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Amazon Customer

Lawyer, reader, writer, performer. Just love listening to books and talking about it!

PARIS, TX, United States | Member Since 2008

205
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 116 reviews
  • 443 ratings
  • 847 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
14

  • Home: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Toni Morrison
    • Narrated By Toni Morrison
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (121)

    Frank Money is an angry, self-loathing veteran of the Korean War who, after traumatic experiences on the front lines, finds himself back in racist America with more than just physical scars. His home may seem alien to him, but he is shocked out of his crippling apathy by the need to rescue his medically abused younger sister and take her back to the small Georgia town they come from and that he's hated all his life. This is a deeply moving novel about an apparently defeated man finding his manhood - and his home.

    Melinda says: "not a novel, but a collection of short stories"
    "Home -- For Your BookClub or Classroom, or Brain!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Home to be better than the print version?

    Both are excellent. I listened first, then went and read it in order to study it and learn from a master.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Cee, she learns to stand tall and believe in herself regardless of her childhood and the wrong done to her.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Hard to pick, but three come to mind. First, the opening poem, it brings chills down the spine. Next, when Cee tells Frank that she has a right to cry. And finally, the ending poem and all its potential meanings. I'll give you the first just so you don't miss it on the audio version:

    “Whose house is this?
    Whose night keeps out the light
    In here? Say, who owns this house?
    It’s not mine. I dreamed another, sweeter, brighter
    With a view of lakes crossed in painted boats;
    Of fields wide as arms open for me.
    This house is strange. Its shadows lie.
    Say, tell me, why does its lock fit my key?”

    I don't know about you, but this resonates deep within me. It's the story of growing up, of finding yourself. Of finding out that home, for good or bad, has made a lasting impression on you, and, just maybe, you can reconcile yourself with that. Perhaps, on a grander scale, it is also a reconciliation to the awareness and owning of our country, good and bad.
    Finally, perhaps you can reconcile yourself with you, good and bad


    Any additional comments?

    I love the book for the imagery of the time that it invokes, and for the depth of each character that the author gives us. I love the use of many literary styles, and the fact that the book is still very accessible. I love the ending.

    Here is the low down:

    Frank is a Korean vet who was treated equally in the war but slips back into segregated America as it if it is still the norm, which is a good subtle shock for the modern reader, so far away from it. But Frank has bigger worries, mainly that he is haunted by the war. This book is the story of his quest to find his sister, and during his travels he finds himself. This is a very American theme, in the fashion of Mark Twain and Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain). Frank breaks through and speaks to the reader, and occasionally to the author; this is a highly effective, somewhat twisted, way to jar the reader out of the story itself and into deeper thought. Toni Morrison is skilled enough to pull it off.

    Cee (Ycidra) is Frank's sister, who thinks that maybe she'd have learned to think for herself if Frank hadn't been there to constantly protect her. She is an accident waiting to happen, a consummate victim, although she doesn't try to be, so trouble finds her when Frank leaves for the war. She and Frank bind each other to this earth, and eventually save each other, once they learn their own self worth. Something in that reminds me of Celie in the Color Purple, and Cee's story is very much an American girl coming of age story, with the honest portrayal of the plight of the black woman.

    There are other memorable characters, some snapshots, some deeper, and plenty of themes, all delivered in a punch at 160 pages on my Kindle. Morrison trueists don't like this book very much because it doesn't use the magical realism style that they all love. If that includes you, know that this is American realism fiction, and take the time to think deeper than the story. Ask yourself how the author is so talented to make us care in such a short time. Look at the wording and sentences, and see how she shows rather than tells. Search for all those little details that make the writing so good. Learn from a living legend, who makes you dissatisfied with the humdrum.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Belzhar

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Meg Wolitzer
    • Narrated By Jorjeana Marie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (37)

    If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be at home in New Jersey with her sweet British boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She'd be watching old comedy sketches with him. She'd be kissing him in the library stacks. She certainly wouldn't be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English. But life isn't fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.

    RueRue says: "Y/A Story, Suitable for Adults"
    "Not really about Sylvia Plath"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So much promise, so much potential, so spot on. Then late in the book: poof, the plot twist took me right out of it and took the book away from what the cover promised. Still, it had some great stuff on Sylvia Plath.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Yes Please

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Amy Poehler
    • Narrated By Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, and others
    Overall
    (8529)
    Performance
    (7113)
    Story
    (7090)

    Amy Poehler is hosting a dinner party and you're invited! Welcome to the audiobook edition of Amy Poehler's Yes Please. The guest list is star-studded with vocal appearances from Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy’s parents - Yes Please is the ultimate audiobook extravaganza.

    S.F. says: "Listen to this book for sure"
    "Yes Thank You!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a gem. Of course we'd expect no less from this supremely creative woman. The audio experience is a tour de force on its own, packed with guests and a live performance. But the reason I'll remember this book is for the very real pearls of wisdom and transparency Amy offers - followed quickly by jokes, naturally. Thanks for this treat!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Land of Careful Shadows

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Suzanne Chazin
    • Narrated By Armando Durán
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    When the dead body of a Latino woman is found in a reservoir about 50 miles north of Manhattan, with a photo of a baby in her purse nearby, the police try to determine who the child is and if it is still alive. Along with the photo, they also find a disturbing note in the purse: "Go back to your country. You don't belong here."

    Amazon Customer says: "Shadows that are Worth Seeing"
    "Shadows that are Worth Seeing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This detective fiction, told from the POV of the Hispanic detective and several other Hispanics that are a part of the story, will entertain you and tug at you at the same time. Never preachy but way more to the story. Very glad I read it particularly at this time with the current immigration political wars. The author reached out to me after my review of The Book of Unknown Americans and I'm glad she did. Read it for surface level enjoyment or read it for much much more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Luminaries

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Eleanor Catton
    • Narrated By Mark Meadows
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1159)
    Performance
    (1006)
    Story
    (1024)

    It is 1866 and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.

    Melinda says: "Not So Luminous"
    "No Illumination for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So disappointed about this one, another Booker Prize winner that is not for me. I was frustrated because the writing seemed to not be as tight as it should have been. Yet, the author clearly knew what she was doing. What gives? Well I looked at the reviews and information on it -- another gimmick. Each chapter half the length of the other? Not for me. In the style of Wilkie Collin's (who was Dickens' best friend and who wrote The Woman in White, which I loved), well that is for me, but not with the gimmick. Why not just write a good book? Hopefully next time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Nightingale

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Kristin Hannah
    • Narrated By Polly Stone
    Overall
    (227)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (189)

    From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes Kristin Hannah’s next novel. It is an epic love story and family drama set at the dawn of World War II. She is the author of twenty-one novels. Her previous novels include Home Front, Night Road, Firefly Lane, Fly Away, and Winter Garden.

    Gayle says: "Beautiful Story of a Horrific Time in History"
    "The Nightingale Sings!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well written historical fiction to get lost in. A story of the resistance, a story of love, courage and family. This is the first book of 2015 to go on my 2015 favorites list. I couldn't put it down!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Brown Girl Dreaming

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Woodson
    • Narrated By Jacqueline Woodson
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (32)

    Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world.

    Amazon Customer says: "Inspiration in a Come of Age Poem"
    "Inspiration in a Come of Age Poem"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I do love poetry but I don't give it the time I should because I'd rather have a story. This is a story in poetry, a powerful, sometimes difficult to face, sweet, thought filled, poetic stream by a girl whose young life was a study in opposites, and who believes in opposites coming together some day. I do, too. Thank you Jaqueline with a J and a Q for inspiring me to keep on believing and for taking me through your journey with such grace.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Syrie James
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (318)
    Performance
    (283)
    Story
    (279)

    From Syrie James, the best-selling author of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, comes a novel that captures the passionate heart and restless soul of Charlotte Brontë—the author who gave the world Jane Eyre while longing for a soulmate.

    Victoria says: "WHAT DO YOU DO WITH YOUR DREAM"
    "Bittersweet but Worth It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sometimes this read a bit like a Jane Austen novel, which was strange, because that really wasn't the Bronte style. But it was so interesting to see the whole family story and the publication story, and the love story, all in one place. I'm glad I listened.

    Also, the narrator is one of my favorite narrators, which is how I found this book! Its worth it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Richard Flanagan
    • Narrated By David Atlas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (317)
    Performance
    (287)
    Story
    (280)

    >In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thailand - Burma Death Railway in 1943, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. His life is a daily struggle to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from pitiless beatings - until he receives a letter that will change him forever.

    Lee Chemel says: "Exquisite"
    "Can I be Honest?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was just not for me. I tried to both listen and read, I am used to Booker Prize winners being deeper, so they are hard to follow when just listening anyway. But I just didn't believe this book. It almost seemed gimmicky and trite in the end, although I know the subject matter is not. The reason I felt this way was because the loose ends were all wrapped up yet the narrative was modernist / realistic. I think you have to pick your evil and stick with it. Also, I didn't enjoy the multiple voices that came in long after I'd already committed to one voice.

    However, I felt somewhat the same way about The Constellation of Vital Phenomena, so I think if you loved that book, you will love this. There are a few worthy quotes, just like in that book.

    Also, I thought the narrator spoke too s l o w. So, that killed the audio for me. It was just a struggle.

    12 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • One Plus One: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Bower, Ben Elliot, Nicola Stanton, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1497)
    Performance
    (1334)
    Story
    (1338)

    Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied, and your math-whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can't afford to pay for. That's Jess' life in a nutshell - until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess' knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages...maybe ever.

    Kathy says: "Sometimes I need a book that is just fun to read."
    "Do the Math and Warm Your Heart"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had this for awhile before I read it. Why did I wait so long? Is it the cover or the start of the book? Well don't let it put you off. This is a sneaky little surprise.

    I love Brit Lit. I love the humor and the peculiar but expressive slang. But what I love more are books that have alot to say about society without cramming it down your throat. Instead, they just present the facts and push them to the brink and let the numbers add up as they may.

    Meet Jess, a hard working mom of a blended family of two kids whose husband is an absentee dead beat. Meet Ed who is a Geek-illionaire who made a snap decision out of desperation that he now can't bear to share with his ailing father. Throw into the mix a goth boy, a math girl, a rescue dog, and a number of desperate situations, and you get a page turner. It is predictable, but it is also so much more, so it can be encountered on different levels and that -- plus its heart -- is why I loved it.

    At the heart of the story is the famous parable of the different degrees of forgiveness. I'm not spoiling anything by telling you this, it's obvious from the beginning. What's not obvious is how it will all unfold. What was not obvious to me was how often this book would tug at my heart, and not in the just typical romantic comedy way.

    Take all of this and add in a writer who knows the craft, and you get a darn good book with staying power. So get past the title and the cover and get busy reading it. You won't regret it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Pearl That Broke Its Shell

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Nadia Hashimi
    • Narrated By Gin Hammond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (65)

    Nadia Hashimi's literary debut is a searing tale of powerlessness, fate, and the freedom to control one's own fate that combines the cultural flavor and emotional resonance of the works of Khaled Hosseini, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Lisa See. In Kabul, 2007, Rahima and her sisters can only sporadically attend school and can rarely leave the house. Their only hope lies in the ancient custom of bacha posh, which allows young Rahima to dress and be treated as a boy until she is of marriageable age.

    Jen says: "His Eye Is On The Sparrow"
    "Inner View of Hidden Women"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another excellent surprise. This started out a little rough for me, but I'm so glad I stuck with it. It is a book with huge scope covering the lives of two women in Afghanistan, this will first make you curious and then begin tugging on your heart strings from a powerful new (old) perspective, that of the imprisoned and disenfranchised women. Shall we not guard or own freedoms with all of our being? In what ways do we need to break out of our shells?

    Also, this book really brings home the very limited world view that so many trapped women have and why. It's so hard for me to fathom. I'm so thankful for my life, and I'll learn about the issues and exercise my right to vote every single time. I can't help but wonder -- if push came to shove, would we be as brave as these women?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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