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Julia Grant

Rocky River, OH, US | Member Since 2005

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 32 ratings
  • 767 titles in library
  • 40 purchased in 2014
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  • Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Steve Martin
    • Narrated By Steve Martin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2672)
    Performance
    (1273)
    Story
    (1266)

    In the mid-70s, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. Born Standing Up is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away".

    Andrew says: "Fantastic"
    "Insight into a genius mind"
    Overall

    Excellent insight into the comic genius of Steve Martin. He is no Scott Brick when it comes to reading aloud, but he IS reading his own words and thoughts, and that in itself makes for a fine listen. If you don't think Martin is funny, however, you may not want to read this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Liberty

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Garrison Keillor
    • Narrated By Garrison Keillor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (319)
    Performance
    (176)
    Story
    (178)

    Lake Wobegon is in a frenzy of preparations for the Fourth of July. The town is dizzy with anticipation - until they hear of Clint's ambition to run for Congress. They know about his episodes with vodka sours, his rocky marriage, and his friendship with the 24-year-old who dresses up as the Statue of Liberty for the parade and may be buck naked beneath her robes. In Keillor's words, "It is Lake Wobegon as you imagined it - good loving people who drive each other crazy."

    Christopher says: "Great for a long country drive."
    "Details of day to day life spot on"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Liberty to be better than the print version?

    Yes because Keillor reads his work so very well.


    What other book might you compare Liberty to and why?

    I'll pick an unusual one, Ladies of the Club, for its similar attention to the fine details of human existence and interaction. However, unlike Ladies (which I love), Keillor goes after all the humor embedded in humanity. This was a laugh out loud listen.


    Which character – as performed by Garrison Keillor – was your favorite?

    Hard to pick, but maybe Art, an irascible, insane actually, old codger.


    Who was the most memorable character of Liberty and why?

    Again, Art, or maybe Irene, the wife of the main character, who doesn't have a lot of speaking lines but whose essence is pivotal to the whole story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doc: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Mary Doria Russell
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (510)
    Performance
    (373)
    Story
    (368)

    The year is 1878, peak of the Texas cattle trade. The place is Dodge City, Kansas, a saloon-filled cow town jammed with liquored-up adolescent cowboys and young Irish hookers. Violence is random and routine, but when the burned body of a mixed-blood boy named Johnnie Sanders is discovered, his death shocks a part-time policeman named Wyatt Earp. And it is a matter of strangely personal importance to Doc Holliday, the frail 26-year-old dentist who has just opened an office at No. 24, Dodge House.

    Dennis says: "Great writing and narration"
    "Delightful book, delightful narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Doc in three words, what would they be?

    Poignant, engaging, funny


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Almost hate to say Doc because so many are engaging, including Wyatt and Morgan, as well as the Jesuit priest. But Doc it is. He has so many sides, virtues and flaws. Russell has created a character who seems to have a perfect understanding of his own humanity.


    Which character – as performed by Mark Bramhall – was your favorite?

    Still Doc. The accent, the changes in tone that come with different moods of Doc are spot on. That said, Bramhall turns in a masterful performance of all the characters. His reading has greatly enhanced my enjoyment of this book. His timing and nuances are perfect.


    If you could take any character from Doc out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Wyatt Earp. I would want to see if I could engage him in conversation.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a delightful listen. All criteria are met--great story, interesting characters, outstanding reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel of North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Adam Johnson
    • Narrated By Tim Kang, Josiah D. Lee, James Kyson Lee, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1269)
    Performance
    (1100)
    Story
    (1109)

    Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother - a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang - and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.

    Lisa says: "The most compelling listen I've ever owned"
    "Two versions of propaganda"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No, I was sorry that I spent time on this melodrama. I am not a big fan of melodrama, but kept thinking there would surely be something more than what was so predictable.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Adam Johnson again?

    Probably not.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    The narrators did do a great job with depicting the different characters. Can't fault them for what they had to read.


    Do you think The Orphan Master's Son needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. No spoiler from me, but I don't think there is anything left to say.


    Any additional comments?

    I have read a lot about the awful situation in North Korea, and I am not averse to reading a novelized version. But this one went over the top, creating its own version of a propaganda script. If that was Johnson's intent, he succeeded, but I found myself increasingly bored with the idealized caricatures of his "good" characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2428)
    Performance
    (1300)
    Story
    (1294)

    The prolific, perennially best selling author recounts his early life and writing struggles, gives advice on the crucial aspects of the writing art, and talks about his much-publicized, near-fatal accident.

    Bill says: "Excellent!"
    "Fascinating insights"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to On Writing again? Why?

    Absolutely, and I will. It feels like an intimate conversation with Stephen King, who reads it. And it is filled with insights into both his own life and into the creative process.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of On Writing?

    His description of his first book success.


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

    No


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It did indeed make me laugh at times.


    Any additional comments?

    Stephen Kings does a great job of reading his own words to you. I highly recommend this one.

    0 of 0 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
    (6225)
    Performance
    (5391)
    Story
    (5386)

    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"
    "Completely engaging!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely, and already have. It is a number of stories interwoven into a satisfying whole. I kept wanting to go for another walk to "read" more, but kept looking, sad to see that there was so little of the book left for me to enjoy.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The various characters--they are well-developed so that you feel as if you know them.


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

    Not that I recall, but he was just great. I'll look for him again.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Both!


    Any additional comments?

    Really a wonderful listen. Recommend highly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Monday Mornings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Sanjay Gupta
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (138)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (113)

    Every time surgeons operate, they're betting their skills are better than the brain tumor, the faulty heart valve, the fractured femur. Sometimes, they're wrong. At Chelsea General, surgeons answer for bad outcomes at the Morbidity and Mortality conference, known as M & M. This extraordinary peek behind the curtain into what is considered the most secretive meeting in all of medicine is the back drop for the entire book.

    Laurie says: "Get me a writer, stat!!"
    "Engaging story of medical issues"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it was engrossing and well told.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters are so well developed that the reader feels they must be real people.


    Which character ??? as performed by Christian Rummel ??? was your favorite?

    Who wouldn't pick El Gato??? But he did a great job of reading everyone in this work--no small feat.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Laugh, for certain, but was also very serious at times.


    Any additional comments?

    A really good medical story (stories, really), filled with interesting characters.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Anna Quindlen
    • Narrated By Anna Quindlen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (293)
    Performance
    (241)
    Story
    (243)

    In this irresistible memoir, the New York Times best-selling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize Anna Quindlen writes about looking back and ahead - and celebrating it all - as she considers marriage, girlfriends, our mothers, faith, loss, all the stuff in our closets, and more. Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is filled with the sharp insights and revealing observations that have long confirmed Quindlen’s status as America’s laureate of real life.

    Sheila A. Dechantal says: "Worth a listen!"
    "Truly articulate account of boomer women"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, particularly women or anyone who wants to understand them. In fact, I have recommended it to my children to give them more insight into me, as well as to other women such as my sisters.


    What did you like best about this story?

    These memoirs, read by the author, are well arranged and resonate amazingly with my own experiences as a woman of similar age.


    What about Anna Quindlen???s performance did you like?

    Lovely! Feels like she is talking to you personally.


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

    Really, several. Her discussion of mortality was moving. The way she talks about a relates to her children also hit home.


    Any additional comments?

    I will listen to this again, but, unusually, I will also now go buy the book for handy reference. I hope she follows in the vein of others who have written memoirs, and we will see another when she is 75.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Elegance of the Hedgehog

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Muriel Barbery
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat, Cassandra Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2160)
    Performance
    (1130)
    Story
    (1151)

    An enchanting New York Times and international best seller and award-winner about life, art, literature, philosophy, culture, class, privilege, and power, seen through the eyes of a 54-year-old French concierge and a precocious but troubled 12-year-old girl.

    Pyles says: "It surprised me"
    "A great story enhanced by a great reader."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Elegance of the Hedgehog in three words, what would they be?

    engaging, literary, humourous


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Elegance of the Hedgehog?

    too many to pick


    What about Barbara Rosenblat and Cassandra Morris ???s performance did you like?

    Rosenblatt is always amazing. Really captured the essence of the main character/narrator.


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

    Several, but hard to specify without giving away important plot direction.


    Any additional comments?

    One of my favorites.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Shadow of the Wind

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (1772)
    Performance
    (808)
    Story
    (822)

    Barcelona, 1945: Just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his 11th birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother's face. To console his only child, Daniel's widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona's guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again.

    Katherine says: "Great With One Exception"
    "In the end, a disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Carlos Ruiz Zafon and/or Jonathan Davis?

    Probably not. The book engaged me at first, but it went on way too long (and I have listened to many long books--just don't like it if, in the end, they aren't worth it). The reader was inconsistent in his accent and pronunciations--felt affected.


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

    A disappointing end to a book that started out strong. I wanted to love this one, and did not end up doing so. I did finish it, however--can't say that for every single book.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes


    Did The Shadow of the Wind inspire you to do anything?

    No


    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Watership Down

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Richard Adams
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3040)
    Performance
    (2328)
    Story
    (2342)

    Fiver could sense danger. Something terrible was going to happen to the warren; he felt sure of it. They had to leave immediately. So begins a long and perilous journey of survival for a small band of rabbits. As the rabbits skirt danger at every turn, we become acquainted with the band, its humorous characters, and its compelling culture, complete with its own folk history and mythos.

    B. Cable says: "Still one of the best!"
    "One of the best adventure stories ever!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Watership Down in three words, what would they be?

    Great story-telling!


    What did you like best about this story?

    the many stories that are woven together. There is an overall story line that holds things together perfectly, but the sub-stories are gems in themselves--genius!


    Which character ??? as performed by Ralph Cosham ??? was your favorite?

    Hazel


    If you could take any character from Watership Down out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Fiver--who wouldn't want access to his insights for an evening?


    Any additional comments?

    I read this book hard copy years ago and loved it. I decided it was time to revisit it, so listened this time. Still love it--one of the best adventure stories ever told.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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