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mendolynne

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  • The Apothecary's Daughter

  • By: Julie Klassen
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 13 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 403
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 305
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 304

After enjoying London's sophisticated society and the attentions of wealthy suitors, Lilly returns home to help her ailing dad. Determined to resurrect his apothecary business, Lilly labors tirelessly - praying her family's secrets and her rivals' schemes won't cloud her future.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A really sweet story

  • By susan on 04-17-15

Fantastic narration for a snore of a story

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-23-17

I would listen to Davina Porter read my W2 form, so rich and melodious is her voice. The lovely cover and title I'm ashamed to say they lured me in, thinking this tale would be akin to the Outlander saga. Alas that comparison made this book pale. Klassen did put out interesting herbal tales at times, but even that information often sounded like Wikipedia, so dull was it presented. The characters were very "nice" with little personality and either very very good or very very bad, only Davina Porter's variety of voices allowed me to tell them apart. Sadly, I'm a ways into the story and still don't give a whit for anyone in it, nor does the plot offer anything but a smart, virtuous Apothecary's daughter, seemingly perfect, and "astonished" to view a tower 20 meters away in a telescope, finding this so much more exciting than life in London. Really?? Several men vie for her favor. She has a friend with epilepsy and an ailing dad who may or may not get better. That's about it. Listening to this on my walk and finding myself drifting off for 10 minutes at a time with no desire to back it up, made me realize it was time to quit. The meandering non plot became grating. Porter's wondrous voice I shall miss, but I think my W2 form is indeed more interesting.

  • You

  • By: Caroline Kepnes
  • Narrated by: Santino Fontana
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,928
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,196
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10,185

Beck is everything Joe has ever wanted: she's gorgeous, tough, razor-smart, and sexy beyond his wildest dreams. Joe needs to have her, and he'll stop at nothing to do so. As he begins to insinuate himself into her life - her friendships, her email, her phone - she can’t resist her feelings for a guy who seems custom-made for her. So when her boyfriend, Benji, mysteriously disappears, Beck and Joe fall into a tumultuous affair. But there's more to Beck than her oh-so-perfect façade.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow. This. Book.

  • By Emily - Audible on 07-17-15

Creepy, verging on boring

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-11-17

Based on the reviews I was going to stick with this, but it's so creepy and tedious, being totally inside this obsessive, psychotic nerd's head the whole time, it's time to trash it. Have to say the narrator totally succeeded with portraying a sad, boring woman's life, her addiction to social media and sick angry men, and me never wanting to hear his voice again. One sad pissed off angry character spending his life hacking into another humorless character's tiresome existence. There's not a sole in this book I care a whit about. Total waste of whatever I spent on this.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Man Called Ove

  • By: Fredrik Backman
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58,015
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53,065
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52,968

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him "the bitter neighbor from hell". But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Laughed and I Cried

  • By Bill on 08-22-15

An enthralling Swedish treat—a must read

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-22-16

A Man Called Ove seemed like a simple book, but quickly became so intriguingly complicated, layered and nuanced. Though it was translated from the original Swedish, the book retains so much of the succinct, pragmatic Swedish nature and their sweet humble kindness.

Ove was such a classic Swede. No small talk or coffee with the neighbors for him, but loyal and helpful if just about any need arose. His story came out in small pieces interspersed with the present day events. The characters were so quirky and endearing, each with their interesting little back stories. The plot so drew me in that I even listened to it as I fell asleep, wanting to find out what happened next, not able to put the book down. To think I almost didn't listen to this book because it seemed too plodding. Make it through the first chapter, and the rest is tastier than a Swedish meatball (not easy that!)

And how this book made me laugh. I listened to it on my walk in the morning and people thought I was nuts. Marvelous dry Swedish humor. Just might listen to it again, that's how good it was!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Frank Muller

  • A Montage
  • Narrated by: Frank Muller
  • Length: 15 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 324
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 208
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 199

Frank Muller was one of the most talented narrators to ever record a book. As Stephen King said, "[When Frank reads], the blind will see, the lame will walk, and the deaf will hear."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Contents -- Frank Muller: A Montage

  • By Dan on 03-12-11

Frank Muller pulled me into audio books

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-02-16

Frank Muller can read anything of any genre and make the book come alive. When I started to listen to audio books, in the 1980's, one of the first Books on Tape, that got me to my job 1 hour away, was The Martian Chronicles read by Frank. It was so eerie, so enthralling, so very entertaining, that I'd sit in front of my house with 3 young children and a hungry hubby inside, just to listen to a little more of Frank Muller's voice.

