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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

139
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 110 reviews
  • 434 ratings
  • 836 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
11

  • My Life in Middlemarch

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Rebecca Mead
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (67)

    A New Yorker writer revisits the seminal book of her youth - Middlemarch - and fashions a singular, involving story of how a passionate attachment to a great work of literature can shape our lives and help us to read our own histories. Rebecca Mead was a young woman in an English coastal town when she first read George Eliot's Middlemarch,regarded by many as the greatest English novel. After gaining admission to Oxford and moving to the United States to become a journalist, through several love affairs, then marriage, and family, Mead read and reread Middlemarch.

    Doggy Bird says: "A Reader's Pleasure!"
    "A must for English Lit Lovers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a very interesting dissection of an important English writer's life and works, with a good tie in to the modern reader. This is not just a review of Middlemarch, rather it is a good look at George Eliot and her life, plus the influences on the writer's life. If you love English lit, you won't want to miss this.

    3 of 3 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
    (291)
    Performance
    (257)
    Story
    (254)

    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!

    0 of 0 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
    (206)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (183)

    >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.

    0 of 0 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
    (1314)
    Performance
    (1175)
    Story
    (1179)

    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.

    0 of 0 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
    (57)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (53)

    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?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Landline

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Rainbow Rowell
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (336)
    Performance
    (304)
    Story
    (307)

    Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply - but that almost seems beside the point now. Maybe that was always beside the point. Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her - Neal is always a little upset with Georgie - but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go without her.

    Judi says: "Its not Eleanor and Park or Fangirl but its good"
    "Hate the Cover, Love the Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hate the cover, love the book. I get why this won the Goodreads award. Its real, it tugs at your heart, and yet it doesn't solve all the problems but leaves you with hope. Also, I can see why it would be popular with happily -- or even semi-happily -- married women (but do younger girls like it?) Interesting time twist that makes you think about your mate and why you fell and love and what you do to each other despite your best intentions, and why you stay married. Good stuff and hard to put down.

    My only caveat is that I am not sure how teens will fill about this offering. It's a bit more about the marriage after a number of years, although it flashes back to the college dating years. It will probably resonate more with those who have been married a while.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Station Eleven

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Emily St. John Mandel
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (483)
    Performance
    (411)
    Story
    (413)

    An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

    Stacy says: "gah!"
    "World Catastrophe with Heart and Magic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    2014 was a strange book year for me. Even in November, I hadn't loved loved loved any literary fiction. This was one of the books that finally did it for me.

    It is more than just a dystopian look at the end of the world as we known it. It's highly creative, with a story buried within a story, buried within a story. I love that kind of thing, but if it bothers you, you should know you'll be jumping around a bit.

    Station Eleven has something to say about our world, through the looking glass of hindsight, as the characters remember their lives, and as the author then pops you back into that world to give you the full story. It is something like Fahrenheit 457 or 1984 in its soft chiding to better appreciate what we have. It gives you Shakespeare's plague ridden world to consider, King Lear, and a traveling troupe comprised of a new species: artist - survivalists. It gives you Star Trek -survival is not enough - and makes you wonder which recent weather disaster was the one the author lived through. It gives you Hollywood and world commerce, at the same time that it takes them away. It's completely original.

    *Spoiler-ish Alert*

    I want to rate it only a 4.5 though, because of the lack of editing of one stylistic mannerism that drove me crazy. Don't read any further if you don't want to also be automatically jarred out of this lovely world every time it happens. Yes, I blame the editors for allowing the repetitive following: indescribable, inconceivable, unfathomable, incongruous, unimaginable, etc. etc. We get it. The world has been turned upside and can't be recognized, accepted or described. You don't have to find any more such synonyms. The writing is good enough without it. Next time, leave those words out and trust the readers to get the deep chaos of existence in Station Eleven and ponder as to its meaning.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The King's Curse: Cousins' War, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (293)
    Performance
    (269)
    Story
    (267)

    Regarded as yet another threat to the volatile King Henry VII's claim to the throne, Margaret Pole, cousin to Elizabeth of York (known as the White Princess) and daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, is married off to a steady and kind Lancaster supporter - Sir Richard Pole. For his loyalty, Sir Richard is entrusted with the governorship of Wales, but Margaret's contented daily life is changed forever with the arrival of Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon.

    Linda Lou says: "A DISAPPOINTING ENDING TO AN GOOD SERIES"
    "Amazing New View of these Tyrants!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I totally was not out to get sucked into another series or sail through them all in a very few short months. But this one grabbed me as something different. Yes, the history through a wife's eyes has been done and is growing in popularity, it's here to stay. That is how this series started out, but it's so much more, even from book one. It's the Tudors and Plantagnents. It's the Rivers. Its The Elizabeths you never heard of. And this one! It's a stand alone (but if you can take the time, read them all).

    I've been fascinated with the king who divorced or beheaded 6 wives since I first heard of him as a young girl. (Please tell me you have been, too!) It took me a much longer time to understand the destruction of the Catholic Church in England. But this book, told from the POV of disregarded Margaret Pole, had me realizing a whole different facet. What Henry VIII did to his country, to his men, to his cousins, shows a whole other tyrant. A madman.

    But what is more interesting to me is that people don't speak up. They think it will stop at each narcissistic act. Appease the monster and he'll leave us alone. But he doesn't, as is shown by history time and time and time again, and soon the narcissist turns into a tyrant, a fascist, a demigod whose tide swallows us whole, even on a whim.

    I kept wondering how Gregory would write the (well documented historical) ending. Bravo to you! You wowed me and got it oh so right.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Snow Queen

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Hans Christian Andersen
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    Overall
    (3497)
    Performance
    (3061)
    Story
    (3084)

    This classic tale is a fantastical fable of two dear friends - one of whom goes astray and is literally lost to the north woods, while the other undertakes an epic journey to rescue him. This charming, strange, and wonderful story is a timeless allegory about growing up and the challenges of staying true to one's self, and it served as the wintry inspiration for the blockbuster hit Frozen.

    Sara says: "Strange & Fascinating"
    "Messy, but a Great Gift & Family Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was awesome the Audible gave this as a Christmas gift in 2014. Just know that Frozen isn't exactly recognizable in this. If you need a listen for your family, it was good. It just reminds me a bit of the craziness that Alice went through in Wonderland (just got through listening to that, so I guess I was comparing).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Book of Unknown Americans: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Cristina Henríquez
    • Narrated By Various
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (79)

    A boy and a girl who fall in love. Two families whose hopes collide with destiny. An extraordinary novel that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be American. Arturo and Alma Rivera have lived their whole lives in Mexico. One day, their beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter, Maribel, sustains a terrible injury, one that casts doubt on whether she’ll ever be the same. And so, leaving all they have behind, the Riveras come to America with a single dream: that in this country of great opportunity and resources, Maribel can get better.

    Beth Anne says: "interesting view into the immigrant experience"
    "The Book of Re-Opening my Heart"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn't expecting much from this book, especially not a trip down memory lane. I love that it helped remind me of stories from my past. It helped me remember why I have such a heart for immigrants. It humanized the current politics and taught me things I didn't know. It was interesting to me that the setting was not Texas. I kept being surprised that Delaware was the location but I think that was a good thing as it gives a fresh look.

    It was hard for me to read, because I kept waiting for the axe to drop, but in the end I couldn't put it down. The sweetest story to me was that of Alma and Arturo, the couple that moves in order to help their daughter get better from a brain injury. Theirs is just an unadulterated pure love for each other and for their daughter. There are other stories mixed in, and I actually liked this, it gave me a break from the story that I knew was going to be difficult every step of the way. The name of the book comes from one of those stories and by the time it is delivered, you know how true it is.

    First time I've actually wept at the end of a book in a long, long time. I love my country but we are so screwed up.

    One favorite quote, from Arturo: "I'll tell them what I love about this country."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lewis Carroll
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (29)

    Amazon Customer says: "Listen After seeing the Play"
    "Listen After seeing the Play"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is just weird! Weird!! But its much more fun after seeing it on stage. I listened to half before we went to a production and half after, and it was much better after. And now I want to read Alice, I am, so I can know the back story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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