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Mei

Calgary, Alberta Canada
  • 21
  • reviews
  • 11
  • helpful votes
  • 96
  • ratings
  • Little Princes

  • One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal
  • By: Conor Grennan
  • Narrated by: Conor Grennan
  • Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,970
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,704
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,711

In search of adventure, 29-year-old Conor Grennan traded his day job for a year-long trip around the globe, a journey that began with a three-month stint volunteering at the Little Princes Children's Home, an orphanage in war-torn Nepal. Conor was initially reluctant to volunteer, unsure whether he had the proper skill, or enough passion, to get involved in a developing country in the middle of a civil war. But he was soon overcome by the herd of rambunctious, resilient children.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hope there is a sequel!

  • By R. Cotton on 02-19-11

Funny, relatable, and inspiring!

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

Reviewed: 11-03-18

I found out about this book through an Audible editor’s recommendation podcast, and I’m so glad I did. This is a great story for anyone who enjoys travel, adventure, learning about different cultures, and is an amazing story of optimism and hope.

Written in a humorous, down-to-earth voice, and with great narration by the author, I’m going to recommend this to both of my book clubs! (And pretty much everyone else I know). A great read/listen!

  • Member of the Family

  • My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties
  • By: Dianne Lake, Deborah Herman
  • Narrated by: Dianne Lake
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 744
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 679
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 676

In this poignant and disturbing memoir of lost innocence, coercion, survival, and healing, Dianne Lake chronicles her years with Charles Manson, revealing for the first time how she became the youngest member of his Family and offering new insights into one of the 20th century's most notorious criminals and life as one of his "girls". While much has been written about Charles Manson, this riveting account from an actual Family member is a chilling portrait that recreates in vivid detail one of the most horrifying chapters in modern American history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Dianne sets the record straight . . . Finally.

  • By Polly Poizendem on 11-18-17

Fascinating, compelling and well-written!

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

Reviewed: 03-10-18

I chose to read this memoir after being intrigued by listening to the fictional novel “The Girls” (Emma Cline) and hearing that it was based on the story of the Charles Manson cult.

This true story was much more robust than the fictional novel, and Dianne’s story of growing up a free-range child of hippie nomads was heartbreaking and hard to imagine for someone with over- protective parents.

These books are my first introduction to the story of Charles Manson and his cult, and the psychology of these relationships is fascinating. This book doesn’t focus on the gory murders that Charles Manson is known for- mostly a story of how an ordinary girl from an unstable family came to join a famous cult, and how she found herself, overcame her demons, and triumphed as a human being.

I do think that a younger professional reader narrating this book would have transported the listener more authentic ally into the life of young Dianne, but also appreciate that she may have wanted to tell her own story.

I will definitely be recommending this book.

  • Voice Lessons

  • A Sisters Story
  • By: Cara Mentzel
  • Narrated by: Cara Mentzel, Idina Menzel - foreword
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52

Voice Lessons is the story of one younger sister growing up in the shadow of a larger-than-life older sister - looking up to her, wondering how they were alike and how they were different, and ultimately learning how to live her own life and speak in her own voice on her own terms. Voice Lessons is the story of sisters - sisters with pigtails, sisters with boyfriends and broken hearts, sisters as mothers and aunts, sisters as teachers and ice queens, sisters as allies and confidantes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Heartfelt Read

  • By rosey on 01-17-18

It's like spending a weekend with a new friend

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

Reviewed: 10-23-17

There’s a certain human connection that happens when you hear a personal story spoken aloud, and that made this memoir even better than if I had read a hard copy myself. Maybe it’s the honesty and inflection behind the words, and the Long Island accent that is emphasized in certain parts. Other audiobook bonuses are the foreward read by Idina (Dee), the interview with both sisters at the end, and the duet that they sing of “Never Never Land” – from Peter Pan, which is referenced in the book as the first musical theatre performance that the sisters ever saw.

Cara Mentzel, younger sister of “Broadway supernova” Idina was (relatively) quieter and (seemingly) shy to the average observer, but through her own words and voice we get to know her spunk and wit as she recalls tales that span from their childhood (think little orphan Annie and Snoopy Sno Cone Machines), to the present. The book tells of their journey as sisters (so far) through marriages, careers, and finally - their shared experience on the Oscars red carpet. I loved that Cara had hoped Dee would invite her as her Oscars date, but didn’t want to ask; her recollection of everything to do with attending the Oscars was so humourous because Cara was thinking what you or I would probably be thinking in the same situation. One of my favourite passages was about deciding which dress to wear, and the tongue-in-cheek line: “Luckily, the vote for the periwinkle dress was unanimous, so I didn’t have to worry about showing up at the Oscars like I thought I was going to the Golden Globes. How embarrassing would that have been!”

‘Voice Lessons’ explores the complexity of a sibling relationship like any other, with the added fun of a glimpse here and there into the celebrity life. The perspective of this story told by Idina’s little sister (and biggest fan) is a unique one, and those who were kids in the 70’s and 80’s will relate to all the pop culture references. You don’t have to be a die-hard Idina fan to like this book (though if you are, it’s an obvious must-read!). If you enjoy stories about family, and you’re curious about what it’s like to live a ‘normal’ life with a ‘normal’ job, while the sibling you grew up with is frequently in the media with hit plays, hit movies, and hit songs, then this book is for you!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

  • A Novel
  • By: Gail Honeyman
  • Narrated by: Cathleen McCarron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35,149
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 32,484
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,356

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Close To Perfection--A Definite Thumbs Up!

