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Jennifer

Member Since 2013

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 37 ratings
  • 111 titles in library
  • 33 purchased in 2014
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  • Making Toast: A Family Story

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Roger Rosenblatt
    • Narrated By Roger Rosenblatt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (260)
    Performance
    (169)
    Story
    (167)

    When his daughter, Amy—a gifted doctor, mother, and wife—collapsed and died from an asymptomatic heart condition, Roger Rosenblatt and his wife, Ginny, left their home on the South Shore of Long Island to move in with their son-in-law, Harris, and their three young grandchildren.

    Diana - Audible says: "A little gem of a book"
    "a sleeper... that was me..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People who don't mind waiting for an author to work their way gradually to a story line. I do not always live fast paced, and often give books as much as 1/2 the content to really capture me, but I just couldn't make it even 1/5 of the way through this one. Just... too... slow.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    My next new listen will be Tale of Two Cities - like I said, I don't always live fast paced... or the new Amy Tan book.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Roger Rosenblatt?

    Possibly


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment - I actually thought the title and descriptions sounded peaceful and charming, not boring.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10179)
    Performance
    (9315)
    Story
    (9334)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Poor narration of a story that might have been goo"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Goldfinch better?

    Narrator needs to distinctly separate character voices, even if one did die off and the other is a family relative. My mind still has the auditory impression that this voice belonged to the dead character - a very, very frustrating listen that completely got in the way of my enjoyment. I couldn't finish it. Perhaps I will try reading it in print version some day.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Donna Tartt? Why or why not?

    Yes. the story seemed appealing and her writing style was interesting to me.


    What didn’t you like about David Pittu’s performance?

    See above.


    What character would you cut from The Goldfinch?

    None as far as I read.


    Any additional comments?

    No.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Prince of Tides

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2228)
    Performance
    (1383)
    Story
    (1387)

    Spanning 40 years, this is the story of turbulent Tom Wingo, his gifted and troubled twin sister Savannah, and their struggle to triumph over the dark and tragic legacy of the extraordinary family into which they were born.

    Ella says: "A "Prince" amongst novels"
    "Riveting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Prince of Tides?

    This was an incredible story of dysfunctional families, family devotion, love, fidelity, infidelity, mental illness, abuse, poverty and riches. It's a wonderful, triumphant story about the love of a family with some incredible hurdles - more than anyone on this earth should have to endure.


    What other book might you compare The Prince of Tides to and why?

    Glass House by J Walls, - except this was much, much more developed, rich in detail and character development.


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

    No, but I certainly will after this. His performance was outstanding.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Prince of Tides and why?

    Tom Wingo - he allows us to understand and empathize with an unfamiliar life


    Any additional comments?

    This really took me by surprise - I had no idea it would be so incredible a listen. I wish all my choices were this fantastic!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Julius Caesar

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Andrew Buchan, Sean Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (290)
    Performance
    (255)
    Story
    (257)

    Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare’s most compelling Roman plays. The plot against Caesar and the infamous assassination scene make for unforgettable listening. Brutus, the true protagonist of the play, is mesmerizing in his psychological state of anguish, forced to choose between the bonds of friendship and his desire for patriotic justice.

    David says: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars"
    "Nicely done with the full cast reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes. For someone just dabbling in Shakespeare, the cast reading helps lend understanding to the tongue.


    Would you recommend Julius Caesar to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes but only if they think they might be interested in trying a little Shakespeare.


    What three words best describe Andrew Buchan and Sean Barrett ’s performance?

    Passionate, clear, believable.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Smart Thinking: Three Essential Keys to Solve Problems, Innovate, and Get Things Done

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Art Markman
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (321)
    Performance
    (266)
    Story
    (269)

    Think smart people are just born that way? Think again. Drawing on diverse studies of the mind, from psychology to linguistics, philosophy, and learning science, Art Markman, Ph.D., demonstrates the difference between "smart thinking" and raw intelligence, showing listeners how memory works, how to learn effectively, and how to use knowledge to get things done. He then introduces his own three-part formula for listeners to employ "smart thinking" in their daily lives.

    Tad Davis says: "Research-based tips on thinking"
    "a sad waste of a discount purchase"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Smart Thinking better?

    More meat, less storytelling. Different narrator.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator had a smug, almost flippant tone which unfortunately mirrored the tone of the book.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Irritation...


    Any additional comments?

    It's because of books like these that I so very much appreciate Audible ' s return policy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Valley of Amazement

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Amy Tan
    • Narrated By Nancy Wu, Joyce Bean, Amy Tan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1204)
    Performance
    (1063)
    Story
    (1081)

    Shanghai, 1912. Violet Minturn is the privileged daughter of the American madam of the city's most exclusive courtesan house. But when the Ching dynasty is overturned, Violet is separated from her mother in a cruel act of chicanery and forced to become a "virgin courtesan." Half-Chinese and half-American, Violet grapples with her place in the worlds of East and West - until she is able to merge her two halves, empowering her to become a shrewd courtesan who excels in the business of seduction and illusion, though she still struggles to understand who she is.

    Pamela J says: "Just could NOT get past the ugliness"
    "Generations of women, interwoven creatively"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Valley of Amazement?

    I felt like I was hearing stories from my mother, and her mother, and the generations before, as passed down through oral tradition. Full of insight, humor, skepticism, shock, and unabashedly misplaced love. Yes, this is a story of generations of strong women, but it's also a series of love stories, of families loved and lost, of heartbreak and longing, of political ambition and cunning.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Multi-generational narration. There was only one segment toward the end that did not "fit" with where I thought we were in the characters - but I got accustomed to it. The change in narrative voices is a wonderful addition as each character in the generational lineage tells her parts of the interweaving stories.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, there were some tears!


    Any additional comments?

    This was long and at times I just simply picked up another book for variety - but I never regretted coming back to hear more of the stories. No regrets. Some books you just can't finish because they go on and on, even though they're good - this was NOT like that. It was long, but it was also a very, very good book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Tale of Two Cities [Tantor]

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1006)
    Performance
    (777)
    Story
    (813)

    A Tale of Two Cities is one of Charles Dickens's most exciting novels. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, it tells the story of a family threatened by the terrible events of the past. Doctor Manette was wrongly imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years without trial by the aristocratic authorities.

    Teddy says: "Truly a Classic"
    "Dickens is not for everyone..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    But I loved this classic. My son-in-law, however, who followed upon my heels, had to put it down. Why the difference? I suspect because I am a visual thinker. The way Dickens draws scenes lends itself to images in the mind, and he provides such rich detail that the characters seem to materialize out of nowhere, right in their places. Wonderful story and descriptions of the times. I loved the historical aspects and felt I could easily draw into another time and place

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Olivia Fox Cabane
    • Narrated By Lisa Cordileione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1398)
    Performance
    (1194)
    Story
    (1188)

    What if charisma could be taught? For the first time, science and technology have taken charisma apart, figured it out and turned it into an applied science: In controlled laboratory experiments, researchers could raise or lower people's level of charisma as if they were turning a dial. What you'll find here is practical magic: unique knowledge, drawn from a variety of sciences, revealing what charisma really is and how it works. You'll get both the insights and the techniques you need to apply this knowledge. The world will become your lab, and every person you meet, a chance to experiment.

    Gare&Sophia says: "An excellent treatment of a fascinating topic."
    "Dynamite!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a dynamite book - and I can't even remember how I stumbled upon it. It really should be renamed - because it's not truly about a single kind of charisma, and in fact the book would be better served not even to use the word given old-school prejudices. The book is really about creating appropriate "presence" with others to better develop unique and mutually satisfying relationships across personal and business lines. This is a fantastic resource, and I hope to use tips from the book to better prepare medical students for the "real life relational" aspects of going out into their rotations and dealing with others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Virgin Suicides

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By Nick Landrum
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (775)
    Performance
    (514)
    Story
    (522)

    This nationally best-selling novel from Pulitzer Prize-winner Jeffrey Eugenides was adapted into an acclaimed film by Academy Award-winner Sofia Coppola. A haunting yet wickedly funny tale, The Virgin Suicides has captivated countless readers with its intoxicating portrait of lost innocence. A brilliant fusion of dark humor and tragedy, it is an atmospheric, allegorical masterpiece about five oppressed, suicidal sisters and the boys who dream of rescuing them.

    Lexi Lou says: "Read this if you want to enjoy this audiobook"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was disappointed in this book. I have enjoyed Jeffery Eugenides' The Marriage Plot and will try another book of his another time. However, I kept waiting for this one to get better, and so I kept listening, and kept listening - and it never did. The plot was never really well developed enough for my taste, though it seemed there have could have been a variety of directions to move if the author had chosen to do so. I realize I'm bucking the tide here... but it's true, this book never quite lived up to my expectations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A House in the Sky: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Amanda Lindhout, Sara Corbett
    • Narrated By Amanda Lindhout
    Overall
    (306)
    Performance
    (275)
    Story
    (275)

    Amanda Lindhout reads her spectacularly dramatic memoir of a woman whose curiosity about the world led her from rural Canada to imperiled and dangerous countries on every continent, and then into 15 months of harrowing captivity in Somalia - a story of courage, resilience, and extraordinary grace. In August 2008, she traveled to Mogadishu, Somalia - "the most dangerous place on Earth." On her fourth day in the country, she and her photojournalist companion were abducted.

    Eric Schurr says: "Incredible story! Very well written and delivered"
    "Engrossing - after I gave it a chance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to A House in the Sky again? Why?

    I don't usually listen to books more than once.


    What other book might you compare A House in the Sky to and why?

    I haven't read a book like this before.


    What about Amanda Lindhout’s performance did you like?

    She was very real - flatness of tone many times to depict the flatness of the captivity. After I adjusted to her wry narration and increased the speed just a bit, I was able to enjoy her sense of humor, her moments of compassion, and her despair.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There are brief moments of unexplainable compassion and flecks of insight that she experiences not just for her tormenting captors but for others around her. It is not outright identified as compassion until the end of the book, but the listener hears those little pearls and goes, "Ahhhh. Yes."


    Any additional comments?

    This was initially difficult to listen to until I adjusted the speed to my comfort. It was difficult then because the story draws you in to experience these days with the author. Each day you arise with her, spend her day as she does, share her thoughts, and experience the turns of hope and despair right along with her. Her insight into people of another culture, which begins at one level of understanding and gains in maturity and perspective as her captivity progresses, makes the listen worth the time alone. Ultimately, however, it is a book that will stick with you for the haunting story of how simple it was for a young, confident and competent Canadian journalist to be kidnapped. tortured, and amazingly released. It is an astounding story of survival in the face of unbelievable odds.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6684)
    Performance
    (5949)
    Story
    (5948)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Pamela says: "The circus of your dreams"
    "Captivating story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Night Circus?

    Hard to choose what I loved "best" -- the narrator was superb, the story was full of unexpected moments and turns, but best of all, it takes you in, gradually, like entering into a dream. Suddenly you realize you're completely captivated by the story, as if in your own dream. Ultimately the story gently winds you back out - and just when you think it is over, there is a little more - and you begin to see that you still have layers to understand as you are gradually brought "back" to a fully awakened state. Beautifully done.


    What other book might you compare The Night Circus to and why?

    The only other book I have found so deeply engrossing was Perdido Street Station - and believe it or not, I am not much of a Science Fiction enthusiast.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I had no favorite - but I am a visual thinker, and the author beautifully draws the detail of fantastical experiences - ice gardens, eternal flames, true magic masquerading as illusion.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Oh, most definitely. It's the one I always looked forward to, even in brief spare moments. But the best listens were when i could relax and delve in.


    Any additional comments?

    I truly appreciated the author's overall guiding of the listener gently yet persistently through the dream-like story with its fantastical twists and turns - they were just as believable as any deeply experienced dream - where you know it wasn't really true yet somehow, it was.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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