna Tartt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation.

    KP says: "Read this, don't listen"
    "Absolutely awful narration!"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    i recommend just reading the paper version of this book. I don't know why authors are allowed to read if they suck at it. Honestly authors, you do your work a tremendous disservice when you insist being the one to narrate. Just because you wrote it does not make it a foregone conclusion that you are the best person to read it. The story is pretty good, but the reading is the absolute worst I've ever suffered throug since suffering through TC Boyle read his own work. Oh and the guy that wrote marley and me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Special Topics in Calamity Physics

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Marisha Pessl
    • Narrated By Emily Janice Card
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This is a darkly hilarious coming-of-age novel and a richly plotted suspense tale told through the distinctive voice of its heroine, Blue van Meer. After a childhood spent moving from one academic outpost to another with her father, Blue is clever and possessed of a vast lexicon of knowledge. But when a drowning and the shocking death of a teacher lead to a confluence of mysteries, Blue is left to make sense of it all with only her gimlet-eyed instincts and cultural references to guide - or misguide - her.

    Jeanie says: "Over 21 Hours of Bliss..."
    "Way too meandering"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This author doesn't just take the scenic route in this novel, she parks at the first curve for 75% of it. I will admit that once you wade through the superfluous text, there is a pretty good story with some pretty interesting characters to be found. But it's an awful lot of work for not that great a reward. By that, I am NOT referring to the open ending - that was the one part I liked, because it's not like an Agatha Christi where the answer is in the story - there is no right answer, and it is still a good story. But it's not a great story, and the endless, looping, rambling, unnecessarily distracting prose, and the whole schtick of the 'bibliography as a story line' were just hard work that only served to further demonstrate that the actual story wasn't really good enough to either outweigh all that negative, or serve as a reward for all the hard work we readers had to put in to get to it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Unless: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Carol Shields
    • Narrated By Joan Allen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    For all of her days, Reta Winters has enjoyed the useful monotony of happiness: a loving family, good friends, growing success as a writer of light fiction novels "for summertime". This placid existence cracks open one fearful day when her beloved oldest daughter, Norah, drops out of life to sit on a gritty street corner, silent but for the sign around her neck that reads "GOODNESS".

    glamazon says: "Production issues"

    If I could give this book minus stars, or better yet, give it back I would in a heartbeat.

    I'm 2:49 into it and as far as I can tell, there is no actual plot to this 'story,' it is the droning monotony of this mother's daily life as she goes about it with her eldest daughter in the background having become some sort of transient.

    She hangs out with her friends, and this is what she thinks about it. She makes love to her husband and this is what she thinks about it (never has sex been so unromantic), she goes shopping and this is what she thinks about it. She has lunch and this is what she thinks about it.... You get the idea.

    It is literally the minutia of her daily life and what she thinks about it.

    While the readers voice is quite nice, and her reading very agreeable, and I found none of the production quirks the other reviewer spoke of, the material is at best a sleep aid.

    I'm not sure how or why I, or WHAT for that matter, I'm supposed to care about. It just goes on and on about NOTHING. Not in a good Seinfeld way, but in the way a lonely co-worker might corner you and tell you all about how they rearranged their figurines for the entire weekend.

    That is exactly how 'page-turning' this novel is.
    Seriously, I can't think of a good thing to say about this novel. I can't finish it. Whatever may happen, I just don't care.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Senator's Wife

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sue Miller
    • Narrated By Blair Brown
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Meri is newly married, pregnant, and standing on the cusp of her life as a wife and mother, recognizing with some terror the gap between reality and expectation. Delia Naughton, wife of the two-term liberal senator Tom Naughton, is Meri's new neighbor in the adjacent New England town house. Delia's husband's chronic infidelity has been an open secret in Washington circles, but despite the complexity of their relationship, the bond between them remains strong.

    glamazon says: "Daring and Inspiring"
    "Really Engaging"

    I loved this book. It was similar in feel to "The Corrections" by Jonathan Fraizer.

    The characters, ALL of the characters, while not always 'likable' are certainly human and behave in ways we have all witnessed people behave. Even the end, while I too was disappointed, it was, as the entire book was, true to life. I would have liked to have it end differently, but this book was telling its own story, and its characters had their own personalities and weaknesses. To have another kind of ending would not have been true to the characters or in keeping with the story. Life, as they say, is not fair.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The River Wife

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Jonis Agee
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When an earthquake brings Annie Lark's Missouri house down on top of her, she finds herself pinned under the massive roof beam, facing certain death. Rescued by French fur trapper Jacques Ducharme, Annie learns to love the strong, brooding man and resolves to live out her days as his "River Wife". More than a century later, in 1930, Hedie Rails comes to Jacques' Landing to marry Clement Ducharme, a direct descendant of the fur trapper and river pirate.

