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Paula

Enjoying one good listen after the next!

Overland Park, KS USA | Member Since 2012

515
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 186 reviews
  • 365 ratings
  • 754 titles in library
  • 205 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
8
FOLLOWERS
101

  • Listening Is an Act of Love

    • ABRIDGED (55 mins)
    • By Dave Isay
    • Narrated By Dave Isay
    Overall
    (1615)
    Performance
    (1351)
    Story
    (1360)

    Drawn from the work of StoryCorps, the largest and most ambitious private oral history project in American history, comes this tapestry of the stories Americans have been sharing from their lives to leave behind to their loved ones.

    Debra says: "Touching"
    "Terrific! But Not Nearly Enough!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great conversations . . . . only wish there were hours and hours available! Would absolutely buy more.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Take Me With You

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Catherine Ryan Hyde
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (87)

    August Shroeder, a burned-out teacher, has been sober since his 19-year-old son died. Every year he’s spent the summer on the road, but making it to Yellowstone this year means everything. The plan had been to travel there with his son, but now August is making the trip with Philip’s ashes instead. An unexpected twist of fate lands August with two extra passengers for his journey, two half-orphans with nowhere else to go. What none of them could have known was how transformative both the trip - and the bonds that develop between them- would prove....

    Sara says: "What a Great Book!"
    "A Sweet Story. . . Perhaps Too Sweet"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book turned out to be quite different than my usual fare (historical fiction, literary fiction, mysteries). . . I didn't really know what it was going to be and admittedly, struggled to stay with it in the beginning. In the end, it was a sweet story about kids and adults who are dependent on others to love them, protect them, challenge them. The story itself didn't have a big plot or lots of action, twists and turns. Instead, it follows an alcoholic science teacher who has lost a son as he develops a relationship with two boys whose father is an alcoholic. The writing was less than excellent, the plot predictable, but still I listened, just to find out what happened in the end. Perhaps that makes it a good one.

    This is a slow, thoughtful story with many sweet moments in an otherwise somewhat sad tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Man Called Ove

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Fredrik Backman
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (45)

    Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him "the bitter neighbor from hell". But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness.

    Elle in the Great NorthWest says: "Thoughtful and meaningful novel / an unusual novel"
    "Delightful in a Melancholy Sort of Way!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    i know men who are, to one degree or another, like Ove! That is what made this listen enjoyable. I would bet that you have characters in your life who emulate Ove in some fashion. This simple story me smile numerous times and I have to admit there was no mystery about how it would end. Still getting to the end was just a good experience. Some may find the story a bit too sad, but it will resonate with those who believe in the innate goodness of people, regardless of their rough, flawed exteriors.

    This one is an easy, soft listen. Worth the credit!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Too Close to Home

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Linwood Barclay
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (78)

    In a quiet suburban neighborhood, in the house next door, a family is brutally murdered for no apparent reason. You canï¿¿ï¿¿ï¿¿t help thinking, "That could have been us". And you start to wonder, "What if we're next?"

    That's the question Jim and Ellen Cutter are asking, and the answers aren't reassuring.

    Bernie says: "Gripping and suspensful . . . FANTASTIC!"
    "Great Story. . . But the Ending. . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Barclay's books are almost always great and this one is no exception. It started strong and stayed that way throughout, until the very, very last minutes when a spousal confession became just too much to accept (in the context of all the other events within the book.) Nevertheless, I'll give it four stars, maybe even 4.5. It certainly kept me listening with rapt attention as the plot and its many subplots were experienced. Best of all, I didn't know who the really, really bad guy was until the end, and that makes it a good thriller in my book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • We Are Not Ourselves

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Matthew Thomas
    • Narrated By Mare Winningham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (174)
    Performance
    (157)
    Story
    (155)

    Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed. When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit.

    Paula says: "Profound Narrative of FantisizingTragedy, Regret"
    "Profound Narrative of FantisizingTragedy, Regret"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In this narrative story, there is no great mystery to resolve, no thrilling moments of climax. If these are things you need in a story, don't select this one. However, if you enjoy life stories and how the characters in these stories chart the direction of their lives, this is one you won't want to miss. Matthew Thomas has written a really good novel.

    This is a narrative (well performed by Mare Winningham) about a girl who works hard, has many life challenges and fantasizes about her future. As a woman, she cannot seem to stop the fantasizing about what might be in order to enjoy her present life. She is perpetually seeking perfection, or more, or different than she has in the moment; from her husband, son, neighbors, employers, friends. Eileen Leary cannot just live for the moment, enjoy the moment, and relish what is present instead of wishing for what might be. In the end, she has regrets. Many, many regrets. In the end, these things shape the future life of her son.

    Thomas' writing exposes us to how this obsession with "what might be" can shape lives and outlooks on life. Perhaps it is a life lesson neatly presented to us as "We Are Not Ourselves."

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Art Forger

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By B. A. Shapiro
    • Narrated By Xe Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (901)
    Performance
    (788)
    Story
    (789)

    Making a living reproducing famous artworks for a popular online retailer and desperate to improve her situation, Claire is lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge a painting - a Degas masterpiece stolen from the Gardner Museum - in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But when that very same long-missing Degas painting is delivered to Claire's studio, she begins to suspect that it may itself be a forgery. Her desperate search for the truth leads Claire into a labyrinth of deceit where secrets hidden since the late 19th century may be the only evidence that can now save her life.

