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Joanne

Burlington, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2006

271
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 40 reviews
  • 163 ratings
  • 1810 titles in library
  • 113 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
50

  • The Secret Lovers: A Paul Christopher Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Charles McCarry
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (17)

    Early one morning in West Berlin, a nervous courier delivers the handwritten manuscript of a dissident Russian novel to Paul Christopher. Minutes after the handoff, the courier's spine is neatly snapped by an impact with a passing black sedan. Meanwhile, in Rome, Christopher's wife Cathy takes a famous film director as a lover to stir her husband out of the stoicism that defines his personality.

    Joanne says: "Thank you, Mom!"
    "Thank you, Mom!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    My mother recommended this audiobook and I wholeheartedly agree with her recommendation. This book is elegantly written with an intricate, meticulously-drawn plot and multi-dimensional characters.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The writer, "Kamensky", was my favourite character because of his profound capacity to love.


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

    No - but I thought this performance was wonderful.


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

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    The Secret Lovers is so much more than a spy thriller. It is a love story told with such elegant brilliance that it took my breath away.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Leviathan Effect: A Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By James Lilliefors
    • Narrated By Rebecca Gibel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (36)

    Homeland Security Secretary Catherine Blaine receives a frightening communication from a hacker identified only by the pseudonym Janus. The message is the latest in a series correctly predicting natural disasters around the world - disasters that, Janus claims, were manufactured, not natural at all. And, according to the email, unless the United States does as Janus instructs, another disaster is coming - a Category 5 hurricane that will hit the Eastern Seaboard and destroy the lives of tens of millions of people.

    Matthew says: "Stormy TImes ahead!"
    "Interesting, current and a very good thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Leviathan Effect rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the top 25%


    What did you like best about this story?

    The discussion of the impact of human intervention on the environment through the lens of a particular 'natural' disaster was very interesting. I appreciated that the author created a 'thriller' to elucidate the many layers of significance. The characters and plot were very entertaining.


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

    I haven't listened to any of her performances before. I definitely enjoyed this performance: the many characters were distinctively voiced and the dramatic settings were even more vivid in the 'speaking'.


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

    There wasn't a particular moment; however, I continue to think about the hallucinations experienced by several characters at the height of the 'unnatural' natural disaster.


    Any additional comments?

    I definitely enjoyed this book and recommend it as a fast-paced thriller with a highly charged twist.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Yes, Chef: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Marcus Samuelsson
    • Narrated By Marcus Samuelsson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (458)
    Performance
    (406)
    Story
    (399)

    It begins with a simple ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s house and helps her prepare a roast chicken for dinner. The grandmother is Swedish, a retired domestic. The boy is Ethiopian and adopted, and he will grow up to become the world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson. This book is his love letter to food and family in all its manifestations. Yes, Chef chronicles Marcus Samuelsson’s remarkable journey from Helga’s humble kitchen to the opening of the beloved Red Rooster in Harlem.

    loix says: "A fun and inspiring civics lesson"
    "Listen to this book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Yes, Chef rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This audibook is in my all-time top 10. Another reader's review led me to it (thank you!) and I was blown away by the content and the wonderful narration. Mr. Samuelsson is thoughtful and perceptive, telling his story with clarity and a desire to tell the truth about the industry and, more importantly, about himself.


    What did you like best about this story?

    What's not to like! The story of a Swedish couple creating a family, adopting two siblings (just recovered from tuberculosis) from Ethopia who would join their other foster child. The way they created a home for their children, from teaching Markus how to fish and how to cook, was beautiful. Throughout the book, Markus writes of his grandmother and parents' unconditional, but practical, love. Markus writes about his search for "flavours". He writes about the traditional European training for chefs. And, he writes about New York City. I loved this inside view of restaurants I have read about in the pages of Gourmet and Bon Appetit. Fabulous! Along the way, Mr. Samuelsson writes about the paucity of black chefs in top-ranked kitchens around the world and about his journey to bring "flavours" of the world to unique experiences of gourmet cuisine.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There are so many but two stand out in my mind. The first is Mr. Samuelsson's encounter with Gordon Ramsay - you'll have to listen to the book to understand how this encounter incorporates so many elements of Markus's journey as a man and as a top chef.

    The other scene is Markus and Maya's wedding in Ethopia - again, these scenes contain so many of the elements of his personal journey. I loved the sense of colour, texture, flavours, and joy he is able to convey through his writing.


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

    I loved this book! It made me cry and it made me laugh. It inspired me and it made me think.


    Any additional comments?

    Often, when an author narrates his/her own book, the result can be lacklustre. This is definitely NOT the case here. Mr. Samuelsson is the very best person for the task - he brings his desire for excellence to it, along with his lovely voice.

    In all, this book has everything: a fascinating story about the world of top chefs as well as the search for excellence and identity. Along the way, something truly alchemical happens - the result is far more than the sum of its parts.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Ken Perenyi
    • Narrated By Dan Butler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (246)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (214)

    Ten years ago, an FBI investigation was about to expose a scandal in the art world that would have been front-page news in New York and London. After a trail of fake paintings of astonishing quality led federal agents to art dealers, experts, and major auction houses, the investigation inexplicably ended, despite an abundance of evidence. The case was closed and the FBI file was marked “exempt from public disclosure”. Now that the statute of limitations on these crimes has expired and the case appears hermetically sealed shut by the FBI, this audiobook, Caveat Emptor, is that artist, Ken Perenyi’s, confession.

    Tina M. says: "Forgery to Story Telling"
    "A fascinating story told by a fascinating man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Caveat Emptor to be better than the print version?

    This is a hard question to answer. The audio version is excellent: the performance captures the excitement of Mr. Perenyi's life and conveys the details of various painting styles in way that kept my attention. For an art lover, I think a hard copy of the book would be invaluable because Mr. Perenyi's career covers so many periods of art history and painting.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mr. Perenyi was my favourite character because of his love of learning and of art. I was struck by his genius, his ability to understand an artist, his burning desire to paint, his love of technique, and his ability to move in all strata of society. I wondered if he was really "for real" - but, in the end, I didn't care. I loved being reminded that geniuses live among us. Another favourite character was Jose, Mr. Perenyi's best friend and partner, who died of AIDs. He was depicted as a devoted and loyal friend without peer - a lovely, gentle soul.


    Which character – as performed by Dan Butler – was your favorite?

    I enjoyed the Roy Cohn character and was fascinated by the way in which Mr. Perenyi's life intersected with his.


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

    Absolutely, yes!


    Any additional comments?

    Read this book for an adventure with some fascinating characters (including Andy Warhol) through some really interesting times; for a story of New York in the sixties and seventies; and for a master class in art and painting. It's a gem.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • A Killing in the Hills

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Julia Keller
    • Narrated By Shannon McManus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (53)

    What’s happening in Acker’s Gap, West Virginia? Three elderly men are gunned down over their coffee at a local diner, and seemingly half the town is there to witness the act. Still, it happened so fast, and no one seems to have gotten a good look at the shooter. Was it random? Was it connected to the spate of drug violence plaguing poor areas of the country just like Acker’s Gap? Or were Dean Streeter, Shorty McClurg, and Lee Rader targeted somehow?

    Joanne says: "A wonderful treat!"
    "A wonderful treat!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love mysteries for the suspense and the puzzles that are solved by the end of the book. The mysteries I enjoy the most contain multi-dimensional characters with plots being used to develop these characters. Even better, a story that explores a place I have never been and that leaves me with a sense of the smells, the sounds and the colours is a treat. Ms. Keller combines a tightly woven story with characters and a place I became deeply interested in. I don't feel that I have words that can express how much I enjoyed both the prose and the story itself. West Virginia now "lives" in my imagination, in the same way that James Lee Burke's St. John's Parish and Timothy Hallinan's Bangkok have come alive for me. Shannon McManus is superb. I highly recommend this book. Please write more stories about Bell, Ms. Keller.
    P.S. I enjoyed the prose so much that I bought a Kindle copy of the book so that I could re-read certain passages. It really doesn't get much better than this!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Last to Die: A Rizzoli and Isles Novel, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Tess Gerritsen
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1119)
    Performance
    (923)
    Story
    (945)

    For the second time in his short life, Teddy Clock has survived a massacre. Two years ago, he barely escaped when his entire family was slaughtered. Now, at 14, in a hideous echo of the past, Teddy is the lone survivor of his foster family’s mass murder. Orphaned once more, the traumatized teenager has nowhere to turn - until the Boston PD puts Detective Jane Rizzoli on the case. Determined to protect this young man, Jane discovers that what seemed like a coincidence is one part of a killer’s mission.

    Kathryn says: "My inner voice said..' Are you sure you want to?'"
    "Very enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is pure entertainment, from Ms. Gerritsen's weaving of the tale to Ms. Eby's wonderful performance. There were so many intriguing plot twists that I was guessing until the end. In all, lots of fun and recommended (just make sure you have time to listen to it in almost one sitting)!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Polar Star

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Martin Cruz Smith
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (651)
    Performance
    (557)
    Story
    (555)

    Ex-Chief Investigator Arkady Renko is in deep on the “slime line” - the fish-gutting station - in the Polar Star, a Soviet fish factory ship of some 250 souls, almost as many secrets, and a dangerous shipboard sub-culture that cares little for the Party, and less for human life.

    Richard Delman says: "Probably the greatest audiobook ever. Really."
    "Ice, Snow and Arkady Renko"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Polar Star is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to this year. The story is set on a factory ship that is part of a Soviet-American enterprise to fish in America's Aleutian waters. Followed by American "catcher" ships, the Polar Star seems to symbolize a new kind of international partnership. A murder takes place. Arkady, banished from Moscow and bowed by his circumstances as a worker on the "slime line", is called upon to investigate the murder. Martin Cruz Smith is a wonderful writer: I could see the "gelatinous ice" and swirling fog; I could feel the cold beyond cold. Such hard, cruelly cold work and so many undercurrents - passion, espionage, desperation. The characters in the book are fully formed: the workers all banished, for various reasons, to a job that will feed the Soviet Union or hide them from their pursuers. Frank Muller is fabulous. This is a great book and I can't recommend it highly enough.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • A Share in Death

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Deborah Crombie
    • Narrated By Michael Deehy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (532)
    Performance
    (453)
    Story
    (454)

    A week's holiday in a luxurious hotel is just what Scotland Yard's Superintendent Duncan Kincaid needs. But his vacation ends dramatically with the discovery of a dead body in the whirlpool bath. Despite a suspicious lack of cooperation from the local constabulary, Kincaid's keen sense of duty won't allow him to ignore the heinous crime, impelling him to send for his enthusiastic young assistant, Sergeant Gemma James. But the stakes are raised significantly when a second murder occurs....

    Joanne says: "I love finding a new author"
    "I love finding a new author"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One of the reasons I love Audible so much is that other readers review books I haven't discovered before. A recent review of Deborah Crombie's latest book led me to the first in the series. Set in a country house, organized as a time share, this could have been a re-telling of the old "parlour" whodunit. Happily, the story was fresh and the characters were well-drawn. I enjoyed "meeting" Duncan Kinkaid and look forward to learning more about him. What little was glimpsed of Gemma James made me want to know more. The narrator, Michael Deehy, is excellent. In all, a very enjoyable listening experience.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • The Fear Artist: A Poke Rafferty Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Timothy Hallinan
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (44)

    An accidental collision on a Bangkok sidewalk goes very wrong when the man who ran into Rafferty dies in his arms, but not before saying three words: "Helen Eckersley. Cheyenne." Seconds later, the police arrive, denying that the man was shot. That night, Rafferty is interrogated by Thai secret agents who demand to know what the dead man said, but Rafferty can't remember. When he's finally released, Rafferty arrives home to find that his apartment has been ransacked. He realizes he's under surveillance.

    Joanne says: "Very enjoyable and highly recommended"
    "Very enjoyable and highly recommended"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I admit to being a fan of this series and put down everything else I was reading in order to listen to this book. I was not disappointed. The Fear Artist is a worthy sequel to The Queen of Patpong, one of my all-time favourites. The book opens with an accidental encounter on a street in Bangkok - guns, paint, cameras, and police acting more brutal than usual - and Poke Rafferty somehow ends up on the run. Rose and Miaow are out of town for most of the book and I missed them. This being said, the story is more believable for their absence. This is a problem Poke must solve without his Thai family. Even the stalwart Ardit is sidelined - recovering from the death of his beloved wife, he is not his usual insightful, wry self. Mr. Hallinan continues to explore the themes of family, nature and nurture, as well as the impact of "others" on South East Asia. In so doing, he creates a credible, often heart-breaking story, that completely absorbed my attention until the end. Victor Bevine is wonderful and I can't imagine anyone else narrating this book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Criminal

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Karin Slaughter
    • Narrated By Kathleen Early
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1761)
    Performance
    (1484)
    Story
    (1489)

    Will Trent is a brilliant agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Newly in love, he is beginning to put a difficult past behind him. Then a local college student goes missing, and he is inexplicably kept off the case by his supervisor and mentor, deputy director Amanda Wagner. Will cannot fathom Amanda's motivation, until the two of them literally collide in an abandoned orphanage they have both been drawn to for different reasons. Decades before - when Will's father was imprisoned for murder - this was his home....

    Melinda says: "Heart Pounding, Gripping Thriller"
    "Terrific!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I haven't yet read any of the previous books in the "Will Trent" Triptych, I have been intrigued by his character in other books ("Fallen" and "Undone"). Ms. Slaughter is masterful in revealing the mystery of Will's past, slowly but inexorably leading the listener/reader to a horrifying discovery. The compassion extended toward Will by Sarah Linton is lovely and believable. The story of Amanda Wagner and Evelyn Mitchell's early days as detectives in a misogynistic police department rings true. Set in 1974 and 1975, this part of the book is woefully believable. Nothing in the book is too soft, nor does anything feel contrived. Perhaps the "detecting" part of the story is a bit too convoluted but it all hangs together. The last words are cliff hangers... Kathleen Early is an excellent narrator. All in all, highly recommended.

    17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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