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Laura

Member Since 2007

96
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 23 reviews
  • 332 ratings
  • 777 titles in library
  • 64 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
5

  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13676)
    Performance
    (6065)
    Story
    (6145)

    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!!"
    "Best Story On Earth"
    Overall

    From the characters to the vivid descriptions to the wide range of emotions, this book had me mesmerized. The descriptions are powerful and moving. You see each of the different character perspectives of the so clearly, some of your own perceptions may change. You may even learn a few things along the way as I did. It's no wonder this audiobook was chosen as the Best of 2006.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Leaving Time

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Abigail Revasch, Kathe Mazur, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1235)
    Performance
    (1138)
    Story
    (1144)

    Refusing to believe that she would be abandoned as a young child, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice's old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts. Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest.

    S. Csorna says: "Listen to this now!"
    "Unexpected and moving to the core"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Leaving Time?

    It's hard to say. I was both enthralled in a mystery and moved by the knowledge of the complex nature of elephants.


    What other book might you compare Leaving Time to and why?

    There is only one I can think of, and I am not going to say because it would be a spoiler. I could not have predicted the well thought out conclusion of this book, and I hope others will have the same experience.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    All were well done, but Serenity was my favorite narrative part.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Through Your Eyes


    Any additional comments?

    If you're a mother, this book will haunt you and give you a deeper understanding of the connection between all of us. For anyone, you will have a deep respect and much greater understanding of animals, elephants in particular.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Intensity: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Kate Burton
    Overall
    (536)
    Performance
    (223)
    Story
    (228)

    Past midnight, Chyna Shepherd, 26, gazed out a moonlit window, unable to sleep on her first night in the Napa Valley home of her best friend's family. Instinct proves reliable. A murderous sociopath, Edgler Forman Vess, has entered the house, intent on killing everyone inside. A self-proclaimed "homicidal adventurer", Vess lives only to satisfy all appetites as they arise, to immerse himself in sensation, to live without fear, remorse, or limits, to live with intensity.

    Connie says: "One of the best Koontz Books!"
    "Simplicity vs Intensity or Good vs Great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story really is very good. However, the title implies so much more than actually happens; especially at the end. While it is very entertaining and "intense" at times. The ending just wraps up with more simplicity than intensity. In my opinion, it was half-hearted even considering the character wrap up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • You're Next

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Gregg Hurwitz
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2848)
    Performance
    (2427)
    Story
    (2411)

    Mike Wingate had a rough childhood  —  he was abandoned at a playground at four years old and raised in foster care. No one ever came to claim him, and he has only a few, fragmented memories of his parents. Now, as an adult, Mike is finally living the life he had always wanted  —  he’s happily married to Annabel, the woman of his dreams; they have a precocious eight-year-old daughter, Kat.

    Janice says: "Edge of my seat."
    "Not a dull moment!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The background story was fantastic, the main story was great, the characters were well developed and I absolutely couldn't stop listening. This one definitely is worth the 5 stars on all counts!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • State of Wonder: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4396)
    Performance
    (3196)
    Story
    (3197)

    Research scientist Dr. Marina Singh is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have disappeared in the Amazon while working on an extremely valuable new drug. The last person who was sent to find her died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding answers to the questions about her friend's death, her company's future, and her own past.

    F. B. Herron says: "Do yourself a favor and listen to this book!"
    "Slow and disconnected"
    Overall

    I hate saying this, but I just never got what was so spectacular about this book. The characters were not compelling to me at all. So much of it seemed to be whiny and takes a very long time to really explain what's going on. I found nothing to make me latch on to the characters enough to care about them. I did finish it, but I simply did not like it and don't understand the rave reviews.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Shadow of the Wind

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (1770)
    Performance
    (806)
    Story
    (820)

    Barcelona, 1945: Just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his 11th birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother's face. To console his only child, Daniel's widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona's guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again.

    Katherine says: "Great With One Exception"
    "Great story, Not fast paced, Piano annoying!"
    Overall

    The story was unique, interesting and had many well developed characters. At times it was a bit slow, but I must say it may just be that I paused so many times because of the piano music along with the dialog. The music was completely inappropriate in that it did nothing to set the mood, was so loud and going on at the same time as the narration (there was no fade, etc.) that I had A LOT of trouble understanding the dialog. It didn't help to increase the volume, because the music volume increased as well. I may just read the book to enjoy it more. Otherwise, I think it should be re-recorded or re-released with out the music.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Holiday Classics by O. Henry

    • UNABRIDGED (51 mins)
    • By O. Henry
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Oliver Wyman, Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (3710)
    Performance
    (1202)
    Story
    (1210)

    When it comes to the holidays, no story brings us back to the true spirit of giving like O. Henry’s classic "The Gift of the Magi". So this year we’ve asked some of your favorite Audible narrators—Audie Award winners Katherine Kellgren, Oliver Wyman, and Jonathan Davis—to bring to life this timeless tale, plus two more of O. Henry’s gems: "The Cop and the Anthem" and "The Last Leaf", in this holiday collection.

    Sherry says: "Thank You"
    "Merry Christmas!"
    Overall

    Thank you Audible! This was a very nice surprise. The bonuses and gifts Audible provides make a real difference. :-)

    1 of 2 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
    (7108)
    Performance
    (5050)
    Story
    (5039)

    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"
    "Could've been better"
    Overall

    Truly a story that pulls you in and makes you care about the characters. It is definitely worth the read. However, because you are so invested in the characters, the end turns out to be a let down. Well developed characters don't get the ending they deserve. It was almost as if the author was unsure how to finish and wrapped it up too quickly. I was also somewhat disappointed some characters were never developed. However, the book is very moving, and I would still recommend it.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Warded Man

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Peter V. Brett
    • Narrated By Pete Bradbury
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2875)
    Performance
    (2205)
    Story
    (2222)

    Peter V. Brett has won accolades from critics, fans and fellow authors alike for this riveting debut novel. The Warded Man features a world where demons stalk the night, hunting humans who have long forgotten the magic of their ancestors. But all is not lost, as some hold out hope that a savior will release humanity from the demons' terrifying reign.

    Meloney says: "Brilliant"
    "Hmmmmm . . ."
    Overall

    I liked this book in that it was entertaining, not suspenseful or exciting, but an interesting story. Some reviewers say it is well developed and thought out. As far as character development, I agree. However, to me, it was as if none of them ever really got anywhere. The best I can do to describe my opinion is to say I enjoyed reading about the characters, but the main plot or story lacked any kind of truly satisfying conclusion.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Dragonfly in Amber

    • UNABRIDGED (39 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10889)
    Performance
    (7428)
    Story
    (7451)

    New York Times best-selling author Diana Gabaldon enchanted scores of fans with Outlander, her electrifying historical saga set in 18th-century Scotland. Now this sequel sweeps listeners back into the past as Claire relates more of her perilous sojourn there with her Scottish warrior husband, James Fraser. Twenty years after her strange journey back in time, Claire has returned to Scotland with her daughter, determined to share with her the secret she has harbored since her time travel.

    Shelley says: "I ADORE this series!"
    "Dragged on and on"
    Overall

    I enjoyed the first book of the series, Outlander, and was looking forward to finding out what became of the characters, Claire and Jamie. Dragonfly began interestingly with the story of the, now adult, daughter of Claire and Jamie. However, it flashed back to the past, dragged on and on,then ended with as many questions as it began with. Bottom line, nothing much happens considering the book's length. I have not read the third book in the series, but if I had known what I know now, I might have just skipped to the third book.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Shantaram

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Gregory David Roberts
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (3305)
    Performance
    (1640)
    Story
    (1640)

    This mesmerizing first novel tells the epic journey of Lin, an escaped convict who flees maximum security prison in Australia to disappear into the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city's poorest slums and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The keys to unlock the mysteries that bind Lin are held by two people: his mentor Khader Khan, mafia godfather and criminal-philosopher; and the beautiful, elusive Karla, whose passions are driven by dangerous secrets.

    Jamie says: "Do Not Miss This"
    "Outstanding!"
    Overall

    By far one of the most moving books I've ever read/listened to. A story about discovery, acceptance, love and family, survival, and that's just to name a few concepts in this book. Beyond that the characters are so well developed, I felt like I not only knew them but some, in particular, I will never forget. It's extremely compelling and never has a dull moment. Wow!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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