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LSR

LSR

Atlanta | Member Since 2006

32
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 293 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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  • Say You're One of Them (Selections)

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Uwem Akpan
    • Narrated By Robin Miles, Dion Graham
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Uwem Akpan's stunning stories humanize the perils of poverty and violence so piercingly that few listeners will feel they've ever encountered Africa so immediately. The eight-year-old narrator of "An Ex-Mas Feast" needs only enough money to buy books and pay fees in order to attend school. Even when his 12-year-old sister takes to the streets to raise these meager funds, his dream can't be granted.

    Roy says: "Beautiful Disturbing Prose"
    "Lovely Prose/Heartwrenching Stories"
    Overall

    Only regret is that there are only 3 of the 5 stories from the actual book. Please come out with an unabridged full version!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Katherine Boo
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (522)
    Performance
    (448)
    Story
    (454)

    Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption.

    Dr. says: "An Antidote for Shantaram"
    "Beautiful Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was such a gripping account, I had to keep checking references to ensure that it was not fiction, or even based on a real story. The book is told in the third-person but such deep observations and presence that you even feel like you are right there, and the author must have been onsite more frequently than not, over the years. It was such a fascinating way of life to be told. Surprisingly, I did not have pity or disgust for the poverty and the way the families live in this common slum but, just the opposite. Most of the studied characters I could see rising upward, at least relatively speaking. They were enterprising, tireless, tried to pursue their education and advancement. It was really a fascinating study which made me wonder if this was really a necessary step in the evolution of developing countries and their people.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Stephen Chbosky
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    Overall
    (311)
    Performance
    (157)
    Story
    (156)

    Most people think 15-year-old Charlie is a freak. But then seniors Patrick and his beautiful stepsister Sam take Charlie under their wings and introduce him to their eclectic, open-minded, hard-partying friends. It is from these older kids that Charlie learns to live and love.

    Steven says: "A Great Listen, but ..."
    "Young Adult Audience?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Perhaps I am showing my age but I struggled through this intense story, all the whiile thinking that my adolescent son might enjoy it more than I. It definitely touches on some painful issues of growing up and incorporates a wide variety of diversity in the issues of coming of age, but I found it unrealistic, and almost annoying, that the main character's darkest depression could be made whole by some other deeply troubled characters who randomly decided to befriend him. In my experience, high schoolers are rarely that confident or generous to be able to reach out to those that they believe are different or "uncool." I patiently waited for some relationships to form or some role models to emerge, but they didn't. I think it would be a meaningful read for an advanced teenager or young adult, perhaps to identify with these issues, as they were experiencing them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Year We Left Home

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Jean Thompson
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (29)

    It begins in 1973 when the Erickson family of Grenada, Iowa, gathers for the wedding of their eldest daughter, Anita. Even as they celebrate, the fault lines in the family emerge. The bride wants nothing more than to raise a family in her hometown, while her brother Ryan watches restlessly from the sidelines, planning his escape. He is joined by their cousin Chip, an unpredictable, war-damaged loner who will show Ryan both the appeal and the perils of freedom. will show Ryan both the appeal and the perils of freedom. Torrie, the Ericksons’ youngest daughter, is another rebel....

    Susan D says: "I LOVED IT!"
    "Unbelievably Depressing"
    Overall

    Of one thing I am certain, this is the most depressing book I have ever read or listened to. As a fan of Faulkner and his Southern regional decadence, he has nothing on this book. I waited and listened for hours, in anticipation of just one of the characters achieving a dream or some ounce of happiness. No, didn't happen. As a Midwesterner myself, I treasure the tight family connections, work ethic and values but none of these were exemplified or rewarded in this book. They were actually criticized and sullied, only to find some examination in the death of certain characters. So sad....I just wanted so badly to have the characters experience some joy in their lives.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Room: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Emma Donoghue
    • Narrated By Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Robert Petkoff, and others
    Overall
    (4371)
    Performance
    (1852)
    Story
    (1842)

    To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, but what she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

