I don't have words enough to praise this gem of a novel by Betty Smith. The coming-of-age story of the protagonist, Francie Nolan, has been beloved for decades and deservedly so. The author paints a wonderfully vivid picture of the colorful Nolan family and their story of struggles and simple joys.
I felt sad when this book ended!
This audiobook is expertly read by the actress Kate Burton (her accent is perfect, and I say that as a Brooklynite)!
Download this one - you won't be disappointed!
I'm not a historian, so I can't vouch for it's accuracy, but I truly enjoyed this story of Jacquetta, princess of Luxembourg, Duchess of Bedford, and Lady Rivers. I'm far more familiar with the history of the Tudors and this novel acquainted me with their predecessors and the run-up to the War of the Roses between the Yorks and the Lancasters. I'm eager to use my next credit on Philippa Gregory's "The White Queen", the story of Jacquetta's daughter, Elizabeth Woodville, grandmother to Henry the VIII.
Bianca Amato does a fine job as the voice of Jacquetta.
I'm a fan of Philippa Gregory's works of historical fiction and I believe this novel is one of her best.
The author is so adept at evoking the sensory pleasures of the circus you can practically smell the popcorn and caramel. The plot, two lovers pitted against one another in a magical challenge over the course of decades with the circus as a venue, unfolds very slowly and does plod a bit at times, thus I've given it 4 stars and not 5.
The narration by Jim Dale is superlative. Each character is distinctive and I was never at any loss to discern who was speaking and each one sounded "true" and unaffected.
I was looking for another engaging series to try after reading all of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse books and found Jim Butcher's books.
Harry Dresden, a wizard/detective in Chicago, is a very quirky, compelling main character who gets himself in one unbelievable predicament after another. I found the writing style of this second Dresden book to be decidedly improved from the first (Storm Front). Although there is still some hackneyed detective-genre prose to make me cringe at times, I am won over by Jim Butcher's talent for painting these characters, creating an intriguing paranormal universe, and some twisty-turny storylines that keep you guessing.
Fool Moon (nice pun, BTW) is about Harry's search to discover the source of a recent spate of killings, presumably by a werewolf. You will learn more about the different flavors of werewolf than you ever thought you wanted to know, and how they kill their prey (warning: not for the squeamish!)
I'm going to download the rest of the Dresden series because I just have to know what happens next to Harry and how he'll get out of it!
I don't want to spill any plot spoilers, but let me just say that this 4th installment in the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mystery series delivers on every front - lots of action, steamy romance, and a fine mystery. The reader, Johanna Parker, does her usual fine job of giving a voice to Sookie and her many supernatural admirers. I'm so glad to (finally!) complete my Sookie library with this audiobook!
I could not be more pleased with this reading of Doctor Doolittle. Nadia May (who is probably now my favorite reader) does a wonderful job bringing life to the good doctor and all his different creatures. It's a great story too, which I remember enjoying as a child and now my own children are enjoying it.
I think I agree with other reviews that this particular book might be best left to print rather than spoken word.
I already knew I liked Barbara Kingsolver's books and her particular viewpoint resonates with me. Her knowledgeable and thoughtful observations were well-stated but not dry. She skillfully and lyrically describes the wonder of watching vegetables and animals grow and ponders the ethics and traditions of our food choices. And EATING! The descriptions of mouth-watering meals made me hungry!
I personally didn't respond to the contributions of her husband and daughter in this audiobook. I thought their voices interrupted the narrative and imagine that in the printed text these are sidebars - extras that could be skipped over if you already "got it" that you should only buy fair-trade coffee and that meat from supermarkets is from mistreated animals. There is a preachiness here that even I found tedious as much as I might be in agreement with the POV.
I think this book could have stood a lot of editing and found it difficult to finish, even though I appreciated the insight into her family's 'experiment'.
I think I very nearly listened to this audiobook from "cover to cover", I was so spellbound by the story. It is a fairytale in the tradition of The Princess Bride. It's all here: evil witches, a brave young man on a quest, true love, enchanted creatures, and a healthy dose of humor as well. The author and narrator, Neil Gaiman, knows his characters well and speaks for them in a straightforward and engaging way. Delightful!
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