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Christina

Medina, OH, USA

66
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Chieftains

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By John Glatt
    • Narrated By Nanci Griffith
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    The history of the chieftains is the history of Irish music, and the story of how an unlikely group of enthusiasts came together to rescue some of the world's most beautiful music from near extinction, brought it to an audience of millions, and became acclaimed stars.

    Christina says: "Pretty good"
    "Pretty good"
    Overall

    Gives a good, thorough history of the Chieftans, nicely using real clips from the Chieftans themselves and plentiful musical examples. Woman's speaking voice a little annoying, and wish there was more analysis of the facts rather than simply reciting them.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Amateur Marriage: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Anne Tyler
    • Narrated By Blair Brown
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    They seemed like the perfect couple: young, good-looking, made for each other. The moment Pauline, a stranger to the Polish Eastern Avenue neighborhood of Baltimore (though she lived only twenty minutes away), walked into his mother's grocery store, Michael was smitten. And in the heat of World War II fervor, they are propelled into a hasty wedding. But they never should have married.

    Lisa says: "Disappointing"
    "Engaging and thought provoking"
    Overall

    I thoroughly enjoyed this, as I do all of Tyler's books. She has a way of capturing exactly what you are feeling, and of embracing life with all its imperfections. I am surprised that others found the story uninteresting. I was completely caught up in it, to the point that I turned it on in my car even if I was going a short distance. It is true that one of the main characters is almost unbearably depressing toward the end, but I like books that do not shy away from difficult subjects, and I thought the ending nicely redeemed this thread. Not for those who want a happy story, but great for those who want writing that beautifully articulates the human condition.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Life of Bees

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia
    Overall
    (2581)
    Performance
    (326)
    Story
    (329)

    Lily Owens has shaped her entire life around one devastating memory - the day her mother was killed. When she and her "stand-in-mother," a fierce-hearted black woman named Rosaleen, are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily enters a secret world of bees and honey, and of the Black Madonna who presides over this household of strong, wise women.

    France says: "Secret Life of Bees"
    "Good, but did not touch me"
    Overall

    Impressed by the other reviews of this book, I downloaded and listened to it. It certainly is a well-written book, with several gripping scenes, and it fills an important need for female coming-of-age stories. Ultimately, though, it left me cold. My interest kept fading in and out, the imagery often seemed contrived, several ends were left quite loose, and I just didn't care enough about the characters to want to see it through. Given all the positive reviews, I would still recommend it, but keep in mind it's not for everyone.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    Overall
    (2206)
    Performance
    (1085)
    Story
    (1080)

    The prolific, perennially best selling author recounts his early life and writing struggles, gives advice on the crucial aspects of the writing art, and talks about his much-publicized, near-fatal accident.

    Bill says: "Excellent!"
    "Must read for all writers"
    Overall

    I can only join in with the other glowing reviews. This is an honest, fascinating, helpful, and (of course) well-written book. The autobiographical part demonstrates how much writing is an internal need that shows through even in pretty desperate circumstances. A wonderful antidote to our 'get rich and famous quick, without real hard work or self examination' society. The part on writing is most helpful for fiction writers, but is illuminating for all writers. Even though King's genre is not my cup of tea, I learned a lot about writing and gained respect for King himself.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • In a Sunburned Country

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2048)
    Performance
    (626)
    Story
    (627)

    Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out. His previous excursion on the Appalachian Trail resulted in the best seller A Walk in the Woods. Now, we follow him "Down Under" to Australia with this delectably funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance that combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiosity. More from Bill Bryson.

    Larry says: "Laugh out loud funny"
    "Fantastic introduction to Australia"
    Overall

    I downloaded this because I am planning a trip 'down under' and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is beautifully written, amusing, and extremely informative. Bryson has done an immense amount of research on this country, and imparts it in a thought-provoking, insightful, and funny way. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in Australia or in travel writing in general. Only a few minor drawbacks keep this from five stars in my opinion: it has a confusing strucutre (I'm never sure which visit we're on) and gets a bit too long and repetitive toward the end.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Piano Tuner

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Daniel Mason
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    "A seductive and lyrical novel that probes the brutalities and compromises of colonization, even as it celebrates the elusive powers of music and the imagination," says The New York Times about Daniel Mason's extraordinary debut novel. The Piano Tuner is a hypnotic tale of myth, romance, and self-discovery: the unforgettable story of a British piano tuner sent deep into Burma in the 19th century.

