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Charlene

Cape Town, South Africa | Member Since 2013

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 42 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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  • The Rosie Project

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Graeme Simsion
    • Narrated By Dan O'Grady
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (167)
    Performance
    (152)
    Story
    (155)

    Meet Don. Don is a genetics professor who just might be somewhere on the autistic spectrum. He looks a little like Gregory Peck and is getting married. He just doesn’t know who to yet. But he has designed a very detailed questionnaire to help him find the perfect woman. And it’s definitely not Rosie. Absolutely, completely, definitely not .Rosie, meanwhile, isn’t looking for love; she’s looking for her biological father. Sometimes, though, you don’t find love: love finds you...

    Adele says: "Aspergers Cliche? No, I loved it!"
    "Delightfully different!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Rosie Project the most enjoyable?

    The story was so different to anything I've read (the only other book related to an autistic character was Mark Haddon's The curious incident of the dog in the night-time). I loved how he saw the world -- it really made me think about how I see the world and how others might see it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Rosie Project?

    There were many moments that made me smile. When he tried to think like a 'normal' person and in the end insulted Rosie. So bittersweet! And the DNA collections were just hilarious.


    Have you listened to any of Dan O'Grady’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. Loved his narration.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Rosie Project and why?

    Don, obviously.


    Any additional comments?

    This is one of those books that I started listening to with no expectations and in the end loved it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Creativity Inc.

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Ed Catmull
    • Narrated By Peter Altschuler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: To make the world’s first computer-animated movie. He nurtured that dream first as a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, where many computer science pioneers got their start, and then forged an early partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his founding Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter in 1986. Nine years later and against all odds, Toy Story was released, changing animation forever.

    Aaron Zammit (aazamm@orbit.net.mt) says: "Very captivating and good read"
    "Great for any manager"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Creativity Inc.?

    I work in the magazine industry and there were so many things he touched on that applies to my environment. Creativity is creativity. I loved the advice and how he outlines the successes and the failures. This book inspired me in so many ways and I would recommend it to anyone who a) wants to be a better leader and manager (there is a difference) and (b) who works with creative people. This is one of my best reads in a while.


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

    It made me change some of the ways I work and I'm filing some of the nuggets for when I can use it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Until You're Mine

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Samantha Hayes
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    You have something that someone else wants.At any cost ...Claudia seems to have the perfect life. She's heavily pregnant with a much wanted baby, she has a loving husband, and a beautiful home. And then Zoe steps into her life. Zoe has come to help Claudia when her baby arrives. But there's something about Zoe that Claudia doesn't like. Or trust. And when she finds Zoe in her bedroom, Claudia's anxiety turns to real fear ...

    Charlene says: "Nice holiday listen (except if you're pregnant)"
    "Nice holiday listen (except if you're pregnant)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes, but not the ones about to have a baby. It's for fans of books like Gone Girl.


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

    I saw it coming early on and unfortunately think it would have been better to read because the voices gave away the twist before you're meant to know what's going on. I think this is the first time ever a thriller twist hasn't worked in audio.


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

    I love how her voice rose and fell to indicate tension, confusion, etc.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a great holiday read but if you've read other books in this genre you'll figure out the twist early on. Still, I wanted to see how it played out and that was enjoyable enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elegance of the Hedgehog

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Muriel Barbery
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat, Cassandra Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2121)
    Performance
    (1101)
    Story
    (1122)

    An enchanting New York Times and international best seller and award-winner about life, art, literature, philosophy, culture, class, privilege, and power, seen through the eyes of a 54-year-old French concierge and a precocious but troubled 12-year-old girl.

    Pyles says: "It surprised me"
    "Takes a while to get into it but hang in there"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes but only people interested in books that tell the story between the lines instead of straightfoward storytelling. If you're expecting what-you-see-is-what-you-get this is not the book for you.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Elegance of the Hedgehog?

    The end. Devastating.


    What does Barbara Rosenblat and Cassandra Morris bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I loved the tones -- those kinds of nuances may not have been so visible in just reading the book.


    Was Elegance of the Hedgehog worth the listening time?

    Yes although it's not a book I would re-read even though it would probably yield more mysteries/stories if I did.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling: Cormoran Strike, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (280)
    Performance
    (263)
    Story
    (265)

    When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.Strike is a war veteran - wounded both physically and psychologically - and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model's complex world, the darker things get - and the closer he gets to terrible danger...

    Jane says: "Hopefully this is the first of a series"
    "A wonderful experience from start to finish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Cuckoo's Calling in three words, what would they be?

    Entertaining, gripping, fun


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked both leads.


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

    No. His narration was perfect.


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

    Yes! I kept finding all sorts of excuses to start listening (I have never cleaned and ironed so much!). Haven't had so much fun reading a book in a long time.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm so glad JK wrote this after her bad one, The Casual Vacancy (couldn't get past chapter 3). This is a modern mystery with characters I could totally believe are real. I hope there's another in the works.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (127)

    Aged 13, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld.

    Cay.S says: "Such an exquisite story, I didn't want it to end"
    "Loved the book but it should've been 30% shorter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Goldfinch the most enjoyable?

    Tartt's writing is, as usual, gripping. There were so many things I couldn't predict and kept wondering where this story could possibly go after X or Y happened. She sure knows how to keep a girl hooked!


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

    I haven't but think he is a most excellent narrator. Really spot on with nuance and tone and loved how he could make the various voices sound so different from one another.


    Any additional comments?

    This really was a fanatastic book. It just went on too long in parts and I'm not sure I like the ending. It felt far too preachy and out of sync with the rest of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Longbourn

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Jo Baker
    • Narrated By Emma Fielding
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah thought, she would be more careful not to trudge through muddy fields. It is wash-day for the housemaids at Longbourn House, and Sarah's hands are chapped and bleeding. Domestic life below stairs, ruled tenderly and forcefully by Mrs Hill the housekeeper, is about to be disturbed by the arrival of a new footman smelling of the sea, and bearing secrets.

    Charlene says: "A lovely holiday read"
    "A lovely holiday read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Jo Baker and/or Emma Fielding?

    Yes, if the story sounds good.


    Would you recommend Longbourn to your friends? Why or why not?

    Only to friends who are fans of Downton Abbey.


    Which character – as performed by Emma Fielding – was your favorite?

    Sarah.


    Was Longbourn worth the listening time?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I was a bit disappointed in the end but still thought it a lovely book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Husband's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (70)

    The Husband's Secret is a funny, heartbreaking novel of marriage, grief, love, and secrets. When her husband announces he's in love with her best friend, painfully shy Tess picks up her young son and returns to her mother's house. There she begins an unexpected affair with an old flame. Rachel is a woman in her 60s consumed by grief and anger at the loss of her daughter 20 years earlier. When her son announces he is taking her beloved grandson overseas, Rachel begins a descent into deeper bitterness and pain.

    Margaret says: "Wonderful story telling"
    "Kind of glad I don't have kids after reading this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I loved how the book shows that even the smallest action can have great consequences and that rash actions can change lives forever. It also made me wonder what I would do -- I don't have kids so my world is fairly black and white on certain subjects. This book showed me the greys.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Cecelia. Her responses and reactions were the most genuine out of the three women.


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

    I could get a real sense of each woman's personality, I think. More so than if I had tried to imagine them when reading the book.


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

    Well, there is that bit that makes you raise an eyebrow... and I was pretty sad in one of the key scenes.


    Any additional comments?

    Rachel started to annoy me fairly early and in the end I really disliked her. Tess too but not to the same extent. I think her story wasn't as credible as the other two and wondered why the author wanted her in the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Katja Millay
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne, Candace Thaxton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (420)
    Performance
    (388)
    Story
    (386)

    Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her - her identity, her spirit, her will to live - pay. Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: Every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at 17 years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

    Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life.

    Kathy says: "Engrossing and well-done angsty teen novel!"
    "Great for young adults"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    No, it's great for the target audience. I think I'm perhaps a bit too mature in my tastes, which is why I found it a bit melodramatic in parts. Also a bit unbelievable in parts.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I think toning down the drama in certain sections, especially when there's heightened tension, would help. I also think some of the reactions are just too "neat"-- I doubt things would unfold in real life that way.


    Which character – as performed by Kirby Heyborne and Candace Thaxton – was your favorite?

    The female lead was really great. Josh was a bit annoying. He spoke to slowly/dragged out.


    Was The Sea of Tranquility worth the listening time?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I liked the book and could see that it would be great for young adults. But I think older readers would not find the emotional depth you need for a story like this. The issues are so weighty but are typically handled in a teenage fashion, which sometimes diminishes the credibility of the reactions. Still, would recommend it to my teenage cousins.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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