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Ad n' Audie

USA

13
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 22 reviews
  • 31 ratings
  • 68 titles in library
  • 37 purchased in 2018
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  • Petty Magic: Being the Memoirs and Confessions of Miss Evelyn Harbinger, Temptress and Troublemaker

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Camille DeAngelis
    • Narrated By Kelley Hazen
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Evelyn Harbinger sees nothing wrong with a one-night stand. At 149 years old, Eve may look like she bakes oatmeal cookies in the afternoon and dozes in her rocking chair in the evening, but once the gray hair and wrinkles are traded for jet-black tresses and porcelain skin, she can still turn heads as the beautiful girl she once was. Can't fault a girl for having a little fun, can you?

    Gala says: "Kept me interested and intrigued"
    "Phenomenal book; do not miss this one!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Petty Magic to be better than the print version?

    Yes, Kelley Hazan is a wonderfully talented narrator and for me this is one of her strongest works.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Petty Magic?

    I loved the lush detailed descriptions of every day things that had been altered by magic; food, settings, dolls. DeAngelis is great at describing intricate detail in a way that leaves you wanting more. I also really enjoyed how Petty Magic repeatedly transports you across time and space without ever leaving your home.


    Which character – as performed by Kelley Hazen – was your favorite?

    That's a tough one...the major characters were incredibly interesting, particularly the main character. I felt that her character development was so good that I actually knew her...she was a character I didn't want to say goodbye to at the end. I truly wish that Petty Magic was just one in a series of books as there's so much more that can be done with these characters and this concept. Kelley Hazan did a great job with the many quirky ancillary characters; a brilliant curmudgeon parrot, animated dolls with creaky wooden jaw joints, and so on. This book was so fun to listen to!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The relationship between the lead character and the love of her life...incredibly sweet. And the interplay between flashbacks to that relationship and present day revelation of her budding relationship with the young man suspected to be the great love's reincarnation. Totally cool and very sweet.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book to people who enjoy this unique genre; fantasy/a bit of historical fiction/a bit of scifi/romance. I'd love to see this made into a multi-season TV show on HBO...something in the style of Allan Ball's True Blood. Honestly I didn't want to put this book down and was sad to see it end. Thank you so much Kelley Hazan and Camile DeAngelis for this complimentary copy of Petty Magic in exchange for my fair and unbiased review. I'm planning to read more of DeAngelis' books...cannot wait!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Friday Night Knife & Gun Club

    • UNABRIDGED (44 mins)
    • By L.S. Collison
    • Narrated By Annika Connor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    Nurse noir fiction set in the American Wild West -- a dystopian near-future when nurses are armed with handguns for self protection and fear rules the night. The author imagines a night shift in a Denver hospital where a crazed shooter is on the loose. Don't worry, the doctors and nurses are all packing heat. All but one, that is...

    willee says: "? Futuristic Nurse"
    "A very cool short story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a such a neat story and I would be absolutely shocked if L.S. Collison is not/was not (at least at some point in her life) a nurse...it reads like something written by an insider. As a medical doctor (who was once a surgical tech, a med student, an intern, and a resident) I have a keen understanding of the strangely intense dynamic that develops between hospital staff, particularly at night and especially in the most intense units (ER/trauma ICU, etc). LS Collison has hit the nail on the head with this creative short in which she manages to do a fantastic job developing several characters and illustrating their unique interpersonal dynamics in such a short amount of time..only a real RN would be able to describe what it's like with this much attention to detail and nuance. Friday Night Knife and Gun Club is a great quickie look into the life of the hospital's skeleton crew (pretty much spot on minus the whole vigilante angle where everyone's packing heat). For me, the excessive use of weaponry (coupled with the bleak backdrop of extreme harsh weather conditions and even harsher life circumstances for many of the characters) made this story seem like it was just slightly skewed left of reality...maybe in some sort of pre-apocalyptic version of the US (like just on the verge of everything going really, really wrong for everyone). Maybe the shooter was a nod to this grim outlook as well. The staff's reaction to the shooter made it seem like this wasn't an entirely unusual event for these people in this particular place at this exact moment in history. Anyhow, I would have loved to have read more about what was going on in the world at the time of the event...what lead up to all of this. And I would have loved to have read more backstory on many of the characters, especially the main character. The end scene was really neat; the symbolic use of the unit chief howling like a coyote in response to a fallen pack member. That ending was actually quite emotionally provocative given the aforementioned intense dynamic between these characters. I'm not sure if a non-medical lay reader would have enjoyed this story as much as I did but as an avid reader and consumer of high quality movies and television I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that this short can and should be expanded upon...it is compelling and left me wanting more. Annika Conner did a fantastic job narrating - I was 100% convinced that she was this tough as nails nurse. And her cover art is awesome to boot. Thank you to LS Collison, Annika Connor, and Audiobook Boom for this complimentary copy of Friday Night Knife and Gun Club in exchange for my fair and unbiased review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Little Women

