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Karen

Grinnell, IA, United States | Member Since 2009

ratings
49
REVIEWS
25
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
36

  • Walking in Circles Before Lying Down: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Merrill Markoe
    • Narrated By Renée Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (27)

    Twice-divorced Dawn's only source of security and comfort, it seems, is Chuck, a pit-bull mix from the pound. So, when her boyfriend announces that he's leaving her for another woman, a despairing Dawn turns to Chuck for solace. "I should have said something sooner," Chuck confides, as he tries to console her. "Couldn't you smell her on his pants?" Dawn is stunned. It's one thing to talk to your pets, but what do you do when they start talking back?

    Steven says: "Doesn't Quite Carry it Off"
    "Catchy title, bad book..."
    Overall

    The title led me to believe it would be humorous, but it was not that great of a book. The story was mundane, weak women, stupid men. They through a dog into it for a better plot, but that didn't work well. I finished it just because I hate leaving things undone, but I am sorry I wasted a credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13502)
    Performance
    (7981)
    Story
    (7835)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"
    "It's Just a Romance Novel!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my first review before I have finished the book. I am on part 3/4 and will finish it, but I won't go further into this series. The writing is good, the historical references of Scotland are great, but it is just a romance novel in disguise. As much as a good romantic scene adds to the story, this one goes overboard and reminds me of those cheap romance novels that women often read. The characters are well developed and the story is a good one but do the main characters have to have sex in every chapter? I just think "here we go again!" I was intrigued by the time travel aspect of the book and thought that there would be more to it than just a very, very long romance. If this is your genre, then go for it, otherwise, I would imagine the rest of the series is more of the same, just different centuries, and I would select something else.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • First Grave on the Right: Charley Davidson, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Darynda Jones
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2960)
    Performance
    (2351)
    Story
    (2340)

    A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice.

    Lulu says: "Very, Very Funny Book, Suffered from My Bad Timing"
    "Sophmoric"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story sounds interesting, woman who can talk to the dead, etc. after about 20 min into the story, starts the sex scenes. it almost seems like the author just threw it in to have a sex scene, it didn't really add to the story. I love a great sex scene, however, this story felt like all of the innuendos and lustings were just added for the effect, but didn't add to the story itself. I think that the storyline would have been great to follow the dead, the crime investigation, etc without the main character having to indulge us with her continual lustings. I felt as though the main character was immature and not that interesting. She made cynical comments that also didn't seem to always fit the story, I felt like those things were just put in later to try to make the novel more interesting to the consumer. I always try to read the ratings and the reviews before buying an audiobook, and this one was less than what I expected. Not one I would listen to again or recommend when there are too many great novels out there...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Best of Me

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Nicholas Sparks
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (914)
    Performance
    (756)
    Story
    (754)

    In the fall of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply, irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for one another seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.

    L.W. says: "Horribly depressing"
    "Its the "regular" love story again..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read Nicholas Sparks for those mindless, escape novels, where you don't have to think or try to figure out the crime, etc. He tells an interesting story in all of his novels. Regular love story, that starts when the main characters are teenagers, then they go their separate ways only to meet again and rekindle their love that has never gone away. (sniff) This has an interesting twist, and is a more mature kind of love since the characters all have lived their lives apart and now are coming together after 20+ years at the funeral of a friend. A little sappy in parts, but overall, a comfort "food" for the brain.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Litigators

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3645)
    Performance
    (2965)
    Story
    (2929)

    The incomparable master of the legal thriller takes us deeper into the labyrinth that is the American justice system, always drawing us in with an irresistible hook, pulling the thread of tension tighter and tighter, and then knocking us out with a conclusion that's never "by the book". Maybe that's why, after more than 20 years of consecutive number-one New York Times best sellers, a new novel by America's favorite storyteller is still a major publishing event.

    June says: "Typical Grisham, entertaining"
    "Loved the characters in this one!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this Grisham novel as he had some interesting characters and their development was good. A goody-two shoes lawyer among the ambulance chasers, was an interesting dynamic. The story kept me listening, a few drags now and then, but mostly kept me interested. It wasn't suspenseful, which keeps you hanging on to the story more, as some of his other novels have been. Good examples of greed and the amount of money spent on litigation and litigation-avoidance. I am not sure how accurate the picture is of the money spent by the big pharmaceutical companies, but I am sure he is close. Makes one angry to know that is often where the resources go. Enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Plum Island

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2352)
    Performance
    (1657)
    Story
    (1651)

    Wounded in the line of duty, NYPD homicide cop John Corey is convalescing in rural eastern Long Island when an attractive young couple he knows is found shot to death on the family patio. The victims were biologists at Plum Island, a research site rumored to be an incubator for germ warfare. Suddenly, a local double murder takes on shattering global implications - and thrusts Corey and two extraordinary women into a dangerous search for the secret of Plum Island....