So sad he was killed in an accident. Also, I can't seem to find The Martian Chronicles read by him. Will keep searching. Until then, these samples of Frank Muller work was thoroughly enjoyable.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Leaving Time

  • By: Jodi Picoult
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman, Abigail Revasch, Kathe Mazur, and others
  • Length: 15 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,079
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,051
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,045

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Pickiest Reader Would Be Willing to Give 6 Stars

  • By Jan on 10-18-14

Picoult draws you in and you never want to leave

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-23-16

Who knew elephants were so fascinating? This is the 2nd time I've listened to Leaving Time and it was even better than I remembered. When none of the books on my iPod pique my interest I just go back to one of Jodi's books. Love them all, but this is my favorite. So ingenious and surprising. Learning so much about elephants was a bonus to one intriguing story. Serenity was the best character Picoult has ever created. A truly endearing and believable psychic. That is not easy to do.

Don't read too much plot description before reading the book, best to be surprised by the twists and turns and trust Jodi Picoult never lets you down.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Nothing Girl

  • The Frogmorton Farm Series, Book 1
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,402
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,247
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,242

Getting a life isn't always easy. And hanging on to it is even harder.... Jodi Taylor brings all her comic writing skills to this heartwarming tale of self-discovery. Known as The Nothing Girl because of her severe stutter and chronically low self-confidence, Jenny Dove is only just prevented from ending it all by the sudden appearance of Thomas, a mystical golden horse only she can see. Under his guidance Jenny unexpectedly acquires a husband - the charming and chaotic Russell Checkland.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So much better than I expected

  • By Marilyn Armstrong on 07-25-15

Sweet, intriquing, but oh so quirky

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-25-15

This book is JUST what a novel should be—totally unexpected. Strolls along like a normal book, then, just as you might be veering off to more exciting scenery, it grabs you, and you're on for the whole ride. Delightful dry humor woven through the scenes encompassing a love story, Raohl Dahl childhood, imaginary friend, poisonings, uncovering a secret garden....pretty much seals the deal, eh? Oh, did I mention a donkey named Marilyn?

Really, really didn't anticipate it, but absolutely loved it. Lucy Price-Lewis nails the voices.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Off the Page

  • By: Jodi Picoult
  • Narrated by: Nick Cordero, Michael Bakkensen, Suzy Jackson, and others
  • Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 133
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 113
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 116

Samantha van Leer is a sophomore at Vassar College majoring in psychology with a minor in human development. She has four dogs: Alvin, Harvey, Dudley, and Oliver - for whom the prince in this story is named.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another irresistible Picoult for all ages

  • By mendolynne on 09-22-15

Another irresistible Picoult for all ages

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-22-15

Off the Page may be labeled Young Adult, but really, it defies genre. The story line is so unique and creative, as only Jodi Picoult can conjure.

The idea of what a book is…if no one reads it does the story exist? The idea of actually jumping into your favorite book...what would happen? And if some of the characters of that book changed places with you, how would they fare in the real world?

Such a fun read this was! And a lovely ending. How rare is that these days?

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • I Take You

  • A Novel
  • By: Eliza Kennedy
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 307
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 284
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 287

Meet Lily Wilder - New Yorker, lawyer, and bride-to-be. She has a dream job, great friends, a family full of charismatic and loving women, and a total catch of a fiancé. Also? She has no business getting married.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible!

  • By MichelleO on 07-21-15

Sexy, provacative, well written, go for it!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-31-15

This book is a joy. I'm a mere couple of hours into this novel, but it's stirred me to write a review now because it is THAT good. I Take You by Eliza Kennedy, is more arousing, irreverent, laugh out loud funny and engrossing in its first fifth than the entire poorly drawn porn novella 50 Shades of Grey. More importantly, it celebrates women—their wit, wisdom and winsomeness! A captivating slew of female characters are tossed in very quickly, all of whom draw you in with their quirky natures; even the brief encounter with an Ecuadorian seat mate was sparkling wit. The males in this book are also a compendium of guys you'd definitely love to sit next to on a 16 hour plane ride, so engaging is their banter and observations. To top it all off, Julia Whelan is a talented narrator with a myriad of voices, all lovely to the ear.

