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Sheila

ratings
7
REVIEWS
6
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
7

  • Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Piper Kerman
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2825)
    Performance
    (2568)
    Story
    (2585)

    With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.

    Mark says: "My favorite book of the year, so far"
    "A worthwhile autobio, don't expect the TV series."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Orange Is the New Black to be better than the print version?

    I don't have an opinion on this. I have not read the print version.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Orange Is the New Black?

    When the fellow inmate was talking to Piper about God and how that made her think differently about herself and why she was in prison.


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

    She did really well with the accents and intonations. Probably the only authentic Boston accent ever recorded in an audiobook. It was a very challenging book for accents (Russian, Hispanic, Black etc.)


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    The process of her trial! It was ten years from the time she was involved in the criminal activity and when she finally went to prison. It was also interesting how the inmates did not talk to each other about why they were in prison with each other.


    Any additional comments?

    I watched a couple of episodes of the Netflix show and saw the book. This is completely different from the show, but in a good way. The author is articulate, insightful and compassionate. She has an amazing circle of friends, family members and of course, Larry. She comes to terms with how her involvement in the criminal group was not a victimless crime, even though she was not directly involved in the drug transactions. The show makes it seem like rich white girl gets sent to prison with a bunch of tough, abrasive non-rich, mostly non-white inmates, but the story in the book is not about that; it is more inward looking and compassionate. It is the story one would want to tell about one's self and one's loved ones, well written and detailed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Chris Bohjalian
    • Narrated By Grace Blewer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is the story of Emily Shepard, a homeless teen living in an igloo made of ice and trash bags filled with frozen leaves. Half a year earlier, a nuclear plant in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom had experienced a cataclysmic meltdown, and both of Emily's parents were killed. Devastatingly, her father was in charge of the plant, and the meltdown may have been his fault. Was he drunk when it happened?

    Sheila says: "A deeply moving story read with honesty"
    "A deeply moving story read with honesty"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Chris Bohjalian's writing is beautiful. The story is moving and harrowing. It is told in the first person as a long journal entry and is read as such. I listened it it in two sessions.


    What other book might you compare Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands to and why?

    Catcher in the Rye, although the story line is much more serious and tragic. A vulnerable, desperate teenager is an unusual main character and I wanted only the best resolution for her.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Emily realizes that she will not see her friend again. (There is another scene, but I don't want to spoil the story.)


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

    For most of the book, I had a lump in my throat.


    Any additional comments?

    The disaster in the book is part of the story in as much as it defines Emily's circumstances regarding her parents and the danger of her returning to the place she grew up and the people she knows. It is not a book about nuclear power, it is a story of a troubled teenager and how her life is turned upside down bu the disaster.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Strong Motion

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jonathan Franzen
    • Narrated By Scott Aiello
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (32)

    Louis Holland arrives in Boston in a spring of ecological upheaval (a rash of earthquakes on the North Shore) and odd luck: the first one kills his grandmother. Louis tries to maintain his independence, but falls in love with a Harvard seismologist whose discoveries about the earthquakes' cause complicate everything.

    Stephen says: "Easily as good as "The Corrections""
    "Prepare to suspend your disbelief."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Strong Motion? What did you like least?

    I liked the unraveling of the background story with the various members of the family (past and present).


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Louis. I really did not enter the thinking of the others. Franzen's writing has a satirical quality that never really lets you sympathize completely with his characters.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Scott Aiello’s performances?

    I think his performance was the weakest part of the experience of listening to this book. The sister, who is graduating with a Harvard MBA is made to sound like an insecure, dumb teenager. He mispronounces many of the place names, which is unfortunate. Peabody is pronounced "PEA-buddy" not pea-BODY. Somehow he gets "Nahant" right. The first half of the book is read with a snarky, sardonic tone and he calms down later in the book..


    Could you see Strong Motion being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    .Not really. I think it would end up feeling like a remake of "A Civil Action"


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoy JF's books. I expect them to be long and complex. I thought the whole anti-abortion side story did not add anything to this story. I'm not sure what it had to do with the plot. I did learn about earthquakes and seismology, which I did not expect. The best part of the book was the father talking about his political beliefs. I wish the father had been a much more visible and vocal contributor to the plot. He had some really great insights.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Flight Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1536)
    Performance
    (1343)
    Story
    (1353)

    Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at 17. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media.

