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katrina

NEWBURGH, NY, United States | Member Since 2013

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 148 ratings
  • 210 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2018
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  • Putin Country: A Journey into the Real Russia

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Anne Garrels
    • Narrated By Anne Garrels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (263)
    Performance
    (227)
    Story
    (225)

    In Putin Country: A Journey into the Real Russia, Garrels crafts an intimate portrait of the nation's heartland. We meet ostentatious mafiosos, upwardly mobile professionals, impassioned activists, scheming taxi drivers with dark secrets, and beleaguered steel workers. We discover surprising subcultures, like the LGBT residents of Chelyablinsk who bravely endure an upsurge in homophobia fueled by Putin's rhetoric of Russian "moral superiority" yet still nurture a vibrant if clandestine community of their own.

    Amazon Customer says: "Interesting dive into Russia today"
    "Excellent insight to today's Russia"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was keen to get this book after I heard the author interviewed on NPR. I know little about Russia, and Garrels does an excellent job of explaining how the changes of the last 30 years (and the Soviet era before) have affected people's lives.
    As a broadcast journalist, she does her own narration, which adds a lot to this first-person account.
    Highly recommended for anyone who is curious about how and why Putin is so popular, and what Russians really think about their country's situation.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Dressmaker

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Rosalie Ham
    • Narrated By Rachel Griffiths
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (28)

    After 20 years spent mastering the art of dressmaking at couture houses in Paris, Tilly Dunnage returns to the small Australian town she was banished from as a child. She plans only to check on her ailing mother and leave. But Tilly decides to stay, and though she is still an outcast, her lush, exquisite dresses prove irresistible to the prim women of Dungatar.

    sjvb says: "sad story
    "
    "Shame about the pronunciation...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book is well-written, but I had trouble figuring out precisely when it was set. The entire story takes place over perhaps a year. The main character receives the new LP of South Pacific, putting it around 1949-1950. They sing God Save the King, which puts it prior to 1953 (When Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne). But then another character requests clothing styled after Marilyn Monroe in Bus Stop (1956)....

    I'm sure not all listeners are as picky as me, but this kind of thing became a distraction.

    Rachel Griffiths does a good job capturing the essence of this story, with its Dickensian names and often hilarious incidents.
    Unfortunately, given that the story is about a dressmaker, it would have been good to have a narrator who knew how to pronounce Schiaparelli, Vionnet, and (worst of all) "couture".

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Measuring the World: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Daniel Kehlmann
    • Narrated By Rider Strong
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    Toward the end of the 18th century, two young Germans set out to measure the world. One of them, the Prussian aristocrat Alexander von Humboldt, negotiates savannas and jungle, travels down the Orinoco River, tastes poisons, climbs the highest mountain known to man, counts head lice, and explores every hole in the ground. The other, the barely socialized mathematician and astronomer Carl Friedrich Gauss, does not even need to leave his home in Göttingen to prove that space is curved.

    Henrik says: "Extremely disappointing - please avoid"
    "Interesting but confusing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a fascinating story but the fact that it's translated I think led to some confusing passages. The narrator also didn't delineate the characters well, which sometimes made it harder to follow who was speaking and what was going on.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Luminaries

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Eleanor Catton
    • Narrated By Mark Meadows
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1858)
    Performance
    (1612)
    Story
    (1645)

    It is 1866 and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.

    Mel says: "Not So Luminous"
    "Wonerful narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a beautiful, complex story. The narrator managed to keep it pacy and distinguished the characters brilliantly. I was engaged through all the twenty something hours of it, which is really quite a feat for a narrator.

    The plot is so intricate, you'll want to concentrate to keep track of it, but it's so clever, I was amazed it was her first novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Aaron Goldfarb
    • Narrated By Kevin Killavey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    How to Fail is the world's FIRST Self-Hurt Guide, the polar opposite of a self-help guide. In How to Fail, follow the misadventures, misgivings, and massive mistakes of this satiric novel's narrator, Stu Fish, as he tries to find success in 2010 New York. With hilarious chapters such as "How to Fail to Make Your Parents Proud of You," "How to Fail to Do Something Productive All Day," "How to Fail in Love," and "How to Fail All the Way to Rock Bottom," and even more ribald "footchapters".

    katrina says: "Nowhere near as funny as the author thinks"
    "Nowhere near as funny as the author thinks"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This mildly amusing narrative seems like an extended version of a McSweeney's article. The narrator however really takes the biscuit. Just a sample of the words mispronounced in this book: hirsute, eponymous, wunderkind, denizens (and that was after I started taking notes). This was rather distracting, and the wit itself was as I said, rather a page's worth squeezed into an entire book.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Accursed

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Joyce Carol Oates
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (7)

    An eerie, unforgettable story of power, loss, and family curses in early 20th century Princeton. Princeton, New Jersey at the turn of the 20th century: soon-to-be commander-in-chief Woodrow Wilson is president of Princeton University.

    katrina says: "Gripping old-fashioned horror story"
    "Gripping old-fashioned horror story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a change for Oates, and I was so involved - it is whatever the audible equivalent of a "page turner" is! I couldn't stop listening to it, wanting to get to the solution to the mystery.

    Grover Gardner's reading is occasionally distracting: on a couple of occasions he pronounces JOSIAH (one of the main characters) as JOSHUA. He also mispronounces "idyll".

    However, his characterisation of the different figures in the book is very good, he manages to avoid the trap of some male narrators of putting on a weird falsetto for female characters.

    The story is set in Princeton, NJ, in 1905, when a sequence of inexplicable - possibly demonic - events begins. This is during Woodrow Wilson's tenure as president of the university, and he turns out to be quite an irascible and petty individual, which offers some sly humor. Grover Cleveland, Upton Sinclair, Jack London, Mark Twain and other luminaries are also involved.

    Ghosts, trances, outbreaks of murderous madness, and voices from the beyond: if you're a fan of the historical and gothic in fiction, get this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Siddhartha Mukherjee
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3625)
    Performance
    (2633)
    Story
    (2631)

    Written by cancer physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies is a stunning combination of medical history, cutting-edge science, and narrative journalism that transforms our understanding of cancer and much of the world around us. Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist's precision, a novelist's richness of detail, a historian's range, and a biographer's passion.

    Paul says: "Spectacular!"
    "Fascinating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author has done a great job of mixing historical research into the treatments of cancer with his own experiences as a physician. Some of the accounts of early cancer surgery are hard to listen to, but the description of how treatments and attitudes have changed are fascinating. It's long but kept me involved all the way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Isabel Wilkerson
    • Narrated By Robin Miles, Ken Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3644)
    Performance
    (3220)
    Story
    (3206)

    In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to previously untapped data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

    Robert W. Drues says: "probably would make anyone uncomfortable"
    "Interesting but long"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Robin Miles does a great job of characterising all the different people who appear in this book. The story is of African Americans who moved from the South to northern states between the 1920s and the 1960s.
    However, as an audiobook it is rather slow and episodic (it's 22 hours) as we hear the same things over again, and would have been better read on the page.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Guts: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Kristen Johnston
    • Narrated By Kristen Johnston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1110)
    Performance
    (1019)
    Story
    (1016)

    The two-time Emmy Award-winning actress has written her first book, a surprisingly raw and triumphant memoir that is outrageous, moving, sweet, tragic, and heartbreakingly honest. Guts is a true triumph - a memoir that manages to be as frank and revealing as Augusten Burroughs, yet as hilarious and witty as David Sedaris.

    Ohjohnny says: "Should win awards for best audiobook performance"
    "Honest, raw and hilarious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't know much about Kristen Johnston before listening to this book. She comes across as a smart, self-deprecating, and genuinely funny woman. Her story of addiction and recovery isn't cast as "woe is me" but truly self aware. There were parts where I was laughing out loud. She's honest about her flaws and problems, and by the end I wanted to be her friend. A great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Intercept: A Jeremy Fisk Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Dick Wolf
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (568)
    Performance
    (501)
    Story
    (498)

    Days before the July Fourth holiday and the dedication of One World Trade Center at Ground Zero, an incident aboard a commercial jet flying over the Atlantic Ocean reminds everyone that vigilance is not a task to be taken lightly. But for iconoclastic NYPD detective Jeremy Fisk, it may also be a signal that there is much more to this case than the easy answer of this being just the work of another lone terrorist. Fisk suspects that the event might also be a warning sign that another scheme has been set in motion.

    Katherine says: "Page turner"
    "Taut thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a tightly-written thriller from the creator of the Law&Order TV franchise. The hero, Jeremy Fisk, is an intelligence agent with the NYPD, working on antiterror strategies. When a plane hijacking is foiled, he starts to investigate whether there is a bigger plot at hand.

    I enjoyed this book and Peter Ganim's narration is clear and vivid, and I look forward to the next book in this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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