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New York, NY, USA

  • 12 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 158 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • I Thought My Father Was God: And Other True Tales from NPR's National Story Project

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Edited by Paul Auster
    • Narrated By Paul Auster

    When Paul Auster was asked to join NPR's Weekend All Things Considered program to tell stories, he turned the proposition on its head: he would let the stories come to him. He invited listeners to submit brief, true-life anecdotes about events that touched their lives.

    Alejandro Flores says: "Not as expected"

    You could not make this stuff up. You absolutely could not sit down and dream up these lives and fortunes (and misfortunes). If you're on the fence about God and miracles and your own raison d'etre, well, this collection will make you a believer in SOMETHING, if only the power of memory and the extraordinary mysteries of every life. Be brave. Dig in.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Glass Castle

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jeanette Walls
    • Narrated By Julia Gibson

    This extraordinary memoir from Jeannette Walls is a stirring and distinctive story that has won tremendous critical acclaim. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly applauds the author's "fantastic storytelling knack", saying, "Walls doesn't pull her this excellent, unusual book."

    Tracie says: "Stayed Awake Until 5 am to Finish!!!"
    "But wait! There's more!"

    You'll never forget this memoir. And you've never read anything even close to it. Never. It gives a whole new meaning to "dysfunctional family." It would be impossible to overstate the sheer miracle of the author's survival of her childhood. It's easier to think of her parents as fictional characters and it's truly hard to believe the things that happened to her except that it would be even harder to make the stuff up. Nothing is really gruesome (through the grace of God, mostly) but endlessly astounding. You could not imagine this childhood, therefore it MUST be true. Don't listen to this if you have to do anything more complicated than walk the dog. It's just too absorbing. As an added bonus, it is often funny and cumulatively heartening. It's the kind of book you want your friends to read, so you can have somebody to vent your amazement with.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Painted Veil

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By W. Somerset Maugham
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    First published in 1925, The Painted Veil is an affirmation of the human capacity to grow, change, and forgive. Set in England and Hong Kong in the 1920s, it is the story of the beautiful but shallow young Kitty Fane. When her husband discovers her adulterous affair, he forces her to accompany him to a remote region of China ravaged by a cholera epidemic.

    Kevin says: "A Joyous Realm"
    "Worth reading"

    Maugham's story is dated but no doubt true to its time, and for that reason sad and believable. His sympathy for the dull and restricted lives that many women were expected to endure is tempered by his disgust at the superficiality, racism and timidity of the British upper classes. This tale is a true social and political portrait of an era, and as creepily modern as it is time-worn.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Jon Krakauer
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At the core of this book is an appalling double murder committed by two Mormon fundamentalist brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a revelation from God commanding them to kill their blameless victims. Weaving the story of the Lafferty brothers and their fanatical brethren with a clear-eyed look at Mormonism's violent past, Krakauer examines the underbelly of the most successful homegrown faith in the United States, and finds a distinctly American brand of religious extremism.

    pixychild says: "Interesting @ arm's length"
    "true crime & true history!"

    This is the very best way to learn your history lessons: take it with a fascinating story that spawns no end of twists, characterological and otherwise. An extraordinary tale that leaves you no easy place to stand and, like every important story, forces you to examine your own ideas about all the big things, God included.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Heart Full of Lies: A True Story of Desire and Death

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ann Rule
    • Narrated By Blair Brown

    Perhaps America's best selling true-crime writer, Ann Rule, asks can the female really be deadlier than the male? Liysa and Chris Northon seemed the epitome of idyllic lovers when they married on a moonlit beach in Hawaii. Their friends admired the romantic couple: Chris, tall, athletic, handsome, a pilot for Hawaiian Airlines; and Liysa, attractive, seductive, with a tanned, perfect body. Their son, Bjorn, looked just like his dad, and they were raising Liysa's son by a previous marriage.

    JoAnn Marcon says: "One of Ann Rule's Best"
    "Beware Abridging!"

    If you like this genre, you have to love Ann Rule. She is incomparable at amassing and organizing a vast amount of information and then presenting it in a narrative that moves sure-footedly through suspense, tragedy and resolution. Three stars are not due to the author's writing, but the CRIME of abridging a story that cannot sacrifice details without choppiness and confusion in places. Boo hiss on abridging!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Emma

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    First published in 1816 and generally considered Jane Austen's finest work, Emma is a humorous portrayal of a heroine whose injudicious interferences in the life of a young parlour-boarder in a neighboring village often lead to substantial mortification. Austen brings to life a myriad of engaging characters as she presents a mixture of social classes as she did in Pride and Prejudice.

    Kathleen says: "Wonderful!"

    Emma is Austen's most wrong-headed character, and her development into a woman needing forgiveness and becoming truly lovable is deeply engaging. The wonderful Nadia May reads flawlessly and, as ever, does justice to this excellent novel.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • A Trial by Jury

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By D. Graham Burnett
    • Narrated By D. Graham Burnett

    Part true crime, part political treatise, part contemplation of right, wrong, and the power of words, A Trial by Jury is a mesmerizing narrative of one man's encounter with crime and punishment, American style. It profoundly affects one's sense of the privileges - and the perils - of citizenship.

    Keri says: "sloooooooooooow"
    "thoughtful account"

    Trial By Jury is a book that entertains and educates. Burnett is modest about his role as the jury foreman in a murder trial and the deep sense of responsibility he brought to the role. This should be required reading for students at the high school or college level. It is a frightening prospect of how easily the work of a jury can go awry were it not for the willingness of a few good souls willing and able to take the work seriously. Four stars only because I struggled to grasp the facts of the crime itself, but that may well be part of the message and no fault of anyone's. A quibble. This is an important work as well as fascinating. I could only imagine the disintegration that might've happened, had the jury not been able to reach a verdict after four days. Like every good and important work, this account raises more questions than it settles.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Every Breath You Take: A True Story of Obsession, Revenge, and Murder

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Ann Rule
    • Narrated By Blair Brown

    "If anything ever happens to me, promise me that you will see that there is an investigation...And find Ann Rule and ask her to write my story," Sheila Blackthorne Bellush told her sister after she divorced multimillionaire Allen Blackthorne. Now, in perhaps the first book ever written at a victim's request, America's best selling true-crime writer, Ann Rule, untangles a horrific web of lies that culminated in Sheila's savage murder more than 10 years after she left Blackthorne.

    krista says: "Well worth it"
    "the story master does it again!"

    Ann Rule knows how to tell a story. She amasses the facts and carefully organizes the details into a compelling, coherent tale that must be heard to the end. Even minor characters are memorable. Ann Rule's books are studies in human development and nature, what can go wrong in some people who still appear so attractive on the surface, and the extraordinary heroism of others, who also may appear ordinary. Her beat is the whole human circus. She is never sensationalizing or insensitive to human suffering, even when it ultimately produces monsters. The fascination is how hugely human beings can misread each other and how complex we are. Four stars only because it was an "open & shut case" compared to Green River, and no real surprises.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pointing from the Grave: A True Story of Murder and DNA

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Samantha Weinberg
    • Narrated By Nadia May

    Helena Greenwood, a doctor with a Ph.D. in chemical pathology, was working in biotechnology when she was the victim of sexual assault. She survived and was scheduled to testify against her attacker until she was found brutally murdered in her garden. Everyone believed the killer was her past attacker; but there was not enough evidence to convict him, until ten years later when a local District Attorney working the "cold cases" used Helena's own DNA research to finally bring her killer to justice.

    reggie p says: "Perfect Book"
    "alright already"

    I love this genre but the writer of the book needed an editor, desperately. And, the audio production was very sloppy. Numerous re-reads of sections, very jarring, and contributing to the already over-long telling of the tale. Brevity is the soul of wit. I love details but this lacks tautness and discriminations between what to include and what is just windy. The author inserts herself into the story late in the day and can't seem to tear herself away -- it is not about her. Ultimately the reader drowns in the numbing details of DNA and genetic science and gets tired of the whole story.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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