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Diane

Clio, MI, United States | Member Since 2010

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 381 titles in library
  • 65 purchased in 2014
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  • The Chance: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Karen Kingsbury
    • Narrated By January LaVoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (148)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (139)

    Years ago, the day before Ellie moved from Georgia to California, she and her best friend, Nolan, sat beneath the Spanish moss of an ancient oak tree where they wrote letters to each other, and sealed them in a rusty old metal box. The plan was to return 11 years later and read them. But now, as that date arrives, much has changed. Ellie, bereft of the faith she grew up with, is a single mom living in a tired apartment trying to make ends meet. Sometimes she watches television to catch a glimpse of her old friend - Nolan, now an NBA star, whose terrible personal tragedies fueled his faith and athletic drive in equal measure.

    Diane says: "Fairly predictable but wonderful story!"
    "Fairly predictable but wonderful story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Chance the most enjoyable?

    This was a real "feel good story" and I was ready for that. I read a varied subject matter and I needed an uplifting story. The characters had thier issues too.....


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

    She has a calming voice, and handled the characterizations well. Even the small child. She cried, she laughed. Who gets that from a printed page? I love to close my eyes and listen. If I can "see it", I know the narrator is doing a great job, and she did.


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

    Yes, when Al wrote in his letter to Caroline that he had not been forwarding her letters to Ellie for all those years. He was truly confessing. That was a big step for him and it's proof that God had finally been let into his heart....for real.


    Any additional comments?

    Sometimes we all need a book like this stuck in between all the thrillers and other kinds of books to know that there is still a lot of good in all of us.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Defending Jacob: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Landay
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4277)
    Performance
    (3662)
    Story
    (3660)

    Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

    Kelli N. Perkins says: "Still Thinking About This Tale Weeks After"
    "Stunning conclusion....I was shocked!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Defending Jacob rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It was one of the better reads I've had in the 160 or so that I've had. But the ending was really in the top 10 of surprise conclusions to a story that I've had. All the way through a story we all go back and forth trying to figure things out in a mystery. I never saw this coming and I won't leak a spoiler here for anyone. I wasn't particularly pleased with the ending....but it's not about me. It's about the thrill of the listen. And it was that.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character was Andy. He was so torn, he ended up giving up so much in his life, and in the end really gave up more than he thought he ever could've dreamed. He was so brave and went out on so many "limbs" and was very smart. I really felt for him, his struggles.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Mr. Gardner was like a real guy...someone any of us would know and carry on a conversation with...easy going manner of speaking, could easily invoke anger and desperation into his voice. His voice is pleasing to listen to.


    If you could rename Defending Jacob, what would you call it?

    Missed Opportunities


    Any additional comments?

    This book is not what it appears to be at the outset. There is much more to this and it's not at all predictable. I really liked it a lot and finished it in 2 days.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Family Pictures

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jane Green
    • Narrated By Amy Quint
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (124)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (115)

    From the author of Another Piece of My Heart comes the gripping story of two women who live on opposite coasts but whose lives are connected in ways they never could have imagined. Both women are wives and mothers to children who are about to leave the nest for school. They're both in their 40s and have husbands who travel more than either of them would like. They are both feeling an emptiness neither had expected. But when a shocking secret is exposed, their lives are blown apart.

    Kathi says: "Two families' lives in shock"
    "Couldn't put it down!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would. It's not just a love story, anything but love. It's about survival and triumph.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved how the author opened the thought processes of these women as they moved through such a painful time and out the other side. I don't know if I could've been so strong. I enjoyed listening to how they handled all of the different situations as they arose....and thier childrens' concerns also.


    What about Amy Quint’s performance did you like?

    She just put so much depth into these characters....crying, laughing, whatever was called for, Amy was there and so the visual was there too. Loved it.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Anger! I hated Maggie! I could've shaken that woman to her core! That is, until reality grabbed ahold of her and then I didn't have to touch her. Then I fell in love with the woman. She then turned into my favorite in the book. What a sweetheart.


    Any additional comments?

    This is not a feel good book, it's a wake-up book. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Matthew Goodman
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (46)

    On November 14, 1889, Nellie Bly, the crusading young female reporter for Joseph Pulitzer’s World newspaper, left New York City by steamship on a quest to break the record for the fastest trip around the world. Also departing from New York that day - and heading in the opposite direction by train - was a young journalist from The Cosmopolitan magazine, Elizabeth Bisland. Each woman was determined to outdo Jules Verne’s fictional hero Phileas Fogg and circle the globe in less than eighty days.

