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Cheryl

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  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

  • By: Mark Twain, American Renaissance Books
  • Narrated by: Theo Holland
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

This is a new edition of Mark Twain's masterpiece, Huckleberry Finn, published by American Renaissance Books. The audiobook is narrated by Theo Holland, who brings to life the humor and drama of this timeless tale.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Classic coming-of-age

  • By Cheryl on 09-25-18

Classic coming-of-age

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

Reviewed: 09-25-18

I’m so pleased with this audio rendering of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I read this book as a young adult, and enjoyed revisiting the classic cast of characters. Times have changed so much from the early 1800s, both in obvious, and in more understated ways. The language used (racial slurs,) though coarse, makes the story feel genuine, and the societal values and beliefs (racism and hypocrisy) authentic for the story’s time period. On a personal note, the racial slurs were so jarring and distracting. I understand that the language was historically accurate for the 1800s, but I can't stand to hear (or read) the 'n' word!

Theo Holland is a superbly talented audiobook narrator! His southern vernacular and inflection really drew me into the story. He shifts between character voices effortlessly and convincingly—even the female voices.

The production quality of this audiobook is clear, with no distracting background music, static, or skips. The volume seems to fluctuate here and there, but not drastically.

Overall opinion: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an enjoyable, nostalgic, coming-of-age classic about a young boy (14 years-old) in search of freedom and adventure. The story takes place alongside the Mississippi River, with heavy themes of race, hypocrisy, character, and moral conflict. Due to the racial slurs used, the story is controversial, but continues to be a timeless classic.

I received this audiobook at no cost from Audiobookworm Promotions. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

  • By: Kate Douglas Wiggin
  • Narrated by: Ann Richardson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm has delighted readers for over 100 years. Published in 1903, when girls were inevitably depicted as pretty, gentle and proper, Rebecca Rowena Randall burst onto the scene of children's literature. Sent to live with her prim and proper Aunt Miranda, who is expecting her much more demure sister, Rebecca is a "bird of a very different feather".

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A sweet experience.

  • By cosmitron on 07-07-18

A classic worth revisiting!

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

Reviewed: 08-25-18

I really enjoyed journeying into the past with Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. I read this children’s classic as a child, and enjoyed revisiting this cast of characters. It is just as easy to sink into Rebecca’s mindset now as it was back then. Rebecca is a spirited and fun heroine who lives life to the fullest.

Audio Narration: Ann Richardson is a talented audiobook narrator. Her voice is crisp, her tone is pleasant, and she presents each character effortlessly, with great distinction, without distracting the listener.

Audio Production Quality: The production quality of this audiobook is clear, with no distracting background music, static, or skips.

Overall opinion: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is a traditional and flavorful coming-of-age story taking place in Riverboro, Maine during the late 1800s. It’s a wonderful setting and has a fun, memorable cast.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Post Hypnotic Press. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • An Unbidden Visitor

  • By: Dianne Ascroft
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Klett
  • Length: 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

March 1913: Struggling to make ends meet, widow Bridget Murphy finds life in rural Ireland difficult, raising six children while farming her small acreage. With the help of neighbors and friends, Bridget is able to cope with the many arduous tasks and chores required of her. When an unnatural and terrifying force invades their house, threatening their family, Bridget is surprised to see so many backs turning on her. Fearing for themselves, those she once counted on for help and support will not risk their safety for her. Father Smyth, their priest, is the only one who stands alongside their family in the battle against the uninvited and fearsome poltergeist. But, prayers alone won't run the farm. Will Bridget find a way to save her home and her family before there's nowhere left to turn?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Beginning of a Horror Story.

  • By pixledust on 03-03-18

Excellent narration!

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

Reviewed: 03-14-18

Surprisingly, this short story carries a lot of depth. The characters are well developed and the ghost story is full and engaging.

The setting is what initially drew me to this audiobook. (I’ve visited Ireland several times and it is one of the most breathtaking countries I’ve been to.) I’m glad the author avoided melodrama, simply allowing the story to tell itself. Even though the story’s premise is unpleasant, the infused Irish culture and the inflection of the narrator, captures a certain taste of charm.

An Unbidden Visitor, written by Dianne Ascroft, is a re-telling of a documented poltergeist in Northern Ireland in the early 1900s. The main character, Bridgette Murphy, is a frightened widow, hoping to protect her children from the noisy, unwanted, invisible houseguest. It’s easy to sympathize with Bridgette and I won’t soon forget her family’s plight.

Audio Narration: Elizabeth Klett is one of the best audiobook narrators I’ve ever listened to. Ireland is a land of great storytellers, and this narrator captures that beautifully. Ms. Klett’s Irish accent is stunning, her voice is clear and steady and holds an affectionate quality. She switches character voices smoothly, without being distracting or disruptive, and skillfully sets the unnerving and urgent tone.

Audio Production Quality: The production quality of this audiobook is clear, with no distracting background music, static, or skips.