    Angela says: "Its an eye roller."
    "Its an eye roller."

    As in, every 15-30 minutes listening to this glorified romance novel, I could be see rolling my eyes and mumbling "Oh, give me a break..." or "puleez..."

    In terms of it being a "historical novel," well it is set in the past - but there is very very little actual history in it - so if thats part of the draw for you, buyer beware.

    Overall, its corny, predictable, drawn out, and largely unbelievable.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Sex, Murder, and a Double Latte

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Kyra Davis
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Thriller scribe Sophie Katz is as hard-boiled as a woman who drinks Grande Caramel Brownie Frappuccionos can be. So Sophie knows it's not paranoia, or post-divorce, living-alone-again jitters, when she becomes convinced that a crazed reader is sneaking into her apartment to reenact scenes from her books. The police, however, can't tell a good plot from an unmarked grave.

    Sandi J Wilson says: "FABULOUS FIND"
    "Super Fun!"

    This book is light, quick, fun, witty, and has tons of catty sarcasm. If that sounds like your cup of tea, then I highly recommend this book. I meant for it to be my commuter book, but I found myself listening when I prepared dinner, walked the dogs, and worked in the garden. It was such a fun and funny distraction!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Tenth Circle

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Carol Monda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    New York Times best-selling author Jodi Picoult explores a complex and troubled American family in The Tenth Circle, the tale of a broken-hearted teenage girl and the father who will do anything to protect her. High school freshman Trixie Stone comes home from a party and says the boy she loves, and who recently dumped her, sexually assaulted her. Her father never imagined anything so devastating could happen, and now he's not sure how to help his daughter.

    Linda says: "Picoult wrote a disappointing story."

    On and on and on. You have self centered, self absorbed daughter trixie, clueless father daniel, lame mother laura, and a gaggle of high school characters who are stereotyped x10. Not one person seems to say what they mean, react appropriately, or do what is needed. You just can't feel sorry for these people, they make a bad choice and then just keep on making them, seemingly unable to take hold of the situation in any sort of intelligent manner. I'm better than half way through and have found myself twice trying to find a spoiler review online so I can justify giving up the ghost of this relentlessly boring, over dramatized slop.

    I did like sisters keeper, though the end was a cop-out, but I don't think this is one of Picout's better works.

    On the upside, the narrator was spot-on.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Closing Costs

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Seth Margolis
    • Narrated By Susan Denaker

    When Peggy Gimmel decides to sell the apartment she bought decades ago for a few thousand dollars, she's thrilled to discover that it's worth almost $2 million. But her sudden windfall triggers a cascade of unexpected events and plunges her into the dizzying orbit of Lucinda Wells, one of Manhattan's most successful and ruthless real-estate agents.

    Angela says: "Good, Not Great."
    "Good, Not Great."

    While I wouldn't call "Closing Costs" a work of literary genius, it was enjoyable and easy. The perfect commute book. The narration was also done very well. My chief complaint would be the long, detailed, and frequent descriptions of pornographic sex. I'm no prude by any means, but in this book, with these characters, it simply feels largely gratuitous. For example, to say a certain character is into online porn of a kinky variety is developing that character, while launching into a laundry list of *very* graphically titled sites, I feel is unnecessary.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Elements of Style

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Wendy Wasserstein
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and author of the essay collection Shiksa Goddess, comes a dazzling debut novel, a comedy about New York's urban gentry living in a post-9/11 world, the arbiters of fashion and the doyennes of charity balls; about the rich and the nouveau rich(er), the glamorous and the desperate-to-be.

    Crypto says: "I love the book!"
    "What a Waste!"

    This book was something like a marriage between "The Nanny Diaries" and "The Great Gatsby" but without the style, emotion, or humor. Wasserstein's writing style is in itself good, however her character delevopement and story line lacked any depth. She should have stuck to plays where at least she could rely on actors' style and delivery to add a human element. This book was an awful waste of time - it was impossible to even figure out which characters are supposed to be protaganists, and which are the antagonists. All were so flat, humorless, and dry. I would not recommend.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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