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Wendi

Canadian girl in Kansas, love audible, books on kindle or kindle fire, and old fashioned books! I enjoy fiction most, mostly books with strong female leads. Favourite authors: Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Pat Conroy, Andre Dubus III, Lisa Genova, many more!

Overland Park, KS, United States | Member Since 2012

121
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 36 reviews
  • 105 ratings
  • 629 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2015
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12

  • The Storyteller

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Mozhan Marno, Jennifer Ikeda, Edoardo Ballerini, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3549)
    Performance
    (3099)
    Story
    (3115)

    Jodi Picoult's poignant number one New York Times best-selling novels about family and love tackle hot-button issues head on. In The Storyteller, Sage Singer befriends Josef Weber, a beloved Little League coach and retired teacher. But then Josef asks Sage for a favor she never could have imagined - to kill him. After Josef reveals the heinous act he committed, Sage feels he may deserve that fate. But would his death be murder or justice?

    Suzn F says: "The Baker, The Nun, The Virgin and The Monster"
    "Best Novel from Picoult in Years"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Storyteller the most enjoyable?

    Overall, I felt that the perplexity and the fantastic chrarters are definitely the best part of 'The Story Teller. I was very hard to put down. I got lost in the points of view of the Holocaust, and then I found the point of view from a guard at Auschwitz. Picoult devles into th social history of the Holocaust, and tells the story from an officer who was there, and a woman who was there to take him abuses. She adds a certain 'human' element to each character, and displays their weaknesses, flaws, and strong points.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Storyteller?

    There are so many wonderful moments in The Story Teller, however the most memorable moment was when the grandmother is speaking, and tells of her best friend being murdered in front of her eyes even though she's not done anything wrong. The entire story was really very memorable and well done. It will stick with me forever.


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

    I really loved the German accents, and the way the few lines in German sounded. I loved the different voices for each character.


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

    I was especially moved when Sage, the granddaughter of the Holocaust survivor, learned of everything that had happened to her grandmother. The comparing of 'What if that would happen now?' is simply terrifying. Also, I cried a one point where a lady had to suffocate her baby to keep it quiet. (Won't say who)


    Any additional comments?

    I think this is the most intimate book Picoult has ever written and I could not put it down. It was a fantastic read.

    19 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • The Best of Me

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Nicholas Sparks
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1298)
    Performance
    (1102)
    Story
    (1103)

    In the fall of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply, irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for one another seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.

    L.W. says: "Horribly depressing"
    "Same Formula With Same Results"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You want to read 'The Best of Me' by Nicholas Sparks- Well- you really don't have to bother. You can read one of his dozens of other books and come up with the same sense of satisfaction.

    Boy and girl know each other- Boy and girl are departed for a period of time- Boy and girl reunite but it's too late because some tragedy has happened and one has moved on.

    The ending is ultimately depressing- but it's bittersweet. The hero of the story really does give the heroine 'the best of him.'

    Nick needs to start moving on from formulations and start to make a few changes in his story lines. I think the last book I really enjoyed from Sparks was 'Dear John.' Of course it was really depressing and I cried like a baby while reading it- but at least I really connected to the characters.

    There is no connecting to the characters in 'The Best of Me' and I found myself rolling my eyes at the predictable ending. The narration is well done and die hard Sparks fans will love it- but it was just 'meh' in my opinion. Although, I will admit- I probably will read his next book as I am a glutton for punishment.

    3 stars overall

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    Overall
    (2076)
    Performance
    (1756)
    Story
    (1760)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    Paula says: "Mind Boggling Thrilling Mystery! Don't Miss It!"
    "Best Book I've Ever Listened To- Hands Down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not sure why the reviews are comparing 'The Girl on the Train' by Paula Hawkins to 'Gone Girl.' Gone Girl was a great story and I even enjoyed the movie- but the main character in 'The Girl On The Train' is extremely irritating, completely pathetic, sad and quite dreary- yet extraordinarily lovable and magnetic. I couldn't wait to see what she would say next.

    Rachel rides the train past the home of her ex husband and his new family. She notices their neighbours each day- a beautiful couple she names 'Jess' and 'Jason.' Each day on the train she goes by and spots them, imagining how happy their 'perfect' lives are.

    What we don't know is that Rachel is riding the train into London because she was sacked for being a raving alcoholic- a condition brought by infertility problems and the subsequent affair her ex had, and then their divorce.

    Things turn awry when Rachel rides by one day and sees 'Jess' making out with another man. While Rachel continues to fill her days drinking and faking being at work, she also develops a habit of drunk dialing her ex husband and his wife, and stumbling around in their neighbourhood. One night 'Jess' goes missing- and she's gone for days- and the problem is Rachel cannot remember what happened that night- only that the next day she had been hanging around her ex's neighbourhood and 'she has some unexplained bruises and cuts on her head. No one knows where Jess is- if she's dead, what she's done- but it turns out that there is a lot more to the 'perfect family' Rachel has conjured in her mind- and she finds herself entangled in their realities- instead of the imaginary family she made up.

    This book is fast paced and told by three points of view. Every bit of it is interesting and I couldn't stop listening to it. The twists and turns are shocking and it's not a book I will ever forget. What an intense novel- I absolutely fell in love with it!

    Brava! I am an instant fan of the author!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Before I Go

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Colleen Oakley
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne, Rebecca Lowman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant "Cancerversary" with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: Her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it's an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. Death is a frightening prospect - but not because she's afraid for herself.

    Wendi says: "Blown Away By The Human Heart"
    "Blown Away By The Human Heart"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to say, this book blew me away. I listened in the car, at work when I could, and every spare moment I had.

    Daisy has beaten breast cancer, and she is set at twenty-seven to live in marital bliss with her husband for the rest of her life. On a follow up appointment with her oncologist, she has been told that he's found a small lump in her breast, but not to worry. Well, the small lump turns out to be a sign that the cancer has taken over her body and, well.. she's not going to make it.

    She is so in love with her husband Jack and she's worried what will happen to him when she's gone. In all of her wisdom, she decides that she wants to find the perfect candidate for his next wife to ensure she can die knowing he'll be taken care of.

    She finds a candidate on an online site, but that candidate turns out to be someone who Jack already knows. Daisy begins to feel jealous and horrified that she thought she'd be able to find Jack a new wife, and Jack and the new girl spend a lot of time together..

    The story is depressing, but the main character is so lovable and relative. I loved the narration- it's very empathetic and soothing.

    The human element to this story is magnetic, and the prose are beautiful. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fantastic story or humanity and true love.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • What I Know for Sure

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Oprah Winfrey
    • Narrated By Oprah Winfrey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (602)
    Performance
    (523)
    Story
    (521)

    After film critic Gene Siskel asked her, "What do you know for sure?" Oprah Winfrey began writing the "What I Know for Sure" column in O, The Oprah Magazine. Saying that the question offered her a way to take "stock of her life", Oprah has penned one column a month over the last 14 years.

    Destinee says: "This one takes the cake"
    "Absolutely 'Oprah'- Inspiring and Beautiful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    'What I Know For Sure' is a compilation of Oprah's articles she has written over the years for O Magazine. I have always loved Oprah Winfrey and she is, in my opinion, one of the most influential people in the world.

    Oprah reads these delightful stories and has so much verity and confidence in her words and her voice. She talks about the mistakes she's made and her ways of thinking while she was in various stages (and ages) of her life. The book encompasses her struggles and some very good memories, and it flows like a beautiful glass of wine.

    Oprah has worked so hard and over the course of her life, she has been kind enough to share several epiphanies- from being promiscuous and a young age to having a baby, to getting over worrying about what everyone else thinks and wanting to do what makes her happy.

    She touches on having good friends, love, sex, relationships with her family, her struggle with her weight, her relationship with long time partner Stedman, her dogs, and her personal achievements and failures.

    I listened to this book in one setting and I appreciated it so much, I listened to it again. I will probably continue to 're-listen'- especially when I need some inspiration and motivation.

    5 solid stars

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Those Across the River

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Christopher Buehlman
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (114)

    Failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family's old estate - the Savoyard Plantation - and the horrors that occurred there. At first, the quaint, rural ways of their new neighbors seem to be everything they wanted. But there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice.

    Charles says: "Major Sound Issues"
    "Fantastic Story- Superb Characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Buelman's 'Those Across The River' was a real find for me. I can't remember who turned me on to it, but I am so glad I listened to it. There were a few problems with some sentences ending to abruptly, but not enough to abandon this most exquisite tale of terror in small town Georgia.

    Eudora and Frank Nichols have moved to a sleepy town in the south so that they could start fresh in a home they inherited from Frank's aunt. Frank's aunt does warn them that things aren't 'quite right' with the house, and tells them to sell it right away and not to live in it.

    The couple is looking for a way to get back on their feet, so they decide, against any caution, to move into the home. The townspeople seem fairly nice but much too 'Southern Like.' The setting takes place after World War I and the author does a great job in painting a post war picture.

    Strange and terrible things start to happen in the town when a child is ripped to shreds and eaten. When a bunch of bodies are dug up and pieced back together at the local high school, terror runs like a high fever and the townspeople start to fear for their very lives. They have one thing to focus on and worry about- They've upset 'Those Across The River.'

    This book is an excellent thrill ride filled with voluminous relationships, gentle and kid flowing prose, and some fascinating, loving and memorable characters. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who likes a good thrill, and good literature at the same time. Don't let the few hiccups in the recording bother you!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silent Sister: Riley MacPherson, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Diane Chamberlain
    • Narrated By Susan Bennett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (985)
    Performance
    (862)
    Story
    (859)

    In The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she's in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary. Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now?

    Wendi says: "Great story, kept me reading until late at night"
    "Great story, kept me reading until late at night"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Silent Sister contains much of Diane Chamberlain's usual formatting in writing a work of fiction. We have a confused woman who is trying to make sense of her family, and a ton of secrets behind the scenes that are slowly seeking their way to the top.

    Riley is a high school counselor. Her father is in ill health, and when he dies she discovers that long ago, she had a sister. Her brother is an ex veteran and isn't really interested in talking about the sister, who apparently committed suicide. However, as Riley digs deeper, she finds that her sister Jade's death was a big lie. Why would her family go to all of the trouble to fake her death and move her? There is an excellent reason why.

    The Silent Sister moves quickly and is packed full of juicy twists and turns. The main character is likable and the story on the whole is very well done. The narration was impeccable and this is an overall good audiobook which I enjoyed tremendously.

    Solid 4/5 stars

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Accidents of Marriage

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Randy Susan Meyers
    • Narrated By Susan Bennett
    Overall
    (120)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (106)

    Maddy is a social worker trying to balance her career and three children. Years ago, she fell in love with Ben, a public defender, drawn to his fiery passion, but now he's lashing out at her during his periodic verbal furies. She vacillates between tiptoeing around him and asserting herself for the sake of their kids - which works to keep a fragile peace - until the rainy day when they're together in the car and Ben's volatile temper gets the best of him, leaving Maddy in the hospital fighting for her life.

    Pamela Dale Foster says: "Love Is Not Always Enough"
    "Depressing and Eye Opening- Hit Too Close To Home"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I first started reading Meyers' 'Accidents of Marriage' I was overwhelmed with the similarities between my marriage and that of the main character. The husband Ben is a very self centered jerk who really couldn't care less about his wife Maddy, who took care of their family while he was out often 'on business.' He threw tantrums and she never knew what would set him off.

    One day he is in a very bad mood and they get into a car together. It's raining, and he has an accident and Maddy is left in the ICU with a brain injury. While her three children wait, terrified their mother will die, Ben is worried that people will discover the truth- which was that the accident was his fault and caused from his anger.

    The book goes from one narrator to the next, and uses the person's point of view. It reminded me a little of Gone Girl in the beginning, and a Jodi Picoult book in the middle and end.

    This book, albeit very depressing, was a real eye opener for me. The writing is just so raw and honest and it's touching. I sucked me in and I listened to it in two nights. The narrator does a wonderful job with all of the characters as well.

    4 solid stars

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Revival: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By David Morse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2032)
    Performance
    (1866)
    Story
    (1879)

    In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs - including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession.

    Thug4life says: "Not fit for a King"
    "The Years WThill Pass Us By.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stephen King is getting less creepy and more and more 'normal' in his writing. I know that a lot of people won't really like King's 'Revival,' however I wasn't one of them.

