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Jeanette Finan

Little Rock, Arkansas | Member Since 2009

106
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 32 reviews
  • 184 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 43 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
6

  • Elegy for Eddie: A Maisie Dobbs Novel, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Winspear
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (386)
    Performance
    (321)
    Story
    (327)

    To the costermongers of Covent Garden Eddie Pettit was a gentle soul with a gift for working with horses. When Eddie is killed in a violent accident, the grieving costers are skeptical about the cause of his death. Who would want to kill Eddie - and why? Maisie Dobbs' father, Frankie, had been a costermonger, so she had known the men since childhood. She remembers Eddie fondly and is determined to offer her help. But it soon becomes clear that powerful political and financial forces are equally determined to prevent her from learning the truth behind Eddie's death.

    connie says: "listen saved by last quarter of novel but..."
    "Slightly Flawed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I ended up kind of conflicted about this story after I finished it. On one hand I liked it very much but there were a couple of things that bugged me. One of them was that some of the character's started taking pot shots at Maisie regarding the way she was handling her new found wealth. They were telling her that trying to help some of the people she cared about was putting them under an obligation to her that was not a good thing. Masie would not be where she is if not for this kind of generosity from Maurice, Lady Compton and to some extent Pricilla. I kind of felt like they were trying to keep her in her place as if they were afraid she would move on with her life and leave her working class background behind like this was some kind of a bad thing.

    As a result I thought that then Maisie, never very secure about herself anyway, over reactes with what seemed to me with teenage angst (and believe me I have seen enough teen age angst to recognize it when I see it) and started clutching her working class background like a hair shirt she was afraid to take off for fear she wouldn't be normal anymore unless she was itching. As a result poor James ended up in the crossfire. Maisie needs to pull herself together, grow a tougher skin and grow up a little.

    But I thought the mystery was good and I could see the basis for some darn good stories in the future. And as ever, Windspeare does a stellar job of nailing the time and place. She obviously is as fascinated with that era as I am.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Harper Lee
    • Narrated By Sissy Spacek
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (30)

    Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south - and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred, available now for the first time as a digital audiobook. One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than 40 languages, sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the 20th century by librarians across the country.

    Alan says: "Stunning"
    "Pure Genius"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was a re-read for me. I read it several years ago and like most of the rest of the world I loved it. I have been checking from to to time to see if audible had added it to their catalog and finally it showed up.

    I purchased it the day it became available and immediately listened to it straight through and it was magic. Sissy Spacek's narration is pure genius. It takes what was already one of the best books I had ever read and manages to add even more dimensions to it. I grew up in small towns in the South and was a little girl very much like Scout. I was transported straight back into my childhood. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • In Falling Snow: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Mary-Rose MacColl
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (34)

    Iris Crane's tranquil life is shattered when a letter summons memories from her bittersweet past: her first love, her best friend, and the tragedy that changed everything. Iris, a young Australian nurse, travels to France during World War I to bring home her 15-year-old brother, who ran away to enlist. But in Paris she meets the charismatic Dr. Frances Ivens, who convinces Iris to help establish a field hospital in the old abbey at Royaumont, staffed entirely by women - a decision that will change her life.

    Jeanette Finan says: "A wonderful Book"
    "A wonderful Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This month marks the 100th anniversary of World War One, also known as The Great War. The early 20th century is my favorite period of history and some very notable books have been set in this time period. This book is probably going on my list of best reads in 2014.

    Falling Snow is a beautifully written book that focusses on the lives of some very strong women, both in the past and the present. It's also a very poignant book as there was nothing about that war that wasn't sad. But it is also a very uplifting book about accomplishments, love, secrets, sorrows and survival both in the past and the present.

    My only quibble with the book is that it switched back and forth between the past and the future. That's always a problem with me but if the book is good enough I don't groan too loud.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Care and Management of Lies: A Novel of the Great War

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Winspear
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    By July 1914, the ties between Kezia Marchant and Thea Brissenden, friends since girlhood, have become strained - by Thea's passionate embrace of women's suffrage, and by the imminent marriage of Kezia to Thea's brother, Tom, who runs the family farm. When Kezia and Tom wed, just a month before war is declared between Britain and Germany, Thea's gift to Kezia is a book on household management - a veiled criticism of the bride's prosaic life to come.

