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Teresa

Okemos, MI, United States | Member Since 2007

31
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 153 ratings
  • 416 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
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  • Bring Up the Bodies: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1188)
    Performance
    (1019)
    Story
    (1029)

    Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down.

    Darwin8u says: "Mantel Pulls the History out of the History"
    "Another success for Hilary Mantel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The glut of media about Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn in the past few years had almost convinced me I never, ever wanted to hear anything more about them; and then I heard Hilary Mantel interviewed on Fresh Air. First Wolf Hall and now Bring Up the Bodies. Fascinating characters. They are complex and human; multi-dimensional. I enjoyed feeling, in turn, dislike, pity, frustration, confusion and sometimes even amusement. And of course Thomas Cromwell is the most complex of them all. In summary, it's a great read/listen, and the narrator does a great job of helping bringing the story to life. You won't be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Katherine Pancol, William Rodarmor (translator), Helen Dickinson (translator)
    • Narrated By Ellen Archer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    When her chronically unemployed husband runs off to start a crocodile farm in Kenya with his mistress, Joséphine Cortès is left in an unhappy state of affairs. The mother of two - confident, beautiful teenage Hortense and shy, babyish Zoé - is forced to maintain a stable family life while making ends meet on her meager salary as a medieval history scholar. Meanwhile, Joséphine's charismatic sister Iris seems to have it all - a wealthy husband, gorgeous looks, and a très chic Paris address - but she dreams of bringing meaning back into her life.

    jaye says: "THIS COULD HAVE BEEN A FIVE STAR BOOK"
    "As substantive as a macaroon"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Maureen Corrigan recommended The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles as a light, fun escape. I usually like her recommendations, but this is an exception. I thought the plot was predictable and labored, and the characters were tedious. I found it neither fun nor entertaining, and finished it only because it was the only book on tape I had on my iPhone on the long drive home.

    I'm usually a Francophile and expected to enjoy this book if only because it was written by a French author. But sadly, no. Josephine, you're no Amelie.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Still Life with Bread Crumbs: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Anna Quindlen
    • Narrated By Carrington MacDuffie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (512)
    Performance
    (446)
    Story
    (443)

    Still Life with Bread Crumbs begins with an imagined gunshot and ends with a new tin roof. Between the two is a wry and knowing portrait of Rebecca Winter, a photographer whose work made her an unlikely heroine for many women. Her career is now descendent, her bank balance shaky, and she has fled the city for the middle of nowhere. There she discovers, in a tree stand with a roofer named Jim Bates, that what she sees through a camera lens is not all there is to life.

    Jen says: "Exceeded My High Expectations"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to love this book because I have so enjoyed (most of) Anna Quindlen's other books. But this one--not so much. The story is all too predictable.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Valley of Amazement

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Amy Tan
    • Narrated By Nancy Wu, Joyce Bean, Amy Tan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1099)
    Performance
    (970)
    Story
    (987)

    Shanghai, 1912. Violet Minturn is the privileged daughter of the American madam of the city's most exclusive courtesan house. But when the Ching dynasty is overturned, Violet is separated from her mother in a cruel act of chicanery and forced to become a "virgin courtesan." Half-Chinese and half-American, Violet grapples with her place in the worlds of East and West - until she is able to merge her two halves, empowering her to become a shrewd courtesan who excels in the business of seduction and illusion, though she still struggles to understand who she is.

    Pamela says: "Just could NOT get past the ugliness"
    "Amy Tan Wrote This?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If the author had been anyone other than Amy Tan I wouldn't haven't listened as long as I did. The characters are undeveloped and uninteresting, and the plot--such as it is--simply struggles along. I kept wondering if it was the writing or the narration that was the problem, and then came to the sad conclusion that it was both. Amy Tan--did you listen to the narrators? And if so, didn't you have the ability to ask for replacements?

    This is a second-rate bodice buster that goes on far too long. My recommendation: Skip it. Try ANY of Tan's other books. She's a talented and moving writer--something just went terribly wrong with this book.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Identical

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Scott Turow
    • Narrated By Henry Leyva
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (347)
    Performance
    (285)
    Story
    (286)

    Identical, based loosely on the myth of Castor and Pollux, is the story of identical twins, Paul and Cass Giannis, and the complex relationships between their family and their former neighbors, the Kronons. The audiobook focuses principally on events in 2008, when Paul is a candidate for Mayor of Kindle County, and Cass is released from the penitentiary, 25 years after pleading guilty to the murder of his girlfriend, Athena Kronon.

