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  • Flight Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at 17. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media.

    mj says: "Tough Message Delivered in Silk"
    "Another homerun for Barbara Kingsolver!"
    If you could sum up Flight Behavior in three words, what would they be?

    Surprisingly fiction, captivating.

    What did you like best about this story?

    Barbara Kingsolver crafts yet another amazing and compelling story which is simultaneously complex and incredibly simple. The most shocking component is her ability to craft a work of fiction within the construct of an environmental and biological reality. The growth and arc of the main character is well worth the ride! As with all of her books, I was sad to have it end.

    What three words best describe Barbara Kingsolver’s performance?

    Word-by-word reading...

    If you could rename Flight Behavior, what would you call it?

    Funny, but I couldn't keep the title in my head...I kept calling it Flight Risk.

    Any additional comments?

    Barbara Kingsolver has a wonderful voice, but can be painful to listen to due to her clearly innunciating each word and very slow reading speed. Her reading style was too staccatoed and too intentional with each word painfully articulated and spoken. Each word was read one at a time rather than in a fluid and flowing natural style. In one respect, I loved her reading her own book because I knew I would hear how each word was intended to be heard. However, I think a voice actor would have been much more capitivating. I found her narration so disturbing to listen to from the get-go that I almost considered not listening to it. The story was's narration was not. Her voices for the different characters were limited and often even slower than the rest of the story, but her voice of Dr. Ovid Byron was fantastic! It is a story I will think about often.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • We Are Not Ourselves

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Matthew Thomas
    • Narrated By Mare Winningham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed. When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit.

    Paula says: "Profound Narrative of FantisizingTragedy, Regret"
    "We Are Ourselves"
    Where does We Are Not Ourselves rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Just below the top tier. This was a really good book, but it wasn't amazing. The book addresses the magnitude of Alzheimer's and its impact on everyone within its reach. I learned a lot about the disease and I'm grateful for such a gritty and real perspective. I'm not sure if it wasn't amazing because of the story, the subject matter, or the narration--perhaps it was a combination of the three. .

    What was one of the most memorable moments of We Are Not Ourselves?

    When Ed was diagnosed, only from the perspective that I didn't see it coming. I often don't read a books description because part of reading to me is to be surprised along a journey. I get a sense of a book's direction and then I take off. So, when the diagnose was given I was shocked and everything fell so neatly into place. I love that feeling in a book.

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

    I think this is the first one I've listened to by her. I found the narration a bit too flat and steady for my could have used more peaks and valleys.

    If you could rename We Are Not Ourselves, what would you call it?

    We Can't Be Someone We're Not--We Are Ourselves

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Interestings

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Meg Wolitzer
    • Narrated By Jen Tullock
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge. The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age 15 is not always enough to propel someone through life at age 30; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence.

    Tango says: "Needs a better title, but a good read (listen)"
    "are indeed interesting."
    Would you listen to The Interestings again? Why?

    Yes. Knowing the outcome of the main characters would provide a unique perspective listening to their stories from the beginning. Given all that I know, the plot elements and details may be more telling in the characters' development. I've only reread one book more than once (The Alchemist by Paolo Coehlo), but I'd have to believe that this book would be worth a second listen.

    What other book might you compare The Interestings to and why?

    The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach because of the inter-connectedness of the main characters and the themes of jealousy, envy, and the rarity of true talent.

    Which character – as performed by Jen Tullock – was your favorite?

    Dennis, Jules' husband--because he was written as such a different type of character than the Interestings and Ms. Tullock's performance created such a visual of him that I'm sure I'd be able to pick him out of a line-up. Several times I continued listening to Dennis' parts long after I needed to pause the book because I was transfixed not just by the words, but by the rawness of "his" delivery.

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

    No, and from my perspective, that's a good thing! I only listen to long books because if they are good...I never want them to end. For that very reason, I can't read short stories. I hate to become vested in something amazing and wonderful and then have it come to a premature conclusion. I want greatness to last.

