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Joanne M. McGowan

ratings
135
REVIEWS
18
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
5

  • The Friday Night Knitting Club

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Kate Jacobs
    • Narrated By Carrington Macduffie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (759)
    Performance
    (145)
    Story
    (147)

    Walker & Daughter is Georgia Walker's little yarn shop, tucked into a quiet storefront on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The Friday Night Knitting Club is the ad hoc creation of some of Georgia's regulars, who stroll into the shop looking for tips on knitting and end up finding much, much more. Once a week, they gather to work on their latest projects and to chat - and occasionally clash - over their stories of love, life, and everything in between.

    flimfrik says: "Wanted to like it but constantly disappointed."
    "Enjoyable"
    Overall

    I enjoyed this book, though I found some of the characters were a little annoying. It's a nice light book, and I really respected that the author did not end it in a trite predictable way (you'll have to listen to find out what happens)! Some of the characters are really interesting and are dealing with issues that a lot of women face.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Alan Bradley
    • Narrated By Jayne Entwistle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1370)
    Performance
    (855)
    Story
    (853)

    It is the summer of 1950 and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia's family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw.

    Midi says: "Terrific story...spot-on narration"
    "Meh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Maybe someone's 12 year old niece.


    What was most disappointing about Alan Bradley’s story?

    The evidence in the story was just unrealistic... too many unrelated tidbits blown into "and CLEARLY this means..." sort of declarations when there was nothing "clear" about it.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Nothing really. She'd need better material.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Flavia's character was well developed. The author has said that she just showed up when he was writing a different story.


    Any additional comments?

    The book was not really 'bad,' at least not horribly bad. It was just underwhelming, and honestly, I found it kind of annoying. It felt like the evidence was unrelated, yet kept popping up out of nowhere. I'm still trying to figure out why anyone in the world would see pie crust in a hotel waste bin and think "Aha! clearly he smuggled a dead bird in from Norway!" Seriously?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Slam

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Nick Hornby
    • Narrated By Nicholas Hoult
    Overall
    (155)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (35)

    Just when everything is coming together for Sam, his girlfriend, Alicia, drops a bombshell. Make that ex-girlfriend: because by the time she tells him she's pregnant, they¿ve already called it quits. Sam does not want to be a teenage dad.

    Jody R. Nathan says: "Slam Dunk! Great read!"
    "Love both Nicks!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Slam?

    Nick Hornby's character development is brilliant, as is his sense of humor!! I found myself laughing outloud in several areas of the book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Slam?

    I won't even pick one. The whole book was memorable.


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

    No. This is the only title listed for him, but I hope he does more. He did a wonderful job, and caught the attitude of this snarky, teen-aged, skate-rat perfectly!


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

    I nearly did. I've listened to it twice now and laughed the second time too.


    Any additional comments?

    Great read. Makes you laugh, but also handles a very tough subject. The characters are believable and their reactions to their situation felt realistic to me. Hornby really writes well as a young boy... must once have been one. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • God Don't Like Ugly

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Mary Monroe
    • Narrated By Denise Burse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (48)

    In God Don't Like Ugly, she weaves a powerful tale of devastating abuse, the strength of friendship, and the burden of terrible secrets. Shy, overweight Annette Goode is only seven years old when Mr. Boatwright, a boarder in her house, begins sexually abusing her. She keeps this information to herself for years, until gorgeous, self-assured Rhoda Nelson becomes her new friend. Annette confides in Rhoda and finds the strength and courage to survive to adulthood.

    Stella says: "Wonderful series"
    "I finished it, but it was a struggle"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you ever listen to anything by Mary Monroe again?

    Probably not


    How could the performance have been better?

