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Jasmine

Member Since 2011

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 27 reviews
  • 39 ratings
  • 108 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2014
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  • Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Steve Harvey
    • Narrated By Steve Harvey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (616)
    Performance
    (417)
    Story
    (415)

    In the instant #1 New York Times bestseller Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Steve Harvey gave millions of women around the globe insight into what men really think about love, intimacy, and commitment. In his new book, he zeros in on what motivates men and provides tips on how women can use that knowledge to get more of what they need out of their relationships.

    Glynis says: "Great Talk! Women especially..read this"
    "Real Talk"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Regardless of what you may think of Steve Harvey - how could HE write a book on relationships? He's been married 3 times!!! - He sure does make a lot of sense. I had a great time listening to his book. He really lays it out for you - I really feel like I went inside the thoughts of a man, which is so hard to say because any time you ask a man to open up, it's like talking to a brick wall!

    I was hesitant about purchasing the audio book version, however, because Harvey is so over the top when he acts or on his radio show, that I figured it would be nauseating to listen to him narrate his story. It actually added to the listen! His personality and enthusiasm made it less of a "you need to do this and you need to do that to win a man" to "hey, here's what you could do different because this is what men like and why we like it".

    For any black woman that is interested in the black male psyche when it comes to relationships, this needs to be your go to book!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Malala Yousafzai
    • Narrated By Archie Panjabi
    Overall
    (864)
    Performance
    (784)
    Story
    (786)

    When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York.

    Jan says: "So much more than expected..."
    "Impressive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had so many mixed emotions while listening to this book.

    For one, it was a bit slow to begin with, so I struggled to get through the first two hours. I didn't see what everyone was talking about - how great of a story it was. I was more interested in that ill-fated day than her life story and her familial history; however, in hindsight, that background was appropriate. (In case you're wondering, it should be noted that the actual shooting and the events after the shooting probably account for 1/3 of the actual story.)

    Secondly, I was amazed that a girl so young was so passionate about education and the rights of her people. As an American, where such freedoms are taken for granted, it was absolutely impressive and commendable. Most 12 year old females (or males) for that instance that I know of could care less if they go to school. She just seemed so much wiser than her age.

    Lastly, my eyes were opened to lives of those in the Swat and surrounding regions. It as absolutely terrifying to learn of the constant presence of the Taliban. My heart cried out for Malala and those that still have to live in fear of them.

    I'm glad that I read this book - it was very educational for me. It's definitely a book everyone should read - to gain perspective and to appreciate the freedoms that many take for granted.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Love a Little Sideways: Kowalksi Family, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Shannon Stacey
    • Narrated By Lauren Fortgang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (85)

    Liz Kowalski is heading home to Whitford, Maine - this time for good. Eager for her family, a fresh start and some fun, she doesn't count on being rescued by the chief of police her very first night back in town. Drew is everything she's not looking for...so why is she still so attracted to him? After a brief, forbidden rendezvous at her brother's wedding, Drew Miller expects Liz to return to New Mexico and stay there. He's searching for someone to settle down with, not a casual fling with his best friend's sister.

    Jasmine says: "Fell Asleep Sideways"
    "Fell Asleep Sideways"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was such a boring and predictable listen. The narrator's voice did not help either - I caught myself dozing off on more than one occasion - truly disappointed.

    What bothered me the most was how predictable the listen was. I know a lot of romance novels are predictable but maybe this just isn't a good book for audio.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Husband's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3356)
    Performance
    (3013)
    Story
    (3024)

    Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive....

    Margaret says: "Escape to the land down under..."
    "Not the Secret You're Expecting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I finished this audiobook in record time - in about three days! It was that good!

    I bought this book with the idea that this was another book exploring the challenges of infidelity in marriages but it was so much more than that. The characters in Liane Moriarty's novel faced infidelity, tragedies, and the day to day hustle and bustle we call life. While she details the present day occurrences that her characters deal with, she also employs flashback in between, to describe the actual events of the ill-fated day. My mouth was left on the floor by the time I finished listening!

    I'm not sure why there are people who dislike this book so much because it had me from the first word! It was very fast paced and energetic. I definitely say to give it a try!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Susan Spencer-Wendel, Bret Witter
    • Narrated By Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (39)

    Susan Spencer-Wendel's Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy is a moving and inspirational memoir by a woman who makes the most of her final days after discovering she has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). After Spencer-Wendel, a celebrated journalist at the Palm Beach Post, learns of her diagnosis of ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, she embarks on several adventures, traveling to several countries and sharing special experiences with loved ones.

    Bonny says: "Until I Say Good-Bye is a paradox for me."
    "Until We Meet You Again Mrs. Spencer-Wendel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was such a moving account of a woman's journey through her diagnosis and day to day life of living with ALS. Before reading this book, I was quite unfamiliar with ALS but Spencer-Wendel does a phenomenal job of explaining how debilitating this disease could be. My mouth dropped to the ground when she described how transculent her hand was right before she started seeking medical care that led up to her diagnosis. I sympathized for her when she detailed her gradual loss of all of her muscles - even her tongue. It was devastating to hear someone go through this - I can't imagine what her family and her had to endure.

    With that being said, her title did her story justice. She did in fact live with joy. Little things that healthy women take for granted - such as applying make-up - she became proactive about. For example, she made sure that she wouldn't need to worry about not being able to put on make-up or having someone else do it. She simply had make-up permanently tattooed to her! How ingenious! She discovered (spoiler alert) her birth parents and even traveled to Greece to reconnect with some family. There are healthy people that haven't been able to travel anywhere outside of the States so to hear her travel, not once but twice, to Greece was commending.

    I was inspired by her bravery and her refusal to succumb willingly to ALS. Even though she had a definite death sentence, she managed to still live her life. It was amazing - a very inspirational read! Unfortunately, she recently passed but I hope that her legacy continues to live on through her family and children. It's never good-bye Mrs. Spencer-Wendel, but we will see you later!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Piper Kerman
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3137)
    Performance
    (2847)
    Story
    (2872)

    With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.

    Mark says: "My favorite book of the year, so far"
    "Prison or Women's Summer Camp?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to read OITNB, so that I could watch the series on Netflix. I wasn't sure what I was getting into - if it was a social experiment, a joke, or a scary tale of a woman doing hard time. It was none of those. It is a recollection of the author's experience in Danbury prison for 13 months. Prisoned in Danbury, she clearly could not have had the typical prison experience. I was shocked at how cushioned her time was. It was not how I expected prison to be. Granted, her offense did not warrant maximum security or lockdown, it is a bit unsettling to hear how comfortable she and other prisoners were kept off of my tax dollars.

    Kerman not only describes her experience at jail in detail but her offense that led her to prison time as well. Her romance with her friend-turned-boyfriend-turned-fiancee, Larry, is also described heavily in the book. It was amazing the loyalty that people must show when dealing with someone in jail because there are so many obstacles against them. Overall, this novel details all aspects of her prison experience - she even describes having her annual OB/GYN check-up in prison (it did not sound pleasant in the least).

    One thing that I did appreciate about Kerman's tale was that she gave her fellow inmates personalities. When I think of female prisoners, I think of a rough around the edges, butch, scary woman - not a tender caretaker personality like Pop or Natalie. It showed me that whatever their offenses are or were, there is still good in them.

    Piper Kerman's book is enlightening in the sense that now I have a better idea of what goes on in prison and through the justice system. It was disappointing in the severity of her and her other inmate's punishment (although I don't believe her particular crime justified it anyway). It was frustrating hearing her complain about what she felt entitled to and what she didn't have or was missing. Although, it seemed quite inhumane that she was not granted permission to attend her grandmother's funeral. That was incomprehensible!

    If anything, Kerman's description of her experience in jail will open up discussions regarding the prison system. For example, processes like reintegration, that she described as lackluster, should be given attention to. Corruption in the jail system should be eradicated. I know for me, comfortable or not, I never want to share her experience!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Juliet Macur
    • Narrated By Carrington MacDuffie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (68)

    The definitive account of Lance Armstrong's spectacular rise and fall. In June 2013, when Lance Armstrong fled his palatial home in Texas, downsizing in the face of multimillion-dollar lawsuits, Juliet Macur was there - talking to his girlfriend and children and listening to Armstrong's version of the truth. She was one of the few media members aside from Oprah Winfrey to be granted extended one-on-one access to the most famous pariah in sports. At the center of Cycle of Lies is Armstrong himself, revealed through face-to-face interviews.

    Melinda says: "...Pants on Fire"
    "Unbelievable!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Cycle of Lies was a true eye opener to not only what Lance Armstrong did but to the history of cycling. Prepare yourself for a jaw opener because it was truly unbelievable what Armstrong and his fellow cyclists put their bodies through in order to win. Blood doping, the use of testosterone and cortisone, as well as EPO were all employed to achieve cycling domination. What was equally astonishing was his arrogance. He vehemently denied doping throughout his career until he was forced into a corner and even then he was anything but remorseful. "If everyone was doing it, then it was not cheating." Never mind the physical consequences that he and others riders put themselves through by taking these toxic drugs - winning was all that mattered.

    Besides relating about his cycling career and personal life, there are quite a few mentions of the charity, LiveStrong, that he founded and how it was affected by his "victories" and then ultimate downfall. It is a shame that such a positive cause was diminished by the selfish actions of one person. What's even more discouraging is the fact that he tries to justify his doping and actions by arguing that he helped millions of cancer patients with his charity.

    Macur did a great job at writing from a neutral standpoint. She could have been more subjective in her painting of him but the readers can come to a clear understanding and judgment of Lance Armstrong just by listening to the quotes that she offers from him. First hand witness accounts are also provided and they also shed light on the person that Armstrong is. He is a brutal monster that equates himself to some god. It was liberating to finally read that he was held accountable for his actions.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Dinner: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Herman Koch, Sam Garrett (translator)
    • Narrated By Clive Mantle
    Overall
    (986)
    Performance
    (867)
    Story
    (874)

    It's a summer's evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse - the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened. Each couple has a 15-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families.

    Jane says: "Dining at its most distubing"
    "Unsatisfied"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're hungry for a good story - don't purchase/read this book! It was an unfortunate disappointment because there was so much potential for it.

    Koch details a dinner between two brothers and their respective wives. Through each course of the meal - appetizer, entree, and dessert - you learn about the dynamics between the two brothers and the dilemma that complicates them and their sons. When I say dilemma, I mean catastrophe - someone dies. A big part of my problem with Koch's novel is rather than the vindication of that person's death - which we often look forward to (think Spiderman or any other action movie) - there is a big effort to disguise what happened or prevent it from coming to light. It is absolutely disgusting. I hated the characters. They were all pompous and self-absorbed.

    I suppose I am jaded because I am a moralist who wants justice for all - and I didn't get that from Koch's novel. If you can get past that, then you may be able to enjoy the novel. Beyond the plot, the narration was decent. Clive Mantle, the narrator, did a well enough job performing the novel. He could get dry and I would find myself nodding off, until you heard his voice become awfully whimsical as he was personifying one of the wives.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Guilty Wives

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By James Patterson, David Ellis
    • Narrated By January LaVoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (789)
    Performance
    (631)
    Story
    (639)

    Only minutes after Abbie Elliot and her three best friends step off of a private helicopter, they enter the most luxurious, sumptuous, sensually pampering hotel they have ever been to. Their lavish presidential suite overlooks Monte Carlo, and they surrender: to the sun and pool, to the sashimi and sake, to the Bruno Paillard champagne. In the morning's harsh light, Abbie awakens on a yacht, surrounded by police. Something awful has happened - something impossible, unthinkable. Abbie, Winnie, Serena, and Bryah are arrested and accused of the foulest crime imaginable.

    Betsy says: "Ditto - Don't waste your credit."
    "Lame Wives"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're interested in a cheesy story line that involves a group of middle aged women who have nothing better to do than to cheat on their cheating husbands, than be my guest...this is the read for you! A string of infidelities lead to the murders of the French president and his bodyguard. But who was the murderer? Surely, a group of horny, neglected wives couldn't have murdered anyone?

    Unfortunately, James Patterson and David Ellis make an attempt at what could have and should have been a great book/read/listen. A huge problem was that there are men writing in a woman's perspective. They got it all wrong. The women were very sterotypical and cliche. What makes this novel terrible is that you endure almost 10 hours of a rather flat plot along with its dry characters. There was no appeal whatsoever.

    I have never read a Patterson novel before - I'm not confident that I will read another because I was so turned off by this. The narration helped me get through this listen - January LaVoy was very engaging. Unfortunately, I don't necessarily pay to hear a good narration. I also want a good story! This just did not make the cut!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3108)
    Performance
    (2770)
    Story
    (2776)

    Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Walkabout"
    "A Journey Unexpected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Walk along with Harold Frye! This is by far one of the most endearing books out there. Within the first 30 minutes of listening, you begin the journey of Harold Frye as he walks to save his friend Queenie from cancer after being inspired by a waitress at a bar. Yet, on his pilgrimage, he does so much more than attempt to save her. He tries to make amends for his past, he becomes a national hero of sorts, and he tries to just stand for something...anything! If you are looking for a book to encourage you to do that one thing that you never had the courage to do, this is the book to get you going!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catch Me: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Lisa Gardner
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2406)
    Performance
    (2002)
    Story
    (2014)

    Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant believes that she will be murdered in four days. And she wants Boston’s top detective to handle her death investigation. It will be up close and personal. No evidence of forced entry, no sign of struggle. Charlie tells a chilling story: Each year at 8:00 p.m. on January 21, a woman has died. The victims have been childhood best friends from a small town in New Hampshire; the motive remains unknown. Now only one friend, Charlie, remains to count down her final hours.

    Vanessa says: "OK but not her best by a long shot"
    "Kinda Caught Me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my first novel that I read by Lisa Gardner so I wasn't sure what to expect. It was an entertaining read - but it was hard to read. The investigation seemed mediocre, especially to be representing Boston PD. Fictional mysteries need to seem plausible and actual in order for me to really appreciate them and this was not one of them. It was worse than watching CSI - highly predictable, which is astonishing because the author provided little to no evidence for the crimes that were committed. The story catches you in the background but in the actual investigation and layout of what happens it just crumbles somehow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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