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Lisa

I LOVE anything audio - books, podcasts, lectures. I listen mostly when moving -driving, dog walking, or before bed to clear the mind.

Barrington, RI, United States | Member Since 2002

ratings
249
REVIEWS
19
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
59

  • Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ruth Reichl
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (499)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (133)

    Garlic and Sapphires is Ruth Reichl's riotous account of the many disguises she employs to dine anonymously. There is her stint as Molly Hollis, a frumpy blond with manicured nails and an off-beige Armani suit that Ruth takes on when reviewing Le Cirque. The result: her famous double review of the restaurant: first she ate there as Molly; and then as she was coddled and pampered on her visit there as Ruth, New York Times food critic.

    Kathleen says: "disappointing"
    "Mouth watering insights"
    Overall

    Ruth leads us on a culinary exploration of the New York dining scene. I enjoyed learning the back room tricks of the resturants and the devious tactics Ruth used to get around it, her contemplations on your public personna and above all the food descriptions. From dumplings to duck the book was fun and fascinating. She can both distinguish flavors and describe them. This was a book I looked forward to having a chance to drive in the car to be able to listen to (but not one I sat in the driveway to finish off.)Nice to have the author as narrator - it was clear and very personal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Maya's Notebook

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Isabel Allende
    • Narrated By Maria Cabezas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (124)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (110)

    Neglected by her parents, 19-year-old Maya Nidal has grown up in Berkeley with her grandparents. Her grandmother Nini is a force of nature, a woman whose formidable strength helped her build a new life after emigrating from Chile in 1973. Popo, Maya's grandfather, is a gentle man whose solid, comforting presence helps calm the turbulence of Maya's adolescence. When Popo dies of cancer, Maya goes completely off the rails, turning to drugs, alcohol, and petty crime in a downward spiral that eventually bottoms out in Las Vegas.

    Natalie says: "Not Allende's Usual Standard"
    "Beautiful writing, beautiful narration, good story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Maya's Notebook?

    The writing is simply superb and the narrator's voice brings it alive - so lovely to listen to. The "double" story line is also very interesting - the life of a drug addict and the life of recovery in Chili. Very interesting and the weaving of the two works very nicely - it keeps it interesting and is not hard to follow. I also really enjoyed learning a bit of Chili's checkered past.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • My Life So Far

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jane Fonda
    • Narrated By Jane Fonda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (57)

    She is one of the most recognizable women of our time. America knows Jane Fonda as an actress and an activist, a feminist and a wife, a workout guru and a role model. Now, in this extraordinary memoir, Fonda reveals that she is so much more. From her youth among Hollywood's elite and her early film career to the challenges and triumphs of her life today, Jane Fonda reveals intimate details and universal truths.

    Lisa says: "interesting but ponderous"
    "interesting but ponderous"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    this book needed a good editor - 1) simply too long 2) it has a whining tone to it. However, the whining tone actually is a reflection of who she is - it just grows old. Her self-reflection somehow does not feel genuine - for example , it sounds like she should be or is done with an issue and there is the same issue all the many years later.


    Any additional comments?

    It got me to watch the movie On Golden Pond - that is fantastic!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Round House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Louise Erdrich
    • Narrated By Gary Farmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1026)
    Performance
    (874)
    Story
    (873)

    One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and 13-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.

    Melinda says: "Heavy in My Heart"
    "Too much life of a teenage boy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    More adult perspective about life on a reservation. I didn't learn much about Native American culture. What I did learn I found very interesting.


    Was The Round House worth the listening time?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    The story revolves around the detailed inner life (and some outer) of a teenage boy. It just didn't hold my interest for an entire book. Positives: some interesting insights into Native American life. But it was limited. There were a lot of telling of Native American spiritual/traditional stories- again in limited amounts interesting but they didn't capture my interest enough for the amount that was there. Positive: some really great writing. I really felt the boys' experiences, their sweat, their hunger, the woods, etc. Nice to read but lost its power as I got bored with the underlying story.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (17682)
    Performance
    (15722)
    Story
    (15675)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Oh Editor, where were you?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The premise of 11-22-63 is interesting and thought provoking - going back in time to change historic events. King does a good job bringing alive the (unexpected) implications. Furthermore, it was a lot of fun to live in the past from the eyes of who we are now. Finally, the ending was interesting and unpredictable but fitting - really good. Because of all these points, I listened to the whole thing. All 30 hrs. and 44 min!!!

