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Sara

Love those reviews. No plot spoilers!

USA

ratings
152
REVIEWS
128
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
40
HELPFUL VOTES
1906

  • The Cruelest Month: A Three Pines Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    Overall
    (1298)
    Performance
    (935)
    Story
    (921)

    It's spring in the tiny, forgotten village; buds are on the trees, and the first flowers are struggling through the newly thawed earth. But not everything is meant to return to life. When some villagers decide to celebrate Easter with a séance at the Old Hadley House, they are hoping to rid the town of its evil - until one of their party dies of fright.

    Sara says: "Spring in Three Pines"
    "Spring in Three Pines"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well I'm not sure about this series. I loved Book 1 --Still Life--thought it a complex engaging story. I had mixed feelings about book 2 which seemed formulaic and too much like book 1 to be engaging. I already had book 3 in my library so I pushed ahead. The sort of shot gun approach to the story telling makes everyone in the story seem sinister and guilty and in the end it over does. There are so many characters with minor roles or maybe future rolls in new books that it can be confusing and cumbersome keeping it all straight. So very many red herrings and outlandish turns of events that it made me sigh, roll eyes, and almost give up. However, I will say the book continues to evoke the village of Three Pines in Canada south of Montreal beautifully. Makes me want to drive there and stay at the B&B and walk the village green. But, if you ask if I'll read another book in the series--probably not. Lost in the drama of it all.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Perfect Landscape

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Ragna Sigurdardottir
    • Narrated By Mary Robinette Kowal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    After building a career in the galleries and museums of Amsterdam, art theorist Hanna has returned to Iceland to what she hopes will be a posh new job. Though small, the museum in Reykjavik has a sterling reputation - one sure to be burnished by a valuable piece donated by a wealthy patron. Painted by Iceland’s most beloved 20th-century artist, the acquisition is poised to become the jewel of the museum’s collection - until a conservator announces it’s a fake.

    Sara says: "Fine Art Intrigue Set In Iceland"
    "Fine Art Intrigue Set In Iceland"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this story about a woman working in her native Iceland as a director at a local museum annex. It has aspects of a mystery but is more of a window into a different world experience. The story is heavy on the internal thoughts of the main character as she maintains a placid exterior and finds her way in a new job. The depiction of Iceland, Russia and the world of fine art collecting is all fascinating.

    The narration is good. The Icelandic names and place names were very complicated. Having the narrator helped me get through them with at least a chance at the correct sound. If I had read the book I would have been guessing and probably making up pronunciations as I went along! So it was a help.

    Recommended if you are interested in art, art history, some suspense, and a visit to a very different part of the world. Engaging and thoughtful. Glad I gave it a try.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Brené Brown
    • Narrated By Karen White
    Overall
    (960)
    Performance
    (836)
    Story
    (832)

    Researcher and thought leader Dr. Brené Brown offers a powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives. In Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on 12 years of research, her book argues that vulnerability is not weakness but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection.

    Fulfillment and Exuberance says: "Love Brene Brown, didn't like the narrator"
    "Positive Listening Experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A very insightful book and listening experience based on many years of research and Brown's work with individuals, groups and couples. Listening has the power to facilitate change in the listener's life through altered perspective and new points of view on concepts of vulnerability.

    I read all the negative reviews here on Audible about the narration and I am not sure what people are talking about. Maybe my recording has been redone--a newer version??-- but I thought that Karen White did a fine job reading the book. I guess I have heard some really difficult narrators recently-- but I was fine with this one. I suggest just to be sure listen to the sample before buying the book.

    I think the information provided in the book far out weighs any issues with the narrator. A difficult subject but definately worth the listen.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Some Luck: A novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Jane Smiley
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    From the winner of the Pulitzer Prize: a powerful, engrossing new novel - the life and times of a remarkable family over three transformative decades in America. On their farm in Denby, Iowa, Rosanna and Walter Langdon abide by time-honored values that they pass on to their five wildly different children: from Frank, the handsome, willful first born, and Joe, whose love of animals and the land sustains him, to Claire, who earns a special place in her father’s heart.

