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Simone

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Member Since 2014

565
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 364 reviews
  • 492 ratings
  • 927 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2015
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68

  • Plain Truth

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Christina Moore, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1279)
    Performance
    (503)
    Story
    (504)

    The discovery of a dead infant in an Amish barn shakes Lancaster County to its core. But the police investigation leads to a more shocking disclosure: circumstantial evidence suggests that 18-year-old Katie Fisher, an unmarried Amish woman believed to be the newborn's mother, took the child's life.

    Susan says: "Plain good!"
    "Great Court Room Drama"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book! I have not read a good court-room drama since I can’t remember when and this plot sucked me right in!

    It was original and thought provoking, perhaps a little cliché at times and I suppose a unsurprising twist at the end, but none of that ruined it – it had me enthralled from start to almost finish.

    I bet they make a movie out of this one!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Charlotte and Leopold: The True Story of the Original People's Princess

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By James Chambers
    • Narrated By Jilly Bond
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    From the day she was born, Charlotte won the hearts of her subjects and yet behind the scenes she was used, abused and victimized by rivalries-between her parents; between her Father (the Prince Regent, later George IV) and (Mad King) George III: between her tutors, governesses and other members of her discordant household; and ultimately between the Whigs and the Tories. Her death in childbirth-the result of medical incompetence-was followed by an unseemly scramble to produce a substitute heir.

    Simone says: "Royal Biographies"
    "Royal Biographies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I always enjoy reading Royal Biographies and the story of Charlotte and Leopold is yet another engaging chapter in a long long long line of interesting stories.

    The more I read, the more the links come together and I can better understand how all the players interconnect. I knew Leopold was Queen Victoria's uncle, but I was never sure just how she was related to Charlotte. I knew Charlotte was a popular Princess, but I never knew why.

    I first read this book back in 2012, yet I feel like I got more out of it this time. Now, I plan to reread "Henrietta Howard: King's Mistress, Queen's Servant" by Tracy Borman in the same hope of feeling like I learned something new.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hausfrau: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Jill Alexander Essbaum
    • Narrated By Mozhan Marno
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (70)

    Anna Benz, an American in her late thirties, lives with her Swiss husband, Bruno - a banker - and their three young children in a postcard-perfect suburb of Zürich. Though she leads a comfortable, well-appointed life, Anna is falling apart inside. Adrift and increasingly unable to connect with the emotionally unavailable Bruno or even with her own thoughts and feelings, Anna tries to rouse herself with new experiences.

    NMwritergal says: "Wonderful writing; pathetic, passive protagonist &"
    "Self Indulgent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was hard to enjoy because the main character is so unlikable! “Oh woe is me, I’m such a bad person, I deserve all the bad things that come to me... and I look to put myself in bad situations...” I don’t find any of that interesting – I find it tedious and self indulgent.

    Also, nothing really happened in this story outside of the main character’s introspections... it made me wonder if the point of it all was just to be shocking??

    What I did like about the book, and why I read it in the first place is because it takes place in Switzerland. That was a lot of fun! I have family in Switzerland, I speak and understand Schweizerdeutsch (Schwyzerdütsch) and have been to Switzerland many times so I got all the cultural references. I know where the town she lives in is, and was easily able to picture it all.

    The narration was good, except for the doctor who’s accent was not Swiss but German. I would have been extra impressed had the narrator been able to do a Swiss accent! But it’s not easy – it’s just like French when people try to do a Quebecois accent and just sound Parisian.

    If you like all the Swiss references in this book and want to learn more, I recommend Swiss Watching by Decon Lewis.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Terminal Experiment

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (289)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (127)

    An experiment has gone terribly wrong. Dr. Peter Hobson has created three electronic simulations of his own personality. One will test life after death; another, immortality. The third one is the control unit. But now all three have escaped from Hobson's computer into the worldwide electronic matrix. And one of them is a killer.

    David says: "Incredible"
    "Typical Sawyer-Mind-Bend"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Yet again, another thought provoking book by Robert J Sawyer… but I expected no less!

    The book was written in 1995 and was set about 20 years in the future - which means right about now. This was comical to read because we now know if his future predictions about our culture have come to pass.

    He missed the mark on a few things like: Curbside Newspaper Printers, we don’t have VCRs anymore (although his VCR had all the same capabilities and programming parameters that our PVRs have), Donahue and Leno are no longer on air, and poor Peter Jennings passed away.

    He got things right like: Queen Elizabeth II is still alive and well, that there would be a Pope Benedict XVI (impressive!) and electronic readers (did we envision reading tablets in the 90s? It’s so long ago I can’t remember.

