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Elana

FunnyBusiness

MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States | Member Since 2010

ratings
14
REVIEWS
6
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
19

  • The Woman in White

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By Roger Rees, Rosalyn Landor, John Lee, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (313)
    Performance
    (240)
    Story
    (244)

    Secrets, mistaken identities, surprise revelations, amnesia, locked rooms and locked asylums, and an unorthodox villain made this mystery thriller an instant success when it first appeared in 1860, and it has continued to enthrall ever since. From the hero's foreboding before his arrival at Limmeridge House to the nefarious plot concerning the beautiful Laura, the breathtaking tension of Collins's narrative created a new literary genre of suspense fiction, which profoundly shaped the course of English popular writing.

    JGrace says: "Another multi-cast winner"
    "Wicked Dastardly Fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story



    If you are a fan of mysteries, detective stories and/or British storytelling, this book is for you.

    I gave it a five star rating for all categories. The performances were delicious, the story was engaging and the characters were well-crafted, and multi-dimensional:The brilliant but evil Count Fosco, the worthless Uncle Frederick Fairlie, and of course the love story between Walter and Laura.

    The plot has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the very end and the performances are stellar. Every time I turned on my iPod it felt like I was getting a front row seat at the hottest show on Broadway.



    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Husband's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2840)
    Performance
    (2538)
    Story
    (2560)

    Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive....

    Margaret says: "Escape to the land down under..."
    "Funny, Thought-Provoking. Didn't want it to end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my second book by Liane Moriarty and I'm looking forward to reading/listening to her others. Moriarty has an ability to focus on the caddy, petty,selfish, mean-spirited inner -thoughts all us have but try so hard to disguise. In doing so, we fall in love with these characters because we know them.

    She keeps us guessing throughout the book and delivers an epilogue that is priceless.
    Can't say enough good things about this book and Caroline Lee's performance. It was spot on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • We Are Water: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Wally Lamb
    • Narrated By Wally Lamb, George Guidall, Maggi-Meg Reed, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1054)
    Performance
    (960)
    Story
    (960)

    After 27 years of marriage and three children, Anna Oh - wife, mother, outsider artist - has fallen in love with Viveca, the wealthy Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her success. They plan to wed in the Oh family’s hometown of Three Rivers in Connecticut. But the wedding provokes some very mixed reactions and opens a Pandora’s Box of toxic secrets - dark and painful truths that have festered below the surface of the Ohs' lives.

    Suzn F says: "Lamb writes Fine Literature/What a Book!"
    "Lamb Never Disappoints"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wally Lamb writes big books. They're long, luscious, complex, layered with flawed characters. Just the kind of book I love to listen on audio. You get so invested in the story and character that if you listen while on your daily walk, you take a longer route so you don't have to stop listening so soon. If you listen while straightening up your house -- your house looks better because of the book. And when you listen in the car, you don't care that there's a lot of stop and go traffic because you are with the Ohs.

    And, when you start listening to the third and final download you wish that there was a fourth.

    My only surprise is that at the end of the book - Lamb shares with us what "we are water" means as if he didn't trust the readers to figure out out ourselves. I found that a bit out of character - not necessarily disappointed that he shared his thinking but I think a good book club conversation could have come up with that interpretation as well.

    Loved the interview with Lamb at the end of the book - it was a joy to hear his writing process - that he doesn't know where the story is going and he lets the story take him there when he is in the zone.

    Okay, so now I'll probably have to waiting until 2019 for another book. It will be worth the wait. Lamb is absolutely one of my favorites!



    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • I Hotel

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Karen Tei Yamashita
    • Narrated By Nancy Wu, Ramon de Ocampo, Jenny Ikeda, and others
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (6)

    Karen Tei Yamashita has been honored with the American Book Award and Janet Heidinger Kafka Award. A stunning portrait of Asian Americans in 1960s and ’70s San Francisco, I Hotel is a remarkable collection of 10 related novellas. Touching on such topics as Japanese internment camps and the Marcos dictatorship, the book presents readers with characters of rich design.

    Elana says: "Expansive and Breath Taking"
    "Expansive and Breath Taking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Because this is a collection of 10 novellas that have overlapping characters, there were times when I wish I had an opportunity to look at the table of contents or a diagram of the relationship of all the characters. There were just so many characters that without the addition of seeing their names and roles in writing, I sometimes got lost and felt I was missing an important link that would add to the significance of the story.