    Marcia says: "Tough Message Delivered in Silk"
    "A beautiful, unforgetable work of art."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. Barbara Kingsolver's book is an eyeopener. A wonderful story with detail, observation and insight. A cast of characters thrown together because of a beautiful, yet foreboding aberration of nature. As you move through the story with Dellarobia, you see her understanding of her life and the world shift.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love the way the story is written; the way the sentences are put together is like poetry. The observations and descriptions are startling. She goes from capturing the day to day life of a mother with young children to describing the work of a field biologist seamlessly.


    What about Barbara Kingsolver’s performance did you like?

    At first, I felt frustrated by the pace of the reading, but after a while, I enjoyed the way she read each sentence in a way that lets you really appreciate the her style of writing. I also like how her accent gives the book a sense of place; not only does the dialog sound Southern, but the descriptions do as well.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    A couple of them: When she is in the dollar store with her husband trying to find something they can afford for their kids and with Hester in the car near the end of the book. Also, when she realizes the idea that the butterflies are more than a collection of individuals, they are an entire species, dependent on each other. They can't be saved one at a time.

    No spoilers.


    Any additional comments?

    It is hard to move on to another book after this one. I felt the same way about Poisonwood Bible. Even after listening to this, I am planning to buy the book so I can reread it and keep it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Inquisitor's Key: A Body Farm Novel, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Jefferson Bass
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (43)

    Miranda Lovelady, Dr. Bill Brockton's protégé, is spending the summer helping excavate a newly discovered chamber beneath the spectacular Palace of the Popes in Avignon, France. There she discovers a stone chest inscribed with a stunning claim: Inside lie the bones of none other than Jesus of Nazareth. Faced with a case of unimaginable proportions, Miranda summons Brockton for help proving or refuting the claim. Both scientists are skeptical but evidence for authenticity soon grows stronger.

    Norma says: "You go a long way before a story"
    "Body Farm doc goes to France and back in time."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Inquisitor's Key to be better than the print version?

    I don't know. I don't usually read a book I've listened to or vise versa!


    If you’ve listened to books by Jefferson Bass before, how does this one compare?

    I enjoyed the last third as much as the other audio books, but it was not as engaging as others. Too much history and the story of the distant past does not seem very interesting or relevant until the end of the book.


    Which character – as performed by Tom Stechschulte – was your favorite?

    Main Character, Bill Brockton. I enjoy the way the book sounds as if Bill is telling the story, with his wry sense of humor and sense of humor coming through.


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

    No. The history of the Catholic Church in France is not a particularly interesting topic to me.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like Jefferson Bass, stick with it even though it gets off to a confusing start. A little too much like DaVinci code crossed with Michael Crighton's Timeline. If you have not listed to these books before, listen to them in the order in which they were written.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Chaperone

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Laura Moriarty
    • Narrated By Elizabeth McGovern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2230)
    Performance
    (1967)
    Story
    (1955)

    >The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that would change them both. Only a few years before becoming a famous actress and an icon for her generation, a 15-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita to make it big in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle is a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip.

    Amanda says: "Perfection."
    "The Chaperone is an eyeopener"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Chaperone in three words, what would they be?

    Historic True Fiction


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

    When I realized the main characters were real people! The book is not just a well told story but about people who lived. While the summer in New York is pivotal, it is what happens in Cora's life afterwards that is interesting.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Cora realizes that the person she had been in Louise's eyes that summer was truer than she had thought at the time. As she realizes this, she accepts the way her own attitudes and beliefs are evolving.


    Any additional comments?

    I went into it thinking it was a piece of historic fiction. Later, I realized that there must have been a lot of research into the book. The difference is that the story in fiction can be shaped. In this case, the outcome would not change, but the process of Cora's insights and the choices she made was presented through the storytelling. It is also an interesting story in that Cora lived two lives, the one in her home and the one outside her home.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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