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N. Walden

Page Turner, Avid Listener, Life-long Student.

Utah | Member Since 2013

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 62 ratings
  • 305 titles in library
  • 162 purchased in 2014
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  • Fortunately, the Milk

    • UNABRIDGED (58 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (193)
    Performance
    (186)
    Story
    (185)

    Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious story of time travel and breakfast cereal, expertly told by Newbery Medalist and best-selling author Neil Gaiman.

    Dave says: "Where There Is Milk, There Is Hope"
    "Gaiman is Brilliant!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Fortunately, the Milk in three words, what would they be?

    Amusing, Imaginative, Entertaining


    What about Neil Gaiman’s performance did you like?

    Gaiman has a cadence and tone in his voice that carries the magic of storytelling; You cannot help but fall into the story and be content to stay there.


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

    It is short so I was able to listen to it in one sitting and then listen again with my children on the same day.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Invention of Wings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6395)
    Performance
    (5808)
    Story
    (5802)

    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

    Jan says: "Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!"
    "Powerful tale of 2 strong women"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I was deeply moved and inspired by these very different women who found their inner strength and used it to change those around them while still fighting to be recognized. A very interesting story of a privileged white girl fighting to be seen as more than an ornament or social climber and an enslaved black girl fighting to be recognized as more than property. Brought me to tears at a few points and filled me with hope at others. A lovely read and offers wonderful discussion for any book club.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Wes Moore, Tavis Smiley (afterword)
    • Narrated By Wes Moore
    Overall
    (211)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (131)

    Two kids with the same name lived in the same decaying city. One went on to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison. Here is the story of two boys and the journey of a generation.

    Jennifer says: "Biography and Autobiography in One"
    "Interesting commentary, Sad story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Such an interesting story of two men of similar background whose lives go in entirely different directions. Moore's careful recounting of key moments in each man's life and how their decisions within and handling of those moments effected their future breeds introspection from the reader. It certainly made me think on what moments and decisions could have changed my own course in life. I was impressed that Moore sought to be truthful and plain in the telling rather than stir emotions and thoughts in the reader to support his own suppositions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cruel Beauty

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Rosamund Hodge
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Knowelden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (203)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (190)

    Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom - all because of a reckless bargain her father struck. And since birth, she has been training to kill him. Betrayed by her family yet bound to obey, Nyx rails against her fate. Still, on her 17th birthday, she abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, disarm him, and break the 900-year-old curse he put on her people. But Ignifex is not what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle - a shifting maze of magical rooms - enthralls her.

    Patty says: "Dark, Unexpexted, Not your average retelling"
    "Beauty and the Beast takes a dark turn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What three words best describe Elizabeth Knowelden’s voice?

    Lulling, Eloquent, but not as varying as I would have liked. She reads beautifully but there are only very subtle changes in inflection for the different characters and there are times when the main character of Nyx seems lacking in emotion. I think it was, in fact, part of the character but - not realizing that for a great deal of the beginning of the story - I did not enjoy the character as much.


    Any additional comments?

    I am a lover of Fairytale retellings and twisted versions and this dark, demonic retelling of Beauty and the Beast hit the mark for me. Both Nyx and her Demon Husband have been forced to live lives not of their own choosing and both have become bitter and resentful. Though they are enemies and their role is to destroy one another, their flawed, lonely lives are fulfilled by one another. I loved how this story came together. They were not the lovely, perfect, and incredibly-kind-despite-it-all couple but they matched each other in anger and passion. A deftly told story and an unlikely but beautiful love story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Katja Millay
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne, Candace Thaxton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (422)
    Performance
    (390)
    Story
    (388)

    Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her - her identity, her spirit, her will to live - pay. Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: Every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at 17 years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

    Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life.

    Kathy says: "Engrossing and well-done angsty teen novel!"
    "Heartbreaking and Heartwarming"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Which character – as performed by Kirby Heyborne and Candace Thaxton – was your favorite?

    Both of the readers of this book added a realism and strength to the incredible characters but I was really touched by Kirby Heyborne's portrayal of Josh Bennett. Every inflection seemed to hit just the right tone for this fractured character who was falling apart and coming together within the story. Wonderful Job!


