Call anytime(888) 283-5051
 

You no longer follow L. Calder

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow L. Calder

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

L. Calder

Gardening Geek

Fort Bragg, California USA | Member Since 2004

209
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 42 reviews
  • 278 ratings
  • 456 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
7
FOLLOWERS
35

  • The Secret Keeper

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3009)
    Performance
    (2588)
    Story
    (2601)

    England, 1959: Laurel Nicolson is 16 years old, dreaming alone in her childhood tree house during a family celebration at their home, Green Acres Farm. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and then observes her mother, Dorothy, speaking to him. And then she witnesses a crime.

    Maria says: "Kate Morton (and Caroline Lee) does it again!"
    "Morton outdoes herself"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Am a fervent Kate Morton fan. Loved The Forgotten Garden, was entranced with The House at Riverton (aka Shifting Fog) and the Distant Hours, but the Secret Keeper has become my favorite. The narration by Caroline Lee was as cozy and comfortable as ever. Her voice bringing the various eras to life in vivid color, at times black and white. She would be a charm reading anyone to a calm and peaceful sleep. But during the day, when I listened, she kept me totally enthralled with the myriad of twists and turns of the story.

    Morton's ability to draw the listener reader to empathy, even affection for all her characters flawed, all so human, and to disgust with her duplicitous cads, is amazing. Know this is weird, but narrator Caroline Lee did yelling and whispers really well. Been listening to books since the 80's and that's surprisingly important! Look forward to Kate Morton's next novel.

    4 of 5 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
    (2625)
    Performance
    (2463)
    Story
    (2452)

    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"
    "Best historical fiction - vivid and intriguing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another very strong chapter in the Outlander series. We jump back and forth between Brianna and Roger's family in 20th century Scotland and Jamie and Claire's adventures amidst the Revolutionary War 200 years ago. The futility, confusion and waste of war is so well portrayed as experienced by the common man or woman. Very fun how Gabaldon interweaves interactions with famous historical figures like George Washington or Daniel Webster. Loved to hear how Benjamin Franklin practiced and preached exposing all of ones skin to sunlight and fresh air for at least an hour a day. Equally fascinating is reading about Benedict Arnold, what he was like and why he turned coat on his country.

    Thought provoking always when Gabaldon proposes how Claire and Brianna slipped 20th century knowledge into 18th century every day life. From sneaking in the inclusion of greens and fruits in soldiers' diets for teeth and bones to creating ether to enable surgeries. Whether it's penicillin from moldy bread or kiln firing clay pipes for irrigation, always great fodder for imagining how these things came to be known.

    Very prescient for present times to read about how families and individuals survive after losing everything, over and over again. How much courage and strength the common man or woman display on a daily basis, though all one usually reads about in history text books are the decisions of the famous and powerful who are often making moves through selfish, self serving motivation at the cost of so many innocent lives.

    In this volume particularly I very much admire Gabaldon's portrayal of strong, charismatic characters, both male and female, who can lead with their hearts and wit and not just brute force.

    From start to finish you are immersed in a lush, exciting, world of vivid relationships and the reliving of many historical and scientific events. I learn so much from each of the Outlander books, and Written in My Own Heart's Blood topped the rest. The only thing that relieves the sadness of reading the last page, is the knowledge that on 8/9/14 is the premier of the Starz network series of Outlander, the first novel of this Diana Gabaldon saga.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Just One Evil Act: A Lynley Novel, Book 18

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Elizabeth George
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (358)
    Performance
    (311)
    Story
    (310)

    Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers is at a loss: The daughter of her friend Taymullah Azhar has been taken by her mother, and Barbara can't really help - Azhar had never married Angelina, and his name isn't on Hadiyyah's, their daughter's, birth certificate. He has no legal claim. Azhar and Barbara hire a private detective, but the trail goes cold. Azhar is just beginning to accept his soul-crushing loss when Angelina reappears with shocking news: Hadiyyah is missing, kidnapped from an Italian marketplace.

