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Simone

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Member Since 2006

444
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 317 reviews
  • 451 ratings
  • 857 titles in library
  • 105 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
63

  • A Journey to the Center of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Jules Verne
    • Narrated By Peter Batchelor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (59)

    Jule's Verne's A Journey to the Center of the Earth is a science fiction classic. Volcanic tubes bring intrepid travelers toward the center of the Earth, where they encounter many adventures, including prehistoric animals.

    Kevin says: "Great story but poor narration."
    "Are We There Yet?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fun adventure! However I think the narrative must have had a bigger impact when it was written in 1864 than it can have now in the age of TV and Special Effects. The imagery must have seemed more fanciful and impressed the reader much more back then than it possibly could do in the present day, still; I enjoyed the story enough to want to read more of Jules Verne’s works.

    I was most particularly entertained by Axel’s character. I liked his attitude, his almost comedic interactions with his uncle and his slightly dry or stuffy personality, but his journey felt a little tedious at times. Yes, I know the book is about the journey but some passages describing the strange and wonderful new world they were discovering bored me. I just wanted them to get there already!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9280)
    Performance
    (8359)
    Story
    (8367)

    Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?

    Brock says: "Grisham at his best (again)"
    "so-so"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I generally like courtroom drama.

    The stories are usually very compelling, and there’s an edge-of-your-seat element to them that I always enjoy.

    I didn’t devour this book as much as I thought I would because I have little interest in “The South”. The atmosphere doesn’t evoke anything for me and so I find the overall setting uninspiring and almost depressing.

    The courtroom face-off didn’t start until three quarters of the way in; most of the story centred around the groundwork and various machinations involved in preparing to go to court which although I found interesting and even educational, started to feel too drawn-out after a while.

    In the end, I felt a little deflated. I am not sure how the story could have wrapped up any better but as it is it was almost boring.

    John Grisham however is a great story teller… and reading through his bibliography and I am sure I’ve read more of his books than the 3 I have marked as read… or did I just see the movies?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Edible Woman

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    Overall
    (145)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (68)

    Marian is determined to be ordinary. She lays her head gently on the shoulder of her serious fiancé and quietly awaits marriage. But she didn't count on an inner rebellion that would rock her stable routine, and her digestion. Marriage a la mode, Marian discovers, is something she literally can't stomach ... The Edible Woman is a funny, engaging novel about emotional cannibalism, men and women, and desire to be consumed.

    Doggy Bird says: "Dissapointed, not much to hang onto"
    "I just didn’t get it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Was it me? Am I missing something obvious? Based on the pedigree of the author, I am more inclined to think I am overlooking something as opposed to this just being a really boring story.

    I feel that high-brow people feel obligated to say intelligent things about the book because Margaret Atwood is so renowned … whereas I just think it sucked.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hush Now, Don't You Cry

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (166)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (139)

    In the latest in Rhys Bowen's award-winning historical series, Molly Murphy is supposed to give up sleuthing now that she’s married, but the murder of an alderman puts her on the trail of a killer.

    Simone says: "Not My Favourite Instalment"
    "Not My Favourite Instalment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn’t like this one as much as the others, but it doesn’t matter. I'm still enjoying the series very much, and although I found there was something lacking in this instalment I am still a big Molly Murphy fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Food: A Love Story

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jim Gaffigan
    • Narrated By Jim Gaffigan
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (87)

    Stand-up comedian and author Jim Gaffigan has made his career rhapsodizing over the most treasured dishes of the American diet ("choking on bacon is like getting murdered by your lover") and decrying the worst offenders ("kale is the early morning of foods"). Fans flocked to his New York Times best-selling book Dad Is Fat to hear him riff on fatherhood but now, in his second book, he will give them what they really crave - his thoughts on all things culinary(ish).

    Adam Shields says: "Funny, but read more like a series of jokes"
    "A Long Stand-Up Routine"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I picked up this book after seeing a funny segment on The Tonight Show where Jim Gaffigan was plugging it. I got a few giggles watching him and Jimmy Fallon joke around, and thought his book might be enjoyable.

    It was, however it’s like 7 hours of stand-up on the same topic; funny but a little too long. I didn’t laugh out loud, but I smiled and chuckled a lot - it was entertaining but I can’t really say I’d recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rollback

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By George Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (163)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (72)

    Thirty-eight years ago, Dr. Sarah Halifax earned worldwide fame by deciphering a radio transmission from an unknown intelligence reaching out from deep space. Now 87, Sarah receives news that, at long last, a new signal has been received, and her services are desperately needed once again.

    Crystal says: "He's Been Better- Characters Good"
    "Immensely Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As per usual, RJS has me riveted to every word!

    His stories are always intensely interesting, deeply thought-provoking, and immensely entertaining.

    I’ve said it before and it’s still true: I can’t get enough!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Night over Water

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By Tom Casaletto
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (688)
    Performance
    (397)
    Story
    (393)

    On a bright September morning in 1939, two days after Britain declares war on Germany, a group of privileged but desperate people gather in Southhampton to board the largest, most luxurious airliner ever built - the Pan American Clipper - bound for New York.