    Jeanette Finan says: "Not up to this authors other books"
    "Not up to this authors other books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book didn't work nearly as well for me as Winspeare's Masie Dobbs series does. It was OK I guess but sadly I found it very predictable. I would not recommend it unless you knew nothing about that era and wanted the history lesson. As always Winspeare does a great job with the atmosphere of that time but there is really nothing driving this book as far as story. I knew in the first chapter how it was going to end.

    What I did enjoy about the book was her portrait of life on a small Kentish farm. I also enjoyed the way Kezia, the wife who ran the farm and kept the home fires burning while her husband went off to war. She painted lovely word pictures in her letters to him of imaginary meals that she was cooking for them as if he was there with her. I thought that was a lovely way to convey a feeling of comfort and a connection to home. That was cleverly done by the author although the recipes did wander out into left field from time to time.

    I did not care for the ending. It ended too abruptly. I know that Happy Ever Afters were thin on the ground at the end of WW1 but I'm not a reader who needs stark reality all the time. A little fantasy can be a good thing sometimes.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Hong Kong

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Jan Morris
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Hong Kong is the world’s most exciting city, at once fascinating and exasperating, a tangle of contradictions. It is a dazzling amalgam of conspicuous consumption and primitive poverty, the most architecturally incongruous yet undeniably beautiful urban panorama of all. Through firsthand reportage, world-renowned travel writer Jan Morris takes us through the crowded streets of this enigmatic city, offering the most insightful and comprehensive study of Hong Kong thus far. She reviews Hong Kong’s early days as a British opium port controlled by pirates, cutthroats, and scoundrel tycoons, and looks ahead to the city’s future.

    Jeanette Finan says: "An interesting but mild disappointment"
    "An interesting but mild disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a big fan of travel books and if this were 1995 and if I was planning to travel to Hong Kong I would have found this book invaluable. It's an interesting and well written snap shot of Hong Kong during the 1980's with a brief mentions here and there of what happened in the past as background information for what is happening at the present. All from a British POV. But as reader looking for a comprehensive history of Hong Kong this book falls short.

    To be fair my negative opinions are very likely to be the result of my expectations. I recently finished Sarum by Edward Rutherford and have Russka on my TBR pile and I'm probably spoiled by books that practically take one back to the big bang.

    What this book does is give to give the reader a sense of what colonial Hong Kong was like for the British which is almost exactly what it was like for the British in India. They created their own self absorbed little bubble and life outside that bubble only existed as it related to them. Interesting but no surprises for the reader there.

    Where this book falls sadly short is examine the part the Chinese played. The Chinese made up 96% of the population, but are described repeatedly as a mysterious, superstitious mass. Energetic and hard working but whose motives and culture were unfathomable to the westerner.

    When I finished this book I had more questions than I had when I began and I'm off to find a real history of Hong Kong. One that includes the years after 1997 to now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Maybe Someday

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Colleen Hoover
    • Narrated By Zachary Webber, Angela Goethals
    Overall
    (273)
    Performance
    (260)
    Story
    (262)

    At 22 years old, Sydney has a great life: She’s in college; working a steady job; in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter; and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter's cheating on her - and she is left trying to decide what to do next. Sydney becomes captivated by Ridge, her mysterious neighbor. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to his playing his guitar every day out on his balcony. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either.

    Naomi says: "Definitely my new favourite book!!"
    "Very Good Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are a lot of 5 star reviews for this book both here and on amazon and I agree with almost of them. This book has a very good story line.

    Maybe Someday was almost entirelly written in the stream of conscienceless style and I have always found that style very hard going. Added to that is that there is so much angst in this story that I felt like I was running out of breath a couple of times. All that angst kept accumulating in my brain the way mud accumulates on your boots does when you walk across a muddy field after a wet spell.

    On the up side I really liked the characters in this story and thought it was beautifully read. Both narraters did a wonderful job of breathing life into them. But I didn't want to spend so much time in Ridge and Sydney's heads. I wanted the story to be more about what they were actually doing and less time about what was going their heads.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Then Came Heaven

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By LaVyrle Spencer
    • Narrated By Amy Irving
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Eddie Olczak, devoted husband and father, a man of unshakable faith, derives intense pleasure from the life he's built with his wife, Krystyna, their 2 daughters, and the Catholic church where he both works and worships. So when a tragic accident takes Krystyna's life, Eddie is sure his heart is broken forever. Friends and family rally around the Olczaks in their time of grief, but with Sister Regina, things are different.