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book I could listen to again and I stayed up late listening to. While the story involves a teen romance it is truly about two tragically broken people who find a reprieve from the pain of their lives and unconditional, unspoken support in each other. The writer did an excellent job of sharing the complicated emotions of victims: the self-loathing, loneliness, desperation, fear, guilt, shame, denial, etc. - every ugly and heart wrenching emotion that twists in the gut of a person who has gone through loss or pain; as well as the hopefulness and yearning for peace, comfort, love,forgiveness, and healing that exists in a precarious, tiny part of them. I was truly touched by these characters and this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Splintered

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By A. G. Howard
    • Narrated By Rebecca Gibel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (455)
    Performance
    (414)
    Story
    (420)

    This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of Underland, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers - precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

    Maddie says: "Had Potential, But That Was It..."
    "Yes, its YA Fiction, but its GOOD YA Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I don't always like YA Fiction and sometimes those angsty teen characters seem a) cookie-cutter, b) altogether abnoxious, and/or c) overdone to the Nth degree. But while the main character, Alyssa, is a little bit of an angsty teen, it fits with her Mad world. I really enjoy this take on Alice in Wonderland which has been a favorite since I first learned to read. I am a bit tired of these books which are all told from inside the head of a teen girl but this girl does seem to have a little more introspection than her peers. And although she has two boys fighting for her heart, it isn't played off as a ridiculous love triangle as much as it is her own self-discovery. All in all, a good YA Fiction and I will continue the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By A. Lee Martinez
    • Narrated By Scott Aiello
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1203)
    Performance
    (1124)
    Story
    (1125)

    Emperor Mollusk. Intergalactic Menace. Destroyer of Worlds. Conqueror of Other Worlds. Mad Genius. Ex-Warlord of Earth. Not bad for a guy without a spine. But what's a villain to do after he's done... everything. With no new ambitions, he's happy to pitch in and solve the energy crisis or repel aliens invaders should the need arise, but if he had his way, he'd prefer to be left alone to explore the boundaries of dangerous science. Just as a hobby, of course. Retirement isn't easy though.

    Kat Hooper says: "Hilariously wacky!"
    "All Hail Emporer Mollusk"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Emporer Mullusk is fantastic. Scott Aiello did a brilliant job of narrating and I felt that his voicing of the characters truly added to my enjoyment of the story. Hilarious, intriguing, and just plain fun, I would recommend this title to anyone who is up for a little science fiction silliness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Frog Prince: A Romantic Comedy

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Elle Lothlorien
    • Narrated By Leah Frederick
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (102)
    Story
    (99)

    With one sniff, sex researcher Leigh Fromm recognizes that any offspring she might have with the mysterious stranger would have a better-than-average chance of surviving any number of impending pandemics. But when Leigh finds out that the handsome "someone" at her great aunt's wake is Prince Roman Habsburg von Lorraine of Austria, she suddenly doubts her instincts - not that she was intending to sleep with the guy.

    Jeana says: "Humerous Love Story"
    "Just "Meh""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I usually love re-tellings and re-imaginings of fairy tales but this one was really just "meh" for me. The author seemed to be trying too hard in the first couple chapters to make her character funny and interesting. Her internal dialogue became a bit obnoxious. This in conjunction with a reader that seemed to have a natural whine to her voice, made the character quite annoying to me. The overall story was pretty predictable and could have been fashioned after any number of similar "prince-in-disguise" stories. It mellowed at the end almost as though the author had matured a few years in the process of writing the book and it was enough that I was able to make it to the end. Still just "meh."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sense of an Ending: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Julian Barnes
    • Narrated By Richard Morant
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (878)
    Performance
    (749)
    Story
    (752)

    Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumor, and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is retired. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove.

    Chris Reich says: "Stunning. I'm Guilty. Are You?"
    "Fantastically written but sort of a let down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The author does a wonderful job of creating very real and believable characters; they are well formed and interesting. The story itself is quite interesting and makes you not want to stop until you reach the end. But just when your curiosity seems to reach a fevered pitch, you are let down within two minutes and the story is suddenly ended. Well done, I guess, because it made me wish for just a little more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Naoki Higashida
    • Narrated By Tom Picasso
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (771)
    Performance
    (688)
    Story
    (689)

    Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, The Reason I Jumpis a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.

    Janice says: "Cracking the code"
    "A Heartfelt Education"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Reason I Jump?

    This was an amazing look into the mind of an autistic child. While he does not speak for all autistic children, I think that his observations are very educational for the rest of us and open a window into a world that it is nearly impossible to understand otherwise. It is obvious that he put great effort and thought into this book and it is wonderfully insightful in a simplistic way. I very much enjoyed this peak into his mind.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Anne Fadiman
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (17)

    Anyone who has ever loved a book will relish this playful, yet deeply literate collection of essays celebrating the joy of reading. From building castles with books as a child, to the trauma of joining her library with her husband's, the author reveals, with much warmth and humor, the intimate details of her lifelong affair with books. For Anne Fadiman, books are not built for function, and certainly not for decoration. They are close personal friends who never fail to delight and amaze.

    Diana says: "Reading IS fun!"
    "Wishing for more..... or less"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book is a collection of essays by an obviously intelligent, well-read writer. For the most part, I found her observations amusing, touching, and completely relatable. However, there were a couple of the essays that had a certain tone of "I'm-so-much-smarter-than-you-are" which took away from the utter enjoyment of the whole book. However, overall, I loved the passion for books and reading that she so powerfully shared and I think all avid-readers will feel somewhat of a kinship in her stories because they too love books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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