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Chicago, IL, United States
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  • The Switch

  • A Novel
  • By: Joseph Finder
  • Narrated by: Steven Kearney
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 575
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 524
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 524

Michael Tanner is on his way home from a business trip when he accidentally picks up the wrong MacBook in an airport security line. He doesn't notice the mix-up until he arrives home in Boston, but by then it's too late. Tanner's curiosity gets the better of him when he discovers that the owner is a US senator and that the laptop contains top secret files. When Senator Susan Robbins realizes she's come back with the wrong laptop, she calls her young chief of staff, Will Abbott, in a panic.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Stupid, Frustrated, Disapointed

  • By Scott on 06-28-17

Very enjoyable. Some smart things happen.

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

Reviewed: 07-31-18

Joseph Finder is one of my favorite authors. But I was reluctant to read this because another reviewer complained that the set up was not believable. He said when Tanner saw that he had someone else’s laptop he should have returned it right away. But as I read this I was not bothered by that. Tanner was very busy and overwhelmed with problems at work so he didn’t get around to figuring out what to do with the laptop for a few days. And then he gets a phone call from someone using a fake name wanting to collect the laptop. Tanner knew the owner was Senator Susan Robbins from the log in, but a man called saying his name was Sam Robbins. That made Tanner suspicious. So, I was fine with it.

And I really enjoyed it. This author is a good story teller. By the end you realize his characters did a couple of smart things.

And thank you Joseph Finder for writing this in 3rd person - my comfort read.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Steven Kearney was good, but his voice is more strained or stressed than I like. I prefer a voice like Will Patton - softer and seductive and pulls you in to the story better.

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 480 pages. Swearing language: I don’t recall any but there might have been something once or twice. Sexual content: none. Setting: current day mostly Boston, Massachusetts and Washington D.C. Book copyright: 2017. Genre: suspense.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Children of Time

  • By: Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Narrated by: Mel Hudson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,683
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,481
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,455

Adrian Tchaikovksy's critically acclaimed stand-alone novel Children of Time is the epic story of humanity's battle for survival on a terraformed planet. Who will inherit this new Earth? The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age - a world terraformed and prepared for human life. But all is not right in this new Eden.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating Premise Within an Excellent Story

  • By Kurt Schwoppe on 07-30-17

Creative. Different. Thoughtful.

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

Reviewed: 07-27-18

Well done science fiction. I loved the thought provoking ending. And it was a feel good ending.

The audiobook narrator Mel Hudson was excellent.

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 600 pages. Swearing: the s-word and the f-word used a couple times. Sexual content: none. Setting: a spaceship traveling and another planet 2,000-plus years into the future. Book copyright: 2015. Genre: sci-fi.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Unexpected Consequences of Love

  • By: Jill Mansell
  • Narrated by: Beverley A. Crick
  • Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 112
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 102
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 102

Sophie Wells is a successful photographer with a focus on putting the past firmly behind her. When Josh Strachan returns to the seaside town of Cornwall from the States to run his family's hotel, he can't understand why the fun, sexy girl has zero interest in letting him--or any man, for that matter--into her life. He also can't understand how he's been duped into employing Sophie's impulsive friend, Tula, whose crush on him is decidedly unrequited.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Loved the story, not the narrator

  • By TikiSan on 05-24-15

Enjoyable stories.

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

Reviewed: 07-27-18

I enjoyed reading about the various characters. I liked the happy romantic endings. There were no detailed sex scenes other than one referred to but nothing shown.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
I’d prefer a different narrator. Beverly Crick used a cockney and/or Irish accent for some characters. It bothered me. I love some British accents, but not these.

BOOK TITLE:
This book was published with different titles: The “Unexpected” Consequences of Love and The “Unpredictable” Consequences of Love.

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 352 pages. Swearing language: none. Sexual content: none. Setting: current day Cornwall area, U.K. Book copyright: 2014. Genre: contemporary romance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • First Frost

  • By: Sarah Addison Allen
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,390
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,262
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,261

Autumn has finally arrived in the small town of Bascom, North Carolina, heralded by a strange old man appearing with a beat-up suitcase. He has stories to tell, stories that could change the lives of the Waverley women forever. But the Waverleys have enough trouble on their hands. Quiet Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley's Candies, but it's nothing like she thought it would be, and it's slowly taking over her life.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not as good as Garden Spells

  • By Spirit Wandering on 02-15-15

Not enough plot or story. I was not engaged.

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

Reviewed: 07-24-18

This is a sequel to Garden Spells. I loved that book. In Garden Spells two romances began which were fun. In this book, there was a little bit of a teen romance starting, but not enough to make it a story. Most of First Frost just continued on with the lives of characters from the first book.

The fantasy in this series is a little magic from an apple tree and special talents that the Waverly females have.

CAUTION SPOILER:
David was an evil character in book 1. He died a terrible death after book 1. But neither book 1 nor this book tell the details about his death. I wanted to know more. I wish the author finished that.
END SPOILER.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Susan Ericksen was ok, but at times her voice was too argumentative and irritating which did not feel right to me. It could have been softer.

OTHER BOOKS:
I’ve read the following books by this author.

5 stars. Garden Spells 2007
4 ½ stars. The Sugar Queen 2008
3 stars. The Girl Who Chased the Moon 2010
3 stars. The Peach Keeper 2011
2 ½ stars. Lost Lake 2014 (too much grief)
3 stars. First Frost 2015 (sequel to Garden Spells)

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 296 pages. Swearing language: none. Sexual content: none. Setting: current day Bascom, N. Carolina. Book copyright: 2015. Genre: womens fiction with a little fantasy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lost Lake

  • By: Sarah Addison Allen
  • Narrated by: Janet Metzger
  • Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,245
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,091
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,090

The first time Eby Pim saw Lost Lake, it was on a picture postcard. Just an old photo and a few words on a small square of heavy stock, but when she saw it, she knew she was seeing her future. That was half a lifetime ago. Now Lost Lake is about to slip into Eby’s past. Her husband, George, is long passed. Most of her demanding extended family are gone.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • So bummed.

  • By Tara Saunders on 04-23-14

2 ½ stars. Too much grief.

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

Reviewed: 07-24-18

I don’t want to read stories about GRIEF. And that’s what this is. I would not have bought it had I known. It tells stories of 5 different people who are grieving someone who died. It is mostly back stories of happy relationships that ended in death. There is not enough about current day and future anticipation.

I have a second minor complaint. Every once in a while I read a story with the following event, and I hate it. It is soooo irresponsible and stupid. George is wealthy and marries Eby. Their relatives constantly pressure them for money. To get away from that, they buy a Lake Property and give all the rest of their money to charity. Now, it is years later, Eby can’t afford to continue living in their home, so she is forced to sell it. There are many ways to solve the relatives problem, like just say No. They don’t have to give their money to charity and end up in the poor house later.

There is a little bit of fantasy about a girl talking to an alligator and Selma’s magic charm bracelet.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Janet Metzger did a fine job.

OTHER BOOKS:
I’ve read the following books by this author.

5 stars. Garden Spells 2007
4 ½ stars. The Sugar Queen 2008
3 stars. The Girl Who Chased the Moon 2010
3 stars. The Peach Keeper 2011
2 ½ stars. Lost Lake 2014 (too much grief)
3 stars. First Frost 2015 (sequel to Garden Spells)

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 304 pages. Swearing language: none. Sexual content: none. Setting: mostly current day Suley and Atlanta, Georgia, plus back stories in 1962 France and 1963 Netherlands. Book copyright: 2014. Genre: grief fiction with a little fantasy.

  • The Peach Keeper

  • A Novel
  • By: Sarah Addison Allen
  • Narrated by: Karen White
  • Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 514
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 363
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 372

The New York Times best-selling author of The Girl Who Chased the Moon welcomes you to her newest locale: Walls of Water, North Carolina, where the secrets are thicker than the fog from the town’s famous waterfalls, and the stuff of superstition is just as real as you want it to be.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator was terrible

  • By Barbara on 05-09-11

Ok, but I wasn’t as engaged as I hoped.

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

Reviewed: 07-24-18

Womens fiction with some romance. It’s about two women (Willa and Paxton) becoming friends and finding love. The ending is feel good. There is a little mystery about a dead man buried under a tree. We learn the story about that. But overall I felt the story and plot were lacking. Maybe more interesting characters would have helped.

There are a couple sex scenes referred to no details. There is a mention that some rapes occurred in the past but no details shown.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Karen White was awful. She used a high pitched super sweet voice like she was talking to a little baby bird. A few times when it wasn’t the baby talk voice it was a wimpy whiny voice. She has done some other books that I was fine with. I don’t know why she did this book this way.

OTHER BOOKS:
I’ve read the following books by this author.

5 stars. Garden Spells 2007
4 ½ stars. The Sugar Queen 2008
3 stars. The Girl Who Chased the Moon 2010
3 stars. The Peach Keeper 2011
2 ½ stars. Lost Lake 2014 (too much grief)
3 stars. First Frost 2015 (sequel to Garden Spells)

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 273 pages. Swearing language: none. Sexual content: see above - references to sex but no details. Setting: current day Wall of Water, N. Carolina with a 1936 back story. Book copyright: 2011. Genre: womens fiction with some romance.

  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon

  • A Novel
  • By: Sarah Addison Allen
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 887
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 641
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 646

In her latest enchanting novel, New York Times best-selling author Sarah Addison Allen invites you to a quirky little Southern town with more magic than a full Carolina moon. Here two very different women discover how to find their place in the world - no matter how out of place they feel.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Lovely Writing ends Abruptly

  • By Linda on 05-12-11

This was a 4 star read until the last page.

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

Reviewed: 07-24-18

Then the unfinished ending made me mad.

I was angry, frustrated and disappointed at the end. Something wonderful and important is just about to happen. A person opens the door to enter, and the book stops. I felt deprived. I wanted to see the conversations, reactions, and feelings during the coming scene. It would have been fabulous. But the author stopped. It ruined the feel good ending.

Most of the book is about two females who come to town, one recently and one a few years ago. I enjoyed their stories and the relationships they find with relatives, friends, and yes love. The endings for them were feel good.

There is a little bit of magic - like most of this author’s books. There is a secret about members of a certain family who never come out at night. There is also a curiosity about why the wallpaper changes in Emily’s bedroom.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Rebecca Lowman was excellent.

OTHER BOOKS:
I’ve read the following books by this author.

5 stars. Garden Spells 2007
4 ½ stars. The Sugar Queen 2008
3 stars. The Girl Who Chased the Moon 2010
3 stars. The Peach Keeper 2011
2 ½ stars. Lost Lake 2014 (too much grief)
3 stars. First Frost 2015 (sequel to Garden Spells)

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 269 pages. Swearing language: none. Sexual content: one sex scene referred to no details. Setting: current day Mullaby, N. Carolina plus some back stories. Book copyright: 2010. Genre: womens fiction with a little romance and fantasy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Sugar Queen

  • By: Sarah Addison Allen
  • Narrated by: Karen White
  • Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 580
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 423
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 425

Twenty-seven-year-old Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter in her North Carolina hometown is her favorite season, she's a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her hidden closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother's house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Must Read

  • By Stephanie Berget on 11-25-09

4 ½ stars. Enjoyable.

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

Reviewed: 07-24-18

I’m in the mood for this type of story right now. It’s womens fiction with romance, plus a little magic (books that appear and follow Chloe ... another character has visits from a ghost). I love that it was done in 3rd person – my comfort read.

I enjoyed the conflicts and resolutions of the various characters living in the town of Bald Slope, N. Carolina.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Karen White is hit or miss for me. Some of her narrations have been awful, but this was ok.

OTHER BOOKS:
I’ve read the following books by this author.

5 stars. Garden Spells 2007
4 ½ stars. The Sugar Queen 2008
3 stars. The Girl Who Chased the Moon 2010
3 stars. The Peach Keeper 2011
2 ½ stars. Lost Lake 2014 (too much grief)
3 stars. First Frost 2015 (sequel to Garden Spells)

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 290 pages. Swearing language: none. Sexual content: two scenes referred to no details. Setting: current day Bald Slope, N Carolina. Book copyright: 2008. Genre: womens fiction with romance and fantasy.

  • Garden Spells

  • By: Sarah Addison Allen
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,264
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,679
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,686

The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers.

Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.

Together again in the house they grew up in, the Waverley sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy - if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom - or with each other.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Perfectly Charming

  • By ~Beloved~ on 09-09-12

Enjoyable.

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

Reviewed: 07-24-18

I’m in the mood for this type of story right now. It’s womens fiction with romance, plus a little magic from an apple tree and special talents that the Waverly females have. I love that it was done in 3rd person – my comfort read.

I enjoyed the various characters living in the town of Bascom, N. Carolina. Two heroines are Claire who grew up there and Sydney who left town, married and had a daughter Bay. Sydney’s husband was abusive. Sydney and Bay secretly ran away from him and came to Bascom hoping he won’t find them.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Susan Ericksen is hit or miss for me. Some of her narrations have been awful. But this was ok.

OTHER BOOKS:
I’ve read the following books by this author.

5 stars. Garden Spells 2007
4 ½ stars. The Sugar Queen 2008
3 stars. The Girl Who Chased the Moon 2010
3 stars. The Peach Keeper 2011
2 ½ stars. Lost Lake 2014 (too much grief)
3 stars. First Frost 2015 (sequel to Garden Spells)

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 304 pages. Swearing language: none. Sexual content: one scene referred to no details. Setting: current day Bascom, N. Carolina. Book copyright: 2007. Genre: womens fiction with romance and fantasy.

  • The Optimist's Guide to Letting Go

  • By: Amy E. Reichert
  • Narrated by: Teri Schnaubelt
  • Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36

Gina Zoberski wants to make it through one day without her fastidious mother Lorraine cataloguing all her faults, and her sullen teenage daughter May snubbing her. Too bad there's no chance of that. Her relentlessly sunny disposition annoys them both, no matter how hard she tries. Instead, Gina finds order and comfort in obsessive list-making and her work at Grilled G's, the gourmet grilled cheese food truck built by her late husband. But when Lorraine suffers a sudden stroke, Gina stumbles upon a family secret Lorraine's kept hidden for 40 years. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • My problem is the subject matter - GRIEF.

  • By Jane on 07-06-18

My problem is the subject matter - GRIEF.

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

Reviewed: 07-06-18

Most of the book has way too much time with three females grieving deaths of husbands/fathers/first-loves. Most of the story is flashback memories of nice times together before the person died: how they met, their relationship, how they died. Even at the end of the book there are more tear jerking grief scenes. This book is sooo different from the author’s first book “The Coincidence of Coconut Cake.” I loved that book. It was a contemporary romance story but drawn out like womens fiction. It was an enjoyable escape. This new book “The Optimists...” is a totally different type of book. No fun. A downer.

The characters: Lorraine was cold and distant to her two daughters Gina and Vicki now around age 40. Gina’s teenage daughter May is cold and distant to Gina. The men in Lorraine’s life are dead. Gina’s husband died two years ago.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Teri Schnaubelt did a great job. I would listen to her again.

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 352 pages. Swearing language: the f-word 2 or 3 times. Sexual content: none. Setting: current day plus flashbacks Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Book copyright: 2018. Genre: grief fiction.

OTHER BOOKS:
I’ve read two other books by this author.
5 stars. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake.
3 ½ stars. The Simplicity of Cider. (Lack of justice for crimes done.)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful