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missgrundy

Fine art photographer, retired English professor, dog mom to an adorable Maltese mix, long-time Californian, genealogist, what else?

San Francisco, CA | Member Since 2010

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 40 reviews
  • 68 ratings
  • 271 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015
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28

  • Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Bee Wilson
    • Narrated By Alison Larkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (355)
    Performance
    (310)
    Story
    (313)

    Since prehistory, humans have braved the business ends of knives, scrapers, and mashers, all in the name of creating something delicious - or at least edible. In Consider the Fork, award-winning food writer and historian Bee Wilson traces the ancient lineage of our modern culinary tools, revealing the startling history of objects we often take for granted. Charting the evolution of technologies from the knife and fork to the gas range and the sous-vide cooker, Wilson offers unprecedented insights.

    Amazon Customer says: "Intriguing history of everyday utensils"
    "Loved this book --"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are a foodie or food history buff, you will enjoy this book. It's fascinating in its detail of kitchen equipment, appliances, and so on. It reminded me, in a way, of Bill Bryson's "At Home," another excellent book about the history of the home. It's a good read.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cold Cold Heart

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Tami Hoag
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1031)
    Performance
    (887)
    Story
    (887)

    Dana Nolan was a promising young TV reporter until she was kidnapped by a notorious serial killer. A year has passed since she defeated her attacker, but Dana is still physically, emotionally, and psychologically scarred by her ordeal, with aftereffects including PTSD and memory loss. In an attempt to put herself back together after surviving the unthinkable, Dana returns to her hometown. But it doesn't provide the comfort she expects.

    John S says: "Riveting Story Well Narrated"
    "If you can get past the narrator --"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book; while it was a bit predictable, in a few places it caught me completely by surprise, so that was good. I had a serious issue, however, with the narrator -- as others have mentioned, her male voices are awful and strained. I decided I enjoyed the story enough to keep pushing on, and I guess I got used to it, but the narration really was such a stumbling block, with so many male characters in the book. Still, I've liked Tami Hoag books in the past, and I did like this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mister Slaughter: A Matthew Corbett Novel, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Robert McCammon
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    Overall
    (1138)
    Performance
    (1035)
    Story
    (1028)

    . Mister Slaughter opens in the emerging metropolis of New York City in 1702, and proceeds to take both Matthew and the reader on an unforgettable journey of horror, violence, and personal discovery. The journey begins when Matthew, now an apprentice problem solver for the London-based Herrald Agency, accepts an unusual and hazardous commission. Together with his colleague, Hudson Greathouse, he agrees to escort the notorious mass murderer Tyranthus Slaughter from an asylum outside Philadelphia to the docks of New York.

    Cheryl says: "Fantastic series!"
    "Another great novel --"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've become a huge fan of this series, especially in audiobook form. I've never been that into American history, but what McCammon does with the Colonial period is absolutely fascinating. The story is good -- somewhat different from the first two, in that it's not really a mystery -- but it certainly kept my attention. Highly recommended (and yes, it's violent, moreso than the first two).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Place: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan, Lara Hutchinson
    Overall
    (1556)
    Performance
    (1375)
    Story
    (1365)

    "The Secret Place", a board where the girls at St Kilda's School can pin up their secrets anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.

    Diane says: "Incredibly disappointing"
    "Not the best, but --"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a huge fan of Tana French, but this wasn't my favorite. I think the girls' story could have been cut by half to have a tighter narrative. I disagree about the woman narrator -- I thought she was fine and had a thankless task in doing the voices of eight teenage girls. I'm hoping her next will be up to the level of Faithful Place (my favorite).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Quick: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Lauren Owen
    • Narrated By Simon Slater
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (86)

    1892: James Norbury, a shy would-be poet newly down from Oxford, finds lodging with a charming young aristocrat. Through this new friendship, he is introduced to the drawing-rooms of high society and finds love in an unexpected quarter. Then, suddenly, he vanishes without a trace. Alarmed, his sister, Charlotte, sets out from their crumbling country estate determined to find him. In the sinister, labyrinthine city that greets her, she uncovers a hidden, supernatural world populated by unforgettable characters.

    kelliez123 says: "not my favorite"
    "Mixed Reaction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well. I wouldn't want to not recommend this book. It's good, and it kept my attention throughout. But as others have said, it takes a kind of left turn part way in, and I wasn't aware that I was going to be reading "that" kind of book. Still, I kept reading, and it's a good story in the end. At times, it was a little confusing, but it might have been less so if I'd been reading the book instead of listening. The narrator is fantastic -- switching accents effortlessly. He did a wonderful job. So, recommended. I'm looking forward to this author's next effort.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Speaks the Nightbird