    Jane says: "Terrible sound production."
    "Great Story, Terrible Audio Quality, Poor Reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was happy to see this story here in unabridged format but I had to think hard before I bought it. I bought it in spite of it being so poorly done. I am surprised that audible offered it for sale. It certainly doesn't reflect well on them. But I can't complain too much because I bought it with my eyes open.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stella Bain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Anita Shreve
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (53)

    When an American woman, Stella Bain, is found suffering from severe shell shock in an exclusive garden in London, surgeon August Bridge and his wife selflessly agree to take her in. A gesture of goodwill turns into something more as Bridge quickly develops a clinical interest in his houseguest. Stella had been working as a nurse's aide near the front, but she can't remember anything prior to four months earlier when she was found wounded on a French battlefield.

    Jean says: "A captivating story"
    "No more Anita Shreve for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Earlier this week I purchased "Stella Bain" (audiobook) I started listening to it and then finally gave up on it. I may try again later but I probably won't. For me it fell into the same category as The English Patient. Beautiful writing but absolutely no story.

    I can overlook a lot in a good story including bad writing. But I can't overlook no story even if it is good writing. If I'm going to plunk my money down on a book I insist on a story. In Stella Bain I felt that the author was enamored by her own prose and was indulging herself by trying to work her words into some sort of a story in order to show how clever she was. If she gets off on stroking her ego that's her business but it really ticks me off when an author does it on my dime. Anita Shreve has been a hit and miss author for me in the past but I am definitely over her now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Daniel James Brown
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (929)
    Performance
    (848)
    Story
    (857)

    Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

    Benoibe says: "Best book of the year!"
    "An Amazing Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the two really outstanding non fiction books I read recently. The book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew that won an Olympic Gold Medal in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

    But this is a book about more than just a story about overcoming hard times but about what we are made of and what we can accomplish if we really make up our minds to do it. It's a shame that the title True Grit has already been used for a story because it would really fit this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Where She Went

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Gayle Forman
    • Narrated By Dan Bittner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (229)
    Performance
    (175)
    Story
    (176)

    It's been three years since the devastating accident... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever. Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock-star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.

    Arwen says: "Groovy and the Geek"
    "Not quite as good as "If I Stay""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this audiobook the minute I saw it was out and available on audio. It is a sequel to "If I Stay" and I am sorry to have to say that I was a little disappointed with it. I loved "If I Stay" but this one just didn't have the charm and poignancy the first book had. It felt flat - especially when compared to it predecessor. Still I'm glad I bought it because even though I knew "Where she went" I really wanted to know what happened when she got there.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow of the Titanic: The Extraordinary Stories of those Who Survived

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Andrew Wilson
    • Narrated By Bill Wallis
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (132)

    Although we think we know the story of the Titanic - the famously unsinkable ship that hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Britain to America in April 1912 - little has been written about what happened to the survivors after the tragedy. How did the loss of the ship shape the lives of the people who survived? How did those who were saved feel about those who perished? And how did they remember that terrible night?

    Tad Davis says: "Wonderful"
    "I'm sorry that I didn't like this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was well written and the subject of the book was interesting to me. I just couldn't get past that author presumed to write about dying peoples last thoughts and actions in a way that he could not possibly have known about.

    The book is a non-fictional account of the lives of a selected group of the survivors. All of them very deeply effected by the experience, some of them so much that it changed the entire course of their lives. A few were unable to cope and committed suicide. Some of them did not leave notes. However the author described the dying thoughts and actions of several people as if he had been there and was privy to their last thoughts. This really bothered me. It bothered me a lot. I felt like the author was being disrespectful to the people he was writing about. These were real people! He didn't even write any kind of disclaimer that explained why he decided he had the right to co-opt their last minutes. And then as a result of that I had another issue. How much credence can you give to anything in the book once you feel the author did at least part of his research in thin air. Otherwise I would have rated it at least four stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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