    Revival is about the pull that people have between believing in a higher power and giving what may seem like miraculous wonders credit to science.

    We start out with a young boy and his preacher, Charlie. The preacher teaches the young boy how a certain type of electricity works and lets him play with his many toys. When the preacher's wife and son are killed in a car accident, the 'terrible speech' was given- the preacher said that we are all fools if we believe in God.

    Years later, some of the people in the story are sick, some have died, but the little boy meets up with Charlie again. The little boy is now a heroin addict, and Charlie cures him- not without a few adverse affects. The two form an unbreakable relationship which is tumultuous but best served if they help one another.

    Strange things happen to some of their sick friends, but the question is always- what caused the strange happenings? A person- or a different force? Would you still believe?

    Revival is a very well read novel with excellent prose and great character development. I read it in two nights and I thought it was amazing.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Big Little Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4678)
    Performance
    (4169)
    Story
    (4167)

    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.

    Sharon says: "New Liane Moriarty fans!"
    "What Lies Beneath Our Outer Shells"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just finished listening to 'Big Little Lies,' the book which has been on the New York Times Bestselling list for weeks. Another book by the same author had equal popularity. It's called 'The Husband's Secret.'

    Big Little Lies focuses on a group of Kindergarten parents in Australia.

    Jane has moved her son Ziggy to another school. She is a single mom and of course wants the best for her child. On the first day of school, Ziggy is accused of choking a little girl. This immediately tarnishes Ziggy and Jane's social status. Her right to bring her 'horrible' child to school is questioned by the 'bobs' which are the Stepford-like judgmental moms (with blonde bob haircuts) who not only have the same coiffure, but make it a point to be a pack of followers. Renata, the parent of the attacked child, is relentless.

    Celeste is the mother of twin boys with a ridiculously handsome and wealthy husband. She sides with Jane on the matter, when parents start to write a petition to kick Ziggy out of school. Merideth also befriends Jane.

    Behind the friendships and talk of their children though, all of the women have some pretty shocking secrets to share, which all come to a head on 'Trivia Night,' where worlds collide and the truth comes out.

    I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes good literary fiction. The narrator was near perfect. She has an Australian accent and she is clear and concise. I really thought her voice was perfect for the story.

    There are a lot of 'shockers' in Big Little Lies, which made it hard for me to break from. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am sure any other audible listener, or reader, will as well.

    5 stars all the way through!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Leaving Time

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Abigail Revasch, Kathe Mazur, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2203)
    Performance
    (1981)
    Story
    (1981)

    Refusing to believe that she would be abandoned as a young child, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice's old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts. Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest.

    Jan says: "Pickiest Reader Would Be Willing to Give 6 Stars"
    "I Won't Lie, I Am Disappointed with Jodi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First let me say that Jodi Picoult is hands down, one of my top favourite authors. I've struggled with her ridiculous, and, at times, non-existing endings over the years. However, I always pre-order her books and look forward to their release. The reason I like Jodi so much is she makes the reader think of uncomfortable situations and deal with them. She also has a real knack for story telling.

    Sometimes though, Ms. Picoult has a habit of ripping off other authors' ideas. For example, her book 'Change of Heart' could have been titled 'The Green Mile Rip Off.' Anyone who's read it will know what I am talking about.

    **Spoiler Alert**

    Having said that, 'Leaving Time' is a bunch of very well done research about the mourning habits of elephants. It has some wonderful information on elephants in general, and Jodi has done her research. However, the story line might as well be called 'Elephants and the Sixth Sense.' In fact, maybe she could get Bruce Willis to play the hero, and perhaps grab Whoopie Goldberg (who, I swear the 'medium' character is written for), to co-star.

    Leaving Time focuses on a little girl who is trying to find her mother. Her mother is a specialist in the elephant kingdom, as was her father. Her mother, however, left when the little girl was extremely young and she was never found. So, a psychic and a police detective decide to help the girl find her mother.

    The book is mostly filler- it could easily be a non fiction book about elephants- but the story line develops throughout the filler, and ultimately left me with the 'ARE YOU KIDDING ME' face. Jodi needs to be a bit more original if she's only going to come out with a book every year or two. Her publicist should be fired..

    Total disappointment.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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