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Lori Hanson

Eau Claire, WI
  • 150
  • reviews
  • 91
  • helpful votes
  • 224
  • ratings
  • Hell's Princess

  • The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men
  • By: Harold Schechter
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 157
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 132

In the pantheon of serial killers, Belle Gunness stands alone. She was the rarest of female psychopaths, a woman who engaged in wholesale slaughter, partly out of greed but mostly for the sheer joy of it. Between 1902 and 1908, she lured a succession of unsuspecting victims to her Indiana “murder farm.” Hell’s Princess is a riveting account of one of the most sensational killing sprees in the annals of American crime: the shocking series of murders committed by the woman who came to be known as Lady Bluebeard.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story

  • By Michele Suzanne Chapman on 05-22-18

Can a book about a serial killer be entertaining?

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

Reviewed: 05-08-18

Well, this one was so interesting it kept me riveted, and I generally shy away from anything that has "serial killer" in the description. If I were Harold Schechter, given the subject matter of several of his books, I'd have nightmares all the time!

The book seemed well-researched and thorough. I was so engrossed in the story that I found myself yelling at the men out loud "Don't go there!" As for gory, the only other book of this genre that I tried to read was "Helter Skelter." That one was bad enough that I only made it to page 110. I did have a little trouble keeping some of the characters straight so I bought the Kindle version, too. Great combination! The Kindle version has pictures that move and enlarge, and a few other features.

The narrator was good, but as a Wisconsinite, I have to mention that he mispronounced "Ed Gein." I know that normally you would give this particular spelling the long "I" sound, but for some reason we don't. That made me wonder if he mispronounced other words, but he has good pacing and a pleasant voice so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on the rest.

  • You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams

  • My Life in Stories and Pictures
  • By: Alan Cumming
  • Narrated by: Alan Cumming
  • Length: 3 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 557
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 513
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 506

A beloved actor and famous man-on-the-scene, Alan Cumming takes the reader on a wild journey of pithy and cheeky fun, presenting his real-life stories of debauchery during late night Hollywood parties, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and hilarious yet poignant memories of his life, family, and friends.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Quick bawdy laugh

  • By YorkGirl on 01-05-17

On Alan's lighter side

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

Reviewed: 05-08-18

I loved the first book, but the childhood part of that was so sad, enlightening though. This is mostly Alan's playful side so it's fun to listen to and I love his voice. I'm hoping there will be another book forthcoming as this one ended way too soon!

  • Virgin River

  • By: Robyn Carr
  • Narrated by: Therese Plummer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,512
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,839
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,847

Recently widowed, grieving Los Angeles midwife/nurse Melinda Monroe answers a small upstate town's ad for help. Nestled amongst California's giant redwoods, quaint Virgin River is host to many quirky characters - including bar owner Jack Sheridan, who may be just the man to make Melinda smile again.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great author if you like Nora Roberts!

  • By Houston mom on 12-01-12

Very enjoyable listen

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

Reviewed: 03-06-18

I've listened to this one several times and I've enjoyed it every time. Therese Plummer has a very pleasant voice and the story held my attention. If you're looking for something without all the angst and violence of many current novels, this is it. It has characters and situations that are interesting without being over the top. Virgin River grows on the listener even as it grows on heroine Melinda Monroe.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Pieces of My Heart

  • A Life
  • By: Robert J. Wagner
  • Narrated by: Robert J. Wagner
  • Length: 5 hrs and 46 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 107
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78

Robert J. Wagner has starred in more than 100 films and television series over the past 50 years. In this deeply personal story, he recalls his rise to stardom. He talks candidly about his relationships with some of the greatest stars of the 20th century, including Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Stanwyck, and, for the first time, he shares the details of his two marriages to Natalie Wood. Wagner also offers a fascinating look at Hollywood during the last half of the 20th century.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wagner's life, told in a gracious manner

  • By Chris on 12-18-08

4.5 stars

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

Reviewed: 03-06-18

If there would have been a little less abridging, I might have given this 5 stars all around. That said, Robert Wagner's voice is easy on the ears. I've listened to it several times and enjoyed it each time. I'm glad I have the hardcover, though, because you get some juicy stories that aren't included in the audio version.

This is more than just a story of the actor's life. He shares some interesting anecdotes about stars he's known. Some might accuse him of name-dropping, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • How to Date Your Dragon

  • By: Molly Harper
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi, Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 6 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,234
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,015
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,013

Concerned that technology is about to chase mythological creatures out into the open (how long can Sasquatch stay hidden from Google maps?), the League for Interspecies Cooperation is sending Jillian to Louisiana on a fact-finding mission. While the League hopes to hold on to secrecy for a little bit longer, they're preparing for the worst in terms of human reactions. They need a plan, so they look to Mystic Bayou, a tiny town hidden in the swamp where humans and supernatural residents have been living in harmony for generations.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • As someone from Louisiana...

  • By Kristi on 02-13-18

Great start to a new series!

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

Reviewed: 02-09-18

I loved it! It had a serious side and a lot of interesting supporting characters, but the main focus was on Jillian and Bael. Jillian's a strong woman, but Bael still gets to come to her rescue. The dragon gets to be the good guy (knight in shining armor) in this story.

I'm so glad I got the audio version. I have to admit, I've bought some books mainly because Amanda Ronconi was narrating. I love listening to her. I enjoyed Jonathan Davis's chapters, too. I didn't really notice some of the issues that others mentioned with quality; maybe a hiccup or two with the editing, but not enough to take away from the story.

Well worth the credit and another go-to book for me. Yay! Molly, please keep them coming!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Trouble with Twelfth Grave

  • A Novel
  • By: Darynda Jones
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,840
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,738
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,729

Ever since Reyes Farrow escaped from a hell dimension in which Charley Davidson accidentally trapped him, the son of Satan has been brimstone-bent on destroying the world his heavenly Brother created. His volatile tendencies have put Charley in a bit of a pickle. But that's not the only briny vegetable on her plate. While trying to domesticate the feral being that used to be her husband, she also has to deal with her everyday life of annoying all manner of beings - some corporeal, some not so much - as she struggles to right the wrongs of society.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More Charlie Mania

  • By IreneMBBT on 11-01-17

Wish I could give this a higher rating

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

Reviewed: 02-06-18

I don't know if it's just me, but I'm losing interest in this series. There was so much going on and the story has gotten so complicated, that it was hard to follow. I think it says something when the part I liked best were the quotes at the beginning of the chapters!

Also disappointing was the disconnect between Charley and Reyes. I don't want to give too much away so I'll leave it at that.

The cliffhanger at the end will have me checking the next book out of the library to see if I want to buy it.

As usual, Lorelei's narration was great! It was the best part about the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Society's Child

  • My Autobiography
  • By: Janis Ian
  • Narrated by: Janis Ian
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,056
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 977
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 976

Janis Ian was catapulted into the spotlight in 1966 at the age of 15, when her soul-wrenching song "Society's Child" became a hit. But this was only the beginning of a long and illustrious career. In Society's Child, Janis Ian provides a relentlessly honest account of the successes and failures - and the hopes and dreams - of an extraordinary life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Oh my! What a book!

  • By OKCycle on 12-17-12

Great story; lots of ups and downs

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

Reviewed: 01-30-18

Janis does a great job of telling her story; both narrating and breaking into song. She kept me riveted throughout. Best of all, unlike most of the books by my favorite celebrities, this one is unabridged so you don't feel like you're missing out except for any pictures that might be available on paper.

Be prepared, though, as the ups and downs of her life are like a roller-coaster ride. I tend to be overly empathetic so I was a little depressed toward the end of the book. There were happy times to be sure, but she had to be resilient to withstand the many low points. On the bright side, she inspired me to check out her CDs that were available at our local library and experience the music of her life. (I'd only heard Society's Child because my husband knew the song; At Seventeen was the only one I knew on my own.) I'm sure I'll be downloading more than a few of the new-to-me songs.