    But dear Editor, dear author if you cared for your reader you would have cut it by a third, at least. It dragged for most of the middle. I used it to fall to sleep to at night and didn't bother to rewind to hear the parts I missed. So effectively, I cut out about 30%!

    Would I recommend it??? How much time do you have? Has audible made an abridged version yet?


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

    Good ending which was not predictable


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Kafka on the Shore

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett, Oliver Le Sueur
    Overall
    (1540)
    Performance
    (848)
    Story
    (841)

    Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at 15, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down.

    Melinda says: "Brilliant Meandering--what was in those brownies.."
    "Magical realism in Japan"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    interesting, thought-provoking, repetitious


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    Parellel plot held my interest, magical realism - I was never quite sure when it was reality and when it drifted into fantasy; learning something of the Japanese culture


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    I love Nakata - so much to learn from him!


    Do you have any additional comments?

    Probably would do well with an abridgment - some of the scenes were repeats. Nevertheless I went on to buy 1Q84 which is 45+ hours!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kushiel's Dart

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Carey
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1105)
    Performance
    (702)
    Story
    (709)

    The land of Terre d'Ange is a place of unsurpassing beauty and grace. It is said that angels found the land and saw it was good...and the ensuing race that rose from the seed of angels and men live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt.

    Glen Gaines says: "The Kushiel series in order"
    "Endless narration punctated by bad S&M"
    Overall

    I tried really hard on this book since it had gotten good reviews. I listened to about half of it. It is simply boring. No action to speak of, zero character development. It is 90% narration of some make believe world and the politics that rule it - I couldn't follow the endless made up names and was given no reason to care. And as if the author knew she had to do something to make it interesting, she put in S&M from time to time. Alas, also not interesting, sexy or particularly moves anything forward. Cheap thrill, but expensive on a wasted book purchase.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil in the White City

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4377)
    Performance
    (2078)
    Story
    (2100)

    In a thrilling narrative showcasing his gifts as storyteller and researcher, Erik Larson recounts the spellbinding tale of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Also available abridged.

    D says: "A Rich Read!"
    "about The Devil... no gruesome recounting"
    Overall

    I loved this book. The history of the Chicago World's Fair is fascinating - Larson brings it alive. I held back from listening to it for years as I was concerned about gory details of "the Devil" Mr. Holmes. No fears! Firstly, it is a small part of the book and secondly the author is not graphic about the murders except perhaps at one place. Interesting because Larson is beautifully descriptive about he architecture and the World's Fair experience.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Angel's Game

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    • Narrated By Dan Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (400)
    Performance
    (234)
    Story
    (235)

    In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martin, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city's underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photographs and letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner.

    bluebelle says: "My Favorite Book!"
    "Meandering, atmosphereic, ok story"
    Overall

    This just wasn't in the same league as his first novel, The Shadow of the Wind - so that was very disappointing.

    The story meanders and doesn't really seem to hang together. I got lost sometimes. However, use of language is interesting.

    Narration is good. Definitely a book that I wanted to finish - and glad I did.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Played with Fire: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18431)
    Performance
    (8325)
    Story
    (8351)

    Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to publish a story exposing an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government. On the eve of publication, the two reporters responsible for the story are brutally murdered.

    David says: "irritatingly engrossing"
    "Intricate, Engaging, Differnt"
    Overall

    I loved the first book. I love the second. Can't wait for the third. I do not normally listen to crime or thrillers but this is really engaging.

    The narration is excellent. The complicated plot is easy to follow.

    The key character. Lisbet Salander is enormously interesting. Just when you want to feel deeply sympathetic towards her you are then jolted to another perspective. Thus I am also kept emotionally on my toes.

    Listen to it!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • I Smile Back

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Amy Koppelman
    • Narrated By Lauren Fortgang
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Laney Brooks acts out. Married with kids, she takes the drugs she wants, sleeps with the men she wants, and disappears when she wants. Lurking beneath Laney's composed surface is the impulse to follow in the footsteps of her father, to leave and topple her family's balance in the process.

    Regina-Audible says: "Dark and Unapologetic"
    "Poor"
    Overall

    Depressed suburban wife & mom story. Alas no lessons, moments of insight or new perspectives to redeem this trudging story.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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