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Jen

ravenna, OH, United States | Member Since 2007

325
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 115 reviews
  • 151 ratings
  • 523 titles in library
  • 44 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
18
FOLLOWERS
68

  • Zeitoun

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Dave Eggers
    • Narrated By Firdous Bamji
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (726)
    Performance
    (325)
    Story
    (329)

    When HurricaneKatrina struck New Orleans, Abdulrahman Zeitoun - a prosperous Syrian-American and father of four - chose to stay through the storm to protect his house and contracting business. In the eerie days after the storm, he traveled the flooded streets in a secondhand canoe, passing on supplies and rescuing those he could. A week later, on September 6, 2005, Zeitoun abruptly disappeared.

    Darwin8u says: "Something bold, ebullient, yet quiet"
    "You Don't Know Everything about Katrina"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I am!!

    Boy if you ever wondered how you would fair after a weather adversity, you need to read this. It's a true story about how one ethnic family was treated in such adverse conditions. How the media fueled the flame to create a manic situation. It's written factual, not negative or seeking sympathy.

    When I first came across this, my first reaction was if I really needed to rehash it all again....yeah, I did.


    What other book might you compare Zeitoun to and why?

    I don't think I have read a book like it. It was scary truthful - not in a poor me manner. I have to say too that I was shocked how ignorant I was about the Muslim faith from reading this book.


    What does Firdous Bamji bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Obviously, pronouncing the foreign words. Because most of us not middle easterners can't say the words, we just skip over those groups of unfamiliar letters that we can not pronounce.


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

    I don't want to say because I read a review of this book that told too much and ruined a piviotal part in this book for me....when Kathy wasn't getting an answer. I wish I had not read that review for I was right there with her.


    Any additional comments?

    Loved it. I am so shocked to read some reviews. This book was SO SO SO not boring. It is so so more than a story about Katrina. It's more about racism and ignorance and having too much trust in your govenment.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Keep Quiet

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Lisa Scottoline
    • Narrated By Ron Livingston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    Jake Whitmore is enjoying a rare bonding moment with his 16-year-old son, Kurt, when disaster strikes. They get in a terrible car accident that threatens to derail not only Kurt’s chances at college, but his entire future. Jake makes a split-second decision that saves his son from formal punishment, but plunges them both into a world of guilt, lies, and secrecy. Just when Jake thinks he has everything under control, a malevolent outsider comes forward with the power to expose Jake’s secret.

    Jen says: "I Can't Keep Quiet Because it's Sooo Good!!!"
    "I Can't Keep Quiet Because it's Sooo Good!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I quite enjoyed Lisa Scottoline's Keep Quiet. Not a complex story but, one that easily allows the reader quickly jump into and immerse themselves for a interesting ride.

    A modern day family's life will forever be changed when one of them make a poor split second decision. Once the decision has been made it's interesting to watch the ripples of effect and the far reaching impact. I personally did not find this the slightest bit predictable. I would have never seen the end at any point along the way. It's well thought out and very true to life.

    Ron Livingston's performance was so wonderful that it was transparent. A narrator that can allow the reader to be so into the story that they don't even consider that, is doing it perfectly.

    This novel was great company that left me contemplating it's story long after the last word.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Frog Music: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Emma Donoghue
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Summer of 1876: San Francisco is in the fierce grip of a record-breaking heat wave and a smallpox epidemic. Through the window of a railroad saloon, a young woman named Jenny Bonnet is shot dead. The survivor, her friend Blanche Beunon, is a French burlesque dancer. Over the next three days, she will risk everything to bring Jenny's murderer to justice - if he doesn't track her down first.

    Taryn says: "Donoghue + Hvam = entertainment"
    "Not a Great Book - HORRIBLE Audible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I looked forward to the end of the book, through most of this book. Only finishing because of my concern for the infant. The story held no interest to me.

