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Bonnie

Sequim, WA, United States | Member Since 2011

20
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 25 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 22 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • Elegance of the Hedgehog

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Muriel Barbery
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat, Cassandra Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2024)
    Performance
    (1017)
    Story
    (1037)

    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"
    "A fascinating masterpiece!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This tale of two women--or, rather, a woman and a girl--is indeed masterful. Each is not as she might appear on the surface, and the appreciation each has for the world in which she finds herself is wry and delightful. Fascinating to see the apparently dumpy concierge finally showing her true plumage as an unusual romance comes her way, while the child finds herself finally coming to appreciate the life given her as she finds herself caught up in her new friend's life.

    Seeing these two each blossoming in the heart of a Parisian apartment complex is indeed a joy.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Thirteenth Child

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Patricia C. Wrede
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (612)
    Performance
    (554)
    Story
    (558)

    Eff was born a thirteenth child. Her twin brother, Lan, is the seventh son of a seventh son. This means he's supposed to possess amazing talent - and she's supposed to bring only bad things to her family and her town. Undeterred, her family moves to the frontier, where her father will be a professor of magic at a school perilously close to the magical divide that separates settlers from the beasts of the wild. With wit and wonder, Patricia Wrede creates an alternate history of westward expansion that will delight fans of both J. K. Rowling and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

    Erin - Audible says: "History, Magic, Teens, & Not An Inkling of Romance"
    "A fascinating alternate history for our land"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Eff struggles to find her place while seeking to limit the damage she might cause, what with being the thirteenth child born to her family and the older twin to her brother Lan, a seventh son of a seventh son. Everyone knows, after all, that Double Sevens are both lucky and powerful natural magicians, while thirteenth children are bad luck to have around and certain to go bad. But in trying to control the curse she fears lies on her, is Eff likely to destroy her own considerable magic power?

    Far from the prejudice shown by her father's family back east, Eff finds Mill City on the Mammoth River to offer far more acceptance than she'd known as a small child. And as she grows she becomes increasingly fascinated by the lands west of the Great Divide where a powerful magic boundary runs along the river, keeping creatures such as mammoths and wooly rhinos, sphinxes and ice dragons west of the mixed spells set up to protect the settled lands. In this alternate United States, after all, magic is a real source of power; and it is both respected and necessary for those who wish to settle in the plains west of the river. Or, is it as necessary as is commonly believed?

    Patricia Wrede has written a fascinating first volume in what promises to be an entertaining and thought-provoking series of a girl growing up on the leading edge of a growing nation in which magic is a common feature of life. Perhaps inspired equally by Laura Ingals Wilder, J.K. Rowling, and Orson Scott Card's Alvin Maker series. Narration is good, but could be better, I think.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of One

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (2690)
    Performance
    (1515)
    Story
    (1518)

    Born in a South Africa divided by racism and hatred, this one small boy will come to lead all the tribes of Africa. Through enduring friendships with Hymie and Gideon, Peekay gains the strength he needs to win out. And in a final conflict with his childhood enemy, the Judge, Peekay will fight to the death for justice.

    Bob says: "Compelling story lifted higher by the narration"
    "Both striking and inspiring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Of all the books I've read lately, this grabbed me fastest and has influenced me most. Told from the point of view of Peekay, a child of British breeding in South Africa, we see the roiling struggle for dominance and rule between the Boers and the British and the accompanying struggle for survival and dignity of the many native tribes and clans that made up the black majority in the region. How did a small but brilliant boy from a poor white family come to inspire the clans to unite and reach for the hope they know is there as much for them as for anyone else?

    The story is gripping, the characters sympathetic, the time period fascinating, and the narration superb. Definitely not a book to ignore!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Quick Red Fox: A Travis McGee Novel, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By John D. MacDonald
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (258)
    Performance
    (215)
    Story
    (211)

    It was the standard blackmail scheme. For years, sultry Lysa Dean's name on a movie had meant a bonanza at the box office. Now a set of pictures could mean the end of her career.When first approached for help by lovely Dana Holtzer, Lysa's personal secretary, Travis McGee is thoroughly turned off by the tacky details. But being low on cash, and tenderly attracted by the star's intriguingly remote secretary, McGee sets out to locate his suspects -- only to find that they start turning up dead!

    Grace says: "stark hollywood"
    "Most satisfying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sex kitten Lisa Dean is most men's dream as a possible sexual partner, but not for Travis McGee, who is more attracted to Ms. Dean's private secretary. Too bad that this secretary is considered the Ice Queen, for he's instructed to work with the woman to find some damning photos taken at an impromptu swinging house party and see them destroyed.