    Ruth Nielsen says: "Not a Fan Anymore!"
    "Thru chaos emerges just one more excellent mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For ardent fans of Elizabeth George, you've no choice but to listen to Just One Evil Act and you will not regret it. The excellent writing is there, as is the intrigue and the continuing saga of Lynley, Havers and the Met. And of course eminently listenable Davina Porter.

    If you've never read George before, then listen to ANY of the many many Elizabeth George novels except the last three. Best to start with her first Inspector Lynley mystery, A Great Deliverance.

    All that said, Just One Evil Act is indeed a bit of a chaotic mess of plot and characters. Reminiscent of Italy, actually, getting lost at every turn. That well may be her motivation, as much of the story takes place in Tuscany. The characters are thrown in so quickly, with few fleshed out and no one soliciting empathy. Like one's first days in Naples. But after a week, being enthralled with everything, including the clothes on the line.

    The second half is more of the Elizabeth George fare her readers expect - that perfect blend of character, engrossing personal drama and gritty UK mystery. And an intriguing peek into the Italian police process. Barbara Havers and Thomas Lynley may start out weak, and almost feeble minded, but apparently this particular crime was the catharsis they both needed, as in the end....ok, no spoilers here. For the seasoned Elizabeth George listener, this is another treat.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • What Alice Forgot

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Tamara Lovatt-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1643)
    Performance
    (1479)
    Story
    (1473)

    What would happen if you were visited by your younger self, and got a chance for a do-over?Alice Love is twenty-nine years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. So imagine her surprise when, after a fall, she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! she HATES the gym!) and discovers that she's actually thirty-nine, has three children, and is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce.

    Yvonne says: "Loved..."
    "Oh my this book is good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Liane Moriarty is one heck of a story teller. And Tamara Lovatt-Smith was an engaging narrator. This dynamite combo made for a funny and touching narrative to which I could not stop listening, sleep be damned! If a detail was missed or a character mis-placed, I rewound back until I heard it all, every word. So well constructed through dreams, thoughts, flash backs and of course present dialogue, the novel is a joy, even to finish! You actually don't yearn for more. She's parceled out a perfect portion of literature. Not easy to do, making me ardently admire her skill.

    Having just heard a true story of a woman who had been in a coma after a car accident, who upon waking found she'd lost the last two years' memories, listening to Moriarty's book I felt she very realistically portrayed what goes on in a mind wracked by amnesia. Both the real car accident woman I read about and fictional Alice had to reckon with the woman they'd become from the perspective of their younger selves. And both came to similar conclusions about their lives and whom they wanted to be. And both felt, in the end the amnesia was a rare gift. Found this intriguing; this tale can't help but make you ponder what you might feel faced with a similar situation. Not a bad life exercise?

    In What Alice Forgot, Alice comes to after a fall, in her 40 year old body, but with the mind and character of herself at 30. Utterly fascinating how Moriarty has Alice cope with such a situation. Also dealt with, in the novel, from many viewpoints, how women ruled by biological clocks have to maneuver through marriage changes after children, the myriad of job complications and the heartbreak of infertility, older couplings, female relationships and their far reaching impacts on our lives and much more.

    These issues are dealt with touching empathy and frankness. Moriarty wove us through a web of many characters of all ages and brought us to a delicious end. No easy task. Bravo Liane. 5 stars for sure.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Museum of Extraordinary Things: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Alice Hoffman
    • Narrated By Judith Light, Grace Gummer, Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (300)
    Performance
    (262)
    Story
    (264)

    Coney Island: Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the impresario behind The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a boardwalk freak show that amazes and stimulates the crowds. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father's "museum", alongside performers like the Wolfman, the Butterfly Girl, and a 100-year-old turtle. One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man photographing moonlit trees in the woods off the Hudson River.

    L. Calder says: "Captivating historical fiction+Hoffman interview!"
    "Captivating historical fiction+Hoffman interview!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Alice Hoffman was my first author crush. The woman who turned me on to Hoffman's novels owned a funky eclectic bookstore where I'd have coffee and book chat whenever I could. With bated breath we'd wait for each new Alice Hoffman book, each one a gem.

    Hoffman's world is a dreamy, swim through enchanting, eerie and magical adventures with female and male underdogs conquering all obstacles in life and love. The Museum of Extraordinary Things, once you dive in, holds you as a willing captive, swimming effortlessly through the story, in which you learn, in the most intimate way, about two, otherwise obscure, events in NYC history, through the eyes of the victims and their families. Hoffman is an excellent and thorough researcher, and blends the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and Dreamland fires of 1911 seamlessly into her always mesmerizing plots and characters. Her ventures into historical fiction, totally impress me, and this is her very best effort in this genre.

    Vividly brought to life are the workers' struggles of the 1900's, and mistreatment and arbitrary abuse to women, minorities and immigrants. Sadly, it all echoes many of the same problems with which we struggle today.

    Well done Alice Hoffman! A loyal fan I remain. Thus, so delighted was I to surprisingly find a fascinating conversation between Alice Hoffman and narrator Judith Light come on following the completion of The Museum of Extraordinary Things. Such a wonderful cure for that odd, black hole in which one finds oneself after finishing a long, really good book. The two discussed the novel, their lives, their passions, their methods, and so much more. Very, very satisfying, particularly after such an excellent read!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • I Don’t Care about Your Band: What I Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I’ve Dated

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Julie Klausner
    • Narrated By Julie Klausner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (145)
    Story
    (146)

    In the tradition of Cynthia Heimel and Chelsea Handler, and with the boisterous iconoclasm of Amy Sedaris, Julie Klausner's candid and funny debut I Don't Care about Your Band sheds light on the humiliations we endure to find love - and the lessons that can be culled from the wreckage. I Don't Care about Your Band posits that lately the worst guys to date are the ones who seem sensitive. It's the jerks in nice guy clothing, not the players in Ed Hardy, who break the hearts of modern girls.

    Stephanie says: "pretty raunchy"
    "As flirty as a pleated skirt"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Just loved this book. It kept me laughing throughout. Her fearless retelling of the myriad of relationships she's lived through was hilarious and illuminating. Her narration fit the material perfectly. Much like a brilliant night at a comedy club, to which I rarely get to go, this was a real treat. Massive collection of perfect one liners in this book. Ah, but there was some collateral damage—dumped the latest guy in my life. One of her tales matched mine exactly. She saved me much unneeded emotional kerfuffle. My heartfelt thanks Julie!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Signature of All Things: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1116)
    Performance
    (1019)
    Story
    (1028)

    In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the 18th and 19th centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker - a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia.

    Molly-o says: "Don't miss this one"
    "Fascinating take on Darwin and botany"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a fan of Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love and Committed (brilliant investigation into the history and global reality of marriage) I was a bit off put finding this novel fiction. As always, her research was impeccable and thought provoking, but her dialogue a bit flat. The excellent narration of Juliet Stevenson was obviously a challenge, as often the only way to differentiate the different characters was by accents. But as one of her first published books of fiction, that can be easily forgiven, for only the most seasoned of writers can bring dialogue alive and nuanced. Her story was captivating and the people living in this book came quite alive, albeit mostly by description. The strength of the book was how well she portrayed the plight of the 19th century woman, especially in the sciences. As a gardener, I savored the abundant flora and fauna tales. Much I learn from her books, and this one excelled in this aspect. Do look forward to more of her fiction, so well blended with fact and real historical figures.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Stranger

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Christina Lauren
    • Narrated By Grace Grant, Jonathan R. Cole
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1046)
    Performance
    (972)
    Story
    (968)

    Escaping a cheating ex, finance whiz Sara Dillon's moved to New York City and is looking for excitement and passion without a lot of strings attached. So meeting the irresistible, sexy Brit at a dance club should have meant nothing more than a night's fun. But the manner - and speed - with which he melts her inhibitions turns him from a one-time hookup into her Beautiful Stranger.