    Susan Gardner Bowers says: "Who knew?"
    "Historical and interesting for sure!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Eighty Days?

    I found that I was surprised most how the world around me has changed so much from 1883 to now.....and how these two women lived, whether at home or abroad. How lucky I am.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved hearing about the foreign countries and thier customs, etc.


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

    Well, it's more of a first hand account, rather than just a news story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I didn't have an extreme reaction, but they certainly were much more brave about thier undertaking than I would be even in the present day. I neither laughed nor cried, I was more surprised at thier gumption! And some of the people they spoke with...Mr & Mrs Jules Verne and Mr. Pulitzer among others. A very interesting book, for sure!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The House Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Tara Conklin
    • Narrated By Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (236)
    Performance
    (192)
    Story
    (200)

    The year is 2004: Lina Sparrow is an ambitious young lawyer working on a historic class-action lawsuit seeking reparations for the descendants of American slaves. The year is 1852: Josephine is a 17-year-old house slave who tends to the mistress of a Virginia tobacco farm - an aspiring artist named Lu Anne Bell. It is through her father, renowned artist Oscar Sparrow, that Lina discovers a controversy rocking the art world: Art historians now suspect that the revered paintings of Lu Anne Bell, an antebellum artist known for her humanizing portraits of the slaves who worked her Virginia tobacco farm, were actually the work of her house slave, Josephine.

    Jeanette Finan says: "Disappointing"
    "Loved it, hated it to end..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The House Girl?

    Learned more about the past re: slavery but also about laws pertaining to reparations...interesting how she intertwined the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the character developement and the side plots.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved all the scenes involving Josephine....what a strong woman she was! She endured so much.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I wanted to listen to it all at one sitting but if I had, it would've been finished too soon.


    Any additional comments?

    Ms. Conklin was extrodinary in her imagery in this book. Even now, as I'm finished and have been for a few weeks, I can visualized many parts of the book. I "felt" this story as I listened....it was so real. I bought a hard copy book for my mom and she could hardly put it down....she's almost 91 yrs old!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Places: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins, and others
    Overall
    (4514)
    Performance
    (3750)
    Story
    (3770)

    Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas". As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived, and famously testified that her 15-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who've long forgotten her.

    Glenda Jeffers says: "Riveting but brutal"
    "Horribly Dark!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Gillian Flynn and/or the narrators?

    I did read Gone Girl and loved it! But this was painful to read.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Gillian Flynn again?

    I doubt it.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Dark Places?

    All the scenes were gory, that was the book.


    Any additional comments?

    I only completed it because I wanted to know who dunnit. I would not recommend this except to someone who enjoys the macabre.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8503)
    Performance
    (5180)
    Story
    (5172)

    Ken Follett's World Without End was a global phenomenon, a work of grand historical sweep beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics. Fall of Giants is his magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage.

    Keith says: "Ken Follett and John Lee / Audible's Dream Team"
    "So enjoyable, you won't be sorry!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Fall of Giants?

    I was skeptical how the author could encompass the scope of subject manner in this book. But he did, and very well! I learned to love the characters, most of them, despised some of them, and learned so much of early England, Germany and Russia. I just could lose myself in that book, close my eyes and imagine everything in detail. Mr Follett is so great in providing that.


    What other book might you compare Fall of Giants to and why?

    I am almost finished with the 2nd of the Trilogy (Winter of The World), which continues the story of Fall of Giants. I love this also just as well. Last year I listened to A Dangerous Fortune by Mr Follett and loved that also.


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

    He is very good at recreating so many different characters and accents. This trilogy involves several nationalities and he's able to go from one to another...also male/female without disturbing the listeners' ear. I was pleasantly surprised.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. I needed to take the time to let the information "settle" in my mind. There is a lot of history that I needed to grasp, which was fine and I enjoyed that.


    Any additional comments?

    In listening to this, I learned two things. One) I am so very lucky that I live in America, born in 1948 and didn't have to suffer the things that ones before me did. Two) I've never lived with a war on my soil with bombers overhead, waiting for the blitz, blackouts, trenches, rations, all those things. I am really looking at life differently now. I'm 65 and my life is very good compared to life in Fall of Giants. And when I was in high school, I hated history class. I've learned more from Mr. Folletts' book about that time period than I ever did in school. Thank you very much!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Keeper

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3214)
    Performance
    (2759)
    Story
    (2780)

    England, 1959: Laurel Nicolson is 16 years old, dreaming alone in her childhood tree house during a family celebration at their home, Green Acres Farm. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and then observes her mother, Dorothy, speaking to him. And then she witnesses a crime.