    Emma Donoghue chose to write about an actual unsolved murder mystery that took place in 1876 in San Francisco, using historic characters. The story centers around a French burlesque dancer struggling to stay alive after the murder of her unorthodox friend, Jenny Bonnet, a women locally well known for her crime of wearing pants. It's a dark world of prostitutes, baby farms, a factual small pox epidemic during an unrelenting heat wave. It sounds like a great story right? The author found an interesting topic but, she just did not deliver.

    The characters are shallow, one dimensional and unconnected. They don't interacted or have conversations. They talk at one another - often in trite platitudes. The Jenny character sounds like a cartoon rootin'tootin' cowboy spitting one nonsensical adages after another and she's got a million of them. I was glad to see her demise...but, she kept coming back throughout the book. Blanche and her revolving maternal instinct. Hard to get around a woman who claims to have a deep bond then contemplates allowing her worst enemy to raise him in the next breath.

    Here is why listen to this book on Audible made it even worse - 1)Half the characters have French accents. 2)The story switches between the beginning of these two woman's friendship - to the end of their relationship - to before their relationship - not in chapters or even paragraphs, but in sentences. I am thinking that the written text uses italics when the main character, Blanche refers back to the previous time from one sentence to another, then three sentences later is back to referring about events at the end of their relationship. That just does not show up when someone is reading to you. The listener is constantly listening for the tense of the verbiage or the action of the characters to try to determine where the story is. It's maddening. Khristine Hvam did all she could to translate this into an audible book - but, you can only do so much.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mortal Bonds: Jason Stafford, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Michael Sears
    • Narrated By John Beford Lloyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    William von Becker ran one of the largest privately held investment banks in North America, until the bottom fell out, and the whole edifice was demonstrated to be a fraud. After von Becker dies in prison, financial investigator Jason Stafford is hired by his family. There is still a lot of missing money out there, he's told, and they want Stafford to find it before the Feds do - and certain other parties, some of whom are nowhere near as scrupulous in their methods. Bad things start happening to the people Stafford talks to. Soon bad things are happening to him as well.

    Jen says: "Wonderful Jason Stafford Novel"
    "Wonderful Jason Stafford Novel"
    Overall
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    Story

    Mortal Bonds by Michael Sears is the second of a continuing series of two with hopefully many more to come. I fortunately grabbed the first as part of a 'first of a series' audible sale. What a gem. This is the reason that such a sale is a win/win for everyone. I will be a fan of Michael Sears for years to come.

    Jason Stafford is a disgraced Wall Street trader turned financial investigator after a memorable prison stint. In Mortal bonds our hero chases a billion dollars that have vanished in the demise of a Ponzi-schemer. Stafford’s private life is equally complicated as he juggles his occupation with that of his autistic son, an ex-wife, a girlfriend and a host of other enjoyable characters in his life.

    The secondary education received from this piece of recreational reading was as much a plus as is Michael Sears sense of humor.

    John Beford Lloyd just did not do it for me though as narrator ….. with this book. I am sure with the right vehicle he would be superb.. Erik Bergmann, whom read Black Friday - the first in the series, was a truer Stafford. Lloyd has a “snootier” voice and delivery which made the pedestrian events in John Stafford's life little less believable and more trite.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Black Fridays

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Michael Sears
    • Narrated By Erik Bergmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (74)

    Sometimes a man can be redeemed. But not in the way he expects. Jason Stafford is a former Wall Street hotshot who made some bad moves, paid the price with two years in prison, and is now trying to put his life back together. He’s unemployable, until an investment firm asks him to look into possible problems left by a junior trader who died recently in an accident. What he discovers is big - there are problems, all right, the kind that get you killed. But it’s not his only concern. Stafford has another quest as well: to reclaim his five-year-old son, "the Kid", from his unstable ex-wife, and then learn just what it means to make a life with him.

    Ann says: "Thoroughly Enjoyable"
    "A book even Richard from San Anselmo would enjoy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Have you ever read one of Richard’s reviews? They’re epic – look him up.

    I don’t often spend the time to write reviews on books that have a plethora of reviews or on books that have been around for a while. If I can’t sell it differently – I don’t bother I had to write one, or try to sell, this book because the number of reviews this currently has gotten just does NOT reflect what a fine work it is. Best book I have read in months.

    This book grabs your attention from the first page and doesn’t let go to the end. At no time did I have time to think that the author needed to pick up the pace, forget this part, and move ahead – like I often do. I was on task and involved from beginning to end. I couldn’t wait to get back to it at each opportunity. If I didn’t understand a part or wasn’t clear, I went back to listen again – few books do I hang on every word.

    This book does for bonds and stock brokers what John Grisham did, in his early good years, for lawyers. Showed us the other side, – the human side, of the a group of people and/or profession. I learned quite a bit about a whole profession I was clueless about (stocks, bonds, inside trading). Mr. Sears made it so interesting.. Romantic even.

    Our hero also had quite a few other things going on that were just as educational and entertaining. One is that he parents an autistic son. I became so attached to that child and HIS storyline. So much so that I am spending a full credit right after I get off here to read the next in the series. I am so sorry this isn’t currently the first in the series of twelve.

    Michael Sears sure made a fan in me. Erik Bergman is perfection. A man that can do expensive suits and autistic children in the same sentence at such a high level should be rewarded.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Still Life with Bread Crumbs: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Anna Quindlen
    • Narrated By Carrington MacDuffie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (187)
    Performance
    (164)
    Story
    (163)

    Still Life with Bread Crumbs begins with an imagined gunshot and ends with a new tin roof. Between the two is a wry and knowing portrait of Rebecca Winter, a photographer whose work made her an unlikely heroine for many women. Her career is now descendent, her bank balance shaky, and she has fled the city for the middle of nowhere. There she discovers, in a tree stand with a roofer named Jim Bates, that what she sees through a camera lens is not all there is to life.

    Jen says: "Exceeded My High Expectations"
    "Exceeded My High Expectations"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A fine example of why Anne Quindlen is so enormously popular. I prefer her fiction and boy, she did a great job with this one. She paints a story with her words that makes you see the picture more clear as the story develops. Weather conditions made it possible for me to start this book the day I purchased it . I could not put it down and frankly will reread this before starting anything else.

    I identified with the protagonist. I am betting that the popularity of this novel will follow that of the age of reader. Middle aged and older readers will be the ones that most identify, understand and enjoy this beautiful novel. Still Life with Bread Crumbs is a story of a woman that once again finds herself at another transitional point in her life. She never expected to be reinventing herself at this point in her life, but she is, so she moves forward allows serendipity to lead her way and is rewarded.

    There were several points in this book where I laughed out. Stopped where I was - rewound it so I could laugh again. Carrington MacDuffle did such a perfect job. There are several characters in this book that are real characters. Her narration were spot on and added to their quirkiness. I only wished it was twice as long.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Fractured

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Karin Slaughter
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (601)
    Performance
    (413)
    Story
    (418)

    After years in a brutal marriage, Gailyn Campano knows how to accept violence and betrayal. But when she returns home to find an intruder holding her daughter hostage, a ferocious strength emerges within her battered soul - and before she knows it, a man lies dead on her floor.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Fascinating Mystery, Great Police Work"
    "Crime Fiction At Its finest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm Looking forward to being a Karin Slaughter groupie. Fractured was my first book of hers I read. I found Will Trent to be most interesting and looking forward to many more.


    Fractured is what a criminal investigation should be. Heart-pounding action, an intriguing investigation, engaging characters, twists and turns with an ending that you get to at the end of the book. The story is so complex that I realized who the culprits were right along with the protagonist - just as it should be.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Lost Lake

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Sarah Addison Allen
    • Narrated By Janet Metzger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (90)

    The first time Eby Pim saw Lost Lake, it was on a picture postcard. Just an old photo and a few words on a small square of heavy stock, but when she saw it, she knew she was seeing her future. That was half a lifetime ago. Now Lost Lake is about to slip into Eby’s past. Her husband, George, is long passed. Most of her demanding extended family are gone.

