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Marjorie

I enjoy literary fiction with character depth and psychological exploration. I am in my 50s, work in psychology, and love the outdoors.

Santa Rosa, CA, United States | Member Since 2015

146
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 70 reviews
  • 195 ratings
  • 478 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
12
FOLLOWERS
7

  • Criminal

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Karin Slaughter
    • Narrated By Kathleen Early
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1925)
    Performance
    (1627)
    Story
    (1631)

    Will Trent is a brilliant agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Newly in love, he is beginning to put a difficult past behind him. Then a local college student goes missing, and he is inexplicably kept off the case by his supervisor and mentor, deputy director Amanda Wagner. Will cannot fathom Amanda's motivation, until the two of them literally collide in an abandoned orphanage they have both been drawn to for different reasons. Decades before - when Will's father was imprisoned for murder - this was his home....

    Mel says: "Heart Pounding, Gripping Thriller"
    "Slow Getting Started..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my first Karin Slaughter book, so I did not know the characters. My guess is that if I had started with "book one" of the series, it might not have been so difficult for the first several hours. After getting the timelines sorted out and the "who's who" understood, the book became very interesting and engaging with an interesting plot and lots of suspense. Overall, it was good enough that I am now starting the entire series with book one. The reading was well done.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Karen Joy Fowler
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (556)
    Performance
    (499)
    Story
    (495)

    Meet the Cooke family: Mother and Dad, brother Lowell, sister Fern, and our narrator, Rosemary, who begins her story in the middle. She has her reasons. "I spent the first eighteen years of my life defined by this one fact: that I was raised with a chimpanzee," she tells us. "It's never going to be the first thing I share with someone. I tell you Fern was a chimp and already you aren't thinking of her as my sister. But until Fern's expulsion, I'd scarcely known a moment alone. She was my twin, my funhouse mirror, my whirlwind other half, and I loved her as a sister."

    Amber says: "This was totally worth the credit."
    "I Just Don't Understand What's To Like Here..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read the reviews of this novel and it sounded interesting. This novel won a Pen/Faulkner Award and, yet, I did not enjoy it at all and did not find the writing particularly compelling on any level. What's wrong with me? My opinion: the characters are shallow, the storyline is disjointed (jumping from one time period to another throughout), the graphic descriptions of animal cruelty are gratuitous and unnecessary. How did this novel win an award? I kept trying to get involved but to no avail; I found it boring, transparently political and an annoying waste of time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Preparation for the Next Life

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Atticus Lish
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (40)

    Zou Lei, orphan of the desert, migrates to work in America and finds herself slaving in New York's kitchens. She falls in love with a young man whose heart has been broken in another desert. A new life may be possible if together they can survive homelessness, lockup, and the young man's nightmares, which may be more prophecy than madness.

    B.J. says: "Incredible craftsmanship."
    "The Truth is Painful - Beastly Beauty"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel poetically exposes the harsh reality confronted by illegal immigrants to the U.S.A. while also exposing and exploring the difficulties faced by veterans returning from the grizzly days of war in Iraq. There is no sugar coating in this novel. I was drawn into the life of Skinner (the young male veteran) and into the life of Zou (the Chinese illegal immigrant). The author beautifully and painfully awakens the reader to the harsh and real problems facing both of these population groups. I admired Zou for her dogged determination to stay strong and to love to the best of her ability and I suffered for both her and Skinner. The novel was difficult for me to get through due to the harsh reality and painful subjects that it explores but that's life, isn't it? This isn't a "beach read". It is a beautifully written and perfectly narrated novel which opens the readers' eyes to the tragic difficulties faced by some of the people that we walk past every day. There is hope and there is great pain in this novel so don't read this unless you are ready to walk a few feet (not even a few miles) in the shoes of two young and heroic young adults.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Celia Imrie
    Overall
    (138)
    Performance
    (127)
    Story
    (127)

    In this poignant parallel story to Harold's saga, acclaimed author Rachel Joyce brings Queenie Hennessy's voice into sharp focus. Setting pen to paper, Queenie makes a journey of her own, a journey that is even bigger than Harold's. One word after another, she promises to confess long-buried truths--about her modest childhood, her studies at Oxford, the heartbreak that brought her to Kingsbridge and to loving Harold, her friendship with his son, the solace she has found in a garden by the sea.

    Emily - Audible says: "Thanks, Rachel Joyce, for making me cry... again."
    "In Many Ways Beautiful, In Many Ways Tedious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved "The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" which is the prequel to this novel. Where I found Harold's adventures to be quirky, quaint and profound; I found Queenie's struggles to be almost equally tedious and full of restraint. This novel slowly (and I do mean slowly) tells the story of Queenie's love for Harold as well as the story of the secret that she has lived with since meeting Harold. Queenie is living in a hospice and, therefore, the reader also meets the other patients at the hospice and the caregivers who encourage and care for Queenie. It gently explores the experiences of patients facing end-of-life needs for closure and for companionship. It expresses the beauty and the kindness of the nuns and the other caregivers at the hospice. I enjoyed learning about Queenie's love and admired her restraint while loving Harold in quiet and simple ways. My complaints about this book are that it often felt tedious and maddeningly slow as it moved towards Queenie expressing her secret. In addition, some of the voices of particular patiients were loud and had a painful and sharp tone to them which detracted from the otherwise quiet and slow-moving novel. Perhaps some readers would find this slow movement beautiful, but I found myself feeling mired in the sadness and monotony of waiting. It's a toss-up for me whether I would recommend this book. If you need to know about why Harold is making his pilgrimage, well, then go ahead and read this. It just may make you cry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Bruce D. Perry, Maia Szalavitz
    • Narrated By Danny Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (527)
    Performance
    (456)
    Story
    (461)

    What happens when a young child is traumatized? How does terror affect a child's mind---and how can that mind recover? Child psychiatrist Bruce Perry has treated children faced with unimaginable horror: genocide survivors, witnesses to their own parents' murders, children raised in closets and cages, the Branch Davidian children, and victims of family violence. In The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, he tells their stories of trauma and transformation.

    Marilyn says: "Changed a Sixth-Grade Teacher's Life"
    "If You Plan to Adopt, You May Need to Read This..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I finally listened to "The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog...". I suppose I am not your average reviewer since I have worked with traumatized children for many years but I thought perhaps I would get some new insights or learn some new techniques. If the reader does not understand how trauma affects children's behaviors, this is an important book teaching the reader using case studies of Dr. Perry's experience as a psychiatrist. Because I have seen much of the same types of problems with children and how trauma affects their development in a myriad of ways, this book brought up some frustration for me. In my experience, it is a rare psychiatrist who has the resources to travel and work with children using a team of highly trained professionals who seem to have limitless resources. More often, children are treated in clinics where the treating psychiatrist does not have the time to work with the treatment team and where resources are sparse. I felt that Dr. Perry exaggerated his successes and failed to let the reader know that often it takes more years than the family or the clinician has available to help a traumatized child and, sometimes, the child cannot work on the trauma until he/she is an adult and has the strength and desire to make changes and work through trauma. In conclusion, this book does teach about trauma and affect as well as treatment but it also does not present the very real possibility that some children do not recover no matter how hard the professionals and the family try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By John Medina
    • Narrated By John Medina
    Overall
    (738)
    Performance
    (568)
    Story
    (551)

    In his New York Times best seller Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina told us how our brains really work—and why we ought to redesign our workplaces and schools. Now, in Brain Rules for Baby, he shares what the latest science says about how to raise smart and happy children from zero to five.