    Who killed the photographer, though, and appears willing to do anything possible to keep McGee and his female companion from completing their commission?

    I last read this book shortly after it was first published, back in the sixties, as my older brother and I "borrowed" it from our dad's collection to read it for ourselves. John D. MacDonald founded the genre of the thriller as far as I'm concerned, and his books are as readable now as they were when they were first released.

    Enjoy!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Fire Rose

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Mercedes Lackey
    • Narrated By Kate Black-Regan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (273)
    Performance
    (174)
    Story
    (176)

    Accepting employment as a governess after hard times hit her family, medieval scholar Rosalind Hawkins is surprised when she learns that her mysterious employer has no children and only wants her to read to him through a speaking tube.

    Chelyn says: "Great story, poorly presented"
    "Story decent; visual disability a laugh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The daughter of a professor and a scholar of medieval literature and languages in her own right, Rosalind Hawkins is uncertain as to what her future holds when her father dies unexpectedly and she learns his creditors intend to take everything he'd ever owned. The offer to become a governess to two children living in an isolated home north of San Francisco sounds almost too good to be true. When she learns that the children do not exist, but instead her new employer wishes her to read to him through a speaking tube she's not certain what to think.

    Whom should she believe--her new employer's private secretary, who characterizes the master of the place as depraved, or the horse gifted to their employer who obviously finds the secretary less than trustworthy? And just what does she think about all the esoteric volumes she's expected to read?

    Not a bad story, but the depiction of the lady's near-sightedness had me shaking my head with disgust. As one who's endured myopia most of my life, I'm here to tell you that we just ain't all that helpless without our glasses! Not the best in the series, but not the worst, either, and the narration is fine. Also, Lackey has used the Beauty and the Beast scenario before in her Five Hundred Kingdoms series with the same man-beast combination, and I think that she did better there than here.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Story of Dr. Dolittle

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Hugh Lofting
    • Narrated By David Case
    Overall
    (656)
    Performance
    (562)
    Story
    (570)

    No one loves and understands animals like the eccentric 19th century physician Dr. Dolittle, who masters animal language with the help of Polynesia the parrot. After his human patients desert him, the kind-hearted doctor finds his calling in practicing animal medicine, and his fame spreads far and wide. When a terrible epidemic breaks out among monkeys in Africa, Dr. Dolittle sets out to save them, accompanied by some of his favorite pets.

    Stacey says: "Has racist undertones"
    "A lovely return to my childhood favorites"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I was a child and ill, I'd lie on the couch wrapped in sheet blankets and warm blankies where Mom could keep an eye on me with a stack of books at hand, and the Doctor Dolittle books were among my favorites. Ah, to read that first adventure once again as John Dolittle makes the transition from people to animal doctor and finds himself called off to Africa to nurse monkeys back to health was a joy.

    Do be advised that this book was written over half a century ago, and not all of its language is now seen as politically correct. In spite of it, I enjoyed reading the interaction of Dr. Dolittle and his animal family as they interact with the people of Jollinki. And, as is noted in the afterword, the animals, in spite of being able to converse easily with Dr. Doolittle, are still the animals they are and not anthropomorphised.

    Still as fun to read as it was in the fifties!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • War Horse

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Michael Morpurgo
    • Narrated By John Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (609)
    Performance
    (518)
    Story
    (510)

    In 1914, a beautiful foal with a distinctive cross on his nose is sold to the Army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western front. But his heart aches for Albert, the farmer's son he left behind. Will he ever see his true master again?

    Julie says: "Great idea for reluctant readers!"
    "A wonderful performance!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love this story of the relationship between Joey and Albert, and the narration is indeed superb. Now I hope I can find a DVD of the movie adaptation. Definitely an audiobook I recommend.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Price: Blood, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Tanya Huff
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (228)
    Performance
    (200)
    Story
    (205)

    Vicki Nelson, formerly of Toronto’s homicide unit and now a private detective, witnesses the first of many vicious attacks that begin plaguing the city of Toronto. As death follows unspeakable death, Vicki, in an attempt to stop these forces of dark magic, is forced to renew her relationship with her former partner, Mike Celluci - along with another, unexpected ally…. Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII, has learned over the course of his life how to blend with humans; how to deny the call for blood in his veins.