    The individual novellas didn't have titles and the only way I knew we were switching novellas was when the main narrator changed. I found this somewhat frustrating because I felt lost in the story.

    However, besides that, this was one of the best books I have read in years. I am in awe of how Yamashita told these stories with the backdrop of the counter culture of the 1960s and 70s. She captures the violence, the sit-ins, the demonstrations, and through her attention to detail brings that period of San Francisco history to life in a way that no text book ever could.

    Out of the 10 novellas, there were about two that I felt didn't live up to the other 8 but maybe that was because in the end I was listening to the book for several hours at time and may have just needed a listening break.

    My other regret is that I didn't have a reading buddy for this book. It's a book that is ideal for a book club because it makes us look at ourselves in a way that is not always pleasant. And I would love to hear how other people reacted to the story, the history and the message of I Hotel.



    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Tony Hsieh
    • Narrated By Tony Hsieh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2319)
    Performance
    (1379)
    Story
    (1400)

    In this, his first audiobook, Tony Hsieh - the widely admired CEO of Zappos, the online shoe retailer -explains how he created a unique culture and commitment to service that aims to improve the lives of its employees, customers, vendors, and backers. Using anecdotes and stories from his own life experiences, and from other companies, Hsieh provides concrete ways that companies can achieve unprecedented success.

    Ben says: "Do one thing exceptionally"
    "Tony, the Answer is Yes. The book Inspires"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Near the end of the book, Tony Hsieh says one of the goals of his book is to inspire others. It is an inspirational story. But listening to this story, you quickly realize that Hsieh was "born" to be a success. It's in his DNA. he didn't just fall into being an entrepreneur, he has been an entrepreneur since he was 8 years old.

    What I loved about the book was the transparency. The message that mistakes happen. What is inspiring about the book is that Hsieh was willing to risk all the money and financial security he had to follow his passion - Zappos.

    This is a must read for anyone who wants to create a culture of success in their business. Whether they are a business owner or a first level manager, there are wonderful lessons to learn from this story.

    I particularly enjoyed the section describing the tension between the board of directors and Hsieh's vision of delivering happiness. Like many, when I read that Zappos had been "bought" by Amazon, I thought that the quirky culture that is Zappos would slowly disappear. This book helped me understand that if they had not been bought by Zappos , the culture would be suffocated by investors who just want to focus on the bottom line.

    Hsieh's message is one that my parents gave to me and many other parents give to their children. Love what you do and the rest will follow into place. Of course, Hsieh's team is not going about this in a loosey goosey manner, they have created a formal process to make sure that the company delivers on its promise to deliver happiness.

    The one thing that I thought was missing from the book is what happened to Nick Swinmurn, the person who came up with the idea of Zappos in the first place. In less I was completely tuned out for that portion of the story, I missed when Nick decided to take his marbles elsewhere.



    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By James W. Loewen
    • Narrated By Brian Keeler
    Overall
    (817)
    Performance
    (370)
    Story
    (381)

    This national best seller is an entertaining, informative, and sometimes shocking expose of the way history is taught to American students. Lies My Teacher Told Me won the American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship.

    Timothy says: "Of course he has an agenda. He wrote a book!"
    "Who Knew Betsy Ross Didn't Design The First Flag"
    Overall

    Since learning this particular fact in "Lies" I have asked many colleagues and to a person, no one was even aware that there was any question or debate regarding Betsy Ross and the first flag.

    Granted, the truth about the first flag doesn't impact economics, world relations, or human rights, but it does make you feel foolish - at age 60 I feel like I just learned there isn't a Santa Claus.

    Of course the myth about Ms. Ross is just the tip of the misinformation students are fed regarding American history.It gets better. From Columbus, to Woodrow Wilson, to our involvement in war, the American history most of us learned is embarrassing, inaccurate, and dangerous.

    This was one of the most eye-opening and educational books I have ever read I really think it's a most read for anyone who is interested in current events and curious why the rest of the world doesn't see the US quite the way we do.
    .
    While the narrator was definitely not one of my favorites and at times to book seemed to get bogged down in educational politics,the information was so important that those annoyances were simply minor aggravations.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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