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Patti

Chittenango, NY, United States | Member Since 2012

611
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 291 reviews
  • 509 ratings
  • 772 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2015
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57

  • Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By David Michaelis
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    Charles Schulz, the most widely syndicated and beloved cartoonist of all time, is also one of the most misunderstood figures in American culture. Now, acclaimed biographer David Michaelis gives us the first full-length biography of Schulz: at once a creation story, a portrait of a hidden American genius, and a chronicle contrasting the private man with the central role he played in shaping the national imagination.

    Bruce says: "Not as dark as you've heard"
    "Why Do I Bother?"
    Overall

    Whenever I read biographies of famous characters (Johnny Carson, Katherine Hepburn, etc.) I am dissappointed. This was no exception. It is interesting to find out about these people, but not a good read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Written in My Own Heart's Blood: Outlander, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (44 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4651)
    Performance
    (4332)
    Story
    (4316)

    Hurtled back through time more than two hundred years to 1743 Scotland, Claire Randall finds herself caught in the midst of an unfamiliar world torn apart by violence, pestilence, and revolution and haunted by her growing feelings for a young soldier, James Fraser.

    G. House Sr. says: "Eloquent Fabulous Historical - Grand Continuation"
    "Very Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The series continues to keep me interested, but it does get confusing at times remembering all the story lines and characters. I swear some are thrown in for use in future volumes, but add nothing to the current tale.

    I cannot imagine these books without Davina Porter. In fact, as much as I have enjoyed the TV series so far, I miss hearing Davina's voice and think somehow she should be added. Hint! Hint!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Chaperone

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Laura Moriarty
    • Narrated By Elizabeth McGovern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2435)
    Performance
    (2140)
    Story
    (2125)

    >The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that would change them both. Only a few years before becoming a famous actress and an icon for her generation, a 15-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita to make it big in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle is a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip.

    Amanda says: "Perfection."
    "Interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This recommendation by a friend proved more interesting than I imagined. The story works around a few known realities of Louise Brooks, a silent movie star, but Louise is not the center of the story. Cora blooms throughout this tale. In the middle of the book (maybe a little further along), a dramatic surprise is introduced. The story could easily have ended there but doesn't. And I'm glad it didn't.

    I consider the narration uneven. When not speaking for the characters, McGovern presents very sophisticated voice. But when either Cora or Louise speak, a midtown corny voice is used, one that doesn't fit nor is it convincing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Winter of the World: The Century Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5885)
    Performance
    (4992)
    Story
    (5006)

    Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, Welsh - enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion.

    Tim says: "Brilliant Sequel"
    "Can't Wait For #3"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Even though it was a little difficult to follow all of the characters from the first installment, it was a great read (listen) and fascinating!! The hours flew by. Narration was wonderful. Can't wait to get to the last installment!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Up: How Positive Outlook Can Transform Our Health and Aging

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Hilary Tindle
    • Narrated By Hilary Tindle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (5)

    Why looking up matters... A positive attitude is important, but until now we didn’t know how important. In Up, a practicing physician and NIH-funded researcher draws on her research and experience to show that our outlook on life - our unique patterns of thinking and feeling about ourselves, others, and the world - may be the key to how well and how fast we age. From wrinkles to cognitive decline, our outlook affects our health at every level.

    Patti says: "A Must For Everyone!"
    "A Must For Everyone!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I heard about this book and was fascinated but waited to purchase it for almost nine months. Then I didn't listen to it for another eight months. But within the first five minutes I wondered why I took so long. I then purchased an electronic version because I wanted to "see" so much of what she wrote about in order to communicate it to others.

    Seeing other reviews about this book it saddens me that it has not necessarily caught on to the audience that needs to read it the most: the "lay" population. I see a lot of doctors and nurses (myself included) who recognize the value of this topic. But the word needs to get out there to everyone else!

    This book was well written. It has clear language about evidence based research findings. The writing catches and keeps your interest. The author reads it very well. I love everything about this book!! I will use the information not only in my personal life, but also in my professional life: as a nurse an as an educator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Invention of Wings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7860)
    Performance
    (7091)
    Story
    (7097)

    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

    Jan says: "Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!"
    "Hesitatingly Worth It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have not agreed with others when they rave about Sue Monk Kidd's books. I enjoy her writing (enjoyed her Guideposts entries years ago much more) but haven't fallen in love with them. I was hesitant then to get this book. I was not aware of the fact-based foundation until Kidd revealed it in the recording at the end of the book. Her explanation of how she came to write what she did, fact here and fiction there, made me like the story much more, for some odd reason.

    It was Sarah's character that gave me pause. I did not see her as the driving character she must have been in real life. Her desires for a real and full life were well presented, but I also saw her being drawn into her situations by others and not initiating actions on her on.

    Hetty and her story, on the other hand, was fascinating. I saw her truthful (especially her statement about how her and Sarah's lives were both restricted but for different reasons) wisdom and struggle throughout. I could understand what she felt and why she did what she did.

    And Angelina's role in the story seemed to come in as an afterthought.

    Narration by both was well done.

    I say get the book as much because everyone else has in order to be able to intelligently discuss it. but don't get it because you think it might be compelling literature.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tallgrass

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Sandra Dallas
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (334)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (110)

    During World War II, a family's life is turned upside down when the government opens a Japanese internment camp in their small Colorado town. After a young girl is murdered, all eyes (and suspicions) turn to the newcomers, the "interlopers", the "strangers". Rennie Stroud has never seen it before. She has just turned 13 and, until this time, life has pretty much been what her father told her it should be: predictable and fair.

