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Library

United States | Member Since 2005

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 24 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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  • Son

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (167)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (148)

    When the young girl washed up on their shore, no one knew she had been a Vessel. That she had carried a Product. That it had been carved from her belly. Stolen. Claire had had a son. She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. When he was taken from their community, she knew she had to follow. And so her journey began. But here in this wind-battered village Claire is welcomed as one of their own. In the security of her new home, she is free and loved. She grows stronger.

    Amy says: "A great "build up" to a "let down"!"
    "a bit slow-going"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't place why this book seemed to be so draggy--I have read all the other three in the series and The Giver was so good, I was hoping for more from this. I think perhaps the author simply chose to write for a 4th grade audience and kept her vocabulary and situations at that level. There was a great deal of over-explanation and repetition that an adult reader would not appreciate, but certainly it would be good for children.
    An example would be something like getting introduced to a character and a fact about him, and then in the next chapter, the same fact is repeated in an different way, like within the narrative, "She remembered that he had lost his mother as a child and therefore..." it just really seemed for younger children than her previous books so I was disappointed.

    And there is a lot of suspension of disbelief --not because it takes place in an alternate society, but because certain things seem too unlikely even within that society.

    The narrator has a sort of odd, cheery tone, particularly in the beginning, and it is clear she is trying to channel the freakishly happy dystopian society, so there is a reason for it, however, it was somewhat annoying to me.

    I was also not satisfied with the ending as I think it was resolved very quickly and artifically. I believe Lowry is a good enough writer to be able to have made the ending more complex.



    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bomb: The Race to Build - and Steal - the World's Most Dangerous Weapon

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Steve Sheinkin
    • Narrated By Roy Roy Samuelson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (40)

    In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a Uranium atom split in two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned three continents. This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the world's most formidable weapon. This is the story of the atomic bomb.

    Library says: "So interesting and great performance!"
    "So interesting and great performance!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a well written book for young people! I am an adult and enjoyed it immensely even though I think it would be best for 5th - 9th graders. Especially those interested in science or engineering, but really anyone who just wants to know about history.

    I knew very little about the subject of the Manhattan Project and I would not be interested in an entire adult book on this subject, so this was perfect. The author keeps the suspense going as if it is a spy novel, which is basically is, except it is all true!

    After finishing this I went right to the Internet and looked up all these people and places for more information. The actual book gives great timelines and further resources and photos, but the audio is great just for the absorbing story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Round House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Louise Erdrich
    • Narrated By Gary Farmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1002)
    Performance
    (852)
    Story
    (851)

    One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and 13-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.

    Melinda says: "Heavy in My Heart"
    "Performance takes a bit of getting used to"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a wonderful book, so complex and heartfelt. The comparisons to "To Kill a Mockingbird" are apt in that a young boy learns about his life and his family through experiencing a crime. His father is a judge on a Native American reservation.

    Well deserving of the National Book Award.

    The reader is a Native American actor, I think, which is great, because he speaks with a cadence that is distinctly from that cultural background. The reason it takes getting used to is that this sort of cadence puts emphases on other parts of the sentence than we are used to hearing from other actors who read audiobooks. It was odd at first, but after getting used to the style, I really enjoyed his performance and I think it added a needed authenticity.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Middlesteins: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jami Attenberg
    • Narrated By Molly Ringwald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (180)
    Performance
    (151)
    Story
    (153)

    For more than 30 years, Edie and Richard Middlestein shared a solid family life together in the suburbs of Chicago. But now things are splintering apart, for one reason, it seems: Edie's enormous girth. She's obsessed with food - thinking about it, eating it - and if she doesn't stop, she won't have much longer to live. When Richard abandons his wife, it is up to the next generation to take control. With pitch-perfect prose, huge compassion, and sly humor, Jami Attenberg has given us an epic story of marriage, family, and obsession.

    Lisa says: "Great story - Narration leaves A LOT to be desired"
    "Just a little too short, but quite engrossing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another dysfunctional family saga, but this one is very cleverly written and even though none of the characters are particularly likable, they are all quite human and the author shows great sympathy for their struggles.

    The Middlesteins is aptly named: they are middle America, middle class, and suffering from every average American angst you can think of. The Jewish aspect is well-played and not overdone. The comedy parts are not done broadly--they are just funny. It would be a good movie, I think. It is a character based novel and the characters are complex and the author writes with pathos about them.

    The reader is excellent. My only complaint is that I felt the book could have been longer. It is sort of like a short version of a book by Jonathan Franzen. We could have understood these people more if she had another hundred pages about them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Edmund de Waal
    • Narrated By Michael Maloney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (339)
    Performance
    (278)
    Story
    (276)

    The Ephrussis were a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who “burned like a comet” in 19th-century Paris and Vienna society. Yet by the end of World War II, almost the only thing remaining of their vast empire was a collection of 264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox. The renowned ceramicist Edmund de Waal became the fifth generation to inherit this small and exquisite collection of netsuke. Entranced by their beauty and mystery, he determined to trace the story of his family through the story of the collection.

    Amazon Customer says: "A vagabond through history, clutching a tiny carvi"
    "What a fascinating and beautifully written story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator of this book had such a difficult job because there were so many various foreign words to overcome, but he did his job perfectly--as if he knows German, French and Japanese himself.
    The lyrical writing is really beautiful and the meditation on the nature of family, history and art makes this book memorable. It builds up to the climax of what we all know will happen to Jews of Europe, but the set up is masterful and conjures up a bygone era so masterfully.
    I recommend looking at the book too because there is a really useful family tree in the front of it that is quite helpful. There are also photos that the author included of his family and they help explain the story.
    Kudos to Michael Maloney, who is a wonderful narrator.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Columbus Affair: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Steve Berry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (414)
    Performance
    (344)
    Story
    (352)

    Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Tom Sagan has written hard-hitting articles from hot spots around the world. But when a controversial report from a war-torn region is exposed as a fraud, his professional reputation crashes and burns. Now he lives in virtual exile - haunted by bad decisions and the shocking truth he can never prove: that his downfall was a deliberate act of sabotage by an unknown enemy. But before Sagan can end his torment with the squeeze of a trigger, fate intervenes....

    p says: "I second the 'Meh" - disappointing and boring."
    "kind of Da Vinci code-ish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A lot of historical research went into this book, and the author's note at the end is the most interesting part of the book. He imagines that Columbus, who was a very mysterious man in real life, was actually a committed Jew, and was responsible for hiding very important Jewish artifacts on the island of Jamaica during his lifetime. I was ok with the unlikely premise, but the plot holes were just too much for me to overlook. When stuff happens like, speeding away from bad guys in a car that seems to show up from nowhere, (that would have been an easy set up!) or being able to watch a video of a car chase a continent away (the camera seems to have been held by the driver?), it got a bit corny. The relationship between father and daughter is strained (she hates him, and is so mean and stupid, the listener wishes her kidnappers would just do her in already) and gets resolved in the end very neatly.

    The narrator is good except he has to perform a few accents, and not all of them are successful. He does fine for the Jamaican, and perhaps the Spanish, but for some reason he thinks the Austrian girlfriend is from Russia, and I have no idea where the Israeli ambassador is supposed to be from, but...those accents are always hard for actors, I think. I do commend him on the proper pronunciation of the Hebrew and Jewish terms, because these things are usually horribly mangled, and I always fault publishers for not doing homework in that regard.

    I think people who generally like thrillers will think this moves along well and they would enjoy it for the genre and the interesting historical facts, but, for me, I will stick with a different kind of fiction from now on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Divergent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    Overall
    (15799)
    Performance
    (14300)
    Story
    (14401)

    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    Grant says: "It's not for me. Loved it anyway."
    "This should be popular with teen girls"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't care for this book mostly because it was predictable in the story arc and did not engage me with the characters because they seem to be "types" rather than true people. The cleverness of the new idea for the future dystopic society will be what draws the reader to the book--especially after The Hunger Games, which is pretty close to the this one in many ways, but with better writing.

    Beatrice, the main character, is constantly cheating death or maiming by a hair--and even, after a month or two of practice, beating many larger and better young men at fighting or boxing or jumping off cliffs, etc. It reads like a feminist heroine Angelina Jolie movie star, but she is supposed to be more like Katniss, I guess.

    The teen girls will love it--it is about girl power and brooding, mysterious teenage boys--also with little character development.

    Very long, rather unrelentingly violent. Get ready for the movie version. This is the first of a trilogy.

    0 of 2 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
    (772)
    Performance
    (633)
    Story
    (623)

    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-"
    "Historically interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book contains 4 stories of 4 different women, sort of like "The Help" because each one is voiced by a different actress. The best one was the older woman character (forgot her name) voiced by Tovah Feldshuh. The first woman character was flat and not compellingly read in my opinion.

    I am familiar with the Jewish/Hebrew terms used throughout this book and I was surprised when a couple of the narrators got some pronunciations wrong. Why would the producers let this happen? It is so annoying! Really, it is not that hard to have someone check this before giving to the reader. It takes you out of the narrative when you are listening.

    As far as the plot of the book, it is slow and builds up to the ending that everyone already knows, because everyone knows what happened at the top of Masada. But Hoffman sets up all the pieces well so that by the end, even though I think the book could have been edited down about 80 pages and still been fine, it was a satisfying ending. I was riveted by the last two discs, but before that, it took a bit of time to care about the characters. I did not mind the magic/witchcraft stuff mostly because it was historically accurate and it was not really supernatural particularly, it was just the way they believed at the time.

    Some could fault some of the over-reaching prose that takes on a Biblical feel and can be over-the-top in descriptions of feelings. I certainly noticed that flaw but ignored it.

    I think the author did an admirable job in setting and place and making you feel the stifling conditions of the book. She even did not necessarily consider these ancient zealots to all be heroes as the "Masada Myth" makes them out to be in our time. They were a complex group of individuals who were not all good--they also committed atrocities as their enemies did.

    All in all, a worthwhile choice for those who like brooding, dark history with a feminine perspective.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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