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Maureen McDaniel

ratings
65
REVIEWS
30
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
21

  • Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Chelsea's Family, Friends, and Other Victims
    • Narrated By Johnny Kansas, Stephanie Stehling, Heather McDonald, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (392)
    Performance
    (281)
    Story
    (285)

    Chelsea Handler loves to smoke out "dumbassness", the condition people suffer from that allows them to fall prey to her brand of complete and utter nonsense. Friends, family, co-workers - they've all been tricked by Chelsea into believing stories of total foolishness and into behaving like total fools. Luckily, they've lived to tell the tales and, for the very first time, write about them.

    Joshua says: "Not as good as "Vodka, it's Chelse...""
    "Unfunny"
    Overall

    I loved 'Vodka' and I have to compare the laugh-out-loud humor of that book to this one, which offers just a few smiles. And these aren't worth wading through all the cruel pranks that are reported with no real explanation of why these people are Chelsea's 'friends' except that they're on the payroll. I tried hard to like this, but my mood and morale were deteriorating from all the pointless profanity, slimy images, and unchallenging, childish humor.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kinder Than Solitude

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Yiyun Li
    • Narrated By Angela Lin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    When Moran, Ruyu, and Boyang were young, they were involved in a mysterious “accident” in which a friend of theirs was poisoned. Grown up, the three friends are separated by distance and personal estrangement. Moran and Ruyu live in the United States, Boyang in China; all three are haunted by what really happened in their youth, and by doubt about themselves. In California, Ruyu helps a local woman care for her family and home, and avoids entanglements, as she has done all her life. In Wisconsin, Moran visits her ex-husband, whose kindness once overcame her flight into solitude

    Maureen McDaniel says: "Uninteresting, unsympathetic characters"
    "Uninteresting, unsympathetic characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone with a lot of patience


    Has Kinder Than Solitude turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The themes were promising, but I found it impossible to care about the characters.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Good Self, Bad Self: Transforming Your Worst Qualities into Your Biggest Assets

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Judy Smith
    • Narrated By Lisa Reneé Pitts
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (19)

    As America's number-one crisis-management expert, Judy Smith has been asked to help overcome the obstacles faced by some of the most well-known companies, celebrities, and politicians of our time. In the process she has discovered that, whether or not one is a household name, there are universal character flaws, trouble spots, and weaknesses that exist in everyone. Over the years, Smith has been able to identify these high-risk traits that often lead to marital, financial, professional, or personal imprudence.

    Human says: "GREAT RESOURCES FOR MAKING CHANGES"
    "Narrator just about ruins a good message"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Judy Smith and/or Lisa Reneé Pitts?

    I might read another Judy Smith book, but I will not listen to this narrator again.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator should be someone who understands the material and does not give equal emphasis to every other word. It's as if she is reading the phone book and trying to make it sound interesting by doing it in a sing-song tone.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I kept listening because it seemed promising, and Judy Smith does have a well-organized motivational messge. However, I don't think she is saying anything new; the appeal is in her connections and Washington experience. I liked the real-life examples and I think there could have been more of them.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10224)
    Performance
    (9355)
    Story
    (9376)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "One of the most amazing listens ever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Goldfinch again? Why?

    Maybe . . . it was a beautiful listen but the strong plot was as much a factor as the writing and the characters, so I don't know if I'd be so drawn to read it again.


    Any additional comments?

    An amazing, sweeping book with such detail and richness in so many topics. I can't believe the work and research that Donna Tartt must have done to accomplish this feat.
    Art, antiques, furniture restoration, teen drug use, families, Las Vegas, New York, New York society, gambling hoods, adult love, dissolute Europeans and corrupt Russians, art theft and forgery . . . tender young love and adult friendship . . . wow. The main character is mesmerizing and the voice is so real as he ages into adulthood.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Rosie Project: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Graeme Simsion
    • Narrated By Dan O'Grady
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1972)
    Performance
    (1796)
    Story
    (1797)

    Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a "wonderful" husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical - most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver. Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent - and on a quest of her own....

    Margaret says: "A fun listen"
    "Fun, entertaining, intelligent!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Rosie Project again? Why?

    I would listen again just for the excellent writing and for the pleasure of seeing how the author handles the layers of awareness -- and lack of it -- among his characters.


    What does Dan O'Grady bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator captures the nuances of a highly intelligent individual whose Asperger's syndrome makes him acutely aware of some things and completely blind to others! The voice is persuasive and elicits empathy.


    Any additional comments?

    The book is populated with smart, authentic characters. Silly misunderstandings and feuds don't occur. The main character, one sees early on, has Asperger's. His enlightenment and self-awareness grows as he finds love, and he figures out a way to be himself, only better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Hologram for the King

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Dave Eggers
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (212)
    Performance
    (189)
    Story
    (190)

    In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter’s college tuition, and finally do something great. In A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together in the face of the global economy’s gale-force winds. This richly layered novel is a powerful evocation of our contemporary moment.

    Darwin8u says: "Subtle Paean to Emptiness, Failure & Loneliness"
    "Vivid, thoughtful, moody. Couldn't put it down."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about A Hologram for the King?

    The narration sweeps you along. You enter a desert setting for a life that hovers on the edge of disappointment, reflecting the downward spiral of western aspiration . . . yet the character's American optimism flickers again. The people are beautifully drawn and you can care about them even as all the answers aren't clear.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the character goes to the mountains with his driver friend, and rides out into the night to help hunt a wolf.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • How Lucky You Are

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kristyn Kusek Lewis
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (65)

    In the tradition of Emily Giffin and Marisa de los Santos, How Lucky You Are is an engaging and moving novel about three women struggling to keep their long-standing friendship alive. Waverly, who's always been the group's anchor, runs a cozy bakery but worries each month about her mounting debt. Kate is married to a man who's on track to be the next governor of Virginia, but the larger questions brewing in their future are unsettling her.

    glamazon says: "This Story Never Gets Old"
    "Kept me listening despite predictability"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    A fun listen, with a likable main character --- but the others were cliches. The financial situation of the main character was interesting and a good premise. As for the events in the lives of the other characters, we've seen a lot of them before, and their endings were no surprise.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Silver Star: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Jeannette Walls
    • Narrated By Jeannette Walls
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (217)
    Performance
    (183)
    Story
    (180)

    It is 1970. "Bean" Holladay is 12 and her sister, Liz, is 15 when their artistic mother, Charlotte, a woman who flees every place she’s ever lived at the first sign of trouble," takes off to find herself." She leaves her girls enough money for food to last a month or two. But when Bean gets home from school one day and sees a police car outside the house, she and Liz board a bus from California to Virginia, where their widowed Uncle Tinsley lives in the decaying antebellum mansion that’s been in the family for generations.

    Marci says: "Disappointing"
    "Reader a disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Jeannette Walls and/or Jeannette Walls?

    I really like her writing and loved the two other books of hers that I have read.


    What was most disappointing about Jeannette Walls’s story?

    I am not continuing to listen, because the narration is so unpleasant for me!


    What didn’t you like about Jeannette Walls’s performance?

    The pacing is off, the expression seems forced, and her voice is not professional in quality.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • With or Without You: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Domenica Ruta
    • Narrated By Domenica Ruta
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (63)

    Domenica Ruta grew up in a working-class, unforgiving Italian town north of Boston where in the seventeenth century women were hanged as witches. Her mother, Kathi, a notorious figure in this hardscrabble place, was a drug addict and sometime dealer whose life swung between welfare and riches, whose highbrow taste was at odds with her base appetites.

    Courtney says: "A real and riveting story-beautifully written"
    "Jaw-dropping, riveting, amazing book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to With or Without You the most enjoyable?

    The story moves beautifully between time frames. The writing is full of vivid, shocking imagery, with creative and original phrases.


    What about Domenica Ruta’s performance did you like?

    The author's voice is compelling and she reads her own work so very well.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, because I could hardly stop listening!


    Any additional comments?

    I can't wait for more from Domenica Ruta. She is a fascinating and truly gifted writer.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Heft

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liz Moore
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne, Keith Szarabajka
    Overall
    (1797)
    Performance
    (1626)
    Story
    (1630)

    Forrmer academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career - if he can untangle himself from his family drama.

    Kathy says: "I couldn't stop listening"
    "Can't get into it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Heft?

    Narrator's voice is heavy, slow, unappealing.


    Has Heft turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disppointed; didn't care about the main character and not intrigued by the set-up


    0 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Age of Miracles: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Karen Thompson Walker
    • Narrated By Emily Janice Card
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (484)
    Performance
    (426)
    Story
    (424)

    On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life.

    Karen says: "Not sure I can measure up..."
    "Quirky premise, great writing, imaginative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This read is engrossing and original. When the earth slows its spinning, the unexpected effects on human life become almost a character in the story. The premise is very imaginative and well-described.

    The point of view of the young girl is exquisite and satisfying. I recommend this listen if you can suspend disbelief as you might do to enjoy science fiction. The characters are beautifully detailed and believable. The writing is terrific. My only small gripe: I don't understand the title, though -- it didn't seem to fit or relate to the story. Highly recommended for something readable and different.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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