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Simone

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Member Since 2006

ratings
422
REVIEWS
288
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
52
HELPFUL VOTES
362

  • Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs)
    • By John Julius Norwich
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (106)

    With the papacy embattled in recent years, it is essential to have the perspective of one of the world's most accomplished historians. In Absolute Monarchs, John Julius Norwich captures nearly 2,000 years of inspiration and devotion, intrigue and scandal. The men (and maybe one woman) who have held this position of infallible power over millions have ranged from heroes to rogues, admirably wise to utterly decadent.

    Nassir says: "A relentless succession of very old men"
    "Too Much Info"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think I should have known better; I have a hard time keeping track of names so why did I think I could follow along with the history of the papacy? That’s over 200 people!

    I didn’t think the pre-renaissance era would interest me that much - and I was right - still, I was hoping for some interesting tidbits or factoids while waiting for the stories of the Borgia Pope and Julius II etc to come around. Sadly, I didn’t find that section much better.

    Disappointed by the renaissance Popes, I thought the era of the enlightenment would be better – nope.

    I then looked forward to the modern era, including Italy’s unification, WW2, Nazi sympathizing Pope, murder of JPI, the amazing strides taken by JPII etc … all underwhelming.

    It was all just too jumbled for me. I am not going to retain ANY of the information and that’s too bad because I am interested in the subject! Reading about it all was just too dry; I would have retained much more information had it been a multi-part TV documentary series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The House We Grew Up In

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Lisa Jewell
    • Narrated By Karina Fernandez
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (24)

    The Bird children have an idyllic childhood: a picture-book cottage in a country village, a warm, cosy kitchen filled with love and laughter, sun-drenched afternoons in a rambling garden. But one Easter weekend a tragedy strikes the Bird family that is so devastating it tears them apart. Many years later something will call them home, back to the house they grew up in - and to what really happened that Easter weekend all those years ago.

    K. maurer says: "A very insightful look into the mind of a hoarder"
    "Dysfunctional Squared!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book could have been dismissed as a huge joke if it wasn’t so well written. I was hooked almost from the start and by the time I was about a third of the way in, I found it hard to put down.

    I loved the story of this impossibly dysfunctional family, and the characters were surprisingly so believable even after one over-the-top-preposterous-plot-twist after another!

    I can’t possibly describe this story in any way that does not make it sound crazy and ridiculous so I won’t – just trust me; it was great!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thinner

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Joe Mantegna
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (288)
    Performance
    (160)
    Story
    (163)

    Six weeks after an old Gypsy man curses Billy Halleck for sideswiping his daughter, he's 93 pounds lighter. Now Billy is terrified. And desperate enough for one last gamble...that will lead him to a nightmare showdown with the forces of evil melting his flesh away.

    Dave says: "A tale fit for the literary gourmand"
    "Dissapointed Overall"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have not read many Stephen King books, so I can’t compare his “King works” to his “Bachman works” like most other reviewers can!

    I read 11/22/63 and LOVED it.

    I read Under the Dome and HATED it.

    That’s as far as my exposure goes.

    I liked the plot of the story up until when Billy tries to track down the gypsies, then lost I interest and tuned out a bit. I felt like the plot just stalled and I was no longer curious to know what would happen next – I was just impatient to get to the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Queen of Hearts

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (73)

    Lady Georgiana Rannoch, 35th in line for the British throne, knows how to play the part of an almost royal - but now she's off to Hollywood, where she must reprise her role as sleuth or risk starring in an all-too-convincing death scene...

    Simone says: "I WANTED to love it but…."
    "I WANTED to love it but…."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I’m not in love with this instalment. The humour is still great, I love the writing, I adore the characters… the plot just felt a little recycled.

    Doesn’t matter, I am still a huge Rhys Bowen and Georgie Rannoch fan. This blip in my interest won’t dim my enthusiasm for the series in any way, in fact I am willing to just call it a mood-thing.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Parasite

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Mira Grant
    • Narrated By Christine Lakin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (140)

    A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease. We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the Intestinal Bodyguard worm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams

    Kim Venatries says: "You Want To Put A What... Where?"
    "Unzombie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the kind of Zombie-Book I think I can handle... the kind with no outright mention of Zombies!!

    It started out great, a very intriguing futuristic medical mystery; I was sucked in from the beginning! But then about two thirds or three quarts of the way in it took SUCH A TURN that I was derailed. Try as I might, the plot turned into a such preposterous comedy for me (albeit a suspenseful and intriguing one) that I lost interest. I pushed through to get to the end just to wrap it up.

    But still, it wasn’t bad and I’ll read book 2 (Symbiont) if it comes on sale.... maybe.... I dunno, the twist is just too twisted.

    As you can see, I am conflicted with this one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ken Follett Value Collection: A Place Called Freedom, The Third Twin, and Hammer of Eden

    • ABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald, Victor Garber, Diane Verona
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (37)

    This audio collection contains three fantanstic novels that are sure to please avid fans and new listeners alike.... And at such a great value, too! This value collection is priced at over 50% off the retail price of the individual audiobooks. The Ken Follett Value Collection contains three of his novels: Hammer of Eden, The Third Twin, and A Place Called Freedom read by Anthony Heald, Diane Verona, and Victor Garber respectively.... Suspense at its best!

    Hunter says: "THREE FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!!!!!"
    "A Good Mix"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This anthology of abridged books contained a good mix of stories, each completely different so you don’t feel like you are reading the same book 3 times.


    A Place Called Freedom:

    Too bad it was abridged!! I thought it was great and I would have loved the story to be filled out a little more. As it stands I felt like I just skimmed the highlights. It reminded me of how much I enjoy books like Ken Follett’s “Pillars of the Earth” and various other stories written by Jeffrey Archer. I am left wanting more.


    The Third Twin:

    I am not disappointed it was abridged. Sure, the story was interesting and suspenseful, but at the same time it seemed dated and I feel like I have read/seen this plot before in countless books and movies. Been there, done that. Perhaps this is the book that started the trend? I’m sure when it was first released it was a page turner, but some stories don’t hold up over time. I’m glad it was short.


    The Hammer of Eden:

    The plot was interesting, but so preposterous that I would not have wanted to read the full length book. In this case, the abridged version is the way to go; get right to the point.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Elyse Schein, Paula Bernstein
    • Narrated By Alma Cuervo, Effie Johnson
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    This is the astonishing true story of Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein, who shared a personal history for more than three decades - and didn't know it. In her mid-30s, Schein finally decided to call an adoption agency to learn about her biological mother. Not expecting much, she instead got the surprise of her life. Her identical twin sister, Bernstein, lived just minutes away.

    Barry says: "Heartwarming story"
    "Twin Stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book centers around the personal recollections of Elyse and Paula, twins separated at birth who met and forged a bond in their 30s.

    Having not been a twin separated at birth (as far as I know! Ha!) I can’t imagine what kind of impact such a discovery would have on me – but I didn’t care much for the ladies. I found them so troubled and angst-ridden that it did not elicit any sympathy in me. I just wanted to shake them and tell them to stop whining, cut the drama, quit over-analysing everything and move on with your life!

    I was far more interested in the science of twins and by the various case studies on other separated and reunited twins. I think I would have preferred that kind of book instead, as opposed to a memoir format.

    Their investigation into the Louise Wise adoption agency and Peter Neubauer’s secret twin study did hold my interest however, and I am curious to know more about the study’s findings and conclusion.

    I hope I remember this book in 2066 at the ripe old age of 93 when the records of the study are unsealed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cell

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Robin Cook
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (334)
    Performance
    (296)
    Story
    (294)

    George Wilson, M.D., a radiology resident in Los Angeles, is about to enter a profession on the brink of an enormous paradigm shift, foreshadowing a vastly different role for doctors everywhere. The smartphone is poised to take on a new role in medicine, no longer as a mere medical app but rather as a fully customizable personal physician capable of diagnosing and treating even better than the real thing. It is called iDoc. George's initial collision with this incredible innovation is devastating.

    DebaDeb says: "There's an app for that!"
    "It’s a trilogy: don’t fight it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really had fun with this story; it was the perfect mix of mystery and intrigue, I liked the characters, it was easy to read, a definite page-turner.

    The end (or rather: the epilogue) annoyed me! What happened next? ARGH! Robin Cook you are such a dangler!

    I hope things get tied up in the next instalment, but if the books stay this good I’m willing to be strung along for a while.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In a Gilded Cage

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    Overall
    (179)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (158)

    Irish immigrant Molly Murphy and her New York City P.I. business are in the midst of a sweeping influenza epidemic and a fight for women’s suffrage that lands her in jail. Her betrothed, Police Captain Daniel Sullivan, finds her, but he hardly has time to bail her out, what with Chinese gangs battling for control of a thriving opium trade. The only consolation Molly can take from her vexing afternoon in the clink is that it made her some new friends among the Vassar suffragists - and brought her a pair of new cases.

    Kathi says: "Excellent story / Narration a bit uneven"
    "The Ususal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    .. and that means good! I enjoyed it as much as all the others.

    Not much of a review, but by book 8 you don't need advice - if you’re into the series you'll read it no matter what I say!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tell Me, Pretty Maiden

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (197)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (179)

    It’s wintertime in New York, and for the first time since Irish immigrant Molly Murphy started her early-twentieth-century detective agency, she is completely snowed in with work. While she’s proving to be quite the entrepreneur and is very much in demand by some of Broadway’s brightest stars and Fifth Avenue’s richest families, she has to grudgingly admit that if she’s going to work more than one case at a time, then she’s going to need some help.

    Simone says: "Another Fun Adventure"
    "Another Fun Adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At this point (Book 7) if you like the series you’ll keep going, and if you don’t like the series you would not have gotten this far.

    I love the series and can’t wait to keep going; Molly is one of my favourite characters.

    The only reason I can’t go all the way and give the book (series) 5 stars is because the lucky coincidences are a little too lucky, and the constant pondering and mental rehashing is sometimes irritating – but that’s it; the series is otherwise terrific!

    Can’t wait to see what she gets up to in Book 8! I’m diving in right away!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Debbie Nathan
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (40)

    Journalist Debbie Nathan reveals the true story behind the famous case of Sybil, the woman with sixteen different personalities.

    Simone says: "Was it all a hoax? We’ll never know."
    "Was it all a hoax? We’ll never know."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn’t care for the book that much; I didn’t feel like I was uncovering an extraordinary scoop. Sure some parts were interesting, but overall it was just ok.

    In a nut shell, it’s the biography of “The Real Sybil”, her overzealous doctor, and the author of the 1973 book “Sybil”.

    Essentially, the doctor’s highest interest was the advancement of her own career and saw in Sybil what she wanted to see. She and the writer had dollar signs in their eyes and really getting to the bottom of Sybil’s issues was secondary to making money and achieving fame through her story.

    Was it all a hoax? We’ll never know. I am certain Sybil was not in her right mind, but I’m ready to believe elements of her case were exaggerated and sensationalized.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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