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Grangr5

Hoosier transplanted in Virginia Beach who is a fan of good books and travel.

Virginia Beach, Virginia USA | Member Since 2012

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 39 ratings
  • 131 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015
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  • My Name Is Mary Sutter

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Robin Oliveira
    • Narrated By Kimberly Farr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (244)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (105)

    In this stunning historical novel, Mary Sutter is a brilliant, headstrong midwife from Albany, New York, who dreams of becoming a surgeon. Determined to overcome the prejudices against women in medicine—and eager to run away from her recent heartbreak—Mary leaves home and travels to Washington, D.C. to help tend the legions of Civil War wounded.

    midge says: "Excellent and riveting"
    "Amputations, family tiffs, and the Civil War"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mary Sutter wants to be a surgeon. Then the Civil War gives her the opportunity. This book presented a stark, and most likely accurate, horrific picture of the Civil War. This was a time when modern medicine was In Its infancy. The setting is interesting, but the fictional characters were not as appealing as they might have been.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No Angel

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Penny Vincenzi
    • Narrated By Carrington MacDuffie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (50)

    Enter the world of the rich charismatic Lytton family and their powerful publishing empire in this passionate family saga, spanning the Edwardian era to World War I and the excesses of the glamorous 20s. Enter the world of Celia LyttonÑa woman who is used to getting her way. She moves through life making difficult and often dangerous decisions that affect herself and others.

    Patricia J Dunn says: "Stay Away"
    "Definitely a soap opera..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    No Angel is to the publishing industry what Peyton Place was to small town life. It is a soap opera, complete with myriad characters, adulteries, and undeveloped story lines. It did hold my interest for hours and hours, however.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gabrielle Zevin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1602)
    Performance
    (1413)
    Story
    (1418)

    The irascible A. J. Fikry, owner of Island Books - the only bookstore on Alice Island - has already lost his wife. Now his most prized possession, a rare book, has been stolen from right under his nose in the most embarrassing of circumstances. The store itself, it seems, will be next to go. One night upon closing, he discovers a toddler in his children’s section with a note from her mother pinned to her Elmo doll: I want Maya to grow up in a place with books and among people who care about such kinds of things. I love her very much, but I can no longer take care of her.

    Trish says: "Loved, Loved, Loved It!!"
    "A Storied Life..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well written story about people, their books and how the books shape their lives. It is written to and for lovers of books, and the author does a lot of book and author name dropping. The plot is fairly simple with a few John Irving type twists, that might seem a bit soap-opera-ish in the hands of a lesser writer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anthony Doerr
    • Narrated By Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8813)
    Performance
    (7694)
    Story
    (7716)

    Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

    Annie M. says: "Time well spent"
    "A story about growing up in the worst of times..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I do love beautiful writing, and I think I will purchase the printed book now so I can savor the writing some more after having listened to the audiobook. The story was engaging, heartbreaking, but still hopeful. The book focuses on two children during World War II in parallel narratives. We get to hear from both the French and the German points of view, and we are given some good insight on what it was like to be living back then. How do we adapt when regular morals are turned upside down, when doing what is right is wrong, and doing what is wrong becomes right? The ending was a bit unsatisfying, but I guess that demanding to know what happened exactly is unnecessary. It brings to mind Hazel's insistence on finding out what happens to the characters in The Fault in our Stars after the book. The author has to remind her that it's a book! And apparently the point of this book was more to build a picture of these characters growing up in such times, than to spoon feed us a narrative with a tidy ending. I still highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rules of Civility: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Amor Towles
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1945)
    Performance
    (1554)
    Story
    (1538)

    Set in New York City in 1938, Rules of Civility tells the story of a watershed year in the life of an uncompromising 25-year-old named Katey Kontent. Armed with little more than a formidable intellect, a bracing wit, and her own brand of cool nerve, Katey embarks on a journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool through the upper echelons of New York society in search of a brighter future.

    Emily - Audible says: "Like a Country Pastoral for City Rats"
    "Rules of Civility, subtle, wise, and literate."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Rules of Civility the most enjoyable?

    The narrator's voice seemed especially well suited to the main character, and she did an excellent job interpreting the other characters' personalities as well.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Katie was a very engaging character, and of course we saw the story unfold through her eyes. I especially liked that the other characters were painted with depth and empathy, and no one was despicable, because we grew to understand them and why they behaved the way they did.


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

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Guns

    • UNABRIDGED (49 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (984)
    Performance
    (892)
    Story
    (877)

    In a pulls-no-punches essay intended to provoke rational discussion, Stephen King sets down his thoughts about gun violence in America. Anger and grief in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School are palpable in this urgent piece of writing, but no less remarkable are King's keen thoughtfulness and composure as he explores the contours of the gun-control issue and constructs his argument for what can and should be done.

    Daniel E. Jacobs says: "putting his voice on what people have been saying"
    "Passionate Yet Balanced Approach to the Subject"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Stephen King's assessment of this difficult subject was intelligent and balanced, in spite of his obvious passion on the subject.


    What other book might you compare Guns to and why?

    This 47 minute essay may not change minds, but does ask us to pause and consider. That is what writers do. They ask us to think.


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

    The narrator did a convincing job of reading Stephen King's words, in fact, I did not previously realize that it was not read by the author himself.


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

    Although his position on gun control was evident, and it was clearly written soon after Sandy Hook, his understanding of and empathy for gun owners is obvious. He is a gun owner himself. This is a thoughtful and thought provoking essay.


    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Isaac's Storm

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    Overall
    (429)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (226)

    September 8, 1900, began innocently in the seaside town of Galveston, Texas. Even Isaac Cline, resident meteorologist for the U.S. Weather Bureau, failed to grasp the true meaning of the strange deep-sea swells and peculiar winds that greeted the city that morning. Mere hours later, Galveston found itself submerged in a monster hurricane that completely destroyed the town and killed over 6,000 people in what remains the greatest natural disaster in American history.

    Greg Mefford says: "A wonderful listen"
    "A terrifying true story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Isaac's Storm the most enjoyable?

    I had heard about this storm only recently, about the time of Hurricane Katrina, and really had no idea of its enormity. To hear about it from first hand experiences of those individuals who were there and survived it, was amazing. The book was well paced and read like fiction even though it was non-fiction, which is to say it was a very enjoyable story. It put a well deserved fear of the power of the weather in us!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The pace of the story was very effective. It built slowly, and then climaxed with the horrible storm.


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

    Not sure.


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

    We listened to this book on a long drive and it was effective that way, so yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Casual Vacancy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By J. K. Rowling
    • Narrated By Tom Hollander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3281)
    Performance
    (2878)
    Story
    (2906)

    When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

    cristina says: "I was surprised by how much I liked it"
    "A Sad World of Muggles"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Casual Vacancy?

    JK Rowling is an excellent writer. We know this already from her thousands of pages of Harry Potter stories. Her ability to describe minute details eloquently rivals few other contemporaries. We loved this when she described a made up magic world in Harry Potter. When she describes this sordid realistic world that we may or may not recognize, and would prefer to avoid, it may make the reader uncomfortable. This story is chocked full of characters, which is typical of British books but sometimes tries the patience of American readers (just get on with the story!) However, once the story unfolds and marches toward the inevitable ending, it becomes very "readable"and everything ties together very neatly. It is helpful to know that the working title of this novel was, "Responsibility". Are we our brothers' keepers after all?


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

    The ending leaves us wondering, "Was this inevitable?" Could any of these characters have behaved any differently to prevent it, or was this fate set in stone? Did the dominoes have to fall this way? Is this the world that was left behind because of the death of Barry Fairbrother?


    What does Tom Hollander bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator's many voices and accents for each character added so much to the experience, especially for an American reader.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Casual Vacancy and why?

    There were so many memorable characters, it is difficult to choose. Crystal was memorable for her tough character and impossible situation, her mother Terri was interesting for her pathetic despicability, and even though we did not know Barry, we felt like we did because of all the "Barry anecdotes".


    Any additional comments?

    This is a far cry from Harry Potter, there is a great deal of vulgarity, but the author is trying to depict a world that most of us prefer to turn our heads and not deal with. She seems to be saying that whether we deal with it or not, it is still our responsibility, and our lack of action has consequences, just like every effort pays off in some small way.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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