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Memphis, TN, United States

  • 5 reviews
  • 68 ratings
  • 143 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014

  • American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Craig Ferguson
    • Narrated By Craig Ferguson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson delivers a moving and achingly funny memoir of living the American dream as he journeys from the mean streets of Glasgow, Scotland, to the comedic promised land of Hollywood. Along the way he stumbles through several attempts to make his mark - as a punk rock musician, a construction worker, a bouncer, and, tragically, a modern dancer.

    Diane says: "Unabashedly Honest"
    Would you listen to American on Purpose again? Why?

    Craig's voice and friendly, chatty manner invite a re-listen, yes, definitely.

    What did you like best about this story?

    Hearing Craig read it himself. Only he didn't read it so much as just tell his story, as if he had never rehearsed a word, it was fresh and funny.

    What does Craig Ferguson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The accent (obviously!), a deeper connection between the man and his beautifully honest, humble rise to fame. There is more to him than the guy at the desk on the Late Late Show, for sure, here he goes into personal territory and it's not always for laughs. It gives such deep meaning to his "It's a great day for America" slogan. He means it with all his heart and now you know why.

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

    I laughed constantly, and sympathized quite often.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Fire Rose

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Mercedes Lackey
    • Narrated By Kate Black-Regan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Accepting employment as a governess after hard times hit her family, medieval scholar Rosalind Hawkins is surprised when she learns that her mysterious employer has no children and only wants her to read to him through a speaking tube.

    Chelyn says: "Great story, poorly presented"
    "Not my cup of (weak) tea"

    I decided to take a step out of my niche, and the description of this novel sounded as though could be something amazing. Instead it felt watered down, and was often an insult to my intelligence. I found myself re-writing passages in my head to make them more believable and vivid and exciting. Details were overlooked altogether, one supposes in order to keep the story moving, but all too quickly and vaguely. People rushed and circumstances unfolded at a pace that stretched credibility, the heroine behaved as though hypnotized in her ability to accept the bizarre and move forward in every situation.

    I suppose if light fantasy romance is your genre and one of your favorite authors you'll be fine, but I need something with more depth.

    The narrator certainly didn't help, she extended the lackluster performance of the author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Therese Anne Fowler
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Picture a late-May morning in 1918, a time when Montgomery wore her prettiest spring dress and finest floral perfume - same as I would wear that evening.... Thus begins the story of beautiful, reckless, 17-year-old Zelda Sayre on the day she meets Lieutenant Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald at a country club dance. Fitzgerald isn’t rich or settled; no one knows his people; and he wants, of all things, to be a writer in New York. No matter how wildly in love they may be, Zelda’s father firmly opposes the match....

    L.W. says: "Great! From the first page to the last....."
    "Not A Good Introduction"

    I am not sure how much of the blame to assign to the author, and how much to Scott for this story being so depressing, and at times even infuriating. Long before it ended I wished that Zelda had done as her father bid, and married a nice rich Southern boy, and remained in a town where she was loved and in all her daring and eccentricity still supported and possibly understood.

    Although I am familiar with Scott's works, this was my introduction to the Fitzgeralds, and I would not wish to meet them again. I am strongly considering returning the book. I doubt I will read anything written by the author again. It was too fluffy at times, skimming what might be considered common knowledge, and focusing on the gaps as she fills them in with her own imagination, like a lumpy cake with too much icing. It was uneven in my perception due to this, I felt as though I had to Google my way through the book, filling in details.

    Ultimately the book was Scott's story, you might hate him after this. What a despicable person in Fowler's hands, and I don't want to waste more time investigating, seeking any clues to the contrary. He and Hemingway made me sick, the doctors made me angry, and Z just made me sad, both the woman and the novel. I regret the purchase.

    * * *

    Jenna Lamia's narration was fine, although a bit uneven. She starts strong, her pacing and voice thoughtful and evocative, but later on she loses her focus and speeds up, seeming to forget that she's portraying a first person who is Southern and genteel and from an earlier time. It pulled me out of the story a few times. Still, she's one of the best Southern voices I've ever heard in narration, it never felt forced or fake, and this from a Southerner who takes that upper case "S" seriously.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Fingersmith

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Sarah Waters
    • Narrated By Juanita McMahon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Orphaned as an infant, Susan Trinder was raised by Mrs. Sucksby, “mother” to a host of pickpockets and con artists. To pay her debt, she joins legendary thief Gentleman in swindling an innocent woman out of her inheritence. But the two women form an unanticipated bond and the events that follow will surprise every listener. Fingersmith was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Booker Prize, and was chosen as book of the year 2002 by more organizations than any other novel. Sarah Waters was named Author of the Year at the 2003 British Book Awards.

    shopper from Playa del Rey says: "The BEST BOOK I"ve read this year!"
    "Tricky. Very Tricky."

    I could never see very far around the bend ahead, and the story galloped for most of the read. Sarah Waters writes scenes that are richly atmospheric, and Juanita McMahon's voices are magic in themselves, so even when we're in suspense, waiting for what seems inevitable (so you may think), the wait is interesting and I always felt as if I were in the room with these characters.

    I love historical English fiction and it's nice to get away from historical figures and into the lives of ordinary people. The comparison to Dickens is inescapable in that these are the struggles of the poor and it's a cruel world out there. It's also sexy and tricky. This is smart and well-crafted and an escapist reader's delight.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Chaperone

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Laura Moriarty
    • Narrated By Elizabeth McGovern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    >The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that would change them both. Only a few years before becoming a famous actress and an icon for her generation, a 15-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita to make it big in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle is a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip.

    Amanda says: "Perfection."
    "A Lovely Escape"
    What did you love best about The Chaperone?

    I was so surprised to find that I was more interested in Cora's story as the book opened and was delighted to find my wish granted. It took skill to take the spotlight away from someone so famously beautiful and interesting as Louise Brooks (although we still get plenty of her, as well).

    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Chaperone?

    The relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Carlisle was done so well. I love their pragmatism.

    Have you listened to any of Elizabeth McGovern’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have never listened to her read, but was enchanted. I can't imagine the book without her, and would be pleased to find her reading something I chose again.

    If you could take any character from The Chaperone out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Louise herself, as the reason for my initial interest in the book, because she remains so interesting.

    Any additional comments?

    I demand a great deal of escapist fiction and this was perfectly satisfying. Unusual story, intelligent, over too soon.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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