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Diane

LANGLEY, WA, United States | Member Since 2014

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 85 ratings
  • 229 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2015
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  • Winter Journal

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Paul Auster
    • Narrated By Paul Auster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (42)

    Facing his 63rd winter, internationally acclaimed novelist Paul Auster sits down to write a history of his body and its sensations - both pleasurable and painful. Thirty years after the publication of The Invention of Solitude, in which he wrote so movingly about fatherhood, Auster gives us a second unconventional memoir in which he writes about his mother's life and death. Winter Journal is a highly personal meditation on the body, time, and memory, by one of our most intellectually elegant writers.

    Diane says: "Memorable"
    "Memorable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Winter Journal rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Right up there with the best.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Winter Journal?

    Not a moment but a sequence. Thought the way he told his stories via the houses he'd lived in was clever.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When he falls in love with his wife, of course!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A journey through life into old age.


    Any additional comments?

    I had never heard of Paul Auster until his interview on NPR's Fresh Air. I listened to this book for a solid 6+hours because it was so good; something I've never done before— admittedly I came of age through the same time period, and am entering my own "Winter" so that held my interest. His narration is stellar; love when an author can narrate. Will definitely get another of his books; hope it's as good as this one!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anthony Doerr
    • Narrated By Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8781)
    Performance
    (7665)
    Story
    (7687)

    Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

    Annie M. says: "Time well spent"
    "Stunning! I predict it will be made into a movie."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have recommended it to friends and family. Anthony Doerr is my favorite author. HIs descriptive writing is amazing, not unlike Cormac McCarthy. The story itself is a page turner as well......


    What was one of the most memorable moments of All the Light We Cannot See?

    When Werner travels through the heart of the war and into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.


    Which character – as performed by Zach Appelman – was your favorite?

    I loved both Werner and Mare-Laure


    If you could rename All the Light We Cannot See, what would you call it?

    I wouldn't rename it!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Happy All the Time

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Laurie Colwin
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Guido and Vincent are childhood best friends - third cousins, really - living in Cambridge and dreaming about their futures. Guido plans to write poetry while Vincent feels confident he will win a Nobel prize for physics. When Guido spots Holly while exiting a museum, he can immediately sense that she will difficult, quirky, and hard to live with. He loves her on sight. Vincent, open-minded and cheerful, meets Misty at work. Though she is a bored and misanthropic brunette, he finds himself desperate to know her.

    Diane says: "Teenaged writing"
    "Teenaged writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't like anything about this book. Waste of time. Someone should go through the text and count how many times the word said was used. VERY sophomoric.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Truth & Beauty: A Friendship

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Ann Patchett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (295)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (92)

    The author of Bel Canto, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Orange Prize, and long-running New York Times best seller, turns to nonfiction in a moving chronicle of her decades-long friendship with the critically acclaimed and recently deceased author, Lucy Grealy.

    Suzn F says: "It got better...."
    "Loved it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Didn't have expectations. It was great. Will now purchase and read Bel Canto. Nothing more to say except love Ann Patchett's voice; like Margaret Atwood's

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Ann Patchett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (272)
    Performance
    (245)
    Story
    (241)

    Blending literature and memoir, Ann Patchett, author of State of Wonder and Bel Canto examines her deepest commitments: to writing, family, friends, dogs, books, and her husband in This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. Together, these essays, previously published in The Atlantic, Harper, Vogue, and The Washington Post, form a resonant portrait of a life lived with loyalty and with love.

    Bonny says: "Entertaining, engrossing, and elucidative essays"
    "Loved it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage to be better than the print version?

    I don't know; I haven't read the print version.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage?

    Loved the title essay; it parallels my experience.


    Which character – as performed by Ann Patchett – was your favorite?

    Ann herself.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Title


    Any additional comments?

    Next book will be an Ann Patchett. Hope she'll narrate that one too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Infinite Jest

    • UNABRIDGED (56 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By David Foster Wallace
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    Overall
    (587)
    Performance
    (507)
    Story
    (511)

    A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are.

    Charlie Williams says: "good if you already read the book."
    "Not Sure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from David Foster Wallace and/or Sean Pratt?

    Don't know.


    What was most disappointing about David Foster Wallace’s story?

    My mind wanders, just like the story.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Once in awhile there was something funny, like realizing I too put packing tape near my phone.


    What character would you cut from Infinite Jest?

    Don't know.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm about 2/3 of the way into only the FIRST part. Keep telling myself to listen just a bit more and something grand will happen, but don't know if it's worth spending 50+ hours to possibly end up disappointed even more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Testament of Mary

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Colm Toibin
    • Narrated By Meryl Streep
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (456)
    Performance
    (419)
    Story
    (412)

    Meryl Streep’s performance of Colm Tóibín's acclaimed portrait of Mary is hailed by the New York Times Book Review as “an ideal audiobook,” presenting the three-time Academy Award-winner in “yet another great role.” Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Colm Tóibín's The Testament of Mary presents Mary as a solitary older woman still seeking to understand the events that become the narrative of the New Testament and the foundation of Christianity. In the ancient town of Ephesus, Mary lives alone, years after her son's crucifixion. She has no interest in collaborating with the authors of the Gospel. They are her keepers, providing her with food and shelter and visiting her regularly. She does not agree that her son is the Son of God; nor that his death was "worth it"; nor that the "group of misfits he gathered around him, men who could not look a woman in the eye," were holy disciples. This woman who we know from centuries of paintings and scripture as the docile, loving, silent, long-suffering, obedient, worshipful mother of Christ becomes a tragic heroine with the relentless eloquence of Electra or Medea or Antigone, in a portrait so vivid and convincing that our image of Mary will be forever transformed.

    ana says: "from a non believer..."
    "FABULOUS"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Testament of Mary to be better than the print version?

    I've never read the print version.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mary (actually Meryl Streep!)


    What about Meryl Streep’s performance did you like?

    She was so believable as a mother.......


    If you could rename The Testament of Mary, what would you call it?

    Wouldn't rename it.


    Any additional comments?

    I will listen to this again. Meryl Streep has the most beautifully convincing voice. I felt every pain she expressed as a mother. I wish she would read more books; I would buy them in a heartbeat.

    0 of 1 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
    (1225)
    Performance
    (1060)
    Story
    (1079)

    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.

    Mel says: "Not So Luminous"
    "Grew on me!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Luminaries in three words, what would they be?

    Compelling


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

    Anna Wetherell and Emery Staines taking drugs together! The ending was sort of a shock when it happened; I didn't expect it.....not the action of the ending, just the end of the book. I didn't expect it to end when it did, thought I'd made a mistake in listening.


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

    I don't remember. He was terrific.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Luminaries and why?

    Anna. She was sort of a mystery all along. Some characters I just don't remember and/or what part they played in the story.


    Any additional comments?

    This book grew on me. I couldn't believe it would carry it self for so long, but in the end, it did. I MISS the characters; loved the main ones in particular, and had no idea I would. We traveled in NZ two years ago so knowing the geography (we were in all the places mentioned) was very fun. Also imagining a gold rush in a country other than the U.S. was interesting; I'd never read about one elsewhere. I was surprised whoring/a whore were so casually accepted there too. Also loved that Eleanor Catton, such a YOUNG WOMAN writer, could get into the heads of men like she did; brilliant, and, also that at her age she could write as insightfully as she did. Highly recommended despite the fact I didn't like it until probably the middle. I love audiobooks for that reason, I almost always give them a good long chance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Woman Upstairs

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Claire Messud
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (379)
    Performance
    (326)
    Story
    (332)

    Nora Eldridge, a 37-year-old elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who long ago abandoned her ambition to be a successful artist, has become the "woman upstairs", a reliable friend and tidy neighbor always on the fringe of others' achievements. Then into her classroom walks Reza Shahid, a child who enchants as if from a fairy tale. He and his parents - dashing Skandar, a Lebanese scholar and professor at the École Normale Supérleure; and Sirena, an effortlessly glamorous Italian artist - have come to Boston for Skandar to take up a fellowship at Harvard.

    Beth Anne says: "Disturbing, Frustrating, Messed Up and AWESOME!"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I don't know.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Claire Messud again?

    Probably not.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Cassandra Campbell?

    Yes.


    What character would you cut from The Woman Upstairs?

    No one.


    Any additional comments?

    I probably heard a review of this on NPR which is from where I usually choose books; expect good NPR reviews to be good books. This book could have been condensed to a short story. Ending is surprising, but the rest of the book was boring; I kept expecting something more from the characters and story than I got. Both just sort of droned on.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil All the Time

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Donald Ray Pollock
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (200)
    Performance
    (175)
    Story
    (177)

    Set in rural southern Ohio and West Virginia, The Devil All the Time follows a cast of compelling and bizarre characters from the end of World War II to the 1960s. There’s Willard Russell, tormented veteran of the carnage in the South Pacific, who can’t save his beautiful wife, Charlotte, from an agonizing death by cancer no matter how much sacrifi­cial blood he pours on his “prayer log.”

    Kathy says: "WOW What a FIND!"
    "Not Sure I Can Finish It."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Devil All the Time in three words, what would they be?

    Disturbing.


    What other book might you compare The Devil All the Time to and why?

    Cormac McCarthy's books...........darker, but every bit as well written.


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

    I have not; he's an excellent narrator.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    All of it........


    Any additional comments?

    Deeply disturbing to the point I've considered not finishing it. One wonders how anyone can imagine the things Donald Ray Pollock describes. His writing is almost too good. I wonder if he's written anything less unsettling.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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