    The voices were whiny and began to grate on me after a while.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not sure if it was the narration, the story, the characters, or the fact that my lack of sympathy for the main character makes me feel like a horrible human, but something about this book really turned me off. I finished listening to it, but it was painful. I am horrified at my lack of sympathy for the young girl in this story, but honestly, I just didn't find her situation realistic. Maybe if the author had done more to help me believe in her, or the narrator hadn't made me want to scream "JUST TELL YOUR DAM**D MOM, ALREADY, SO I CAN STOP LISTENING TO THIS BOOK!!" I may have been more on her side.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Funny Thing Is...

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Ellen Degeneres
    • Narrated By Ellen Degeneres
    Overall
    (640)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (144)

    Ellen DeGeneres published her first book of comic essays, the #1 best selling My Point...and I Do Have One, way back in 1996. Not one to rest on her laurels, the witty star of stage and screen has since dedicated her life to writing a hilarious new book. That book is this audiobook.

    Heidi says: "Ellen's latest book- The Funny Thing Is..."
    "Just couldn't finish this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn???t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Did you just ask me if i have any stupid friends?


    What could Ellen Degeneres have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Write a story rather than attempting a comedy club act.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Everything seemed to be an over-the-top punchline attempt. Not entertaining OR funny.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Funny Thing Is...?

    Most of what I listened to did not seem like "scenes" at all... just a bunch of bad punchlines. The brunch was the only actual "story" I remember.


    Any additional comments?

    I got about an hour in, but it was like swallowing glass... so I stopped.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By E. L. James
    • Narrated By Becca Battoe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13577)
    Performance
    (11052)
    Story
    (11682)

    When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

    Kd says: "Really 2.5"
    "I want 19 hours and 45 minutes of my life back"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Fifty Shades of Grey better?

    Better dialogue, better writing, and a far less annoying main character. If it was possible to give a book less that one star in the Audible system, this one would have gotten a 1/2.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Not another E.L James book


    What character would you cut from Fifty Shades of Grey?

    Anastasia Steele is one of the most annoying characters I've read in a very long time. I wanted to slap her myself... only not with a velvet glove. The words "Oh my" have become like nails on a chalk board.


    Any additional comments?

    I can only assume that this book is so popular because it has stirred up so much controversy, because I REALLY don't get the hype. While I can understand how the subject matter and the graphic scenarios have stirred up those opposed to such things as well as those titillated by such things, if you take that all away, underneath, this is just not a well written book. I wanted to read it, and quite frankly may have found the scenarios hot... had I found the main characters the least bit sexy. This was worse than porn with really unattractive people. Unfortunately Anastasia Steele's constant and pathetic self-talk made her wimpy, unsympathetic, and completely unlikable as a character. Hard to get my panties in a bunch over someone so unappealing, no how many positions you tie her up in. Christian Grey was one dimensional and I really didn't care what he did, didn't do, felt, etc.

    The storyline also seemed EERILY close in many ways (though not so well done) to the 2002 movie, Secretary, with Maggie Gyllenhaall and James Spader (whose character is also named Mr. Grey, btw). The story felt so familiar when I began listening that I actually looked up the movie to be sure it wasn't based on this book. Bottom line, I want my 19 hours and 45 minutes back.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Tiger's Wife: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Tea Obreht
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden, Robin Sachs
    Overall
    (770)
    Performance
    (496)
    Story
    (493)

    In a Balkan country mending from years of conflict, Natalia, a young doctor, arrives on a mission of mercy at an orphanage by the sea. By the time she and her lifelong friend Zóra begin to inoculate the children there, she feels age-old superstitions and secrets gathering everywhere around her. Secrets her outwardly cheerful hosts have chosen not to tell her. Secrets involving the strange family digging for something in the surrounding vineyards. Secrets hidden in the landscape itself.

    Michele says: "Not entirely hype"
    "Couldn't finish this one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Tea Obreht and/or Susan Duerden and Robin Sachs ?

    Maybe


    Would you ever listen to anything by Tea Obreht again?

    Maybe


    Would you be willing to try another one of Susan Duerden and Robin Sachs ???s performances?

    Maybe


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom and apathy


    Any additional comments?

