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Simone

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Member Since 2006

379
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 297 reviews
  • 431 ratings
  • 836 titles in library
  • 92 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
56

  • Parasite

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Mira Grant
    • Narrated By Christine Lakin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (160)
    Performance
    (151)
    Story
    (150)

    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
  • Bless the Bride: A Molly Murphy Mystery, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (132)

    With Molly Murphy’s wedding to NYPD Captain Daniel Sullivan quickly approaching, the Irish P.I. heads to the Westchester County countryside,where Daniel’s mother can counsel her on a bride’s proper place. Surprisingly, Molly seems to be agreeing with her future mother-in-law’s advice. Molly promises to leave her detective work behind and settle down after becoming Daniel’s wife…but she isn’t married yet. So when she gets word of a possible case, Molly sneaks back into the city to squeeze in a little more sleuthing before the wedding bells can ring.

    Simone says: "Dependable “go-to series”"
    "Dependable “go-to series”"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Molly Murphy Books have turned into default reads for me, which is good and bad.

    Good – well, because the stories are good! I know in advance I will like them and can reach for the next installment of the series with confidence knowing I won’t be disappointed.

    Bad – because I am running out of available titles!! This was Book 10 so I only have 11, 12 and 13 left (which I will blow through in no time) and then I will have to wait until the titles are released before reading more. Book 14 is only due out in 2015.

    This is also how I felt when I finished all the titles in Sue Grafton’s alphabet series: going from a new title whenever the mood strikes, to waiting years between installment.

    I like having a dependable “go-to series”; you’re never at a loss for something good to read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10622)
    Performance
    (9891)
    Story
    (9894)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "The Ultimate Video / Role Playing Game!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a sucker for a good idea and I was so interested in this one that is was easy to overlook the book’s short comings. It’s too long and many of the scenes are too drawn out; a good editing would have helped! Still, I found the story so novel and original that I was hooked from the start.

    I can see how if you are of a certain age (under 25) many of the 80s references would sail right over your head, I was born in the early 70s so I am the perfect age for the target audience. In addition to being a unique story, it was an extremely entertaining walk down memory lane.

    Great fun!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Richard C. Morais
    • Narrated By Neil Shah
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (601)
    Performance
    (549)
    Story
    (540)

    Born above his grandfather’s modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumière, a small village in the French Alps.

    Marci says: "Great details & writing in a flawed story"
    "It was alright, I didn’t love it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book felt like a comedy to me (a boring comedy by the end) and I am not entirely sure it was supposed to. I was not really taken by any of the characters and therefore my interest was not captivated as the story plotted along.

    I just read it because it was on sale and there is a movie coming out; I’m in for seeing the movie because Helen Mirren is excellent in everything she does so I know I will be entertained. I suspect most of the movie will center around the part of the story when Hassan and his family moved in across the street from Madame Mallory; the rest of the book doesn’t have as much meat so I can’t imagine an entire movie!

    The narration was a “fail” for me. I’ve said this a million times, but my biggest audio-book pet peeve is a narrator who doesn’t have a handle on foreign languages. While I am in no position to comment on his Indian (sounded plausible to me) I can unequivocally say the French was terrible. I have zero tolerance anymore for that kind of thing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How Could This Happen: Explaining the Holocaust

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Dan McMillan
    • Narrated By Robert Blumenfeld
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    The Holocaust is the defining event of the twentieth century and perhaps all of modern history. Yet for too long, we have ignored the vital question of how and why such a monstrous event could have happened at all. Now, in How Could This Happen, historian Dan McMillan distills the existing Holocaust research into a cogent explanation of the genocide’s causes, revealing how a once progressive society like Germany could commit murder on such a massive scale.

    Simone says: "The Ultimate Unanswerable Question"
    "The Ultimate Unanswerable Question"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There just isn’t an answer... and I think that’s part of what makes it such an intriguing subject to learn about. It just boggles the mind. It’s scary to think that something like this is possible – still possible; call me a cynic but I don’t think humanity is immune from a repeat.

    Paraphrasing myself from another book review: Institutionalized racism is insidious. What starts off as a guideline (often times misguided) for the alleged benefit of the community can quickly devolve into an us versus them mentally, pitting people against each other and stirring up violence and hatred and intolerance. It scares me how people don’t see a slippery slope when it’s staring them in the face. Charter of Values in Quebec anyone?

    This book presents a lot of interesting ideas of how culture and history mixed over the years to create the right conditions for the Holocaust, and it does puts forward some very plausible causes, but in the end I think it’s the ultimate unanswerable question.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Neil deGrasse Tyson
    • Narrated By Mirron Willis
    Overall
    (319)
    Performance
    (220)
    Story
    (220)

    In August 2006, the International Astronomical Union voted Pluto out of planethood. Far from the sun, tiny, and eccentric in orbit, it's a wonder Pluto has any fans. Yet during the mounting debate over Pluto's status, Americans rallied behind the extraterrestrial underdog.

