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ReluctantReader

ratings
89
REVIEWS
16
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
54

  • The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gabrielle Zevin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1441)
    Performance
    (1274)
    Story
    (1279)

    The irascible A. J. Fikry, owner of Island Books - the only bookstore on Alice Island - has already lost his wife. Now his most prized possession, a rare book, has been stolen from right under his nose in the most embarrassing of circumstances. The store itself, it seems, will be next to go. One night upon closing, he discovers a toddler in his children’s section with a note from her mother pinned to her Elmo doll: I want Maya to grow up in a place with books and among people who care about such kinds of things. I love her very much, but I can no longer take care of her.

    Trish says: "Loved, Loved, Loved It!!"
    "I loved AJ Fikry's Storied Life!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry the most enjoyable?

    The Narrator, Scott Brick, did an excellent job of what I think AJ Fikry would have sounded like - the boredom, the care, the longing.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Amelia. I kept on picturing Penelope from Criminal Minds, just so quirky and likeable! She is also quite smart, and can go toe to toe with AJ, yet when he flubbed on the whole Late Bloomer fiasco, she considered his feelings first. Despite the grump AJ was, they complemented one another.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    He *was* A.J. Fikry.


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

    No, I wanted to hang onto it for a while - I listened to it in 3 sittings.


    Any additional comments?

    It seems like all stories these days need a vampire or a dystopian society. This story has a hook - the baby left in a bookstore, but we aren't hammered with that. The baby grows up, has a normal life, Her dad gets married - it's just normal. People who are self proclaimed book snobs, and live on an island - are just normal. It was a breath of fresh air. It might help that I too believe that you should share some sensibility with the person you love...or who loves you.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • A Highland Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    In the dark, wintry highlands of Lochdubh, Scotland, where the local Calvinist element resists the secular trimmings of Christmas, the spirit of old Saint Nick is about as welcome as a flat tire on a deserted road. Nor is crime taking a holiday, as Constable Hamish Macbeth soon finds himself protecting an unhappy girl, unlocking the secrets of a frightened old woman, and retrieving some stolen holiday goods. Now the lanky lawman must use all his Highland charm and detective skills to make things right.

    ReluctantReader says: "Cute Christmas Story"
    "Cute Christmas Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Classic Hamish and the town celebrate Christmas. Lots of Cheer to go around. Very light and feel good - no murders.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16515)
    Performance
    (13761)
    Story
    (13754)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    L. O. Pardue says: ""Rear Window" Meets "Gone Girl""
    "I Feel Duped and Disappointed..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read the raving reviews and couldn't wait to start this book - I finished it today, and I wish I could have my time back. You know what bothered me the most - the character development in this book is not bad. In fact, I would say that at least for the protagonist it was so good, the entire last hour of this book was a ridiculous joke. It was not terribly unpredictable, and it amazes me that I think these women were supposed to somehow have been redeemed completely from their poor behavior and decision making by one final act of bravery...
    SPOILER ALERT
    You cant tell me that someone who was not even a functional alcoholic, solved a crime, got the killer to make a full confession, came up with a plan, bonded with her arch nemesis and carried out the plan - all in the course of one afternoon. Maybe the woman she was supposed to be 4 years before all of this took place, but not the woman who rides the train drinking gin and tonic, making up stories in her head about people. The satisfied audience member that this author took me for - I was absolutely not. This book was grossly over worded. This story could have been told in 5 hours. Duped and Disappointed - I will be returning this book if I can.

    32 of 45 people found this review helpful
  • The Sheep-Pig

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 51 mins)
    • By Dick King-Smith
    • Narrated By Stephen Thorne
    Overall
    (176)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (160)

    When Babe, the little orphaned piglet, is won at a fair by Farmer Hogget, he is adopted by Fly, the kind-hearted sheep-dog. Babe is determined to learn everything he can from Fly. He knows he can't be a sheep-dog. But maybe, just maybe, he might be a sheep-pig.

    David A. Heckman says: "I loved it"
    "Enjoyable Listen!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Quick Listen, was impressed by how closely the movie followed. The Chatty wife and her silent husband. Having the book to follow along is a great activity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Sophie Hannah, Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Julian Rhind-Tutt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (167)
    Performance
    (152)
    Story
    (154)

    Hercule Poirot's quiet supper in a London coffeehouse is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified - but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done. Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London Hotel have been murdered, and a cufflink has been placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman?

    Amazon Customer says: "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing Baby"
    "Can you say CONVOLUTED?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At the time I thought this book should have ended or at least should have been wrapping up, there were 4 more hours left to go! The book then went on a rollercoaster that proved much more frustrating than fun. There is a difference between clever plot twists and things just thrown into the story to make it longer, more cluttered and cloudy! I guess this one was just not for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Mira Jacob
    • Narrated By Mira Jacob
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (54)

    Celebrated brain surgeon Thomas Eapen hasa ben sitting on his porch, talking to dead relatives. At least that is the story his wife, Kamala, prone to exaggeration, tells their daughter, Amina, a photographer living in Seattle. Reluctantly, Amina returns home and finds a situation that is far more complicated than her mother let on, with roots in a trip the family, including Amina's rebellious brother Akhil, took to India 20 years earlier.

    ReluctantReader says: "A Good First Effort"
    "A Good First Effort"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this book because they compared the writer to Jhumpa Lahiri - my favorite writer. Besides the fact that they both explore the lives of Indians in America torn between two worlds, and the intricacies of a family - the similarities end there. Although Thomas' story was touching, I didn’t find myself thinking about it once I'd finished the book. And although Akhil's story seemingly came out of left field, I suspect many of us expected it. We can be amused by the "time travel" aspect as we get to hear the thoughts of the character's in their time and we know what eventually happens (garbage bags with handles, phones you can use in your car). But I often found myself wondering how old Amina was at times - like Im 30, and have had my share of "auntys" but none of them are going to twist my ear in reprimand...I'm 30 not 10!
    This is book is long - very long and endlessly meandering, by the end of the book, you would have juggled as many as 7 storylines. Feels like the author couldn’t make up her mind as to which of her character's wants to cater to, so we got a little of everything. This is clear even with the title of the book. They may have compared Mira Jacob's familial exploration to that of Jhumpa Lahiri, but Lahiri's silences scream. Jacob is not quite there yet, but I think she's well on her way. She can tell a story, and that is what makes this book worth the listen.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Family Way

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (198)
    Performance
    (169)
    Story
    (169)

    Molly Murphy - now Molly Sullivan - is a year into her marriage, expecting her first child, and confined to the life of a housewife. She’s restless and irritable in the enforced idleness of pregnancy and the heat of a New York summer in 1905. So when a trip to the post office brings a letter addressed to her old detective agency asking her to locate a missing Irish serving maid, Molly figures it couldn’t hurt to at least ask around, despite her promise to Daniel to give up her old career as a detective. On the same day, Molly learns that five babies have been kidnapped in the past month.

    Alice says: "Anyone else finding Daniel insufferable?"
    "Convoluted to say the least..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would stick to one very well thought out and presented storyline


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I'm leaving the Molly Murphy series, I think I'll stick with Her Royal Spyness


    What about Nicola Barber’s performance did you like?

    She is a fantastic Narrator, she made a difficult book a bit easier to stomach!


    Was The Family Way worth the listening time?

    Well that completely depends on the listener. It didn't take me long to listen to, so it was not an utter waste of my time.


    Any additional comments?

    Tackling at least 3 different storylines- missing girl, strange convent, hero brother - was entirely too much. I'd rather a simple delicious meal, than a bland feast.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wonder

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By R. J. Palacio
    • Narrated By Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd
    Overall
    (1470)
    Performance
    (1312)
    Story
    (1316)

    August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school - until now. He’s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?R. J. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and writing that shines with spare emotional power.

    Regina-Audible says: "Everyone deserves a standing ovation at least once"
    "I Loved this Book, I enjoyed it a great deal."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Wonder to be better than the print version?

    I have only ever heard the audio version, I'm not sure it would be better than the print version. I'm considering content as opposed to performance.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved August's family. The loving parents and sister really made this book a soft place to relax for a few hours. We understand that the children's friends loved being with this family, and I did too. We never got the idea that the parents, and sister did anything but love Auggie - even when it wasn't easy.


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

    I appreciated the narrators, but it wasn't a book I would say to someone - listen to this! You MUST hear how it's read!


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

    Yes, although I couldn't, I have listened to this book twice now. the first time in 3 sittings, the second time in 2.


    Any additional comments?

