This is one of the best non-mystery novels I have ever listened to and now I can't quit thinking about it. It is a book about teenagers dealing with their impending deaths, but is somehow not maudlin or particularly sentimental. Yet -it made me think about life in this universe in a very different way. I really feel compelled to tell other people about it but I'm not sure I would recommend it to people who are either dying or watching a loved one die. This is not the kind of book about people dying with cancer who get cured or die noble deaths and that is precisely why I enjoyed it so much. It is the kind of book that makes you want to live every day to the fullest.
I rarely listen to YA books or non-mystery fiction so no books come to my mind that would compare.
Kate Rudd helped make the character of Hazel Grace come so alive for me that I could believe she was a real person narrating her story. Her voice is also very pleasant - just the right amount of resonance and clarity.
This is a very moving book and as I have stated, one that will haunt me for a long time. I don't want to give too much away about the plot and every particularly moving part would do just that . I will just say that there were more than a few times I had to stop the audio and just breathe.
I did not know this was a YA book until the interview at the end with John Green. Now I want to listen to the rest of his books to see if they are as wonderful as this one.
I recommend these Chet and Bernie Mysteries for those times when you just want to be entertained and don't want to have to concentrate too closely. I think that Spencer Quinn must love and understand dogs without idolizing them. I really enjoyed that the book is told from the dog's viewpoint and that the his attention span is about 2 minutes long.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes comedies of manner, great well developed characters, interesting settings and spot on dialogues. I would not recommend it to people who like their mysteries dense and that leave you guessing to the last minute.
I also thought that Robert Glenister was perfect as the reader. I'm amazed that he could effortlessly change between a Cornish accent and a Yorkshire one, while changing gender. He is so good that I wonder if I would have enjoyed the book as well as I did if he was not reading it.
What kept me on the edge of my seat was wanting to know how Cormorant Strike would do next and what clues he would use to solve the mystery. This is a character driven novel, and although the plot is important, it is not what is interesting.
There were several scenes that I could picture in my head as though I was watching a movie but the stand out is when Cormorant and Robin are shopping in the upscale boutique. The desciption of each characters' reactions to the expensive clothes, while the shop girls are gossiping is priceless. I love how Robin is constantly surpising Cormorant and how her intuition and acting ability gives him new clues to explore.
Any time that Cormorant was away from his office, the scene was painted in a way I could picture it though. There is another scene where he is meeting a very handsome police officer in a pub. I could just see the 3 women at the bar who were alternately ignoring the cop and making eye contact with him as they were subtly exhibiting preening behaviour- hilarious!
No - although I think about the book often and will listen to it again in a year or two, I can't say I was emotionally moved by it.
I have told several people about this book and all of them are as delighted as I am to find a new mystery series with great characters. Of course, by now I know that JK Rowling wrote this and she has never been better. Her observations of people and what motivates them are often hilarious without being malicious. I just hope that she will continue this series even though she has now been "outed" because I haven't found one I enjoyed this much in a while.
If you like learning new things whenever you read for pleasure, then Dan Brown never fails to deliver. His plots may be predictable and the dialogue somewhat stilted, but his love for sharing arcane knowledge raises his books beyond simple adventure stories. This book uses Dante's Divine Comedy as a backdrop for romps through Florence, Venice and Istanbul. Seen through Dan Brown's loving descriptions, these cities and their art treasure came alive. I hope they make a movie of it, just so I can see some of the museums on the big screen. All 3 cities are now on my bucket list of places I want to see. I also am a big believer in zero population growth, so the major theme is also compelling. The final solution is elegant and non-threatening and I hope that we don't find out in a sequal that it was all nullified.
I loved the description of the art work and the interesting details about them like Botticelli's masterpiece "The Birth of Venus" was a wedding day present to spur erotic desire.
Paul Michael has a very pleasant voice and doesn't make all the female characters sound the same. He has a knack for accents, so his reading immersed me in whatever country we visited.
The realization that we will have 9 billion people on earth by 2040.
I look forward to the next Robert Langdon book.
Absorbing family secrets
The way the story pulled you into this family and made you want to be one of their siblings. I have always been drawn to characters like Hannah. I also liked that even though it figured so prominently in the story, we didn't have to suffer the carnage of WWI. Except for one very brief and moving passage about David and Robbie's night at the farmhouse in Normandy, it was left to our imagination. The descriptions of Grace's life in service, especially at Riverton are incredibly well-written and interesting.
My favorite scene was when Teddy's sister, Deborah was snubbed by Robbie when she wanted to show him off as her discovery.
There were several moving moments, but the scene where Hannah and Robbie are on his barge and begin exploring the world through their imaginations was probably my favorite.
I love a good mystery story and usually prefer a faster-paced book. This book completely surprised me because the mystery is somewhat feeble, the pre-shadowing is so strong that I figured out most of the secrets, the narrator was often irritatingly self-effacing and I still loved it. Someone told me that Kate Morton unfolds her stories slowly and that she does, but it is never boring. The characters are more important than the story. I listened to this book in 40 minute segments for my drive to work and back and I would just sit in my car needing to hear more. Caroline Lee does a great job with the female voices but not the best with the male voices - otherwise I would give her narration 5 stars.
