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Paula Beck


Chester, MA | Member Since 2002

  • 79 reviews
  • 117 ratings
  • 605 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014

  • The Year of Magical Thinking

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Joan Didion
    • Narrated By Barbara Caruso

    "Life changes fast....You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends." These were among the first words Joan Didion wrote in January 2004. Her daughter was lying unconscious in an intensive care unit, a victim of pneumonia and septic shock. Her husband, John Gregory Dunne, was dead. The night before New Year's Eve, while they were sitting down to dinner, he suffered a massive and fatal coronary. The two had lived and worked side by side for nearly 40 years.

    Darwin8u says: "Sharp, sometimes funny, but always clear & precise"
    "The Best"

    This is the best book I have ever listened to. Joan Didion has so much insight, and compassion. I wanted to cry whenever I listened, but I didn't want it to end. I was careful who I recommended the book to; some people I know are too fragile to listen to this, I think. The narrator was perfect; you believed she was Joan, and I marvel at her strength in reading the book, because I'm sure she nearly broke down reading some of the passages. Absolutely top notch!

    53 of 56 people found this review helpful
  • Free: Homeland: Phantom Pain

    • UNABRIDGED (29 mins)
    • By Glenn Gers
    • Narrated By Damian Lewis

    Picking up at the end of Season Two after he has parted from Carrie at the border, Brody relates, in the form of a letter to Carrie, his desperate escape by sea and land as the world's most-hunted fugitive. Guided off the grid by a former CIA analyst and a battle-scarred French mercenary, he stays in the shadows...both physically and emotionally. But wherever he goes and whoever he meets, he cannot stop thinking about Carrie.

    elise says: "Great addition to the series!"
    "Thank You Audible!"
    Where does Homeland: Phantom Pain rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?


    What did you like best about this story?

    A chance for Homeland fans to hear directly from Brody's mouth

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

    His voice

    Any additional comments?

    Thanks Audible for this chance to check in with Brody!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Still Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Lisa Genova
    • Narrated By Lisa Genova

    Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At 50 years old, she's a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she begins to grow disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life - and her relationship with her family and the world - forever.

    Ira says: "Incredibly stimulating and thought-provoking"
    "Sad, Thought Provoking"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The author was the narrator, and her voice was flat. I think a better narrator would improve this book

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Her flat tone

    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes, I think I would!

    Any additional comments?

    Very thought provoking. I am now more empathic with my 90 year old mother. I also thought about how I would feel if I got AD. I am grateful for my working brain!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Crossing the Borders of Time: A True Story of War, Exile, and Love Reclaimed

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Leslie Maitland
    • Narrated By Leslie Maitland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Leslie Maitland is an award-winning former New York Times investigative reporter whose mother and grandparents fled Germany in 1938 for France, where, as Jews, they spent four years as refugees—the last two under risk of Nazi deportation. In 1942 they made it onto the last boat to escape France before the Germans sealed the harbors. Then, barred from entering the United States, they lived in Cuba for almost two years before immigrating to New York.

    Ellen says: "I didn't want it to end..absolutely wonderful!"
    "Excellent, don't want it to end!"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I love that this story is both a romance and historical. I learned alot and have gained more empathy for those affected by WWII

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Wishin' and Hopin': A Christmas Story

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Wally Lamb
    • Narrated By Wally Lamb
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It's 1964 and 10-year-old Felix is sure of a few things: the birds and the bees are puzzling, television is magical, and this is one Christmas he'll never forget. LBJ and Lady Bird are in the White House, Meet the Beatles is on everyone's turntable, and Felix Funicello (distant cousin of the iconic Annette!) is doing his best to navigate fifth grade - easier said than done when scary movies still give you nightmares and you bear a striking resemblance to a certain adorable cartoon boy.

    Paula Beck says: "Laughing Out Loud"
    "Laughing Out Loud"

    I was pleasantly surprised by this little book...I haven't read any of Wally Lamb's others. Since I grew up in the same time and vicinity as the narrator, this book rang so true to me. Nothing like growing up Catholic!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Until Dark: Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mystery #1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker

    Vampires have officially "come out of the coffin", and Miss Sookie can't wait for one to come her way.

    Pamela says: "That Vampire Said ...."
    "Love it!!"

    I'm glad that Audible's "Free First Books" allowed me to try this quirky book. I love Sookie! Unlike any of the other vampire novels you may have read or heard about. I look forward to getting to know her better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Girl in Translation

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jean Kwok
    • Narrated By Grayce Wey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life-like the staggering degree of her poverty, the weight of her family's future resting on her shoulders, or her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition-Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles.

    Susan B. Johnson says: "This is a keeper"
    "Grabbed Me"

    Halfway through this book, I would have given it two stars. But as it continued, I liked the people and the love story. Vey thought provoking and well written.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Other Boleyn Girl: A Novel

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Ruthie Henshall

    When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of 14, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family's ambitious plots as the king's interest begins to wane and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Then Mary knows that she must defy her family and her king, and take her fate into her own hands.

    Julie Gibson says: "ABRIDGED!!!"

    Another reviewer suggested that I read "The Constant Princess" first, so I did. I loved it, and I loved The Other Boleyn Girl. I had never paid that much attention to Henry 8th before.

    It got me watching The Tudors, a Showtime production and I'm totally hooked!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Bill Irwin

    Just why do humpback whales sing? That's the question that has marine behavioral biologist Nate Quinn and his crew poking, charting, recording, and photographing very big, wet, gray marine mammals - until the extraordinary day when a whale lifts its tail into the air to display a cryptic message spelled out in foot-high letters: Bite Me.

    colleen says: "Best way to ruin a good book."

    I was looking to laugh out loud. I loved "Fool" so I got this one. I was surprised that it wasn't a laugh a minute like Fool. Still, it held my interest and I enjoyed it!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Perfect Poison: A Female Serial Killer's Deadly Medicine

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By M. William Phelps
    • Narrated By J. Charles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In Northampton, Massachusetts, at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Kristen Gilbert was known as a hardworking, dedicated nurse - so why were her patients dying? So many emergencies and sudden deaths occurred while Kristen made her rounds on Ward C that her colleagues jokingly called her the "Angel of Death".

    heather says: "Men are naive"
    "First Rate Investigative Reporting!"

    I just loved this one. I was in a funk and couldn't get into any of my audiobooks until I got this one. I looked for excuses to listen! It helped that the story took place in my neighborhood, so it was cool being familiar with all of the places, and even some of the people, mentioned.

    Incredible, hard to believe story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • First Among Sequels: A Thursday Next Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jasper Fforde
    • Narrated By Emily Gray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It's been 14 years since Thursday pegged out at the 1988 SuperHoop, and Friday is now a difficult 16-year-old. However, Thursday's got bigger problems. Sherlock Holmes is killed, and his series is stopped in its tracks. And before this can be corrected, Miss Marple dies suddenly in a car accident, bringing her series to a close as well. When Thursday receives a death threat clearly intended for her written self, she realizes what's going on: there is a serial killer on the loose in the Bookworld.

    Tzungmay says: "As amazing as the previous ones!"
    "So much fun!"

    I loved this! So clever. This is the first Thursday Next one I've read. I think I'll go back to the first one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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