    Maria says: "Kate Morton (and Caroline Lee) does it again!"
    "Amazingly different from any book I've listened to"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Secret Keeper in three words, what would they be?

    I was there!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Vivian...she turned out to be so caring and loving. Not what I had thought at first and then I loved her. I wanted to sit at her bedside with Laurel at the end.


    What about Caroline Lee’s performance did you like?

    The very, very best! I kept thinking how different this story would be to read it rather than hear it. That was one of the best things. Now I'm going to seek out the other books that she and Ms Morton have collaborated on.


    If you could take any character from The Secret Keeper out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    It would be Jimmy. Such a caring man, gentle and willing to talk about most anything. I don't think he had a mean bone in his body.


    Any additional comments?

    I love hearing about the things in that time period, the 1940's, the war, the way people had to cope, etc. And ofcourse this was England, things there are different from America anyway. When I finished the story, I kept going back over the last 2-3 chapters because I couldn't belive it ended that way! It wasn't a bad way, I was surprised so that was good!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Firm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (683)
    Performance
    (483)
    Story
    (489)

    At the top of his class at Harvard Law, he had his choice of the best in America. But he made a deadly mistake. When Mitch McDeere signed on with Bendini, Lambert & Locke of Memphis, he thought he and his beautiful wife, Abby, were on their way. Mitch should have remembered what his brother Ray -- doing 15 years in a Tennessee jail -- already knew. "You never get nothing for nothing."

    Mark says: "One of the best thrillers ever!"
    "Grisham page-turner!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Firm?

    I kept thinking, "Oh no, watch out for that guy you can't trust him"..."It's no good, Mitch, you're smarter than that...no, no!" I was with him all the way!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved Mitchs' creativity! No wonder he was 5th in his graduating class! I loved how he handled Them. And he was cool in every sense of the word.


    What three words best describe Scott Brick’s performance?

    That was the only part I didn't care for about the story. He tried to be so slick and he came off sounding "smarmey". His accents were all off. Sorry, couldn't do it in '3 words'.


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

    When Abbey confronted the Fibbie on the bus and relayed to him so much info about the operation.....he was confounded that she knew so much and wasn't even aware of who she was. And then when she told him just how many files they had copied ...... Wow! He was amazed. He knew he wasn't dealing with just any lawyer.


    Any additional comments?

    Once I knew this Bendino Law Firm had thier hooks into Mitch, I couldn't put my mp3 down. I had watched the Firm on tv last year, so I had him in my mind.......mmmmm.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Winter Garden: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Kristin Hannah
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (694)
    Performance
    (431)
    Story
    (426)

    Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard: the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father fails ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters

    Alysa says: "Gut wrenching....but well done."
    "Slow to start, then....WHAM! Mesmerizing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Winter Garden rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's one of the most unique stories, woven in an extremely creative way. And there's so much history to be learned from it also. I've read so many crime dramas, courtrooms, etc. This is family, war, emotions, reality, heart wrenching issues and I just would listen and was so glad I picked it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Oh, that's easy....it's the storyteller...Ania. So strong of a woman, I don't think I could be that strong and then to tell her story with such grace. I hated her in the beginning, I thought 'What a cold woman'. But into the second part she became so strong and loving to her family and I could see what brought her to make the choices that she made. It was a hard time in 1941 Leningrad, I'm certain.


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

    That's one of the best parts! The language! Ania is Russian-American but a lot of it takes place in Russia during the Siege with Germany. Her use of the language, the names and towns was so beautiful it was like music. You can't get that from any book, no matter how pretty the cover is!!


    If you could take any character from Winter Garden out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Maybe Stacie....She had thought her mother (Vera, to her) was dead, even had a headstone for her. And Stacie had become Americanized. And who walks into her home?
    I would love to spend time with Stacie and find out what her life had been like from age 5 till now.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is very much worth the read. I thought the two daughters bickering in the beginning was getting on my nerves, but into the second part I could see how that all played into the story. A very creative book. I just may listen to it again this winter....in front of my fire.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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