Call anytime(888) 283-5051

You no longer follow Annie M.

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.


You now follow Annie M.

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.


Annie M.

Say something about yourself!

Member Since 2007

  • 63 reviews
  • 145 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 34 purchased in 2014

  • The Photograph: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Penelope Lively
    • Narrated By Daniel Gerroll, Patricia Kalember

    Booker Prize¿winning novelist Penelope Lively's latest masterpiece opens with a snapshot: Kath, before her death, at an unknown gathering, holding hands with a man who is not her husband. The photograph is in an envelope marked "DON'T OPEN - DESTROY." But Kath's husband does not heed the warning, embarking on a journey of discovery that reveals a tight web of secrets within marriages, between sisters, and at the heart of an affair.

    Rebecca says: "good but sad"
    "A lovely book about assumptions"

    A widower finds an envelope long after his wife has passed away--what he discovers inside destroys all his assumptions about his marraige and the happiness he thought he had shared with his wife.

    This begins an intricate tale in which a group of characters--all who either were related to or knew the deceased--must come to grips with the assumptions they made about her, and how those assumptions might ultimately be implicated in her early death. It is a book about self-asorbtion, longing, and the quest for the greatest meaning in life--that of love.

    This is a beautifully written book with characters that are deeply felt, clearly defined, and very disticnt, and quite real.

    I also loved how Lively took the theme of assumptions and applied it to beauty: the main character (who is seen only in flashbacks) is related to by nearly everyone based on her extraordinary beauty. Most who meet her assume that, because she is beautiful, she lives a beautiful life. It is an assumption that produces tragic results.

    I loved the slow pace, a pace of discovery.

    Well worth the time of a reader who loves to spend time with carefully crafted characters and paragrpahs that shimmer with thoughtful prose.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • My Dear I Wanted to Tell You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Louisa Young
    • Narrated By Dan Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The lives of two very different couples - an officer and his aristocratic wife, and a young soldier and his childhood sweetheart - are irrevocably intertwined and forever changed in this stunning World War I epic of love and war. Moving among Ypres, London, and Paris, this emotionally rich and evocative novel is both a powerful exploration of the lasting effects of war on those who fight - and those who don't - and a poignant testament to the enduring power of love.

    Annie M. says: "Just read it!! Or rather, listen!"
    "Just read it!! Or rather, listen!"
    What did you love best about My Dear I Wanted to Tell You?

    I must confess that when I first started listening to this book, I thought that author Louisa Young had attempted to compete with the extraordinary novels by Pat Barker. The themes were somewhat familiar--unrequited love between the classes, women wanting to study to study art at the Slade, only to be told it wasn't proper, putting created characters amidst real people and true events, and the Great War turning the known world on its head. But I quickly saw that, like the characters in this fine novel, that I must not fall prey to assumptions. It is a beautifully written novel about beauty, convention, war, and love.

    The cover looks a bit like a romance novel--and romance there is. On the lower half of the cover art, it looks like a gritty war novel. It is, indeed, that. I found this book so intriguing, I couldn't stop listening. And I wanted to stop, because I wanted to savor it. I wanted it not to end.

    I believe this is a book that will be loved by readers of the aforementioned Pat Barker (Life Class, The Regeneration Series, etc). Also fans of Audrey Neffenegger, Ian McEwan, Michael Chabon, Jacqueline Winspeare, Charles Todd, Amy Tan, and, just to confuse you, fans of THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN and THE SHIFTING FOG.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You?

    There are so many. The history buff in me loved the period and was fascinated by the details about the dawn of facial reconstruction. I loved watching Riley, the main character, come to terms with his life after the war. And his hard-won meeting, at last, with the girl who got away. Or rather, the girl he sent away.

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

    He is outstanding!!!! One of the best narrations I've ever listened to!!!

    Since leaving Downton Abbey, Stevens has worked hard to separate himself from the all-too-affable Mathew Crawley. Thank God he made this book one of his projects! He is perfectly brilliant. I am so impressed with his range, of bringing individual voice to each of the characters, both men and women, old and young. He is simply terrific. And part of the reason I kept listening, after my initial "Uh oh, is someone trying to copy Pat Barker?" moment. The writing is fantastic, but Dan Stevens was the icing on that cake.

