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Chicago, Israel | Member Since 2015

  • 21 reviews
  • 38 ratings
  • 187 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Elegance of the Hedgehog

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Muriel Barbery
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat, Cassandra Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    An enchanting New York Times and international best seller and award-winner about life, art, literature, philosophy, culture, class, privilege, and power, seen through the eyes of a 54-year-old French concierge and a precocious but troubled 12-year-old girl.

    Pyles says: "It surprised me"
    "Just couldn't do it."

    This is one of the few audiobooks I couldn't stomach. I am going to read it, instead. The narrators are inappropriate. Barbara Rosenblat (who I think is terrific, usually) sounds like a crabby old yenta. She does not sound the least bit Gallic. Cassandra Morris is completely off tone. She sounds like a character in "Clueless." -- a Valley Girl with no idea how to pronounce correctly in French. Paloma has a much loftier opinion of her intellectual prowess than is portrayed by her thoughts and actions.
    She sounds like an ordinary snotty know-it-all teenager to me. I have a feeling I will like it in print when I can be free of bad narration.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ladies of Letters...and More

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Lou Wakefield, Carole Hayman
    • Narrated By Prunella Scales, Patrcia Routledge

    Patricia Routledge is Vera Small and Prunella Scales is her friend (or maybe enemy), Irene Spencer. The two pass their time in regular correspondence and not an event goes by that is left unrecorded by the ladies of letters.

    Colleen says: "Absolutely Fabulous!"

    When Irene and Vera are together, pandemonium ensues. However, it is when they are apart and corresponding that we get the full range of petty jealousy, mutual defamation, sly but withering criticism, and killer malapropisms.
    I found it completely hilarious, and can't wait for more. My only criticism is that the shorter
    programs (about a hour) are one credit, which will also buy you the longer ones (over 3 hours).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Anne Brontë
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings, Jenny Agutter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This is the story of a woman's struggle for independence. Helen "Graham" has returned to Wildfell Hall in flight from a disastrous marriage. Exiled to the desolate moorland mansion, she adopts an assumed name and earns her living as a painter.

    A User says: "highly recommended"

    This under-the-radar Bronte book is a cautionary tale. It is wonderfully narrated by both narrators.

    It is an important book and stands easily with Wuthering Heights as a study in unfortunate marriage. It makes one long to read the definitive Bronte biographies.

    Don't miss it.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Memory of Running

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ron McLarty
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In late 2003, in his column in Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King called The Memory of Running "the best novel you won't read this year." This glowing endorsement of the audiobook resulted in Ron McLarty receiving a $2 million two-book deal from Viking Penguin. Also, Warner Brothers has shelled out big bucks for the movie rights to The Memory of Running, for which McLarty will write the script.

    Neal says: "Funny and Fascinating, A Wonderful Book"
    "Really, really awful"

    If this is the best book I won't read this year
    as Stephen King refers to it, then conversely, it is the worst book I did read.

    I found it tedious, badly narrated, and unremarkable.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned 30, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be. To recover from all this, Gilbert took a radical step. She got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the world, all alone. This is the absorbing chronicle of that year.

    Kerry says: "Witty and Wonderful"

    I was unable to finish listening to this book. This ia a rare occurrence for me.

    I found the protagonist to be self absorbed to an extent that is unusual even in our culture.

    Her collapse because her marriage and her adulterous affair fell apart is hardly a reason for sympathy. She is spoiled and selfish. Go whine somewhere else.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Falling

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Jane Howard
    • Narrated By Alan Bates, Diana Quick

    Henry Kent is in late middle age, is almost without means, and lives on a dank houseboat. When Daisy Langrish buys a cottage not far from where he moors the boat, Henry becomes interested in her. She seems alone...and vulnerable. But when Henry starts work tending to Daisy's garden, her daughter is suspicious: there's something not quite right.

    glamazon says: "Predictable But Compelling"
    "Not your ordinary love story"

    It is difficult to listen to this book and not think that it is vaguely biographical. Or, at least, the author or a close friend or family member has had a run-in with a person like Henry.

