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I am a painter, and I listen to books while I paint. Like a memory attached to a song, the images I paint later remind me of a novel.

Chesapeake, VA, USA | Member Since 2004

  • 6 reviews
  • 63 ratings
  • 330 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014

  • The Chaperone

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Laura Moriarty
    • Narrated By Elizabeth McGovern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    >The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that would change them both. Only a few years before becoming a famous actress and an icon for her generation, a 15-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita to make it big in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle is a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip.

    Amanda says: "Perfection."
    "The Chaperone - a tale of the truth about honesty."

    This book had my attention throughout, with its twists and turns in plot, and its steadfast, thoughtful main character, Cora. Cora is a woman who one 'trusts' from the first pages. She is honest to the core, and as we watch her unusual life unfold . . . we learn that the Truth is not the only Road to Honesty. I found it a different and refreshing waltz through the period in which the story takes place.

    I enjoyed Elizabeth McGovern's narration very much, although her accent was very difficult to 'place' at times. Oddly enough, I often catch myself thinking the same thing, as I listen to McGovern's character in PBS' "Downton Abbey"! She was a great choice for the voice of Cora . . . quiet and understated retraint . . . just as I'd imagine a woman like Cora would sound.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd, Ann Kidd Taylor
    • Narrated By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this intimate dual memoir, she and her daughter, Ann, offer distinct perspectives as a 50-something and a 20-something, each on a quest to redefine herself and to rediscover each other. Between 1998 and 2000, Sue and Ann travel throughout Greece and France. Sue, coming to grips with aging, caught in a creative vacuum, longing to reconnect with her grown daughter, struggles to enlarge a vision of swarming bees into a novel.

    Lisa says: "Laughter and tears"
    "Not my Favorite Fruit."

    I cannot say that I liked much about this book.
    I kept wanting to scream, "Get over yourself".
    I am a self-reflective person, but would not want to subject my ruminations to others in the manner which this author used in "Traveling with Pomegranates".

    If pressed to choose one thing that I enjoyed, it was the younger Kidd's reflections and delivery.
    I feel very differently about her mother's reading. This is what I liked the least.

    Sue Monk Kidd should have had another read her book aloud. She has some very very strange pronunciations of many words. I am not speaking about her southern accent. It was the distinct pronunciations, which were annoying and distracting. I cringed when she said "bass" relief. Mirror was repeatedly pronounced "mir-oh". Many of the Greek names were mispronounced. Even the word "daughter" had an odd tilt to it.

    (Are there no editors or sound engineers, producers, etc. to sit in on the readings? I would have not even been able to finish the book, if it were not necessary for my bookclub participation.

    I felt Kidd bored the reader with belabored points. This could have been a much more effective short story, than the endless chapters she presented.

    'Very disappointed in this book.
    I'd rather eat my pomegranates, than travel with them.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
    "She told it like it was . . ."

    Our family had a "maid", in the 1950's and her name was Maggie. She was kind and responsible for me, much of the time, as my mother was ill. We did not live in the south, but I remember having the same questions about the "differences" between Maggie's life and the lives of the white people surrounding me. After my mother died, Maggie moved to Chicago with our family. I wasn't aware, until many years later, that Maggie had a family of her own. And that raised more questions. Among them - "why didn't Maggie choose to stay in NY with her own family?" Eventually Maggie did go home, to NY. I never saw her again . . . but she will forever be the loving, motherly bridge that eased my way into my new life with a hostile step-mother.
    Ms. Stockett's portrayals of the many different personalities and experiences of her characters rang exceedingly true, for me. The narrators are superb! I would not have wanted to read this book in my "own voice", after hearing the dialects of the readers.
    This was the best book I have listened to in many years. I thoroughly enjoyed it - and recommend it highly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "Unique mystery-The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

    I read alot of mysteries. I enjoyed this one, very much. Set in Sweden, with a very strange pair of "heroine" and "hero", it was different from the start.. The story was not predictable, and the Swedish "lilt" to things was refreshing. The reader was fantastic. As always, Mr. Vance gives the characters life. I expect we'll hear more from this heroine . . . or so it seemed from the ending of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

    Kindle Customer says: "Great Narration!!"
    "Water . . . and PRAISE for Elephants."

    This is only the 2nd review I have written . . . and this is the 2nd most WONDERFUL story I have listened to in a very very long time.
    I cannot help but be reminded of "Little Big Man" in the almost epic quality and history of the story - as well as the attitude and "voice" of the storyteller. This tale entwined the magic that is the circus with the magic of love and lust and greed and all things human. And besides . . . it was entertaining as Barnum & Bailey themselves! I loved the connection with the animals . . . and the description of the era. I have nothing but praise for this "read". Who will write the screenplay? It will be in theatres for sure!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Atossa Leoni
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss, and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them, in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul, they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

    David says: "Somber but gripping"
    "A Thousand Splendid Suns - splendid, indeed"

    This book, by FAR, is the one of the best spoken books I have ever listened to. The reader was poignant, and true to the part. The characters rich and realistic. The times and experiences of the characters chilling and much too relevant to what has played out in our lifetime. This was a bittersweet and heart-wrenching tale of 2 lives. Everyone who "thinks" that they know "who America's enemies are" should have to read this book.

    I had heard wonderful things about "The Kite Runner" . . . and didn't expect that "Splendid Suns" would live up to the beauty that readers described when recalling the Kite Runner. But this book has renewed my faith in a story well told and in the splendor of the written word to incite pathos and understanding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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