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Wichita, KS, USA

  • 15 reviews
  • 36 ratings
  • 186 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • In the Woods

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley

    As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children, unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

    Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a 12-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery.

    Dottie B. says: "Very mixed feelings (semi-spoilers included)"

    This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to in a long time. It was difficult to put down. I especially liked the fact that the characters seemed real and human, and not slick stereotypes. I also liked the fact that the author did not feel the need to have everything wrapped up like a neat little package at the end. Life isn't like that. In life, as well as in this book, even though there's a certain degree of resolution to an issue, questions remain, and the feeling of satisfaction often isn't 100%. The writing was gorgeous and added a richness to the story. I definitely want to see what this author does in the future.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
    • Narrated By Paul Baymer, Susan Duerden, Roselyn Landor, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The best book club you’ve never heard of – but will be eager to join, courtesy of a full cast of true characters. January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb....

    Kent says: "MUCH better than I ever expected! Give it a try!"

    This book is set just at the end of WWII, after the German occupation of Guernsey has ended. An interesting, lively story in the beginning unfolds into a look into the lives of people who suffered at the hands of others, but found a way to continue living and thriving. It would have been depressing, because of the descriptions of the horrors the people lived through, if not for the delightful characters. This is a shining jewel of a book. The story is told in the form of letters that the characters write to each other, which is an interesting approach. If you're a cynic who finds emotion smarmy and bothersome, go find yourself a good mystery or sci fi. If you want to make new friends to hold into your heart, and to fall in love, download it immediately!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Await Your Reply: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Dan Chaon
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Three strangers who are trying to find their way in the wake of loss become entwined in an identity theft scheme, which has a resounding impact on them all. A gorgeously written psychological study, and a meditation on identity in the modern world, this is a literary novel with the haunting momentum of a thriller.

    Scott says: "Beautifully Written, Beautifully Read"
    "Compelling and fascinating"

    This book kept my attention until the very last word. As other reviews have said, it reads like a thriller, although it's not. It's a powerful, thoughtful study of the psychology of identity and identity theft, and the people who perpetrate it. As the story weaves in and out of the lives of a handful of characters, including the relatives of the con artists, it raises issues of how each of us defines who we are -- as human beings and within the context of our family and society. It's also a study in deception - of others and of ourselves. It's one of those books that I'm almost sorry I 'read', because now I've lost the ability to experience it for the first time. I'll probably listen to it again anyway. I hope this author's other books are as good as this one. I just can't say enough good things about this book - and several professional reviewers have had a similar opinion. What an extremely satisfying read!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Black and White and Dead All Over

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By John Darnton
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante

    The novel opens in the inner sanctums of the New York Globe, the city's long-standing newspaper of note, whose back is to the wall. Readership, advertising, and circulation are plummeting - along with the paper's vaunted standards - and the cost cutters have their knives out. But trouble of a wholly different kind begins one rainy September morning when a powerful editor is found murdered in the newsroom.

    Jenny says: "Very entertaining!"
    "Very entertaining!"

    The story was excellent and filled with rich detail about the newspaper industry, and certain thinly-disguised characters made it even more fun.

    What was not fun, however, was the mispronunciation of several words by the narrator. He has a voice that's easy to listen to, and doesn't do a bad job with the narration overall, but the man needs to buy a dictionary.

    I especially appreciated the skilled writing; I didn't figure out who the killer was until the author revealed him. That's not easy to pull off. Many of the mysteries I read have endings that are way too easy to anticipate. In places, the dialogue wasn't very realistic, but not to the point where it spoiled the book. Highly recommended!

    Sadly, the author's fantasies about what happens to the newspaper itself at the end of the book, are not realistic. As someone who loves newspapers, I'm glad he had the opportunity to make the story turn out his way. How wonderful it would be if he could create a similar future for several real newspapers, which I fear will be gone all too soon. I think the author probably found it really satisfying, also, to create the many extremely interesting characters. A couple of times, I could almost hear him snickering as his characters were described and then fleshed out in delicious detail.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Book of Air and Shadows: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Michael Gruber
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Jake Mishkin's seemingly innocent job as an intellectual property lawyer has put him at the center of a deadly conspiracy and a chase to find a priceless treasure involving William Shakespeare. As he awaits a killer (or killers) unknown, Jake writes an account of the events that led to this deadly endgame, a frantic chase that began when a fire in an antiquarian bookstore revealed the hiding place of letters containing a shocking secret, concealed for 400 years.

