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M. Barbera

ratings
16
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
5

  • The Poisonwood Bible

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Dean Robertson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3288)
    Performance
    (2075)
    Story
    (2092)

    The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them all they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it - from garden seeds to Scripture - is calamitously transformed on African soil.

    Lynda Rains Bonchack says: "A long time coming..........."
    "On My Top 5 List"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Poisonwood Bible again? Why?

    YES. The book was complex and beautifully written. The author's writing style took my breath away.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The language, morals, themes, ironies!


    Which character – as performed by Dean Robertson – was your favorite?

    The oldest daughter.


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

    Yes, the climax did make me cry.


    Any additional comments?

    Everyone should read this book. There is so much to learn from it. Every English teacher and literature enthusiast should read it for the depth analysis that is possible with this novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Boy, Snow, Bird

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Helen Oyeyemi
    • Narrated By Susan Bennett, Carra Patterson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (68)

    In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty - the opposite of the life she' s left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman. A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she' d become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy' s daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African Americans passing for white.

    M. Barbera says: "For Literary Lovers"
    "For Literary Lovers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Boy, Snow, Bird to be better than the print version?

    I can only guess that the audio version is more entertaining than the print due to the quality of voice performance versus silently reading.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The parallels to Snow White and the subtlety of language.


    What about Susan Bennett and Carra Patterson ’s performance did you like?

    I loved the New York accents!


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

    There were some parts that I laughed out loud at, yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved that Boy's father was named The Ratcatcher. It was a fun book to read, but there are so many things to appreciate about the literature and craft of writing that it was not just pleasure reading.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dad Is Fat

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jim Gaffigan
    • Narrated By Jim Gaffigan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1754)
    Performance
    (1629)
    Story
    (1622)

    In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald's, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children - everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to toddlers’ communication skills ("they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news"), to the eating habits of four-year-olds ("there is no difference between a four-year-old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor").

    Sean says: "Good for Gaffigan fans - better for expecting dads"
    "Hilarious parenting empathizer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Dad Is Fat the most enjoyable?

    The fact that JG is the narrator.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The fact that it is so personal and relatable to fellow parents.


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

    I have only heard his stand-up, but think this is right along the same lines, just with more of a central focus rather than many topics.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from Dad Is Fat?

    Don't live in a 5th floor, walk-up, 2 bedroom apartment, ever- but especially when you are a family of 7.


    Any additional comments?

    For the people who said they didn't like it because there was too much parenting and marriage content...that is what the book is about! He wrote this with the intent to entertain people about his crazy life as a father and husband! It is funny.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Malala Yousafzai
    • Narrated By Archie Panjabi
    Overall
    (855)
    Performance
    (775)
    Story
    (777)

    When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York.

    Jan says: "So much more than expected..."
    "Very interesting, lots of history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up I am Malala in three words, what would they be?

    History, empowering, individualism


    What did you like best about this story?

    The personal story of Malala's life and what it was like for her to go to school and to live in a war-torn, corrupt society.


    What about Archie Panjabi’s performance did you like?

    She was realistic and appropriate for the voice of a young girl. Her accent was important; it made it more real.


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

    The explanation of her shooting, and consequent hospitalization, were very moving. I did laugh at her brothers' reactions to why she is famous.


    Any additional comments?

    First,I teach at an all-girls high school in the United States and find this book to be informative and empowering. I want my girls to appreciate their education because they don't live in a country like Pakistan. This book also inspires action because Malala is an activist. She is fearless and her bold defiance of the Taliban is exactly what can put an end to terrorism. If everyone stood up and did what she did we could put an end to the "super-bullying" that is terrorism. Secondly, There is a lot of background and historical context that is given, especially in the beginning of the book. I recognize its purpose in the novel, and think it is important to understand the setting of book, but there was a lot of detail. I really wanted to hear more about her and her life, and during some chapters I felt like there was too much historical background.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs Queen Takes the Train

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By William Kuhn
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (55)

    An absolute delight of a debut novel by William Kuhn - author of Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books - Mrs Queen Takes the Train wittily imagines the kerfuffle that transpires when a bored Queen Elizabeth strolls out of the palace in search of a little fun, leaving behind a desperate team of courtiers who must find the missing Windsor before a national scandal erupts.

    Robin says: "adorable, for american anglophiles"
    "Cute"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Mrs Queen Takes the Train rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the middle.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Mrs Queen Takes the Train?

    When the Queen does "normal" activities that are unexpected of a queen, like cooking, washing dishes etc.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Prebble – was your favorite?

    The Queen


    If you could take any character from Mrs Queen Takes the Train out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The Queen. Who doesn't want to have dinner with the royals?


    Any additional comments?

    It was a cute story and was entertaining.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • On Beauty

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Zadie Smith
    • Narrated By Peter Francis James
    Overall
    (547)
    Performance
    (129)
    Story
    (133)

    Set on both sides of the Atlantic, Zadie Smith's third novel is a brilliant analysis of family life, the institution of marriage, intersections of the personal and political, and an honest look at people's deceptions. It is also, as you might expect, very funny indeed.

    Sarah says: "two thumbs up"
    "On the Beauty of Smith's Construction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does On Beauty rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The Best.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Zadie Smith's sentence construction and diction were gorgeous. I loved the storyline and its complexities; she blended beautiful writing with modern style.


    What does Peter Francis James bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He did all the character voices so well. I enjoyed him as the main character the most, but he did all the accents perfectly.


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

    This book surprised me because it made me laugh out loud at many different points. You don't often blend amazing writing, a good story, tragic characters and literature with comedy. Smith managed to do it, and well.


    Any additional comments?

    I want to read all Zadie Smith's books now. Her modern writing is unmatched in my opinion right now, and I'm pretty critical because I'm an English teacher.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bossypants

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Tina Fey
    • Narrated By Tina Fey
    Overall
    (18307)
    Performance
    (14128)
    Story
    (14073)

    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"
    "I LOVE TINA FEY"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, because it is relevant, and funny!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Obviously Tina


    Which character – as performed by Tina Fey – was your favorite?

    Whiny people


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

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    She is the funniest woman alive. I laughed out loud multiple times and the "mother's prayer for her daughter" is the best. She gets it. Tina, we should be friends, we have a lot in common :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Stephen Chbosky
    • Narrated By Noah Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2140)
    Performance
    (1945)
    Story
    (1967)

    Most people think 15-year-old Charlie is a freak. But then seniors Patrick and his beautiful stepsister Sam take Charlie under their wings and introduce him to their eclectic, open-minded, hard-partying friends. It is from these older kids that Charlie learns to live and love.

    FanB14 says: "Intelligent, Absorbing Coming of Age Story"
    "Entertaining, but relatable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Perks of Being a Wallflower?

    The storyline of the friends an outcast makes.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Charlie, he is endearing.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The parties.


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

    It was very emotional at the end. You didn't want to see this young boy go through everything that he did. You wanted to help him!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Memoirs of a Geisha

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Arthur Golden
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3669)
    Performance
    (993)
    Story
    (1003)

    In a voice both haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri describes her life as a geisha. Taken from her home at the age of nine, she is sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. Witness her transformation as you enter a world where appearances are paramount, virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder, women beguile powerful men, and love is scorned as illusion.

    Stephanie says: "Best Book in a while"
    "Beautifully woven tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Memoirs of a Geisha rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is pretty high on the list!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Memoirs of a Geisha?

    I loved the climax of when she finally gets to be with the Chairman, of course, but there were so many other amazing moments of this novel. The depth is impressive.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The chairman


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

    Yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Simply, Mine

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Jane Carrington
    • Narrated By Erin Mallon
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Best friends Meagan Davis and Jake Nichols were born on the wrong side of the tracks. Living in a rundown trailer park - her with a welfare-scheming, neglectful mother and him with a father wounded in the Gulf War and suffering from PTSD - they forge a friendship they think is unbreakable. When Jake returns from spending the summer with his grandparents to begin their senior year, he realizes he needs and wants more. Meagan misreads his subtle hints and becomes terrified that she will lose her best friend. Prideful and too stubborn to admit her feelings, even to herself, they begin a game of jealousy that threatens to destroy everything.

    Arwen says: "Good story of friends in love!"
    "Love this Narrator!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Simply, Mine to be better than the print version?

    Yes


    What other book might you compare Simply, Mine to and why?

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower


    Which character – as performed by Erin Mallon – was your favorite?

    Megan. Erin Mallon really captures the voice of a teen girl. She has a believable and realistic quality to her voice. She portrays Megan so precisely, yet she can also diversify herself to fit the other characters as well.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Megan and Jake were fighting, especially at the Halloween party.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator can make or break an audiobook, and Erin Mallon truly outdid herself with this narration. She was able to convey male voices, and also distinguish between multiple female voices from varying age groups. I really enjoyed the clear, innocent quality to her voice, which was perfect for the protagonist in this novel. I will seek out books read by Erin in the future.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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