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Gail

Member Since 2009

76
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 39 reviews
  • 196 ratings
  • 387 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
6

  • The Kitchen House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kathleen Grissom
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy, Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6907)
    Performance
    (4873)
    Story
    (4861)

    Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction.

    B.J. says: "Good, but with reservations"
    "ONE OF THE BEST!!!!!!!"
    Overall

    This book is in my top 3 recommended audio books. It was like watching a movie in my mind - the characters were so real and brought to life through exellent narrations. The story is set in the late 1700's and progresses through the early 1800's. The story is told through the eyes of Lavinia and Belle (two different narrators)......the lives they lead, the differences between the lives of the slaves and owners, the shallowness and carlessness of the owners, the family love in the lives of the slaves, the results of secrets kept..... all brought to life. I didn't want the story to end and feel like 'friends' were ripped away from me. Hopefully the author Kathleen Grissom will write a sequel, showing more of Lavinia's life. GET THIS BOOK..... YOU'LL LOVE IT!!!!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • After Her

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Joyce Maynard
    • Narrated By Joyce Maynard
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (93)

    Summer, 1979: A dry, hot Northern California school vacation stretches before Rachel and her younger sister, Patty - the daughters of a larger-than-life, irresistibly handsome (and chronically unfaithful) detective father and the mother whose heart he broke. When we first meet her, Patty is 11 - a gangly kid who loves basketball and dogs and would do anything for her older sister, Rachel.

    Krista says: "Wonderful to listen to, decent story"
    "Very Enjoyable!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about After Her?

    I really liked the character development - I felt as if I knew and definitely cared about them. The relationship development between the two sisters was excellent.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Not really on the edge of the seat plot - not a super thriller. There are some books that you can actually leave the room for a couple of minutes and not really miss much. This book ISN'T one of those - there isn't a lot of meaningless filler and I wouldn't have wanted to leave the room without putting the book on pause.


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

    I haven't listed to her books, but I will definitely look at the others she's written.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm glad I picked this book - hopefully you will too :-)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7605)
    Performance
    (7236)
    Story
    (7247)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "JUST PLAIN AWFUL"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Probably an engineer, historian, astronaut, or someone who doesn't care about character development.


    Has The Martian turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    What character would you cut from The Martian?

    Couldn't get past the first couple of chapters..... but from what I could tell, there was only one character in the book.


    Any additional comments?

    From all of the positive reviews, I definitely expected much, much, much more from this book! It reads like a how-to book - too full of technical terms. Very dry and cold. No personality and from what I read, no character development.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Night Chill

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jeff Gunhus
    • Narrated By James Lewis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (30)

    Jack Tremont moves his family to the quiet mountains of Western Maryland hoping to leave behind a troubled past and restart his life. Instead, he finds himself caught up in a nightmare when his daughter Sarah is targeted by Nate Huckley, a mysterious and horrifying stranger driven by a dark power that will stop at nothing to possess Sarah. When Sarah goes missing, suspicion falls on Jack and he must uncover the secrets of the small mountain town of Prescott City and face the evil secret hidden there.

    Kim Venatries says: ""The Place Where Nightmares are Born""
    "A bit of Koontz & King!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Night Chill in three words, what would they be?

    Supernatural, thriller, interesting


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The plot ended up being a little over the top, but it did hold my interest. It reminded me of Dean Koontz's older books (which in my opinion were much better than his newer ones). The book moves along at a quick pace - no filler and not an excessive amount of detail as so many books have.


    What about James Lewis’s performance did you like?

    Just the right amount of drama, inflection and clarity


    Any additional comments?

    The ending leaves room for a follow-up. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author. I like his writing style.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The One I Left Behind

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Jennifer McMahon
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (207)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (190)

    The summer of 1985 changes Reggie’s life. An awkward 13-year-old, she finds herself mixed up with the school outcasts. That same summer, a serial killer called Neptune begins kidnapping women. He leaves their severed hands on the police department steps and, five days later, displays their bodies around town. Just when Reggie needs her mother, Vera, the most, Vera’s hand is found on the steps. But after five days, there’s no body and Neptune disappears. Now, 25 years later, Reggie is a successful architect who has left her hometown and the horrific memories of that summer behind.

    Lesley says: "Suspense that won't quit!"
    "ONLY mystery is why many others liked this book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a depressing, dreary story. Think of a rainy, gloomy day and this would describe this book. There was absolutely nothing which was dramatic or suspenseful at all. Every character was made to be flawed, unlikeable and unrelateable. The story kept flipping from past to present and at times, it took a bit to know which was being read. I particularly didn't like the self mutilation cutting - it was almost glorified - which it definitely is not. The whole premise of the book just didn't sit right.... without giving a spoiler, the 'one I left behind' should have just gone to the police!! By the end, I could care less who lived, who died and who the murderer was (and why). My recommendation would be to skip this book and LEAVE IT BEHIND!!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Evidence of Life

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Barbara Taylor Sissel
    • Narrated By Gia St. Claire
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (9)

    As her husband, Nick, and daughter, Lindsey, embark on a weekend camping trip to the Texas Hill Country, Abby looks forward to having some quiet time to herself. She braids Lindsey's hair, reminds Nick to drive safely and kisses them both goodbye. For a brief moment, Abby thinks she has it all - a perfect marriage, a perfect life - until a devastating storm rips through the region, and her family vanishes without a trace.

    Kathleen says: "AWFUL"
    "TOO MUCH!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Okay.... I'm a woman and consider myself to be in touch with and able to express my deep feelings and like to hear about others' deep feelings. But, expression can get to the point of being too much! I became so sick and tired of hearing the constant whining of deep feelings, that I was ready to scream. This author can go on and on and on and on about small points from every single angle! Enough already - get to the story and quit the whining! I felt that the story was forced - that it was outlined and filler was contrived to meet the needs of the storyline. As far as a mystery/thriller - forget it. No real suspense and what little there was (maybe in the first couple of chapters).... I was to the point of not caring. The story dragged on way too long, was paced far too slow and Abby (the main character) was made to be silly, stupid and weak.

    The narrator got on my nerves - too cutesy sounding and little-girl-like, which most of the time came across as whiny. This book was a waste of time and I wouldn't recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Frozen Solid: A Hallie Leland Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By James Tabor
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (27)

    The South Pole’s Amundsen Scott Research Station is like an outpost on Mars. Winter temperatures average 100 degrees below zero; weeklong hurricane-force storms rage; for eight months at a time the station is shrouded in darkness. Under the stress, bodies suffer and minds twist. Panic, paranoia, and hostility prevail. When a South Pole scientist dies mysteriously, Hallie arrives to complete crucial research. Before she can begin, three more women inexplicably die.

    Gail says: "Just Couldn't Get Into The Story"
    "Just Couldn't Get Into The Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had high hopes for this what seemed to be an interesting story. I quit about 2/3'rds through when I realized I had no idea which character was which. Also realized that I could care less whether I returned to the book or not. It just couldn't hold my interest. All of the characters (except Hallie) seem to run together. Even the names of some are similar. The story seemed to drag and I was lost in the technical/scientific descriptions. Also, when I bought the book, I didn't realize that this was the second book for the main character, Hallie. That might explain why I felt that there was a lot missing regarding her character. I personally wouldn't recommend the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hostage

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By James Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (490)
    Performance
    (350)
    Story
    (346)

    Jeff Talley was a good husband, a fine father, and a frontline negotiator with LAPD's SWAT unit. But the high stress, unforgiving job took an irreparable toll on his psyche. After a despondent father murders his wife and son and takes his own life, Talley hits bottom. His marriage ends, he resigns from SWAT, and he struggles to escape from his former life. But Talley's pursuit of peaceful small-town life is about to change.

    David says: "Wonderful clarity of plot and character"
    "Disappointing after having read Suspect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After reading the five star book SUSPECT by Robert Crais, I was so looking forward to reading another of his books. Hostage was such a disappointment. I recommend, if you're thinking about buying this book based on SUSPECT..... pass it up. The depth of feeling, the quality of writing and the ability to pull a reader into the story is lacking in Hostage. If you'd take a CSI television show or a made for movie television show and write a book about the show, this would be the book. My feeling of HAVING to get back to the story - can't wait to hear more - just wasn't there.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Mirror

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Marlys Millhiser
    • Narrated By Lynda Evans
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (42)

    On the eve of her wedding in 1978, Shay Garrett peers into the antique mirror in her family's longtime home, the famous Victorian Gingerbread House on Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado and falls unconscious only to wake in the body of her own grandmother Brandy on the eve of her wedding in 1900. The virginal Brandy, in turn, awakes in Shay's body in 1978 to discover herself pregnant.

    K Cornwinkle says: "Fun time travel"
    "Very Superficial - Wish It Had More Depth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was hooked on 'time-travel' after reading the Outlander series and hoping for something with just a hint of those books. While this book was okay, I found myself wishing it would go into more depth. I felt the characters were flat & wooden and the events in their lives were quickly glossed over without any fleshing-out. As by a reviewer before me, the book seemed to have been recorded in someone's home. There were distracting background noises (conversations, water running, possible a TV, etc). This was the first of many, many books where I've encountered this. If you're looking for a romantic time-travel type book, try the Outlander series and also Ferney by James Long (which isn't quite time travel, but similar).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • And When She Was Good

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Laura Lippman
    • Narrated By Linda Emond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (488)
    Performance
    (420)
    Story
    (418)

    Heloise considers it a blessing to be a person who seldom attracts attention. In her suburb, she's just a mom, the young widow with the forgettable job, who somehow never misses a soccer game. In the state capital, she's the redheaded lobbyist with a good cause and a mediocre track record. But in discreet hotel rooms throughout the area, she's the woman of your dreams - if you can afford the hourly fee. For more than a decade, Heloise believed she was safe, managing to keep up this rigidly compartmentalized life. But her secret life is under siege. One county over, another so-called suburban madam has been found dead in her car, an apparent suicide.

    kate says: "Thank goodness for Heloise and excellent narration"
    "MEDIOCRE"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One of the ways I judge books is by how long I'll remember and be contemplating them. There have been a handful of books that have fallen into this category - ones that at the end of the book I wish for more, wish it hadn't ended and just can't get it out of my mind. This story won't be one of them. It's not bad..... and it's not great. Just mediocre. The book jumps back and forth between the past and present. At times, the jump was a bit subtle and I wasn't sure which I was hearing (after a couple of paragraphs though, you figure it out - probably would have been more evident in an actual book).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2066)
    Performance
    (1881)
    Story
    (1876)

    Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America — or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive…

    Linda B says: "Well done story"
    "What An Ending!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Would definitely recommend this story! Any book that can keep me guessing - wondering how in the world it could possibly all come together - is one that I like! I've never listened to anything by the author and am now on my way to buying a few more. His style of writing is excellent - not a bunch of fluff and filler. And the ending - you'll be so surprised!

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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