    I just could not get interested in the characters or the story. I got about 1/2 way through and just stopped.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Last Night in Twisted River: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (278)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (89)

    In 1954, in the cookhouse of a logging and sawmill settlement in northern New Hampshire, an anxious 12-year-old boy mistakes the local constable's girlfriend for a bear. Both the 12-year-old and his father become fugitives, forced to run from Coos County to Boston, to southern Vermont, to Toronto, pursued by the implacable constable.

    James Ladden says: "Better to read it"
    "Just not a fan"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from John Irving and/or Arthur Morey?

    No


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator wasn't so bad, but the story just seemed to ramble endlessly


    Any additional comments?

    I think I may just be the only person I know who does not enjoy John Irving's books. I have tried several and it just seems to me that they all ramble endlessly. My review may not be terribly helpful because so many other people seem to like his stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Karl Marlantes
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3984)
    Performance
    (2177)
    Story
    (2178)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A performance so poignant, we gave Bronson Pinchot (yes, Balki from Perfect Strangers) our inaugural Narrator of the Year award.... In the monsoon season of 1968-69 at a fire support base called Matterhorn, located in the remote mountains of Vietnam, a young and ambitious Marine lieutenant wants to command a company to further his civilian political ambitions. But two people stand in his way.

    Zachary says: "Matterhorn"
    "Wow!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Matterhorn rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    This is, by far, the best book I have listened to in years.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Matterhorn?

    I will not call out any one part. There were too many to list. I finished this book and immediately began listening again. I felt like I knew every character in the story. The author reveals these men, their thoughts and motivations perfectly. I'm not sure how long it took him to write this book, but it is clear he has lived with these characters for many years.


    Have you listened to any of Bronson Pinchot???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not listened to any other books he has narrated, but will. He was brilliant! I lost count of how many characters spoke throughout this story, but each one's personality came through in the narrator's voice. Just wonderful!


    Any additional comments?

    I can't even begin to describe this book. The characters were wonderfully developed, the chaos of battle and the conditions were painted so clearly, I could see it. The dialog in the book was natural and flowed as if I were overhearing their conversations. The author wove this story with so much...history, politics, racial tensions, human nature, character development, fear, ambition, brotherhood, and bravery, yet it felt like I was watching a movie. The points were made in the natural course of the story rather than told to the reader. Mr Marlantes tells a story thst is not pretty in a beautifully written tale. I am blown away!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Tuesday Morning

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Karen Kingsbury
    • Narrated By Full Cast
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (262)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (116)

    On the morning of September 11, 2001, two men meet in a smoky stairwell of the World Trade Center. One is Eric Michaels, a driven financial manager from Los Angeles who has been busy climbing the corporate ladder, often at the expense of his wife and young son. The other is Jake Bryan, a New York City fireman devoted to his wife and daughter. In the midst of the crisis, Eric falls on the stairs and Jake stops to help him up. The two men freeze momentarily, stunned by the uncanny resemblance between them.

    ANN says: "What a concept!"
    "Are you kidding?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about One Tuesday Morning?

    One hour and 20 minutes into this book, and I feel preached at more than a month of Sundays. I'd count the ridiculous number of times the word


    Any additional comments?

    For the record, I am not anti-religion or anti-God. I am simply annoyed when bad authors stab you over and over with a theme. The relentlessness of this one is like being harassed by a zealot in the privacy of my own iPod.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • My Sister's Keeper

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By various
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2692)
    Performance
    (936)
    Story
    (935)

    New York Times best-selling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness.

    Lisa says: "Wonderful Book, Very Emotional"
    "Amazing"
    Overall

    I was riveted through this entire book! Imagining myself in the shoes of any member of the Fitzgerald family brought home how difficult their situation really was... not one I would wish on anyone! The characters were well written and realistic without being sappy. They all had flaws and their own view on the situation as I'd imagine you really would. The author crafted this story beautifully!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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