    The slow revealing of the menace in this man is quite skillful, as is the susceptibility and weakness of Daisy for his attentions. What formed them and caused them to be a pair is very well delineated.

    At first, I was impatient with Alan Bates' narration, it was too deliberate and tedious.
    But the pace picked up and it was excellent. Diana Quick does a good job, as well.

    Worth a read, but it is really quite creepy.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Birds Without Wings

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Louis de Bernieres
    • Narrated By John Lee

    Birds Without Wings is the story of a small town in Anatolia in the dying days of the Ottoman Empire told in the richly varied voices of the men and women (Armenians, Christians, and Muslims) whose lives are intertwined and rooted there: Iskander, the potter and local fount of wisdom; Philotei, the Christian girl of legendary beauty, courted almost from infancy by Ibrahim the goatherd, a great love that culminates in tragedy and madness; and many more.

    Augie says: "Not for the faint of heart"
    "Heartbreaking tale of folly and evil."

    This book,which I have recommended to everyone I talk books with, is a marvel of intertwined narratives.
    It also is prophetic, with the rise of right wing Turkish nationalism and radical Islam in Turkey. Turkey still denies the massacre of millions of Armenians, people are getting assassinated for demanding it be acknowledged.

    It brought home the hopelessness of the tangle of interests in that part of the world. It is fine and important literature. If I was teaching I would put it on my syllabus.

    John Lee, as always, is superb.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Broken for You

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Stephanie Kallos
    • Narrated By Anna Fields

    When we meet septuagenarian Margaret Hughes, she is living alone in a mansion in Seattle with only a massive collection of valuable antiques for company. Enter Wanda Schultz, a young woman with a broken heart who has come to Seattle to search for her wayward boyfriend. Both women are guarding dark secrets and have spent many years building up protective armor against the outside world.

    Barbara says: "Wonderful story of mending and redemption"
    "A voyage"

    This is a very well written book, full of humane and caring characters, who are also not without some major faults, to say nothing of eccentricities.

    The narration is very fine, as well.

    Highly recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Martin Dugard
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" So goes the signature introduction of New York Herald star journalist Henry Morton Stanley to renowned explorer Dr. David Livingstone, who had been missing for six years in the wilds of Africa. Into Africa ushers us into the meeting of these remarkable men. In 1866, when Livingstone journeyed into the heart of the African continent in search of the Nile's source, the land was rough, unknown to Europeans, and inhabited by man-eating tribes.

    Gene says: "Riveting"

    This is a very elaborate history of the exploration to find the source of the Nile, and the characters that played the major roles.

    The unbelievable toughness of the explorers, the travails of the journeys and the constant exposure to danger make for very interesting reading.

    Superbly read, as always, by this stellar narrator.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Born on a Blue Day: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Daniel Tammet
    • Narrated By Simon Vance

    One of the world's 50 living autistic savants is the first and only to tell his compelling and inspiring life story and explain how his incredible mind works. Worldwide, there are fewer than 50 living savants, those autistic individuals who can perform miraculous mental calculations or artistic feats. (Think Dustin Hoffman's character in Rain Man.) None of them has been able to discuss his or her thought processes, much less write a book. Until now.

    J. Cline says: "Ordinary Life Through Unordinary Eyes"
    "An interesting life"

    The autistic spectrum is apparent in Daniel's extreme recall of detail-- some judicious editing might have eliminated some of the tedious bits. But, self involvement is part of the spectrum as well as the astounding gifts of the savant. Even understanding that this is the case, one doesn't necessarily want to read what the fellow had for breakfast when it does nothing to inform or
    lead us to understanding. But, in all, it is a book about a unique person and a worthwhile read.

    Temple Grandin's books on autism are more riveting, without the self-obsessed point of view.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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