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Chicago, IL, United States | Member Since 2005


  • 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"
    "An " Elegent" Novel"

    I'll admit at first I was frustrated by The Elegance of Hedgehogs. The plot took a long time developing and the two main characters spent a lot of time pontificating on heavy themes. I love philosophy as reflected by fiction, but I felt the author spent much too much time on heady intellectual theories and not nearly enough time in the forward action of the story. However this was all absolved as I learned to understand them. One is an older woman in her 50s, a concierge in a rich apartment building who has been stunted by class expectations of her childhood and tries to hide the fact that she is an intellectual so as not be seen as putting on "airs". The other is a 12 year old girl of parents who pretend to have socialist aspirations but are really bourgeois, aloof and unfeeling. The girl is of extraordinary intelligence and can see through the facades maintained by her parents, older sister and adult society at large. She is disenchanted with the idea of growing up and living a "fish bowl" existence. Thus she has resolved to kill herself on her 13th birthday. As the story progressed I realized that to truly understand these characters and the boxes they put themselves it was important for the reader to endure the various wonderings, profound thoughts and journal exaltations, otherwise the resolution when they discover that their fates are not predetermined would not have been nearly as satisfying. It is an all together "elegant" novel filled with minute perceptions and sensory satisfactions.

    33 of 35 people found this review helpful
  • Born Wicked: The Cahill Witch Chronicles, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jessica Spotswood
    • Narrated By Nicole Sudhaus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship - or an early grave.

    Sash & Em: A Tale of Two Bookies says: "A Good Witch Story"
    "The Handmaid's Tale Meets Mists of Avalon"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Already did recommend it to my friend. She and I are both Richelle Mead fans. I think anyone who enjoyed the Dark Swan and Vampire Academy series will love the Cahill Witch Chronicles.

    What did you like best about this story?

    It was honestly brilliant. It had all the courtly intrigue and marital entrapment of a Jane Austin story, the magic and ritual of Mists of Avalon and the speculative fiction and societal mirroring of Margaret Attwood's The Handmaid's Tale. It is beautifully written . It has been over a week since I finished listening and my mind is still reeling, wondering what will happen next.

    What about Nicole Sudhaus’s performance did you like?

    It was genuine and emotional.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I am suffer from edge-of-the-seat-itis. I can't wait for the next book Star Crossed!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Carbon Diaries 2015

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Saci Lloyd
    • Narrated By Rebekah Germain

    It's 2015, and the UK is the first nation to introduce carbon dioxide rations, in a drastic bid to cut greenhouse gas emissions. As her family spirals rapidly out of control, Laura Brown chronicles the first year of rationing with scathing abandon. Will her mother become one with her inner wolf? Does her father love the pig more than her? Can her band, the Dirty Angels, make it big? And most importantly, will Ravi Datta ever love her?

    Alberto says: "Perhaps the most important story of our generation"
    "Perhaps the most important story of our generation"

    The most incredible book I have read this year, perhaps the most important story of our generation. The Carbon Diaries is not speculative fiction. It hardly falls under the category of fiction at all. Each day we are starting to be more aware of the coming collapse, but nothing I have read or seen so far has portrayed so clearly and truthfully what we are in for---and in such a personal, relateable way. Documentaries report facts, you can go to the IPCC website and see the numbers for yourself, and by looking at the interconnections of news stories you see the manifestation of the predictions...but even with all the evidence in front of us, it is hard to take it to heart, to process the information in an meaningful, impacting way. The Carbon Diaries unabashedly throws us head first into our shared future, and through the eyes of a young woman we are able witness and emphasize and hopefully at long last process our coming fate. 2015 is not far away. In four short years our world will most likely look like the one described. If you read only one book this year, read this one and then share it with everyone you know. Generations before us have understood the power of a story to teach, to prepare, to mentally condition a listener to face adversary and disaster. The Carbon Diaries is that kind of story. -April Galarza, Audible Aficionado, writer and eco-blogger.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Disciples of the Whip

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Susan Swann
    • Narrated By Amy Le Fay

    A mysterious gift, handed to her by a dark and arrogant stranger. Who was he? How did he know so much about her? How did he know her life was crying out for something different? Something...exciting, erotic?

    Alberto says: "Sensuous, Yes. Disciples of the Whip, No"
    "Sensuous, Yes. Disciples of the Whip, No"

    The title, unfortunately is a misnomer. There was one spanking in this novel, traditional, with the hand and over the knee and not a single whip. It is the story of a secret society in which the members meet each other and engage in a myriad of sexual ventures. Amidst the beautiful and tantalizing encounters there is an undertone of psychological dominance and submission and that's it. This is a delightful erotic tale but it does not hold a candle to the modern Story of O it claims to be.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Junot Diaz
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Staci Snell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fuku: the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.

    Kathleen says: "Fabulous listen"

    I absolutely loved it. Junot Diaz is my new favorite author. The characters were fantastic. Not a single stereotype in the group. The first person narration is witty and gritty. Although our narrator is opinionated he did not get in the way of the story instead he enhanced it. The way he wove the pop culture in with the culture of the Dominicano people was brilliant. There was a folkloric aspect to the story that drew you in from the very beginning. I haven't loved an author like this in while. Much?simo gracias Se?or Diaz, su libro es incre?ble!
    April (Wife of Alberto)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • No Country for Old Men

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Cormac McCarthy, best-selling author of National Book Award winner All the Pretty Horses, delivers his first new novel in seven years. Written in muscular prose, No Country for Old Men is a powerful tale of the West that moves at a blistering pace.

    Alan says: "Great story!"
    "Good Writing but Lacked Finality"

    This is my second Cormac McCarthy novel and I was disappointed. The writing itself was incredible. McCarthy has a knack for character description, dialog and dialect. Each character was well thought out and genuine. I felt the ending was inconclusive, however. I wont say anything else to avoid spoiling, just take my advice and read "The Road" instead.

    -April (Wife of Alberto)

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

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee

    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"
    "Historical Page Turner"

    Fascinating piece of historical fiction that reads like a suspense novel. The characters are well developed individuals driven by their motives--the architect ancestor of the amazing mason from the previous novel dreams of building the tallest church in England and an unlikely nun strives to take medicine out of the dark age. The challenges they face to reach these objectives are spectacular, such as the bubonic plague tyranical lords and self-interested bishops, but these extraordinary men and women continually surprise you with their ingenuity. One of the best novels I've "read" in a long time!

    -April (Wife of Alberto)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Children of Men

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By P.D. James
    • Narrated By Julian Glover

    The year human babies have been born for a quarter of a century, not since Year Omega, anywhere in the inhabited world. The very old succumb to despair and suicide; the final generation of the young are beautiful, but violent and cruel. The middle-aged try to sustain normality under the absolute rule of Xan Lyppiatt, the charismatic dictator and Warden of England. Lyppiatt's cousin, Theo Faron, lives a solitary, self-regarding life in this ominous atmosphere.

    Janet says: "unlistenable"
    "A wonderfully intriguing adventure"

    I was amazed by the authors ability to tell a fabulous tale while holding his readers responsible. There was no escaping the truth behind the fiction. It was captivating. I didn't think it moved too slowly. I think the author took moments of reflection in order for the reader to catch their breath and truly digest the gravity of the topics at hand. Also the sound quality was fine. I didn't notice any errors. I highly recommend this book even for those who are not science fiction fans.

    -April Galarza (wife of Alberto)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Drums of Autumn

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Geraldine James

    A User says: "The book is good, this recording is not"
    "Never buy Abridged Books!!!!!"

    Maybe then they'll quit that ridiculous practice and give us an audio book worth listening to. Not buying abridged books has been my practice until I was tempted by the romance and aditicting story line of the Diana Gabaldon series. I just had to know what happened next. Unfortunately it was a total disappointment. It went way too fast and left out large parts of the plot! Trust me get the book and don't waste your money. Diana Gabaldon is way too good to abridge! -April (Alberto's wife)

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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