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CHICAGO, IL, United States | Member Since 2012

  • 5 reviews
  • 37 ratings
  • 156 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2015

  • Life of Pi

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

    Theresa says: "Best audio of the year for me"
    "A Story That Will Make You Wonder"

    I attempted to listen to this book twice. At first, I think I wasn’t in the right mood, and I was also unfocused; therefore, it was more my mind state rather than the story that made me put this book away.

    I did not realized it until the second attempt, that the story is definitely not an easy read, but rather a story that one have to spend some time contemplating.

    The reason I decided to come back to this book and give it a second chance was the preview of the movie “Life of Pi” that I saw recently. The movie looks as if it is going to be an amazing feature, thus I started to wonder that maybe, after all, so is the book. As I was finishing listening to the book I was glad that I finally had a chance to listen to a really amazing piece of literature.

    The story is somewhat long and to some might be slow at moments. Personally, found this book very well structured. It is divided into three sections and each needs to be read in order. In the first part there is a lot of talk about religion and reflections on its topic. Although I am not religious, I found this section very informative and to the point (if only all look at this topic like Pi did, the world would be a better place). Not until the second part “we” end up on the boat with the co-passenger that many, if not all, would rather not face without bars in between. Finally, it is the third part that really made me wonder and question everything I just read. This is the part that makes this book an excellent writing.

    If you like to read books that teach you something (lots of knowledge on the topic like religion, zoology, etc.), and make you think, deep thinking that is, it is definitely a book you should pick.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ronia, the Robber's Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Astrid Lindgren
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam

    Ronia, who lives with her father and his band of robbers in a castle in the woods, causes trouble when she befriends the son of a rival robber chieftain.

    Martyna says: "Great story for both boys and girls."
    "Great story for both boys and girls."

    I was extremely happy when I found out that I am able to get this book on This was my favorite book when I was a child (back when I lived in Poland), and I really wanted my nine-year-old son to know it too. The story is sweet, full of unknown creatures and it teaches kids about love, friendship and what is important in life. It lets the child escape the everyday world and indulge in the beautiful world of Ronja’s, the world where child is closely connected with nature; the world when child can roam free in the woods and learn how to be responsible and independent; the world of freedom that so many kids nowadays would never have a chance to experience. Since Ronja’s world is full of creatures the child is able to use its imagination to the fullest.

    At first, I was not sure how my son would respond to this book, as the main character is a girl (the other character is a boy, but Ronja is the main one), but now I know that it didn’t matter. My son loves it. In fact, anytime he is a little bit upset, he asks me if we can listen to Ronja. He tells me it makes him calm down. Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. It is a book I would recommend to any family that would like to share the world created by this wonderful author, Astrid Lindgren with their kids.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • House Rules

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Mark Turetsky, Nicole Poole, Andy Paris, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    One of America’s most popular authors, Jodi Picoult has earned a reputation for crafting riveting, topical fiction. In House Rules she examines how being different can have dire consequences. Teenager Jacob Hunt has Asperger’s syndrome. A forensic science wizard, he follows his scanner to show up at crime scenes and give law enforcement officials his advice.

    Charlotte says: "Great book until the ending"
    "Great book to learn about Asperger Syndrome"
    Would you listen to House Rules again? Why?

    Absolutely. It is a great book, yet very disturbing. It opens readers’ eyes to the issue that is hardly ever talked about: the legal system, law enforcement and the lack of appropriate procedures when it comes to dealing with people who suffer from any kind of psychological disability, in this case people with Asperger Syndrome (a Spectrum of Autism). The situation created in this book and presented facts make one shiver. The book is probably even more disturbing to the one who are close to someone that is on the spectrum.

    What other book might you compare House Rules to and why?

    I can't think of any at this moment. Probably any other book of Jodi Picoult as she touches on the problems in her books that other authors don’t.

    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    I really enjoyed all the characters in the book. They all have a depth and very different personalities. The narrator did an awesome job portraying each and every one of them.

