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colprubin

Tel Aviv, Israel | Member Since 2013

27
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 71 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014
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  • Everything I Never Told You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Celeste Ng
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (307)
    Performance
    (274)
    Story
    (277)

    Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet.… So begins the story in this exquisite debut novel about a Chinese American family living in a small town in 1970s Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother's bright blue eyes and her father's jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue When Lydia's body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos.

    colprubin says: "Character Novel"
    "Character Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would with the caveat that this is not a plot driven novel although it revolves around the mysterious death of a teenage girl. It's a character driven novel that examines in minute detail, and with lovely language, the dynamics within a mixed race family of five. It's mostly about what happens when parents project their own failed aspirations onto their children.


    What about Cassandra Campbell’s performance did you like?

    Cassandra is one of my favorite narrators. Her voice is buttery and smooth. I could listen to her recite the phonebook! Although other narrators have a more dramatic range hers is more subtle and highly effective.


    25 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • The Arsonist: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Sue Miller
    • Narrated By Sue Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (37)

    Troubled by the feeling that she belongs nowhere after working in East Africa for 15 years, Frankie Rowley has come home - home to the small New Hampshire town of Pomeroy and the farmhouse where her family has always summered. On her first night back, a house up the road burns to the ground. Is it an accident, or arson? Over the weeks that follow, as Frankie comes to recognize her father’s slow failing and her mother’s desperation, another house burns, and then another, always the homes of summer people.

    anita says: "keeps you listening!"
    "Rich in character; weak in plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Arsonist? What did you like least?

    Sue Miller is very skilled at drawing characters so you know them intimately. She's also excellent at physical description. But if you need a strong plotline you will be disappointed with this book. I also found the ending a bit frustrating.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Sue Miller? Why or why not?

    Only if I was in the mood for a very intense character driven novel


    Have you listened to any of Sue Miller’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is my first Sue Miller performance but I think she did a good job in making all the characters sound different.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Nina Sankovitch
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Nina Sankovitch has always been a reader. As a child, she discovered that a trip to the local bookmobile with her sisters was more exhilarating than a ride at the carnival. Books were the glue that held her immigrant family together. When Nina's eldest sister died at the age of 46, Nina turned to books for comfort, escape, and introspection. In her beloved purple chair, she rediscovered the magic of such writers as Toni Morrison, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ian McEwan, Edith Wharton, and, of course, Leo Tolstoy. Through the connections Nina made with books and authors (and even other readers), her life changed profoundly.

    colprubin says: "True Inspiration"
    "True Inspiration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Tolstoy and the Purple Chair?

    I love the idea behind the book, the idea that grief can be processed through reading. What a wonderful accomplishment and inspiration. Excellent weaving of personal stories with books read.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Tolstoy and the Purple Chair?

    I don't think this book had a really "memorable moment." It was all very even and memorable.


    Have you listened to any of Coleen Marlo’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No I've never heard Marlo before but I would definitely look for her again. Her voice is clear and lovely, perfectly modulated.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me want to read a book a day for a year!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Buddha

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Karen Armstrong
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    Overall
    (184)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (48)

    This rich, timely, and highly original portrait of the Buddha explores both the archetypal religious icon and Buddha the man. In lucid and compelling prose, Armstrong brings to life the Buddha's quest, from his renunciation of his privileged life to the discovery of a truth that he believed would utterly transform human beings and enable them to live at peace in the midst of life's suffering.

    Fred says: "Buddha (Unabridged)"
    "Good Introduction to the subject"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I found the details of Buddha's early life to be the most interesting part of the story. I found the ending to be the least interesting because once his philosophy was established some of the nuances were confusing.


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

    She has a pleasant voice and says all the Asian names accurately, as far I know anyway


    Did Buddha inspire you to do anything?

    It inspired me to read another book about Buddha


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Now I See You: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Nicole C. Kear
    • Narrated By Nicole C. Kear
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (21)

    At nineteen years old, Nicole C. Kear's biggest concern is choosing a major - until she walks into a doctor's office in midtown Manhattan and gets a life-changing diagnosis. She is going blind, courtesy of an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, and has only a decade or so before lights-out. Instead of making preparations as the doctor suggests, Kear decides to carpe diem and make the most of the vision she has left. She joins a circus school, tears through boyfriends, travels the world, and through all these high jinks, she keeps her vision loss a secret.