If you enjoy John Sanford's detective Davenport "Prey" series, you don't want to miss this one. It takes you back to his very first case when he catapulted from street cop to detective. We also meet Davenport's sidekick Del for the first time too.
Like all of Sandord's stories, the mystery is not as interesting as the characters. This book starts in modern day Minnesota when the bodies of 2 girls are found buried under a block of houses as they are demolished. It turns out the bodies are 2 sisters called the Jones girls, who went missing and were pursumed dead in the 1980s. Davenport recalls his days as a street cop who was allowed to put on detective's threads to pursue leads on the original case. We see how his thought process developed in the early stages of the investigation and how he eventually lost the threads of the case.
Then the book reverts back to the present and becomes a more ordinary Davenport "Prey" story, decent but not as interesting.
Richard Ferrone does a great job as a reader, and kept my interest by his ability to inject the right amount of drama.
From the first 10 minutes of Into the Woods, I have been hooked by Tana French's cop stories set in a Dublin Murder Squad. Each narrator has been perfect for the first person narration and Stephen Hogan may be the best yet as Mike "Scorcher" Kennedy. As with her previous 3 novels, the murder investigation is interesting and the clues are elusive but the real story is the heart and mind of one of the detectives.
As a rookie 20 years before this case, Kennedy received his nicknamebecause of his habit of congratulating himself out loud with a gesture similar to a soccer scorer. He now has the highest solve rate in the squad and the ego to go with it. Basically a loner, he doesn't have a regular partner, choosing instead to "mentor" whichever newbie detective is assigned to him. This allows him to pontificate about following the rules and doing things by the book according to Kennedy.
Scorcher is given a high-profile murder to investigate set in Brian's Town, formerly known as the Broken Harbor of the title. His mentee is Richie Curran, so new he doesn't even own a tie or the decent clothes that Kennedy demands for his sidekicks. The murder is pretty horrific: a father and his 2 kids are murderered and the wife/mother is terribly wounded. (As a side note: I might have stopped listening at the description of the murder scene but Tana French focuses on the cops, not the victims. This made the murder of children much more bearable for me.) The clues are very interesting and tantalising, especially a thread about an unknown animal living within the victim's house's walls. More interesting, is how Scorcher comes to understand that the rules that have always been his only friends so very easily become his nemeses.
I really enjoyed this book and would have given it 5 stars but the ending left me a little dissatisfied. I thought Richie was thrown under the bus too easily. Without giving away the ending, all I can say is that I don't want the next book to be about Quigley or O'Kelly. Readers who have read the other 3 books will understand that they are the only ones left for the next book.
If so, you will love Gone Girl. This book is well worth the 18 hours of listening time.
I started listening to this book and had to tell all the book lovers I know that I had found the next great read. Here was a book that told an interesting story through two completely different points of view. I told people that it was a fascinating study in marriage and the reasons that it is so hard to maintain a relationship between two intelligent people. In many ways, it is a scathing comedy of manners about modern relationships. It is also skewers our modern preoccupation with true crime and shows like "Nancy Grace".
Then as the twists kept turning, I realized this really is a mystery afterall with just enough clues to make me belieive that everyone could be guilty. Now I was listening to find out if any of my theories were plausible. I kept thinking that if it twisted that much from my first impressions, then another big twist was going to come.
More twists do come and few of my theories were right. The only reason I didn't give the story 5 stars is that the ending, though horrible enough to give you nightmares, didn't satisfy me the way the rest of the book did.
The two readers do an excellent job, especially Julia Whalen. I am not sure I would have enjoyed the book as much without their interpretation of the characters.
Who knew that half of a magician duo could be this funny, raw, shocking and fun?
Penn Jillette's reading of his own book wrings out every bit of humor, pathos and irreverence from a series of essays grouped by the 10 Commandments. The essays are filled with clippings of Jillette's own life that are often heart-wrenching even though I was often laughing so hard, I had to rewind to hear some bits again. I have to say, sometimes the memories also caused me to squirm a little because his emotions are so raw and the language can be pretty harsh.
Of course this book will offend and shock many people who are not already athiest, but I am hopeful that some open-minded beleivers give it a try. It may open some minds or it may make your faith even stronger -who knows. I certainly did not agree with everything he has opinions about, but I sure enjoyed hearing his take on American life from religion to politics to child-rearing.
I was definitely did not want the book to end and now I waiting for the sequel (if there is one) to hear Penn Jillette's take on othere aspects of life.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys light mysteries and particularly if they listen while they drive. You don't have to have listened to the first book, but I think you will have missed out on the build-up of the characters. It is the characters that make it so funny. Although the situation here is amusing too. Lady Georgiana has to chaperone a Bavarian princess who is the Royal Pain of the title.
The most memorable moment for me was when the Princess's love interest was stabbed upstairs while Georgie was downstairs. A nasty bit of business that made the book more serious for several chapters.
Frankly, I am not sure that I would sit down and read any of these books - it is Katherine Kellgren's performance that makes them enjoyable for me. She brings out every bit of comedy there is by
These are light hearted mysteries for entertainment purposes.
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