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Julia

Staten Island, NY, United States | Member Since 2009

63
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 22 reviews
  • 41 ratings
  • 195 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2015
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  • Strange Shores

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Arnaldur Indridason
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (70)

    Somewhere in the wilderness of Iceland's frozen East Fjords, Erlendur is on the hunt. For a long lost brother, for a woman who vanished decades ago, for answers. He has come to confront the family tragedy that has haunted him all his life. But it is another missing-person story - the disappearance of Matthildur, lost in a snow-storm decades before but not yet forgotten - which reels him in.

    Bobbie says: "Melting the snowy past"
    "Strange, haunting."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Strange Shores to be better than the print version?

    Don't know, never read the print version.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Strange Shores?

    Hard to pick, lots of weird and memorable scenes.


    Which character – as performed by George Guidall – was your favorite?

    Elendur, he is a very strange and sad person.


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

    A little flat. Kind of goes with the generally depressive and frozen tone of the book, but tends almost to be hypnotic.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book about very depressed people who seem to be in a perpetual state of frozen cold. Perhaps Iceland is really like this, but if it is, I don't think I will be visiting soon. Good very psychological drama for those that like a more "internal" mystery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Mapping of Love and Death: A Maisie Dobbs Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Winspear
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (705)
    Performance
    (453)
    Story
    (452)

    In the latest mystery in the New York Times best-selling series, Maisie Dobbs must unravel a case of wartime love and death—an investigation that leads her to a long-hidden affair between a young cartographer and a mysterious nurse..... August 1914. Michael Clifton is mapping the land he has just purchased in California’s beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, certain that oil lies beneath its surface. But as the young cartographer prepares to return home to Boston, war is declared in Europe,,,,

    Helen says: "Didn't want it to end...best in series!"
    "Enjoyable in a tidy way"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Mapping of Love and Death again? Why?

    No, I think once you have the answers to the questions posed, you would not want to read it again.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The descriptions of Maisie and Lady Ella.


    Which character – as performed by Orlagh Cassidy – was your favorite?

    Maurice


    Any additional comments?

    This was an entertaining book, some good puzzles. Stayed very neat and tidy, with just a little bit of psychological drama. Honestly, it helps you understand why England gave birth to Punks, if there was one more tidy cup of tea consumed, I think I would have had to stop listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Tavis Smiley, David Ritz
    • Narrated By Tavis Smiley
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (76)

    New York Times best-selling author and award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley recounts the final 365 days of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life, revealing the minister's trials and tribulations - denunciations by the press, rejection from the president, dismissal by the country's black middle class and militants, assaults on his character, ideology, and political tactics, to name a few - all of which he had to rise above in order to lead and address the racism, poverty, and militarism that threatened to destroy our democracy.

    Doug says: "Sad but compelling...."
    "Completely engaging, edifying and entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Death of a King?

    I loved the pace of the book, the amount of context that TS provides, the insight into the characters and the motivations of each.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Of course, MLK.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I don't have a particular favorite, but what struck me most forcefully was the evolving recognition that his spiritual commitment to peace related to his feeling about the war and about Negro civil rights.


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

    The book made me laugh many times, MLK had a great sense of humor. The quotes from many of the speeches made me cry. They were deeply spiritual and moving. His death, of course and the reading of the eulogy that MLK wrote for another fallen civil rights leader, made me cry from sadness and awe.


    Any additional comments?

    I have always known that MLK was a Reverend and a civil rights leader, but I had never read anything that so clearly linked his ever-evolving relationship to God with his views about Negro (as he referred to it) civil rights and about Vietnam. This book did a great job chronicling this spiritual path without being a "religious" text. It was also astounding to me to read about how reviled MLK was by the Black community leadership and by the press at the time of his death, all of this has faded from our minds. Thank you TS for reminding us about how far advanced MLK was in his spiritual path and how little we understood about his inner journey and where he had arrived at at the time of his death. I also loved TS's voice reading- thank you TS for reading this yourself! Yours was the perfect voice to share this good news, it lent authenticity and conveyed deep love and commitment.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Pity of Partition: Manto's Life, Times, and Work across the India-Pakistan Divide

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Ayesha Jalal
    • Narrated By Sanjiv Jhaveri
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Saadat Hasan Manto (1912-1955) was an established Urdu short story writer and a rising screenwriter in Bombay at the time of India's partition in 1947, and he is perhaps best known for the short stories he wrote following his migration to Lahore in newly formed Pakistan. Ayesha Jalal draws on Manto's stories, sketches, and essays, as well as a trove of his private letters, to present an intimate history of partition and its devastating toll.

    Julia says: "Wonderful character, not such an interesting book"
    "Wonderful character, not such an interesting book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, it was well spent because I learned about a fascinating and historically important character. I have begun to read his short stories and they are truly wonderful and inspiring.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    It was expected as he clearly intended to orchestrate his own end.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The period after he is relocated in Pakistan. It is heart breaking and he is an awesome, in the truest sense of the word, character.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes, I would love to see his life portrayed in film, it would be very fitting as he was a screen writer.


    Any additional comments?

    If the book captured the irony and cleverness of the author himself, it would have been amazing. It is a very academic presentation of a very idiosyncratic person who was clearly a genius. Sadly, academic presentations seem out of sync with his energy and purposes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Truth about Me: A Hijra Life Story

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By A. Revathi, V. Geetha
    • Narrated By Sanjiv Jhaveri
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Revathi was born a boy, but felt and behaved like a girl. In telling her life story, Revathi evokes marvellously the deep unease of being in the wrong body that plagued her from childhood. To be true to herself, to escape the constant violence visited upon her by her family and community, the village-born Revathi ran away to Delhi to join a house of hijras. Her life became an incredible series of dangerous physical and emotional journeys to become a woman - and to find love.

    Julia says: "What an amazing book!"
    "What an amazing book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Truth about Me?

    I loved the story of this woman's life and experiences. She is a truly amazing teacher.


    What other book might you compare The Truth about Me to and why?

    Maybe the Autobiography of Malcolm X, as he is as plain and truthful about his life and as loving and accepting of all of the pieces of himself as Ravathi is of herself.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Impossible to choose, so many scenes stay with me.


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

    Both, I laughed out loud in some sections and cried and cringed in others.


    Any additional comments?

    Everyone around the world who is an activist or concerned about LGBTQ issues and HIV awareness should read this book and promote solidarity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Glass Palace

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Amitav Ghosh
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (339)
    Performance
    (232)
    Story
    (229)

    Set in Burma during the British invasion of 1885, this masterly novel by Amitav Ghosh tells the story of Rajkumar, a poor boy lifted on the tides of political and social chaos, who goes on to create an empire in the Burmese teak forest. When soldiers force the royal family out of the Glass Palace and into exile, Rajkumar befriends Dolly, a young woman in the court of the Burmese Queen, whose love will shape his life. He cannot forget her, and years later, as a rich man, he goes in search of her.

    Janis says: "Wonderful Family Saga Set in Burma and Malaysia"
    "Very compelling political history told as a novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Glass Palace the most enjoyable?

    The second half of the book telling the story of the impact of WWII on Burma and India


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I think Arjuna, although as I listened I would have said others. Now looking back, I think it was him. Also Dinu, who is the most compelling, though I learned more from Arjuna's characte.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Simon Vance?

    He isn't my absolute favorite, but I really do like the books that he narrates so probably yes.


    If you could rename The Glass Palace, what would you call it?

    Not sure, but I think I would use part of the title from Gosh's later book, history told in the guise of a travelers tale. That's really what most of his books are.


    Any additional comments?

    Like all of the Gosh books I have listened to, the very best parts of this book are when he enacts the historical drama in very torn characters. He is wonderful at capturing the ambivalence and complete lack of clarity about what is the right thing to do. I enjoyed so many of his insights, it was the best way to learn about the history of that period. His romantic sections are not so great, in my opinion, they are very predictable and don't shed much light on the characters themselves. He is much more compelling when he writes about conflict and confusion. He is really outstanding at capturing unanswerable dilemmas about the Indian identity and the impact of colonialism on the psyche of those colonized.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • River of Smoke

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Amitav Ghosh
    • Narrated By Sanjiv Jhaveri
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (105)

    The Ibis, loaded to its gunwales with a cargo of indentured servants, is in the grip of a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal; among the dozens flailing for survival are Neel, the pampered raja who has been convicted of embezzlement; Paulette, the French orphan masquerading as a deck-hand; and Deeti, the widowed poppy grower fleeing her homeland with her lover, Kalua. The storm also threatens the clipper ship Anahita, groaning with the largest consignment of opium ever to leave India for Canton.

    Jana says: "Review of Part 2 of the Ibis Trilogy"
    "History, adventure, pathos."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to River of Smoke again? Why?

    Yes, because I love the narration, I am looking at all of the books that are performed by this narrator. I loved the characters, so many interesting character studies, I loved the history and the subject.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of River of Smoke?

    Hard to pick one, images of Canton in this time period, the flower boats, the description of an opium high.


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

    No, but I am definitely going to in future!


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

    A romance with opium, flowers and human frailty


    Any additional comments?

    How does this narrator master so many accents and voices? He is incredible!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Marti Olsen Laney, PsyD
    • Narrated By Tamara Marston
    Overall
    (652)
    Performance
    (564)
    Story
    (557)

    The Introvert Advantage dispels common myths about introverts - they’re not necessarily shy, aloof, or antisocial - and explains how they are hardwired from birth to focus inward, so outside stimulation such as chitchat, phone calls, parties, or office meetings can easily become "too much". Most importantly, it thoroughly refutes many introverts’ belief that something is wrong with them. Instead, it helps them recognize their inner strengths - their analytical skills, ability to think outside the box, and strong powers of concentration.

    Robert says: "Read the book Quiet instead"
    "Very Illuminating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would recommend it. It helped me understand and feel much better about many aspects of myself and my daughter and husband, all "innies". Helped to give me patience and not feel so worried.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Lots of practical observations that resonate with my everyday life


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes it did, I just found the narrator's voice a little bit too polished and monotone. But that is probably the innie in me thinking it could have been better.


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

    Not possible, its too long.


    Any additional comments?

    A really important read for those who want to have better self understanding and better understanding of their children.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anna Karenina

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Alfred Molina
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (5)

    Filled with unforgettable characters, rich in history and social realism, Anna Karenina is a masterpiece of world literature, a story that fires the imagination and touches the heart.

    Anthony says: "horrible audio-terrible abridgment"
    "not so excited about the narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    definitely time well spent, its a classic and everyone should listen to it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Anna Karenina?

    all of it, its a tremendous tour de force


    What three words best describe Alfred Molina’s performance?

    A bit tedious to listen to. A little monochromatic


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fifth Woman: A Kurt Wallander Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Henning Mankell
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (777)
    Performance
    (375)
    Story
    (381)

    In an African convent, four nuns and an unidentified fifth woman are brutally murdered, and the death of the unknown woman is covered up by the local police. A year later in Sweden, Inspector Kurt Wallander is baffled and appalled by two strange murders with an elusive connection to the fifth woman.

    Rebecca says: "A new Henning Mankell fan is born"
    "Great listen, despite the narration"
    Overall

    This was my first Mankell mystery and I completely enjoyed it. I love the characters, particularly the hero detective. The narration is deadpan but you quickly stop paying attention to it as you are eager to hear what happens next. Nice integration of a bit of social commentary and a perspective about contemporary politics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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