    John Peter says: "One of the very best"
    "Quite good"
    Overall

    A heart-of-darkness-type story that was great for passing the time on a long road trip. Interesting, thoughtful, and beautifully written. Special kudos to the narrator, who weathered a bewildering number of voices and accents with commendable ease. Overall, though, I felt the underlying story was weak. The characters' motives were not sufficiently explored, and although there is a gripping plot twist toward the end, the end itself was unsatisfying. This very well could be the abridgement, though, and overall I would recommend this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Castle of Otranto

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Horace Walpole
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    The Castle of Otranto is regarded as the first Gothic novel. The son of Manfred, Prince of Otranto, is mysteriously killed on his wedding day by a huge helmet. The event leads to a fast-paced story of jealous passion, intrigue, murder and supernatural phenomena unfolding in an atmosphere of thunderclaps, moonlight, and dark castle walls - mirroring the inner turmoils of the characters themselves.

    Christina says: "Well-performed period piece"
    "Well-performed period piece"
    Overall

    How wonderful to hear this classic tale of horror and the supernatural so well done. The narrator is phenomenal--I often couldn't believe it was the same person--and the music is effectively placed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Far from the Madding Crowd

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Jill Masters
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    Christine says: "Similar style to Jane Eyre"
    "Good story, hard listen"
    Overall

    I remember really enjoying this story when they did it on Masterpiece Theatre a few years back. A really wonderful, if somewhat improbable morality tale about what we should look for in love. Be warned that it does take a while to get going, though, and the narrator's well modulated but quiet, soft voice doesn't help keep one's attention either.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Beatles

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Hunter Davies
    • Narrated By Edward Lewis
    Overall
    (87)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (31)

    As the only authorized biographer, Davies had full access to the Fab Four, as well as their help and ecouragement. He spent 18 months with them when they were at the peak of their musical genius and at the pinnacle of their popularity, making a mark on history and popular culture that would never fade.

    Christina says: "Not bad"
    "Not bad"
    Overall

    I really enjoyed learning more about the Beatles, and this is written very well. Two problems, though. One, the narrator's voice is annoying. Two, the book is not really what it seems. After the two very long introductions to further editions, in which you learn that the original only covers the early years and is full of mistakes because of legal issues, it is really disappointing to learn that it hasn't been revised at all! It seems foolish to republish this without improving it.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Helen Fielding
    • Narrated By Tracie Bennett
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (10)

    With another devastatingly hilarious, ridiculous, unnervingly accurate take on modern womanhood, Bridget Jones is back. Searching for The Truth in spite of pathetically unevolved men, insane dating theories, and Smug Married advice, Bridget experiences a zeitgeist-esque Spiritual Epiphany somewhere between the pages of How to Find the Love You Want Without Seeking It, protective custody, and a lightly chilled Chardonnay.

    Christina says: "More Marvelous stuff"
    "More Marvelous stuff"
    Overall

    I *loved* Bridget Jones. Hilarious, heartwarming stuff. It's pretty hard to follow that up. This is quite good as sequels go, and is definitely worth it to hear more about Bridget and her insecurities. The reading is superb--each character not only sounds totally different, but completely embodies who the character is as well.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ivanhoe

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Sir Walter Scott
    • Narrated By Jim Killavey
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Christina says: "A classic, but hard to listen to"
    "A classic, but hard to listen to"
    Overall

    This is a fantastic book, with rich detail, complex plot strands, stirring scenes, and plenty of romanticized chivalry. I'm glad they did it unabridged, and the reader does a valiant job, but this is a tough one to listen to out loud. You need to have full concentration.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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