    Sara says: "Takes Times To Develop But Is Really Worth The Effort"
    "Takes Times To Develop But Is Really Worth The Effort"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres and had very high hopes that this family saga set in Iowa would be something along that line. Some Luck is a different book. It takes patience. The beauty of this first entry in a planned trilogy is slow to evolve. I was almost half way through the listen before the characters had captured me. Before I really cared about any of them. I almost gave up-- but I am really glad I kept listening.

    The writing was spare and at first almost one dimensional. Smiley had the story drop in on the family and witness slices of life sequentially as the years progressed. To me these paper doll characters of the first chapters grew into whole, living, breathing and complex people gradually with each year and each new chapter.

    This isn't a story that spoon feeds the listener. It is instead a book that the reader needs to work at and ponder. Subtle connections appear in a web like fashion and these webs connect the seemingly disconnected events into an amazing whole. Random flashes of insight flare like tiny sparks. Not the fireworks of A Thousand Acres--but beautiful all the same.

    This book is a meditation on family, farming, hard work, individuality and traditions. Keep in mind that luck comes in many forms--good and bad. It also takes time to see which is which as life plays out. I loved the story and look forward to book two whenever it appears. Recommended if you are willing to take the time and let the story unfold. A wonderful listen.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Wicked Autumn: A Max Tudor Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By G. M. Malliet
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (338)
    Performance
    (287)
    Story
    (290)

    Max Tudor has adapted well to his post as vicar of St. Edwold's in the idyllic village of Nether Monkslip. The quiet village seems the perfect home for Max, who has fled a harrowing past as an MI5 agent. But this new-found serenity is quickly shattered when the highly vocal and unpopular president of the Women's Institute turns up dead at the Harvest Fayre. The death looks like an accident, but Max's training as a former agent kicks in, and before long he suspects foul play.

    Sara says: "A Classic Cozy English Village Mystery"
    "A Classic Cozy English Village Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this first book in the Max Tudor mystery series for its dry, witty sense of humor. The writing is subtle, urbane and insightful. The whole story is full of small insular village flavor with a cast of wacky and often strange characters.

    Be aware that to me this is a full blown cozy. So don't expect edge of your seat suspense and over the top violence. What you will find is a comfortable (within the limits that this is a murder mystery) listen that easily engages and entertains. Very like Agatha Christie comes to the modern world as a Anglican Priest.

    I am looking forward to continuing the series with book two as a winter listen.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Bodhisattva Mind: Teachings to Cultivate Courage and Awareness in the Midst of Suffering

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Pema Chodron
    • Narrated By Pema Chodron
    Overall
    (373)
    Performance
    (149)
    Story
    (140)

    What if you could cultivate the mind of a bodhisattva -- one who has dedicated one's life to the benefit of others? According to Pema Chödrön, best-selling author and American-born Buddhist nun, you can. On Bodhisattva Mind, she examines sheshin, or "guarding alertness", and the other qualities of mind we need to develop on the path to enlightenment.

    J. Cline says: "First Understanding of Buddhism"
    "Such a Treasure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't say enough positive things about this recording. Just listen and you will see for yourself all that Pema Chodron has to offer. Humor, courage, kindness and insight. A simply wonderful listening experience.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Summer Queen: Eleanor of Aquitaine Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Chadwick
    • Narrated By Katie Scarfe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    Eleanor of Aquitaine's story deserves to be legendary. She is an icon who has fascinated readers for over 800 years. But the real Eleanor remains elusive - until now. Based on the most up-to-date research, award-winning novelist Elizabeth Chadwick brings Eleanor's magnificent story to life, as never before, unveiling the real Eleanor. Young, golden-haired and blue-eyed Eleanor has everything to look forward to as the heiress to wealthy Aquitaine.

    Sara says: "The Romance Runs Strong in This One"
    "The Romance Runs Strong in This One"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this title in the coming soon to Audible area of the web site. It sounded terrific when I researched the series. Plus there was the added perk of many glowing reviews on Audible UK. Overall it seemed like a perfect fit for me. I have read numerous books about Eleanor of Aquitaine and her life and this sounded like a wonderful series to look forward to.

