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Nicki

Listening and loving it!

ratings
113
REVIEWS
18
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
6

  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated By Anne Hathaway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1918)
    Performance
    (1777)
    Story
    (1768)

    One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year’s most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.

    Thug4life says: "Great for family car ride"
    "Much better story than the movie!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought I knew Oz, from years of loving the various versions of the movie, the plays, and reading Wicked. Not! L. Frank Baum's story is more complex, less scary, and more thought- provoking than the movie, and I plan to read more of the series as a result. Someone said to me "This was the 'Harry Potter' series of its era", and I can see how! Ann Hathaway's narration was terrific!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Darcy Came to Dinner: A Pride & Prejudice Farce

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Jack Caldwell
    • Narrated By Michaela James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    In this humorous re-imagining of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet's pet cat causes an unfortunate accident to befall the haughty Mr. Darcy, forcing the injured gentleman to reluctantly take up residence at Longbourn - more specifically, in the parlor of Longbourn! In pain, forbidden to leave by his doctors, Mr. Darcy cannot escape the ridiculous antics of the Bennet clan. And when Georgiana Darcy, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and Lady Catherine de Bourgh arrive to visit the invalid, chaos, confusion, and hilarity ensue!

    Jasmine says: "Wonderful"
    "Nice addition to the "Alternate Austen Reality""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This entry into what is becoming its own genre, "Alternate Austen", is charming and sees Mr. Darcy make a profound difference in the entire Bennett family. The narrator is rather annoying, and appears to "ham it up" to an more than is necessary. The story itself is well done and ties up all the loose ends it creates. It calls itself a farce, but the characters' behavior seemed no more unlikely than it might have been in Austen's orIginal setting. The characters possessed the same foibles and eccentricities they had in the original, and with few exceptions, the conventions of early 19th Century British society as revealed to us by Austen, Bronte, and others are maintained. I do have a couple of quibbles with the plot which made the book less satisfying for me, however. ***Spoiler Alert*** I didn't like the fact that the quite nasty Caroline Bingley ended up with the dashing Colonel Fitzwilliam, and that the blameless Charlotte Lucas virtually disappeared from the story after not marrying Mr. Collins. Also, the prolonged courtship of Darcy and Elizabeth seemed unnecessary after all the time they spent together (or spent obsessed with one another) while he was incapacitated. Also, while including the somewhat prolonged courtship and maintaining the trip to Derbyshire with the Gardiners, no delicious details of the courtship were included, and I missed them.****End Spoiler Alert***. All in all, a good, fun take on the P&P saga, but not as satisfying as it might have been, in my humble opinion.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Descendants

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Kaui Hart Hemmings
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (754)
    Performance
    (650)
    Story
    (655)

    Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors who came to the islands were financially and culturally progressive - one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state’s largest landowners. But now his luck has changed. His two daughters are out of control - 10-year-old Scottie has a smart-ass attitude and a desperate need for attention and 17-year-old Alex is a recovering drug addict.

    Michael says: "Not Sappy instead honestly elicits tears & laughs"
    "Great Treatment of a Difficult Subject"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story provides a touching glimpse into love, loss and responsibility. Matt King is the scion of old Hawaii money, it it appears that he has it all: a lovely wife, two daughters, a career, and the decision making power over a prime piece of Kauai'i real estate. But then he doesn't have it all: The wife has a disastrous accident, the daughters are troubled, and the responsibility of the decision seems to be coming at a difficult time for him personally. The narrator's tone is perfect, and captures the sense of the main character's emotional muddle. I had seen the movie, and started to skip the book, but while the movie is very faithful to the book, the book itself seems to suspend time while the family is living through its trauma.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Wandering Gene and the Indian Princess: Race, Religion, and DNA

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Jeff Wheelwright
    • Narrated By Eve Bianco
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    A vibrant young Hispano woman, Shonnie Medina, inherits a breast-cancer mutation known as BRCA1.185delAG. It is a genetic variant characteristic of Jews. The Medinas knew they were descended from Native Americans and Spanish Catholics, but they did not know that they had Jewish ancestry as well. The mutation most likely sprang from Sephardic Jews hounded by the Spanish Inquisition. The discovery of the gene leads to a fascinating investigation of cultural history and modern genetics by Dr. Harry Ostrer and other experts on the DNA of Jewish populations.

    Margaret says: "The Wandering story..."
    "Intersection of DNA, History & Human Interest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a fascinating journalistic account of how the deadly, and usually rare BRCA gene occurs among populations who don't know they have Jewish ancestry. The story is told unflinchingly, with numerous digressions into history, science, and religious belief that add dimension and context. It is also (unwittingly) a pretty chilling indictment of the poor quality of our science education in K-12, and the consequences that can have on insular or marginalized populations. Although the author attributes the failure of the young woman to seek any conventional treatment for her disease to stubbornness and religious conviction, the major underpinning is a lack of adequate science education. The narrator gets mixed reviews from me. While her voice was wonderful, her many mispronunciations of Spanish and Indian words and names was distracting. Overall, the book was well worth the credit!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Katherine: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Anya Seton
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (337)
    Performance
    (271)
    Story
    (271)

    Set in the vibrant 14th century of Chaucer and the Black Death, the classic romance Katherine features knights fighting in battle, serfs struggling in poverty, and the magnificent Plantagenets - Edward III, the Black Prince, and Richard II - who ruled despotically over a court rotten with intrigue. Within this era of danger and romance, John of Gaunt, the king's son, falls passionately in love with the already married Katherine.