    Jacqueline says: "Courtroom Drama Takes a Back Seat"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a big Scott Turow fan, so I was excited to see he had a new novel. Very disappointing. The brilliant twists and turns of Presumed Innocent just weren't here. I guessed the mysteries too far in advance to feel any sense of satisfaction. My recommendation is that you check out any other of Turow's very entertaining books.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Optimist's Daughter

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Eudora Welty
    • Narrated By Eudora Welty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (25)

    This story of a young woman's confrontation with death and her past is a poetic study of human relations.

    Teresa says: "Beautiful writing"
    "Beautiful writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like most people I don't like abridged versions of books and avoid them. So I WISH that Eudora Welty had recorded the unabridged version of this book, but to the best of my knowledge she didn't.

    That being said, the beauty of the writing and the wonderful narration by the author outweigh any frustration resulting from abridgment. I have owned this recording for 10 - 15 years (first in audio cassettes), and returning to it is always a pleasure. I hear something new each time I listen.

    I highly recommend this recording.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The St. Zita Society

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Ruth Rendell
    • Narrated By Carol Boyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    From three-time Edgar Award-winning mystery writer Ruth Rendell comes a captivating tale of residents and servants on one block of a posh London street - and the deadly ways their lives intertwine. Life in the well-manicured London locale of Hexam Place is not as placid and orderly as it appears. Behind the tranquil gardens and polished entryways, relationships between servants and their employers are set to combust. Henry, the handsome valet to Lord Studley, is sleeping with both the Lord's wife and his university-age daughter.

    Susianna says: "Cast of Unlikable Characters Doing Very Little"
    "Big Rendell Fan - Big Disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a long-time fan of Ruth Rendell, but not a fan of this book. Very dull, very predictable. Some subplots were left dangling. Ho hum. Glad it's over.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Wolf Hall

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Simon Slater
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1996)
    Performance
    (1260)
    Story
    (1267)

    In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political powerEngland in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn.

    S. Marie says: "A unique perspective of history"
    "Everything I didn't know about the Boleyn story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There's been a great deal in recent media about Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn, and I thought I'd heard and read enough to last me a lifetime. But I heard Hilary Mantel interviewed on Fresh Air and she sounded so intelligent and spoke in such an interesting way about the women in her books, that I thought I'd given them a try. Lucky me! I learned more than I could have imagined about the people who played their large and tragic parts in the drama of Henry and Ann. But this is a book about Thomas Cromwell in particular--only a name to me until now. Fascinating and wonderful read/listen! You won't be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Publish and Perish: Three Tales of Tenure and Terror

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By James Hynes
    • Narrated By Adam Grupper
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    This set of novellas from Austin, Texas resident James Hynes was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. As chilling as the best of Edgar Allan Poe and bursting with fiendish humor, Publish and Perish features three tales from the not-so-hallowed halls of academia. Hailed as a “delightful collection of the ghostly and the ghastly” by the Austin Chronicle, these stories are brought to wicked life by Adam Grupper.

    Teresa says: "Surprisingly Fun!"
    "Surprisingly Fun!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book of 3 novellas is unexpectedly fun and entertaining! The subjects of each of the three are academics, so this book is particularly endearing if you are or love an academician. All of the politics, competitiveness and battles of ego that make up life in our colleges and universities are lovingly handled by the author--but with an eerie spin that will make you shiver and make you laugh!

    I discovered this book several years ago and have read it several times. Purchased it on Audible to enjoy it in one more medium. It's that enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Life of Pi

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10663)
    Performance
    (5891)
    Story
    (5935)

    Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

    Theresa says: "Best audio of the year for me"
    "You can believe the accolades"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As many others have written, I loved this book despite my intentions. The author has spun a magical, beautiful and tragic story, and I was sorry to have it come to an end. I didn't want to stop hearing Pi's voice.

    Which leads me to the subject of the narrator: A wonderful job. Sometimes the best that can be hoped of the narrator is that he/she just doesn't get in the way of the writing. Jeff Woodman, the narrator here, brought the book to life. His work is the new gold standard.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone. I've been left with a glow and the anticipation of returning to it in a few months.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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