    Jordy says: "Delicious!!"
    "Painful piece of writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Oh my. So poorly written, with such flatly drawn, one dimensional characters, that I stopped listening about a third in. Thank goodness it was free.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Cheryl Strayed
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3171)
    Performance
    (2790)
    Story
    (2794)

    At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

    FanB14 says: "Glad I Took the Trip"
    "Surprisingly enthralling trek up West Coast"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The only reason I read this book was because my daughter in law gave it to me, you know how family politics go. It was a delightful surprise. As a life long runner and walker, most of it being along the coast of Northern California, I was leery of how one could make a walk involving enough to fill an entire novel. So often these sorts of books are fueled by bragging rights, and spend far too many pages on how tough is the hiker, who is out there due to preferring the wild to people. (Tedium often ensues.)

    Cheryl Strayed (yes, she named herself) pens a story infinitely engrossing. Though the sadness surrounding her mother lasted a bit longer than was comfortable, or interesting, the rest of her story was funny and captivating, making a very satisfying read. That it's a true story made it also an inspiring tale. Her creativity and endurance with ill fitting foot wear was wondrously humorous and, well, totally awesome!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • An Echo in the Bone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5593)
    Performance
    (3778)
    Story
    (3785)

    Jamie Fraser knows from his time-traveling wife Claire that, no matter how unlikely it seems, America will win the Revolutionary War. But that truth offers little solace, since Jamie realizes he might find himself pointing a weapon directly at his own son - a young officer in the British army. And Jamie isn't the only one with a tormented soul - for Claire may know who wins the conflict, but she certainly doesn't know whether or not her beloved Jamie survives.

    Charles says: "Read all of Gabaldon's stuff before this one"
    "The only problem with this novel was that it ended"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As one who loves history but generally finds historical novels a bit dry and too full of battles, the Outlander series has been a magnificent gift.

    Just finished listening, for the 2nd time, the entire seven volume series in anticipation of Gabaldon's 8th addition due out in June. Ha! Seven months absorbed in time traveling back 200 years. Delightful! This second listen/read (always more rich to do both at once with Gabaldon) was far more exciting and rewarding than anticipated. Noticed many more fascinating historical details and the characters were more alive to me than ever. Gabaldon's character development over this 20 year period is intimate and dynamic. Claire is now my age in An Echo in the Bone and quite the avatar of my idealized self. Adore her many flaws, echoing my own, as the wisecracking, irreverent, bull in a china shop. If only to have her sexual prowess!

    What I especially love about An Echo in the Bone is the depiction of the Revolutionary War through the eyes of ordinary people, allowing me to finally understand the reality of that war. Her writing gets better and more colorful with each novel, astounding as her first volume, Outlander, was brilliant historical fiction, vividly penned with an impeccably crafted plot, surrounding characters whom you either passionately love or totally abhor. And so much humor and philosophical musing.

    Why her books are listed as Romance is infuriatingly baffling. They are definitely the finest of Historical Fiction, if not masterfully scribed Literature.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Windfallen

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Michelle Ford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (66)

    The tiny, well-ordered seaside village of Merham holds little to interest the adventurous - except for Arcadia, the breathtaking art deco house perched above the shoreline. Attracted to this magical place, young Lottie Swift surrenders freely to its temptations and ultimately must face the hard consequences of her actions. Years later, another young woman comes to Merham. A designer hired to make over the now-empty Arcadia, Daisy Parsons seeks a new beginning, as Lottie once did. Fleeing a broken relationship, Daisy finds refuge at Arcadia, and something more - a love she thought she would never know again.

    Peter says: "Jojo hits another home run."
    "Another Delicious Apple from the Moyes Tree"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jojo Moyes does have a fondness for keeping you totally confused for a good portion of her books, but it makes for surprise turns throughout the story….a bit like those Chinese balls you unravel, never knowing what sort of treasure will fall out. Definitely worth hanging in with this one, as the writing is superb and her characters endearing. Her blind character was especially fascinating, as were her eccentric bohemians upsetting the small British seaside town.

    All right. The truth is I can't honestly tell you why I get so drawn in to Jojo Moyes novels, but I do, every one I've listened to or read. Thoroughly engaging and infinitely quotable, so fine was Moyes' prose in this book.

    The narrator was lovely with the most of her voices, but her American dialects keep shifting, so at times it's confusing who's speaking and the southern accent was a tad painful. Luckily these characters were in a very small part of the book and the strength of the story well covers the small gaffs.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.