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Dina

LAKE ZURICH, IL, United States | Member Since 2009

196
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 60 reviews
  • 118 ratings
  • 254 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
27

  • W Is for Wasted: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Sue Grafton
    • Narrated By Judy Kaye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1365)
    Performance
    (1201)
    Story
    (1196)

    Two dead bodies changed the course of my life that fall. One of them I knew and the other I'd never laid eyes on until I saw him in the morgue. The first was a local PI of suspect reputation. He'd been gunned down near the beach at Santa Teresa. It looked like a robbery gone bad. The other was on the beach six weeks later. He'd been sleeping rough. Probably homeless. No identification. A slip of paper with Millhone's name and number was in his pants pocket. The coroner asked her to come to the morgue to see if she could ID him.

    karen says: "Well worth waiting for...."
    "Never a Waste to Commiserate with Kinsey"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I probably wouldn't keep reading these books but for the fact I've been reading them for decades. And, I'm curious how the series will end. In W is for Wasted, Kinsey is much more emotional than in Grafton's other novels. Her relationship phobias are a bit more pronounced and you get the sense that she is becoming more lonely. The mystery part of the story was Ok, maybe a little predictable, but always entertaining. And, Judy Kaye's narration as always, was stellar. I would have given it a 3.5 if I could.

    2 of 2 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
    (2204)
    Performance
    (1988)
    Story
    (1990)

    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"
    "Forced Myself To Finish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this book more than 6 months ago and started and stopped multiple times. Once it won the Goodreads best historical fiction award, I forced myself to finish it. It was truly a magnum opus with a unique storyline for a WWII novel and the writing was beautiful. But, something about the character development left me wanting more and the story just dragged at times. The ending, though probably realistic, was quite depressing. Zach Appelman's narration was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Leaving Time

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Abigail Revasch, Kathe Mazur, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1208)
    Performance
    (1112)
    Story
    (1118)

    Refusing to believe that she would be abandoned as a young child, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice's old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts. Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest.

    S. Csorna says: "Listen to this now!"
    "Enough With The Elephants, Already!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I understand that this book had an underlying goal of exposing the abuse of elephants but the treatise distracted from the underlying story. The ending of the book was clever, though a bit disconcerting. Though a fan of Picoult's earlier works, I just have not loved the books she has written in the last 5 years. FYI: the narrators of this book were perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Not My Father's Son: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Alan Cumming
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming
    Overall
    (216)
    Performance
    (207)
    Story
    (207)

    With ribald humor, wit, and incredible insight, Alan seamlessly moves back and forth in time, integrating stories from his childhood in Scotland and his experiences today as the celebrated actor of film, television, and stage. At times suspenseful, at times deeply moving, but always incredibly brave and honest, Not My Father's Son is a powerful story of embracing the best aspects of the past and triumphantly pushing the darkness aside.

    BG853 says: "A Memoir For Mystery Lovers"
    "A Phoenix Rises From the Ashes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was always fascinated by how believably Alan Cumming (a Scotsman) could play an American, Jewish political consultant on the Good Wife so I had to read his memoir to see what he was all about. Turns out that he is a terrific writer who can weave a down right crazy tale. It is amazing that this brilliant actor was brought up under such terribly abusive circumstances and was still able to become a hugely talented actor. His story is a testament to survival and ultimately thriving despite the worst of circumstances.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Big Little Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3009)
    Performance
    (2757)
    Story
    (2756)

    Pirriwee Public's annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. The school principal is horrified. As police investigate what appears to have been a tragic accident, signs begin to indicate that this devastating death might have been cold-blooded murder. In this thought-provoking novel, number-one New York Times best-selling author Liane Moriarty deftly explores the reality of parenting and playground politics, ex-husbands and ex-wives, and fractured families.

    Joanne M. McGowan says: "I didn't want to press the stop button!"
    "Really Loving Moriarty!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my third Liane Moriarty book and I'm now a real fan. I just love her ability to take everyday life and extraordinarily real characters and delve really deeply into circumstances and emotions. And, she is able to do this through normal human interactions and humor. Clearly living on the North Shore of Sydney isn't any different than any upper middle class US suburb. Caroline Lee's performance was spot on.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • What Alice Forgot

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Tamara Lovatt-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2198)
    Performance
    (1992)
    Story
    (1986)

    What would happen if you were visited by your younger self, and got a chance for a do-over?Alice Love is twenty-nine years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. So imagine her surprise when, after a fall, she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! she HATES the gym!) and discovers that she's actually thirty-nine, has three children, and is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce.

    Yvonne says: "Loved..."
    "Sorry I Waited So Long to Read Moriarty!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My first Liane Moriarty book. What a nice surprise! Definitely a step above chic lit. Engaging, humorous and thought provoking. The only thing I didn't like was the ending. It just kept ending...3 or 4 times. I thought the conclusion would have been better if the author stopped with the first ending.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gabrielle Zevin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (785)
    Performance
    (709)
    Story
    (715)

    The irascible A. J. Fikry, owner of Island Books - the only bookstore on Alice Island - has already lost his wife. Now his most prized possession, a rare book, has been stolen from right under his nose in the most embarrassing of circumstances. The store itself, it seems, will be next to go. One night upon closing, he discovers a toddler in his children’s section with a note from her mother pinned to her Elmo doll: I want Maya to grow up in a place with books and among people who care about such kinds of things. I love her very much, but I can no longer take care of her.

    B. Sorensen says: "A Tale for Booksellers"
    "Just Missed the Mark"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The reviews of this book were so stellar, I thought I couldn't help but enjoy it. And, the beginning started out really strong with the premise of the widowed bookshop owner and the unexpected things that get him back to living. The book references just didn't save the plot as it started to unravel about halfway through the novel. From then on, there were hints dropped that just never went anywhere. I had this great idea about the ending, but the real ending was just downright depressing. A good first effort by Gabrielle Zevin, but needed a seasoned editor to tighten/add depth to the story.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Love Life

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Rob Lowe
    • Narrated By Rob Lowe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (675)
    Performance
    (623)
    Story
    (620)

    Love Life serves up another delicious selection of intimate stories and observations from Rob Lowe's life, told with humor, warmth, and brutal honesty. After writing his acclaimed debut effort, Lowe felt he had more stories to share and many more friends to introduce. The result is a touching memoir about the business and craft of acting, the pitfalls of success, family, love, and much more.

    russell says: "He did it again"
    "Another Winner"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't know how you could listen to both of Rob Lowe's memoirs and not admire him. Forget that he is a great story teller and narrator. What really makes his work shine is his honest self reflection. And, through his words, we get to know someone that, like all of us, is not perfect, but has striven for conscious awareness and self improvement. I will be interested to read the memoir he writes when he is 75.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Garden of Happy Endings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Barbara O'Neal
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    In Barbara O’Neal’s novel of hope and renewal, two very different sisters discover that life is like a garden: Tend to it daily, nourish it with patience and optimism, and then watch the beauty unfold. After tragedy shatters her small community in Seattle, the Reverend Elsa Montgomery has a crisis of faith. Returning to her hometown of Pueblo, Colorado, she seeks work in a local soup kitchen. Preparing nourishing meals for folks in need, she keeps her hands busy while her heart searches for understanding. Meanwhile, her sister, Tamsin, as colorful as Elsa is unadorned and steadfast, finds her perfect life shattered when she learns that her husband is a criminal.

    Dina says: "Spiritually Stunted"
    "Spiritually Stunted"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really loved the premise of this book and I thought that it could have been a serious exploration of losing faith. But it wasn't. The characters were there, the plot was set, and yet it stayed on the surface, never delving into the philosophy of a spiritual crisis. Barbara O'Neal's writing, especially her realistic dialogue, was very good and the narration by Tanya Eby was spot on. I just feel liked the author missed the opportunity to go deeper.

    2 of 2 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
    (1064)
    Performance
    (922)
    Story
    (939)

    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.

    Melinda says: "Not So Luminous"
    "An Astrological Wonder"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to say that this book was extraordinarily clever. You would probably have to read it more than once to really appreciate the extent of the acumen that was needed to write it. The ability to combine astrology with a unique place and time (1860's Gold Rush in New Zealand) signals a very talented writer. The swirling of characters as they mirror the night sky made for a great tale, and yet there was something lacking. The attention was placed so much on the "mechanics" of it all that it lacked emotion. And, real attachment to any one character was just not possible. In the end, all the players were just living descriptors of the signs and planets, seemingly lacking any soul...which is why any good astrologer knows that a chart is nothing without the influence of spirit.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Helene Wecker
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3013)
    Performance
    (2773)
    Story
    (2774)

    Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

    Tango says: "Enchanting Debut Novel - Delicious!"
    "A Mixed Up Fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book reminded me of Jonathan Stroud's young adult fiction in its dark/fantasy storyline, but lacked Stroud's writing polish. The idea of joining a Golem and a Jinni in a relationship in turn of the century NY, however, was quite unique. The novel, unfortunately, had its flaws. There were times that I really had to remind myself that it was a fantasy because sometimes the "magical" characters inconsistently showed both human and non-human traits. And, as all current books, it was too long and poorly edited. The narration by George Guidall was outstanding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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