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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | Member Since 2009

  • 6 reviews
  • 11 ratings
  • 275 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014

  • The Submission: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Amy Waldman
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Claire Harwell hasn't settled into grief; events haven't let her. Cool, eloquent, raising two fatherless children, Claire has emerged as the most visible of the 9/11 widows who became a potent political force in the aftermath of the catastrophe. She longs for her husband, but she has found her mission: she sits on a jury charged with selecting a fitting memorial for the victims of the attack.

    Barbara says: "Some books were meant to be read..."
    "Culture and religion intertwined with skill"

    This book takes the complex interactions between culture, religion, politics, social class, family and individual ambitions and weaves them into a beautiful story that leaves you wanting more. Unsuspecting characters come together in moments that weave in and out of cultural understanding as they struggle to communicate across difference. Set within the simmering polarizations in the American psyche, this story shows the wreckage of fanaticism within the context of an increasingly powerful cosmopolitan world ethos. Breathtaking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Round House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Louise Erdrich
    • Narrated By Gary Farmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and 13-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.

    Melinda says: "Heavy in My Heart"
    "Put this one on the top of your fiction list!"

    I have almost finished listening to "The Roundhouse" by Louise Erdrick" It is about a Lakota reservation lawyer and his family who experience a violent crime and struggle to deal with it professionally, personally and within the context of First Nations community life and US legal history regarding treaty rights. The audio version is read by by a First Nations actor, Gary Farmer, and is told through the eyes of the 13 year old son. This book is so good I would rate it as high as "The Help" or "The Book of Negros" as far as excellent literature. It is a riveting story, with absolutely hilarious Native humour, loveable, heroic, pitiful and sad characters and the infuriating and debilitating injustice of living as outcasts in your own country and as prisoners in your own land. This is a must read people. Get the book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "How dare they compare this with "The Help"!"

    The obvious skill of the writer was wasted on this self-indulgent tale of lives wrecked by addiction and stupidity. After listening to hours of depressing, self-centered drivel (albeit artistically written), the ending suddenly brought everyone together and solved all their problems. The entire plot was based on shallow philosophies of life, and aimless, drifting behaviors bereft of meaning or any understanding of the world in which they were operating. Who was the reviewer who said this was the best story since "The Help"? How can anyone compare a tale of real human struggle to deal with racism, poverty and social class with this simpering, whining book about people commodifying, scewing, drinking and overdosing themselves through life?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Little Bee: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Chris Cleave
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    British couple Andrew and Sarah O'Rourke, vacationing on a Nigerian beach in a last-ditch effort to save their faltering marriage, come across Little Bee and her sister, Nigerian refugees fleeing from machete-wielding soldiers intent on clearing the beach. The horrific confrontation that follows changes the lives of everyone involved in unimaginable ways.

    Katerina says: "Good book, well told"
    "Best I've read since The Help!"

    This book is an amazing combination of touching personal stories, unique and surprising humour, biting social commentary and a very realistic portrayal of refugee experience in England. I could not wait to listen to each episode and I laughed and cried throughout the book, an experience much enhanced by the narrator's gift for accents and characters. Until now I thought that my top audible favorites were Shantaram and The Help. I have now added Little Bee as an unforgettable and deeply human story about an increasingly pressing question: what will you do when a vulnerable and suffering human being shows up on your doorstep? And between cultures that have nothing in common, where can we meet, find ways to laugh and learn to love?

    3 of 4 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

    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!"
    "Best read in years"

    This most engaging story had me absolutely captivated from beginning to end. The characters are unique, endearing, fallible and hilarious. They quietly address the most difficult issues of race from trapped places but still manage to keep their hearts and sense of humour no matter how impossible the odds. An additionally surprising benefit to this book is the collection of cleaning tips that weave through the stories of Black maids and their relationship with a struggling White woman writer in Southern USA at the time of Martin Luther King Jr. Before this book,I would never have thought housework and child care could be so charming, funny, racked with life threatening tensions and momentous decisions. The way the maids quietly teach fairness, equity and truth to the children in their charge and the very real interpersonal and political dilemmas all the characters face in this book as they strive to make connections across racial prejudice are all the more significant when placed in the context of washing dishes and toilet training...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jamie Ford
    • Narrated By Feodor Chin

    In the opening pages of Jamie Ford's stunning debut, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

    Christopher says: "Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet"
    "tender and sweet"

    I loved this book. A beautiful picture of friendship across cultures in a difficult time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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