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Zan

Love novels, love to laugh.

Ashland, OR | Member Since 2006

17
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 29 ratings
  • 552 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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  • Dogs and Goddesses

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jennifer Crusie, Anne Stuart, Lani Diane Rich
    • Narrated By Renée Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (260)
    Performance
    (113)
    Story
    (115)

    Abby has just arrived in Summerville, Ohio, with her placid Newfoundland, Bowser. She's reluctantly inherited her grandmother's coffee shop, but it's not long before she's brewing up trouble in the form of magical baked goods and steaming up her life with an exasperating college professor. And then there's Daisy, a Web-code writer, and her hyperactive Jack Russell, Bailey. Her tightly wound world spins out of control when she discovers the chaos within and meets a mysterious dog trainer.

    Hojobo65 says: "painfully bad"
    "Entertaining"
    Overall

    This is very light reading that I found delightful. The characters were such fun and it was wonderful to have an "older woman" as a main character for those of us that are not in our early 20's.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • How to Talk to a Widower

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jonathan Tropper
    • Narrated By Eric Ruben
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (90)

    Doug Parker is a widower at age 29, and in his quiet suburban town, that makes him something of a celebrity - the object of sympathy, curiosity, and, in some cases, unbridled desire. But Doug has other things on his mind. First there's his 16-year-old stepson, Russ - a once-sweet kid who now is getting into increasingly serious trouble on a daily basis. And then there are Doug's sisters.

    Zan says: "The Characters Have Character"
    "The Characters Have Character"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jonathan Tropper created such memorable characters, I can't seem to shake them and I'm hopeful he'll write about them again. The book was wonderful -- he captured how annihilating losing a spouse can be. There are some very poignant moments. The family was a stitch as well as a heart breaker.

    I have read Tropper's books and find them hysterical and thought-provoking. I listened to one other of Tropper's which was narrated by Scott Brick. He is a very talented and popular narrator. However, in my opinion, he does not have comedic timing. Eric Ruben, on the other hand, is terrific and I found myself laughing out loud many times. He was excellent. He really added to the book and I'm hopeful that future books by this author will be read by Ruben or others rather than using Brick.

    This is a book I will listen to again and encourage you to spend the credit.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Bad Monkey

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Arte Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (883)
    Performance
    (780)
    Story
    (789)

    Andrew Yancy - late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff’s office - has a human arm in his freezer. There’s a logical (Hiaasenian) explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its shadowy owner. Yancy thinks the boating-accident/shark-luncheon explanation is full of holes, and if he can prove murder, the sheriff might rescue him from his grisly Health Inspector gig (it’s not called the roach patrol for nothing). But first - this being Hiaasen country - Yancy must negotiate an obstacle course of wildly unpredictable events with a crew of even more wildly unpredictable characters.

    James says: "Disappointed"
    "Read this book -- don't listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another zany adventure from Hiaasen. Not my favorite, but that could be due to the narrator. He has a sort of New York accent. He'd probably be great reading Elmore Leonard's work but he doesn't fit here. It's a shame. So I'd say don't miss it, just don't listen to it. I'm going to read it and I think I'll enjoy it more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Family Business

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Carl Weber, Eric Pete
    • Narrated By Ezra Knight, Patricia R. Floyd, Michael Early
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (411)
    Performance
    (362)
    Story
    (366)

    New York Times best-selling author Carl Weber and award-winning novelist Eric Pete team up to deliver the first in a much-anticipated new trilogy. The Family Business features two times the heat, two times the fun, and two times the drama as the members of an unforgettable family (not to mention their lovers and hangers-on) find their way in and out of trouble. As their many fans will attest, Weber and Pete share a talent for penning juicy fiction that their audience can’t get enough of.

    Dream says: "The story unfolds"
    "Tough Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The positive part of this book is the performance. I enjoyed all of the narrators. And there's a great twist in the story.

    However for me, it's difficult to listen when I don't like any of the characters in the book. They are really hateful, antisocial people. The youngest daughter doesn't seem believable at all. Very one dimensional. The family's mother is a bit redeeming. Overall, these are not people I wanted to get to know. I continued to listen, however as I wanted to learn whether what goes around would come around in this tale.

    Cannot recommend this one.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Bossypants

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Tina Fey
    • Narrated By Tina Fey
    Overall
    (17883)
    Performance
    (13730)
    Story
    (13675)

    Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told....

    Warren says: "Tina Fey broke my new SUV"
    "If you want to laugh, read this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Tina Fey can write...and read. She was a great narrator of her very funny book. In fact, I think listening to her probably made the book much better than reading it. I'm still laughing thinking about some of her descriptions.

    I enjoyed the peek behind the scenes and learning about the actors as people. And since reading the book, have watched and appreciated 30 Rock. She is candid in relating personal details about her birth family as well as her husband and daughter. In fact, I think I want to be her best friend.

    Listening to the video in the book is a bonus. And be sure and download the PDF.

