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Mary

Member Since 2012

29
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 23 reviews
  • 57 ratings
  • 458 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
1

  • The Zimmermann Telegram

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Barbara W. Tuchman
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    Overall
    (321)
    Performance
    (235)
    Story
    (236)

    In the dark winter of 1917, as World War I was deadlocked, Britain knew that Europe could be saved only if the United States joined the war. But President Wilson remained unshakable in his neutrality. Then, with a single stroke, the tool to propel America into the war came into a quiet British office. One of countless messages intercepted by the crack team of British decoders, the Zimmermann telegram was a top-secret message from Berlin inviting Mexico to join Japan in an invasion of the United States.

    Mike From Mesa says: "US entry to World War I"
    "Disappointed by this audio...Narrator too fast."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was disappointed in this listening experience. As this is an historical account of actual events during WWI, the narrator read it much too fast for my preference. It made it difficult to absorb many of the details of the information and difficult to understand some of her words at times. I felt like the reading was taking place under time constraints or as a contest in speed-reading the book. Additionally, the narrator added more characterization and dramatization than I found preferable for an historical account. I was relieved to finish the book (which seemed to take 3 times longer than actual time). The book itself provided a lot of information regarding this particular event and multiple events and scenarios prior to the telegram. It included many years prior to the telegram and, for me, it seemed more than necessary. Or perhaps if the narration was better for this type of book, it would have proved more interesting.
    I recently finished "A World Undone" written by G.J. Meyer and narrated by Robin Sachs. It is a complete account of WWI and though it is lengthy, both the book and narration were very well done and held my interest. I thought The Zimmerman Telegram would be a good supplement to it, but I could have skipped it...this version at least. Perhaps if the book was shorter and/or had more effective narration, I would have enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Curiosity Thrilled the Cat: A Magical Cats Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Sofie Kelly
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (324)
    Performance
    (291)
    Story
    (291)

    When librarian Kathleen Paulson moved to Mayville Heights, Minnesota, she had no idea that two strays would nuzzle their way into her life. Owen is a tabby with a catnip addiction and Hercules is a stocky tuxedo cat who shares Kathleen's fondness for Barry Manilow. But beyond all the fur and purrs, there's something more to these felines. When murder interrupts Mayville's Music Festival, Kathleen finds herself the prime suspect.

    Linda says: "Promising "Cozy" Series"
    "A lot of prattle en route to finding out whodunit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I hoped to enjoy this book much more than I did. I certainly did not expect a great literary work, but I did hope for a more consistently enjoyable and entertaining experience - and that simply did not happen. Additionally, the magical cats theme was largely what intrigued me as I enjoy both cats and magic; however, the cats role in the book is quite a bit less than anticipated. The plot and characters were generally fine, but it dragged on endlessly with sections which I found to be boring and meaningless with prattle and filler details.
    There was a lot "trudging" through inconsequential conversations and situations to make it to the end of this book. 10.5 hours (and however many pages) could easily have been condensed to about half that long in order to tell this story. I forced myself through it since I try to make it through most every audiobook I purchase. If the book was much shorter it would have better kept my attention and interest. Unfortunately, there were many scenes and conversations etc which were not interesting and did not propel the plot/story either. The overall writing was simply not skilled enough to support the length of this book for this storyline. Also, if the book had been shorter, the cats would have played a more prominent role in the storyline as would be desirable in relationship to the title of the book and series.
    Unfortunately, the narration did not assist this book in maintaining interest and attention. Although I found that the narrator (Ms. Campbell) clearly has the ability to narrate in a more natural manner...nonetheless, at least 75% of the narration felt very unnatural and was difficult to listen to in a variety of ways. It ranged from being monotone/boring, to "sing-songy", to forced characterization and then to men who mostly speak very slowly often causing them to sound dumb or slow-witted. It is curious to me that the narrator clearly displayed (much less frequently, unfortunately) the ability to narrate in a reasonably natural and believable manner - it is too bad that could not have been maintained 90-100% of the time instead of 25% of the time.
    I personally cannot recommend this book, but if you enjoy listening to a lot of filler and largely insignificant and less interesting details at great length then you will probably enjoy this book. Wish it had been about half as long, then it would have proved to be much more enjoyable for me - though more natural narration would also been very helpful for improving the overall experience. If both were the case with this book, I could have potentially given one or two more stars.
    The theme and plot definitely have good potential but I simply found this book far too long for the needs of the storyline.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Dorothy Gilman
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (484)
    Performance
    (419)
    Story
    (425)

    Mrs. Pollifax has a new hat, and only she and Mr. Carstairs know it conceals eight false passports which she must smuggle into Bulgaria.

