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Daryl

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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  • Look Up, Move Forward

  • By: Becky Andrews
  • Narrated by: Kimberly S. Hobscheid
  • Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16

When 18-year-old Becky Andrews is diagnosed with the degenerative eye condition retinitis pigmentosa, she finally understands her childhood challenges of softball strikeouts, notorious clumsiness, and why she's never been able to see the stars. As her vision narrows, she must give up driving and accept her need for a mobility cane. In the process, she learns to embrace her new identity as a blind woman, one step at a time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Pit stops in record time...

  • By Spencer Gwilliam on 01-21-18

Look Up, Move Forward

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

Reviewed: 09-28-18

This book is a well-written look at one woman's experience with blindness. I cheered at her successes, cried at her losses, and felt like an old friend was sitting across the table from me. Becky is an optomist, who truly seems to want people to succeed. As a blind woman myself, I personally have experienced the discrimination she writes about in this book; she describes these feelings well, though I personally wouldn't likely respond in the same way.

The narrator for this book is perky and bright, sometimes too much so. But she handles most portions of this book well.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Eagle & Crane

  • By: Suzanne Rindell
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Romanski
  • Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

Louis Thorn and Haruto "Harry" Yamada - Eagle and Crane - are the star attractions of Earl Shaw's Flying Circus, a daredevil (and not exactly legal) flying act that traverses Depression-era California. The young men have a complicated relationship, thanks to the Thorn family's belief that the Yamadas - Japanese immigrants - stole land that should have stayed in the Thorn family. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One for my "best of 2018" list !

  • By RueRue on 07-31-18

Solid Work

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

I have been eagerly awaiting this book since finishing Suzanne Rindell's last novel, Three-Martini Lunch. Three-Martini Lunch, and her debut, The Other Typist, probably set up higher than reasonable expectations for this novel. It was good... but not quite as good as what I'm used to.
She is a terrific author for period and place, and her main characters are interesting and complicated. However - and this book shows this more than her others - her secondary characters seem to just appear and disappear, or live and die, without us getting to know them. In some cases, I had to think back on previous chapters to remember how certain people were related to the main characters.
Overall, however, I did enjoy this book, and this performance, and will definitely check out another book from both author and narrator when they become available.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • When the World Was Small

  • By: Joseph Pittman
  • Narrated by: Rich McVicar
  • Length: 16 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

George Denton never believed in the notion of love at first sight, not when his parents regaled him with the story of how they met, not when his elderly grandmother married her bridge partner, not even when the prettiest girl in all the world moved to the picturesque village of Lincoln Point. But from the moment the baby who came to be called Sky let out his first wail inside the house on Archer Avenue, George knew his life would never be the same again.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A sweet slice of Americana

  • By Daryl on 07-19-18

A sweet slice of Americana

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

Reviewed: 07-19-18

This is the story of a family. It moves along, slowly then quickly, through the years between the early 1970s and early 2000s. And yet, in some ways, it's a timeless story.
It's not a page-turner in the suspenseful sense, but you grow to love the characters, even if the author relies a little too much on romantic coincidences, and the narrator's voice doesn't have much inflection (though he is not monotone).
This is a book I will likely pick up again on a cold winter's day, when I need something not too heavy.
Worth the read if you like family sagas.
I received this book at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Fugue State

  • By: Steffan Piper
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 13 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 121
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 110
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 111

Sebastien Ranes has drifted aimlessly since graduating from high school six months ago. Down on his luck, the 19-year-old is recovering from pneumonia, working a dead-end job, and living in a shabby makeshift bedroom in the basement of his mother and stepfather’s home. Looking to escape his lousy situation, Sebastien robs a local grocery store and makes off with $4,800 - but not without the store’s security cameras spotting him. Driven to a state of panic, Sebastien is hit by a drunk driver.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Gripping Memoir

  • By Roger on 07-21-16

Grittier than "Greyhound"

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

Reviewed: 04-12-18

I read and devoured Steffan Piper's first book, "Greyhound", in just a couple of days.
"Fugue State" was a much tougher and grittier read. In some ways, Sebastien has grown up from the naive yet hopeful boy of "Greyhound" seemingly overnight, and the world around him (his family, notably) seems to not have changed at all. It's a juxtaposition that is incredibly jarring.
The narrator is terrific, as always, and this book would probably have been better if one hadn't read "Greyhound" first...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea

  • One Refugee's Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival
  • By: Melissa Fleming
  • Narrated by: Robin Miles
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 93
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78

Doaa Al Zamel was once an average Syrian girl growing up in a crowded house in a bustling city near the Jordanian border. But in 2011 her life was upended. Inspired by the events of the Arab Spring, Syrians began to stand up against their own oppressive regime. When the army was sent to take control of Doaa's hometown, strict curfews, power outages, water shortages, air raids, and violence disrupted everyday life.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I Normally Like Robin Miles...

  • By Daryl on 03-25-18

I Normally Like Robin Miles...