    Of course he did not predict the Iphone but he did conjure up video-phones.

    Aside from the fun of picking those details apart, the story itself was a typical Sawyer-mind-bend. I love his books, they never ever disappoint!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (2990)
    Performance
    (2070)
    Story
    (2086)

    First appearing in print in 1890, the character of Sherlock Holmes has now become synonymous worldwide with the concept of a super sleuth. His creator, Conan Doyle, imbued his detective hero with intellectual power, acute observational abilities, a penchant for deductive reasoning and a highly educated use of forensic skills. Indeed, Doyle created the first fictional private detective who used what we now recognize as modern scientific investigative techniques.

    David says: "mouth watering"
    "My intro to Sherlock"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved the language, the writing, the characters, the narration... but the stories left me a little flat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bone Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Tess Gerritsen
    • Narrated By Susan Denaker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1223)
    Performance
    (401)
    Story
    (403)

    Julia Hamill has made a horrifying discovery on the grounds of her new home in rural Massachusetts: a skull buried in the rocky soil � human, female, and, according to the trained eye of Boston medical examiner Maura Isles, scarred with the unmistakable marks of murder.

    Book and Movie Lover says: "Back and forth through time"
    "Not bad!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am mining my bookshelves looking for stories I don’t remember so I can get some “free reads”. When I started this one again, I began wondering if I had actually read it before since I truly remembered nothing! As the story progressed, some bits and pieces came back to me, but I didn’t quite remember the ending so it didn’t feel pointless to keep going.

    I gave it 2 stars back then but this time I’d rated it 3. I thought the mystery was interesting, and I enjoyed reading about the darker side of life in 1830s Boston. I feel like I learned a little something about the history of medicine and the grizzly world of resurrectionists.

    My only complaint is a reoccurring one – the romances. Both the one in the present day and the one in the 1830. They are all so easy and instant! Woman sees man, woman thinks “Ohhh what is this feeling that’s come over me?”, woman falls for man. You’re just supposed to take her word for it that she’s suddenly attracted after 2 conversations? Please.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tell No One

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Steven Weber
    Overall
    (427)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (82)

    For Dr. David Beck, the loss was shattering. And every day for the past eight years, he has relived the horror of what happened. The gleaming lake. The pale moonlight. The piercing screams. The night his wife was taken. The last night he saw her alive. But now a message has appeared on his computer, a phrase only he and his wife know. "Non-stop action with plot twists galore," says best selling author Philip Margolin.

    Michael E says: "hard to put down, enjoyable"
    "Interesting Thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this book the first time in 2011 but since I remember nothing about it, it felt like a new story.

    I only gave it 2 stars back then, but I think it deserves a solid 3 if not 4; I was along for the ride from the very first word! I thought it was a very suspenseful and interesting thriller.

    On the negative side, the story felt a little dated with references to dial-up modems and beepers and research in libraries on microfiche, and a particularly strange scenario when a woman changes her mind about boarding a transatlantic flight and just finds an exit to leave the airport... but it was written in 2001 so you have to give it a little leeway.

    This was an abridged version and while I liked that it was short and to the point with no extra fluff, I think some crucial fluff was left out because information seemed to come out of nowhere: the existence of a safety deposit box and the link to the name of a witness to a crash for example; I felt lost a times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Edge of Dreams

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (100)

    Molly Murphy Sullivan's husband, Daniel, a captain in the New York City police force, is stumped. He's chasing a murderer whose victims have nothing in common - nothing except for the taunting notes that are delivered to Daniel after each murder. And when Daniel receives a note immediately after Molly and her young son, Liam, are in a terrible train crash, Daniel and Molly both begin to fear that maybe Molly herself was the target.

    Simone says: "Finally Daniel is coming around!"
    "Finally Daniel is coming around!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don’t know if the books are getting better, or if it’s because by now at Book 14 I know exactly what to expect - therefore get exactly what I want – therefore am never disappointed.

    I loved this installment, and I’m so glad Daniel is loosening up on the boorish male attitude towards Molly’s investigations. I hope this is a sign of things to come, I like the idea that they will be a crime-solving duo!!


    I’m so looking forward to Book 15.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Burnt House

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Faye Kellerman
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (647)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (111)

    A small commuter plane carrying 47 passengers crashes into an apartment building, and LAPD Lieutenant Peter Decker works overtime to calm rampant fears. But a grisly mystery lives inside the plane's wreckage: the unidentified bodies of four extra travelers. And there is no sign of an airline employee who was supposedly on the catastrophic flight.

