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Sheila Scanlon

Sewickley PA | Member Since 2009

  • 12 reviews
  • 160 ratings
  • 325 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2015

  • Change of Heart

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Nicole Poole, Stafford Clark-Price, Jim Frangione, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Known for tackling hot-button issues in her timely fiction, Jodi Picoult has sold millions of books. Change of Heart explores capital punishment and organized religion through the tale of death row inmate Shay Bourne. Bourne's last request is to donate his heart to his victim's ailing sister. The situation gets more complicated when Bourne begins performing miracles in full view of witnesses - including his Catholic spiritual advisor.

    Kelly says: "and shawshank"
    "What's not to like?"

    I find it very easy to get caught up in this author's stories and this book was no exception. If you like Picoult, you should enjoy this story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Paying Guests

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Sarah Waters
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

    Iris Pereyra says: "Great Historical Fiction!!"
    "What suspense!"

    This story was well written and performed perfectly. I knew little about the book when I bought it and so was very surprised at the turn of events. The perspective of Frances's character seemed quite realistic, what with the fear and panic she experienced. Can't say more or I could spoil it for readers. It was very suspenseful and the narration was exceptional. Rarely give 5 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Kitchen House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kathleen Grissom
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy, Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction.

    B.J. says: "Good, but with reservations"
    "Engaging story; excellent narration"
    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters were multi-dimensional; all had favors and flaws. Historically, it is about a time period we have read about before but the alternating perspectives of the two main characters presented a deeper understanding of the complexities of society in the early 1900s in the Southern U.S. states.

    What about Orlagh Cassidy and Bahni Turpin ???s performance did you like?

    They were both excellent. I have never heard Turpin and not liked her performance. Cassidy had just the right amount of Irish accent that actually seemed to dissipate as the story went on which gave it deeper authenticity.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Know your place... or pay with your life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • City of Thieves

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By David Benioff
    • Narrated By Ron Perlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A writer visits his retired grandparents in Florida to document their experience during the infamous siege of Leningrad. His grandmother won't talk about it, but his grandfather reluctantly consents. The result is the captivating odyssey of two young men trying to survive against desperate odds. Lev Beniov considers himself "built for deprivation." He's small, smart, and insecure, a Jewish virgin too young for the army, who spends his nights working as a volunteer firefighter with friends from his building.

    Paul says: "Stunning Tale. Great Narration."
    "Perfect book for cold winter days"

    This book helped me survive the flu. It was not in my Wish List; I purchased it from one of the Audible "sales racks." I am so glad I did. The combination of the prose and narration painted a picture that has left me feeling like I have just seen a fabulous haunting movie. I can relay all the details as though I saw them on the silver screen, yet they are only in my head. The character development is superb and I cannot disconnect the narrator from his character; he was perfect as Lev. I felt I truly knew the two main characters as I moved through the book. I was curious about the next adventure as I trudged across the Russian winter landscape with them. I was never allowed to forget the bitter cold, extreme hunger and utter cruelty they were experiencing. Yet I laughed at their foolishness, marveled at their resourcefulness and remained hopeful for them despite the steep odds against them. I could not want more from a book. As such, I am awarding it with five precious stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett

    Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

    Maxine Fuentes says: "Wonderful"
    "Oh my!"

    Great twists and turns! Cleverly written and once you get used to Owen's Very Peculiar voice, you can appreciate the complexity of the story and its imperfect characters. It's not like any other book I have ever read.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Horse Boy: A Father's Quest to Heal His Son

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Rupert Isaacson
    • Narrated By Rupert Isaacson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When his son Rowan was diagnosed with autism, Rupert Isaacson was devastated, afraid he might never be able to communicate with his child. But when Isaacson, a lifelong horseman, rode their neighbor's horse with Rowan, Rowan improved immeasurably. He was struck with a crazy idea: why not take Rowan to Mongolia the one place in the world where horses and shamanic healing intersected?