Overall opinion: An Unbidden Visitor is a short, yet full-bodied, ghost tale with engaging characters and a strikingly eerie storyline.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions, sponsored by Dianne Ascroft. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • Anne of Green Gables

  • By: L. M. Montgomery
  • Narrated by: Laurel Schroeder
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 44

Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, middle-aged siblings who live together in the fictional town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island, decide to adopt a boy from an orphan asylum to help on their farm. But owing to a series of mishaps, the child who is delivered to their care is not a boy at all but a precocious girl of 11 named Anne Shirley. Although, as Marilla dryly informs her, "you certainly have a genius for getting into trouble", with pluck, imagination, and optimism, Anne flourishes at Green Gables.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Narration of a Delightful Classic

  • By HeatherY on 07-06-17

A charming revisit to my childhood

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

Reviewed: 12-30-17

Anne of Green Gables, written by L. M. Montgomery, has been an adored classic for many years. I remember this story from my childhood, and the nostalgia conjured up is priceless.

This is the first time hearing this story in audiobook form. I think it helps having the narration read aloud to me, due mainly to the long sentences and detailed descriptions authors used in the past. (The first sentence consists of almost 150 words!) Knowing that this was written in the late 1800s makes the wordiness much more acceptable.

The story centers on an eleven year old orphan, Anne Shirley. Her adoptive parents were surprised when the boy they expected to adopt as a helper on the farm turns out to be a girl. And what a handful! Though she has a positive nature and is quite mature for her age, her imagination manages to stir things up.

I love stories that take me back to simpler times. Not to say everything is simple and easy for Anne, but there is something dear about revisiting the past.


Audio Narration: Laurel Schroeder has an even, tender quality that is enjoyable to listen to. Her inflection is appropriate, and she doesn’t over-do it during dialogue. She switches character voices smoothly, without being distracting or disruptive.

Audio Production Quality: The production quality of this audio book is clear, with no distracting background music, static, or skips.

Overall opinion: Anne of Green is a charming, fun story that brings me back to childhood days. The writing is wordy, appropriate for the 1800s time period in which it was written, but is upbeat and filled with warmth and meaning.


**First Line: Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies’ eardrops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde’s Hollow it was a quiet, well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde’s door without due regard for decency and decorum; it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof.

I received this audiobook at no-cost from Audiobookworm Promotions. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • The Fun Knowledge Encyclopedia

  • The Crazy Stories Behind the World's Most Interesting Facts - Trivia Bill's General Knowledge, Volume 1
  • By: Bill O'Neill
  • Narrated by: Rob Maxwell
  • Length: 5 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47

Are you the trivia buff in your friend group? Maybe you're just always hoping to learn more random facts to keep up your sleeve. Whether you're a regular trivia fanatic or someone looking for a fun audiobook to listen to, this audiobook goes beyond the scope of general knowledge into some of the most interesting facts and intriguing trivia tidbits out there.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • this book is awesome!

  • By TinkerMel on 09-27-17

Fun and fascinating facts!

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

Reviewed: 11-17-17

The Fun Knowledge Encyclopedia, by Bill O’Neill is chock-full of thought-provoking tidbits of trivia. I have to say, I learned a lot. Numerous fun, fascinating, and unforgettable topics are covered.

A most intriguing and eerie topic was about Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. They had much more in common than being President!

They were both boat captains
They were the second child in their family
They were elected in the year 60 (Lincoln 1860, Kennedy 1960)
They had 3 children living with them in the white house
Each had a child die during their presidency
Lincoln had secretary with the last name Kennedy
Kennedy had secretary with the last name Lincoln
Upon their deaths they were succeeded by VPs with the last name Johnson (Andrew Johnson and Lyndon B. Johnson)
John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald (assassins of these presidents) each had 15 letters in their name
Booth shot Lincoln in a theatre then fled to a warehouse
Oswald shot Kennedy from a warehouse then fled to a theatre.

I’ve listed several other interesting things I learned from this book of knowledge:

There is a store in Scottsboro, Alabama that sells items that were found in unclaimed luggage from airports, trains, buses, and trucks. It’s appropriately called The Unclaimed Baggage Center, and it spans more than a city block.

In Spain, it’s illegal to drive in flip-flops, or with an arm hanging out the driver’s window. You can also receive a fine if your ears aren’t visible at all times.

There is a disorder called Maple Syrup Urine disease. Uh…yeah.

For fifty dollars, a doctor can purchase a Fictitious Name Permit that allows them to practice under an assumed or false name.

Hawaiian pizza was invented in Canada. Hmm…

I’ve no doubt you’ll be surprised and entertained by this fun encyclopedia, and no doubt, you’ll learn a thing or two. I did!

Audio Narration: Rob Maxwell gives a wonderful narrative. His voice is smooth and clear, with a suitable inflection and pronunciation.

Audio Production Quality: The production quality of this audio book is clear, with no distracting background music, static, or skips.

Overall opinion: The Fun Knowledge Encyclopedia is as its title states--FUN. The trivia ranges from educational to downright silly, containing stimulating facts sure to boost conversation. I received this audiobook from a member giveaway at LibraryThing. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • Someone to Love

  • A Heavenly Christmas, Book 2
  • By: Patrice Wilton
  • Narrated by: Rita Page
  • Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 30

Allison Cornwall was forced to leave her hometown in Connecticut and live life on the run from an ex-boyfriend turned stalker. She changed her name and hunkered down in Heaven, PA. The small, idyllic town was a safe haven where no one could find her. And yet, after a year and a half of peace, he did. Police Chief Ian Brown is determined to keep crime out of Heaven. When Ally fears for her life, he's there to protect. Recently divorced, he's not looking for love, but this innocent young woman touches his heart.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Suspense, romance and sensuality

  • By Rabid Reader on 10-16-17

A unique romantic suspense!

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

Reviewed: 10-30-17

Someone to Love, written by Patrice Wilton, is book 2 of A Heavenly Christmas series. It’s a holiday tale with spicy romance and a stalker mystery. The main characters from the first book of the series are secondary characters in this story. If you enjoy Hallmark movies during the Christmas season (like I do) then you’ll enjoy this book.

Allison (Ally) Cornwall has been on the run, hiding from a man in her past, and settles, for the time being, anyway, in Heaven Pennsylvania. When a creepy occurrence happens on Ally’s doorstep, Chief of Police, Ian Brown, becomes entangled in the mystery surrounding Ally—and his growing feelings toward her.

*This story is spicy, not your usual sweet-n-clean Holiday tale.

Audio Narration: As I mentioned in my review for the first book in this series, Rita Page has a smooth and gentle tone that is kind and inviting, but I feel she sometimes overstates her tones. Ally often sounds like a pouting child, rather than an adult due to the voice inflection. Also, the men’s voices sometimes sound seductive when it isn’t a romantic scene. Ms. Page’s sugary narration reminds me of a mixture between Caroline Ingalls (from Little House on the Prairie) and Mary Alice Young (Narrator of Desperate Housewives.) The narration is better in this sequel than in the first book, but only slightly, often sounding childish.

Audio Production Quality: The production quality of this audio book is clear, with no distracting background music, static, or skips.

Overall opinion: Someone to Love is an absorbing story with lots of suspense and romantic spice. Pros: the romance is not typical—between an older police chief and a younger woman, which is fun. Cons: the voice narration is overplayed, and I feel the story could've ended much earlier. When the mystery was solved, maybe the rest of the story could have been wrapped up as well.

** The cover should be edited. “Can the passion last once the danger has past?” The word past should be passed.


3.5 Stars

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook from Audiobookworm Promotions. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Heavenly Christmas

  • A Heavenly Christmas Series, Book One
  • By: Patrice Wilton
  • Narrated by: Rita Page
  • Length: 6 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 40

Jennie Braxton and her two small children are traveling to Philadelphia for Christmas with her family. Car trouble lands them in a magical town called Heaven, PA. Everything about this sweet place seems too good to be true, especially Nick Ryan, a local chef with a heart as big as her own. His sensual smile tempts her from mourning the loss of her husband, to look into the future.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • HEAVENLY AND HOT

  • By Mary Lou PagePrincess Hoffman on 11-09-17

A compelling Christmas romance!

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

Reviewed: 10-30-17

A Heavenly Christmas, written by Patrice Wilton, is a charming holiday tale. If you stay glued to the Hallmark channel watching feel-good movies during the Christmas season (like I do) then you’ll enjoy this story.

This is the first book I’ve read by Patrice Wilton, and I look forward to reading and listening to Someone To Love, the second book in this series.

The story centers on Jennie Braxton, a widow of one year, and mother of two young girls. She gets in an accident while traveling to Philadelphia to visit her parents for the holidays and is sent to the hospital. Her unexpected encounter with Nick, a kind and interesting chef in a town called Heaven, detours her heart as well as her holiday plans, and rescues her from her grievous past.

I love stories that take place during the holidays. Add a sweet puppy, and a handsome man who knows his way around the kitchen and fills my senses with more than baking scents, and I’m sold!

*The story contains sex, and for those sensitive to slang or cursing, there are choice words throughout.


Audio Narration: Rita Page has a smooth and gentle tone that is kind and inviting. But I feel the inflection is a bit overdone —as if she is reading a bedtime story to a child. Ms. Page’s saccharine sweet narration reminds me of Caroline Ingalls from the television show Little House on the Prairie, and seems out of place when describing the chemistry and sensuality between two adults. The children’s voices are also exaggerated and animated. As I became engrossed in the great storyline, the voices blended in and were not as distracting.

Audio Production Quality: The production quality of this audio book is clear, with no distracting background music, static, or skips.

Overall opinion: A Heavenly Christmas is a compelling story. The writing is filled with warmth, love, and the spirit of Christmas, but the voice narration is bit overacted.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Patrice Wilton. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful