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K. G. Bates

Los Angeles, CA United States | Member Since 2005

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 58 ratings
  • 511 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014
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  • Tallgrass

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Sandra Dallas
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (326)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (101)

    During World War II, a family's life is turned upside down when the government opens a Japanese internment camp in their small Colorado town. After a young girl is murdered, all eyes (and suspicions) turn to the newcomers, the "interlopers", the "strangers". Rennie Stroud has never seen it before. She has just turned 13 and, until this time, life has pretty much been what her father told her it should be: predictable and fair.

    Laurie says: "A nice read"
    "wonderful--and enlightening"
    Overall

    One of the earlier reviewers said it reminded her of To Kill A Mockingbird, and I strongly agree. Both books featured sharply intelligent young girls, kind parents who chose to do the right thing, even in the face of popular opposition, and a strong theme of social justice adroitly woven throughout a story full of humanity and compassion. Interesting that this came along at a time public skeptism and prejudice is directed toward Muslim and Arab Americans... Well worth the read, and narrator Loreli King did a wonderful job. Strongly recommended for the young adult reader.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Chinese Chef

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Nicole Mones
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers, James Chen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (508)
    Performance
    (355)
    Story
    (358)

    When recently widowed Maggie McElroy is called to China to settle a claim against her late husbands estate, she is blindsided by the discovery that he may have led a double life. Since work is all that will keep her sane, her magazine editor assigns her to profile Sam, a half-Chinese American who is the last in a line of gifted chefs tracing back to the imperial palace. As she watches Sam gear up for Chinas Olympic culinary competition by planning the banquet of a lifetime, she begins to see past the cuisines artistry to glimpse its coherent expression of Chinese civilization.

    Dr. says: "Totally Satisfying - highly recommended"
    "Terrifically Satisfying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's kind of what would happen of The Pilot's Wife and Eat, Pray, Love were put in a Vitamix and spun around: sadness gives way to curiosity, then self-discovery and, ultimately, romance. Maggie, a thirty-something widowed food writer, is called to China by her late husband's Bejing office to resolve a possible paternity suit that demands attention according to Chinese law. Since she's going, she accepts an assignment from her employer to profile a rising-star chef, and parallel discoveries begin: Was her late husband unfaithful? Did he leave a child behind? Can Sam Liang, the Chinese-American chef she's come to profile, admit Maggie beyond his protective armor to allow her to see the emotional center of true traditional Chinese cuisine? Will Sam win a critically important competition that will finish the arc of Maggie's profile? This modern story is interspersed with the diary of Sam's grandfather, chef to China's Dowager Empress, and Sam's father, who spurned his inheritance as culinary royalty to begin a humble life in America. Family, food, forgiveness are the backbone of The Last Chinese Chef. Fans of Nicole Mones' previous work (Lost in Translation and A Cup of Light) will feel full and happy at the end of this book. New readers will be left with an appetite for more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Creole Belle: A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 19

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1649)
    Performance
    (1427)
    Story
    (1388)

    Creole Belle begins where the last book in the Dave Robicheaux series, The Glass Rainbow, ended. Dave is in a recovery unit in New Orleans, where a Creole girl named Tee Jolie Melton visits him and leaves him an iPod with the country blues song “Creole Belle” on it. Then she disappears. Dave becomes obsessed with the song and the memory of Tee Jolie and goes in search of her sister, who later turns up inside a block of ice floating in the Gulf.

    Richard Delman says: "Dave Robicheaux lives!"
    "One Of The South's Best Storytellers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In this, the 19th Robicheaux chronicle, Cajun lawman Dave Robicheaux and his partner, Clete Purcell, begin chasing one kind of evil and end up being pursued by another--one with its tentacles in both the region's racially tortured past and its environmentally precarious future. If you're not familiar with the Bobbsey Twins from Homicide (long story, explained in the book), this is as good a place to start as any. If you are, you will be very satisfied with Burke's latest tale. The infuriating complexity of his principal characters, coupled with their deep humanity and occasional nobility make the series and Burke one of the country's most honored living writers. These are not "just" mystery novels--although there is mystery and intrigue aplenty. These are highly literary anthropological explorations into a part of the country most people know about, but few people (beyond the ones who live there) know well. The books are marvelous, but this audio version, voiced, once more, by the incomparable Will Patton, makes for several mesmerizing hours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cutting for Stone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Abraham Verghese
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4926)
    Performance
    (2315)
    Story
    (2329)

    Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

    Mary Lynn says: "Brilliant story, pitch perfect narration"
    "Keep Returning to This Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One of the very best audiobooks I've ever listened to. Suni Malhotra gave a brilliant performance--tone, nuance, pacing were all perfect. Some friends thought the beginning was a tad slow, but consider it a warmup--Verghese is easing you into this amazing epic.
    Every time I see the cover of this wonderful book I punch myself for not having picked it up sooner. It's the kind of book you alternately refuse to put down--because you can't--and then deliberately put own, to prolong the inevitable time when the book must end. This is a bad analogy, but it's kind of like Gone With The Wind: memorable characters, romance all against the backdrop of a seismic change in history. Don't listen to me rave--download this book and let it wash over you. You won't be sorry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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