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Jan

Encinitas, CA, United States | Member Since 2007

13
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 54 ratings
  • 463 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • Tuesdays with Morrie: 10th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Mitch Albom
    • Narrated By Mitch Albom
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (416)
    Performance
    (230)
    Story
    (229)

    Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly 20 years ago.

    J says: "Really meaninful stuff."
    "Wonderful Story, Full of Heart and Insight"
    Overall

    The lessons Morrie teaches are valuable, touching, and speak the truth. What a wonderful piece of non-fiction!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (692)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (73)

    Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

    Maxine Fuentes says: "Wonderful"
    "One of my favorite books of all time!"
    Overall

    The story is unique; the characters are fascinating; the narrator is great with the different voices. The story twists and turns - you'll never guess the ending. Deeply moving, at times hilarious, and interesting. A tale about family, friends, spirituality, life's challenges (and how different people handle them) and, most of all, about friendship.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Zora Neale Hurston
    • Narrated By Ruby Dee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (832)
    Performance
    (399)
    Story
    (395)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Zora Neale Hurston’s classic novel begs to be read aloud, and Ruby Dee answers the challenge with utter perfection, capturing the wide range of characters and their diverse accents with grace and power. Their Eyes Were Watching God is the luminous and haunting novel about Janie Crawford, a Southern Black woman in the 1930s, whose journey from a free-spirited girl to a woman of independence and substance has inspired writers and readers for close to 70 years.

    Leslie says: "a pleasure"
    "Rich; informative; captivating"
    Overall

    This book is a "don't miss". The story, a historical novel, is rich, engrossing, heartbreaking; funny; and one of my favorite books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • World Without End

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (8335)
    Performance
    (2808)
    Story
    (2837)

    In 1989 Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, set in 12th-century England. Readers and listeners ever since have hoped for a sequel. At last, here it is. Although the two novels may be listened to in any order, World Without End also takes place in Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building their exquisite Gothic cathedral. The cathedral is again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge.

    Laura says: "Repetitive, but still enjoyable"
    "Formulaic, but Rich and Enjoyable"
    Overall

    After reading the first book in the two-part series, I found this book had similar characters in it to the first one (although it took place several generations later). But it was still very enjoyable, interlaced with interesting bits of history, and an engrossing story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Byron Katie, Stephen Mitchell
    • Narrated By Byron Katie, Stephen Mitchell
    Overall
    (226)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (65)

    Stephen Mitchell, the renowned translator of the Tao Te Ching, selected excerpts from that ancient text as a stimulus for Byron Katie to talk about the most essential issues that face us all: life and death, good and evil, love, work, and fulfillment. The result is an audiobook that allows the timeless insights of the Tao Te Ching to resonate anew for us today, while offering a vivid and illuminating glimpse into the life of someone who lives what Lao-tzu wrote more than 2,500 years ago.

    Deb G. says: "Katie - Another Name for Joy"
    "A Wonderful Guide for Life"
    Overall

    I've recommended this book to many friends - a great guide for living life joyfully.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Red Mars

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Kim Stanley Robinson
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (962)
    Performance
    (402)
    Story
    (414)

    Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel, Red Mars is the first book in Kim Stanley Robinson's best-selling trilogy. Red Mars is praised by scientists for its detailed visions of future technology. It is also hailed by authors and critics for its vivid characters and dramatic conflicts.

    For centuries, the red planet has enticed the people of Earth. Now an international group of scientists has colonized Mars. Leaving Earth forever, these 100 people have traveled nine months to reach their new home. This is the remarkable story of the world they create - and the hidden power struggles of those who want to control it.

    Jacqueline D. White says: "Very Disappointed"
    "Tedious"
    Overall

    Although there are some interesting descriptions in this book, they are WAY too long and get in the way of the story. I found the book so tedious, I simply didn't finish it, which is very rare for me.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Atlas Shrugged

    • UNABRIDGED (52 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2031)
    Performance
    (368)
    Story
    (374)

    This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world - and did. Is he a destroyer or a liberator? Why does he fight his hardest battle not against his enemies, but against the woman he loves? Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand's magnum opus and launched an ideology and a movement. With the publication of this work in 1957, Rand gained an instant following and became a phenomenon. Atlas Shrugged emerged as a premier moral apologia for capitalism, a defense that had an electrifying effect on millions of readers (and now listeners) who had never heard capitalism defended in other than technical terms.

    Robert says: "Over before you know it"
    "Fascinating view of life."
    Overall

    Although I didn't agree with all the views expressed in this book, I found it to be a fascinating view of life and set of values, combined with an interesting, passionate, very involved and well-conceived story. It did change some of the ways I view life - gave me a totally different perspective to mull over.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Douglas Adams
    • Narrated By Stephen Fry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4926)
    Performance
    (2579)
    Story
    (2594)

    Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last 15 years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

    John says: "HHTGH - Lightly Fried"
    "Weird, Absurd, and Thoroughly Enjoyable"
    Overall

    This book is thoroughly enjoyable, but is SO weird that some of the chapters are simply gratiutously bizarre. Don't let it stop you from reading it though!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Old Man and the Sea

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Ernest Hemingway
    • Narrated By Donald Sutherland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1276)
    Performance
    (691)
    Story
    (691)

    The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway's most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal, a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Here Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss.

    Dave says: "Truly a Classic"
    "Very Rich and Satisfying"
    Overall

    The richness of Hemingway's descriptions keeps you fully engrossed in this "slice of life" novel. The book has such depth and power!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Twilight: The Twilight Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Stephenie Meyer
    • Narrated By Ilyana Kadushin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7098)
    Performance
    (2547)
    Story
    (2600)

    About three things I was certain. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him, and I didn't know how dominant that part might be, that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

    Mitch says: "My Not-So-Guilty Pleasure"
    "Enjoyable, but Juvenile"
    Overall

    I found myself, as a woman in my late 50's enjoying this book, almost against my will. But the story is fairly simple and juvenile in this book. I haven't read the other books or seen the movies, so I may be missing something, but this book was enough for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany Part 4

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (945)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

    Jan says: "EXCELLENT and Unique"
    "EXCELLENT and Unique"
    Overall

    You'll never read another novel like this one. The characters are well-developed, easy to relate to,, interesting, and captivating. One absorbs wisdom from reading the book almost inadvertently. Don't think, from the hints in the middle of the book, you'll guess the ending - you almost certainly won't! VERY highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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