    Nancy J says: "Another Delightful Adventure"
    "Another fun adventure with Mrs. P!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Always a fun read/listen with Mrs. Pollifax at the helm! She is a wonderful character and meets other interesting characters during her undercover adventures. Definitely recommend if you enjoy cozy suspense/mystery genre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3816)
    Performance
    (3382)
    Story
    (3390)

    Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Walkabout"
    "Lovely heartwarming tale: touching, amusing & wise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this lovely story to be rather unassuming just as is the title character. Harold Fry embarks on a completely unexpected and surprising journey which teaches, challenges, uplifts and transforms him as well as others in his life. I highly recommend reading this gem...it may start a little slowly but continues to build in layers as it progresses adding more and more for the the reader/listener to relish and absorb. The narrator is excellent and brought this story to life beyond the pages, in the same gentle understated spirit as the author wrote it. I was truly able to visualize Harold and his journey as well as all of the other wonderful characters. I highly recommend reading this book and experiencing its charm, wit and wisdom.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • It Takes a Witch: A Wishcraft Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Heather Blake
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (272)
    Performance
    (239)
    Story
    (239)

    Darcy Merriweather and her sister, Harper, hail from a long line of witches who have the power to grant wishes using spells. They've come to Enchanted Village in Salem, Massachusetts, to join the family business, but they soon find themselves knee deep in murder.Until three weeks ago, Darcy and Harper were working dead-end jobs and trying to put their troubles behind them.

    Susi says: "fun, clean mystery"
    "Enjoyed this magical tale..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an enjoyable light listen / murder mystery. I like the magical theme of the book so it was appealing and I found it to be decent mystery as well. The narrator was fine but not terrific. I liked some aspects of her narrating better than others....not sure where she is from as she has unusual or unique pronunciation of certain words. When she spoke the character name of Alexandra, it often sounded (to me) like AlexandER instead, but not a "deal breaker" on listening to more of this series (I think she narrates more of the books). I would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries with a little light romance thrown into the mix!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye: Psychic Eye Mysteries, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Victoria Laurie
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Michaels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1739)
    Performance
    (1380)
    Story
    (1373)

    Abby Cooper is a P.I., psychic intuitive. But her insight failed her when she didn't foresee the death of one of her clients - or that the lead investigator for the case is the gorgeous blind date she just met. Now, with the police suspicious of her abilities and a killer on the loose, Abby's future looks more uncertain than ever.

    Roger says: "review of Abby Cooper series"
    "90% Bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bought this on a daily deal (I think) as the psychic aspect seemed like it could be fun and those parts of the book really are the only interesting portions of the book. Abby is pretty much an arrogant jerk/smart ass a lot of the time - and for that reason would be the last psychic I would choose to consult! Additionally, she is stupid and immature. Not really a protagonist that is either endearing or appealing. Maybe if it had been read differently, perhaps a more appealing quality could have been perceived from her. Though the writing itself pretty much says it all as far as her personality goes...
    As far as the narrator is concerned, she is not the worst but I did not feel it was good either. I could actually say narration could rate at 2.5 to possibly 3 stars at times. I am not sure if this narrator would do better with a more well written book or not since she seemed rather one dimensional. I can say I was relieved that lower male voices were not attempted by her as that so often detracts from a book (and vice versa with a male narrator) unless the narrator has the ideal skill and tonal qualities to do so.
    Spoiler alert!...
    At the point in the story when her life truly appears to be in danger, it is hard to stop thinking about how idiotic she is since she is completely responsible for putting herself there by her own stupid immature arrogant behavior and it also makes you wonder about what the male love prospect sees in her! And on top of that, her psychic intuition fails her when she needs it the most...karma perhaps for being a jerk?
    Not sure if I would have listened to the entire book had I not been under the weather since it was an "easy mindless" listen/story. I am giving it 2 stars for creativity with many of the psychic aspects, otherwise it would only be 1 star. I would not purchase another Abby Cooper novel, however, since there are other light mystery novels available which are much better written and are truly entertaining and enjoyable (also with much better narration). I was definitely disappointed with this one :(. Glad I purchased it at a low price!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Sociopath Next Door

