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Catherine

SILVER SPRING, MD, United States | Member Since 2010

13
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 613 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014
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  • Captain's Fury: Codex Alera, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2517)
    Performance
    (1565)
    Story
    (1568)

    In his acclaimed Codex Alera novels, best-selling author Jim Butcher has created a fascinating world in which the powerful forces of nature take physical form. For millennia, the people of Alera have used their unique bond with these elementals for protection. Now, as enemies become allies, and friends become bitter foes, a danger beyond reckoning looms. . . .

    Mysticalsister says: "The mind of Jim Butcher is a wonderful place."
    "Oh please please someone get Butcher an editor!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    It's a fun story and the characters really grow on you, but they all:1) arch an eyebrow (a pale eyebrow, a heavy eyebrow, a disdainful eyebrow ...2) lift their chin in defiance/resolution/determination3) ball their fists and grind their teeth in fury4) notice or keep people from noticing their hands trembling.

    Kate Reading is an inspired reader. One of the absolute top out there.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Helene Wecker
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1728)
    Performance
    (1592)
    Story
    (1595)

    Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

    Jefferson says: "Fine Romantic Urban Historical Immigrant Fantasy"
    "This is an wonderful book performed flawlessly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    As unbelievable as the premise sounds, you will grow to love and understand these extraordinary characters. Chava is a golem, made of clay to be a biddable stepford wife and Ahmad is the Jinn, made of fire who values his freedom above all. Their lives intertwine in the melting pot of immigrant life in New York City at the beginning of the 20th century.

    Their journey of self discovery, the description of immigrant life in New York, the mythical aspect of the Arabic and Jewish cultures, the believability and depth of the supporting characters, the taut build of the conflicts and the satisfying resolutions make this an outstanding book. One of the best I've read in years.

    George Guidall's performance is outstanding. He never over emotes or over acts yet he manages to convey the emotional senses of every character.

    Highly recommended

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter Sea

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Susanna Kearsley
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2417)
    Performance
    (2013)
    Story
    (2014)

    History has all but forgotten.... In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown. Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next best-selling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write. But then she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction....

    Martha says: "Get Out Your Hankies"
    "Drowned by the cold boring Winter Sea"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Oh goody! A book in and about Scotland! Oh goody! If you like Gabaldon you'll like the Winter Sea.

    Except that Galbaldon can WRITE and poor Susanna Kearsley hasn't a clue. Her stick figures pratter and chirp away about history like they are reading from their junior high textbook.

    I'll give her this -- she can really title a book. When I saw The Rose Garden offered I almost put it on my wish list until I saw who the author is.

    Narration doesn't do anything to help this along, but don't think even Barbara Rosenblat could rescue this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5774)
    Performance
    (5124)
    Story
    (5117)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Pamela says: "The circus of your dreams"
    "You'll be glad you went to the Night Circus ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ... it's a place of magical delights and both the writing and the narration give you the experience of being there. OK OK ... sometimes the story seemed to forget where it was and got lost in its love of its details ... and OK OK ... sometimes you could see the author imagining which actress was playing Celia ..
    But if you are drawn to this type of novel, you will not regret buying this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Kitchen House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kathleen Grissom
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy, Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6414)
    Performance
    (4425)
    Story
    (4414)

    Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction.

    B.J. says: "Good, but with reservations"
    "Grabs You and Holds You"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    this is some wonderful writing and even better narration. I can happily recommend it to any who love a good yarn and especially those who like historical fiction. My only quibble -- and I'm particularly persnickety about this -- is that at times it was a big TOO dramatic.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Alice Hoffman, Heather Lind
    • Narrated By Aya Cash, Jessica Hecht, Tovah Feldshuh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (705)
    Performance
    (581)
    Story
    (571)

    Over five years in the writing, Alice Hoffman’s most ambitious and mesmerizing work ever, a triumph of imagination and research set in ancient Israel. The author of such iconic bestsellers as Illumination Night, Practical Magic, Fortune’s Daughter, and Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth, Alice Hoffman is one of the most popular and memorable writers of her generation. Now, in The Dovekeepers, Hoffman delivers her most masterful work yet - one that draws on her passion for mythology, magic, and archaeology and her inimitable understanding of women.

    FanB14 says: "Grade of B-"
    "Blecchh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    it starts with terrible abuse and goes downhill from there. I have loved many of Alice Hoffman's novels and was excited to listen to this one, but where was her deft light magical touch?
    And the narration was so over the top dramatic I wanted to send all of the narrators off to English boarding school.
    Not recommended.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Anansi Boys

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Lenny Henry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3612)
    Performance
    (1489)
    Story
    (1499)

    Returning to the territory he so brilliantly explored in his masterful New York Times best seller American Gods, the incomparable Neil Gaiman offers up a work of dazzling ingenuity, a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth that is at once startling, terrifying, exhilarating, and fiercely funny, a true wonder of a novel that confirms Stephen King's glowing assessment of the author as "a treasure house of story, and we are lucky to have him."

    A. Hawley says: "Beautifully narrated"
    "If you love Neil Gaiman you'll love Anansi Boys"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't recommend it to everyone ... you have to be a fan of this kind of writer, e.g., Jasper Ffjord, Terry Brooks, etc. But if you are (and obviously I am) this is a rollicking, funny, intriguing piece of writing and the narration is spot on. I hated for it to end.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Darling Jim: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Christian Moerk
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye, Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (61)

    When two sisters and their aunt are found dead in their suburban Dublin home, it seems that the secret behind their untimely demise will never be known. But then Niall, a young mailman, finds a mysterious diary in the post office's dead-letter bin. From beyond the grave, Fiona Walsh shares the most tragic love story he's ever heard---and her tale has only just begun.

    Book Worm says: "Great Story"
    "A solid GOOD"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not the greatest listen but far far from the worst. The narration was just fine and the characters were believable and often intriguing. Just be prepared that this is not a light listen -- it's often very dark -- but it held my interest all the way through.
    Some of the other reviewers had problems with the language -- I felt the use of the "F" word was simply dialectical and took no offense at all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Marriage Plot

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1619)
    Performance
    (1341)
    Story
    (1329)

    It’s the early 1980s—the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafés on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels.

    FanB14 says: "Esoteric, Vapid, Trite"
    "More like the Marriage Plod"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought Middlesex was just wonderful -- rollicking and boisterous and thoughtful and totally captivating.

    This book? Meh. I'll try to finish it because I am devoted to finishing books, but I've had to move over to a more entertaining listen just to take a break from the depressing self-serving characters.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Pirate King: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Laurie R. King
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (411)
    Performance
    (359)
    Story
    (358)

    As Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes embark on their 11th adventure together, they find themselves immersed in the world of silent filmmaking. Here, the pirates are real—and unlike the shooting done with a camera, this sort can be deadly.

    Debra says: "Very disappointing"
    "There just is no there there"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Laurie R. King is one of my favorite writers and I love this series, but I was seriously disappointed in Pirate King.

    So what happened to the plot? That's the real mystery of this book.
    It just rambles on and on with one more antic of a 2-dimensional character after another. They all get captured & held for ransom, but I didn't even care! Oh my, there goes Mary picking some locks again. Oh goodness, there's the short director wearing lime green. Oh my, the star actress wants a feather bed. Hark! Could that violin playing be ... Holmes? HO HUM.

    Sniff. I was really looking forward to this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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