    Laurie says: "A nice read"
    "Wonderful Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was so good to really get immersed in a good listen!! The time was simpler and the characters revealed that. What was good was good and what was bad was bad. The main family exemplified strong values. They stood up for what they believed in and acted out in appropriate ways for what was wrong. I loved the scene where a number of men at night were going to "raid" the camp. In simple honesty, the wife started greeting the men by name, asking about family and work and such. Very simple, but very powerful. She knew and stated that if they were called out by name, they would be ashamed of what they were trying to do and leave. And that was exactly what happened. Simple, honest, powerful.

    For a story about how a Japanese internment camp changed a local village, there was not much about the "prisoners" in the story. There was enough to show how the main family tried to do what they could to provide a good example and interact with them as much as possible. But the Japanese families were just a side event, even though their existence was the basis of the story.

    Narration was excellent. This is definitely worth the credit. I will purchase more by this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Speaks the Nightbird

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Robert McCammon
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3194)
    Performance
    (2848)
    Story
    (2834)

    The Carolinas, 1699: The citizens of Fount Royal believe a witch has cursed their town with inexplicable tragedies -- and they demand that beautiful widow Rachel Howarth be tried and executed for witchcraft. Presiding over the trial is traveling magistrate Issac Woodward, aided by his astute young clerk, Matthew Corbett. Believing in Rachel's innocence, Matthew will soon confront the true evil at work in Fount Royal....

    aaron says: "Dark, Twisted Period Piece with GREAT Characters!"
    "Not Worth 30 Hours"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have listened to several very long books. I will not pursue additional books in this series as this one wasn't worth it. The story itself was interesting and carries/carried much potential. But the pompous characters, almost all, were ridiculous. There were stray ends that could have taken the story along a variety of directions. Many never went anywhere and were unworthy fodder.

    Narration was decent.

    One distracting piece was a lack of attention, I feel, to accuracy of the era. I have read enough books placed in this timeframe and maybe I am used to their attention to the differences from our times. For example, paper was a scarcity. It was hard to come by and therefore treated with such respect. It lent to an unbelieveability for much of what happened.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silent Girl: A Rizzoli and Isles Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Tess Gerritsen
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1246)
    Performance
    (929)
    Story
    (942)

    In the murky shadows of an alley lies a female’s severed hand. On the tenement rooftop above is the corpse belonging to that hand, a red-haired woman dressed all in black, the body nearly decapitated. Two strands of silver hair — not human — cling to her body. They are Rizzoli’s only clues, but they’re enough for her and medical examiner Maura Isles to make a startling discovery: This violent death had a chilling prequel.

    Barbara Ferrini Hilfiker says: "somewhat disappointing"
    "Enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a good story even though there was a great deal of predictability to it. I have never read any of this series before and usually don't start with one in the middle. But based on the other reviews, maybe I am glad I did as I did not know that I was missing some good interaction that was present in previous writings.

    The narration was not the worst I have heard, but certainly not the best. Do not let that stop you from listening to this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Moloka’i

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Alan Brennert
    • Narrated By Anne Noelani Miyamoto
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (830)
    Performance
    (641)
    Story
    (639)

    The powerful debut novel from Alan Brennert, Moloka’i tells the story of Rachel Kalama, a seven-year-old Hawaiian girl who contracts leprosy and is quarantined on the island of Moloka’i during the 1890s. Separated from her family and forced to grow up in the leper colony of Kalaupapa, Rachel experiences intense isolation. But she remains strong, finding moments of joy, and even love. Rich in Hawaiian history, this novel proves itself a stellar piece of historical fiction.

    Blaine says: "Unexpected Jewel"
    "Best in a Long Time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lately I have been going through a dry spell of books I have not really enjoyed. My book club chose this title and despite the good reviews, I was reluctant. The story was interesting from the start. Narration was superb with a talented inclusion of accents and differentiation between characters. We follow Rachel through the normal up's and down's of anyone's life. Hers were, of course, slightly different than usual but there is the story. She was separated from family at an early age but connected with others soon after. When that connection was lost, other loved ones filled her life. She had teenage rebelliousness. She sought out love an had some failures. She married and had a child. Her husband died. And she continued on to fulfill her dreams that she had held on to through it all. I didn't want it to end but when it did, I was satisfied. I look forward to reading additional works by Mr. Brennert.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By M. Louisa Locke
    • Narrated By Cynthia Wallace
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (80)

    It's the summer of 1879, and Annie Fuller, a young San Francisco widow, is in trouble. Annie's husband squandered her fortune before committing suicide, and to pay off a debt, one of his creditors is now threatening to take the boardinghouse she owns. Annie also has a secret. She supplements her income by giving domestic and business advice as Madam Sibyl, one of San Francisco's most exclusive clairvoyants, and one of her clients has died. The police believe his death was suicide, but Annie believes he was murdered.

    KarenB says: "Enjoyable story, annoying narration"
    "Much Better Alternatives"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was hoping for more from this book (and ultimately the series). There is not a lot of depth in the storyline or the characters. Their lives and actions are very simple, with none of the richness that makes a story interesting. There is a good mystery with a number of possible choices and a twist or two. However, never once was I disappointed to stop listening temporarily.

    To make it all worse, as most others have noted, the narration was absolutely awful. It sounded like the efforts of character differentiation were too extreme. Her normal voice would have been fine. But many of the voices were fake sounding and certainly overly dramatic, and that should have been noted (and changed) during production.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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