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Ellen

I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.

Chesterton, IN, United States | Member Since 2008

150
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 128 reviews
  • 303 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 29 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
4

  • Broken Homes: A Rivers of London Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Ben Aaronovitch
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    Overall
    (353)
    Performance
    (336)
    Story
    (336)

    My name is Peter Grant, and I am a keeper of the secret flame - whatever that is. Truth be told, there's a lot I still don't know. My superior Nightingale, previously the last of England's wizardly governmental force, is trying to teach me proper schooling for a magician's apprentice. But even he doesn't have all the answers. Mostly I'm just a constable sworn to enforce the Queen’s Peace, with the occasional help from some unusual friends and a well-placed fire blast.

    Cliff says: "Finally, it's out!"
    "Homes sweet Homes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a delight of a series and this book is a great addition to that. It's some very funny bits about housing developements as well. The language in this is a treat.
    I'm also very much enjoying the build up of the rivers of London as a series. It's a cool idea that just expands into better and better things.
    This novel, like a river, rambles a bit which is why I docked one star. It's a bit harder to follow, but it's still a treat.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Coroner’s Lunch: The Dr. Siri Investigations, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Colin Cotterill
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (295)
    Performance
    (244)
    Story
    (242)

    Laos, 1975: The Communist Pathet Lao has taken over this former French colony. Dr. Siri Paiboun, a 72-year-old Paris-trained doctor, is appointed national coroner. Although he has no training for the job, there is no one else: the rest of the educated class have fled.

    Jane says: "a splendid story"
    "Delightful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn't expecting much from the book. I was so delightfully surprised. It's wry and funny and an interesting look into Laotians.
    It's also a pretty good ghosts story. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Bitter Truth: A Bess Crawford Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Charles Todd
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (233)
    Performance
    (189)
    Story
    (196)

    When battlefield nurse Bess Crawford returns from France for a well-earned Christmas leave, she finds a bruised and shivering woman huddled in the doorway of her London residence. The woman has nowhere to turn, and propelled by a firm sense of duty, Bess takes her in.

    Jen says: "Beloved Bess"
    "Sort of Dry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nothing in this book made me
    Like the Characters
    Anxious for what would happen next
    Interested in these people's lives.
    It wasn't a bad read. But it wasn't very good either.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Signature of All Things: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (940)
    Performance
    (862)
    Story
    (869)

    In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the 18th and 19th centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker - a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia.

    Dina says: "An Educational and Epic Oddity"
    "Science in it's weirder corners"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I did love this book. It's about a woman naturalist at the turn of the 18th century. She's brilliant, spoiled, unlovely and heart wrenchingly brave. It's the heart of darkness for women, done brilliantly.
    Do read it. Astonishing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Splendor of Silence

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Indu Sundaresan
    • Narrated By Sneha Mathan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (75)

    In 1942, Sam Hawthorne, a young U.S. Army captain, arrives in a tiny, princely state in western India. He carries combat wounds and several secrets, one of which is the real reason behind his visit: to find his brother Mike, an idealistic American soldier who disappeared after joining the local struggle for independence from the British.

    Alice says: "Loved this audiobook"
    "A Nice Enough Romance ( and I HATE Romances)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This does not start like your standard romance and it doesn't end like it either. Which is to its favor. There is also a subplot ( although I'd have liked to see it developed more) that has nothing romantic about it.
    However, I was terribly weary of how very much these people were attracted to each other. Endlessly.
    All of this need to take into account that I normally never read romance, and I generally loath it as being sadly delusional.
    The accent was charming and appropriate. And the writing was written to be read aloud which I did appreciate.
    It was a very interesting look into India in the Raj days, and that was what got me through. If you like romances, I suspect you'll like it very much.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Telling

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Ursula K. Le Guin
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (113)

    Once a culturally rich world, the planet Aka has been utterly transformed by technology. Records of the past have been destroyed, and citizens are strictly monitored. But an official observer from Earth will discover a group of outcasts who still practice its lost religion-the Telling. Intrigued by their beliefs, she joins them on a sacred pilgrimage into the mountains...and into the dangerous terrain of her own heart, mind, and soul.

    Cindy says: "Tell me about it!"
    "Just Beautiful. Just Brilliant."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This may be the best Ursula K I've read since the Left Hand of Darkness. Beautifully written, incredible characters and a lovely transformation. Treat yourself. This is a marvel.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Thirteenth Child

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Patricia C. Wrede
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (626)
    Performance
    (566)
    Story
    (571)

    Eff was born a thirteenth child. Her twin brother, Lan, is the seventh son of a seventh son. This means he's supposed to possess amazing talent - and she's supposed to bring only bad things to her family and her town. Undeterred, her family moves to the frontier, where her father will be a professor of magic at a school perilously close to the magical divide that separates settlers from the beasts of the wild. With wit and wonder, Patricia Wrede creates an alternate history of westward expansion that will delight fans of both J. K. Rowling and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

    Erin - Audible says: "History, Magic, Teens, & Not An Inkling of Romance"
    "Nice Juvenal Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm sort of damning with faint praise. This was a perfectly pleasant read. It's a child's viewpoint, and it never really transcends that in a way that grabbed me. Nice premise. I'd like to see the next in the series just to see if a more adult character would have more substance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Strangers: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Chris Bohjalian
    • Narrated By Alison Fraser, Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (257)
    Performance
    (225)
    Story
    (222)

    From the bestselling author of The Double Bind, Skeletons at the Feast, and Secrets of Eden, comes a riveting and dramatic ghost story. In a dusty corner of a basement in a rambling Victorian house in northern New Hampshire, a door has long been sealed shut with 39 six-inch-long carriage bolts. The home's new owners are Chip and Emily Linton and their twin ten-year-old daughters.

    Georgia says: "Eh"
    "Why are we in second person? Spoiler allert"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book starts with a great premise. It's creepy and interesting and a good ghost story. But the second plot line includes herbalists who are witches who are into child sacrifices. That indicates a lack of research on all of the above. And knowing both witches and herbalists, I found it offensive.
    It's also partially written in the second person. Words fail me, but it didn't work for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wild Ride

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jennifer Crusie, Bob Mayer
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (386)
    Performance
    (205)
    Story
    (211)

    Mary Alice Brannigan doesn’t believe in the supernatural. Nor does she expect to find that Dreamland, the decaying amusement park she’s been hired to restore, is a prison for the five Untouchables, the most powerful demons in the history of the world. Plus, there’s a guy she’s falling hard for, and there’s something about him that’s not quite right.

    iphone reader says: "Tons of Fun"
    "So glad I read this silly romp"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this book, and sat on it for a while. I had other things that seemed more compelling. Once I got into it it was completely delightful, in a carnival kind of way. It's funny and very sweet. And about making family as best as you can. I would think if you were deeply religious you could be offended. But I thought it was a hoot.
    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catching Fire: Hunger Games, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28918)
    Performance
    (22128)
    Story
    (22273)

    Katniss Everdeen continues to struggle to protect herself and her family from the Capitol in this second novel from the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy.

    FanB14 says: "Dissent Rules"
    "Compelling after all"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    These books are so grim. And yet somehow so compelling. The whole is more than the parts. It's easy to imagine the world where both parties want to use this girl as a political statement. And easy to see how she'd make a point of not making it work for them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Follow the River

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James Alexander Thom
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (320)
    Performance
    (272)
    Story
    (273)

    Mary Ingles was 23, happily married, and pregnant with her third child when Shawnee Indians invaded her peaceful Virginia settlement in 1755 and kidnapped her, leaving behind a bloody massacre. For months they held her captive. But nothing could imprison her spirit. With the rushing Ohio River as her guide, Mary Ingles walked one thousand miles through an untamed wilderness no white woman had ever seen.

    Marie says: "Amazing tale of survival"
    "The movie was better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a true story, out of the French and Indian war. It's well told but the movie of it was so much stronger. Somehow it did a better job of explaining the relationships that build between these very different people in a captive/captor situation.
    It does some real explaining, though, of the attitudes on raiding/ kidnapping in early America. You may find they're not what you think they are. Interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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