    The trouble started with a minor irritation in that the author and narrator decided to use the historic pronunciation of Eleanor's name. I soon got use to the odd pronunciation but in a way it sounded overly prissy and unnecessary. To me the narration came across as very young and childish. I suggest a careful listen to the sample before buying the book.

    The focus points the author chose to examine and stress in the story moved this book squarely into the Romance Genre for me -- without question. For example--when the old King of France died-- two lines are spent on this in the story explaining he had died, the travel to Paris AND that a rebellion was squelched on the way. Then paragraphs and even chapters are spent describing intimate details of the wedding night and other encounters of this kind.

    Further, I just finished watching the cable program The White Queen and so much of the court life depicted here in this book could be lifted from that story. The nastiness, the disapproving hateful mother-in-law and the daily traumas and manipulations. More than all of this I found the book slow. Very slow. I could have used more fact, more history and a great deal less conjecture and imaginings. Can not recommend-- unless you love a good romance.






    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Alex & Me

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Irene Pepperberg
    • Narrated By Julia Gibson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (49)

    On September 6, 2007, an African Grey parrot named Alex died prematurely at age 31. His last words to his owner, Irene Pepperberg, were "You be good. I love you." What would normally be a quiet, very private event was, in Alex's case, headline news. Over the 30 years they had worked together, Alex and Irene had become famous - two pioneers who opened an unprecedented window into the hidden yet vast world of animal minds.

    Sara says: "What a Bird!"
    "What a Bird!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a bird lover and I am constantly amazed by what birds are capable of doing. I think I went into the book knowing quite a bit about the story up front. I watched the TV programs about Alex, saw a variety of Utube videos and had read several articles about this subject. So maybe that's why the book felt a bit repetitive. When I finished listening I had the feeling that I wanted to know more about Alex the bird and the other birds the author had worked with. The story was amazing--but in some ways incomplete. All in all, concerns aside, a fascinating book for bird lovers.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Jennet Conant
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (362)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (172)

    Prior to the U.S. entering WWII, a small coterie of British spies in Washington, D.C., was formed. They called themselves the Baker Street Irregulars after the band of street urchins who were the eyes and ears of Sherlock Holmes in some Arthur Conan Doyle stories.

    Sara says: "Spying in Washington"
    "Spying in Washington"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to admit that I had high hopes and expected more from this book. Parts were interesting but a good bit of it lagged, dragged and droned on too long. Heavy on the gossip and light on the facts for my taste. Roald Dahl was a busy man--what with cook books, all his children's books and spying to boot. Sorry to say that I just can't recommend this book.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Eighteen Acres: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Nicolle Wallace
    • Narrated By Susan Bennett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (57)

    From the former communications director for the White House and current political media strategist comes a suspenseful and smart novel about the first female president and all dramas and deceptions she faces both in politics and in love. Eighteen Acres, a description used by political insiders when referring to the White House complex, follows the first female President of the United States, Charlotte Kramer, and her staff as they take on dangerous threats.

    Sara says: "Biased and Oh So Boring"
    "Biased and Oh So Boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another Morning Joe suggested and heavily marketed book written by White House insider Nicolle Wallace. I had high hopes for a fun engaging listen. The idea was a great one --full of possibilities. The execution was the problem. Instead of upbeat and in-the-loop it dragged on and sounded so careful and stilted that I found it hopeless. Can't recommend. Ho-hum --no more Morning Joe for me.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Heilemann, Mark Halperin
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1918)
    Performance
    (766)
    Story
    (771)

    Based on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Game Change is a reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, this is the occasion-ally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of the campaign of a lifetime.

    Sara says: "Out Dated Even When It Was Current"
    "Out Dated Even When It Was Current"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I heard about this book when I was listening to Morning Joe and snapped it up on audible years ago. I thought it sounded like a fun insiders view of the campaign trail. Not so for me. I found it beyond boring and hairsplitting to a degree that became mind numbing. It also turned me off to campaign politics and to listening to books pushed on morning talk shows in general. I know this review is years behind the time--but I'm reviewing old books in my library. This offering was a true disappointment.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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