    "The Universe was not kind to August Pullman"I don't know if I can claim that whole heartedly. August was not beautiful and had to grow up in this society which places so much value on what someone looks like. I do not have the condition Auggie did, but experienced many of the situations this book portrayed. We have to accept that there are many more Julians in the world than Summers, Many understand by the end that it wasn't only what August looked like, but how he lived that made him a wonder, but the family that August had made such a difference for him. I know it's just a book, but even if the parents were written differently - it wouldn't have been the same book. If anything Auggie was fortunate to have a family who cared so deeply for him. This *was* kind.I just loved this book, I loved the underdog prevails "Matilda"-ness (another favorite) of it. It's heart warming in such a cold time. I wish the author would write another book visiting these characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Storyteller

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Mozhan Marno, Jennifer Ikeda, Edoardo Ballerini, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3804)
    Performance
    (3324)
    Story
    (3341)

    Jodi Picoult's poignant number one New York Times best-selling novels about family and love tackle hot-button issues head on. In The Storyteller, Sage Singer befriends Josef Weber, a beloved Little League coach and retired teacher. But then Josef asks Sage for a favor she never could have imagined - to kill him. After Josef reveals the heinous act he committed, Sage feels he may deserve that fate. But would his death be murder or justice?

    Suzn F says: "The Baker, The Nun, The Virgin and The Monster"
    "Predictable and Amazing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Storyteller again? Why?

    I wouldn't listen to the entire thing, I would listen to Minka's Story again. I found it Heart wrenching and enthralling. Also I would listen to the story Minka wrote. Even though I liked Leo, even if he was (to me) a little too good to be true. I wouldn't want to listen to the story between him and Sage...unless his first question to her was - where's Eva? We walked into the house and Eva wasn't here - where's Eva Sage? And if indeed she did have Eva, why would she have had her if she didn't know what had happened?


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Storyteller?

    Two friends, a bad tooth and a fountain pen. When someone loves you - they'll do anything to help you.


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

    The Narrator Suzanne Toren brought Minka's memories to life in a way hearing it read in my own head by my own voice -never would have.


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

    Yes I did shed a tear listening to Minka. And I laughed with Sage at a moment when the person whose face she laughed in - somehow didn't expect it,


    Any additional comments?

    There was a point when Leo went to speak to Minka - and I knew how it would end - I felt it was the only way it should end, and was I pleased that it did end that way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Good House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Ann Leary
    • Narrated By Mary Beth Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1603)
    Performance
    (1442)
    Story
    (1436)

    The Good House tells the story of Hildy Good, who lives in a small town on Boston's North Shore. Hildy is a successful real-estate broker, good neighbor, mother, and grandmother. She's also a raging alcoholic. Hildy's family held an intervention for her about a year before this story takes place - "if they invite you over for dinner, and it’s not a major holiday," she advises "run for your life" - and now she feels lonely and unjustly persecuted. She has also fooled herself into thinking that moderation is the key.

    Mel says: "Soberingly Funny"
    "Interesting Story. Fantastic Narrarator!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Good House again? Why?

    I would listen to The Good House again. The writing is solid - the character development of Hildy is very good, but the narration - the narration is spectacular. Was it just my ears - did Hildy seem to slur a bit more as the chapters went on?


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Good House?

    How to answer this without giving things away well - perhaps the first time she reveals what she does each evening. It is the first time you start to wonder about what Hildy is telling you, or, if you are so blessed, you start to wonder about the people you know who favor Hildy a great deal.


    Have you listened to any of Mary Beth Hurt’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't listened to any of Mary Beth Hurt's any other performances, but based on this one, I would absolutely consider it. She was that good. She really was "Hildy". That is the voice I would have imagined,


    If you could take any character from The Good House out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Well, I feel like Hildy would be busy in the evening...
    So perhaps Peter. What he did was questionable morally, but you never got the feeling that he was just in it for himself, and when things looked like they were going to go that way - He...corrected it - although in a devastating way.


    Any additional comments?

    I just finished a book, that was only 2 hours longer than this one, but took me an amazing amount of time to listen to. It was so incredibly boring, I wanted to dig my eyes out. Because I respected the author so much that I wanted to see if maybe things would change - they didn't. I bought this book 3 months ago, and thought eh, I might as well continue to clear my library. I started listening to this day before yesterday, and I wish there was another book about this community. I always wanted to know...what is Hildy up to? What's going to happen next? I enjoyed it. I hope you will too

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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