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Beth Anne

i like to read. i like to listen.

Philadelphia, PA, United States | Member Since 2012

103
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 91 reviews
  • 124 ratings
  • 382 titles in library
  • 92 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
23

  • The House Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Tara Conklin
    • Narrated By Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (221)
    Performance
    (181)
    Story
    (189)

    The year is 2004: Lina Sparrow is an ambitious young lawyer working on a historic class-action lawsuit seeking reparations for the descendants of American slaves. The year is 1852: Josephine is a 17-year-old house slave who tends to the mistress of a Virginia tobacco farm - an aspiring artist named Lu Anne Bell. It is through her father, renowned artist Oscar Sparrow, that Lina discovers a controversy rocking the art world: Art historians now suspect that the revered paintings of Lu Anne Bell, an antebellum artist known for her humanizing portraits of the slaves who worked her Virginia tobacco farm, were actually the work of her house slave, Josephine.

    Jeanette Finan says: "Disappointing"
    "Would have liked a little more...but GOOD story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    i really liked the way this story was told in alternating chapters -- Josephine's story of being a slave girl in the house of Lu Ann Bell. Josephine's a strong, exciting character -- full of spirit and fight. Lina's story set in modern day NYC. a lawyer taking on a case regarding slavery reparations. their stories connect in a really interesting way...unfolding across generations with rich with history and turmoil.

    this book feels like it should be a sweeping story, but it's not. it has the feel of that kind of novel.

    my favorite parts of the book were letters that Lina read, from Dorothy to Caleb. the history that she uncovered through those types of documents.

    i think the story could have gone deeper into Lina's own history, it brushes upon the story of her mother and father, but doesn't deliver with the details as i would have liked.

    but over all this was a good book.

    -----

    All that being said...Bahni Turpin did a great job with narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Monsters of Men: Chaos Walking, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Patrick Ness
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl, Angela Dawe, MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (143)

    As a world-ending war surges to life around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast.

    Eileen says: "The Power of great writing, and great performances"
    "strong end to a fantastic trilogy. really good YA."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    nice finish to a really well written YA trilogy. enjoyed all the character development and loved the conclusion of this intense and exciting story of Todd and Viola.

    i must admit that i was both emotionally invested in these characters, and pleasantly surprised by all of their outcomes.

    my one complaint about the books (all three, but this one in particular) was there could have been some editing to make them a bit more concise. there's a lot of repeated stuff in these books (mostly internal dialogue) that i found could have moved the story on a bit quicker. this was most evident in the beginning of all three books (the first 1/3 of each installment)...seems like it took Ness a bit of time to ramp up into each book, but once he got there it was great.

    this is a solid trilogy

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter People: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jennifer McMahon
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (358)
    Performance
    (325)
    Story
    (325)

    West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, 19-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary....

    D. says: "Get past the narration of the first chapter"
    "mcmahon's latest and greatest success"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    this book was a horror story and a mystery story and a story of family and love and regret and desperation all wrapped up into a wonderfully written and quite engaging novel.

    the characters of ruthy and fawn were easy to root for...easy to love. sara and gertie were both mysterious and a tragic.

    i'm a fan of jennifer mcmahon. i think she writes a tightly wound thrilling story with extremely well thought out characters. she knows how to weave in the magical element where it's not hokey or over the top...it's actually believable and really draws you in as a reader.

    i will excitedly devour anything she writes until she stops writing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • And Then There Were None

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Dan Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (146)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (136)

    Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island mansion off the Devon coast by a mysterious "U.N. Owen". At dinner a recorded message accuses each of them in turn of having a guilty secret, and by the end of the night one of the guests is dead. Stranded by a violent storm, and haunted by a nursery rhyme counting down one by one...one by one they begin to die. Who among them is the killer? And will any of them survive?

    C says: "Literally gave me chills"
    "amazing narration, classic mystery story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dan Stevens was a perfect narrator for Agatha Christie's novel of murder and mystery. he embodied all the characters so well, it really was like a little treat.

    as for the story. i'm arriving so late to the Agatha Christie party, but i'm glad I tried her out. great story, well told, concise yet full of character development. loved every second of it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Valley of Amazement

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Amy Tan
    • Narrated By Nancy Wu, Joyce Bean, Amy Tan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1074)
    Performance
    (950)
    Story
    (966)

    Shanghai, 1912. Violet Minturn is the privileged daughter of the American madam of the city's most exclusive courtesan house. But when the Ching dynasty is overturned, Violet is separated from her mother in a cruel act of chicanery and forced to become a "virgin courtesan." Half-Chinese and half-American, Violet grapples with her place in the worlds of East and West - until she is able to merge her two halves, empowering her to become a shrewd courtesan who excels in the business of seduction and illusion, though she still struggles to understand who she is.

    Pamela says: "Just could NOT get past the ugliness"
    "disappointing and not worth the hype"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    honestly i expected more from amy tan. i dont know why. i've only read one other book by her (joy luck club), and i really did enjoy that one...but its been 6 years since i read it -- and 25 years since she wrote it. thats a lot of time, and a lot of other novels, that i've missed. but i guess because she's so prolific, and so popular, i figured that this novel was bound to be another amazing story. i kind of didn't feel that way.

    to be frank, i found the story to drag on and on...with all of the main characters making all of the same mistakes over and over and over again. without learning or growing.