    Audiophile says: "Recommended for Faye Kellerman Fans"
    "A potential new series for me?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I’m currently combing through my “old” bookshelves looking for books to reread that I have forgotten all about in an effort to save a few bucks.

    I read this one in 2007; I don’t know why I only gave it 1 star, I would say it deserves at least 3 and I love Geroge Guidall as the narrator so he gets a minimum of 4 stars by default! I must have been in a bad mood.

    I liked the way the investigation unfolded, I found the plot was intriguing and it kept me guessing to the end… In an oversimplified nutshell: an investigation into a missing person in the aftermath of a plane crash uncovers a cold case from the 70s.

    My only criticism is that there was a TON of tedious exposition; I think the plot was explained and re-explained and re-re-explained over a dozen times. “Let me see if I understand” “So what you’re saying is” “Here’s what we’ve determined so far”… Normally I would appreciate this kind of recapping because my mind wanders a lot, but I really didn’t need THIS MUCH; it was so blatant that it became funny!

    This is book 16 in a series that is now up to 22 installments. I liked the characters enough to try the series from the start, however this book felt a little dated so we’ll see if I persevere or just continue on as of book 17. I like the idea of a good go-to series and I hope this is one of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Proof Positive

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Phillip Margolin
    • Narrated By Nanette Savard
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Amanda Jaffe, star of Margolin's biggest bestseller yet, Wild Justice, returns with a story of how the evidence that we think is the most reliable could be meting out a different type of "justice" than the public suspects.

    Charles says: "Margolin's Worst, Yet"
    "Part Legal Drama / Part CSI Thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this book back in 2006 (9 years ago) but since I didn’t remember anything about it, it was like a free book! I rated it 2 stars back then, but this time I would give it 3.

    Part legal drama & part CSI thriller, it was suspenseful and intriguing – not really a whodunit, more like a howwillhegetcaught.

    This is Book 4 in a series and I am curious about other books, I went back to the start and added book 1 (Wild Justice) to my wishlist… I’m hoping it will be a good legal thriller. We’ll see!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sky is Falling

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Sidney Sheldon
    • Narrated By Karen Allen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    If America had a royal family, the Taylor Winthrops would wear the crown. The popular, charismatic Winthrops have captured the imagination of the world with their public service, their enormous charity, and their glamorous lives. But in the period of one year, all five members of the family are killed in a series of accidents. Beautiful young anchorwoman Dana Evans begins an investigation and starts unraveling compelling evidence that she can hardly believe.

    Nicholas says: "Predictable and boring"
    "Far-Fetched"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Thanks to my lousy memory and my desire to save a few bucks, I decided to go back into my Audible archives and re-read books that I forgot all about... but there is a flaw in my plan. I think perhaps I forgot about this book (read about 9 years ago) because it's not good!! I rated it 2 stars at the time and I think that was pretty generous.

    A TV anchor gets suspicious after a 5 people from the same family are murdered and she decided to investigate. OK, good idea... but man oh man the execution is simplistic!

    I remember reading Sydney Sheldon in the 80s, books like "Master of the Game" "Rage of Angels" "Windmills of the Gods" and being enthralled.... but was I glued to those stories because I was a teenager and did not know better or is his early stuff just superior??? This book does not feel like it was written by a 'giant' in the pop-literary world; the plot twists are banal, it feels amateurish and it's beyond believable. This story is SO EASY to pick apart! It's is full of questionable human judgement and by that I don't mean that the characters make bad decisions, I mean that on multiple occasions I thought to myself "real people don't act that way". The book is low on the plausibility scale.

    For example: Dana goes to Aspen to investigate a fire, her cover story is: "I'm writing an article about ski resort fires". I laughed out loud. Suuuuuure, ok, great cover, totally believable (not!). She discovers that the fire was electrical, and that an electrician had just been to the house the day before, and then the day after the fire the electrician disappeared!!! Wait, the police didn't connect the dots? Thank goodness for our intrepid TV anchor! Another example is when she discovers that a witness to an accident was blind. Please - The world is not THIS full of bumbling police.

    Also, the secondary story line where Dana's fiancé takes off to Florida to nurse his ex through her struggle with cancer is preposterous.

    I think I know what attracted me to the book in 2006; I like reading books set in foreign cities I have visited and this one promised to cover Paris, Moscow and Brussels to name a few - but her globetrotting was absurd. Flying all the way around the world just to ask a guy a question? Please.

    To enjoy the story, don't bother with logic or common sense ... just go for the ride.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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