    cynthia says: "Neuroscience for the nursery"
    "A Must Read for Parents-To-Be, No-Kidding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Brain Rules for Baby" was a delightful surprise. This author teaches the reader about brain development in the womb and throughout the first five years of life. He is able to relay this information simply, concisely and with well documented research. He also teaches about how brain development is affected by parenting styles and presents simple rules to help parents understand what their babies need in order to develop optimally; both happily and healthily. Dr. Medina documents his research sources throughout this well-developed thorough study while he also manages to present his suggestions with humility and personality. I highly recommend this book for parents-to-be, current parents of little children, as well as to teachers, social workers and therapists. It is beautifully accessible and simply written. My only caution is that the first chapter focuses on brain development in the womb which I did find a bit tedious. I ended up skipping over parts of the first chapter and was so glad that I stayed with it because I learned so much. In fact, I ended up buying the kindle version also so that I can refer to the rules and reasons for his suggestions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I'll Give You the Sun

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Jandy Nelson
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Jesse Bernstein
    Overall
    (733)
    Performance
    (636)
    Story
    (631)

    Jude and her brother, Noah, are incredibly close twins. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude surfs and cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and divisive ways…until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as an unpredictable new mentor.

    Marni says: "Beautifully written vivid story of love and family"
    "Fun Coming Of Age Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel was my first experience reading author, Jandy Nelson. My warning to other listeners is that, at least for me, the first chapter of the book, was difficult to get through. The sound of the young protagonist's voice was difficult to adjust to and the storyline was slow getting going. Eventually, though, the novel begins to unfold with each chapter moving from twin brother narrating his point of view alternating with chapters where the twin sister narrates her point of view. The narrators actually do a wonderful job expressing the voices and emotions of these siblings. This is a family story and a "coming of age" story of two bright and artistic teens growing up in the United States, middle America, in contemporary times. The author creates these twin characters with endearing, fun personalities. Each of the twins utilize language which is fun, creative, and surprisingly entertaining. The twins' lives intertwine as they develop both together and apart through their teen years especially through their emerging sexual development and while in separate pursuits towards artistic fulfillment. In the end, I would recommend this book especially to young adults, teens and parents of teens. The story is written with creative and, often, shockingly surprising prose that verges upon the poetic. These are two very talented twins!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • City of Veils: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Zoe Ferraris
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (66)

    When the body of a brutally beaten woman is found on the beach in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Detective Osama Ibrahim dreads investigating another unsolvable murder - chillingly common in a city where the veils of conservative Islam keep women as anonymous in life as the victim is in death. But Katya, one of the few females in the coroner's office, is determined to identify the woman and find her killer. Aided by her friend Nayir, she soon discovers that the victim was a young, controversial filmmaker named Leila.

    Kathleen Rogers says: "Fascinating glimpse into another culture"
    "Saudi Mystery Series Continues...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel is a sequel to "Finding Nouf". It is a mystery novel set in contemporary Saudi utilizing a female forensic scientist and a male detective. What I enjoyed about this novel was learning more about the characters whom I had become attached to in Book 1. I had become involved with the protaginists' lives to the extent that I wanted more and got it. I appreciated the development of the male protagonist's attitudes about love, relationship and religion. I enjoyed learning more about Saudi culture while gaining another veiled glimpse into the many different ways that Muslims live and adapt to their interpretations of the Koran in modern society. The male protagonist struggles with many questions in his quest to remain true to his religion while feeling the pull of relationship towards an independent non-traditional woman. The mystery portion of the book kept my interest most of the way through the book. The down side of this novel was the disappointing conclusion to the mystery. It was a slow, downward spiral leading to a less than satisfying conclusion. This novel dragged a little in the second half but particularly in the last one-fourth. Overall, the book provided additional education about Saudi/Muslim culture while providing interesting plot lines and characters. The narration was well-suited to the characters. Zoe's writing style is easy to understand and follow allowing it to be potentially enjoyed and experienced by any age group from teens through adulthood. For the cultural experience and the story, I recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Finding Nouf

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Zoe Ferraris
    • Narrated By Pete Bradbury
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (73)

    Nayir al-Sharqi, known by his friends for religious piety and his Bedouin-like knowledge of the desert, lends his assistance to a wealthy family when their soon to-be-married daughter Nouf goes missing. After a short search, the girl is found dead, apparently drowned in the desert during a freak deluge. Something about her death doesn't sit well with Nayir, however, and he makes an uncomfortable alliance with a female coroner's technician to determine what really happened.

    A User says: "transported"
    "Murder Mystery in Saudi; An Enjoyable Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I recommend this murder mystery. The setting is contemporary Saudi, Arabia which is a unique backdrop for a mystery. The story provides an interesting glimpse into Saudi culture including male/female roles within the Muslim faith. One of the main characters is a woman who is a forensic scientist and through her character as well as through the male protagonist, the reader is allowed to explore a bit of the inner conflict which arises out of the Muslim beliefs of both the young men and young women. Both main characters are thoughtful, intelligent adults who face several ethical dilemmas throughout the novel. The murder mystery was intriguing and kept me guessing until close to the end of the book. In addition, the reader had a steady and pleasing voice. Overall, between the murder mystery, the culture and the psychological/religious considerations, the book is well done. It's not an edge-of-the seat mystery, but more a steadily paced, light-weight, murder mystery with some interesting twists. Thumbs up.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Hearing Heartbeats: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Jan-Philipp Sendker
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (692)
    Performance
    (587)
    Story
    (593)

    When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be - until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the listener’s belief in the power of love to move mountains.

    Monica says: "Basic Story Interesting, But..."
    "1950's Burmese Love Story, A Bit Magical"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book, both for the literary quality and the reading. While listening, I was frequently lost in my visions of Burma; traversing the mountainsides with Tin Win. This love story enters into the realm of "too good to be true" but in an endearing and thought-provoking manner. The story teaches about the power of love and dedication. This is not a story about gorgeous people living perfect lives. No, this book is more a study of love existing admidst hardship, about friendship, and about how we humans change over time often being required to make difficult choices that change the course of our lives. The story line does stretch the imagination but it works. It's beautiful and inspirational. I do recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Us: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By David Nicholls
    • Narrated By David Haig
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
    (218)
    Story
    (219)

    Douglas Petersen may be mild-mannered, but behind his reserve lies a sense of humor that seduces beautiful Connie into a second date...and eventually into marriage. Now, almost three decades later, they live more or less happily in the London suburbs with their moody seventeen year-old son, Albie. Then Connie tells him she thinks she wants a divorce. The timing couldn’t be worse. Connie has planned a month-long tour of European capitals, a chance to experience the world’s greatest works of art as a family, and she can’t bring herself to cancel. And maybe going ahead is for the best anyway? Douglas is privately convinced that this landmark trip will rekindle the romance in the marriage, and might even help him to bond with Albie. Narrated from Douglas’s endearingly honest, slyly witty, and at times achingly optimistic point of view, Us is the story of a man trying to rescue his relationship with the woman he loves, and learning how to get closer to a son who’s always felt like a stranger.

    Gordon says: "This is a Gem!"
    "This Guy Tries So Hard, I Felt Sad For Him..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    David Nicholls novel, "Us", was an inside look at a marriage written from the male perspective. Douglas, the husband and protagonist, is a man working hard to save his long-term marriage. The author was able to bring me so close to the husband that I longed to talk with him and tell him to stop trying so hard and stop letting Connie make all the decisions. I felt sad for him as he tried too hard to please his beloved wife and sad for the wife that she could not see her husband for the gem that he was. This was a book of angst and frustration; often moving too slowly for my taste. My favorite part of the book was watching Douglas work towards rekindling his relationship with his son and watching him make some hard-won changes in himself towards the end of the novel. As a marital portrayal, the novel is a fairly accurate picture of what could and/or does go on in some marriages. The listening experience was improved through the clarity of voice provided by David Haig. This novel would be an interesting read for a book group that was ready to discuss male/female roles in marriage; other than that, I am not sure I would recommend this due to the long and tedious story line. The listening experience was improved through the clarity of voice provided by David Haig.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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