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Gwendolyn

Wendy

Carpinteria, CA | Member Since 2010

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 68 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Winter of the World: The Century Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4595)
    Performance
    (3861)
    Story
    (3870)

    Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, Welsh - enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion.

    Jimmy says: "Epic, Remarkable, Easy & Enjoyable!"
    "Boring compared to Ken Follett's other World Books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The plot, the performer, the author. AND I really liked Ken Follett's World Without End and The Pillars of the Earth. This seems like a bad addition to the Fall of Giants, which I didn't care for.


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

    Go back to the first page.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    His accents were absolutely awful. particularly the young women from New York. Oy!


    Do you think Winter of the World needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Yes, I was sorry when that ended....


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5732)
    Performance
    (4960)
    Story
    (4954)

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "Fun romp through 1960's Italy and back to the US"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Beautiful Ruins?

    The narrator's beautiful accents and the descriptions of the beaches, the people, including the famous actors and their vices. And I enjoyed the funny parts about the director's plastic surgery results.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Beautiful Ruins?

    When all the characters met at the end


    Have you listened to any of Edoardo Ballerini’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. It was lovely, like a stroll through a beautful Italian piazza


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

    yes


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Cheryl Strayed
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2927)
    Performance
    (2566)
    Story
    (2570)

    At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

    Marci says: "I Miss Her"
    "Everywoman should read this and share the journey!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Wild?

    I loved that Cheryl Strayed had never hiked and decided to hike an 1100 mile trail. It was outrageously stupid and courageous at the same time. I loved her moxy and the fact that she never read the books about the trail until the night before. I loved the metaphor of her tumultuous life to the story of her journey on the Pacific Crest Trail.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Wild?

    My favorite part was when she boot fell off the mountain and then she angrily threw the other one over the hill, too.


    What about Bernadette Dunne’s performance did you like?

    She seemed very realistic and exactly the right voice for a street wise yet vulnerable young Cheryl.


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

    How Not to Plan a Hiking Trip


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

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kathleen Grissom
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy, Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6722)
    Performance
    (4700)
    Story
    (4685)

    Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction.

    B.J. says: "Good, but with reservations"
    "Loved this story! Slavery, sex & power......."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Kitchen House again? Why?

    No. It was so memorable, I wouldn't read it again. But I'd recommend it to dear friends, which I've already done....


    What other book might you compare The Kitchen House to and why?

    Island Beneath the Sea, The Help..


    Have you listened to any of Orlagh Cassidy and Bahni Turpin ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


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

    The ending when the house was burning down


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Third Gate: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Johnathan McClain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (856)
    Performance
    (732)
    Story
    (726)

    Under the direction of famed explorer Porter Stone, an archaeological team is secretly attempting to locate the tomb of an ancient pharaoh who was unlike any other in history. Stone believes he has found the burial chamber of King Narmer, the near mythical god-king who united upper and lower Egypt in 3200 B.C., and the archaeologist has reason to believe that the greatest prize of all - Narmer's crown - might be buried with him. No crown of an Egyptian king has ever been discovered, and Narmer's is the elusive crown of the two Egypts.

    Amanda says: "Reliable Entertainment for Child Fans"
    "I really want to like this book, but......."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Third Gate? What did you like least?

    I like anything to do with Egyptology, archaeology, and the paranormal. So I thought this should be a great mixture of all of it. The promise of a treasure, the suspense leading up to the final destination are very good, but it just a tease!


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    With the constant twist and turns of the journey and the clock ticking with a flood/dam release imminent.


    What aspect of Johnathan McClain’s performance would you have changed?

    Nothing. I thought he was alright.


    Did The Third Gate inspire you to do anything?

    Not really


    Any additional comments?

    I'd just say there's better fiction out there for Egyptophyles: Try the River God. Excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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