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Martha Stout
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    Overall
    (2993)
    Performance
    (1939)
    Story
    (1937)

    We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but in The Sociopath Next Door, Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people, one in 25, has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in 25 everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath.

    Taryn says: "Reinforces what you have already known"
    "Very illuminating!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is well worth reading to discover how many people you may have known (or know currently) who could possibly be sociopaths. Although this book may not be the most clinically scientific book on the subject of sociopathy, I was engrossed by the composite cases Dr. Stout presents in the book...even though it was at times difficult, creepy and chilling to read. As another reviewer stated, it is more of a "self defense" book regarding sociopaths vs. one which will assist in how to handle a sociopath with whom it is very difficult, or perhaps impossible, for one to cut all ties (a relative, etc). Nonetheless, there is much is this book which is quite enlightening, informative and may very well assist you by helping you to avoid becoming significantly involved with a sociopath in the future...and also help you to recognize when you may have inadvertently encountered one...such as your neighbor. I definitely recommend it and will probably be buying this book for at least a few friends or family members!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Coming Clean

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kimberly Rae Miller
    • Narrated By Kimberly Rae Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (339)
    Performance
    (294)
    Story
    (299)

    Kim Miller is an immaculately put-together woman with a great career, a loving boyfriend, and a tidy apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. You would never guess that Kim grew up behind the closed doors of her family’s idyllic Long Island house, navigating between teetering stacks of aging newspapers, broken computers, and boxes upon boxes of unused junk festering in every room - the product of her father’s painful and unending struggle with hoarding. In this moving coming-of-age story, Kim brings to life her rat-infested home and her childhood consumed by concealing her father’s shameful secret from friends.

    Margaret says: "Vicarious Hoarding"
    "Very illuminating true account"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This true account was quite illuminating, recounting the life of a girl raised by a hoarding father and shopaholic mother. Both parents love their daughter but are unable to truly change their habits in order to create even a remotely serene and clean haven as a home for their only child. The hoarding father truly cannot acknowledge, much less address, his mental/emotional condition and resulting hoarding behavior. He is completely incapable of throwing anything away. The untenable conditions of the homes in which Kimberly is raised are disturbing and heartbreaking yet learning of it in this book makes for a moving and educational read/listen. I can also say that reading this true life account could perhaps be more motivational for organizing one's own house (etc) than any book written about organizing! It could virtually "scare" you into organizing just by reading about the out of control conditions described. And, understandably, that is essentially the very effect growing up in it had on Kimberly as, once she no longer lives with her parents, she can only bear to live in extremely tidy, clean and sparse surroundings. It is also very difficult to learn about the negative ramifications their family living conditions had upon Kimberly's ability to live an otherwise normal childhood since she was so embarrassed and ashamed about the situation - she lived her childhood in a way wherein she could hide the situation - subsequently limiting her number of friends, not to mention her ability to be truthful with her friends about her home life until such time(s) she saw no other option(s) but to reveal the truth. Narration by the author, Kimberly, was authentic and generally good. Recommended for anyone interested in hoarding or human behavior in general. I did not know how I would like this book upon buying it, but I am glad to have read it and learned about the realities of such a situation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Susannah Cahalan
    • Narrated By Heather Henderson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1640)
    Performance
    (1447)
    Story
    (1455)

    In 2009, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room strapped to a bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records - from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory - reported psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four-year-old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter

    Eric Schurr says: "Very scary, real story, superbly written and rea"
    "Recommend!..Fascinating and Frightening true story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listened to this book in just 2 days...and I rarely do that - it had me hooked! Highly recommend this book about a young woman's highly scary and disturbing experience with "madness" caused by a treatable illness which was nearly missed entirely by her medical team, but thankfully was ultimately diagnosed correctly. If it had not been correctly diagnosed, she may have ended up in a mental institution. Even if this is not a typical genre of book you read, it is still well worth the time to become familiar with this vexing and mysterious illness which was not discovered and correctly diagnosed until 2007! It is frightening to imagine how many innumerable people may have been institutionalized or died due to it prior to 2007. It is also worth reading so one can ponder about how often patients may be misdiagnosed due to under-informed physicians as well as many other possible reasons doctors may not diagnose accurately or completely. This is not to be a criticism of all doctors, it is simply a reality and the account of Susannah's experience conveys why I believe (from personal experience) it is often in a person's best interest & highest good to seek multiple medical opinions (western, eastern and alternative), most particularly when a person is experiencing a complicated or mysterious "dis-ease", such as Susannah's type of (and many other) auto-immune disorders. This book is a well researched and well written account of the gripping physical and mental roller coaster Susannah experienced and from which she was very fortunately able to substantially, and hopefully nearly fully, recover.
    For me, the narrator/narration was the weakest part of this audiobook. Not awful, but it did not resonate with me overall as an accurate portrayal of the author's emotions, reflections or experiences. There were moments when it grated on me, but all in all I was able to disregard it enough to appreciate, and be engrossed in, the content of this book. Had the narration been superior, I would have given the audiobook an overall 5 star rating. Regardless of feeling the narration could have been much better, I still highly recommend this book in audio or print!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Enchanted

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Alethea Kontis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (329)
    Performance
    (296)
    Story
    (289)

    It isn’t easy being Sunday’s child, not when you’re the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true. When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night, Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him....

    Amazon Customer says: "Charming... Enchanting"
    "Charming and Engaging :)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Enchanted is a charming and, yes, enchanting story. The story itself is its own though it weaves elements of multiple fairy tales within it. It is a progressive modern fairy tale. Narration was very good. An engaging, enjoyable and delightful listen suitable for teenagers and up. A good choice as a teen read for the themes and topics addressed within it. I do not have children but am glad to see a book such as this one available for teens as an alternative to the current dystopian trends in teen fiction. Not a Pollyanna story but one with a more positive message than some other teen/YA books. A recommended read for any teen or adult who enjoys fantasy and/or revisiting beloved childhood fairy tales blended together with a modern spin.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Summer's Path

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Scott Blum
    • Narrated By Diane Ray
    Overall
    (904)
    Performance
    (286)
    Story
    (286)

    Summer's Path is the remarkable story of Don Newport, an engineer that comes face to face with his personal destiny under extraordinary circumstances. After losing his job and his health insurance, Don learns he has a terminal disease with only a few months left to live. On his death bed, he meets Robert, a brazen angel of death that promises to help Don with a graceful exit.

    ArtC says: "A bad new-age after-school special"
    "Story okay, poor narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3 stars is probably a stretch for the story, but I am glad the author is putting out ideas and concepts which are not mainstream and those core concepts of this story could be very helpful to people on their spiritual, healing or new age journey. It addressed healing the emotions to heal the body which I believe is extremely important and an element about which many people are completely unaware or do not attempt to acknowledge or consider. Since our mind, body and spirit are all interconnected, this is an important message and theme contained in this book. For me, the writing and the story outline were jumbled and not cohesive, even for out of the ordinary topics such as this book contains. I believe the message in the book could have been delivered much more successfully with better writing and a more fluid story.

    It is also extremely challenging to listen to this narrator. If there was a much better narrator, it would be much more enjoyable to listen to this book and hear the helpful messages within it.

    After listening to the audiobook, I also watched a movie called "Walk-In" which was based on the book. Interestingly, the movie leaves out most of the important messages I feel the book strives to convey and was more unsatisfactory than the book in its content, though the acting in the movie was far superior to the narration of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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