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Nancy Martira

Brooklyn dog owner and detective story fan. I also enjoy memoirs, short stories and literary fiction.

Brooklyn, NY | Member Since 2003

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 138 ratings
  • 312 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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  • Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Alex Stone
    • Narrated By Alex Stone
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (93)

    When Alex Stone was five years old, his father bought him a magic kit - a gift that would spark a lifelong love. Years later, while living in New York City, he discovered a vibrant underground magic scene exploding with creativity and innovation and populated by a fascinating cast of characters: from his gruff mentor, who holds court in the back of a rundown pizza shop, to one of the world's greatest card cheats, who also happens to be blind. Captivated, he plunged headlong into this mysterious world.

    Kat says: "Magic for the Mind"
    "Abracadabra"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't understand anyone who isn't fascinated by magic - the act of your own brain deceiving you, the secret societies, code of conduct, storied lore, socially awkward young men - basically, it's everything I love in one place. And the fact that I have no business and am not welcome in magic's backrooms only makes it more alluring. In Fooling Houdini, Alex Stone does for magic what Susan Orlean did for orchids, Stefan Fatsis did for Scrabble and David Sedaris did for department store Santas.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Robin Sloan
    • Narrated By Ari Fliakos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2487)
    Performance
    (2238)
    Story
    (2224)

    The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything....

    Susan says: "Fun, thought-provoking, mysterious.... and FUN !"
    "Feed Your Inner Child"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like Ready Player One before it, this novel for grown-ups (presumably) reads like YA. This is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for the Open Source coterie, with Google standing in for Hogwart's. A fun and enjoyable audiobook.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • How to Be a Woman

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Caitlin Moran
    • Narrated By Caitlin Moran
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (453)
    Performance
    (418)
    Story
    (417)

    Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven't been burned as witches since 1727, life isn't exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant talk about babies? And do men secretly hate them? Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women's lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother.

    L. Calder says: "Hysterical manual for the 21st century woman"
    "How to be Entertained"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Caitlin Moran will join your roster of Fantasy Brunch League - earning a seat at the table between Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maria Bamford, Tig Notarto et al. A smart, funny read, Moran's chapter about abortion sneaks in, Trojan Horse style, to deliver a powerful punch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • You Know When the Men Are Gone

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Siobhan Fallon
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (49)

    In Fort Hood housing, like all army housing, you get used to hearing through the walls. You learn too much. And you learn to move quietly through your own small domain. You also know when the men are gone. As Siobhan Fallon shows in this collection of loosely interconnected short stories, each woman deals with her husband's absence differently.

    glamazon says: "You know when you've got a great read!"
    "The Other America"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A collection of stories that take place among the soldiers and families of Fort Hood Army base in Texas, this book takes us into a world many of us will never know. The stories manage to escape being heavy handed; the power of this collection is the gut punch that comes when you realize that millions of Americans are living this reality while we float through our days, untouched by war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Troubled Man: A Kurt Wallander Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Henning Mankell, Laurie Thompson (translator)
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (494)
    Performance
    (253)
    Story
    (263)

    Håkan von Enke, a retired naval officer, disappears during a walk in a forest near Stockholm. Wallander is not officially involved in the investigation, but he is personally affected—von Enke is his daughter’s father-in-law—and Wallander is soon interfering in matters that are not his responsibility. He is confounded by the information he uncovers, which hints at elaborate Cold War espionage.

    Rebecca says: "I'd expect nothing less..."
    "The Start of my Love Affair with Wallander"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my first Kurt Wallander novel - and it seems I have started with the last book in the series. I'm usually fanatical about reading series in order, so this is a strange experience for me - watching a robust, beloved character draw the curtains on his story without having the benefit of being there when the curtain went up.

    This story reads incredibly quickly and compellingly, but there is also a feeling of "Kurt Wallander, this is your life!" [Presumably] old character resurface. Old cases are referenced. In addition to untangling a knot of espionage, Wallander must also face his own aging and the mortality of those around him, which he does with an austerity of sentimentality that still manages to be powerful.

    So, this may be Mankell's last Wallander, but it won't be my last.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snow White Must Die

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Nele Neuhaus
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1295)
    Performance
    (1130)
    Story
    (1125)

    On a rainy November day, police detectives Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein are summoned to a mysterious traffic accident: a woman has fallen from a pedestrian bridge onto a car driving underneath. According to a witness, the woman may have been pushed. The investigation leads Pia and Oliver to a small village, and the home of the victim, Rita Cramer. On a September evening eleven years earlier, two seventeen-year-old girls vanished from the village without a trace.

    C. Vincent says: "Great narrator, unbelievable, never-ending story"
    "Terrible Secrets in the Black Forrest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a fan of foreign detective stories, how could I pass up one set on the edges of the Black Forrest? Although this is the first Bodenstein & Kirchhoff translated into English, it's actually the 4th book in the series, and you can tell these characters have history together.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Before the Frost: A Kurt and Linda Wallander Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Henning Mankell
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (198)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (100)

    Just graduated from the police academy, Linda Wallander returns to Skane to join the police force, and she already shows all the hallmarks of her father - the maverick approach, the flaring temper. Before she even starts work she becomes embroiled in the case of her childhood friend, Anna, who has inexplicably disappeared.

    Anthony says: "Worst Narration Style EVER"
    "A New Perspective on Wallander"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I find the Wallander series exceptionally rich - in this volume we experience a different perspective on Wallander through his daughter in the days before she joins the police force.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5962)
    Performance
    (5172)
    Story
    (5162)

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "If You Liked..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A great audiobook for fans of A Visit from the Goon Squad. Well performed, this would make a great listen for a summer holiday in Italy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Truth in Advertising: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By John Kenney
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (241)
    Performance
    (207)
    Story
    (206)

    Finbar Dolan is lost and lonely. Except he doesn’t know it. Despite escaping his blue-collar Boston upbringing to carve out a mildly successful career at a Madison Avenue ad agency, he’s a bit of a mess and closing in on 40. He’s recently called off a wedding. Now, a few days before Christmas, he’s forced to cancel a long-postponed vacation in order to write, produce, and edit a Superbowl commercial for his diaper account in record time. Fortunately, it gets worse....

    phil b says: "Great Stuff"
    "Badvertising"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A rather ho-hum modern novel: sexy hero always knows the right thing to say, but is emotionally damaged and trying to become a better man blah blah blah. Check this one out for the advertising industry setting, which is painfully hilarious. As a fellow communications professional, we all suspect the work we do is a farce, but we take comfort in thinking, "At least we're not like those advertising pricks." This is a novel about those advertising pricks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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