    Linda says: "Magical"
    "Interesting adventures"

    This story of how a family went to unusual and extraordinary lengths to help their special needs son was interesting but I did not find it particularly compelling. There was an aspect of the story that was mildly bothersome to me and I kept hoping for a turn in the author's focus but it never came so there was something of a personal disappointment that other readers may not even notice. No regrets, but not a Favorite.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • An Irish Country Village

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Patrick Taylor
    • Narrated By John Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Welcome back to the village of Ballybucklebo. Come and say hello again to Dr. O'Reilly's odd-as-two-left-feet patients; his housekeeper, Mrs. "Kinky" Kinkaid; and O'Reilly's pets: Arthur Guinness, the beer-swilling black Lab, and Lady MacBeth, the demonically possessed white cat. And of course, to young Dr. Barry Laverty. After Barry's first month as an assistant to crusty Dr. O'Reilly, he has been offered a permanent spot. But Laverty's excitement is dashed when one of his patients unexpectedly dies.

    N. Murdock says: "Such fun!"
    "Light reading"

    As many others have said, this story was a lot like the James Herriott stories, although I would say, with less comedy. It was certainly pleasant enough but not memorable enough to be a Favorite.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Let the Great World Spin

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Colum McCann
    • Narrated By Richard Poe, Gerard Doyle, Carol Monda, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A Pushcart Prize-winning author and contributor to the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, and GQ, Colum McCann is renowned for his carefully constructed character studies. No exception, Let the Great World Spin follows the fortunes of a menagerie of New Yorkers through a day in 1974 - the day of Philippe Petit's death defying tightrope walk between the newly built Twin Towers.

    Robert says: "An essential addition to your Audible library."
    "Pleasant character study"

    I enjoyed this book, but probably had greater interest since I had recently watched the fascinating documentary of Phillipe Petit, "Man on Wire." While Petit's feat is just a thread throughout the book, it somehow made it more compelling for me. I enjoyed the study of the variety of characters and looked forward to continuing to listen through its conclusion. Although it did not reach the level of "Favorite" for me, it was an enjoyable, light listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zeitoun

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Dave Eggers
    • Narrated By Firdous Bamji
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When HurricaneKatrina struck New Orleans, Abdulrahman Zeitoun - a prosperous Syrian-American and father of four - chose to stay through the storm to protect his house and contracting business. In the eerie days after the storm, he traveled the flooded streets in a secondhand canoe, passing on supplies and rescuing those he could. A week later, on September 6, 2005, Zeitoun abruptly disappeared.

    Darwin8u says: "Something bold, ebullient, yet quiet"
    "A pleasant surprise"

    I was hesitant to read this because I thought it might be another depressing story about Hurricane Katrina. While it has its depressing aspects, the characters are so well-developed, I felt as if I knew them. There are many more twists and turns that push Katrina into the background. Katrina was merely the catalyst for the calamities that resulted in the lives of Zeitoun and his family. I enjoyed this book very much and only reserve 5 stars for "Absolute Favorites" so 4 stars is a Winner.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Blood of Flowers

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Anita Amirrezvani
    • Narrated By Shohreh Aghdashloo

    In 17th-century Persia, a 14-year-old woman believes she will be married within the year. When her beloved father dies, she and her mother find themselves alone and without a dowry. With nowhere else to go, they are forced to sell the brilliant turquoise rug the young woman has woven to pay for their journey to Isfahan, where they will work as servants for her uncle, a rich rug designer in the court of the legendary Shah Abbas the Great.

    Shaddi says: "I loved this book!"
    "A beautiful, fascinating education"

    This book totally transported me into another world. It has become one of my favorite books and I have recommended it to a number of friends. I would advise you to listen to the sample first as the narrator's voice is very different. I found her voice to be very soothing and the accent to be beautifully musical and I would listen to another read by her but it may not be fore everyone. It was a fascinating listen.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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