    Jennifer says: "Off to a Good Start"
    "A fun read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Am not given to vampire stories, although I have found a few exceptions, including this one. Henry FitzRoy is not exactly your everyday vampire, after all, having been in his short lifetime the illegitimate son of an all too (in)famous king. He's managed to survive for four hundred fifty or so years as a vampire, and he doesn't intend to know destruction now that a variety of victims are being found strewn about Toronto in a pattern apparently intended to free a major demon lord into the world of the living. But without the help of a former homicide detective who is now turned private detective, there's a strong chance that he or a fellow vampire will be blamed for the gruesome deaths.

    A fun, light read, and the description of the detective's retinitis pigmentosa is, for a refreshing change, spot on. So many writers trying to describe what visually disabled individuals experience haven't a clue as to what they'd really perceive!

    The narrator's reading is a bit throaty for my taste, but works okay.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cadillac Jukebox: A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Mark Hammer
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (86)

    When former Klansman and piney-woods outcast Aaron Crown is finally imprisoned for a decades-old murder, it is to Detective Dave Robicheaux that he proclaims his innocence loudest. Crown seems to be a lightning rod for every kind of trouble that the state of Louisiana can unearth. A documentary film writer seeking to prove Crown's innocence is found murdered; a button man for the New Orleans mob accuses Robicheaux of taking a pay-off to ignore Crown.

    But it is when Buford LaRose -- scion of an old Southern family and author of a book on the Crown case -- is elected governor that Dave Robicheaux's involvement with Aaron Crown deepens to a level he can barely fathom. And it is Buford's social-climbing wife, Karyn, with whom Robicheaux had an affair years before, who proves to be his most poisonous adversary.

    Filled with thrilling adventure, lightning-paced action, and street smart realism, Cadillac Jukebox is a brilliant addition to Burke's standout Dave Robicheaux series.

    Ted says: "Good, But Not Burke's Best"
    "Dave Finds Politics is Indeed a Dirty Business"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Growing up in as insular a region as he did, Dave Robicheaux knew both Buford and Karyn LaRose at least from their college days. Buford has managed to use his inherited wealth and his book on the Crown case to promote himself in his run to become Governor of the state of Louisiana, but Karyn seems intent on reawakening a relationship with Dave he'd much rather let lie thirty years in the past.

    Did Aaron Crown kill an NAACP worker twenty years ago, and if so, what was his motive? That is the question nagging Dave. But now a mob hitman appears to have a particular vendetta against Dave and all close to him, and it's a question as to who will and who won't survive the LaRose campaign.

    As is common in this series, those who inherited their wealth are far from worthy of their fortunes, and the females are at least as deadly as any mob button man.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dixie City Jam: A Dave Roubicheaux Novel, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Mark Hammer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (77)

    They're out there, under the salt - the bodies of German seamen who used to lie in wait at the mouth of the Mississippi for unescorted American tankers sailing from the oil refineries of Baton Rouge out into the Gulf of Mexico. As a child, Dave Robicheaux had been haunted by the sailors' images. Years later, Robicheaux, a detective with the New Iberia sheriff's office, finds himself and his family at serious risk, stalked for his knowledge of a watery burial ground by a mysterious man named Will Buchalter - a man who believes that the Holocaust was one big hoax.

    Dennis says: "Jury out on this one"
    "Dave against the Neo-Nazis"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When Dave Robicheaux made the mistake of letting people know he had an idea as to where a World War Two U-boat sunk in the Caribbean might be found, suddenly he has too many people wanting him to lead them to it, including a man calling himself Will Buchalter. With informants dying on him left and right and apparently Bootsie intending to enter the alcoholic state he's fought so hard to put behind him, Dave doesn't know quite whom to trust--and with reason.

    Action packed as usual. Although I realized in this one I was perhaps quicker on the uptake and even less trusting than Dave himself, as I had the accomplice pegged pretty quickly on while Dave was still trying to sort out his feelings toward the individual.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Corduroy Mansions: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (343)
    Performance
    (226)
    Story
    (226)

    In London’s Pimlico neighborhood lies a tenement described in architectural guides as “a building of no interest whatsoever.” But the residents of Corduroy Mansions—including a literary agent, a wine merchant, a thoroughly unpleasant member of Parliament, and a vegetarian dog—are a rather fascinating lot.

    connie says: "Oedipus Snark, MP"
    "Life in London well told!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Alexander McCall Smith has an uncanny knack for depicting quirky characters in a perfectly charming manner, and he does it again in this series, which I want to explore more thoroughly as time and money permit. Following the lives of the denizens of the apartment block known as Corduroy Mansions is fascinating, illuminating, and delicious. And I am totally in love with Freddy de le Hay!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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