That's all I can write, as I must get back to washing dishes and de-stringing my runner beans, my excuses to keep listening!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Invention of Wings

  • A Novel
  • By: Sue Monk Kidd
  • Narrated by: Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
  • Length: 13 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,551
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,115
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,117

From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!

  • By Jan on 01-09-14

Tough start, but the momentum brilliant

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-05-15

Had a very hard time getting into The Invention of Wings, perhaps due to how instantly accessible were The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid's Chair. Attempted it two or three times before I just forced myself to listen. And, I was amply awarded.

Sue Monk Kidd starts with such relentless suffering of both Sarah Grimke of the white slave owner family and Hetty, her mother Charlotte, and all the slaves in this nineteenth century Charleston household, that I kept switching to podcasts or lighter fiction. The senseless torture of the slaves was excruciating. But, the story line picked up steam over the course of the novel and the historical events, upon which this book was based, were fascinating and brought to life through endearing, complex, courageous characters.

A pivotal time in American history, the seeds of the abolishment of slavery were being sown, mainly in the north, but trickling down to the south. What we rarely read about is that Women's Rights also began to gain awareness at the same time. Interesting how many men, especially Quakers, became such vigilant Abolitionists, but thought it petty and self serving for women to push to have the same rights as men.

Having run into all too many bright and creative 20 year olds who oddly know so little about how horrendously blacks were treated when we kidnapped them from Africa nor do they know, for much of this country's history, women were treated as property and inferior. They also tend to dismiss or look down on present day Feminist advocates or issues, seeing them as irrelevant. Human Rights—which are supposedly espoused by our Constitution and Bill of Rights to be equal for all—still sadly apply all too often only to rich white males.

This is historical fiction at its best and Audible adds in an interesting post log by author Sue Monk Kidd, who offers up a lot of the original events upon which she based her novel.

As a wake is hard to penetrate, once surfing the wave you never want to leave. Push through the start and you'll be swiftly picked up by the inspiring and informative tale of courage and creativity in 19th Century America. You'll not be able to put it down until the story is completed, and you'll be rethinking and telling others about it for weeks to come.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Just This Once

  • Escape to New Zealand, Book 1
  • By: Rosalind James
  • Narrated by: Claire Bocking
  • Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,084
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 989
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 981

Everyone needs to be rescued sometimes. Everyone but Hannah Montgomery, that is. She just needs a vacation. Three weeks in New Zealand to sort out her life, figure out what she wants, seems just right. Oh, and to relax. She should definitely put that on the agenda. She certainly isn't looking for a fling with a professional rugby player, no matter how attractive he is. Hannah doesn't do casual. But maybe just this once.…

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO NEW ZEALAND ... AND ...

  • By MJG on 03-02-14

Pat plot, but oddly pleasing

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-03-15

This is the perfect palette cleanser between those heftier tomes that leave you a tad bereft.
Roslaind James tells a lively story and Claire Bocking has a lovely voice.

Must admit, have had a small obsession with New Zealand since I was 7. Had two Kiwi pen pals and snuck it in most elementary school reports, no matter the supposed topic. This whole Escape to New Zealand series is as fine a travel guide/lure to the country, as it is fairly good chick lit. In between occasional groans at the more predictable plot twists, I'd bathe in the vivid descriptions of the beaches, mountains, waterfalls, extreme sports and towns of "eN Zed". Yes, also loved the Kiwi slang. Rosalind James could be a member of their chamber of commerce, but we'll forgive her that, because I too think everyone should visit New Zealand, now.

Do not understand really why I so enjoyed this and the next three books in the series so much, but I've unhesitatingly dropped credits for one book of the series to the next. There's some fine female wisdom intertwined in the lightweight drama.

You can't help but root for the female lead character, though she is supposedly flawed in some way, she of course still has that subtle sexy, gorgeous, somewhat conservative, leery, brilliant, talented, thing going. She's that girl you don't appreciate right off—BUT—ever so quickly she's so compellingly beautiful you want to ravish her on the spot, simultaneously finding her the most interesting woman in the world. She's in the chick lit/romance arena, but definitely one of the gladiators. Spoiler alert: Did you know 99% of New Zealand's rugby league is married to an American/Canadian (they're interchangeable here)?

But I digress. The book is fun. The plot does move in some tricky ways with cliff hangers that will have you listening far longer than you planned. As unrealistic as it is, tis always satisfying ending with justice having been done and goodness and honesty won out. Chick lit super heroines. Nothing wrong with that.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful