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Karen Holbrook

Dixie Kangaroo

coastal North Carolina | Member Since 2009

ratings
113
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
25

  • Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Robert K. Massie
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (585)
    Performance
    (475)
    Story
    (471)

    The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs returns with another masterpiece of narrative biography, the extraordinary story of an obscure young German princess who traveled to Russia at fourteen and rose to become one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history.

    Elizabeth says: "Loved everyone minute!"
    "Fascinating Childhood"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Catherine the Great?

    Her strange relationship with her husband, Peter III


    What did you like best about this story?

    The section about her courtship and early marriage.


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

    No


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

    No


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Crown

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Nancy Bilyeau
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (166)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (143)

    In this debut historical thriller, an aristocratic young nun must find a legendary crown in order to save her father’s life and preserve all she holds dear. When novitiate nun Joanna Stafford learns her rebel cousin is condemned by King Henry VIII to be burned at the stake, she makes the decision to break the sacred rule of enclosure and flee her Dominican order in Dartford to stand at her cousin’s side. Arrested for interfering with king’s justice, Joanna, along with her father, Sir Richard Stafford, is sent to the Tower of London.

    Karen Holbrook says: "A real page turner!"
    "A real page turner!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Crown?

    I loved the spunky heroine and also the numerous twists in the plot. The narrator was excellent -- she had a perfect British accent with lots of expression.


    What other book might you compare The Crown to and why?

    The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory. Both books are about the time period of King Henry VIII and both have strong women as the lead characters.


    Which character ??? as performed by Nicola Barber ??? was your favorite?

    JoAnna Stafford.


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

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I was interested in the role of he nuns and friars in the time of Cromwell,

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • One Good Dog

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Susan Wilson
    • Narrated By Fred Berman, Christina Delaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (721)
    Performance
    (349)
    Story
    (349)

    Adam March is a self-made “Master of the Universe.” He has it all: the beautiful wife, the high-powered job, the glittering circle of friends. But there is a price to be paid for all these trappings, and the pressure is mounting—until the day Adam makes a fatal mistake. His assistant leaves him a message with three words: your sister called.

    Shelby says: "A cynic and a cynical dog - PERFECT!!"
    "more about a man than a dog"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to One Good Dog the most enjoyable?

    This is a wonderful book about redemption. Adam lost his high power job after he blows up at his secretary. He needs to come to terms with his past. Community service work helps him find his way back.


    What other book might you compare One Good Dog to and why?

    The good pig


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The dogs huddled under the bridge in the snow storm


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

    the dog fighting descriptions made my skin crawl


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Every Last One

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Anna Quindlen
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (975)
    Performance
    (257)
    Story
    (265)

    In this breathtaking and beautiful novel, the #1 New York Times best-selling author Anna Quindlen creates an unforgettable portrait of a mother, a father, a family, and the explosive, violent consequences of what seem like inconsequential actions.

    Kimberly says: "Almost Unbearably Sad, Completely Wonderful"
    "too much detail"
    Overall

    This is a story of an ordinary upper-middle class family who daily conversations and trivia are described in detail by an obsessive mother. Even when a horrible tragedy strikes the family near the middle of the book I still felt like a distant on-looker. It was difficult to relate to any of the characters.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Corrections

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By Jonathan Franzen
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (685)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (137)

    The Corrections is a grandly entertaining novel for the new century - a comic, tragic masterpiece about a family breaking down in an age of easy fixes. Richly realistic, darkly hilarious, deeply humane, it confirms Jonathan Franzen as one of our most brilliant interpreters of American society and the American soul.

    Charles says: "A memorable book; flawless narration"
    "Beatuiful prose, Unappealing characters"
    Overall

    This was a sad book. Each character had an irredeemable flaw. The author seems to dwell on bathroom behaviors.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jonathan Franzen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3470)
    Performance
    (1193)
    Story
    (1197)

    Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul - the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter - environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man - she was doing her small part to build a better world.

    Lawrence says: "Believe the Hype"
    "Insightful"
    Overall

    Franzen's characters are so well developed I felt they could be members of my own family. He writes in beautiful prose on how too much freedom can wreak havoc on our lives and our environment. I loved the narrator. He had just the right tone of cynicism in his voice.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • People of the Book

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Geraldine Brooks
    • Narrated By Edwina Wren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1042)
    Performance
    (495)
    Story
    (488)

    This ambitious, electrifying work traces the harrowing journey of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript created in 15th-century Spain.

    When it falls to Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, to conserve this priceless work, the series of tiny artifacts she discovers in its ancient binding - an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair - only begin to unlock its deep mysteries.

    Yvette says: "Amazing, fabulous, wonderful!!!"
    "Interesting idea-poorly executed"
    Overall

    The author has an interesting premise but I wanted to hear more abut the actual construction and conservation of ancient manuscripts and less about the hardships of Jews through-out the ages. The narration was grating on my ears. Her Slavic and British accents were unconvincing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Weight of Silence

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Heather Gudenkauf
    • Narrated By Jim Colby, Eliza Foss, Cassandra Morris, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (609)
    Performance
    (481)
    Story
    (479)

    It happens quietly one August morning. As dawn's shimmering light drenches the humid Iowa air, two families awaken to find their little girls have gone missing in the night. Now these families are tied by the question of what happened to their children. And the answer is trapped in the silence of unspoken family secrets.

    Sara says: "A jewel"
    "Shallow"
    Overall

    The characters are not well drawn. The mother is the wimp, the mute child's eitiology is unbelievable. I could not stand the narrators' voices. I skipped through portions of the book that seemed irrelevant to the weak plot.

    7 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
    Overall
    (26956)
    Performance
    (13587)
    Story
    (13635)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
    "Fantastic!"
    Overall

    I didn't want to get out of the car. This audiobook was so good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shanghai Girls: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Lisa See
    • Narrated By Janet Song
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1360)
    Performance
    (589)
    Story
    (598)

    Hoping to improve their social standing, May and Pearl's parents arrange for their daughters to "Gold Mountain men" who have come from Los Angeles to find brides. But when the sisters leave China and arrive at Angel's Island (the Ellis Island of the West, where they are detained, interrogated, and humiliated for months) they feel the harsh reality of leaving home. And when May discovers she's pregnant, the situation becomes even more desperate. The sisters make a pact that no one can ever know.

    Frances says: "Touching, sad, and enjoyable"
    "I Loved it"
    Overall

    The characters are so well developed. Even though they came from a completely different culture I felt I knew each of them. It is an interesting story of the Chinese in America in the mid 20th century.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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