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Sudi

Coffee-UFOs-Cats-Books-Halloween

ratings
48
REVIEWS
27
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
12

  • Shockaholic

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Carrie Fisher
    • Narrated By Carrie Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (150)
    Performance
    (136)
    Story
    (136)

    Told with the same intimate style, brutal honesty, and uproarious wisdom that placed Wishful Drinking on the New York Times bestseller list for months, Shockaholic is the juicy account of Carrie Fisher’s life, focusing more on the Star Wars years and dishing about the various Hollywood relationships she’s formed since she was chosen to play Princess Leia at only 19 years old.

    JanBreesmom says: "Carrie Fisher Grows up, Learns About Real Life"
    "Carrie Fisher: Truthaholic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Shockaholic?

    What's not to love?

    Carrie Fisher, addicted to brutal truth, delivered the fascinating details of her life with her classic self-effacing humor.


    What other book might you compare Shockaholic to and why?

    Well... 'Wishful Drinking' -- Ms. Fisher's memoir that also let's her fans know what her Wonder Bread years were like


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

    Everyone has a 'readervoice' in their head that turns on when reading a book. You have your own style, and it works; besides, what else are you gonna do for a narrator?

    When an author, who is also an actor, reads you their work, you know you're getting it exactly the way they wrote and meant it to be heard.

    So you get the added novelty of filling in a sort of emotional gap between the author and audience.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    You could... in my case we did listen to it from beginning to end while driving (skidding) through a torrential downpour while looking for an open restaurant on the backroads of Virginia one Sunday.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved it.

    0 of 0 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
    (2049)
    Performance
    (1854)
    Story
    (1847)

    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..."
    ""What Alice Forgot" Is Not Forgettable, But…."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Liane Moriarty manages to take a tried and true soap operatic plot stand-by and make it interesting enough to keep a listener involved. Her characters are fun, intelligent and pretty well fleshed out. You feel you know them a few pages into the book and you do care what happens to them. Moriarty gets her readers invested in her characters, always the hallmark of an A+ author.

    I enjoyed the book. You most likely will, also.

    But…
    (FYI: The following is not really a spoiler since most of the synopses of the book explain the crux of the plot. But if you want an entirely fresh take, maybe you will want to skip my following insights, just in case I say something that takes too much from your own discoveries while listening. :)

    So, as I was saying, BUT…..



    If she had only pushed a little harder at the boundaries of what might possibly happen when someone becomes an amnesiac.

    Moriarty early on conveys that the problem is more of a nuisance and strange interlude -- not one of a medical tragedy, so I guess I wanted more tangles and entertaining scenarios where Alice's memory loss gets her into a pickle. It just seems that the plot begged for some excruciatingly revealing but inadvertent situations that could put Alice in a situation that was comedic and still moved the plot along, too, based on her inability to recall most of her recent past.

    There was a mix of the serious and the lighthearted, somewhat. But at times I couldn't tell if Moriarty wanted to get a little too dark, at the expense of the more lighthearted which was set at the beginning.

    Anyway. There are well developed relationships and well written insights into the characters inner lives. There will be times that you want to yell at Alice, "Just ASK what happened!" But then, that is the point of the book and the involvement you have with it. And that makes it a pretty entertaining ride.

    And one word about the narrator: Excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Bruce Locke
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (214)
    Performance
    (195)
    Story
    (194)

    The new novel - a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan - from the internationally acclaimed author, his first since IQ84. Here he gives us the remarkable story of Tsukuru Tazaki, a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. It is a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages.

    Pamela J says: "We're all victims of our youth"
    "Murakami Takes a Literary Pilgrimage with His Readers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I never quite knew where I stood with Haruki Murakami's hero, Tsukuru Tazaki. But that was not a bad thing.

    I once read a novel by Joyce Carol Oates - I don't recall which one - but I remember thinking, as I dove deeper into it, that it was like climbing a brick wall with no end. I sort of felt this way while listening to Murakami's tale of the life of Tsukuru Tazaki. Was he a good man? Is he really a bad man? Where did my sympathies lie? Murakami gave me just enough information about his character to keep me involved in his life's journey while also feeling that I may not be getting the whole story on Tsukuru's flaws or better qualities. I will say it was quite the existential travel, like Sartre's "No Exit." Where was the moral compass I kept looking for from the narrator? But that structural vertigo did keep me interested in discovering the roots of Tsukuru's character.

    Anyway. A good book keeps you thinking. Not only about the plot's twists and resolutions but also about the structure the author chooses to use. It seems to me, that this book could be used in Lit classes to excellent purpose.

    Some reviews had mentioned they found the narrator's slight Japanese accent to be patronizing in some fashion. I didn't think of it that way. Since I was listening to a reading in English, of a Japanese novel, I felt it added color. (Ironically, given the book's title.) Like a person from Japan was telling me, in his second language, his story as we travelled on a long trip.

    Also and lastly, I'll mention one of those weird synchronicity things that I often notice and think is kinda neat. Right after I finished the book I noticed Murakami had a short story The New Yorker. Also, I was in a bookstore not long after and saw another book by him on an endcap. Having never heard of Murakami until I found The Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki, I found it interesting. Of course, it probably just means Murakami is extra hot right now.

    If you like a book written by a writer's writer, you'll find this book to your taste.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (18474)
    Performance
    (16444)
    Story
    (16403)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "King Earns a Crown With this One"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    From the opening line to the last Stephen King brings his A-Game. You NEVER lose interest in this book. And it's a hefty tome.

    I think just about everyone agrees that Stephen King's ability to breathe literary life into his characters is pretty much unchallenged in today's fiction field and he does a superb job of instilling pathos and humanity into all of his characters in this novel.

    11/22/63 is part fantasy, much like all of King's work. But unlike a lot of his work (in which the fantastic lands in the horror genre,) this novel doesn't veer into the realm of the scary and undead. The main twist in this book includes a time flux in the plot's construction--which involves a lot of nostalgic play for anyone that was born in the fifties or sixties. Yet, the story is full of depth, which means anyone who loves an excellent character-based tale with nuanced intrigue will have no problem getting into this book.

    And don't let the title cool your interest if you think the book heavily relies on a million facts about the assassination of JFK. It doesn't. That aspect creates a translucent "time period" backdrop for a really fine travel into one man's quest to create a different ending to many things.

    This novel keeps you in that loop and waiting to discover if he succeeds.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Michael Brooks
    • Narrated By James Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1685)
    Performance
    (776)
    Story
    (781)

    Science starts to get interesting when things don't make sense. Science's best-kept secret is that there are experimental results and reliable data that the most brilliant scientists can neither explain nor dismiss. If history is any precedent, we should look to today's inexplicable results to forecast the future of science. Michael Brooks heads to the scientific frontier to meet 13 modern-day anomalies and discover tomorrow's breakthroughs.

    Stephen says: "10 interesting chapters-read epiloge first"
    "A Walk Through The High Weeds in Science"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not a physicist, biologist or nuclear scientist. But as a (somewhat) normal human with a (reasonable) amount of curiosity, I found this book engaging. I admit to not following every science based nuance and facet that the author presented in these 13 anomalies of the scientific world but I did feel that Michael Brooks had dumbed down the intricacies as much as was possible for the lay reader and still preserve the essential ingredients of the Things.

    If you were drawn to the title, you will be drawn into the book's intriguing facts. The narration is superb and it's the type of book that can handle a second or third listen, just to nail down some of the fine points you may have missed during the first listen. If you've already read a few reviews & like what they say, you will find the unreasonable 13 Things excellent fodder for your gray matter to chew upon.

    If you decide against listening to or reading 13 Things That Don't Make Sense, Mr. Brooks will have to edit the title to then read: 14 Things That Don't Make Sense.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Laura Lane McNeal
    • Narrated By January Lavoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (217)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (195)

    When Ibby Bell's father dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1964, her mother unceremoniously deposits Ibby with her eccentric grandmother Fannie and throws in her father's urn for good measure. Fannie's New Orleans house is like no place Ibby has ever been - and Fannie, who has a tendency to end up in the local asylum - is like no one she has ever met. Fortunately, Fannie's black cook, Queenie, and her smart-mouthed daughter, Dollbaby, take it upon themselves to initiate Ibby into the ways of the South both its grand traditions and its darkest secrets.

    Stacy says: "Great Story"
    "Tale of Old-New Orleans Well Paced"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First off, Doll-Baby is superbly narrated. January LaVoy masterfully adapts her reading to her characters' personalities and origins. This definitely gives the story depth and adds flesh to the bones of the individuals in the tale.

    The story itself is good… it holds your interest, but Ms. McNeal often stunts her tale by a too simplistic sentence structure, which leaves the listener hoping for slightly more depth in the thought and personalities of her characters. Ms. LaVoy helps to add gradations of personal qualities which Ms. McNeal often neglects. Hence the three stars for the story itself and the five stars given the performance.

    Some listeners may find the characters somewhat stereotyped. But in Ms. McNeal's defense, this seems to be a matter of the depths to which she wished to mine her players' inner life. Also, all of her characters are treated to the same level of development, which does give the story an even literary treatment. In other words, there isn't a lack of development in only some of the characters, there seems to be an overall reliance by Ms. McNeal to have the reader fill in the undefined gaps on all of her characters, while mainly giving a surface development to them all. That said, you do actually get enough grit in the story to get to know the players and to care what happens to them.

    If you are interested in a (non-intellectually-taxing,) solid story of a young girl's coming-of-age in unexpected circumstances, you will enjoy Doll-Baby overall, at about that four-star level.

    Just don't expect to discover the next Great American Novel.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Black Diamonds: The Rise and Fall of an English Dynasty

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Catherine Bailey
    • Narrated By Gareth Armstrong
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    Wentworth is today a crumbling and forgotten palace in Yorkshire. Yet just 100 years ago it was the ancestral pile of the Fitzwilliam's - an aristocratic clan whose home and life were fuelled by coal mining. This is the story of their spectacular decline: of inheritance fights; rumours of a changeling and of lunacy; philandering earls; illicit love; war heroism: a tragic connection to the Kennedy's; violent deaths: mining poverty and squalor; and a class war that literally ripped apart the local landscape.