    Patricia says: "Wonderful the 2nd time around, forty years later!"
    "Great Story, Sympathetically Told"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Seton's portrayal of Katherine Swynford is of a strong and resourceful woman who made choices about her own life rather than waiting for someone else to make choices for her. The historical context is well done, and Seton's characters really come alive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Runaway

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Tracy Chevalier
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (170)
    Performance
    (150)
    Story
    (151)

    In best-selling author Tracy Chevalier’s newest historical saga, she introduces Honor Bright, a modest English Quaker who moves to Ohio in 1850, only to find herself alienated and alone in a strange land. Sick from the moment she leaves England, and fleeing personal disappointment, she is forced by family tragedy to rely on strangers in a harsh, unfamiliar landscape. Nineteenth-century America is practical, precarious, and unsentimental, and scarred by the continuing injustice of slavery. In her new home Honor discovers that principles count for little, even within a religious community meant to be committed to human equality.

    Tom says: "unjustified perseverance got me through"
    "New subject, new setting for Chevalier"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read (and loved) a few of Tracy Chevalier's books, and this was the first one I've read (or listened to) that is set outside Europe. The story is told from the heroine's point of view, which is similar to other Chevalier books. A lot of the action of the story is presented through letters, which have the effect of advancing the story line rapidly, but which (for me) distanced me from the story. As a result, I never developed as much empathy as I wanted to for the heroine.
    Ms. Chevalier's choice of setting, in southwestern Ohio, near the town of Wilberforce, was somewhat odd from my point of view. Since the college was founded for African American students by the African Methodist Episcopal Church and was located in a racially mixed community, I found it odd that there was only one continuing black character in the story. It seemed to me that Ms. Chevalier missed the opportunity to take advantage of the setting she selected. Also, having read a lot about the underground railroad and the period in which the Fugitive Slave Act was passed, I found it unlikely that so many runaway slaves were seen during daylight, even in Ohio. The story is similar to The Runaway Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini, down to its emphasis on quilts. Overall, I was somewhat disappointed by the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Duty, Honor, Country: A Novel of West Point and the Civil War

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Bob Mayer
    • Narrated By Steven Cooper
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Our story starts in 1840, in Benny Havens tavern, just outside post limits of the United States Military Academy. With William Tecumseh Sherman, a classmate, a plebe, and Benny Havens' daughter coming together in a crucible of honor and loyalty. And on post, in the West Point stables, where Ulysses S. Grant and a classmate are preparing to saddle the Hell-Beast, a horse with which Grant would eventually set an academy record, and both make fateful decisions that will change the course of their lives and history.

    Nicki says: "Wonderful Book! Where is Book 2?"
    "Wonderful Book! Where is Book 2?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I began reading this thinking, "Oh-oh, I've made a mistake. Another book about war and bloodshed, totally aimed for the male reader" Not that guys shouldn't read, you understand. It's just that the books I like and those my husband and brother enjoy are usually quite different. Wrong! This book does concentrate on male characters, and lays most of its foundation at West Point in the early 19th Century. And there is a fair bit of war and preparation for it. But the characterization is done so well, and the interplay between historical events and both fictional and historical figures was so skillfully done, it was hard to put down. The performance was only OK, maybe because his attempt at Southern female narration was annoying, at least to me. Why would women be the only ones with Southern drawls, when at least half the characters were from the South? This one point aside, however, the book is magnificent, and well worth the credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1435)
    Performance
    (1204)
    Story
    (1233)

    On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry. Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war.

    Jeremiah Duncan says: "Beautiful, Heartbreaking, and Informative"
    "The BEST Lincoln Analysis, Ever!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is masterfully done, expertly researched, and wonderfully read. The best analysis of the inner workings of Lincoln's presidency and character I have ever read, and I fancy myself a history buff. Lots of paeans to Lincoln have been written, as his was probably the most important presidency in the relatively brief history of the US. What makes this book special is that Goodwin puts Lincoln into context so thoroughly that it becomes easier to understand why he might have acted as he did, and what the consequences of his actions were, not only on events, but on those who came into contact with him. In a time of " me first" politics and politicians (and what times aren't?), Lincoln never let his ego override his objectives. A wonderful character study!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Snake, the Crocodile, and the Dog: The Amelia Peabody Series, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Peters
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    Overall
    (746)
    Performance
    (402)
    Story
    (398)

    This adventure transports Amelia Peabody and her husband Emerson to Amarna, the rustic desert site where the two archaeologists first met, beginning the 13-year association that would take them from mayhem to murder in the Egyptian outback.

    Molly says: "Great Series, Greatest Narrator"
    "Fun Series with Wonderful Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This installment of the Amelia Peabody Emerson adventure/mystery series is funny, moves well, and is completely entertaining, thanks to Barbara Rosenblatt's wonderful narration. My only regrets are **Spoiler Alert ** the absence of Ramses from most of the adventure and the apparent demise of the "Master Criminal". These books are like candy, hard to put down!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lady Fortescue Steps Out: The Poor Relation, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (506)
    Performance
    (435)
    Story
    (439)

    Life is not easy for the poor relations of England’s upper crust, but fate and clever schemes bring them together. Lady Fortescue and Colonel Sandhurst hatch a plan: What if they were to transform her decrepit Bond Street home into a posh hotel, offering their guests the pleasure of being waited upon by nobility? With the help of other down-and-out aristocrats, they do just that, and London’s newest hotel, The Poor Relation, is born. The establishment is an immediate hit with London’s most illustrious citizens, save the Duke of Rowcester....

    connie says: "sweet but overpriced trifle"
    "Fun!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is more like a novella than a full- length book. I picked it up on sale, as much because Davina Porter was the performer as anything else, and I love her narration. The story was charming, if somewhat predictable, and I loved the characters. A quick read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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