    John says: "A Great Value"
    "Just as Expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I only bought it because it was on sale for 2$ and I got my money’s worth. If you like pop-astronomy you’ll be interested; if you don’t, you won’t.

    Over all it was dry, but because it was short it wasn’t so bad. Some boring parts, some interesting factoids….

    I don’t have a whole lot to say on this one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Illusion

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (176)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (156)

    Irish immigrant and private detective Molly Murphy is thrilled to have a ticket to see world-famous illusionist Harry Houdini. But before he can even take the stage, the opening act goes horribly wrong—and the sensational Signor Scarpelli’s lovely assistant is sawed in half. In the aftermath, Scarpelli accuses Houdini of tampering with his equipment. Who else but the so-called Handcuff King could have got a hold of his trunk of tricks, which he keeps under lock and key?

    Elkay says: "Stop Taxing Your Delicate Ladybrain"
    "As reliably entertaining as always!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love this series, obviously since I am up to Book 9!

    I understand that a huge part of the subplot in the series is the relationship between Molly and Daniel, and I get that if they got married in Book 2 it would have been too soon, but I am getting tired of the “my wife won’t work” part of Daniel’s character so I am looking forward to getting that all resolved.

    Time to move on! Keep working, get hitched and have those babies already!! There’ll be lots of good stories to tell around that and I am looking forward to them all!

    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
    (2228)
    Performance
    (1965)
    Story
    (1953)

    >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."
    "Slow Start, Great Middle, Hurried Finish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was so bored with the beginning of the book that I almost gave up. I’m glad I didn’t however because it got better and better as it went along; it picked up enough to hold my interest and when it did, I didn’t put it down again until the end. I found it to be a very interesting story and educational too! I like learning about what life was like in other times and that’s what kept me hooked through the book. Great story.

    As slow as I found the start, I felt the end just whizzed by. The entire last third of the book felt like an epilogue, as if when the main story was over the author wanted to keep developing the characters but hadn’t really developed a plot – I felt like after the summer of 1922 in New York City, it was the next 50 years of their lives in fast forward point form.

    The narration was good, but it took me a while to get used to “Lady Cora Grantham” narrating a story about another Cora! Ha!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Once We Were Brothers

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Ronald H. Balson
    • Narrated By Fred Berman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (74)

    Elliot Rosenzweig, a respected civic leader and philanthropist, is attending a fundraiser when he is suddenly accosted and accused of being a former Nazi SS officer named Otto Piatek, the Butcher of Zamosc. Although the charges are denounced as preposterous, his accuser is convinced he is right and engages attorney Catherine Lockhart to bring Rosenzweig to justice.

    Simone says: "Almost Perfect"
    "Almost Perfect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    These types of books are my favourite; I always gets sucked into WW2 era stories because I find them so compelling and I found this story even more riveting than many others because of the added legal-thriller-courtroom-drama aspect.

    Although I found it was an excellent story, some things did bother me a little:

    •In the beginning when Ben wanted to tell his tale to Catherine, the whole “lawyer wants to hurry up / Ben wants to slow things down” thing was very tedious. I felt like it was being drilled into me – it was borderline drinking game. “get to the point Ben” “I’m getting there Catherine” enough!

    •Too much interjection of the present punctuated into the recollections of the past. I’ve read many books where the main narrative is told as a recollection, but the interjection of only a sentence or two from the current time line (like a question from Catherine) broke the mood. Explaining to me how Catherine was reacting to Ben’s story or going into detail about how she felt about what she was hearing interrupted the flow and rhythm.

    •The romance between Catherine and Liam – why bother? Such an unnecessary thread. That entire thing could have been cut out in my opinion along with ALL of Catherine’s personal-life threads. Pointless.

    Despite those complaints, I really enjoyed it overall. Good book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Plum Island

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2593)
    Performance
    (1878)
    Story
    (1869)

    Wounded in the line of duty, NYPD homicide cop John Corey is convalescing in rural eastern Long Island when an attractive young couple he knows is found shot to death on the family patio. The victims were biologists at Plum Island, a research site rumored to be an incubator for germ warfare. Suddenly, a local double murder takes on shattering global implications - and thrusts Corey and two extraordinary women into a dangerous search for the secret of Plum Island....

    DERALD says: "Great on par with" LION'S GAME""
    "John Corey needs an attitude transplant."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I’m only two thirds of the way done, but my opinion won’t change by the time I reach the end.

    There is a fine line between good witty sarcastic humour and just being a wise@$$. I can’t decide on which side of that line John Corey belongs, but he likes to linger on the low-side and I’m fed up.

    There is only so much chauvinistic inner dialogue I can take. Perhaps it was intentional, but now it’s just getting on my nerves.

    I don’t think I can make it through another adventure, so I think book 1 in this series will be my last.

    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
    (31)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (28)

    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

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