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Kelli

Birmingham, AL, United States
  • 62
  • reviews
  • 169
  • helpful votes
  • 351
  • ratings
  • Salvage the Bones

  • A Novel
  • By: Jesmyn Ward
  • Narrated by: Cherise Boothe
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,198
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,096
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,098

Best-selling author Jesmyn Ward won the National Book Award for this poignant and poetic novel. Unfolding over 12 days, the story follows a poor family living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. With Hurricane Katrina bearing down on them, the Batistes struggle to maintain their community and familial bonds amid the storm and the stark poverty surrounding them.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful With No Holds Barred

  • By Gillian on 03-31-14

Tough Subject Matter

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

Reviewed: 07-22-18

This book will be memorable but not for the reasons you might think. In many ways, the book was "too much": too many metaphors and similes, too much blood and bodily fluids, and too many animals (domestic and wild) in endangering situations. Although I was not aware until this book that I was susceptible to any reading triggers, I now understand what that means. I felt a visceral anxiety at times to pick up this book and listen. I understood that the book was "important" so I persisted but gave myself permission to skip an entire chapter in the middle of the book because I just could not bear the subject matter: dog fighting. This is really not a Hurricane Katrina book, this is something else in the vein of Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy - true Southern Gothic and not for everyone.

  • Clock Dance

  • A Novel
  • By: Anne Tyler
  • Narrated by: Kimberly Farr
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 509
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 459
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 455

Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life. In 1967, she is a schoolgirl coping with her mother's sudden disappearance. In 1977, she is a college coed considering a marriage proposal. In 1997, she is a young widow trying to piece her life back together. And in 2017, she yearns to be a grandmother but isn't sure she ever will be. Then, one day, Willa receives a startling phone call from a stranger. Without fully understanding why, she flies across the country to Baltimore....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Phenomenal Story Telling

  • By Mr. Johnny White on 08-02-18

Character Driven Storytelling

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

Reviewed: 07-22-18

Sometimes a book finds you right where you are and turns out to be the perfect book to read in that very moment. Clock Dance was just what the reading doctor ordered. Here's what I needed and here's what I got: a beautifully gentle story of a woman's life with its inevitable ups and downs. Anne Tyler tackles difficult subjects with grace and amazing insight sprinkled with humor and a true understanding of human nature. I saw myself and my family reflected in the familiar characters of this novel which prompted frequent chuckles and "notes to self" along the way. What a pleasant reading journey!

  • Not That I Could Tell

  • A Novel
  • By: Jessica Strawser
  • Narrated by: Erin Bennett
  • Length: 11 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 546
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 499
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 494

When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It's a rare kid-free night, and they're giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal. By Monday morning, one of them is gone. Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Pleasant - yet thrilly - companion to jogging

  • By Allexia Martin on 04-02-18

Forgettable

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

Reviewed: 04-21-18

Fast but forgettable read which is a bit disappointing. Did, however, enjoy the narrator.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Music Shop

  • A Novel
  • By: Rachel Joyce
  • Narrated by: Steven Hartley
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 738
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 693
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 692

It is 1988. On a dead-end street in a run-down suburb there is a music shop that stands small and brightly lit, jam-packed with records of every kind. Like a beacon, the shop attracts the lonely, the sleepless, and the adrift; Frank, the shop's owner, has a way of connecting his customers with just the piece of music they need. Then, one day, into his shop comes a beautiful young woman, Ilse Brauchmann, who asks Frank to teach her about music.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another thing of beauty from Rachel Joyce

  • By Emily - Audible on 01-11-18

Hit All My Sweet Spots

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

Reviewed: 03-24-18

This book hit all my sweet spots: quirky little romance set in the U.K., tons of wonderful music references both old and new but mostly old, and interesting flawed characters with mysteries to unfold. I kept my phone close by so I could quickly pull up tunes as referenced. I read this book right on the heels of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and it proved to be a perfect match.

  • Killers of the Flower Moon

  • The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
  • By: David Grann
  • Narrated by: Will Patton, Ann Marie Lee, Danny Campbell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,245
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5,647
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,626

In the 1920s the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An outstanding story, highly recommended

  • By S. Blakely on 06-22-17

Its Many Accolades and Awards are Well-Deserved

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

Reviewed: 03-24-18

Last July, I read Jennifer Latham's YA novel Dreamland Burning and loved it. Here's an excerpt from a review by The Children's Writer's Guild: Will Tillman, 17, son of a white shop-owner and full-blooded Osage Indian mother, is in love with Addie, the prettiest girl at school, in 1921 Tulsa. Will is white enough to attend the white school, but his detractors call him “half-breed.” His Osage mother has oil rights to Maple Ridge plus she’s inherited 2 other portions. She’s rich. But racism against Indians requires her to have a white sponsor to hold her monies. That would be Will’s father, who is building a luxury house for the family on the edge of Greenwood.

