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Sand

So...you're telling me I can pay people to read books to me whilst I do other things?

Tampa, FL, United States | Member Since 2006

119
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 23 reviews
  • 26 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 39 purchased in 2014
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24

  • 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
    (677)
    Performance
    (617)
    Story
    (617)

    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 + pros narrating = fabulous listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Audible narration is perfectly suited to Lamb's confessional/therapy session style, especially when the characters are read by seasoned actors and established audible narrators. And that includes the author, as Orion Oh, who is no stranger to book readings and narration.
    If you've scrolled down this far you already know the book is good; it will hook you from the start, plunge you into some pretty bumpy uncomfortable territory, but will ultimitely leave you feeling uplifted and healed.
    Is it Lamb's best? Probably not, but if you've read the others already and are in the mood to get immersed in a long, leisurely listen, you've come to the right book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Maria Semple
    • Narrated By Kathleen Wilhoite
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1828)
    Performance
    (1639)
    Story
    (1634)

    Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

    Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle - and people in general - has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands.

    S says: "One of my top 10 listens of the year!"
    "Didn't expect to love it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ...But I did. The story is engaging and fairly well-crafted. Not seamless---there are some rough patches--but overall a very satisfying listener experience. You will be entranced!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Sarah Silverman
    • Narrated By Sarah Silverman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1037)
    Performance
    (559)
    Story
    (551)

    From the outrageously filthy and oddly innocent comedienne Sarah Silverman comes a memoir—her first book—that is at once shockingly personal, surprisingly poignant, and still pee-in-your-pants funny. If you like Sarah’s television show The Sarah Silverman Program, or memoirs such as Chelsea Handler’s Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea and Artie Lange’s Too Fat to Fish, you’ll love The Bedwetter.

    Teddy says: "Adequate but not great..."
    "Never pass up an author-read comedian bio"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When a brilliant and talented comedian writes a biography and then reads it to you , in my experience it's pretty much worth the price of admission, no matter what the content.

    These are people who have honed their delivery to razor-sharp perfection, and Silverman is no exception. In fact, of my four favorite Audible comedian autobio authors (the other three being Tina Fey, Kathy Griffin, and Chelsea Handler), Silverman definitely gets the narrator's edge for being the most beautifully articulate. Which, we learn in the book, is probably a direct product of her mother's careful movie-listing-perfected elocution.

    Silverman's cut-glass, ladylike delivery of often outrageous, disgusting (and otherwise hilarious) material is what makes her so entertaining to listen to, so I can't imagine how the print book could in any way measure up to the audio version.

    Not that this book is just a bunch of jokes; this a a real memoir and anyone interested in how successful entertainers rise to the top should find it interesting --and touching-- on its own merits.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4115)
    Performance
    (3762)
    Story
    (3762)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Modern Dickens, Expertly Narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'd read Donna Tartt's Secret History years ago and loved it; I became aware of this latest work via a recent NYT book review by Stephen King.

    This is mostly an homage to Dickens, but the layer of art history--specifically Dutch masters--makes it all the more compelling.

    Like Dickens, Tartt weaves an epic and sympathetic tale, replete with colorful characters--both virtuous, villainous, and somewhere in-between--(which are, of course the most interesting ones). Dickens fans will love picking out the numerous references throughout the book, but you do not need to be familiar with his works to appreciate this book.
    After all, there is a reason Dickens was so popular--he could tell a story and make you love and/or hate his characters, and Tartt is definitely able to weave that same kind of magic.

    David Pittu does a masterful job narrating this behemoth of a book. Considering he's carrying the protagonist's voice from age 15 to....late 20's?, plus so many other voices, accents and dialects, I'm not sure who could have done it better..

    As is often the case with these long books, we become habituated and truly hate for them to end.
    I'm thirsting to download another epic novel--any recommendations?

    73 of 79 people found this review helpful
  • Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Ron Currie, Jr.
    • Narrated By Jake Hart
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    In this tour de force of imagination, Ron Currie asks why literal veracity means more to us than deeper truths, creating yet again a genre-bending novel that will at once dazzle, move, and provoke. The protagonist of Ron Currie, Jr.’s new novel has a problem­ - or rather, several of them. He’s a writer whose latest book was destroyed in a fire. He’s mourning the death of his father, and has been in love with the same woman since grade school, a woman whose beauty and allure is matched only by her talent for eluding him. Worst of all, he’s not even his own man, but rather an amalgam of fact and fiction from Ron Currie’s own life.

    Sand says: "Ugh"
    "Ugh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Actively hated this book; still trying to figure out why...I mean, I was interested enough to listen till the end so I think on some level I enjoyed being annoyed at every turn.
    Not sure which is worse, the pretentious writing or the broadcast-school narration.

    Either way, the protagonist is a stupid cartoon of what every guy thinks/wants/hopes he is, and the female characters are what every guy thinks/wants/hopes women are. Seriously, this reads more like a first novel (that never saw the light of day) than the effort of an apparently respected writer.
    And the narrator is horribly miscast---his growly, trying-to-sound-macho delivery just makes the protagonist sound like more of an a-hole than he already is.

    Loved the title. Really, really did not like the book.
    On the other hand, Ron Currie's supposed to be a pretty big deal, so maybe I just didn't get it?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral - Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking! - in America's Gilded Capital

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Mark Leibovich
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (389)
    Performance
    (342)
    Story
    (334)

    The great thing about Washington is no matter how many elections you lose, how many times you're indicted, how many scandals you've been tainted by, well, the great thing is you can always eat lunch in that town again. What keeps the permanent government spinning on its carousel is the freedom of shamelessness, and that mother's milk of politics, cash. What Julia Phillips did for Hollywood, Timothy Crouse did for journalists, and Michael Lewis did for Wall Street, Mark Leibovich does for our nation's capital.

    John S. says: "They're out of touch ... and how!"
    "Funny? Breezy? I wish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ok yes, it's a little bit dishy and gossipy--that's how you get a book published--but I get the sense Leibovich--an intrenched NYT correspondent-- pretty much burned his bridges to write some of the stuff that's in here.
    I downloaded this the day it came out and am honestly astonished there hasn't been more outrage. Seems like Leibovich is trying to make an important point, but obviously the majority of readers are missing it. (Maybe because they're all trying to figure out if they're in the book, or know someone who is?)

    I've long talked others in DC who confirm what he's saying . The ruling class in DC is cashing out and "riding it down in style". In other words, they know the plane is going to crash, but not in their lifetime...hopefully...so, yeah, whatever.

    Please listen to this book. Yes, its very funny and entertaining--Leibovich is skilled writer--but it also reveals a capital that every US citizen should be aware of.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Chaperone

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Laura Moriarty
    • Narrated By Elizabeth McGovern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1988)
    Performance
    (1753)
    Story
    (1739)

    >The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that would change them both. Only a few years before becoming a famous actress and an icon for her generation, a 15-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita to make it big in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle is a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip.

    Amanda says: "Perfection."
    "Delectable Historical Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Full Disclosure: This is my time-machine favorite historical period and place. (You know the question: If you had a time machine, where/when would you go back?)
    My answer: New York City, the beginning of the 20th century...are you kidding me?

    Laura Moriarty takes us there from the point of view of a midwesterner, weaving real-life characters (and their wonderfully accessible google images) into the story.

    Elizabeth McGovern's narration initially and inevitably evokes her character in Downton Abbey, but Cora Carlisle of Wichita, Kansas is clearly different from ex-pat Cora Crowley. (I felt like McGovern appropriately flattened out her accent, but according to Kansas reviewers maybe too much? Either way, her narration is top-notch. Which is pretty much always the case when seasoned actors read books.)

    History buffs who love this era will love this book; not sure who else might be interested--maybe early film buffs?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Suitors

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Cécile David-Weill
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (8)

    After sisters Laure and Marie learn of their parents’ plan to sell the family’s summer retreat, L’Agapanthe, they devise a scheme for attracting a wealthy suitor who can afford to purchase the estate. For the sisters, it has become a necessary part of their character, their lifestyle, and their past. L’Agapanthe is the perfect venue to exercise proper etiquette and intellect, though not all its visitors are socially savvy - especially when it’s a matter of understanding the relationship between old money and the nouveau riche.

    Sand says: "Comedy of Manners, aka Rich People Problems"
    "Comedy of Manners, aka Rich People Problems"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a pleasant listen; seems other readers were annoyed with the details, but for me, those meticulously catalogued particulars were what made the book enjoyable.

    The plot is as thin as consomme, and the narrator sounds far too mature to be the voice of a young 30-ish protagonist, but I still relished it, maybe because I've personally been the unwitting guest at similarly-situated country house weekends. The author truly does capture the almost-silly atmosphere of high-status people gathered together pretending to be...normal?

    If you're as fascinated with social nuances as I am, I think you'll like this book.

    But if you're looking for a strong story, or a romance...you'll probably want to pass on this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Reza Aslan
    • Narrated By Reza Aslan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1027)
    Performance
    (924)
    Story
    (916)

    From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor.

    Tad Davis says: "Vivid and well-researched"
    "There's a reason this is a bestseller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like it or not, Aslan creates a plausible portrait of the historical Jesus. (Sounds like Jesus's brother James was more Jesus-like than Jesus, but...whatever).
    The real question is, how/why did Saul/Paul of Tarsus co-opt this historical Jesus into this new Roman-friendly religion? If anyone wants to argue that there was divine intervention for Christianity at some point, I think you could argue it's through Paul...
    If you're a fundamentalist Christian, you'll find holes in Aslan's theories; if you're agnostic, I think you'll find it interesting.

    No matter what you believe, I highly recommend this book...you won't be disappointed!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Burial Rites: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Hannah Kent
    • Narrated By Morven Christie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (151)
    Story
    (147)

    A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829. Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution. Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her.

    Robyn says: "Somber but Beautiful"
    "An escapist treat"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you loved Little House in the Big Woods or Girl with the Pearl Earring, stop reading and download right now, because you will loooove this. (I'm not kidding--you can thank me later.)
    This is not to diminish the unraveling story or real-life plight of protagonist Agnes Magnusdottir-- --which is fascinating and mysterious on its own- but the details Kent provides about everyday life in early 19th C Iceland are, for history buffs, seriously delicious.
    The writing is beautiful and the narration is top-notch--I'm guessing Morven Christie put in a considerable amount of time to get the scenes and pronunciation right, and it definitely shows. She's flawless!
    This novel transports you to another time and place, while also connecting you to real events and persons.
    What more could you want?

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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