    .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ask for It

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Sylvia Day
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (598)
    Performance
    (551)
    Story
    (552)

    Nothing incites Marcus more than the primal hunger roused by his former fiancée, Elizabeth. It’s been years since she jilted him for another man, but that only means there’s a lot to catch up on, a lot to make up for, and that he’s going to enjoy every sweet moment.… The same drive and passion that sent her into another man’s arms is what brings Elizabeth back to Marcus. Her attraction to him is the one thing she fears, but she’s run out of options. Resisting is impossible. But does she have the courage to surrender everything?

    nicole says: "narrator kills it...dead"
    "Courldn't Get Through It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I couldn't listen to this book. I found it boring, didn't like the narration, and found it dragged. I see where others have said it picks up a little, but I couldn't wait for it. Audible and I have been attached for several years and this is only the second book I couldn't get through.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Back to Blood: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Tom Wolfe
    • Narrated By Lou Diamond Phillips
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (532)
    Performance
    (437)
    Story
    (441)

    As a police launch speeds across Miami's Biscayne Bay - with officer Nestor Camacho on board - Tom Wolfe is off and running. Here is a big, panoramic story of the new America, as told by our master chronicler of the way we live now. Based on the same sort of detailed, on-scene, high-energy reporting that powered Tom Wolfe's previous best-selling novels, Back to Blood is another brilliant, spot-on, scrupulous, and often hilarious reckoning with our times.

    Cynthia says: "Masterful Story-tel!ing & Great Narration!"
    "He does it again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Once again Tom Wolfe gives us a wonderful novel. The characters are so defined and the story is great. He's an amazing author. I loved CHARLOTTE SIMMONS and this book is equally as terrific. Lou Diamond Phillips is the perfect choice to narrate this novel.
    In mid winter in Oregon, it was good to spend some time in Florida.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Until Tuesday

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Luis Carlos Montalvan
    • Narrated By Luis Carlos Montalvan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (720)
    Performance
    (559)
    Story
    (564)

    A highly decorated captain in the U.S. Army, Luis Montalvan never backed down from a challenge during his two tours of duty in Iraq. After returning home, however, the pressures of his physical wounds, traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder began to take their toll. In constant physical pain, he soon found himself unable to climb a simple flight of stairs or face a bus ride to the VA hospital. He drank; he argued; he cut himself off from those he loved. Then Luis met Tuesday, a beautiful and sensitive golden retriever....

    Char says: "Very Good Book"
    "Special Dog and a Special Man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author/reader reveals so much in this terrific book. The reader can learn so much about different types of dog training, about relationships, about war and about PTSD. The book made me want to sit down with Luis Montalvan and have a long conversation. His candidness is quite uncommon and much appreciated. This book really moved me.

    The result of how dogs impact people is fascinating and explained very well in the book. If you are a dog lover, you will be an "Until Tuesday" lover. And thankfully, no dogs die in this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3107)
    Performance
    (2841)
    Story
    (2825)

    Iris Scanlon, Half-Moon Hollow's only daytime vampire concierge, knows more about the undead than she'd like. Running all their daylight errands - from letting in the plumber to picking up some chilled O neg - gives her a look at the not-so-glamorous side of vampire life. Her rules are strict; relationships with vamps are strictly business, not friendship - and certainly not anything else. But then she finds her newest client, Cal, poisoned on his kitchen floor, and only Iris can help.

    yasmine32068 says: "Once again this should have disclaimers"
    "She's back!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Molly Harper does it again. More witty repartee -- another fun read. She uses a clever way to continue to connect with past characters. It's entertaining to go back to the Hollow and catch up a little with Jane, Andrea and Jolene. Do miss Zeb, Dick and Gabriel, though.

    I wonder if Ms. Harper would consider doing another "Nice Girls" book about Jane and Jamie? In my opinion, Jane is the most entertaining as she comes with her wonderful and zany family. When Jane and Zeb get together, it's generally pretty funny.

    Overall though, as long as Molly Harper keeps writing, I'm a happy camper. It's such fun to find books like hers that give me good laughs consistently.

    Speaking of which, I'd love to know what's happening in Grundy, Alaska these days.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5956)
    Performance
    (5166)
    Story
    (5156)

    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"
    "Beautiful Ruins, beautiful book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a wonderful novel that is beautifully written. Can't imagine that there is anyone that wouldn't find something in this book that strikes a chord. Jess Walter introduces us to each character by presenting them in such a thorough way. Mr. Walter has presented an opportunity to see that it's never too late; that redemption is possible. He shows us that good things exist if we choose to reach for them.

    Listening to Edoardo Ballerini, a master, read this book is delicious. Each of the characters are enhanced by his interpretation.

    I didn't want this book to end. I wanted to hear more about these people that were brought to life. They all have depth. And the book did not leave me frustrated with the "what happened to's". In other words, the story is complete.

    Luckily, there are more novels by Jess Walter and more books read by Edoardo Ballerini.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Next Best Thing: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Jennifer Weiner
    • Narrated By Olivia Thirlby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (309)
    Performance
    (268)
    Story
    (273)

    At 23, Ruth Saunders headed west with her 70-year-old grandma in tow, hoping to be hired as a television writer. Four years later, she's hit the jackpot when she gets The Call: the sitcom she wrote, The Next Big Thing, has gotten the green light, and Ruthie's going to be the show-runner. But her dreams of Hollywood happiness are threatened by demanding actors, number-crunching executives, an unrequited crush on a boss, and her grandmother's impending nuptials.

    Rebecca says: "Funny Story!"
    "Just okay."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read all of Jennifer Weiner's books. Her early works with that "witty repartee" were more enjoyable for me. I think, though that part of why I didn't enjoy this book more was because of the narrator. Olivia Thirlby's voice sounds (to me) too young and no Boston accent either. More importantly her comic timing isn't good. I think if I had read this book, it would have been funnier. There are some good lines but the narrator misses them.
    The ending was very obvious, I thought. That's disappointing to me.
    Still, the book is worth reading. Most people will be able to relate to the theme of not fitting in; of missing out on a chunk of life, etc. But I would recommend against listening to this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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