    DERALD says: "Great on par with" LION'S GAME""
    "Excellent story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I actually read The Lion and Lion's Game before this one, which is the first in the series, however, it did not matter. The story is well done and very detailed, a little too much at times. There were times when the author was describing something in detail and I felt myself just thinking "get on with it." That was the only negative thing. It is a long story, but worth the time. I have enjoyed all of DeMille's novels so far. This gave me the background on the main character, John Corey, which was helpful. He is a little to misogynistic sometimes, but I guess that is what makes him John Corey. Enjoy

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By A. J. Jacobs
    • Narrated By A. J. Jacobs
    Overall
    (375)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (145)

    Our fearless author, A. J. Jacobs, tackles a new intellectual adventure, an exploration of the most influential book in the world: the Bible. He determined that the best way to explore the Bible was to live it, as literally as possible. For one year.

    Jonathan says: "Excellent... But tongue in cheek"
    "Mediocre, but an interesting journey"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love reading and learning about religions and their baggage. I thought this was an amazing idea, to live the bible literally for a year, but the story dragged. There are some funny stories from this adventure, like stoning an adulterer....with pebbles. I learned a lot about the bible from listening, especially the historical references. I would buy this type of book when it goes on sale :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Stroke of Insight

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jill Bolte Taylor
    • Narrated By Jill Bolte Taylor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (586)
    Performance
    (270)
    Story
    (276)

    In My Stroke of Insight, Taylor shares her unique perspective on the brain and its capacity for recovery, and the sense of omniscient understanding she gained from this unusual and inspiring voyage out of the abyss of a wounded brain. It would take eight years for Taylor to heal completely. Because of her knowledge of how the brain works, her respect for the cells composing her human form, and most of all an amazing mother, Taylor completely repaired her mind and recalibrated her understanding of the world.

    Lisa says: "very, very illuminating!"
    "Loved the journey!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great story! A view of a stroke from science as well as the emotional side really provided an amazing look at the brain and how it works. Jill's story is amazing and that as a scientist, she could analyze what was happening to her brain as it was experiencing a stroke, and then tell us about her journey; is so important. She was excellent at explaining what had happened to various parts of her brain without using jargon or losing the reader. She provided a clear and objective analysis as well as supplying the emotional aspects of the stroke. The story can truly give one insight into a person who has suffered a stroke, but it also is about life. Take the lessons from Jill and bring them into your life, so that you won't need to have a stroke to become more aware and insightful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Practical Demonkeeping

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (771)
    Performance
    (393)
    Story
    (401)

    In Christopher Moore's ingenious debut novel, we meet one of the most memorably mismatched pairs in the annals of literature. The good-looking one is one-hundred-year-old ex-seminarian and "roads" scholar Travis O'Hearn. The green one is Catch, a demon with a nasty habit of eating most of the people he meets.

    Martin says: "Gets better as it goes ......"
    "Not my favorite Christopher Moore, but still fun."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Christopher Moore stories, the way he tells a great story and adds an element of the absurd. This was a good, easy listen. He has written some better stories, however, this was still fun. I loved he voice used for the demon. One of the reasons I like to read Moore's stories are that they are just fun and provides a few hours of escape. The characters are always so unique and intriguing. This one had some great characters as well, including the demon and provided a few hours of fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Skippy Dies

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Paul Murray
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber, Fred Berman, Clodagh Bowyer, and others
    Overall
    (1388)
    Performance
    (804)
    Story
    (813)

    This touching and uproarious novel by author Paul Murray made everyone’s best fiction of 2010 lists, including The Washington Post, Financial Times, Village Voice, and others. Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the mystery that links the boys of Dublin’s Seabrook College (Ruprecht Van Doren, the overweight genius obsessed with string theory; Carl, the teenager drug dealer and borderline psychotic; Philip Kilfether, the basketball-playing midget) to their parents and teachers in ways that no one could have imagined.

    Laura says: "Funny, touching, entertaining"
    "Not what I expected, regretfully."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am pretty consistent with checking reviews and narration ahead of purchase and this purchase was not different. I just finished the recording, even though I purchased it some time ago, mostly because I don't like to leave a book unfinished, even the ones I don't like. This was an interesting story, great cast of narrators especially, but I couldn't stay with it. A group of boys in an Irish boarding school, supposedly friends, intertwined with their teachers and Catholic priests. After finally finishing the book, I still don't really know the main point of the story. It jumped around quite often, the author used inappropriate language in many places, not that often a story is enhanced by language, this just didn't seem to fit. Many sexual references, innuendo; I know that is often the mind of teenage boys, however, it just didn't seem to fit into the story. I use the term inappropriate, because the swear words or sexual terms didn't seem to fit, not inappropriate in the sense that I oppose the use of such language. Even the drug use, which was a major theme, didn't seem to fit well into the story and was a bit confusing.

    There are 3 parts to this story, the last one seemed to be the easiest listen, but still not that interesting. I didn't feel like some of the main characters dilemmas were resolved, even at the end of the book. The only reason that I did finish the story was because I can't leave a book only partially read, so I muddled through. It did have some interesting parts, but regretfully, not enough to make me like the book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Broker

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1323)
    Performance
    (273)
    Story
    (273)

    In his final hours in the Oval Office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.

    Bull says: "Grisham wins a bet."
    "Another good one!"
    Overall

    I am a Grisham fan and liked this novel. It had an engaging plot and enough intrigue to keep me interested and wanting to keep reading. You find yourself rooting for the "bad guy" in spite of his previous crimes. He is a great character and I enjoyed the detail of his exile and trying to blend in to new cultures. This one wasn't boring!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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