Killers of the Flower Moon fills in the rest of the story about the Osage Indians, those oil rights, the concept of a "white sponsor" and the real world horrible acts perpetrated by greed against the Osage because of their wealth. Grann's account is narrative non-fiction at its finest - at times, it feels like a novel but the dates and times and places and names remind you repeatedly that this is history not fiction. I don't read a lot of narrative non-fiction but truly enjoyed this book. Its many accolades and awards are well-deserved.

  • The Great Alone

  • By: Kristin Hannah
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 15 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,669
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,957
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,873

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: He will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Riveting!

  • By Deborah on 02-07-18

Left Me a Bit Skeptical About All the Fuss

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

Reviewed: 03-24-18

This was my first Kristin Hannah book but won't be my last. I plan to read The Nightingale next. With that said, this was an uneven read for me. The book started on a strong note - the premise was intriguing, the setting in time was appealing and Hannah's descriptions of Alaska led me to Google pictures and more information. But somewhere near the middle of the novel, the plot became a bit over the top and far-fetched and I found myself losing interest in the characters. Then things start to settle down again and I was not unhappy with the ending. Unfortunately, that roller coaster of a reading experience left me a bit skeptical about all the fuss.

  • 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 23,898
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 22,187
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,088

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
  • Completely fine? No... Completely AWESOME

  • By Janna on 07-15-17

Highly Recommended

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

Reviewed: 01-28-18

Nine of my Goodreads friends gave this book 5 stars...you heard me right - 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. I swear that must be a record. My friends did not lead me astray. I loved it! Gail Honeyman is a fantastic debut writer and Reese Witherspoon is a genius to have already optioned this story for film or television. Eleanor was offbeat, flawed in a very endearing way, and she regularly made me chuckle out loud. Hallelujah to this unique and terribly satisfying read.

  • Ginny Moon

  • By: Benjamin Ludwig
  • Narrated by: Em Eldridge
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 225
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 205
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 203

Meet Ginny Moon. She's mostly your average teenager - she plays flute in the high school band, has weekly basketball practice, and reads Robert Frost poems in English class. But Ginny is autistic. And so what's important to her might seem a bit...different: starting every day with exactly nine grapes for breakfast, Michael Jackson, her baby doll, and crafting a secret plan of escape.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Boring!

  • By Happy Customer on 03-17-18

Frustrated Me as a Reader

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

Reviewed: 01-16-18

I waffled between rating this book 3 and 4 stars. Years ago, I read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and had a similar 3-star reading experience. Both books are critically acclaimed, loved by readers, and told from the perspective of an autistic child. Bottom line: I did not love either of these books but I am happy I read them. I appreciate Ginny Moon as a work of art based on the experiences of the author, and trust its accuracy in capturing the thought and speech patterns of a 14-year old autistic girl. I understand that my frustrations with this narrator are mostly unfounded - but I was still a frustrated reader most of the time. Readers up for the challenge should proceed with caution - but this could be a very satisfying journey for some.

  • The Second Mrs. Hockaday

  • By: Susan Rivers
  • Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin, Julie McKay
  • Length: 7 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 196
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 170

When Major Gryffth Hockaday is called to the front lines of the Civil War, his new bride is left to care for her husband's 300-acre farm and infant son. Placidia, a mere teenager herself living far from her family and completely unprepared to run a farm or raise a child, must endure the darkest days of the war on her own. By the time Major Hockaday returns two years later, Placidia is bound for jail, accused of having borne a child in his absence and murdering it. What really transpired in the two years he was away?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Civil War era book!

  • By Julie S. on 11-13-17

Well-Researched Historical Novel

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

Reviewed: 01-01-18

This is an epistolary novel and I loved the challenge of piecing the story together through letters, diary entries, and legal documents. I also appreciated the immense research and historical setting. But overall, the story and characters fell flat for me and I found that I just "liked" this novel, but did not "really like" it. Still - I would recommend this story for those interested in the Civil War and southern historical fiction.

  • Anything Is Possible

  • A Novel
  • By: Elizabeth Strout
  • Narrated by: Kimberly Farr
  • Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,529
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,397
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,396

Here are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother's happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton, the author's celebrated New York Times best seller) returns to visit her siblings after 17 years of absence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Powerful & Disturbing

  • By Sara on 06-08-17

No Desire Now to Read My Name is Lucy Barton

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

Reviewed: 01-01-18

When I started reading Anything Is Possible, it seemed certain that this collection of short stories would end up with 4 or 5 stars. I just loved it from the start. But as I moved further through the collection, my love dissipated. I know this is a companion to Elizabeth Strout's novel My Name is Lucy Barton but nothing about these stories compels me to read that book at this time.