    Cynthia says: "The Art Forger"
    "A Five Star Art/Crime Story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a truly GOOD story. It meshed the intricate details of art, art history, crime and criminal history in a magnificently interesting manner. It reads as a plausible, ego-driven series of events in the familiar city of Boston. There was nothing I didn't like about this book, although I can understand why some complain about the narrator. Her ability to inflect male voices is somewhat poor. Nevertheless, I had no complaints and throughly enjoyed the narration and the story; which by the way, had a plausible ending as well. Very satisfying listen!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sweet Tooth

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Ian McEwan
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (731)
    Performance
    (620)
    Story
    (624)

    Winner of such prestigious honors as the Booker Prize and Whitbread Award, Ian McEwan is justifiably regarded as a modern master. Set in 1972, Sweet Tooth follows Cambridge student Serena Frome, whose intelligence and beauty land her a job with England's intelligence agency, MI5. In an attempt to monitor writers' politics, MI5 tasks Serena with infiltrating the literary circle of author Tom Healy. But soon matters of trust and identity subvert the operation.

    Susianna says: "Perfect Book for your Literary Sweet Tooth"
    "Unique and Satisfying (In the End!)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't see it coming. And I am so glad. Ian McEwan has crafted an amazing story that is very, very unique. During the first hour or so, I wondered if the narrator (a slightly vain beauty) really had a story to tell. But I stayed tuned and of course, the story became irresistible.

    Not much can be written here without giving it away, but DO listen all the way through and you will be pleased and surprised by the turn of events when the worlds of literature and covert operations intersect.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • No Safe House

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Linwood Barclay
    • Narrated By Brian O'Neill, Graham Winton
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (52)

    New York Times best-selling author Linwood Barclay delivers an electrifying novel of suspense in which a family’s troubled past is about to return in more ways than one. And this time, they may not be able to escape.… Seven years ago, Terry Archer and his family, who first appeared in No Time for Goodbye, experienced a horrific ordeal that nearly cost them their lives. Today, the echoes of that fateful night are still audible.

    shelley says: "Linwood Barclay has done it again - 5 Star Review"
    "Can People Really Live With Lies and Deception?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the second in Barclay's books about the Archer family and their amazing "troubles." The narration is very engaging and the story is filled with twists and turns along the way. This one, like "Too Close to Home," left me shaking my head.

    The two books allow you to know the main characters and even the bad guy gets your sympathy at times. In the end, the Archers involve themselves (even at arms length) in heinous crimes and are raising a teenage daughter who is more than a little bit aware of all of it. How do they resolve their involvement, their cover up, their intentional misleading of the police, etc., in order to protect themselves from any accountability? Mr. Archer is a teacher. Mrs. Archer a government employee. Yet, they seem okay with the events and the deception that must continue if they are to remain above suspicion.

    Not to give away the ending, but in this one, the real "culprit" behind much of the crime in the story is known only at the very close of the book. . . and that person has no regrets, no qualms and no accountability at all. Breaks your heart because over the two books, this one will have your empathy!

    A very good read! Recommend reading both books, with this one second!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No Time for Goodbye

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Linwood Barclay
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (307)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (182)

    The house was deathly quiet. That was the first sign that something was terribly wrong. Fourteen-year-old Cynthia Bigge woke that morning to find herself alone. Her family - mother, father, and brother - had vanished without a word, without a note, without a trace. Twenty-five years later, Cynthia is still looking for answers. Now she is about to learn the devastating truth.

    S. Johnston says: "I truy enjoyed this book!"
    "Excellent in Every Way!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one awesome story! It will keep you engaged and guessing until the very last. That's the kind of mystery that makes your time and credits worth it. Loved Christopher Lane's narration and looking forward to reading Barclay's next installment in this series, "No Safe House."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mount Dragon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1454)
    Performance
    (730)
    Story
    (746)

    Guy Carson is a brilliant scientist at GeneDyne, one of the world's foremost biochemical companies. When he is transferred to Mount Dragon, GeneDyne's high-security genetic engineering lab, his good fortune seems too good to be true.

    Carson soon finds that it is. He learns that GeneDyne geneticists are tinkering with a common virus with an eye on the enormous profit to be had from a cure for the flu. Their cure involves permanently altering DNA in humans. What's more, Mount Dragon harbors another secret that puts the world at horrifying risk.

    Kathy says: "Great grab-you-in-plot!"
    "Good Beginning, but it Got Looooong and Slow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The premise of this story was intriguing. . . and that's about the best thing I can offer. This one was about twice as long as it needed to be, especially the arduous, never-ending horse ride through the desert lava fields. I was desperate to see the finish of the story in sight! In all, there was so much redundancy in the story telling -- and very little, if any mystery at all! Anyone could predict the outcome for all the characters. . . none of whom were at all endearing. Average read or below, I think.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Burning Room

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Titus Welliver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1001)
    Performance
    (912)
    Story
    (894)

    In the LAPD's Open-Unsolved Unit, not many murder victims die almost a decade after the crime. So when a man succumbs to complications from being shot by a stray bullet nine years earlier, Bosch catches a case in which the body is still fresh, but all other evidence is virtually nonexistent. Now Bosch and rookie Detective Lucia Soto, are tasked with solving what turns out to be a highly charged, politically sensitive case.

    Amazon Customer says: "Not up to par"
    "just not the same without Dick Hill"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    i can't help it....this book was absent Dick Hills' amazing voice and for that reason lacked much of the "character" present in other Connelly books. Moreover, if this is to be the final Bosch chapter, it left me sorely disappointed. The ending was not one that should have gone with Bosch's final days as a cold case detective. The story itself was just "okay" rather than "great." Still, worth the advance order and credit. Can't help but wish for more more more!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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