    Violet is one of the dumbest female protagonists i have ever encountered. i kept grimacing over every choice she made, every person she trusted, every word she uttered. she kept saying 'i'm smart' 'i am clever' 'i could figure a way' -- and i wanted to scream back at here - no you aren't!!! you really really aren't! her story took way to long to unfold. leaving precious little time to get through the other two women's stories, which then felt rushed and cut short. Lulu was semi-interesting....but as i said, i felt i didn't get to really invest myself in her story because it was told so quickly and so near to the end of the novel -- i knew that it was being told only to move the story along to the ending.

    obviously i don't know anything about being a courtesan in turn of the century China...how would i. and this story did give you an interesting look into that lifestyle, whether chosen or forced upon a woman. it was extremely graphic in it's sexual encounters -- which didn't bother me -- but i also didn't find those scenes necessarily helped to move the plot along. they were a bit gratuitous.

    what frustrated me the most in this novel was the two child kidnappings that took place. the complacency of both mothers was astounding...like they lost an old silk scarf -- not a child from their own womb! there was no lamenting except a few words here and there 'i long for my daughter' 'i think about her all the time.' but that didn't seem like what was going on. it seemed, to me, that each woman was moving along with her life without looking back....without giving any effort to rescue her poor child. perhaps it was the times, or the country they were in, but i found the fact that no recourse was even attempted frustrating and bothersome. then the ending comes, everyone hugs and "we can all live happily moving forward and love each other again" -- it was just ridiculous.

    to end, this book was frustrating, and drawn out, and overall disappointing to me.

    0 of 0 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
    (301)
    Performance
    (263)
    Story
    (265)

    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!"
    "riveting story with captivating characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    i was absolutely riveted by this story. while the historical nature of the story seemed like a bit of a departure for Hoffman, the magical quality of the story was shining with every word written. i think Hoffman always has a way with words, and when her story is so captivating and her characters are so tormented the blend becomes a perfect novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Never List

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Koethi Zan
    • Narrated By Kristen Sieh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (91)

    For years, best friends Sarah and Jennifer kept what they called the "Never List" - a list of actions to be avoided. But one night, against their instincts, they accept a cab ride with grave consequences. For the next three years, they are held captive with two other girls in a dungeon-like cellar by a connoisseur of sadism. 10 years later, at 31, Sarah is still struggling to resume a normal life, unable to come to grips with the fact that Jennifer didn't make it out of that cellar. Now, her abductor is up for parole and Sarah can no longer ignore the twisted letters he sends from jail.

    Kali says: "Eerie similarities to Cleveland kidnappings..."
    "smart thriller with the right amount of everything"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    this book was great. it had just the right amount of intensity and mystery, just the right amount of drama, just the right amount of deviance and brutality, and it was just the right length.

    the story was interesting, with empathetic characters who are tortured (excuse the pun) by their past and trying to figure out a way to move on while having to revisit their old wounds. it's fast paced, there's no time wasted in getting to the final climax where all the twists and mysteries are resolved or revealed.

    it's a perfect creepy crazy story of female victims trying to figure out the realities and overcome the horrors what happened to them.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Alex: The Commandant Camille Verhoeven Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Pierre Lemaitre
    • Narrated By David Rintoul
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (51)

    Alex Prevost - kidnapped, savagely beaten, suspended from the ceiling of an abandoned warehouse in a tiny wooden cage - is running out of time. Her abductor appears to want only to watch her die. Apart from a shaky eyewitness report of the abduction, Police Commandant Camille Verhoeven has nothing to go on: no suspect, no leads, and no family or friends anxious to find a missing loved one. The diminutive and brilliant detective knows from bitter experience the urgency of finding the missing woman as quickly as possible - but first he must understand more about her.

    Paul says: "A Dark Story"
    "good if you like fast paced thrillers with twists"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    intense story with a lot of great twists that really kept it moving. every time you get to a resolution, you realize that it's just the beginning of another crazy turn in the story.

    there were definitely some cultural differences in the plot and in the writing, but they didn't detract from the intensity of the story.

    as a character, Alex was well developed and had a lot of depth and interest. the way her story unfolds through her narration and through the investigation surrounding her kidnapping is layered in such a way that til the very last few pages you are still guessing...which makes for a good mystery.

    worthy read for people who like this type of novel.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Daniel James Brown
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1297)
    Performance
    (1176)
    Story
    (1187)

    Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

    Janice says: "Do you believe in miracles??"
    "interesting story of american pride and crew"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    i'm not a sports person, and i'm not really a non-fiction book person...and yet, i found this story interesting and really quite enjoyable.

    it's an American pride story, an underdog story, a story of resiliance and hope and and brotherhood. it was not only enlightening and educational, but really exciting. it's a piece of our nation's olympic history that I had no idea about but am glad that i now do.

    go usa.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8636)
    Performance
    (7790)
    Story
    (7792)

    Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?

    Brock says: "Grisham at his best (again)"
    "predictable but good writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    grisham is a good writer. definitely keeps you interested and introduces you to a vast and various group of characters. while the book was pretty predictable (both hubby and i figured out what was going on around chapter 3), it wasn't boring..and i didn't mind watching the story unfold in the courtroom.

    for my first foray into grisham i guess it was a bit underwhelming, but this guy obviously churns out novels with interesting characters and well thought out stories that are really perfect to translate into films.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Mercedes: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4097)
    Performance
    (3831)
    Story
    (3842)

    In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

    Joyce says: "Love this style of King!!!"
    "different genre for King, perfectly executed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    i loved this book.

    the tried and true detective story as told my the master Stephen King just works.

    i love King's writing, whether or not it involves the supernatural aspects. the story delivers. the characters deliver. it kept me on the edge of my seat wondering whether good or evil would indeed prevail, you never know with King; and i loved every thrilling second of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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