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Janet H. Maddox

Atlanta, GA | Member Since 2010

68
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 45 reviews
  • 78 ratings
  • 355 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
14

  • Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By The Countess of Carnarvon
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    Overall
    (235)
    Performance
    (213)
    Story
    (212)

    Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey tells the story behind Highclere Castle, the real-life inspiration and setting for Julian Fellowes's Emmy Award-winning PBS series, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants: Lady Almina, the fifth Countess of Carnarvon. Drawing on a rich store of materials from the archives of Highclere Castle, including diaries, letters, and photographs, the current Lady Carnarvon has written a transporting story of this fabled home on the brink of war.

    connie says: "the lowdown on Downton times"
    "the real story is as interesting as Downton"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story of the real Lord and Lady of the manor is as fascinating as the fictional Downton - and I am a Downton fan. I had no idea the real occupants of Highclere Castle were so fascinating. For anyone with a sincere interest in the period, this is a must.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4113)
    Performance
    (3761)
    Story
    (3761)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "You will get value for your dollar or credit!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Do you know that feeling when you want to hurry through a book because it is hard to put down and at the same time you find it so enjoyable that you hate to see it end? This long book was a treat from beginning to end. I liked the story, I liked the characters, I liked the narrator. And it kept me enthralled for all 30+ hours. Reading the reviews of Tartt's other books which I have not read, I see comments for one having a lengthy end and for the other, comments about an abrupt end. I must say this one seemed about right. Yes, it ended with loose ends, but that's life - never tied in a neat bow. Yes, the author did some lengthy philosophizing at the end, but I was so reluctant for the book to end that I enjoyed this part as well. You will get your money's worth for sure!

    A bit of art history, a bit about art conservation, a bit about furniture restoration and the antiques business, a lot about casual drug use, a lot of mystery and intrigue - a modern take on a who-done-it combined with coming of age in difficult circumstances. All in all, I loved it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Boy in the Suitcase: A Nina Borg Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Lene Kaaberbøl (author and translator), Agnete Friis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (389)
    Performance
    (343)
    Story
    (343)

    Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is trying to live a quiet life. The last thing her husband wants is for her to go running off on another dangerous mission to help illegal refugees. But when Nina's estranged friend, Karin, leaves her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station, and begs her to take care of its contents, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous case yet.

    Avid Reader and Listener says: "Fantastic thriller!"
    "worth the wait"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found "The Boy . . ." a little hard to get into - I kept feeling lost, but I stayed with it and it was well worth the wait. Different and interesting. A new sort of thriller. Give it a go and you won't be sorry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Roots: The Saga of an American Family

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Alex Haley
    • Narrated By Avery Brooks
    Overall
    (1670)
    Performance
    (828)
    Story
    (839)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A masterpiece like none other, Brooks’ powerful performance of Haley’s words has been known to leave listeners in tears. It begins with a birth in an African village in 1750, and ends two centuries later at a funeral in Arkansas. And in that time span, an unforgettable cast of men, women, and children come to life, many of them based on the people from Alex Haley's own family tree.

    Kevin says: "Powerful"
    "As amazing as remembered"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story of Kunta Kinte and his family is as amazing as I remembered it from the mini-series, but this audio version is made even more amazing by detail and by the narration. You will be amazed again if you remember it, but you will be astounded by this story if you are coming to it for the first time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Where Memories Lie

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Deborah Crombie
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (27)

    New York Times best-selling author Deborah Crombie pens suspenseful English mysteries that have drawn favorable comparisons to the best of P. D. James and Ruth Rendell. Her novel Dreaming of the Bones made the Independent Mystery Booksellers of America’s list of the 100 Best Crime Novels of the 20th Century.

    Janet H. Maddox says: "I love Crombie's series."
    "I love Crombie's series."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Duncan Kinkaid and Gemma James are terrific characters whose personal story serves as a wonderful backdrop and unifying factor to the various mysteries in the series. I have enjoyed every one of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Philomena: A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Martin Sixsmith
    • Narrated By John Curless
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (245)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (215)

    Now a major motion picture directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen, High Fidelity) and starring Judi Dench (Skyfall, Notes on a Scandal) and Steve Coogan (The Trip, Hamlet 2): the heartbreaking true story of an Irishwoman and the secret she kept for 50 years. When she became pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to a convent to be looked after as a "fallen woman". Then the nuns took her baby from her and sold him, like thousands of others, to America for adoption. Fifty years later, Philomena decided to find him.

    Julie Wenders says: "Rivetting Story and Performance"
    "An amazing story, well told."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I deliberately delayed seeing the movie because I wanted to hear the book first, and I am glad I did. I still have not seen the movie, and I will be interested to see just how the book was altered, if it was, to create the movie. The book has a framework of Philomena's story but the heart of the story belongs to her son, Michael Anthony Hess. His story is an amazing saga not to be forgotten. It is a story of the 1980's and 1990's in America, a story of success and heartache. I highly recommend the audio book. It does the story justice.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Invention of Wings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2327)
    Performance
    (2120)
    Story
    (2111)

    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

    Jan says: "Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!"
    "Outstanding!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sue Monk Kidd has outdone her own previous best. I cannot remember when I have so enjoyed a novel. Every beautifully written word rings true; every aspect of the story enthralls; every character lives. Historical fiction it may be, and well done, but the story and the characters are timeless. I am buying copies for each of my children and hope they will share them with family and friends as well. I want to buy copies for all my friends. I simply cannot think of enough superlatives. Do yourself an immense favor and read or listen to this book, or both.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jonas Jonasson
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (670)
    Performance
    (589)
    Story
    (600)

    After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash.

    Dennis says: "Dared to let the kids listen and they loved it..."
    "Charming characters, delightful story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What fun! Everyone should have the privilege of knowing these people. They have a zest for life and know how to live it! I wouldn't mind living to 100 if I could be like Alan. Maybe I can be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Betrayal of Trust: A Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler Mystery, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Susan Hill
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (75)

    Simon Serrailler is faced with that most complicated of investigations - a cold case. Freak weather and flash floods have hit southern England. The small cathedral town of Lafferton is underwater, and a landslip on the moor has closed the roads. As the rain slowly drains away, a shallow grave - and a skeleton - is exposed; 20 years have passed, and the remains of missing teenager Joanne Lowther have finally been uncovered. Joanne, an only child, had been on her way home from a friend's house that night.

    P. Bowen says: "Truly engaging"
    "Love the series; this one not my favorite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While this book does move along the underlying story of the major characters, and it does solve the central crime, it leaves so many open story lines that it is not quite as satisfying as most of the books in the series. Still, I do enjoy this series. The characters feel like old friends. Hill's stories always move along at a good pace, and this one raises some interesting questions. All in all, I enjoyed the book but it is not the star of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gallows View

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Peter Robinson
    • Narrated By Mark Honan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (59)

    Former London policeman Alan Banks relocated to Yorkshire seeking some small measure of peace. But depravity and violence are unfortunately not unique to large cities. His new venue, the quaint little village of Eastvale, seems to have more than its fair share of malefactors---among them a brazen Peeping Tom who hides in night's shadows spying on attractive, unsuspecting ladies as they prepare for bed.

    Patrick says: "Wrong interpretation"
    "Love the book, but the not the performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    DCI Banks is a great character. I am always disturbed by the fact that his physical description does not at all fit the actor who portrayed him in the BBC versions, but nonetheless, he is an engaging character whose personal and inner life provide a good counterpoint to the stories of crime and detection. I found the narrator's super deep voice not the best choice for Banks, and he does not do well on reading many of the other characters, especially the female ones. I found these issues detracted from the overall impression, but still I enjoyed listening to the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Vows of Silence

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Susan Hill
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (23)

    Melanie shops happily for supper the day after her return from her honeymoon but when she gets back from the supermarket there is someone other than her new husband waiting for her... and she won't survive the encounter to talk about it. Tanya and Dan, who have been married that day, slip back into town to enjoy the fun of Lafferton's "Jug" Fair. Also in the throng among the roundabouts and coconut shies are middle-aged Helen and Phil who are planning their wedding.

    Laurie says: "BEWARE! You may have already bought this book!"
    "Love this book, love this series."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Simon Serrailer series is a well-written, engaging series of mysteries that feature interesting characters and enough suspense to keep you engrossed. But more than the mysteries, it is the characters themselves that keep me coming back for more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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