    Nicholas Winn says: "Not your average story."
    "Just couldn't finish it"

    This book just became too bogged down. I kept meaning to finish it...but never did. The basic premise of the story was good, the characters were interesting, but after a certain point, it just seemed not to be getting anywhere and I always had something else I wanted to do more than I wanted to make the effort to finish the book. Maybe you'll have more patience than I did.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jacques Pepin
    • Narrated By Michel Chevalier

    In this captivating memoir, the man whom Julia Child has called "the best chef in America" tells the story of his rise from a frightened apprentice in an exacting Old World kitchen to an Emmy Award-winning superstar who taught millions of Americans how to cook and shaped the nation's tastes in the bargain.

    Linda Zimmerman says: "WHAT HAPPENED TO THE RECIPES???"

    After listening to this book, I liked Jacques Pepin more than ever. His accounts of growing up, becoming a cook, moving to the U.S. and establishing a career here are a must-read for those who are interested in food and cooking. I was sorry it ended!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • My Life in France

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme
    • Narrated By Kimberly Farr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This memoir is laced with wonderful stories about the French character, particularly in the world of food, and the way of life that Julia Child embraced so wholeheartedly. Above all, she reveals the kind of spirit and determination, the sheer love of cooking, and the drive to share that with her fellow Americans that made her the extraordinary success she became.

    Sara says: "What a pleasure!"

    This book is as charming as Julia herself. Her voice comes through clearly, and although she was never unkind, she did not shy away from expressing her frustrations with certain people and situations in her life. It's an account of how her interest in food and cooking developed, and how she came to take the path she took. She and Paul saved letters, so the book is rich with authentic detail about the events of their lives. My only regret is that now that I've finished it, I can never come to it again to listen for the first time. It made me feel much closer to a woman I've never met, but miss terribly.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Bel Canto

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Anna Fields

    Somewhere in South America at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening, until a band of terrorists breaks in, taking the entire party hostage.

    Nicky Gleason says: "Surprisingly engrossing"
    "Fascinating and haunting"

    Although there were parts of this book that seemed to move too slowly, I was glad I persevered. In fact, I got up in the middle of the night to listen to the last hour and a half.

    Although the ending of the book (epilogue)might seem to wrap up a little too neatly and conveniently, there actually was a tragedy in my own community that 'ended' much the same way. While I think I might have enjoyed something more complex in terms of a resolution to this story, the book was still a very good read, and I enjoyed it immensely.

    If you become interested in opera after listening to this book, check out the print edition. In the back of the book, the author addresses how her own interested in opera developed, and she includes specific references.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Toobin
    • Narrated By Don Leslie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Based on exclusive interviews with justices themselves, The Nine tells the story of the Supreme Court through personalities, from Anthony Kennedy's overwhelming sense of self-importance to Clarence Thomas' well-tended grievances against his critics to David Souter's odd 19th-century lifestyle. There is also, for the first time, the full behind-the-scenes story of Bush v. Gore and Sandra Day O'Connor's fateful breach with George W. Bush, the president she helped place in office.

    Stephen says: "Fascinating"
    "Excellent and engaging"

    I'd heard good things about this book, but it's even better than I thought it would be. The author closely examines the history of the contemporary Court, and provides a lot of insight into the personalities and motivations of the justices, as well as those of the presidents who appointed them. His style is that of an animated storyteller, and he's certainly done his homework. Listening to this book is almost as good as sitting next to a guest at a dinner party who has the most marvelous stories and insights. Not for a minute was I bored.

    The narrator is excellent.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • What the Dead Know

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Laura Lippman
    • Narrated By Linda Emond

    Thirty years ago two sisters disappeared from a shopping mall. Their bodies were never found, and those familiar with the case have always been tortured by these questions: How do you kidnap two girls? Who or what could have lured the two sisters away from a busy mall on a Saturday afternoon without leaving behind a single clue or witness? Now a clearly disoriented woman involved in a rush-hour hit-and-run claims to be the younger of the long-gone Bethany sisters.

    Cayce says: "A page turner"
    "Not bad, not great"

    This writer has an interesting story to tell, and she does it skilfully. This is not a book you can listen to, put down for a couple of days, and come back to. As other reviewers have said, it skips around, and it will be difficult to follow if you put it down for awhile before you finish it. My main criticism is that at the very end, things wrap up just a little too neatly, and there's a little too much of a "happily ever after" quality about it. But it's still a good "read" and I recommend it. Not as cliche' as other books of this genre tend to be.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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