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes!!! The book draws you in immediately. For some the main reason for wanting to continue from the start might be the unfamiliar topic – Asperger Syndrome, then as the book progresses and the story develops the disturbing circumstance and the need for knowing the outcome are strong enough to keep one up all night.

    Any additional comments?

    This book is absolutely a must-read for people who suspect that someone they know might be on a Spectrum. I wish I read the book few years ago when I was having problems with my three-year-old son. The huge number of great examples of the behavior of a child with Asperger’s that are presented in this book would help me recognize my son’s problem (he was finally diagnosed with AS when he was 5). Reading this book would not only help me recognizing the issue, but would also show me what I could do to deal with the syndrome more efficiently, rather than running amok in darkness.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Opposite of Fate

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Amy Tan
    • Narrated By Amy Tan

    Amy Tan was born into a family that believed in fate. In The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings, she explores this legacy, as well as American circumstances, and finds ways to honor the past while creating her own brand of destiny. She discovers answers in everyday actions and attitudes - from writing stories and decorating her house with charms, to dealing with three members of her family afflicted with brain disease and shaking off both family curses and the expectations that she should become a doctor and a concert pianist.

    Martyna says: "A Book that Every Aspiring Writer Should Read"
    "A Book that Every Aspiring Writer Should Read"
    What made the experience of listening to The Opposite of Fate the most enjoyable?

    I really enjoyed the fact that it was read by the author. It gave the book very personal feeling. In addition, since it was read by the author, we were able to take a pick into her life and the world she lived in. When she was taking about her family and the language barrier we were able to hear it as is she had instead of only imaging what that would be like. This added a huge realism to the story.

    What other book might you compare The Opposite of Fate to and why?

    I can’t think of any except maybe for “On Writing” by Stephen King. This book, in a way, is also an autobiography mixed with the stories about writing and pointers to aspiring writers.

    What about Amy Tan’s performance did you like?

    I absolutely adore her voice that was very calming. I did not feel as if I was listening to a book. In fact, throughout the listening experience, I felt as if I was with her in the room, and over a cup of tea, I listened to her life story.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    You never know where your life would take you.

    Any additional comments?

    Great book., Must read. Loved it!!! I only wish it was not abridged.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Mitchell Zuckoff
    • Narrated By Mitchell Zuckoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On May 13, 1945, 24 American servicemen and WACs boarded a transport plane for a sightseeing trip over “Shangri-La,” a beautiful and mysterious valley deep within the jungle-covered mountains of Dutch New Guinea. Unlike the peaceful Tibetan monks of James Hilton’s best-selling novel Lost Horizon, this Shangri-La was home to spear-carrying tribesmen, warriors rumored to be cannibals. But the pleasure tour became an unforgettable battle for survival when the plane crashed. Miraculously, three passengers pulled through.

    Janice says: "Facinating history"
    "Very Engaging Historical Book"
    What made the experience of listening to Lost in Shangri-La the most enjoyable?

    I really enjoyed the narrative and the great flow of the book. It not only gave me the knowledge of the historical event, but also the behind stories that were important part. The additional info did no overpower the main story, but gave it a great balance.

    What other book might you compare Lost in Shangri-La to and why?

    The book was my first historical book that I read, so I can’t really compare it with any other book. The book, however, was written in the form of an adventure story rather than a dry historical facts.

    What does Mitchell Zuckoff bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I believe that since Mitchell Zuckoff researched the story and then wrote it, he was able to include all his personal emotions during his reading. His voice was able to perfectly bring all the characters to life, and make it feel as if it an interview was happening right in front of the listener. I would not be able to feel that if I read the book instead of hearing it.

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

    I really loved the prologue when he tells us what happened to the people who were part of the story. We are able to see not only what happened to them, but also how they felt about each other decades after the accident. I had a very hard time holding my tears back while listening.

    Any additional comments?

    It is a great book, very well written and presented in non-boring way. It was an easy read/listen that gave me an opportunity to learn about a true story that had place in the end of the World War II; very engaging. This was my first historical book that I read/listened to. If only all historical books were written that way, I soon could have a chance to become a history wiz.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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