    Daniel Mcafee says: "Fun Listen"
    "I Learned Something New!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great story! Interesting and suspenseful the entire way through.

    It was hard for me to follow the various story lines at first since I have trouble keeping track of names, but that didn’t last long and I soon got swept up by the plot.

    I also loved learning about the Pan Am Clipper!! I knew nothing about it prior to this book; a fascinating little bit of history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Paris Apartment

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Michelle Gable
    • Narrated By Erin Moon, Saskia Maarleveld
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    When her boss tells her about the discoveries in a cramped, decrepit apartment in the ninth arrondissement, Sotheby' s continental furniture specialist April Vaught does not hear "dust" or "rats" or "shuttered for 70 years". She hears Paris. She hears escape. She cannot board the plane fast enough. When she arrives, April quickly learns the apartment is more than just some rich hoarder' s repository. Beneath the dust and cobwebs and stale perfumed air is a literal goldmine - and not just in terms of actual dollars.

    Simone says: "Total Fail"
    "Total Fail"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow – I did NOT enjoy this book!

    I was in a Paris mood, looking for something “scenic” that would recall memories of past visits to Paris - instead I got drippy, insipid, BORING drivel.

    The characters were flat and unbelievable, the plot was uninteresting, the flashbacks were unexciting, the story uninspired… so why did I read on? Because I kept hoping things would improve; how much worse could they get since the book started off on such a low?

    The narration was a farce. The French accents were so extremely comically bad, to me it felt like what Americans think French people should sound like (when they are making fun of them!) It was over the top absurdly bad – everyone was a cliché of Clouseau. “Ziss iz zee best place to ave crrrrrroisant! Come ma belle, let us enjoy zee sun. It tiz a bootifool afternoon,non”

    ugh, I can’t even fake it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • What Alice Forgot

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Tamara Lovatt-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2072)
    Performance
    (1875)
    Story
    (1868)

    What would happen if you were visited by your younger self, and got a chance for a do-over?Alice Love is twenty-nine years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. So imagine her surprise when, after a fall, she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! she HATES the gym!) and discovers that she's actually thirty-nine, has three children, and is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce.

    Yvonne says: "Loved..."
    "I am thoroughly enjoying this author!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my 3rd Liane Moriarty book and so far I just loved them all! This author is now a default hit for me, meaning I’ll read more of her books without reading the synopsis first, confident they’ll all be as terrific as the last 3 I’ve read (The Husband’s Secret / Little Big Lies / What Alice Forgot)

    ‘What Alice Forgot’ is yet another example of a book with an original plot, where the ending doesn’t matter. Wrap it up, don’t wrap it up - who cares, it’s all about the ride.

    The characters are all so interesting, real, complicated, relatable, that you just get reeled in by the events and enjoy the journey.

    I can’t wait to read more books by this author, I am hooked!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Big Little Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2532)
    Performance
    (2317)
    Story
    (2313)

    Pirriwee Public's annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. The school principal is horrified. As police investigate what appears to have been a tragic accident, signs begin to indicate that this devastating death might have been cold-blooded murder. In this thought-provoking novel, number-one New York Times best-selling author Liane Moriarty deftly explores the reality of parenting and playground politics, ex-husbands and ex-wives, and fractured families.

    Joanne M. McGowan says: "I didn't want to press the stop button!"
    "I love, love, loved it!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a great story!

    Just like the last book I read by Liane Moriarty (The Husband's Secret – which I also loved) I was completely swept up by the characters. There were a lot of them in this book, which is usually very difficult for me as I have a lot of trouble remembering who is who, but the characters were all so dynamic and interesting that it was it pretty easy this time... although not effortless, I did get mixed up occasionally!

    The story is like a mystery in reverse - you know there has been a murder but you don’t know anything about it, like: who dunnit? Why? How? Who died? Then rewind 6 months and let the build up begin; like circling down around a drain, closer and closer to the last day – the day it all happened.

    The storylines are all interconnected, and as the story moves along you discover just how much. I don’t think anyone could have guessed the ending ahead of time, but all the red herrings certainly made it fun to try!

    I am downloading What Alice Forgot right away!!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Jennifer Worth
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1630)
    Performance
    (1459)
    Story
    (1475)

    At the age of 22, Jennifer Worth left her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in postwar London’s East End slums. The colorful characters she met while delivering babies all over London - from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lived to the woman with 24 children who couldn't speak English to the prostitutes and dockers of the city’s seedier side - illuminate a fascinating time in history.

    Kathy says: "This is one I didn't want to put down!"
    "Very interesting, but way too graphic for me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I always knew about the deplorable living conditions that the poorest of the poor in London had to endure in the late 19th and early 20th century, but never have I read a book that describes it all so vividly!

    I can’t fathom what it must have been like to live through it; it was hard to keep reading because I was so disgusted. It’s all so appalling!! The scum and rot and pestilence surrounding people every day, putrefying scraps of food, decaying body odours, filthy surroundings; what a sad existence.

    The stories are fascinating yet tragic, I don’t think I will be reading the rest of the series; I can’t take it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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