    Paulette says: "Pleasantly surprised"
    "Pure Sarah Addison Allen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sarah Addison Allen at her best. Fans will be pleased for this is her at her best, though she never disappoints.

    Lost Lake is about a family vacation camp on the decline. When it looks like this could be the camp's last summer, it's time for finished business. Relationships are repaired or rekindled and the magic comes out. As in all of Allen's novels you can see the how the basic story is going to go from the first chapter. Some would say they are predictable. But, every story doesn't need to be a mystery. Like Titanic - we knew how the story ended and still enjoyed the movie. The journey to lost lake is pleasurable enough to call it a page turner. But beware - just when you think you know how it's going to go - Allen throws you a wrench and you don't know where the story is going to go. Allen's novels also have plenty of whimsy and some practical magic. I love the magic and this one is magically delicious.

    Janet Metzger added to the book without making it her own. Visiting Lost Lake is like a glass of wine in from of a roaring fire with a good friend.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • My Mother Was Nuts: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Penny Marshall
    • Narrated By Penny Marshall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (749)
    Performance
    (676)
    Story
    (680)

    her life story going her humble roots in the Bronx to one of the most liked and respected figures in the entertainment business, also covering her marriage to Rob Reiner and relationships with Art Garfunkel, Carrie Fisher, and John Belushi, and her bout with lung and brain cancer in 2009, to Julia Cheiffetz

    M. S. Cohen says: "The audio performance should get an award!"
    "Memorable Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So much more enjoyable that I would have ever expected.

    At first Penny's talking with the mouth full of marble was annoying. Then her voice broke while talking about her mother and it was read by the perfect person.

    What a wonderful life. I felt it was an honest representation without having to go to the dark side. The hoop jumping of the motion picture industry was enlightening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The 9th Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Tami Hoag
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (518)
    Performance
    (451)
    Story
    (462)

    On a frigid New Year’s Eve in Minneapolis, a young woman’s brutalized body falls from the trunk of a car into the path of oncoming traffic. Questions as to whether she was alive or dead when she hit the icy pavement result in her macabre nickname, Zombie Doe. Unidentified and unidentifiable, she is the ninth nameless female victim of the year, and homicide detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska are charged with the task of not only finding out who Zombie Doe is but who in her life hated her enough to destroy her. Was it personal? Or could it just have been a crime of opportunity?

    Sires says: "Not Fond of Narrator, Characters Sterotypical"
    "Extremely Enjoyable Work."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a wide range of reviews!

    Not having read this author before, I am glad I didn't just stop at the first three or four reviews for I liked this book. I am thrilled I took a chance.

    It's a police story that I found somewhat believable. It's tough being a working mother, especially of teenagers. I found this to be very realistic of that without being too whinny. Very plausible. The story was engaging in a way that kept my attention to the bitter end. I am looking forward to reading more of the author's work.

    The narrator did a decent job - I don't get the beef.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Olive Kitteridge

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Strout
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (819)
    Performance
    (326)
    Story
    (320)

    At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town and in the world at large, but she doesn't always recognize the changes in those around her.

    BeckyC says: "Absorbing collection of linked stories"
    "Gotta Love that Ollie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I sincerely feel that the depth of ones enjoyment of this novel will lay solely on the age of the reader. There are many thoughts that the women in this book have that could not be enjoyed and appreciated by a woman younger than 40 years of age. To someone over that age there are points and phrases in this novel that felt like someone was singing the song of a tune that I could only hum.

    This is not your happily ever after feel good story. This is a collection of stories about the same group of people. Olive Kitteridge is sometimes the protagonist in a story and other times she gets just a cameo mention. Where you don’t see some of yourself – you see someone you know. I found this to be enlightening and poignant.

    Sandra Burr’s voices allows you to hear the size of her characters – they are that visual. Her range of men, children and women is impressive, not to mention her accent.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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