    Kathleen says: "A truly memorable read"
    "I must have missed something"
    Overall

    I thought I would love this book. It had all of the promise of a thriller, victim turning heroine, courtroom drama, childhood naive character....but when I listened, it just didn't seem to go anywhere. I am often frustrated when characters aren't fully developed nor does the plot have closure and I felt this, with this book. I never really figured out what happened to the antagonist, no closure around the feelings of the parents, etc. Sorry, I really, really waned to like it.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Madonnas of Echo Park

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Brando Skyhorse
    • Narrated By Robert Ramirez, Luis Moreno, Alma Cuervo, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (16)

    Heralding a new young ethnic literary talent: Brando Skyhorse's first novel gives voice to the Mexican-American community in Echo Park, California.

    LSR says: "The Most Innovative and Engaging Book Ever!"
    "The Most Innovative and Engaging Book Ever!"
    Overall

    This was one of my favorite works, and amazingly, it seems to be Skyhorse's first and only novel. Every character is completely developed, so much that you are drawn deeply into each of their lives, knowing all of their insecurities and struggles. At first, it is not obvious, but each of the characters intertwine with the others in some interesting relationship or bond but, in most cases, the reader is left to figure out the relationship, until well into each chapter. This fictional work speaks in a very real way to stereotypes, class struggles, prejudices, immigration issues, urban decay and urban renewal, all in a single, very interesting community. I loved it. I just keep waiting for the book to be a Pulitzer winner or a lesser honor, such as one of Oprah's Book Club Picks! This book was said to be related to the Pulitzer Prize winner "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," which I also enjoyed, but it was nowhere near the interesting entanglement of characters developed in The Madonnas!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jeannette Walls
    • Narrated By Jeannette Walls
    Overall
    (912)
    Performance
    (395)
    Story
    (391)

    Jeannette Walls's memoir The Glass Castle was "nothing short of spectacular" (Entertainment Weekly). Now, in Half Broke Horses, she brings us the story of her grandmother, told in a first-person voice that is authentic, irresistible, and triumphant.

    Kathryn says: "A BETTER BOOK THAN "THE GLASS CASTLE""
    "Loved Ms. Walls Memoir So Much More"
    Overall

    This book was an interesting read (or listen) because of the fortitude of the main character. It was also historically interesting, in terms of the dynamic of the TX, AZ and NM land over the last century or so. I just couldn't help to compare it to the real, heart-wrenching story of the author and her own memoirs. They were so real, so sad, and so loving. I yearned for more detail about Jeanette's mother, Rosemary, and an explanation of how her childhood formulated her into the kind of drifting mother she was. I never quite found it. Also, would have really enjoyed another narrator. Ms. Walls read more with factually than perhaps someone who was reading the text to whom it was more novel.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By David Wroblewski
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2788)
    Performance
    (705)
    Story
    (707)

    Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents and an unusual breed of dogs on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. But when tragedy strikes the Sawtelle family, Edgar flees to the surrounding wilderness. He comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him.

    Ella says: "Just OK"
    "Just don't get it"
    Overall

    I really did not get this book. I read it because it was so highly acclaimed by every site and made the coveted list on Oprah's Book Club. I am sorry to reveal that my expectations were not met. Some characters were never fully developed, such as Edward's mother, so it was difficult to relate to her emotional struggles throughout. Some of the relationships between the characters were lacking in details and once it got into the supernatural speculation, it lost credibility for me. The second half is definitely more moving than the first but then I left the book, feeling many questions were unanswered.....maybe that is what the author intended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Never Change

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs)
    • By Elizabeth Berg
    • Narrated By Maryann Plunkett
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Here is a wry and beautifully distilled portrait of one woman's resilience in the face of loneliness, and of a union that transcends life's most unexpected and challenging circumstances.

    "unknown" says: "elizabeth berg never disappoints"
    "Take it or leave it"
    Overall

    Not as good as Open House, not as rich in feeling. I found it very hard to fathom falling so deeply in love with someone over the course of a few weeks but maybe I'm just cynical.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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