So I had trouble with an overall rating, but decided that the story really did merit 5 stars. Making me feel sad also says something about how well she told her story and how open she was. It would be easy to sugarcoat the events in her life, but she seems to be about truth and honesty. Good for her and good for us!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Chief

  • By: Monica McCarty
  • Narrated by: Robert McNab
  • Length: 15 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 791
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 720
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 718

Best-selling author Monica McCarty transports listeners to the 14th-century Scottish highlands in this dazzling novel. Warrior Tor MacLeod is picked by Robert the Bruce to lead the fight against English rule. Despite Tor’s rigid disposition and devotion to his craft, his new bride is determined to warm his heart.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Overbearing Chief meets Romantic Lass

  • By 🇺🇸🌸DARA on 08-12-13

3.5 overall as I'm torn

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

Reviewed: 01-06-18

I used to love historical romances set in Scotland. This series by Monica McCarty looked like an opportunity to relive that pleasure. Not sure if it's just me, but I found the heroine a little annoying with her vacillation. Maybe part of that irritation was that I wasn't crazy about Robert McNab's voice for her.

I did find the pace and plot moved well. Through parts of it I had a hard time falling asleep because I wanted to find out what would happen next.

Also in the author's favor, at the end of the book she owns up to any historical inaccuracies. I've been known to stop reading an author's historical novels when I could pinpoint inaccuracies that were easily avoided, ie, the wrong Lincoln child dying in the White House.

I may listen to this again, but I can't see it being a go-to book. I have Kindle and paperback versions of other novels in this series, so that may be the way to go.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Death & the Gravedigger's Angel

  • By: Loretta Ross
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 150
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 149

When former army medic Tony Dozier is accused of killing a member of the hate group that disrupted his wife's funeral, the prosecution charges premeditated murder and the defense claims temporary insanity. Former marine Death Bogart and auctioneer Wren Morgan think there's more to the story. They're both led to the long-abandoned Hadleigh House. As Wren uncovers the century-old tale of a World War I soldier and his angel, Death finds a set of truths that will change...or end...their lives.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Kinda weak

  • By Patrick S. on 12-21-17

Hope there are more books coming!

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

Reviewed: 01-05-18

I really enjoyed this installment in the Death series. I got a little confused at one point with the dead bodies, but that just makes it more interesting for me. (I'm not big on mysteries that I figure out too easily.) Love the progression of Death and Wren's relationship. Amanda Ronconi's narration is great as always.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Accidental Sire

  • By: Molly Harper
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,816
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,705
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,691

In Molly Harper's newest paranormal romantic comedy, Ben, Gigi's old boyfriend, must find a way to save his new love after a freak Ultimate Frisbee accident. But will she want to live after she finds out how Ben had to save her?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Why do these books have to end???

  • By janet on 07-25-17

I didn't expect to like it as much as I did

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

Reviewed: 12-23-17

I buy Half Moon Hollow books without really paying much attention to the publisher's summary, so I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this one when I started listening and realized the main character was a college student. With the exception of the Fifty Shades books, I tend to shy away from most books that are categorized as New Adult.

I was pleasantly surprised, and drawn into the twists and turns of the plot. There were a couple of eye-rolling moments when our young heroine does things that stupidly put her in danger, but so what. Still an enjoyable listen.

One reviewer mentioned that she saw the ending coming a mile away (or something to that effect) and I had an inkling, but luckily for me, I was listening to this at work. I was distracted just enough by doing my job that I didn't catch on as quickly as I usually do. (I knew 15 or 20 minutes into The Sixth Sense that Bruce was dead and ruined the movie for my husband by saying so!)

So I'll listen to this one again and I'll still automatically buy HMH books as long as Amanda Ronconi is narrating them! She's even got me buying books from authors I don't know!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful