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Valerie

  • 6
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 17
  • ratings
  • Becoming

  • By: Michelle Obama
  • Narrated by: Michelle Obama
  • Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 74,698
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 68,082
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 67,697

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites listeners into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Didn't know what I was getting into

  • By Kenneth Woodward on 12-05-18

Prepare for a powerful experience

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

Reviewed: 02-21-19

I learned so much about politics, people, the world, and Michelle Obama. What an amazing book! Try not to gasp at parts (the presidential motorcade) and cry at many, many others as you read this memoir of love and dedication to service. Should be required reading for every voter in America.

  • A Study in Scarlet Women

  • The Lady Sherlock Series, Book 1
  • By: Sherry Thomas
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 11 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,099
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,786
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,783

With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper-class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London. When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • First-rate author and first-rate narrator

  • By Lady Wesley on 03-25-17

What a delight!

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

Reviewed: 09-18-18

I stumbled on this book and decided to give it a try. The parallels between it and “A Study in Scarlet” are multiple and kept me grinning every time one popped up. The story is fascinating and kept me guessing as to what was going on. Lots of twists. The performance was excellent. Reading did a wonderful job of making each person have her/his voice. This is a fun book with a fantastic feminist and fresh take on a familiar character.

  • Alias Grace

  • By: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: Margaret Atwood, Sarah Gadon
  • Length: 15 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,136
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,959
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,954

It's 1843, and Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer and his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders. An up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Read the book after watching the series.

  • By Sheri Martin on 12-30-17

Faulty Pronunciation was Extremely Annoying

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

Reviewed: 08-21-18

I enjoy historical fiction and have read several of Margaret Atwood's books, so looked forward to listening to this book, which is based on an actual event. That said, I must resoundingly echo previous reviews that cite the horrendous mispronunciation of countless words.

The first time I heard one, I honestly thought I had just heard it wrong. But it happened over and over. I about choked when Gadon said "ennui" and pronounced it En-u-WEE. Seriously?

To me, this represented shoddy and lazy production. Maybe Gadon couldn't be bothered to look up words that were unfamiliar to her, but wasn't there someone--a producer or editor or anyone--to say, "Wait! It's DECK-or-us, not dee-CHORus."

If I were Atwood, I would be furious that my book was so poorly read. When the reading is that distracting, it detracts from the entire experience.

  • The One-in-a-Million Boy

  • By: Monica Wood
  • Narrated by: Chris Ciulla
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,950
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,796
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,804

For years, guitarist Quinn Porter has been on the road, chasing gig after gig, largely absent to his twice-ex-wife Belle and their odd, Guinness records-obsessed son. When the boy dies suddenly, Quinn seeks forgiveness for his paternal shortcomings by completing the requirements for one of his son's unfinished Boy Scout badges. For seven Saturdays Quinn does yard work for Ona Vitkus, the spry 104-year-old Lithuanian immigrant the boy had visited weekly.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very moving, thought provoking,

  • By Kelli Stone on 04-12-17

Loved everything about this!

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

Reviewed: 03-01-18

The story was engaging, the characters were captivating, and the performance was wonderful. I’ve already told several people about it. I smiled, I cried, I cared.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Rich People Problems

  • A Novel
  • By: Kevin Kwan
  • Narrated by: Lydia Look
  • Length: 16 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,168
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,638
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,615

When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside - but he's not alone. The entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe to stake claim on their matriarch's massive fortune. With each family member vying to inherit Tyersall Park - a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore - Nicholas' childhood home turns into a hotbed of speculation and sabotage.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fabulous and Fun

  • By maxine on 05-30-17

Liked the story, but performance was irritating

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

Reviewed: 02-13-18

I chose this because it was supposed to be one of the funniest books of 2017. Although I enjoyed the story and smiled several times, I wouldn’t say it was laugh-out-loud funny.

However I very much enjoyed learning about a culture and part of the world with which I was unfamiliar.

Although there were a lot of characters, the author did a good job of reminding us of who was who, so I could follow the plot and character development. Perhaps the ending was a bit too pat and happily ever after, but that didn’t bother me.

What did bother me was the inexplicable performance of conversations. The first time it happened, I thought it was a misread, but the problem was pervasive and hindered my appreciation of the story.

Lydia Look read conversation like I’ve never experienced. She treated the commas as periods. Instead of:
“The sky is blue,” she said with a smile.
“I love the clouds,” he agreed with a nod.

It was:
“The sky is blue.”
She said with a smile.
“I loved the clouds.”
He agreed with a nod.

We had no idea who said “I loved the clouds.” Was it a continuing comment from her or did he say it?

When long conversations took place, I actually was often bewildered by exactly who was speaking.

This was a huge negative for me and significantly marred my enjoyment of the book.

  • The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

  • By: Katarina Bivald
  • Narrated by: Fiona Hardingham, Lorelei King
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 870
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 803
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 803

It all began with a correspondence between two quite different women: 28-year-old Sara from Haninge, Sweden, and 65-year-old Amy from the small town of Broken Wheel, Iowa. After years of exchanging books, letters and thoughts on the meaning of literature and life, Sara, mousy, disheveled, who has never been anywhere in her life - has really lived only for her work in a beloved bookshop, which has just closed its doors for the last time - bravely decides to accept her unknown friend's invitation to visit.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointed - no depth & poor narration

  • By Kelly on 01-28-16

Story fine, but reading was irritating

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

Reviewed: 10-07-17

I wish I would have read this book instead of listening to it.

First, the positive. It was an enjoyable, fairly predictable story. As an avid reader, I found it fun to identify book references. I also developed a list of books to check out thanks to this novel.

On the one hand, the author got some details about Iowa right (“pop” for soft drinks), but others were laughable. Cowboy hats in eastern Iowa? No way. Feed caps. Harvest not happening until October? But given that she was Swedish, I give her kudos for her efforts.

What REALLY irritated me and honestly almost made me quit listening was the incredibly inaccurate portrayal of how people in Iowa talk. It’s the MIDWEST. The only time it sounded as if an Iowan was talking was when Amy’s part was being read.

I was fine with the British-sounding overall narrative, and I have no idea if the Swedish accent was correct, but anyone from Iowa sounded southern. And what a mishmash! Texas, Tennessee, Georgia. I’m not exaggerating when I said I winced inwardly whenever someone “spoke.” The inaccuracy was atrocious.

The irony is that people in Iowa speak fairly standard, dictionary-defined English. At one point, they kept saying “the law” and it was pronounced “the lor.” I literally laughed out loud when I heard it.

No, I’m not from Iowa, but I lived there for seven years and am a Midwesterner myself. That’s why I know Amy sounded perfect and everyone else sounded so very wrong.

Perhaps I might have found myself enjoying the story better if listening hadn’t been so frustrating.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful