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Kenmore, WA, USA | Member Since 2012

  • 16 reviews
  • 218 ratings
  • 405 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2015

  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Jonathan Aris, Paula Wilcox
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1799, the artificial island of Dejima lies in Nagasaki Harbor as Japan’s outpost for the Dutch East Indies Company. There, Jacob de Zoet has come to make a fortune large enough to return to Holland and marry the woman he loves.

    Michael Cox says: "Less about the arrival more about the ride"
    "Superb historical fiction"

    Booker Prize nominees rarely disappoint and this is no exception ... deeply engaging characters and plot immersed in a fascinating historical setting -- very reminiscent of the Aubrey-Maturin novels. Excellent narration.

    30 of 37 people found this review helpful
  • The Tortilla Curtain

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By T. C. Boyle
    • Narrated By T. C. Boyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Topanga Canyon is home to two couples on a collision course. Los Angeles liberals Delaney and Kyra Mossbacker lead an ordered, sushi-and-recycling existence in a newly gated hilltop community: He is a sensitive nature writer, she an obsessive realtor. Mexican illegals Candido and America Rincon desperately cling to their vision of the American Dream as they fight off starvation in a makeshift camp deep in the ravine.

    William says: "Thought-provoking, enthralling"
    "Poverty Exposed"

    This was a really interesting one to read after the Hummingbird's Daughter ... the Mexican characters are highly engaging and well developed, but the white Americans are a bit stock. Regardless, this is book is absolutely worth reading just to get a better understanding of the horror and hopelessness of trying to climb out of abject poverty.... it's very sobering.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Ernest Hemingway
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1937, Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from "the good fight", For Whom the Bell Tolls.

    A User says: "The Mountains of Spain"
    "Should have read this years ago"

    Wow .. what an astoundingly good book. I had no idea the writing would be so accessible, and at the same time so profound. It is truly a rare thing! I’m left cursing myself for not having read Hemingway years ago. Spend a few minutes refreshing the basics of the Spanish Civil War before jumping in .. then enjoy the ride. Look forward especially to the lengthy description of the smell of death ….it’s a master class in descriptive prose.

    24 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • Norwegian Wood

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By James Yaegashi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable.

    Louise says: "Lots of Fun"
    "Didn't love the love scenes"

    What an odd book. It was great to read a novel translated from Japanese, something I’d never done before. And it was fun to connect the dots with my own travels in Japan. Certainly the sense of loneliness and struggle experienced by the characters comes through achingly clear in the translation. However, the extensive, uh, “romance” scenes, are translated in a most anatomically correct manner, making them more painfully comic than erotic or sensuous. Given that these scenes represent much of the bond between the various characters, it made the depth of relationship and interdependence hard to believe. Maybe that's how they were actually written? I was left wishing I could read the book in Japanese. I do plan to try another Murakami book, but likely one of his more mystical ones…

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Hummingbird's Daughter: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Luis Alberto Urrea
    • Narrated By Luis Alberto Urrea
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It is 1889, and civil war is brewing in Mexico. A 16-year-old girl, Teresita, illegitimate but beloved daughter of the wealthy and powerful rancher Don Tomas Urrea, wakes from the strangest dream, a dream that she has died. Only it was not a dream. This passionate and rebellious young woman has arisen from death with the power to heal, but it will take all her faith to endure the trials that await her and her family now that she has become the "Saint of Cabora".

    Steph says: "My New Favorite Book"
    "Engrossing story, richly detailed"

    The author says this book took 20 years to write - and it shows. Thoroughly engrossing, beautifully written, and fully realized with a depth of detail that makes lesser writing seem thin and contrived. The narration by the author is a great bonus.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Diane Setterfield
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato, Jill Tanner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    All children mythologize their birth... So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's beloved collection of stories, long famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale. The enigmatic Winter has always kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she summons a biographer to tell the truth about her extraordinary life: Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth remains an ever-present pain.

    PA Law says: "Haunting and beautiful tale"

    The story within the story is superb, but the story itself is painfully tedious. The main character is nauseatingly self-obsessed and terminally boring… and the audio narrator doesn’t do her any favors. By the end of the book, I was completely fed up with both of them. The only reason I kept going was because the other “story” and audio narrator were so good. Overall, though, I’m not sure it was worth the pain.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Wee Free Men: Discworld Childrens, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Armed only with a frying pan and her common sense, Tiffany Aching, a young witch-to-be, is all that stands between the monsters of Fairyland and the warm, green Chalk country that is her home. Forced into Fairyland to seek her kidnapped brother, Tiffany allies herself with the Chalk's local Nac Mac Feegle, aka the Wee Free Men, a clan of sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men who are as fierce as they are funny.

    Richard says: "First Sight and Second Thoughts"
    "Required Reading"

    I originally purchased this book for my 7-year-old daughter, but ended up sneaking the player away from her in the mornings so I could listen to it on my commute. Whatever the Gold Standard is in Kid Lit, this book exceeds it: hugely entertaining, totally original, and with a powerful message about opening your eyes to the world. (My daughter has already started talking about first and second thoughts!) It’s definitely going to be required reading for my other kids… and it won’t be a hard job at all to convince them to pick this one up…. The narration is also very good…. Now I’m off to download the sequel...we're both eager to find out what happens next.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Traveler

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Ron McLarty
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    News of the sudden death of his childhood friend compels Jono Riley, an aging bartender and part-time actor, to return for a few days to the place where he grew up, the working-class neighborhoods of East Providence, Rhode Island. Author McLarty weaves the story of Jono's return with that of his coming-of-age in the early 1960s, including the story of some mysterious shootings.

    Suzn F says: "AOK Book"
    "Doesn't travel far enough"

    I was excited to read this new offering from McLarty as I really enjoyed Memory of Running. Traveler definitely stands up on its own – deeply engaging characters, great dialogue, and endlessly interesting scenery descriptions. There’s a lot from MofR in here as well .... subtle references such as the Ide retirement home etc. that reference his first book … not to mention the same location, time period, Vietnam War injuries etc. But where MofR excelled – a slow, beautifully timed reveal combined with the compelling transformation of the main character – this book falls way short. In the end, Traveler just doesn’t travel very far. The story starts with great promise, then fizzles into an embarrassingly clich? ending (yes, the villain insists on telling all at the height of the final conflict.. what a surprise). The last third of this book needed more time to write, and a much better ending. McLarty’s narration, as always, is absolutely top notch. Hopefully McLarty’s next book will live up to the promise of his first.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Across the Nightingale Floor: Tales of the Otori, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Lian Hearn
    • Narrated By Kevin Gray, Aiko Nakasone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A tour-de-force novel set in ancient Japan filled with passion, fantasy, and feuding warlords. The first volume in the highly anticipated Tales of the Otori trilogy.

    Jody R. Nathan says: "Wonderful epic story"
    "Why is this so popular?"

    This is a fun listen .. but nothing more than the book equivalent of the latest action movie. If that's what you're looking for, then you'll enjoy it ...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Bill Bryson has been an enormously popular author both for his travel books and for his books on the English language. Now, this beloved comic genius turns his attention to science. Although he doesn't know anything about the subject (at first), he is eager to learn, and takes information that he gets from the world's leading experts and explains it to us in a way that makes it exciting and relevant.

    Corby says: "Very informative, fun to listen to"
    "Big pay off if you make it"

    An absolute marathon listen … but if you have the patience to slog through it, this book has the potential to dramatically change the way you comprehend the world and your place in it. Loved the line about how similar humans and bananas really are…

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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