  • By Kindle Customer on 08-07-17

A human portrait with a mystery

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

Reviewed: 07-29-17

I loved the characters and the humour in this story, and always enjoy novels with a mystery woven in! A great read - I was drawn in to Eleanor's world and enjoyed every minute of it!

I think fans of 'The Rosie Project' would really like this book.

  • November 9

  • A Novel
  • By: Colleen Hoover
  • Narrated by: Zachary Webber, Angela Goethals
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,386
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,199
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,201

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon's last day in LA together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I hate you soo good, Colleen!

  • By Meraline on 11-11-15

An interesting love story with plot twists

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

Reviewed: 02-16-17

An enjoyable novel with likeable characters and a plot line that surprises the reader as it unfolds. Fast-paced, but not ridiculously so. Some of the modern slang and phrases seemed a little out of place, and at times I felt like the character development could have been deeper, but overall, I liked it!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Constant Princess
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Philippa Gregory
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Jill Tanner
    
    


    
    Length: 18 hrs and 53 mins
    2,258 ratings
    Overall 4.3
  • Constant Princess

  • By: Philippa Gregory
  • Narrated by: Jill Tanner
  • Length: 18 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,258
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,995
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,993

Best-selling author Philippa Gregory introduces one of her most unforgettable heroines: Katherine of Aragon. Daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain, Katherine has been fated her whole life to marry Prince Arthur of England. When they meet and are married, the match becomes as passionate as it is politically expedient. But tragically, Arthur falls ill and extracts from his young bride a deathbed promise to marry his brother Henry, become Queen, and fulfill their dreams and her destiny.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful Story...

  • By Theodore on 12-06-11

Not Philippa Gregory's best

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

Reviewed: 12-03-16

This was not as easy to read as other novels like The Other Boleyn Girl, but I was interested in learning about Queen Catherine, so it was able to keep my interest till the end.

  • When I'm Gone

  • A Novel
  • By: Emily Bleeker
  • Narrated by: Dan John Miller
  • Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,640
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,041
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,046

Luke Richardson has returned home after burying Natalie, his beloved wife of sixteen years, ready to face the hard job of raising their three children alone. But there's something he's not prepared for - a blue envelope with his name scrawled across the front in Natalie's handwriting, waiting for him on the floor of their suburban Michigan home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Father's poignant struggle to move forward after wife's death

  • By Sam on 08-05-16

An interesting story, with a good mystery.

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

Reviewed: 10-05-16

This was a nice light read. The element of mystery kept me going till the end, though I guessed parts of it :-)

3 = I enjoyed it and finished it (no small feat - my time is valuable)
4 = I really enjoyed it and recommend it to lots of my friends
5 = Wow!

  • The Secret Keeper

  • By: Kate Morton
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 19 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,963
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,855
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,854

England, 1959: Laurel Nicolson is 16 years old, dreaming alone in her childhood tree house during a family celebration at their home, Green Acres Farm. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and then observes her mother, Dorothy, speaking to him. And then she witnesses a crime.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Kate Morton (and Caroline Lee) does it again!

  • By Maria on 10-20-12

Loved this mystery set during WWII

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

Reviewed: 03-22-16

This was my first Kate Morton novel, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story unfolded at a nice pace, and there was enough detail to allow readers to get to know the characters and get a feel for the locations, but not so much that it got in the way of the mysterious plot. I liked how the author kept me guessing about Dorothy's story until close to the end, when the the pieces finally came together. I'd definitely recommend this book to a friend!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Silkworm

  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 17 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,662
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,223
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,193

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabethan Revenge Tragedy In Contemporary London

  • By Gretchen SLP on 08-24-16

Good mystery - great characters!

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

Reviewed: 03-02-16

I find the Cormoran Strike novels interesting enough to listen to, but I wouldn't rave about the story lines. However, I absolutely love the characters, which has kept me reading the series. I'm now going to have to read the next one to see what is in store for Cormoran and Robyn!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Sherman Alexie
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Sherman Alexie
    
    


    
    Length: 4 hrs and 51 mins
    4,298 ratings
    Overall 4.5
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

  • By: Sherman Alexie
  • Narrated by: Sherman Alexie
  • Length: 4 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,298
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,540
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,529

Born poor and hydrocephalic, Arnold Spirit survives brain surgery. But his enormous skull, lopsided eyes, profound stuttering, and frequent seizures target him for abuse on his Indian reservation. Protected by a formidable friend, the book-loving artist survives childhood. And then - convinced his future lies off the rez - the bright 14-year-old enrolls in an all-white high school 22 miles away.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Essential reading for anyone trying to understand Rez Life

  • By Richard W Smith on 01-03-16

Bought this on a whim and really enjoyed it!

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

Reviewed: 02-11-16

I'm an adult that enjoys the occasional YA novel. This story was sweet, funny, and sad - the first book I've read about modern life on a reserve. Would definitely recommend it to others.