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Louisa May Alcott
    • Narrated By Lee Ann Howlett, Amanda Friday, P. J. Morgan, and others
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (12)

    First published in 1869, Little Women is the story of four sisters growing up against the background of the American Civil War. Alcott wrote the book at the urging of the publisher, Thomas Niles, who was seeking a story about girls that would have popular appeal. Although it was commenced essentially as a children's book, it developed into something of a bildungsroman, which touches on more serious issues such as the difficulties faced by single-parent families, the death of a sibling, and fractured relationships.

    Ad n' Audie says: "An excellent tribute to a classic tale."
    "An excellent tribute to a classic tale."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What can be said that has not already been said about Louisa May Alcott's classic, Little Women? This novel is a wonderful journey back in time and never ceases to be engaging with it's compilation of quiry story lines and timeless characters who begin to feel more like a part of the reader's life than a fictional element of a novel.

    With that in mind, the focus of this review will be on the narrators. In over ten years of heavy consumption of audio books (around two novels per week) I have never encountered a production such as this. It truly sounds more like a play than an audio book with multiple different narrators. Each narrator is talented and hard working and the result is a cohesive and perfectly paced rendition of this classic story. The volume is consistent no matter who's narrating and they all do a fantastic job bringing these characters to life....a fantastic tribute to little women.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Brutal Bedtime Stories: A Supernatural Horror Story Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ha-yong Bak, David Maloney, Kyle Alexander, and others
    • Narrated By Paul Jenkins
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    Is there anything as horrifying as what David's wife gave birth to? How about that advertisement Tobias found that was selling a human head, condition used? Then there's Ha-yong's experience in heaven (which isn't nearly as nice as it sounds)...and Kyle encountering that bionic cult that's a long way short of being human. Spine-tingling terror from horror writers around the world. Dozens of diverse short stories containing gruesome murders, supernatural mysteries, grotesque hellscapes, and more.

    Ray Johnson says: "A great collection of numerous Short Stories"
    "Oh my goodness this book is good!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved every minute of Brutal Bedtime Stories. Honestly I haven't encountered a collection of dark tales this good since my childhood favorite Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. These stories were perfect in terms of length, pacing, and timing... really brilliant! I also enjoyed the short biography of each individual author before his section of stories.

    The reader was so professional with a beautiful voice and accent... really a top notch narrator who's skill indicates readiness for just about anything (Stephen King, George RR Martin, etc.) He absolutely helped bring these spooky stories to life.

    This book is an excellent buy for anyone who likes dark and disturbing short stories and if you're not in that camp you should still check out this book because you may discover what it is that the rest of us love about this genre!

    I would like to thank the authors, narrator, and audiobook boom. I received a free copy of this book and have left this fair and unbiased review of my own volition.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Water Ghosts

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Linda Collison
    • Narrated By Aaron Landon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Fifteen-year-old James McCafferty is an unwilling sailor aboard a traditional Chinese junk operated as adventure therapy for troubled teens. Once at sea, James believes the ship is being taken over by the spirits of courtiers who fled the Imperial palace during the Ming Dynasty more than 600 years earlier and sailing to its doom. A psychological nautical adventure with strong historical and paranormal elements.

    MANI says: "Water Ghost"
    "Collison is a great story teller..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Water Ghosts? What did you like least?

    Collison is a great story teller...but she needs a better editor! This book had so much promise. The story is compelling, unique, creative, and I loved, loved, loved the back story/story within a story as told by the ancient Chinese eunuch ghost. The problem w/ Water Ghosts was that the flow fell apart at points (badly) and made the story seem choppy and at times loaded with superfluous, distracting detail. For example, she repeatedly hinted at the main character's sexuality; at times he was interested in some of the female characters (one in particular) and at other times he was interested in another male character who was also his bully. That stuff wasn't fleshed out enough and it didn't contribute to plot progression in any way so it ultimately ended up just being confusing and making the book seem as if it wasn't edited. There were several instances of that sort of thing happening. I got the sense that Collison has loads of stories to tell and good story ideas and maybe she became overzealous with this novel and tried to incorporate too many side stories that weren't helpful towards the goal of telling the central story in this book; the troubled teens on the boat and how they unwittingly collided with troubled ghosts from the past.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Water Ghosts?

    The story within a story as told by the ancient Chinese eunuch ghost...absolutely awesome! This was literally on the level of Amy Tan story telling about ancient Chinese culture. It was so well done!


    What about Aaron Landon’s performance did you like?

    Excellent - youthful, good energy. His performance kept the characters believable even when the story itself went astray.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Absolutely!!


    Any additional comments?

    I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By E.M. Parker
    • Narrated By Anna Castiglioni
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    Corona Heights is more than an apartment building. Some believe it is haunted. Others feel it is cursed. None have been willing to confront the terrible secret hidden within its walls. Until now. Fiona Graves is the building's newest resident. She has given no thought to the darkness of its past. She only wants a place to call home while she begins to rebuild her life. But it will not be that simple. Life in Corona Heights rarely is. There is something buried inside the walls of her apartment; a secret so horrific, so terrifying, that no one has dared speak of its existence.

    Natalie @ ABookLoversLife says: "Loved this! "
    "A great ghost story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Thin Wall in three words, what would they be?

    Spooky, compelling, and strangely addictive (I didn't want to put the book down!).


    What other book might you compare The Thin Wall to and why?

    Hmmm, that's a tough one. It had the typical ghost story feel to it...it's hard to put into words but most ghost stories are all similar in some key ways, you see the same tropes popping up again and again (the character who's actually a ghost but you don't know it until the end, the dark back story; usually some sort of crime/grisly murder, the supernatural element that's not believable but the central character(s) are just flawed/troubled enough to be able to suspend disbelieve repeatedly to allow the story to progress...). In that way this story was similar to many of the big ones (most of the stories in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, The 6th Sense, The Shining, etc.).


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

    No, but I'd love to...she was great! Very soothing voice and believable. She did a nice job bringing the characters to life.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Another typical ghost story...but you'll love it anyways because it's interesting, it flows well, and it's delightfully spooky.


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you to EM Parker, A. Castiglioni, and Audiobook Boom! I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Broken Conditions: The Clean Colored Girl Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jo Lena Johnson
    • Narrated By Jo Lena Johnson
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Broken Conditions highlights the author’s college years and chronicles key relationships, which lead to drama, adventure, hurt, and poor choices into her 30s. See how growing up affects and influences almost every decision, relationship, and behavior. When what she learned wasn’t working, she did something about it...sometimes! The Clean Colored Girl Chronicles are stories from one woman’s life as she shares how relationships made her and broke her.

    JEYCEE says: "Broken condtions"
    "More interesting as you keep reading..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The flow was a bit choppy, as if she took a bunch of interesting stories and tried to tie them together to create a coherent chronology of events but the effort fell flat. Tighter editing could have remedied this problem and the aforementioned is a freq. issue in memoirs...a memoir that flows well is actually relatively rare, even among the big name memoirists.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    As noted above; needed better editing. The stories themselves were interesting. I got the strong sense that Ms. Johnson is a person who's been told frequently "man Jo Lena, you should write a book with all of these crazy things that you've been through!". I'll bet she's heard that a lot over the years from friends and family. And in a sense they're correct...her stories are interesting enough to create an engaging memoir. For me, a memoir doesn't have to have any purpose above and beyond just telling interesting stories and for that reason this book fell somewhat flat for me because it was framed as a self help book. Once the author stated that this was intended to be a self help book she set it up to fall short. It's much more difficult to frame each story through that lens...it would have flowed better and resonated more with me as a reader if it was simply a book about one woman's trials, tribulations, and mishaps. Just a collection of quirky stories, not trying to do much other than relate on a human level (like, "look...we all have those days, months, or even years where life gets a bit crazy!")...I would have preferred that.


    What about Jo Lena Johnson’s performance did you like?

    Her performance was great, I actually really enjoyed it! I loved how she would get to a hard part in the story...a part that was clearly emotionally provocative for her...and she'd make this funny sound, sort of like "hmm" or "hmmph". A sound of exacerbation that communicated "can you even believe this?!". That was so amusing and made her seem so human - so relatable. As a 10+ yr. audio book addict I have never really heard a reader do that and I got such a kick out of it. Honestly if there was a movie or TV series about Broken Conditions Ms. Johnson should play herself! I'll bet she's great in person...


    Could you see Broken Conditions being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Yes, definitely...she should play herself, as noted above.


    Any additional comments?

    A sincere thank you to Ms. Johnson and Audiobook Boom for this book. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this fair and unbiased review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Room 1203: O. J. Simpson's Las Vegas Conviction

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Andy Caldwell
    • Narrated By Mark Kamish
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Room 1203 is the true story of the convoluted and bizarre events surrounding a violent armed robbery of a sports memorabilia collector in a Vegas hotel. On that night, Simpson put an exclamation mark on his spectacular fall from the height of Hollywood's glamour and glitz to a shadowy world of scams and schemers in Sin City. Written by the lead detective assigned to the case, the audiobook provides details, insights, and facts not previously reported.

    Polly Poizendem says: "Just Getting My Stuff Back..."
    "Never a dull moment..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Room 1203: O. J. Simpson's Las Vegas Conviction again? Why?

    Yes! There was never a dull moment in this book. Initially I wondered if the details of this bizarre news story would be interesting enough to hold my attention for over 7 hrs. (duration of the audio book) and the answer is yes.


    What other book might you compare Room 1203: O. J. Simpson's Las Vegas Conviction to and why?

    Indefensible: The Missing Truth about Steven Avery, Teresa Halbach, and Making a Murderer by Michael Griesbach...There is nothing like reading a book penned by someone intimately familiar with the details of a case. I find books like Room 1203 and Indefensible to far more believable than all the nonsense hype the media drums up. If you're really interested in what really happened read a book (or a few) written by one of the professionals involved in the case, period. In fact, this is exactly what author Andy Caldwell did after OJ's Las Vegas conviction...he read books penned by Clark and Furhman about Simpson's CA murder trial.


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

    I thought Kamish did a great job - his tone was very conversational, as if the case was being discussed with an extremely knowledgeable friend. He used several different accents and did a nice job with all of them. He also read some truly awkward parts (endless transcript) and managed to keep the content engaging through inflections and tone.


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

    No, not an extreme reaction. If anything I felt frustrated along with Caldwell....OJ Simpson is just such a bad dude; it was hard to hear (in detail) about how he's been gallivanting around, living it up, hiding money he owes to victims...he's disgraceful. That being said, I felt relieved when the book reached it's climax and Simpson was convicted, though now it's 2018 and I know he's out and about again. I doubt this is the last we've heard of OJ....odds are he'll get into some sort of trouble again.


    Any additional comments?

    I would like to thank Andy Caldwell, Mark Kamish, and Audio Book Boom for the complimentary copy of Room 1203: O. J. Simpson's Las Vegas Conviction in exchange for my fair and unbiased opinion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Insanely Great: A Steve Jobs Biography

    • UNABRIDGED (31 mins)
    • By Kyle Williams
    • Narrated By Stephen Paul Aulridge Jr
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Steve Jobs was an American entrepreneur, businessman, inventor, and industrial designer. Jobs was the chairman, and the chief executive officer (CEO), and a co-founder of Apple Inc.; CEO and majority shareholder of Pixar; a member of The Walt Disney Company's board of directors following its acquisition of Pixar; and founder, chairman, and CEO of NeXT. Jobs and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak are widely recognized as pioneers of the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s.

    mandymay says: "Very interesting...🤔"
    "A decent synopsis..almost more of a short podcast."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Insanely Great: A Steve Jobs Biography rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    What I liked about it was that it is succinct...I've always wanted to know more about Steve Jobs and this book was certainly helpful in that endeavor. It's hard to rank it among audio books as I've read some that were absolutely masterpieces...like an author's magnum opus. I could hardly compare this book to a work like that given that this is more like a short podcast than a full audio book.


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

    For me the ending fell flat as I felt that many important issues weren't well fleshed out. For example, the author goes into quite a bit of detail re: Job's schizoidal tendencies towards human relationships, at times bordering on antisocial cruelty in his interactions yet he doesn't explain how/why Jobs and Wozniak were able to develop a close friendship...for me that was a major inconsistency that ultimately seemed to be a result of this book being too short and failing to contain some critical info that would have tied it all together better. There were a few instances of this sort of thing throughout the book.


    What about Stephen Paul Aulridge Jr’s performance did you like?

    Aulridge Jr. did a great job; his narration conveyed an interest in the material and his tone remained comfortable and conversational, as if he was sitting in my living room casually discussing the life of Steve Jobs.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Get to know Steve Jobs a Little Better...


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you very much to Audio Book Boom, Stephen Paul Aulridge Jr. and Kyle Williams for this complimentary audio book in exchange for my fair and unbiased review!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Guided Meditation: 30 Minute Guided Meditation for Positive Thinking, Mindfulness, & Self Healing

    • ORIGINAL (31 mins)
    • By Mindfulness Training
    • Narrated By Mindfulness Training
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (26)

    Learning to think positively through meditation doesn't have to be difficult. With this 30-minute guided meditation accompanied by an ambient soundtrack, removing negative thoughts and inner peace is as easy as pressing play.

    L. Pino says: "Excellent beginner Meditation"
    "My husband uses this book to fall asleep at night!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Guided Meditation rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's quite good. I have used several of Mindfulness Meditation's books and they're all incredibly relaxing...they strike that perfect balance of a bit of peaceful music, a soothing voice, and calming words. They're amazing for people who are having trouble falling asleep.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Guided Meditation?

    Without a doubt the narrator....the voice is smooth and soothing.


    What about Mindfulness Training’s performance did you like?

    As noted, Mindfulness Training uses top notch narration. I think reading this book on one's own would be a completely different experience. The narration is what really helps this book stand out.


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

    No laughing or crying but it often helps me fall asleep at night.


    Any additional comments?

    Mindfulness Training books come at a very fair price as compared to competitors and as such these books are an excellent value if you're looking for something new in the guided meditation genre.

    Thank you Mindfulness Training and Audio Book Boom for this free book in exchange for my fair and unbiased review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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