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Robert McCammon
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3334)
    Performance
    (2973)
    Story
    (2959)

    The Carolinas, 1699: The citizens of Fount Royal believe a witch has cursed their town with inexplicable tragedies -- and they demand that beautiful widow Rachel Howarth be tried and executed for witchcraft. Presiding over the trial is traveling magistrate Issac Woodward, aided by his astute young clerk, Matthew Corbett. Believing in Rachel's innocence, Matthew will soon confront the true evil at work in Fount Royal....

    aaron says: "Dark, Twisted Period Piece with GREAT Characters!"
    "Slow starter, but . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It actually took me three tries to get going on this book. It starts off slowly, you have no idea of who the people are, and twice I put it aside to read something else. But finally came a time when I had nothing on my iPad I hadn't read but Speaks the Nightbird, so I sighed and turned it on again.

    Wow. It certainly picked up, and turned into one of those books that you feel obsessed about -- looking for reasons to drive the car, sitting in the driveway listening long after you're home, and so on. There are so many plot twists and turns, it's guaranteed to keep your attention and keep you guessing.

    And the narrator is wonderful. He does the voices beautifully, including the women, which I can't say for all narrators. Others have given you information about the subject matter and details, so I'll just say, Read It. Now.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Scarlet Contessa: A Novel of the Italian Renaissance

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jeanne Kalogridis
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    Daughter of the Duke of Milan and wife of the conniving Count Girolamo Riario, Caterina Sforza was the bravest warrior Renaissance Italy ever knew. She ruled her own lands, fought her own battles, and openly took lovers whenever she pleased. Her remarkable tale is told by her lady-in-waiting, Dea, a woman knowledgeable in reading the "triumph cards", the predecessor of modern-day Tarot.

    Amazon Customer says: "An Unfortunate Sideshow"
    "Engaging historical novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We're on our way to Italy in the fall, so I'm reading my way through a long list of both fiction and non-fiction histories. I enjoyed this book -- it was engaging and entertaining. Some of the "magical" parts of the story I found to be a bit much, and at times it veered more towards romance than history, but overall I think it was a good read. Caterina Sforza was an amazing woman.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Genghis: Birth of an Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Conn Iggulden
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1016)
    Performance
    (634)
    Story
    (636)

    He was born Temujin, son of a khan, raised in a clan of hunters migrating across the steppe. Temujin's young life was shaped by a series of brutal acts: the betrayal of his father by a neighboring tribe, his family left to die on the harsh plain. But Temujin endured, and from then on, he was driven by a fury to survive in the face of death, to kill before being killed, and to conquer enemies from beyond the horizon.

    David says: "Move over Bernard Cornwell"
    "More about Genghis --"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great follow-up for Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. This novel brings that great book to life. It fills in all the details in a thrilling narrative. The narrator is excellent. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12384)
    Performance
    (11214)
    Story
    (11240)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Dickensian, to be sure --"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thoroughly enjoyed every hour of this book. The narrator is extremely good, and the story never flagged for me. It's a big novel, with many characters, and the echoes of Dickens (Pip and Estella, The Artful Dodger) are definitely there. It's dense, and lyrical at times, and suspenseful from time to time -- overall, an excellent way to spend a long commute for a few days or weeks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Light of the World: A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 20

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1255)
    Performance
    (1112)
    Story
    (1098)

    In Light of the World, sadist and serial killer Asa Surrette narrowly escaped the death penalty for the string of heinous murders. But following a series of damning articles written by Dave Robicheaux’s daughter Alafair about possible other crimes committed by Surette, the killer escapes from a prison transport van and heads to Montana - where an unsuspecting Dave happens to have gone to take in the sweet summer air, accompanied by Alafair, his wife Molly, faithful partner Clete, and Clete’s newfound daughter, Gretchen Horowitz.

    Dave says: "Burke is still the best"
    "It's getting darker in Dave's world . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a huge fan of every Dave Robicheaux novel that Burke has written. If I have one tiny quibble with this one, it's that more than a few times while listening, I thought, whew, this is getting really dark. The character of Asa Surette, as brilliantly brought to life by Will Patton, is one of the creepiest characters I've ever encountered in fiction. But overall, the book is excellent, and Patton's reading is nearly flawless -- I say "nearly," because along with another reviewer, I feel his voice for Gretchen doesn't quite work, and because Clete just doesn't sound like the Clete in my head, though I've made my peace with it. If you're a fan, don't hesitate to get this audiobook; if you're new to Burke -- start at the beginning! I totally envy you for what you have ahead of you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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