    Ria Brand says: "Not bad"
    "Great Performance/Disappointing Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Nicole C. Kear and/or Nicole C. Kear?

    I think Nicole could definitely assume a career as a narrator.


    What does Nicole C. Kear bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Nicole certainly brought her acting ability to bear when reading this book. She is terrific, especially when assuming the voice of her Italian grandmother and mother.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    If this book were a movie a lot of changes would have to be made because there isn't a strong enough character arc. I was hoping the book would take me on a journey from sight to blindness, and it didn't really do that.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Piper Kerman
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3491)
    Performance
    (3163)
    Story
    (3186)

    With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.

    Mark says: "My favorite book of the year, so far"
    "The power of female bonding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Orange is the New Black? What did you like least?

    I liked the descriptions of the female inmates and their ability to bond despite very different circumstances. I liked Piper herself who comes off as very low-key and friendly without being a pushover. My main problem with the book is the sense that prison comes off as almost too good and such an easy transition for her.


    Have you listened to any of Cassandra Campbell’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't heard Campbell before but she's good. Her range of voices -- from Russian-born to Jamaican -- is very impressive. Her reading of Piper herself is just okay, a bit flat. But she compensates by doing such a great job with the rest.


    Could you see Orange is the New Black being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Well I guess this question is irrelevant now.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • You Should Have Known

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Jean Hanff Korelitz
    • Narrated By Christina Delaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (322)
    Performance
    (283)
    Story
    (283)

    Grace Reinhart Sachs is living the only life she ever wanted for herself. Devoted to her husband, a pediatric oncologist at a major cancer hospital, their young son Henry, and the patients she sees in her therapy practice, her days are full of familiar things: She lives in the very New York apartment in which she was raised, and sends Henry to the school she herself once attended. Dismayed by the ways in which women delude themselves, Grace is also the author of a book You Should Have Known, in which she cautions women to really hear what men are trying to tell them.

    Ann K says: "watch out -- you will have trouble unplugging"
    "Fantastic reading;literary soap opera"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about You Should Have Known? What did you like least?

    The reading of this book was absolutely first-rate. Delaine read all the characters from a 12-year-old boy to older women, even one minor character with a Scottish accent, superbly.
    Korelitz is very skilled in sketching out her characters and their environs.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Reading this novel is like following a trail scattered with breadcrumbs. At first you admire the view and easy of passage, but then you start to get annoyed that it's so easy and that there are no twists and turns.


    Was You Should Have Known worth the listening time?

    Yes, thanks to the reading.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jennifer Senior
    • Narrated By Jennifer Senior
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (106)

    Thousands of books have examined the effects of parents on their children. But almost none have thought to ask: What are the effects of children on their parents? In All Joy and No Fun, award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior tries to tackle this question, isolating and analyzing the many ways in which children reshape their parents' lives, whether it's their marriages, their jobs, their habits, their hobbies, their friendships, or their internal senses of self. She argues that changes in the last half century have radically altered the roles of today's mothers and fathers, making their mandates at once more complex and far less clear.

    Cynthia says: "The Joy of Parenting"
    "Thought provoking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of All Joy and No Fun to be better than the print version?

    Not necessarily


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

    Her inflection and emphasis is perfect because she knows this material so well.


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

    No, there's way too much information to be absorbed at once. This a book that can be better appreciated by listening intermittently.


    Any additional comments?

    Jennifer Senior has a husky voice which made me initially think she suffered from a cold. In the beginning I found her somewhat hard to understand, but I got used to her cadence and felt ultimately her knowledge of the material made her the best reader possible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Story

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Smart, Chris Stewart
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Smart
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (690)
    Performance
    (629)
    Story
    (637)

    On June 5, 2002, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon family, was taken from her home in the middle of the night by religious fanatic, Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. She was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped, and told she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape. After her rescue on March 12, 2003, she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life.

    Erin says: "Uplifting?"
    "Incredible personal story but too distant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to My Story again? Why?

    No. If I read something else about the case I would pick a book written by a third party.. For example, Smart refers to but then does not describe certain sexual acts her assailant made her watch and/or undergo. While such a description may not in and of themselves be necessary to describe their omission gives her story a less than fully authentic feel. Also, I found annoying certain attempts at black humor. Yet overall, her story is so compelling and her writing and reading of this book is truly brave.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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