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

Reviewed: 03-25-18

I am normally a big fan of Robin Miles as a narrator. However, it is clear she is not an Arabic speaker. I found her pronunciation of names (even well-known leaders) awkward and sitracting.
The story is compelling, so I think I'll read this one in print, and listen to other Robin Miles performanes that are much stronger.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Harvest of Thorns

  • By: Corban Addison
  • Narrated by: Firdous Bamji
  • Length: 15 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 18

In Dhaka, Bangladesh, a garment factory burns to the ground, claiming the lives of hundreds of workers, mostly young women. Amid the rubble a bystander captures a heart-stopping image - a teenage girl lying in the dirt, her body broken by a multi-tory fall, and over her mouth a mask of fabric bearing the label of one of America's largest retailers, Presto Omnishops Corporation. When the photo goes viral, it fans the flames of a decades-old controversy about sweatshops, labor rights, and the ethics of globalization.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • I Wanted to Like This

  • By Daryl on 01-29-18

I Wanted to Like This

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

Reviewed: 01-29-18

This is my third Corban Addison book, and I have previously enjoyed his writing.
I can't quite put my finger on why this book didn't capture me as much as "A Walk Across the Sun" or "The Garden of Burning Sand".
It started off with a vivid and terrifying description of a factory fire and the public relations nightmare that ensued.
And then we meet a group of corrupt business executives and "heroes" facing tragedy.
And they talk.
And talk.
And talk.
I've gotten two thirds of the way through the book, which shifts forward and then backward and then forward with another character, and the "good guys" are blackmailing the corrupt ones (most of whom are of Bangladeshi or Middle Eastern descent).
I got to the point where I got bogged down with all the tragedy and the conversation and the blackmail, and I don't think that's the direction the author wanted me to go.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Affair

  • A shocking story of a schoolgirl and a scandal
  • By: Amanda Brooke
  • Narrated by: Avita Jay
  • Length: 13 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 64
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 60

When Nina finds out that her 15-year-old daughter, Scarlett, is pregnant, her world falls apart. Because Scarlet won't tell anyone who the father is. And Nina is scared that the answer will destroy everything. As the suspects mount - from Scarlett's teacher to Nina's new husband of less than a year - Nina searches for the truth: no matter what the cost.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Whodunnit with a Twist(s)

  • By MarisaReads on 01-26-17

Not Brooke's Best

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

Reviewed: 12-29-17

I first discovered Amanda Brooke with her novel "Where I Found You" and recently followed it up with "The Child's Secret". I found both were stronger reads - either because of the choice of narrator or because the characters were more sympathetic.
With this book, I massively disliked almost all the characters. I couldn't understand why Nina was friends with Sarah, why she married a man her kids didn't know or accept, then accused him months later of impregnating her daughter.
Amanda Brooke has a knack for creating emotional and complicated characters, but in this book, these were all just navel-gazers who never reflected on their own motivations and justified themselves. They talked and talked and TALKED to each other without saying anything substantive, and the narrator frequently couldn't well-differentiate between characters, and some of those she could (Sarah, in particular) sounded like she had marbles in her mouth.
Perhaps I will read this in print, but this audiobook definitely didn't do it for me.
I'll check out Amanda's other books, though :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Catch a Star

  • Shining Through Adversity to Become a Champion
  • By: Tamika Catchings, Ken Petersen
  • Narrated by: Robin Eller
  • Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

When all she wanted was to fit in, Tamika Catchings stood out and felt left out, never knowing one day she'd stand out - as a basketball superstar and an inspiration. She faced being set apart by her hearing loss, separated from family, living up to high expectations, and the pain and discouragement of debilitating physical injury. Yet she reached for the stars with hard work, perseverance, and her faith in God. Through the silence, she found the way to shine.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Just OK

  • By Daryl on 11-29-17

Just OK

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

Reviewed: 11-29-17

I'm not super familiar with basketball, so perhaps this is where I struggled. Tamika is clearly a gifted athlete, and while this book starts out strong with her discovery of her love of the sport, it gets bogged down with statistics (nearly two hours is spent on her first season of college games alone) and preachiness (basketball was the most important thing in her life, then she realized she needed to play for God).
I'm not one to say athletes can't believe in God, or use their platform that way, but I wanted more and found this book just didn't get carried through for me.

  • The Things We Wish Were True

  • A Novel
  • By: Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
  • Narrated by: Taylor Ann Krahn
  • Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,577
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,409
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,412

From the outside, Sycamore Glen, North Carolina, might look like the perfect all-American neighborhood. But behind the white picket fences lies a web of secrets that reach from house to house. Up and down the streets, neighbors quietly bear the weight of their own pasts - until an accident at the community pool upsets the delicate equilibrium. And when tragic circumstances compel a woman to return to Sycamore Glen after years of self-imposed banishment, the tangle of the neighbors' intertwined lives begins to unravel.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I hate fake Southern accents

  • By David on 07-01-17

A Little Too Much...

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

Reviewed: 11-03-17

This book held my interest as a light summer read. It fit the bill nicely. However I found myself annoyed by the one narrator's southern accent that changes and fades and becomes more drawly seemingly in the same breath. A native southerner could've probably pulled it off better, but this narrator was otherwise competent.
I also found the coincidences too predictable and soap-opera-like. Some of the "secrets" I could see from a mile away, others I couldn't. But all of the relationships and affairs and bad decisions just... didn't make a lot of sense.
It's a nice light read, one I'll probably pick up again when I want to read a book that doesn't make me think too hard, but not really one I would recommend either.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The North Side of Down: A True Story of Two Sisters

  • By: Nancy J. Bailey, Amanda Bailey
  • Narrated by: Rosie Wolf Williams
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

"How do I want to die? Oh, I don't know. How about a pillow over my face? It will probably be a family member." Thus illustrates the biting candor of Amanda Bailey, the youngest in this poignant, funny, painfully honest story of bitterly divided family. With their father on his deathbed, eight siblings engage in a feud over property and possessions. Born with Down syndrome, Amanda is pulled into a belligerent guardianship dispute. Her favorite sister, Nancy, is immersed in bankruptcy and foreclosure.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disjointed narration Detracts from Compelling Stor

  • By Daryl on 10-27-17

Disjointed narration Detracts from Compelling Stor

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

Reviewed: 10-27-17

I wanted to love this book...
But ten minutes in I wanted to shake the narrator for her sing-songy performance... I couldn't get past it, sorry to say.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful