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Merrilee

Big Rapids, MI, USA | Member Since 2005

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 62 ratings
  • 459 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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  • Flight Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1553)
    Performance
    (1360)
    Story
    (1369)

    Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at 17. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media.

    Marcia says: "Tough Message Delivered in Silk"
    "Compelling!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Flight Behavior in three words, what would they be?

    Believable, down to earth, and real.


    Any additional comments?

    Barbara Kingsolver is an exellent narrator. I love to hear her read her own work. The story is so real and believable. You feel like you could know these characters, and live in rural Tennessee with Dellarobia and her family. I love that she took a real issue facing our population and made it in to a wonderful story, with delicious facts, and bits of reality woven in to her fictional plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Reconstructing Amelia

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Kimberly McCreight
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (558)
    Performance
    (502)
    Story
    (503)

    When Kate, single mother and law firm partner, gets an urgent phone call summoning her to her daughter's exclusive private school, she's shocked. Amelia has been suspended for cheating, something that would be completely out of character for her over-achieving, well-behaved daughter. Kate rushes to Grace Hall, but what she finds when she finally arrives is beyond comprehension. Her daughter is dead.

    FanB14 says: "Gossip Girl"
    "Gut wrenching"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Reconstructing Amelia rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Near the top. I have a list of special favorite books that I would re-read, and that I recommenc to friends/family. This book is on that list


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Amelia was my favorite. She was so "normal". She expressed her emotions well, and handled herself very maturely.


    What does Khristine Hvam bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Oh the characters came alive with such emotion! She especially reads teenage girl voices very well.


    If you could rename Reconstructing Amelia, what would you call it?

    The title is exellent. I wasn';t sure what it meant, but after reading the book I realize how clever the title is.


    Any additional comments?

    The author explores parenthood with all it's emotions, flaws and joys. the book is heartbreaking and beautiful.

    1 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Cheryl Strayed
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3241)
    Performance
    (2851)
    Story
    (2857)

    At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

    FanB14 says: "Glad I Took the Trip"
    "Compelling!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Wild again? Why?

    Absolutely! I felt like I was there, hiking the trail along with the author. Her descriptions of the scenery was vivid and real. She was not a fitness guru, but a regular ordinary young woman trying to find herself. I loved every minute of the book.I'm sure if I reread it, which I plan to do, I'll pick up things I missed the first time through.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the "realness". This could have been someone I knew. She is a great story teller. I could picture everything as she described it.


    What about Bernadette Dunne’s performance did you like?

    Oh I've always loved Bernadette Dunn. She is an excellent narrator. I would read almost anything she narrated!


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

    Yes. I did not listen in 1 sitting, but I was sad when the book ended!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Touch & Go: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Lisa Gardner
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2202)
    Performance
    (1851)
    Story
    (1866)

    Justin and Libby Denbe have the kind of life you’d find in the pages of a glossy magazine: A beautiful 14-year-old daughter. A gorgeous brownstone on a tree-lined street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. A great marriage, admired by all. A perfect life. When investigator Tessa Leone arrives at the crime scene in the foyer of the Denbes’ home, she finds scuff marks on the floor and a million tiny pieces of bright green Taser confetti. The family appears to have been abducted.

    lisa says: "Wait for it to go on clearance!"
    "Excellent READ!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Touch & Go the most enjoyable?

    The author is a master story teller. She keeps you guessing all the way through the book.


    What other book might you compare Touch & Go to and why?

    Love you more, by the same author also kept me guessing throughout the book. She is wonderful at tying in characters and events.


    Which character – as performed by Elisabeth Rodgers – was your favorite?

    The fifteen year old daughter was my fave.


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

    almost! It was difficult to put down.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Canada

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Richard Ford
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (553)
    Performance
    (461)
    Story
    (464)

    When 15-year-old Dell Parsons' parents rob a bank, his sense of normal life is forever altered. In an instant, this private cataclysm drives his life into before and after, a threshold that can never be uncrossed. His parents' arrest and imprisonment mean a threatening and uncertain future for Dell and his twin sister, Berner. Willful and burning with resentment, Berner flees their home in Montana, abandoning her brother and her life. But Dell is not completely alone. A family friend intervenes, spiriting him across the Canadian border.

    Susan C. S. says: "After the last word, went right back to beginning"
    "Not Terribly Impressed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I was disappointed. I was expecting more, and I didn't find it. The book dragged on a bit too much. The author went in to much detail. It just never sparked my interest. I did finish it. I wouldn't talk it up, but it certainly wasn't the worst thing I've read, either.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Richard Ford again?

    Oh, I'm not sure. Maybe, I guess I wouldn't rush too, but I might.


    What does Holter Graham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He is an excellent narrator. He made the boy seem more alive.


    Do you think Canada needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    OH NO!! Not a follow up, skip to a new topic, Mr. Ford!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Holidays on Ice: Featuring Six New Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris
    Overall
    (669)
    Performance
    (413)
    Story
    (414)

    David Sedaris's beloved holiday collection is new again with six more pieces, including a never before published story. Along with such favorites as the diaries of a Macy's elf and the annals of two very competitive families, are Sedaris's tales of tardy trick-or-treaters ("Us and Them"); the difficulties of explaining the Easter Bunny to the French ("Jesus Shaves"); and what to do when you've been locked out in a snowstorm ("Let It Snow").

    C. Telfair says: "Add a touch of Bitter to your Holiday Sweet"
    "Disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This book of essays weren't very funny or humorous. I was eager to read these essays, but didn't find them captivating, funny, or attention grabbing.


    Would you ever listen to anything by David Sedaris again?

    I might, but I've changed my oppinion of his talent.


    What about David Sedaris’s performance did you like?

    He is a good reader/narrator. He reads well, and has good emphasis and tone.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Broken Harbor: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2413)
    Performance
    (2063)
    Story
    (2052)

    In Broken Harbor, all but one member of the Spain family lies dead, and it’s up to Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy to find out why. Mick must piece together why their house is full of cameras pointed at holes in the walls and how a nighttime intruder bypassed all the locks. Meanwhile, the town of Broken Harbor holds something else for Mick: disturbing memories of a childhood summer gone terribly wrong.

    Amazon Customer says: "Best in the Series"
    "Keeps you guessing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Broken Harbor to be better than the print version?

    Yes. Listening to the book is a much richer experience.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Neither, but it kept me guessing "who done it" and why.


    Any additional comments?

    I have read all Tana French's books. This author is good!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Where We Belong

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Emily Giffin
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (638)
    Performance
    (537)
    Story
    (542)

    Marian Caldwell is a 36-year-old television producer, living her dream in New York City. With a fulfilling career and satisfying relationship, she has convinced everyone, including herself, that her life is just as she wants it to be. But one night, Marian answers a knock on the door ... only to find Kirby Rose, an 18-year-old girl with a key to a past that Marian thought she had sealed off forever. From the moment Kirby appears on her doorstep, Marian’s perfectly constructed world - and her very identity - will be shaken to its core.

    Jeanette says: "Lovely Book"
    "Not Disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Where We Belong in three words, what would they be?

    Good contemporary fiction.


    What does Orlagh Cassidy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The characters came to life and had individual personalities.


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

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I love Emily Giffin and have liked everything written by her thus far.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Atossa Leoni
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5139)
    Performance
    (1367)
    Story
    (1371)

    Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss, and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them, in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul, they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

    David says: "Somber but gripping"
    "thought provoking"
    Overall

    This was a very well written book. It was enlightening to read about life in Afghanistan during the end of the last century. The author is a wordsmith and a master at his craft. I felt like I was right there experiencing life along with the characters. I will probably reread this book at a future date.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Orchard Valley Weddings

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Debbie Macomber
    • Narrated By Nanette Savard
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (11)

    Orchard Valley, Oregon. It's where the Bloomfield sisters, Valerie, Stephanie, and Norah, grew up, and it'll always be home to them.

    Duane says: "A Fun Pool side read"
    "Disappointed!"
    Overall

    I was terribly disappointed in this book. I like the authors books concerning her series about the yarn shop, but this was so so predictable. Maybe good for a highschool teen..summer read, but i could see it coming after 5 minutes!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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