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Blue Ridge Book Lover

So many books, so little time.

Virginia | Member Since 2012

24
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 46 ratings
  • 273 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
4

  • The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (170)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (130)

    The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby is closely modelled on the 18h-century novels that Charles Dickens loved as a child, such as Robinson Crusoe, in which the fortunes of a hero shape the plot. The likeable young Nicholas, left penniless on the death of his father, sets off in search of better prospects.

    Blue Ridge Book Lover says: "loved it much more than expected!"
    "loved it much more than expected!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Nicholas is a wonderful character: brash and hot-headed, he often gets himself in trouble. But his courage, unerring loyalty and faultless goodness always get him out again. Like all of Dickens' books, this one contains an unforgettable array of characters, including great villains such as Ralph Nickleby (a foreshadow of Ebenezer Scrooge), Wackford Squeers and Sir Mulberry Hawk; as well as the hilarious, outrageous, flamboyant, foul-mouthed Mr. Mantalini. Simon Vance's performance was compelling; each character was rendered perfectly. I adored this audiobook and will listen again!

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Forgotten Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5130)
    Performance
    (2913)
    Story
    (2952)

    Thirty-eight year old Cassandra is lost, alone, and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident 10 years ago, feels like she has lost everything known and dear to her.

    avid reader says: "Hours of enjoyable, fun listening"
    "one of the best books I've read this year"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mystery, romance and history. A grand estate, a crumbling cottage, an abandoned garden. An authoress, a changeling, a grieving woman trying to move on. This book is full of poignancy and grace. Completely absorbing, beautifully visual and perfectly narrated, this was indeed one of the best books I've read this year, and has made me a slavish devotee of Kate Morton. Absolutely loved it and can't wait to read another of her books!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Black Ensign

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 53 mins)
    • By L. Ron Hubbard
    • Narrated By Marisol Nichols
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Tom Bristol's career as first mate of the Maryland Bark Randolph abruptly ends during shore leave when he is press-ganged into serving aboard the British HMS Terror. Toil under the cruel whip of England is merciless: crew members are treated as little more than chattel - barely fed, made to work past the brink of exhaustion, and kept in line with a cat-o'-nine-tails.

    Blue Ridge Book Lover says: "Ripping good yarn!"
    "Ripping good yarn!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This short adventure story from the golden age of fiction is the type of tale for which the phrase "ripping good yarn" was first coined. Performed like a radio play (multiple performers, background sound effects) and reflecting social views far ahead of its time, this story was an absolutely pleasurable way to pass a few hours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tough Sh-t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Kevin Smith
    • Narrated By Kevin Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1192)
    Performance
    (1116)
    Story
    (1120)

    Take one look at Kevin Smith: He's a balding fatty who wears a size XXL hockey jersey, shorts, and slippers year-round. Not a likely source for life advice. But take a second look at Kevin Smith: He changed filmmaking forever when he was twenty-four with the release of Clerks, and since then has gone on to make nine more profitable movies, runs his own production company, wrote a best-selling graphic novel, and has a beautiful wife and kids. So he must be doing something right.

    Pamela says: "Such a likable slob!"
    "profane, hilarious, and undeniably sweet"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, a warning: this book contains more naughty language and downright profane sentiment than any book I've read in a long, long time - maybe ever! If you're familiar with Kevin Smith's work, then you're already acclimated to the language. If you're new to the "View Askewniverse," proceed at your own risk. ;-)

    That being said, I'm a huge fan of Kevin Smith. I love his gift for dialogue and characterization, his talent for giving a sparkle to minutiae, and the sweet heart that beats behind an undeniably dirty mouth. Most of all, I love the fact that he is an ordinary guy who's made it big by making art. This book was just as touching, inspiring and hilarious as a fangirl could've wished. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

    "As much as you want to walk your own path you're terrified of standing apart. Because the pack offers security, normalcy, convenience, protection and identity. So here's the tough sh*t: security, normalcy, convenience, protection and identity? They're opiates you've got to wean yourself off before you can be an individual. You can't stand out if you're blending in."

    "In the face of such hopelessness as our eventual unavoidable death, there is little sense in not at least trying to accomplish all of your wildest dreams in life."

    "If you're alive, kick into drive. Chase whimsies. See if you can turn dreams into a way to make a living, if not an entire way of life."

    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

    Any fan of Smith will enjoy this book. Those who aren't fans will likely find themselves entertained and inspired. I'll definitely be reading this one again.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Darkwood Manor

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Jenna Ryan
    • Narrated By Liz Bieler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    An estate haunted by over a hundred years of tragedy - and Donovan Black stood at the heart of it. Like Darkwood Manor, Donovan was an utter mystery. An FBI sharpshooter who couldn't break away from his past, he only wanted to make sure that history didn't repeat itself - especially now that the manor had a lovely new owner. Isabella Ross had either discovered the perfect vacation spot or her final resting place. Now her only hope for survival is a man who doesn't want her around - a man she can't seem to resist.

    Rocky's Mom says: "Good story...better narration."
    "Old-fashioned gothic mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a very enjoyable, old-fashioned kind of gothic mystery. The story was complex and the characters were fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Murder of Crows

    • UNABRIDGED (56 mins)
    • By Jack Bates
    • Narrated By Dave Giorgio
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    The former lead singer of a heavy-metal band cheats his former group out of their severance pay and sets out on the road with no particular plan. Three years later, he finds himself running from mistakes he’s made, and it puts him on a path with a dangerous young woman who shares his similar lack of morals. When an opportunity for a big score presents itself, the drifter finds himself sticking around the woman, even when he knows he would be better off getting back on the road.

    Blue Ridge Book Lover says: "overactive imagination, self-indulgent soul"
    "overactive imagination, self-indulgent soul"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This short story reminded me of an episode of Tales from the Crypt (without the paranormal element). Kind of a noirish "Sons of Anarchy meets Body Heat." It was a fun read. I'll look for more from this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Breakheart Hill

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Thomas H Cook
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (19)

    When a lovely high-school girl is destroyed by a blow to her head, the savage act sends the people of a small southern town reeling. For 30 years, the mystery behind the attack has festered, damaging countless lives. Now the town physician, who once loved the girl, must tell the dark story of what really happened that day.

    Suzn F says: "I'm obsessed with Thomas H Cook"
    "a great literary mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's virtually impossible to give this book the review it deserves without providing rampant spoilers. So I'll just say that I listened to the first hour believing (foolishly) that I knew where the story was headed, that I knew whodunnit and why. And I ended up listening to the last fifteen minutes with my mouth hanging open, catching flies and not caring, because the truth was much more shocking, much more tragic, than I would ever have let myself believe.

    This is a truly great literary mystery. Written with poetical prose, it lyrically reveals people in both their most debased and noblest lights. Thomas H. Cook is now officially on my "must-read" list, and I will definitely look for more titles narrated by George Guidall.

    Hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Secrets in Four Corners

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Debra Webb
    • Narrated By Felicity Munroe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (26)

    As sheriff of Kenner City, Colorado, Patrick Martinez couldn’t believe the body of an FBI agent had turned up in his normally quiet jurisdiction. Even more shocking was the appearance of Officer Sabrina "Bree" Hunter, a painful yet passionate memory he’d hoped to leave buried in his past. Now, working side by side was crucial to solving this case. But one look from her dark eyes and Patrick couldn’t fight the attraction that still left him powerless - nor ignore the secret he knew she was holding onto. Then a stalker set his sights on Bree, and Patrick learned just how deep that secret ran....

    Maria says: "Where is the Ending?"
    "secrets everywhere"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In Kenner County, Colorado, there are secrets everywhere: Who is the father of Officer Sabrina Martinez's son? Who is stalking her, and why? And who killed an FBI agent and dumped her body in the middle of nowhwere?

    With a great love story, realistic characters and several fascinating mysteries, this was a very enjoyable listen. But be forewarned: it's the first book in the Kenner County series, and not all of the mysteries are solved! I'm going to hunt up the next book right now....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Carol Burnett
    • Narrated By Carol Burnett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (987)
    Performance
    (617)
    Story
    (620)

    Carol Burnett is one of the most beloved and revered actresses and performers in America. The Carol Burnett Show was seen each week by millions of adoring fans and won 25 Emmys in its remarkable 11-year run. Now, in This Time Together, Carol really lets her hair down and tells one funny or touching or memorable story after another.

    Robin says: "Do not listen while driving"
    "I'm so glad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Probably the best thing I can say about This Time Together is this: I stopped reading for two days, right before the end, because I didn't want it to be over.

    Like many people, I grew up watching The Carol Burnett Show, and I still count many moments of that show as some of the funniest I've ever seen on television. How many TV programs make you laugh 'til you're breathless? Hers managed to do that all the time. This memoir was pretty much as perfect as any fan could hope. It was as if Carol were sitting next to you at dinner, telling you all of these wonderful stories.

    There are stories to make you laugh: Tim Conway "hiding" from Cary Grant; Carol getting fired from her first job because she didn't want someone's experience of seeing Strangers on a Train to be ruined; Carol becoming an accidental penpal of Joan Crawford.

    There are stories to make you cry: the little girl stricken with cancer, who forms an unexpected and important bond with Carol; Carol's daughter Jody meeting Ray Charles, the love of her life; the death of Carol's daughter Carrie.

    And there are stories to inspire: how Carol and her friends put on a show and started their own careers (seriously, it was just like a Mickey and Judy movie!); Carol's landmark lawsuit against a tabloid (the first time a celebrity had sued a tabloid and won); and my favorite: the time that Carol summoned the energy of Barbara Stanwyck and other tough lades so she could "fire" Harvey Corman.

    If you've ever been a fan of Carol Burnett and her impressive, funny, wonderful performances, check this one out. You won't be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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