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Linida Burkett

Member Since 2009

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 248 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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  • The Wandering Hill: Volume 2 of The Berrybender Narratives

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Larry McMurtry
    • Narrated By Alfred Molina
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (159)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (54)

    Larry McMurtry continues the story of Tasmin Berrybender and her family in the Wild West of the 1830s. This is the point in time when mountain men and trappers like Jim Bridger and Kit Carson, though still alive, are already legendary figures, and when the clash between the Indian tribes and the encroaching white Americans is about to turn into tragedy.

    Skeptical consumer says: "Outstanding"
    "Wonderful picture of American West"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Larry McMurtry's books, as narrated by Alfred Molina, are a wonderful pleasure, and give a beautiful, fascinating, and informative view of the history of the American West. Lonesome Dove set a high standard, and the Berrybender Narratives measure up well. I didn't mean to start with the 2nd in the series of 4, and am now going back to get the first one. The characters are idiosyncratic and well-developed, the story is mesmerizing, and the narration is super. I'd like to know more about how McMurtry researched his novels. It seems he must have studied lots of primary sources, like pioneer diaries. How could you make this stuff up!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amy Falls Down: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Jincy Willett
    • Narrated By Amy McFadden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (285)
    Performance
    (252)
    Story
    (255)

    Amy Gallup is an aging novelist and writing instructor living in Escondido, California, with her dog, Alphonse. Since recent unsettling events, she has made some progress. While she still has writer's block, she doesn't suffer from it. She's still a hermit, but she has allowed some of her class members into her life. She is no longer numb, angry, and sardonic: she is merely numb and bemused, which is as close to happy as she plans to get. Amy is calm. So, when on New Year's morning she shuffles out to her backyard garden to plant a Norfolk pine, she is wholly unprepared for what happens next. Amy falls down.

    Jessica and Will says: "Not contemporary fluff"
    "Hilarious, profound, original and deeply engaging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to dozens of audiobooks, and Amy Falls Down is among my handful of top favorites. It's leading feature is a hilarious, mordant, and incisive wit; I can't think at the moment of a funnier book. It nails so much about writing, teaching writing, the book industry, and about so many aspects of American life in the last decade or two. But at a deeper level, it's poignant look at managing our inner lives, learning who we are (which can be surprising) and figuring out tolerance, generosity, and what to do about other people.

    When I finished it, I was disappointed it was over; I wanted to spend more time with Amy. I considered starting to listen again, or going to find more of Willett's work. But I've noticed that when you find a book that is quite a jewel, it might be better just to pause, in regard to that author's work, and let the book you enjoyed so much just revolve in your mind. So I think I'll choose something quite different while letting it settle, and then pick it up again later.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Turn of Mind

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Alice LaPlante
    • Narrated By Jean Reed Bahle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (266)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (205)

    Told through the voice of a woman with a powerful intellect that is maddeningly slipping away, Turn of Mind is not only a suspenseful psychological thriller that pulses with intensity but also a brilliant portrayal of the fragility of consciousness and memory, and of a mind finally turning on itself.

    smith says: "Not bad"
    "You'll be glad you chose this book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Turn of Mind again? Why?

    I listened to this book on vacation…a good choice, because I kept devising opportunities to keep on listening….the audio equivalent of a page-turner. Perhaps you're thinking you might not want to spend 10 hours listening to a main character whose mind is slipping way (with early-onset Alzheimers)……but you'd be wrong, quite wrong! The unfolding family drama is riveting, and the perspective quite fascinating and well-executed. The narrator has a great text to work with, and she doesn't detract from it in any way. I really didn't think about the narrator much while I was listening; I just always wanted to hear more. Don't you think that indicates good narration?

    I once bought a book (it was Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry and narrated by Alfred Molina) because a reviewer wrote, if you've never read Lonesome Dove, you're lucky, because now you have that experience ahead of you. I want to say the same about Turn of Mind. I wish I could go back and listen from the beginning, without knowing what is going to happen.


    Any additional comments?

    This would be a good choice for a book club, because it raises so many issues to mull over….. the effect of parents' life-choices in shaping the direction of their children's lives, the nature of friendship, the toxic effects of envy, the risks of trying to control the moral choices of others. It's a thoughtful and perceptive book, which also has a great plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lonesome Dove

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Larry McMurtry
    • Narrated By Lee Horsley
    Overall
    (3358)
    Performance
    (1811)
    Story
    (1843)

    Larry McMurtry's American epic, set in the late 19th century, tells the story of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana, a drive that represents not only a daring foolhardy adventure, but a part of the American Dream for everyone involved.

    A. Wright says: "Inspired reading of a great book"
    "I loved this book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A moving story, it gives you so much insight into the history of the US West. It made me feel like I even started to understand Texas. I didn't want it to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Churchill's Secretary: A Maggie Hope Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Susan Elia MacNeal
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (798)
    Performance
    (701)
    Story
    (701)

    London, 1940: Winston Churchill has just been sworn in, war rages across the Channel, and the threat of a Blitz looms larger by the day. But none of this deters Maggie Hope. She graduated at the top of her college class and possesses all the skills of the finest minds in British intelligence, but her gender qualifies her only to be the newest typist at No. 10 Downing Street. Her indefatigable spirit and gifts for codebreaking, though, rival those of even the highest men in government, and Maggie finds that working for the prime minister affords her a level of clearance she could never have imagined....

    Katherine says: "Lovely"
    "wartime intrigue"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Political intrigue in London during World War II provides the setting. The writing is clunky, with two-dimensional characters and stilted dialogue, but the interesting plot kept me listening. Churchill's staff struggles with Hitler's bombing and the IRA at the same time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lady Fortescue Steps Out: The Poor Relation, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (534)
    Performance
    (462)
    Story
    (466)

    Life is not easy for the poor relations of England’s upper crust, but fate and clever schemes bring them together. Lady Fortescue and Colonel Sandhurst hatch a plan: What if they were to transform her decrepit Bond Street home into a posh hotel, offering their guests the pleasure of being waited upon by nobility? With the help of other down-and-out aristocrats, they do just that, and London’s newest hotel, The Poor Relation, is born. The establishment is an immediate hit with London’s most illustrious citizens, save the Duke of Rowcester....

    Clare says: "Charming Regency Fun - Romance & Adventure"
    "Light and entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A humorous, light-weight spoof of British social customs and class distinctions. The narration is excellent and adds value.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sin Killer: Volume 1 of The Berrybender Narratives

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Larry McMurtry
    • Narrated By Alfred Molina
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (264)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (97)

    Against the immense backdrop of the American West, Larry McMurtry tracks the Berrybender's as they make their way up the great river, surviving attacks, discomfort, savage weather, and natural disaster. Sin Killer is an adventure story as big as the West itself, full of incident, and suspense, as well as a charming love story between a headstrong and aristocratic young Englishwoman and the stubborn, shy, and very American Jim Snow.

    Erin says: "Unemotional characters are brutally honest"
    "Wonderful narration and superb writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Alfred Molina reading Larry McMurtry is a combination that can't be beat. McMurtry's rich and idiosyncratic characters, compelling plots, and hilarious narrative deserve a lot more attention than they seem to get. He has a minutely-detailed knowledge of the history of the American West. Perhaps he draws on diaries and other first-person documents; reading him makes you think, "How could he think this stuff up? It must have really happened." I'm an older person who grew up in California, but it seems I never understood the West until I encountered Larry McMurtry. Lonesome Dove made me think I could even understand Texas! But I digress. The Berrybender Narratives are a not-to-be-missed treat. It's best to approach them in order, and Sin Killer is the first of four.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    • UNABRIDGED (52 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By Bill Homewood
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (509)
    Performance
    (460)
    Story
    (462)

    On the eve of his marriage to the beautiful Mercedes, having that very day been made captain of his ship, the young sailor Edmond Dantès is arrested on a charge of treason, trumped up by jealous rivals. Incarcerated for many lonely years in the isolated and terrifying Chateau d'If near Marseille, he meticulously plans his brilliant escape and extraordinary revenge.

    A User says: "This is the definitive reading!"
    "A classic marvelously performed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This classic work of French literature is 65% exciting and fascinating story, 15% interesting glimpse of a long-gone era, and 20% the over-wrought, melodramatic, purple-prose romanticism that was in vogue in mid-19th century Europe. To a modern reader, that aspect will seem tiresome and a bit ridiculous. Nevertheless, I listened to all 50-some hours of the Count of Monte Cristo with interest and pleasure, due to the excellent narration of Bill Homewood. Through dozens of characters, whether French, Italian, pseudo-Greek, English.... I never tired of his voice, which brought to life the drama,the excitement, and the sinister and majestic fate of the tale. Now I have to go see what else he has narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pictures at an Exhibition

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Sara Houghteling
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    Set in a Paris darkened by World War II, Sara Houghteling's sweeping and sensuous debut novel tells the story of a son's quest to recover his family's lost masterpieces, looted by the Nazis during the occupation. Born to an art dealer and his pianist wife, Max Berenzon is forbidden from entering the family business for reasons he cannot understand. He reluctantly attends medical school, reserving his true passion for his father's beautiful and brilliant gallery assistant, Rose Clement.

    Linida Burkett says: "Novelized history"
    "Novelized history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have a special (and personal) interest in France during World War II, and also in art and art theft, so I was very engaged with this book. Its weak feature is the fictionalization aspect. The characters are based on real people, and I wondered if it wouldn't have worked better as straight non-fiction. The author did a great deal of pains-staking research, and that pays off in telling the story; actually, that makes the book worthwhile. But the fictional characters and their individual story didn't quite come alive for me. I did listen through to the end, (and felt a little confused about a plot point at the end) but I probably wouldn't give 4 stars if it weren't for my special interest in the book's historical basis.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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