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Elizabeth

A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!

Bellevue, WA, United States | Member Since 2007

110
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 169 reviews
  • 491 ratings
  • 651 titles in library
  • 60 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
8

  • Me Before You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Susan Lyons, Anna Bentink, Steven Crossley, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3574)
    Performance
    (3240)
    Story
    (3258)

    Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life - steady boyfriend, close family - who has never been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life - big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel - and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy - but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected.

    Michael says: "Who or What defines Quality of Life?"
    "Story with social agenda"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book started out with 1-star, and by the time I was finished it was pushing 4-stars, so due to the slow start, it lands at 3.

    Lost-in-herself Louisa lands a peculiar job as a companion to quadriplegic Will, who has given his parents six months before he goes to Switzerland for assisted suicide. "Me before you" is the tale of those six months.

    Let's be honest, there is nothing surprising in the major themes of the story. There are quirks along the way...Louisa's younger single-mom sister wants to return to college, dad is out of work, mom is a busy body, grandpa is struggling after a stroke, boyfriend is running man, and what will become of the Trainer's marriage? Oh wait, you'll figure that last one out quickly.

    This book is the telling of loved ones coming to grips with a person's choice of assisted suicide and the (predictable) emotions embedded in such a choice. Clearly, the author is pro-assisted suicide and is hopeful this novel helps change peoples' minds on the topic.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lathe of Heaven

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Ursula K. Le Guin
    • Narrated By Susan O'Malley
    Overall
    (315)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (113)

    George Orr's dreams do change the world. He is the only one who knows it...he and the power-mad psychiatrist who is forcing George to dream a new reality - a better reality that is free from war, disease, overpopulation, and all human misery. But for every man-made dream of utopia, there is a terrifying, unforeseeable consequence...

    Mubarak says: "Excellent Book, Bad Reader"
    "Not so much..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think I got this book as a daily deal, and I hope so, because it's not worth much money or a credit. The story is about a man whose dreams come true, and not in the "oh look, a puppy!" kind of a way. Rather, the bizarre thoughts that ramble in his unconsciousness kind of a way. There was a brief moment where I thought the book would be quality, but it passed quickly and in the end, ho hum.

    Note on narration: why do narrators not confirm the pronunciations of locations? In this one, Willamette is mispronounced throughout the book and all I could think of was the refrain “it’s the Wi-LAM-it, damn it.” Get it right, folks.

    0 of 0 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
    (2313)
    Performance
    (2087)
    Story
    (2091)

    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"
    "A must listen/read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Yes, go ahead and run right and get this beautifully told book of a mysterious diamond and its caretakers during WWII. No more should be said than to read it. Now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Yellow Crocus

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Laila Ibrahim
    • Narrated By Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (94)

    Moments after Lisbeth is born, she’s taken from her mother and handed over to an enslaved wet nurse, Mattie, a young mother separated from her own infant son in order to care for her tiny charge. Thus begins an intense relationship that will shape both of their lives for decades to come. Though Lisbeth leads a life of privilege, she finds nothing but loneliness in the company of her overwhelmed mother and her distant, slave-owning father.

    SJ says: "Great story"
    "Completely Enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is touching and enjoyable, and challenges one's assumptions about relationships, care-taking, roles in society and the pre-Civil War south. This certainly isn't a ground-breaking book, but it is a sweet and thoughtful story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Season on the Brink

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By John Feinstein
    • Narrated By John Feinstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    A Season on the Brink chronicles the basketball season that John Feinstein spent following the Indiana Hoosiers and their fiery coach, Bob Knight. Knight granted Feinstein an unprecedented inside look at college basketball - with complete access to every moment of the season. Feinstein saw and heard it all - practices, team meetings, strategy sessions, and mid-game huddles - during Knight's struggle to avoid a losing season.

    Robert says: "Great Sports Journalism"
    "Maybe it was the material I didn't like as much"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not an athlete nor a huge sports fan, but I do read a wide variety of genres and have enjoyed some athletic nonfiction previously. This book came to me highly recommended, but in the end fell a bit short for me. I was curious about why I didn't find this book as good as others had said and spent a fair amount of time reflecting on that. In the end, I think it is because I struggled with the story itself, and not with the telling of it. I did learn some new things about Bobby Knight, about his compassion, his kindness, and his commitment to education (not just athletics), that impressed me. However, his story and the anger and frustration he showed others, how he treated others, etc.; the good in my mind just could not outweigh the bad. Bobby Knight's story made me sick. Not theoretically or figuratively; actually. I was so torn by how he treated others, by his swings in moods, by the duplicity of his actions, that it made me sick. I wish he was more of all those good things and that those good things were his legacy. Sadly, they won't be. If you love basketball, if you are so curious about Bobby Knight that you have to read this, then do. Otherwise, skip it and find some other nonfiction to enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hour I First Believed: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Wally Lamb
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (578)
    Performance
    (289)
    Story
    (289)

    When high-school teacher Caelum Quirk and his wife, Maureen, move to Littleton, Colorado, they both get jobs at Columbine High School. In April 1999, while Caelum is away, Maureen finds herself in the library at Columbine, cowering in a cabinet and expecting to be killed. Miraculously, she survives. But when Caelum and Maureen flee to an illusion of safety on the Quirk family's Connecticut farm, they discover that the effects of chaos are not easily put right.

    G. stone says: "excellent all around yarn"
    "Maybe too much story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is a lot of story here. A lot. There is the time of the novel (late 1990s/early 2000s), a little while ago (1950s) and longer while ago (early 1900s) and lots of wayback (mid 1800s). Sure, it does all come together at some point, but I also felt the story wandering in a way that I wasn't sure if it would ever come back and if it did, would I even remember the tidbit of new info we learned in that ancient journal history and how it impacted the current day. There is also quite a bit of emotion in the book, too, and readers will be impacted differently based on their own life experiences.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Interpreter of Maladies

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Jhumpa Lahiri
    • Narrated By Matilda Novak
    Overall
    (456)
    Performance
    (241)
    Story
    (247)

    With accomplished precision and gentle eloquence, Jhumpa Lahiri traces the crosscurrents set in motion when immigrants, expatriates, and their children arrive, quite literally, at a cultural divide. The nine stories in this stunning debut collection unerringly chart the emotional journeys of characters seeking love beyond the barriers of nations and generations.

    Jennifer says: "Novel-amazing; Audio-mediocre"
    "short stories, not novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Think of this more as a collection of short stories along a central theme and don't fall into the trap of trying to make sense of it as a novel. Because it isn't. The first short story enthralled me, and from there things spiraled downhill. Maybe it's because I wanted the characters in that first story to be more developed. Generally, I would say disappointing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Beautiful North: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Luis Alberto Urrea
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (45)

    Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who left the family to work in the United States. Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn't the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village - they've all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and recruit seven men - her own "Siete Magnificos"---to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the bandidos who plan on taking it over.

    Barbara says: "The other side of the story"
    "Should have been more inspirational"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Certainly a story about a young girl and her friends on a mission to the USA to find men and bring them back to her town in Mexico. Parts of it were interesting as they went about the quest, but overall, it fell flat and lacked inspiration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Separate Peace

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By John Knowles
    • Narrated By Scott Snively
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (167)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (109)

    Now a modern classic, this story of two boys' friendship at an exclusive New Hampshire prep school as it parallels the inescapable and escalating atmosphere of World War II, is intense and engaging to the last word.

    Teddy says: "How can one fault a Classic like this?"
    "Still good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this book multiple times in high school and college, about 25 years ago, and revisited when students at my school were reading it. I found the story is still captivating and interesting, a relief when other recently revisited classics had lost their luster for me. Knowles' exploration of jealousy set at a prep school at the dawn of WWII still holds relevance today as today's teens struggle with that emotion in the midst of the technology age.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Ayana Mathis
    • Narrated By Adenrele Ojo, Bahni Turpin, Adam Lazarre-White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (591)
    Performance
    (508)
    Story
    (507)

    A debut of extraordinary distinction: through the trials of one unforgettable family, Ayana Mathis tells the story of the children of the Great Migration, a story of love and bitterness and the promise of a new America. In 1923, 15-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented.

    Suzn F says: "Hattie and her Family Tragically Flawed"
    "More short story than novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Think of this more as a collection of short stories about members of the same family rather than as a well developed novel. Each member of Hattie's family is developed within its section, but hardly, if ever, reappears in the book. I longed for the stories to be pulled together and for this to be a more complete novel. It lacked that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Mark Harris
    • Narrated By Andrew Garman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (83)

    It was the best of times and the worst of times for Hollywood before the war. The box office was booming, and the studios’ control of talent and distribution was as airtight as could be hoped. But the industry’s relationship with Washington was decidedly uneasy - hearings and investigations into allegations of corruption and racketeering were multiplying, and hanging in the air was the insinuation that the business was too foreign, too Jewish, too "un-American" in its values and causes. Could an industry this powerful in shaping America’s mind-set really be left in the hands of this crew?

    Robert says: "Had a lot of fun with this book!"
    "Detailed and well researched, but a bit much"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to REALLY like this book--a historical look at Hollywood's role in WWII, specifically with directors sent into the European and Pacific theatres to film the action for propaganda and training films. I enjoy this genre of writing as well as stories of Hollywood and WWII, so this book should have been perfect. In the end, it was just too much. It was so well researched and detailed that for this listener/reader I was overwhelmed with the detail and lost the larger story of how Hollywood directors supported the war. I think I would have enjoyed an abridged version of this book. The details of 20 hours of listening was a turn off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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