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Karen

I'm a dedicated reader/listener. My tastes are very eclectic, and there's not much I don't like except horror and dull history.

NASHUA, NH, United States | Member Since 2009

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 70 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
    • Narrated By Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (241)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (89)

    Using a travel guide format, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee acts as tour guide extraordinaire, describing and critiquing every aspect of this territory she knows so well: its people (young and old, male and female), familiar phrases ("purl this, darn that"), strange beliefs, currency (skein trading), etiquette, holidays (any sale day at the local yarn shop), and customs. She notes important dates in knitting history and celebrates unsung knitting heroes.

    Emily says: "a fun read"
    "Knitting tales for knitters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off the most enjoyable?

    Having Stephanie read it herself. It felt like I was listening to a fellow,knitter and friend.


    Has Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Nothing


    Have you listened to any of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Haven't listened to or read any other books by her. Only her blog.


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

    I laughed a bit and smirked a lot, thinking, "yep, I get that," or " oh yeah, I've done that!"


    Any additional comments?

    It was a short, fun listen, especially since I was knitting a particularly simple sock and could stop to laugh and chuckle to myself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By James D. Watson
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner, Roger Clark
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (276)
    Performance
    (238)
    Story
    (239)

    By identifying the structure of DNA, the molecule of life, Francis Crick and James Watson revolutionized biochemistry and won themselves a Nobel Prize. At the time, Watson was only 24, a young scientist hungry to make his mark. His uncompromisingly honest account of the heady days of their thrilling sprint against other world-class researchers to solve one of science's greatest mysteries gives a dazzlingly clear picture of a world of brilliant scientists with great gifts, very human ambitions, and bitter rivalries.

    A. Lai says: "Fabulous book!"
    "High School History Came Alive!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Double Helix to be better than the print version?

    Absolutely since it was written by James Watson himself and I imagined it was his voice narrating. It made the history that was happening while I was in high school come alive again in 2014! I've always been fascinated by genetics and especially the discovery of DNA and the double helix. I majored in English and majored in biology because of this discovery. Finding this book so many years later was a gift.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Double Helix?

    Many moments, but I especially enjoyed the thinking process facilitated by the walks around the campus and cities. As important as the research itself.


    What does Grover Gardner and Roger Clark bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The voices resonated and I imagined I was listening to James Watson himself telling the story.


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

    It did elicit a few smiles, as well as a few groans at the blatant sexism expressed. But I appreciated the honesty of the telling of the way it really was in the world of scientific research then. I was glad to hear Watson sort of apologize for his comments about Rosie in the epilogue.


    Any additional comments?

    Great listen and well worth my time and money. I usually listen to fiction, but am very glad I decided to step outside that comfort zone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Unremarkable Heart and Other Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Karin Slaughter
    • Narrated By Shannon Cochran
    Overall
    (239)
    Performance
    (205)
    Story
    (206)

    Collected in one volume-and on audio-for the first time, The Unremarkable Heart and Other Stories features bestselling author Karin Slaughter at her best: dark, provocative explorations of love, death, and the secrets we keep. This exclusive audiobook contains the previously published tales The Unremarkable Heart, The Blessing of Brokenness, Necessary Women, The Mean Time, Cold Cold Heart, and the never-before-seen story The Truth About Pretty Girls.

    Amazon Customer says: "Horrible!"
    "Awful book. Couldn't finish!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I almost always finish a book, no matter how much I may dislike it, but this one simply became intolerably repulsive. And I like Karin Slaughter! Was she in a deep depression when she wrote these stories? The first story was interesting and had a nice twisted ending and I was telling a friend I sort of liked the book...but then I had to take that back. The second story was twisted and unpleasant and the thIrd was positively gruesome. And the main character in the fourth was a selfish, totally unlikeable you-know-what. I started to listen to the last story and after five minutes tossed in the towel.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I'm now listening to Julian Barnes "A Sense of an Ending." Not my usual type of book, but it might be a welcome change. I'm also reading the third book in the Divergent trilogy. I am a rather eclectic reader... My next listen after Barnes will be Creole Belle or Still Foolin' Em.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Shannon Cochran?

    Yes, the narration was fine. Not her fault the plots and character were so awful.


    What character would you cut from The Unremarkable Heart and Other Stories?

    All of them!


    Any additional comments?

    I will stick to Karin Slaughter's mainstream novels, and will read reviews carefully before buying!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Skipping Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (679)
    Performance
    (172)
    Story
    (171)

    Best selling author John Grisham (A Time to Kill, The Brethren) returns with a new tale for modern times, offering a hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy that have become a part of our holiday tradition.

    Lisa says: "Simple Pleasures!"
    "Not his best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from John Grisham and/or Dennis Boutsikaris?

    I love John Grisham, but this book just didn't feel like he wrote it. Maybe it was just too too different. Of corse I will read other books by Grisham.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    It was ok as written, just not what I was expecting from Grisham.


    Did Skipping Christmas inspire you to do anything?

    Not really.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't say I didn't enjoy this book, just that I wouldn't rush out to buy another one like it by Grisham. I'll stick to his legal thrillers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Until Dark: Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mystery #1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    Overall
    (7292)
    Performance
    (3838)
    Story
    (3872)

    Vampires have officially "come out of the coffin", and Miss Sookie can't wait for one to come her way.

    Pamela says: "That Vampire Said ...."
    "Cute, funny, better than I expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Dead Until Dark?

    This was my first vampire novel -- I started "The Vampire Lestat" but never finished it -- and I was quite surprised to find I was looking forward to listening to it each day. It was engaging, not compelling.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I thought I'd find the vampire deaths ghoulish, but they just seemed peripheral, probably because the whole idea of vampires is so unreal. I guess what I liked best was the playful tone of the book, and the strong, irreverent Sookie. She was a hoot!


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

    The narration fit well with the overall comic tone of the book.


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

    Not really. I spaced it over a few days. It wasn't compelling, just a bit of comic, fun relief to enjoy while cooking or knitting in front of the fire on a wintry evening.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm probably not going to become an ardent fan of vampire novels, but I might try another sometime, especially if it's offered as a daily deal. I think the "fun" vampire novels could grow on me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Kitchen House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kathleen Grissom
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy, Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6730)
    Performance
    (4706)
    Story
    (4691)

    Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction.

    B.J. says: "Good, but with reservations"
    "Gripping, sad, uneven characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Kitchen House?

    The narration was superb. The voice of Belle was particularly realistic. Thee characters of Mama, Papa, and Belle were also quite solid and well developed. I had a harder time with Lavinia, whose naive and unrealistic view of life was difficult to believe.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Belle and ben's deep, continuing relationship and Belle's growing fondness for and friendship with Lucy. They made the best of the life they had despite the horrid environment.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Some of the childhood scenes with Lavinia, Beattie, and Fanny.


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

    No! I had to take breaks after difficult scenes, especially when I knew something I wouldn't like was going to happen.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a love-hate book. I would listen for an hour and l live it, and then then I'd cringe when I listened to the next few chapters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Dog Named Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Greg Kincaid
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (557)
    Performance
    (447)
    Story
    (448)

    Todd, the youngest of four children, has a developmental disability that keeps him at home on the farm with his mother and father. One special holiday season, Todd hears an ad on the radio from a shelter looking for temporary homes for their dogs during the holiday week. When Todd's parents at last give in to his pleas for this charitable cause, the family is faced with an entire shelter full of dogs needing homes.

    Gary L. Parks says: "If you love dogs, Christmas and Wisdom..."
    "Utterly delightful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Dog Named Christmas to be better than the print version?

    Yes, absolutely. It is important to hear the nuances of voice when dealing with dogs.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Maggie, of course, but Scott was very well developed. I have a rescued, emotionally damaged dog who has strange reactions and actions, so I really appreciated Maggie's viewpoint.


    What about Mark Bramhall’s performance did you like?

    Excellent narration and voice distinction.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was an unexpected pleasure, a gift to myself during the Christmas season.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Jake Gyllenhaal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3016)
    Performance
    (2757)
    Story
    (2777)

    F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel of the Roaring Twenties is beloved by generations of readers and stands as his crowning work. This new audio edition, authorized by the Fitzgerald estate, is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain). Gyllenhaal's performance is a faithful delivery in the voice of Nick Carraway, the Midwesterner turned New York bond salesman, who rents a small house next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby....

    Darwin8u says: "Simple, Beautiful, and Exquisitely Textured"
    "Still great, especially with Jake narrating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Great Gatsby again? Why?

    Probably in a few years. It's an enduring book, but not one I return to year after year.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Great Gatsby?

    This is hard to narrow down since I've read the book so many times before. The narration made them all memorable...


    Which scene was your favorite?

    This is a classic and I can't say much of anything that hasn't already been said over and over again!


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

    Nothing and everything! Jake Gyllenhaal is a superb narrator who completely "got" Gatsby. Can't think of a narrator who could have been more right for this.


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you, Audible, for making this classic available at a reasonable cost. Since I've read it several times before, I could not justify paying full price since there are so many other books to listen to that are new to me. As a daily deal, it was a "must buy" and I'm very grateful to have it in my audiobook collection as well as my dwindling "real" book collection -- since I'm only buying and keeping audiobooks and books as I downsize my life...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suspect

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3991)
    Performance
    (3564)
    Story
    (3560)

    LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well, not since a shocking nighttime assault by unidentified men killed his partner, Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty - until he meets his new partner. Maggie is not doing so well, either. The German shepherd survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before she lost her handler to an IED and sniper attack, and her PTSD is as bad as Scott’s. They are each other’s last chance.

    Jacqueline says: "Gripping Page Turner!!"
    "Heartwarming and engaging!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Suspect?

    I've never read anything by Robert Crais, but his books have been on my "want to read one of these" list, so I decided to try this one because of the good reviews. And I wasn't disappointed, although I realize this novel is not like most of Crais's books. I loved Maggie the most, but my heart also went out to Scotty who was so alone and hurting until Maggie came into his life. My heart broke when he was hurt again.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters -- Scott, Leland, and the detectives who supported Scott. And, of course, I loved Maggie and like the way Crais "got into her head."


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

    The narration was quite good, with clear definition between characters, although I didi think the high squeaky voice used when talking to Maggie was a bit overdone.


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

    When Scotty was shot and Maggie was protecting him from Crowley. I wanted Scotty to live, and Maggie wouldn't let Crowley help him, but I was also incredibly moved by Maggie's dedication to her alpha.


    Any additional comments?

    I will definitely read another book by Robert Crais, but it will have a hard time living up to this one!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Summer in Tuscany

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Adler
    • Narrated By Celeste Lawson
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Gemma Jericho is an overworked New York doctor with a handful of a teenaged daughter and a mother who worries that Gemma has no life. So when her mother receives a mysterious letter telling her about an even more mysterious inheritance in Tuscany, Gemma sees her chance. The three of them throw caution and convention to the wind and leave for Italy.

    Alice Curtis says: "Don't be fooled."
    "Not Adler's best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Summer in Tuscany in three words, what would they be?

    Romantic Italian interlude


    Would you recommend Summer in Tuscany to your friends? Why or why not?

    Probably not because I found the main character hard to like. Gemma pines after her lost love and can't let a new love in, but in a whining manner that is very annoying instead of endearing. The fact that he really was her true love, and a decent, good guy, is not at all apparent until the end of the book.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator was great.


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

    No, since I thought Gemma was a whiner.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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