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Sheila

Shameless book addict whose life was made immeasurably happier when I discovered audiobooks made housework tolerable and long drives a joy.

Member Since 2005

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 200 ratings
  • 1114 titles in library
  • 192 purchased in 2014
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  • Sideways

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Rex Pickett
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (191)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (92)

    Sideways is the story of two friends, Miles and Jack, going away together for the last time to steep themselves in everything that makes it good to be young and single: pinot, putting, and prowling bars. In the week before Jack plans to marry, the pair heads out from Los Angeles to the Santa Ynez wine country.

    C. D Strother says: "if you liked the movie, you will like the book"
    "Complex, inebriating and surprising as wine itself"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Sideways rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Sideways ranks far better than average. For a book that focuses on such wanton abandon, it is remarkably thought provoking. I found myself regularly pausing to meditate on the characters and their moral quagmires.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I was most interested in the unshakeable bond of friendship between Jack and Miles. Whenever I would begin to think that one was just using the other, some jaw-dropping act of kinship would pass between them. I was also intrigued by Miles' need to self-destruct whenever he felt he was becoming too amoral. I could have passed on all the wine-tasting jargon, but it was a great vehicle for the story. What better metaphor for the book than raising the enjoyment of intoxication to an art form?


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

    He breathes real life into Jack and Miles making their desperation palpable.


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

    I really can't explain why I bought the book, since I did not like the movie. However, I'm glad I did listen to it. I found the character development and ending supremely satisfying. I ended up really loving these louts. Not to mention how crazy funny they are.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • About A Boy

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By Nick Hornby
    • Narrated By Julian Rhind-Tutt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (159)
    Story
    (159)

    Will does not want children, but he does see the point of single mothers, especially if they look like Julie Christie. When he meets Marcus, whose parents have split up and who is being persecuted by bullies, Will finds that he has a lot to learn.

    Michael Dillman says: "Charming story, even if you've already seen movie."
    "Not THAT kind of love story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    About a Boy is a warm and witty story about what people do when faced with a life they find unacceptable. Will has charm, money, and cool, but his life has begun to feel meaningless. Fiona struggles with the loneliness of being a single mother. Fiona's son Marcus just wants the bullies to leave him alone and for his mother to stop crying. When a summer outing ends in near tragedy, Will and Marcus begin to forge bonds that will reshape all of their lives for the better, through some of the most embarrassing and awkward ways imaginable. This book is NOT a romance, and it is all the better for it. Painful and delicate topics are handled with warmth and humor. The characters are flawed, but not irredeemable. It is a joy to see them stretch and grow to become the people they want to be, and I whole-heartedly support the premise that we all need a community of caring friends to thrive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Persuasion

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1320)
    Performance
    (970)
    Story
    (985)

    Anne Elliot has grieved for seven years over the loss of her first love, Captain Frederick Wentworth. But events conspire to unravel the knots of deceit and misunderstanding in this beguiling and gently comic story of love and fidelity.

    Emily - Audible says: "Juliet Stevenson is Simply Amazing"
    "Delicate layers of regret, endurance, and humor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At the age of nineteen, Anne fell in love with the handsome and dashing Captain Wentworth. She was young, beautiful, and aristocratic. He had no money, no position, and no family of consequence. After she is persuaded to reject his proposal, their fortunes change. Eight years later Captain Wentworth returns, as handsome and charming as ever, with a great fortune earned from a glorious military career. Anne, now considered a spinster, must watch as every marriageable woman competes for Captain Wentworth's attention and affection.

    I love this book for so many reasons, but I'll restrict myself to two. Jane Austen, with her quick wit and keen observations, depicts with excruciating detail "the death of a thousand cuts." The supporting characters, whether well-meaning or completely self-absorbed, can't seem to act or speak without inflicting pain and mortification on our heroine. It seems like Anne cannot walk across a room without being insulted, overlooked, or injured in a dozen petty ways. But don't get the idea that Anne is one of those over-sensitive, weepy, self-pitying types. Quite the reverse! Her intelligence, fortitude, grace, considerateness, practicality, and exceptional character make the commonplace follies of everyone else seem all the more ridiculous.

    Another reason I love this book is that by today's standards it is so delicate and subtle, and it's main characters have integrity. If you are like me, and can't abide the lurid, self-aggrandizing behavior that passes as entertainment these days, then this book will be food for your soul.

    0 of 0 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
    (2348)
    Performance
    (2068)
    Story
    (2055)

    >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."
    "Rising from the ashes more beautifully every time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've never read a book that more persuasively showed that we are never too old, settled, broken, or drained to start a new chapter in life, that we can always become better versions of ourselves, or reinvent ourselves entirely. This book very gently handles some controversial topics, and shows how a warm heart, an open mind, and determination can nearly always find a solution, or become the solution. One of the most clear-eyed books about human frailty I've ever encountered, yet, by far, the most hopeful.

    When faced with trauma and disillusionment, these characters find ways to rise, almost phoenix-like, from the ashes of their former selves. Because of this, there were multiple times when I thought, "This would make a good ending here." And the story continued... Then another seemingly good ending came, and the story continued... And on it went. Every reinvention is a marvelous story in itself, but strung together, they are breathtaking.

    As long as we are breathing, we are not done yet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heirs and Graces: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1516)
    Performance
    (1363)
    Story
    (1354)

    As 35th in line for the throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch may not be the most sophisticated young woman, but she knows her table manners. It's forks on the left, knives on the right - not in His Majesty's back….

    Nancy says: "Enjoyable light murder mystery"
    "Georgie's maturing, but still great fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's really wonderful to see Georgie's mind and character filling out. One of the few drawbacks to this delightful series has been that Georgie has always had plenty of ideas, but never seems to piece it together. She's much more confident now, stands her ground far better, and doesn't need rescuing quite as often. She's developing a keener sense of observation, and shrewder insight into the people around her.
    That said, this is still all good fun. All the charm, wit, and sweetness that make us like Georgie so well are still there, and the "eccentricities" of the royals still make us ordinary folk roll our eyes. If I put the series in order by my favorites, this would fall in the middle. But it is by far one of my favorite series, especially when I want a light escape from more serious topics. Georgie always makes me smile.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Android's Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3191)
    Performance
    (2823)
    Story
    (2822)

    A human diplomat creates an interstellar incident when he kills an alien diplomat in a most unusual way. To avoid war, Earth's government must find an equally unusual object: A type of sheep ("The Android's Dream"), used in the alien race's coronation ceremony. To find the sheep, the government turns to Harry Creek, ex-cop, war hero and hacker extraordinaire.

    James says: "Philip K Dick meets Douglas Adams"
    "Thank heaven you can't die laughing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Android's Dream in three words, what would they be?

    Surprising, original, side-splitting.


    What other book might you compare The Android's Dream to and why?

    I'd say this falls somewhere between the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series and the Naked Gun movies, but there's a far more successful plot to hang the outrageous satire on in The Android's Dream.


    Have you listened to any of Wil Wheaton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I've listened to Agent to the Stars, also by Scalzi, and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Wil Wheaton did a fabulous job narrating each of them. He voices numerous characters believably, and has great comic timing. I've started downloading books he's narrated by other authors simply because I enjoyed his performances so much.


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

    Wow, did this book make me laugh! I'd been reading some serious topics, and this book was medicine for my soul. I've listened to it twice in the last month.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't give any better praise than the book was so enjoyable, I went on to buy more books from both the author and narrator. More please!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Helen Fielding
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landom
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (67)

    Picking up where her blockbuster best-selling Bridget Jones's Diary left off, The Edge of Reason finds Bridget in an up and down relationship with Mark Darcy. It's four weeks later, and already the honeymoon is over: the man of her dreams votes conservative and folds his clothes at night, making Bridget feel pressured to do so as well.

    Andrea says: "fun story, excellent narrator"
    "Can Bridget survive the worst holiday ever?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Bridget Jones in three words, what would they be?

    Caring, idealistic, and clueless


    What other book might you compare Bridget Jones to and why?

    It reminds me a lot of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Age 13 3/4. Both characters are struggling to have a decent love relationship, and are constantly caught in outrageous situations brought on by their friends, family, and own poor judgement. They both long to be taken seriously, but are absolutely clueless. Since both have good hearts we keep hoping for their happiness, even while laughing at their misadventures.


    Which character – as performed by Rosalyn Landom – was your favorite?

    Bridget is definitely my favorite character.


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

    The book did make me laugh a lot. Some of the situations Bridget gets herself in are way over the top, but it still is very entertaining.


    Any additional comments?

    Because some of the situations are so far fetched, it makes this book just a little less enjoyable than the first. Still I've listened to it more than once, and will undoubtedly do so again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Monsieur Pamplemousse and the French Solution

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Michael Bond
    • Narrated By Bill Wallis
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (9)

    From the author who brought the world Paddington Bear, comes the new book in the delightful Parisian mystery-series featuring Monsieur Pamplemousse and his canine partner, Pomme Frites. In this latest adventure, they must get to the bottom of a mystery surrounding the tarnishing of the integrity of Le Guide - France's premier hotel and restaurant guide. What they couldn't anticipate was that the case would involve a nun who is in the habit of joining the Mile High Club...

    Sheila says: "Even a great author can have an off day"
    "Even a great author can have an off day"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read a number of the Monsieur Pamplemousse mysteries, and have found them to be fun, witty, and farcical. But I felt like this one never really took off. The characters are the same lovable creatures. Once again, Pamplemousse must rescue his boss from a disaster of his own making. All of the elements are there, but the story never really gels this time. If you are a first-time reader of this series, I'd suggest starting with a different book. Bill Wallis did a fine job of narration as he has done on the previous books.

    I sincerely hope that Audible is able to add some of the earlier books in this series. They are highly entertaining. I worry that this one might put listeners off of an otherwise entertaining series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10686)
    Performance
    (9549)
    Story
    (9525)

    Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old - when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer. Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries....

    Chris says: "Finally, a modern day fantasy that really hits the"
    "Great escapist fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to hundreds of audiobooks, and lean heavily toward classic literature and fantasy epics. I got this book almost by accident, and have discovered a series I will enjoy for a long time to come. This book is over the top. Way over the top. I don't know how it will stand up over time, but it is one of the most fun and entertaining stories I've encountered in a very long time.

    Atticus, who is over 2000 years old but looks like a college student, has acquired a lot of knowledge over the centuries, and the mix of references to mythology, ancient culture, Shakespeare, more recent history, and arena rock is a little mind-bending. But by far the best story element is Oberon. Atticus owns an Irish wolfhound named Oberon. He shares a mental link with Atticus, and is simultaneously a profoundly innocent, wise-cracking, and cunningly mischievous character. His running comments provide more than comic relief. They may be the best part of the book. Perhaps he should have been named Puck rather than Oberon.

    Author Kevin Hearne engaged my curiosity so much, that I've gone looking for his other work, and will dive right in to his other books. As to the narration, Luke Daniels is simply amazing. He adds another wonderful level of enjoyment to the audiobook experience. And I will be exploring other books he has narrated as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Sue Townsend
    • Narrated By Nicholas Barnes
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    "Sunday July 18th. My father announced at breakfast that he is going to have a vasectomy. I pushed my sausages away untouched...." In this second instalment of teenager Adrian Mole's diaries, the Mole family is in crisis and the country is beating the drum of war. While his parents have reconciled after both embarked on disastrous affairs, Adrian is shocked to learn of his mother's pregnancy.

    Mia says: "Another funny diary"
    "Funnier than the first"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Adrian's parents have reconciled, but he is still obsessed with Pandora and writing for the BBC. Adrian's life is about to turn upside down, but he sails on naively unaware of major events happening around him. Much of the book concerns his mother's pregnancy and delivery, and the settling in of Adrian's new sister. This made me laugh so hard, I had to stop listening while driving. I couldn't see through the tears.

    Maybe it's because the characters are more familiar, but I thought this book was funnier than the first. Adrian's diary entries present huge warning flags of trouble ahead, and much of the fun is seeing it come crashing in. I can't wait to get to the next book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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