    Any additional comments?

    I learned a lot about myself in the book's discussion of jealousy and envy among friends and within families...and how such emotions cause us to struggle with conflicting thoughts of success, insecurities, happiness, and mediocrity.

    One of the story lines never got truly resolved and karma never caught up to one character...karmic retribution would have made the end feel just a smidge more satisfying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Fielding: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Chad Harbach
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended.

    S. says: "Not Quite ~"
    "Few people rise to brilliance..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Art of Fielding to be better than the print version?

    I only listened to the book.

    What other book might you compare The Art of Fielding to and why?

    Oddly enough...Ayn Rand's work (although I'm hardly an expert on the subject). To me, they intersect at the point of individual's achieving greatness and the fact that not everyone does. We all recognize greatness when we see it because it something that stops us in our tracks regardless as to how mundane the task. We all should strive for greatness...finding the thing each of us do well and take it through to fruition--and that's how we will all be compensated in the end.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    The pivotal moment when Owen was reading in the dugout during a game...that moment literally and figuratively cracks the book apart.

    If you could take any character from The Art of Fielding out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Mike Schwartz--he's flawed and he recognizes it. I love that kind of honesty. Although he seems like an over the top exaggerated character, I think people like to puff themselves up to hide/protect their vulnerability. I'd want to tell him that greatness comes in all sizes.

    Any additional comments?

    For what it's worth, I don't like baseball at all, but yet found this book about baseball captivating. It made me even understand the draw people have to baseball. I love a book that subtly challenges my beliefs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Written in My Own Heart's Blood: Outlander, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (44 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Hurtled back through time more than two hundred years to 1743 Scotland, Claire Randall finds herself caught in the midst of an unfamiliar world torn apart by violence, pestilence, and revolution and haunted by her growing feelings for a young soldier, James Fraser.

    G. House Sr. says: "Eloquent Fabulous Historical - Grand Continuation"
    "Surprisingly dissapointing"
    If you could sum up Written in My Own Heart's Blood in three words, what would they be?

    Epic, captivating, and heart-felt.

    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    "Seriously, that's it?" Gabaldon skipped over serious plot elements and presented the ending to the reader all neat an tidy without taking us with her on that journey. What compounds that frustration is the crazy amount of time she spent detailing surgeries and medical issues throughout the novel! I was truly surprised when man said, "The End. This concludes the reading of..." There was so much ground to left cover and the "how" was left unanswered...and, definitely not in a good . The "how" would have made for some pretty amazing storytelling. I hate to say that of this book and of this series in particular...but, I'm really disappointed with how it ended.

    Which character – as performed by Davina Porter – was your favorite?

    I honestly loved them all. Davina Porter is amazingly talented! I'd be transfixed listening to her read the menu at McDonald's! And, I'm relatively certain that's not an exaggeration.

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

    The part about Henri Christian...and, that's all I'm going to say.

    Any additional comments?

    Gabaldon's wrap up, or lack thereof, definitely leaves the door open to the possibility for the next book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jonas Jonasson
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash.

    Sylvia says: "Full of Surprises and Unexpected Events"
    "Painful, painful, painful"
    What disappointed you about The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared?

    I though it would be a compelling story, but it turned out to be an ad nauseam litany of one highly improbable far fetched thing after another. I stuck it out to the end because I was sure everything we come together in some sort of amazing way...and, that never happened. I was so sure it would. In fact, the story ended with yet another springboard on to the next adventure segue. Painful.

    Would you ever listen to anything by Jonas Jonasson again?

    Simply put, no.

    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator did a good job. His voice fit the characters in the story.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared?

    The entire back story of the 100-year-old man's previous 99 years! Yes, it hooked into the current 100+ year story line, but not the level of painful detail it provided.

    Any additional comments?

    It saddens me that I'm not going to get that 12 hours and 29 seconds back. Volunteer, make dinner, take a walk, something else instead of listening to this relentless, outlandish story. In so many ways this book could have been great.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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