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JOANNE

VERO BEACH, FL, United States | Member Since 2013

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 28 ratings
  • 182 titles in library
  • 40 purchased in 2014
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  • Blood & Beauty: The Borgias; A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Sarah Dunant
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (122)

    By the end of the fifteenth century, the beauty and creativity of Italy is matched by its brutality and corruption, nowhere more than in Rome and inside the Church. When Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia buys his way into the papacy as Alexander VI, he is defined not just by his wealth or his passionate love for his illegitimate children, but by his blood: He is a Spanish Pope in a city run by Italians. If the Borgias are to triumph, this charismatic, consummate politician with a huge appetite for life, women, and power must use papacy and family—in particular, his eldest son, Cesare, and his daughter Lucrezia—in order to succeed.

    Taryn says: "Borgias Brought to Life"
    "Superb!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Blood & Beauty the most enjoyable?

    The writing is exquisite - mellifluous and poetic. Her psychological take on the situations and characters are interesting and plausible.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The character development, the plot and Dunant's skill in keeping me fully engrossed.


    What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

    His performance was impeccable and added tremendously to the richness of the story and my immersion into the characters.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this book so much that I am unable to read another historical fiction novel (my favorite genre) at this time. Blood and Beauty is so well crafted that it will be a tough act to follow.

    3 of 3 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
    (1418)
    Performance
    (1289)
    Story
    (1300)

    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.

    Molly-o says: "Don't miss this one"
    "I'm sorry, Liz."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I have read three books by Liz Gilbert. I loved, loved, loved EAT, PRAY, LOVE and read it twice. But I have not enjoyed the two books that followed it, I am sorry to say. Liz Gilbert can turn a phrase beautifully at times and employ great metaphors as well as tackle interesting topics. Yet, I did not enjoy this novel and had a hard time finishing it. She took on a noble and challenging theme but it did not capture my attention. I felt compelled to complete the book in spite of that. The narrator was very good, but I found her style too monotone and the characters not differentiated enough. I almost did not write this review because I wanted to honor the time and effort put in to writing the book and narrating it. It may be true in this case that if I have very little nice to say, I should say nothing at all. It is so much easier to be critical of a book than it is to write or to narrate it. This is simply my subjective opinion. Clearly, many other readers felt quite differently about it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 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
    (3575)
    Performance
    (3241)
    Story
    (3259)

    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?"
    "I Loved This Book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I am pretty picky as to what I enjoy reading. This book was a delight. The writing, story-line and narration were all excellent. I could not put it down and was very sad to have it end. It was funny, sad, insightful and thoroughly entertaining. Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Other Alexander: The Bow of Heaven, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Andrew Levkoff
    • Narrated By Andrew Randall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (13)

    In the greatest, foulest city in the world, love, mayhem and betrayal await the slave Alexandros. Given as a gift to the richest man in Rome, he soon discovers that intrigue and murder stalk the house of his master. Alexandros can solve the crime, but if he does, the worst punishment may prove to be his own. Alexandros is astute, well-educated and brimming with caustic wit, but he can't seem to remember the golden rule of slavery: Keep your head down and your mouth shut. No wonder more than one person in the house of Marcus Crassus wants to see this former Greek philosophy student dead.

    Laura Oliveira says: "Great Story - Excellent Writing"
    "A Great Read!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Other Alexander again? Why?

    I really enjoyed this book; the story, the characters and Levkoff's writing style. Alexander is a very interesting character with a wonderfully dry wit. It is a creative and entertaining piece of work and Andrew Randall is the perfect narrator for this book. So much so that his voice was with me when I read the second book, which unfortunately was not in audio.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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