    Robert says: "A blockbuster"
    "Black Diamonds: Pure Gold"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well. If you love British History, especially the history which zeroes in on a particular family's life, then of course you will want to listen to "Black Diamonds."

    This is a well researched and intriguing presentation of the history of the Fitzwilliam family and their relationship to the industry which supported them and the thousands of colliers who lived to mine their fortune of coal, or "black diamonds." That the mining of coal allowed a lopsided advantage of privileged wealth to the gentry while exacting a heavy toll (both physically and financially,) on the miners, is revealed in an interesting and engaging way by the author, Catherine Bailey.

    By examining the rise and fall of the Fitzwillams, Ms. Bailey renders a good understanding of the economic relationship of English aristocracy and the people they employed while also fully coloring the manner in which industrial England transformed after the reformation of the ownership of the coal industry itself. Even with all the finely nuanced political and economic information which Ms. Bailey includes, it is never a dry read (or listen,) but a thoroughly gripping story of human trials, life and loves.

    One last word. I need to throw some well-earned accolades toward the narrator, Gareth Armstrong. His performance, in which he easily switches from some very specific regional accents and back to his "neutral" narrative voice, is 100% on target. His abilities, (even when wrestling with the flattened vowels of an American voice,) are beyond expectation and render a full spectrum of character and depth to the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Full Dark, No Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson, Jessica Hecht
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2368)
    Performance
    (1120)
    Story
    (1116)

    "I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger...." writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up "1922", the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerizing tales from Stephen King. For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife, Arlette, proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in motion a gruesome train of murder and madness.

    Parusski says: "Eerie, honest, frightening!"
    "Full Dark: 3 1/2 Stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Full Dark, No Stars" is a great beach book.

    It's also a good listen while you take your daily exercise stroll through the town.

    Stephen King never writes a Bad Story, although some of the tales in this book are a bit irregular. As though they were written early in his writing endeavors, when Mr. King was developing his "voice."

    I got the impression he wanted to write a full-throttle gore and horror tale when he penned "1922" but his natural inclination to invest a character with humanity and pathos sometimes bled through, knocking the profile of the lead character somewhat off. But that mild inconsistency isn't fatal. You still engage with the storyline and hang on to see what happens. I could say the same irregularity in viewpoint and characterization somewhat applies to the other three tales in the compilation to a lesser degree, also.

    All-in-all, though, it's a good and interesting ride.

    But if you're looking for your next Stephen King excursion and haven't yet read/listened to "11/22/63" by King, I would recommend that "11/22/63" be your next King pick. Go for "Full Dark, No Stars" only when you've exhausted all the other offerings by Mr. King.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Graham Nash
    • Narrated By Graham Nash
    Overall
    (210)
    Performance
    (194)
    Story
    (196)

    From Graham Nash - the legendary musician and founding member of the iconic bands Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Hollies - comes a candid and riveting autobiography that belongs on the reading list of every classic rock fan.

    James says: "A Great Story for fans of the Hollies and CSN!"
    "Old Hippies Never Die"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Wild Tales?

    Can't say I actually loved anything in particular but I did like the recreation of the 60's and beyond music scene from someone who managed to stay aware enough to obviously recall most of it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Wild Tales?

    I thought the serendipity of meeting the Everly Brothers on the street in England and talking with them after seeing them perform was intriguing. I guess that could never happen today with an aspiring musician and their heroes.


    What about Graham Nash’s performance did you like?

    It was nice hearing his actual enthusiasm when reading some anecdote that appeared to really touch him in some way.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Wild Tales: A Rock and Roll LIfe

    Relive the crazy, incredible fun without further damaging your liver!


    Any additional comments?

    I could have used fewer political advocations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Robert Matzen
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    This fresh look at Hollywood's "Queen of Screwball," Carole Lombard, presents a first-ever examination of the events that led to the shocking flight mishap that took her life on the side of a Nevada mountain in 1942. It also provides a day-by-day account of the struggles of Lombard's husband, Clark Gable, and other family, friends, and fans to cope with the tragedy. In effect, having just completed the first sale of war bonds and stamps in the nation following its entry into World War II, Lombard became the first Hollywood star to sacrifice her life in the war.

    Sudi says: "Carole, Reanimated"
    "Carole, Reanimated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Fireball in three words, what would they be?

    Researched; Personal; Gripping


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

    Ms.Gilbert does read with enthusiasm.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I appreciated that Mr. Matzen fleshed out some peripheral players in the lives of Lombard and also Gable.


    Any additional comments?

    I've always felt I knew Carole; now I feel I know her better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3166)
    Performance
    (2818)
    Story
    (2824)

    Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Walkabout"
    "A Real Trip"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry the most enjoyable?

    The descriptive character building.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's a road trip without the car.


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

    Well, what American doesn't love a British accent?


    If you could take any character from The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Harold, at the end of his trip.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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