    If you could rename My Dear I Wanted to Tell You, what would you call it?

    Let's see...WAR AND PEACE is already taken. So...

    I actually think the chosen title is the perfect one, because all the characters are hiding things in order to protect their loved ones. But it also makes the book sound like more of a romance novel than a literary work about love, war, and redemption.

    Any additional comments?

    Read it and review it. I really want to hear what others have to say. I plan to recommend this book to everyone I know. Except maybe my husband, who would rather read a good thriller.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • And the Dark Sacred Night: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Julia Glass
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Kit Noonan is an unemployed art historian with twins to help support and a mortgage to pay - and a wife frustrated by his inertia. Raised by a strong-willed, secretive single mother, Kit has never known the identity of his father - a mystery that his wife insists he must solve to move forward with his life. Out of desperation, Kit goes to the mountain retreat of his mother’s former husband, Jasper, a take-no-prisoners outdoorsman.

    glamazon says: "Unfocused"
    "Phenough is back!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of And the Dark Sacred Night to be better than the print version?

    I cannot read the hard copy due to vision problems. So I can't answer this.

    What other book might you compare And the Dark Sacred Night to and why?

    Well, obviously I'm going to compare it to its predecessors. I loved THREE JUNES, and it was really nice to read yet another installment of in the ongoing family saga. It's like catching up with old friends.

    What about Mark Deakins’s performance did you like?

    There are a lot of characters in this book, both male and female, young and old. It must be difficult to put voice to all those people. Deakins did a nice job.

    If you could rename And the Dark Sacred Night, what would you call it?

    Along the lines of THREE JUNES...maybe TWO SUMMERS & A THANKSGIVING. This is why I'm not in the publishing business, naming books.

    Any additional comments?

    My only comment I guess is that I did not love this book as much as I have past Julia Glass novels, and I think this has to do with Kit. He has a compelling story...and I was happy to follow him on his quest for his identity...but he did not grab me as much as other Glass characters have. Still, well worth the read in this continuation of a great story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anthony Doerr
    • Narrated By Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

    Hank Reads! says: "Completely absorbing!"
    "Time well spent"
    What made the experience of listening to All the Light We Cannot See the most enjoyable?

    As someone who is legally blind, I loved reading how Doer brought to life the world of a young blind girl. That is the thing that initially caught my attention when I heard the NY Times review of this novel.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Oh, I just adore the character of Etienne, the uncle who must decide whether to sink into the PTSD he incurred during The Great War--or whether to help his blind niece during WWII. His character is so intricate, so damaged, and so lovely. I really cherish the relationship he develops with Marie Luare (not sure If I'm spelling that right, because I can't see how the author spells it).

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Friendship across enemy lines.

    Any additional comments?

    The NY Times made a comment that Anthony Doer could be a literary writer. I already considered him so, and partly listened to this book to prove the Times wrong. Happy to say, I believe fervently that this is a very strong literary foray. I don't know what other category I'd put it in. Very strong story, strong writing, and good characters who develop and learn.

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight in Europe

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Alan Furst
    • Narrated By Daniel Gerroll
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Paris, 1938: As the shadow of war darkens Europe, democratic forces on the Continent struggle against fascism and communism, while in Spain the war has already begun. Alan Furst, whom Vince Flynn has called "the most talented espionage novelist of our generation", now gives us a taut, suspenseful, romantic, and richly rendered novel of spies and secret operatives in Paris and New York, in Warsaw and Odessa, on the eve of World War II.

    Annie M. says: "Furst + Carroll = WIN!"
    "Furst + Carroll = WIN!"
    What did you love best about Midnight in Europe?

    I love the noir espionage of this--and all of Fursts' fine books. Once again, Furst weaves distinct characters into a behind-the-scenes spy story. Beautiful writing. I can't wait for the next one!

    What did you like best about this story?

    I love that Furst writes literary espionage, along the lines of John LeCarre. He brilliantly evokes a lively Paris that hides dark doings, anxious citizens, and an complicated, likeable hero that we root for.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    The very last, which I won't give away. : )

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

    It has inspired me to go back and listen to all the previous Alan Furst books. The are so intricate and well-written and carefully paced, I've found I always find something new, even though I might have read any Furst novel previously. I'm looking forward to hearing more of the very brilliant Daneil Carroll.

    Any additional comments?

    Just want to toss out some kudos to narrator Daniel Carroll. He PERFECTLY captures the feeling of an Alan Furst novel. More, more, more!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Life After Life: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Kate Atkinson
    • Narrated By Fenella Woolgar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

    Diane says: "Life after life after life after life after life.."
    "Will read it again..and again"
    Would you listen to Life After Life again? Why?

    As noted by other reviewers, this book poses some very intriguing questions, primary among them--"If I'd made just one different decision, even a seemingly small one, what impact would that have had on the path my life took?"

    I'll also read it again to better examine the careful selection of language. It is no small feat to take a story that repeats itself in some ways over and over--and keep the reader hooked. Atkinson is skillful with even the least of syllables.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Life After Life?

    Ursula, in all her many incarnations, offered too many memorable moments to select just one. I must say, I do really love how protective and "mama bear" she becomes with her daughter. Lovely scenes there.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    What changes...what remains the same?

    Any additional comments?

    Although I'm a Kate Atkinson fan, I avoided this book for a long time, thinking that the plot sounded a little too paranormal for my tastes. I'm so glad I read it. Literally, I couldn't stop listening.

    I think fans of Audrey Neffeneger, Sebbastian Faulk, Julian Barnes, and AS Byatt will get a lot out of this book.

    I must also say that the narration is simply outstanding. I will be nominating Fenella Woolgar for every audio award out there, And reading every book she has narrated. Just abrilliant, peerless performance, a beautiful voice, with excellent accents.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Longest Ride

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Nicholas Sparks
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, January LaVoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    91 year-old Ira Levinson is kept concious after a car wreck by visions of his late wife, Ruth, who recounts stories of their lifetime together. A few miles away, at a local rodeo, Sophia Danko, a senior at Wake Forest, meets a young cowboy named Luke. Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

    Hendie says: "I Understand!"
    "I'm not the right person for this book."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    It is wonderful that there are so many authors in the world, because it means there's something for everyone. There are many books that I've given five stars to, but which might make fans of Nicholas Sparks wrinkle up their noses and go, "Are you crazy?"

    I fell in love with Nicholas Sparks when I read, by accident, his deeply affecting autobiographical book, "Three Weeks with My Brother." I loved this funny, sweet recounting of the whirlwind trip around the world Sparks took with his brother. I gave it to my then-teenaged son, my husband, and to many friends, all of whom gave it an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

    I have since read three Sparks novels, this being the third. None of which I've ever completed.

    I have huge admiration for his ability to craft a story. And I was excited that this one had horses and bull riding and art (how many authors can do that?).

    Still, I just couldn't get through it. I know the ending because I hit the fast-forward button.

    I have finally decided that I'm just not the right person for a Nicholas Sparks novel. That doesn't mean it's a bad book. It means it's the wrong book for me.

    I think this book probably works best for fans of Kristin Hannah, Nora Roberts, or Barbara Delinsky.

    What could Nicholas Sparks have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Suggested I re-read "Anna Karenina."

    Which scene was your favorite?

    I must confess I did like the horseback riding scenes. I also thought the bull riding descriptions were accurate and well-written.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Longest Ride?

    If I could play editor, I would hand this off to the person in my office who specializes in romance. Because turning it away would be a really stupid financial decision. But I would not be the appropriate person to handle it.

    Any additional comments?

    Fans of Sparks will love this book. And they'll be happy, because I know now not to try another one. I've given it a good shot and it's just not a good fit.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • One Summer: America, 1927

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    One of the most admired nonfiction writers of our time retells the story of one truly fabulous year in the life of his native country - a fascinating and gripping narrative featuring such outsized American heroes as Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, and yes Herbert Hoover, and a gallery of criminals (Al Capone), eccentrics (Shipwreck Kelly), and close-mouthed politicians (Calvin Coolidge). It was the year Americans attempted and accomplished outsized things and came of age in a big, brawling manner. What a country. What a summer. And what a writer to bring it all so vividly alive.

    Mark says: "Why 1927?"
    "Bryson hits it out of the park again!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of One Summer to be better than the print version?

    I can no longer see well enough to read the hard copy version, so I can't answer that question. I will say, however, that my husband and I listened to "One Summer" while on a long car trip. We loved being able to listen to Bryson read his own work--and to put the right twist on his humorous asides. We also felt like we were getting a bit of a history class, but with a really funny professor. Last, being an aviation-oriented household, it was absolutely fascinating to hear about the dawn of flight, and all the fuss around Charles Lindbergh.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of One Summer?

    The thing about a Bill Bryson book is that there are always so many wonderful moments, it's hard to pick one. I will admit I still laugh, to this day, about the glass jars Bryson talked about in "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid." Oh, wait. Different Bill Bryson book. Okay, so this one has a little something for everyone--historic flights, natural disasters, inside info on one of most demonized's all there.

    Which character – as performed by Bill Bryson – was your favorite?

    As with any Bryson book narrated by the author himself (with his quirky, Iowan-almost-turned-Brit accent), it's all good.

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

    Well, I could have. But there is so much intriguing information in here, you kind of want to listen and then maybe hit the rewind button and listen again, just to savor it. I haven't had exactly the what-will-happen-next feeling I had while reading "Seabiscuit," or "The Boys in the Boat." But I look forward to each moment I spend with this book.

    Any additional comments?

    Perfect for Bryson fans. Perfect for fans of "Unbroken," "Boys in the Boat," or any David McCullough books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Impersonator

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Mary Miley
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1917, Jessie Carr, fourteen years old and sole heiress to her family's vast fortune, disappeared without a trace. Now, years later, her uncle Oliver Beckett thinks he's found her: a young actress in a vaudeville playhouse is a dead ringer for his missing niece. But when Oliver confronts the girl, he learns he's wrong. Orphaned young, Leah's been acting since she was a toddler.

    Annie M. says: "Premise = good; Execution = not so much"
    "Premise = good; Execution = not so much"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I am pretty good at getting an audiobook and devouring it. I've had this book for about a month now and am still struggling to get through it. I love the era this book is set in and liked the premise--a hungry, down-on-her-luck vaudevillian gets tapped to play the role of her life--impersonating a likely-deceased heiress. And sharing in the millions, should the ruse work.There are elements of a light mystery, a gothic thriller, and a romance. But for me, I just haven't been able to get to the end, primarily due to the narration. I've listened with satisfaction to one other of Tavia Gilbert's work. But here, I just found her too breathy, too callow-sounding for a slick, street-wise 25-year-old actress, basically a grafter, who's agreed to pretend she's a younger someone else--for real.,

    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I probably would have encouraged Ms. Gilbert to change her interpretation.

    What didn’t you like about Tavia Gilbert’s performance?

    I'm starting to sound really mean. It just didn't work for me.

    Do you think The Impersonator needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I won't know the answer to that until I get through it. I think Mary Miley probably wrote a solid book, probably the only reason I've made it as far as I have.

    Any additional comments?

    Narration is in the ear of the listener. This one didn't work for me. But it might for someone else. I recommend that one do a preview listen before using that credit.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Helen Fielding
    • Narrated By Samantha Bond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Bridget Jones, the iconic character who sold 15 million books worldwide, inspired a major motion picture franchise, and became beloved as a Chardonnay-swilling everywoman, is back in this hotly anticipated third installment.

    Marci says: "Love this book for exactly what it is"
    "Falling in love with Bridget all over again"
    Would you listen to Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy again? Why?

    My title has a double meaning because "Mad About the Boy" reminds us why we fell in love with Bridget Jones the first time around--and we get to watch/listen to her flail about with love one last time.I don't know whether I so loved this book that I'd listen to it again. But it was bloody lovely to see Bridget trying to make it as a single mum, re-entering the dating world that has COOMPLETELY changed since she was last single. Anyone in their 50s will laugh out loud at how Bridget grapples with phones, x-boxes, remote controls, texting, and Twitter.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy?

    SPOILER ALERT: Okay, if you've been living under a rock and missed the headlines that Mark Darcy...SPOILER, I can't do it. If you don't know already, you'll have to read the book to find out. I loved the brilliant combination of tenderness and humor that Helen Fielding brings to Bridget's very real trials as a single mum of two young kids. I got a bit choked up at times. And then, just as my heart was touched, Fielding wrote something that made me laugh out loud.

    Which scene was your favorite? all of Bridget's great moments, the best comes near the end. And I'm not going to ruin it for potential listeners by describing it here.

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

    I was really touched by Bridget's interactions with her kids, and how hard she tries to hide her frustrations and sadness, and simply soldier on. There was a scene when her daughter splashes hot chocolate all over Bridget's brand new, never-been-worn, oh-so-chic white coat--and I just love the way Helen Fielding writes this sweet and simple moment--and how Samantha Bond sensitively narrated it. Perfection.

    Any additional comments?

    At the beginning of this listen, I was not thrilled with Samantha Bond's voice--it seemed too husky, too vaguely smoky or alcoholic. And then I realized, "But that's Bridget, always trying to quit smoking, always drinking a few more units of alcohol than what is perhaps best." Brilliant.And truly, Samantha Bond (whom Downton Abbey fans might know as Lady Rosamund Painswick) is the frosting on the cake of this clever, sweet book. She is absolutely pitch-perfect, her sighs, expletives, little kittenish moans, all of it worthy of an Oscar. Or Audie.It was really good to find out what Bridget is up to in her 50s. Like all previous Bridget books, it's a fairly breezy read. But it also addresses some very real issues. And in the end, you care about this character. Just the way she is.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Someone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Alice McDermott
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    An ordinary life - its sharp pains and unexpected joys, its bursts of clarity and moments of confusion - lived by an ordinary woman: this is the subject of Someone, Alice McDermott’s extraordinary return, seven years after the publication of After This. Scattered recollections - of childhood, adolescence, motherhood, old age - come together in this transformative narrative, stitched into a vibrant whole by McDermott’s deft, lyrical voice.

    Annie M. says: "Each word chosen like a jewel"
    "Each word chosen like a jewel"
    Where does Someone rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I listen to a lot of audiobooks, and "Someone" will be in my Top 15 for certain. I love language and it is apparent from the first paragraph that Ms. McDermott has carefully, lovingly selected each and ever word, the result being a miraculous description of a rather un-miraculous life.

    What other book might you compare Someone to and why?

    Alice McDermott's writing reminds me of Ann Patchett, and Colin McCann--it's that ability to make magical through prose something we see in everyday life. This book would be a very satisfying read for those who enjoyed McCann's enchanting "Trans-Atlantic."

    Which character – as performed by Kate Reading – was your favorite?

    I thought Ms. Reading did a fine job with all the characters, both female and male. The mark of a great narrator is, in my mind, that she compliments the story she is reading without overshadowing. Ms. Reading did exactly that. Having said that, I encourage everyone to hit the "preview" button to listen before buying. Like music, narrators are often in the eye/ear of the beholder.

    Who was the most memorable character of Someone and why?

    For me, Marie is the obvious choice, because this is her story. I just really like books, such as this, that show how someone who's not particularly beautiful, wealthy, brilliant, witty, or a standout in a way that might capture today's reality-TV-addicted world, can make a life of meaning, just by quietly putting one step in front of the other.

    Any additional comments?

    The genius of Ms. McDermott is that she has taken a rather ordinary woman, whose life is rather ordinary (heartbreaks, marriage, loss of parents--but no attempts to climb Mt. Everest, the corporate ladder, or the heights of Hollywood). Through her meticulous and lyrical words, she has brought importance to each and every moment of Marie's simple life. Most of us live these types of quiet lives--McDermott allows Marie's to shine. And through Marie, we all shine, as well.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.


Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.