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Leann

  • 17
  • reviews
  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 40
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The Free State of Jones audiobook cover art

Dry, but interesting topic

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

Reviewed: 05-16-17

Having little background on the topic, I found this very hard to grasp. It was like reading a history book, where you haven’t taken the intro class yet. Once I started to grasp the timeline and the players, I began enjoying the paradoxes and hierocracy of the people and the legends. This definitely isn’t a “fun” or beach read, but it a very historically accurate and uses proven facts to compare two competing stories of the Free State of Jones. I would have liked to see it be a little less logically written. It took away from the undoubted unruly and emotional time.

Narration matched the voice of the narrative.

Americans in Paris audiobook cover art

Informative, but average engagement

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

Reviewed: 05-09-17

Very interesting historic perspective. It’s definitely a factual, history read. There is little narrative creativity. It was very informative, but I wasn’t engaged by the various storylines as much as I would have liked. The many different storylines jumped around and back-and-forth, so it was difficult to get attached to any one person. It was a great overview of German occupation of Paris/France from an American perspective.
Narration- average, very straightforward. It sounded like a newsreel on radio from the 40s.

The Nest audiobook cover art

Interesting, but a little petty.

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

Reviewed: 04-17-17

I’d actually give this a 3.5 stars. It’s definitely better than average, but didn’t get as in-depth as it could have. This was a great read- I was very involved with all the storylines and loved how the characters’ lives were weaved together. I would have liked to see more depth to the internal conflicts, but I also think that’s a poignant commentary on us as a people; often getting caught up in the shallow clutches of greed or materials when the real issues are with relationships. I enjoyed the read and found it easy and an escape.
The performance was also good. Not a ton of change in voices, but a great pace and enough change in intonation to make the picture.

Main Street audiobook cover art

Better than expected

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

Reviewed: 04-11-17

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?


The performance was above average- I had to speed it up quite a bit, and I appreciated him trying to differentiate voices. I think this would have been a hard book to stay engaged with if the narrator didn’t participate so much with the voices and characters.

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

yes

Any additional comments?

I read this while trying to read and compare Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Lewis’ writing styles. Considering they were all writing around the same time, I find Lewis’ writing style and commentary more realistic and poignant. Especially in “Main Street,” his prose continues to challenge the American ideals. There were specific parts, like with the red Swede, which were a remarkably accurate paradox between the 20s and today. The feeling of being a liberal or a reformer, but also being a part of a middle to high class lifestyle. Furthermore, Lewis’ novel superbly describes the balance and hardship of wanting to challenge the norm for betterment of society, while wanting to fit in.
The novel challenges me to reconsider any charity or progressive ideal I may have and really think about the intention behind those ideals. Lewis seems to want to show that we are all kindred spirits and that the poor man needs the rich man just as much as the rich man needs the poor man.
I will say, sometimes the descriptions and banter was a little over-done for me, especially at the beginning, but it also made sure to paint the full picture. If you power through the first ten or so chapters you will become entranced and very thoughtful about the underlying messages. At times, I also struggled with the innocence (sometimes crossing into ignorance) of Carol, as well as her complete disregard (and Lewis’) for the benefits of small towns. Nonetheless, I highly recommend! I wish I would have read this in high school or college too!

Born a Crime audiobook cover art

EVERYONE SHOULD READ!

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

Reviewed: 04-06-17

EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS! The mix of personal experience, coupled with the history of racism and apartheid was a wonderful, enlightening, and unique read. I learned so much. I laughed, was disgusted, embarrassed by my ignorance, and yet loved it every step of the way.

The “lessons” or “background” pages before each chapter set up a very real sociological or human problem that is then exemplified in the stories in the chapter to follow. I really appreciated this style, and the language Noah uses.

Not only was this novel engaging and entertaining, but it was thought-provoking; and not in a abstract, academic kind of way, but in a very practical and challenging way.

An amazing performance! I’m so happy Trevor Noah read this! He was able to speak mater-of-fact, with the right amount of humor and seriousness. Since he knows his own story better than anyone, I think it was even better listening to him tell it, then it would have been if I just read it myself.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Hidden Figures audiobook cover art
  • Hidden Figures
  • The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
  • By: Margot Lee Shetterly
  • Narrated by: Robin Miles

Informative and Innovative

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

Reviewed: 03-24-17

Uncharacteristically for me, I read this after seeing the film. Equally surprising is that I think that was the correct order- at least for me. The film takes a more linear, storytelling approach, where the novel jumps around more and dives deeper into other female figures and give an in-depth linkage between the story of the black, female engineers with the larger historical landscape throughout the world. Seeing the film allowed me to organize the linear story amongst a plethora of extra information. I learned SO much and was enthralled by the stories of these women- but also of Shetterly. My recommendation is DO NOT skip the intro and afterwards. They are just as enlightening as the novel itself! Highly recommend!

Performance is clear and fits the tone of the prose.

This Side of Paradise audiobook cover art

Irritating- Performance Average

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

Reviewed: 03-22-17

I read this after reading about Zelda Fitzgerald. The publication of this novel changed the Fitzgerald’s life forever and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I also plan to compare this to Sinclair Lewis’ novel of the same time period “Main Street.”

That said, I did not enjoy this. It made sense in comparison to the egotistical and hoity character of F. Scott Fitzgerald, which I learned about in my other reading. Still, I found it hard to digest the narcissistic and try-to-hard illusions. The storyline was overridden by all the literary tools Fitzgerald found more important and I can’t think of a better place for this novel than a high school English class as a study of literary devices.

The reading was average- not bad, but nothing stood out. A great deal for the price I paid (about $4). It’s hard to tell if my distaste for the story influenced how I feel about the performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald audiobook cover art

Page-Turning Classic

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

Reviewed: 03-15-17

Wonderful insight into the real 1920s and 1930s. Both feminists and literary nerds will love this! I must say, I now want to re-read many of Fitzgerald's books to see if I can tell who really wrote certain parts. Zelda is a charismatic and lovely person, who's real flaws and talents kept me turning each page.

The performance made me feel like Zelda was really talking to me. I cannot get over how wonderful the story was present, both in the writing and in the performance.

The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club) audiobook cover art

Wonderfully written and hauntingly performed

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

Reviewed: 03-07-17

This novel is great in it's own right, but the narration here made it even more haunting and has me continually thinking about it's message.

An Accidental Death audiobook cover art

Average

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

Reviewed: 03-03-17

Everything about this was average for me. Nothing stuck out too much, but it wasn't boring or awful either.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful