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  • reviews
  • 16
  • helpful votes
  • 19
  • ratings
  • 223 Orchard Street

  • By: Renee Ryan
  • Narrated by: Karen Peakes
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 62
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 52

Irish immigrant Katie O’Connor and her younger sister, Shannon, risk everything to journey to America at the turn of the twentieth century. As each woman passes into an intimidating, stirring, and unpredictable New York City, she is forced to rethink her dream of a better life. It isn’t until Katie begins serving the sick in the depressed slums of the Bowery alongside Dr. Titus Brentwood that she discovers her true calling. Meanwhile, fate directs the vulnerable Shannon down an unsettling path that could put her life at risk.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Overwritten and Predictable; Cloying language

  • By CD on 12-13-18

Overwritten and Predictable; Cloying language

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

Reviewed: 12-13-18

I started this book during a long car trip. There is no way that I would have kept listening otherwise. As it was, I struggled to make it to the end due to the overwritten quality of the story and its predictable plot line. Cloying language. Everyone man is "rugged" and "beautiful," every woman "fiery" and "breathtaking." Love makes your heart go pound-pound-pound. Etc. A sentimental and predictable story. The author is good at creating characters and a story line, but then she fills it all in with a lot of cliched language ("rosy dawn" "heavy mahogany tresses" and so on). I did like the insight into the Irish experience of immigration, but that was about the only thing I enjoyed.

  • New People

  • By: Danzy Senna
  • Narrated by: Kristen Ariza
  • Length: 6 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 69
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 72

As the 20th century draws to a close, Maria is at the start of a life she never thought possible. She and Khalil, her college sweetheart, are planning their wedding. They are the perfect couple, "King and Queen of the Racially Nebulous Prom". Their skin is the same shade of beige. They live together in a black bohemian enclave in Brooklyn, where Khalil is riding the wave of the first dot-com boom and Maria is plugging away at her dissertation on the Jonestown massacre.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Different!!

  • By MsMarsha on 11-17-17

Too weird and strange; too many unanswered questio

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

Reviewed: 05-21-18

I love Danzy Senna's writing and have read many of her books, but this one was just too weird and strange for me. And what will actually happen to Maria? So much is just left hanging. I do teach college level AFAM and am always looking for new things to teach, and there was much I valued in this book but overall I just found it unsatisfying and so have not selected it for my class next year.

  • A Spool of Blue Thread

  • A Novel
  • By: Anne Tyler
  • Narrated by: Kimberly Farr
  • Length: 13 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2,180
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,915
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,925

"It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon..." This is how Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate togetherness: an indefinable, enviable kind of specialness. But they are also like all families, in that the stories they tell themselves reveal only part of the picture.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • From a LONG Time Anne Tyler fan

  • By S. Elder on 09-29-15

Not very profound but well crafted; a light read

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

Reviewed: 12-12-15

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This is a well written novel. But it is very light--I felt that most of the themes were pretty superficial and the characters not all that interesting. I enjoyed the story but it didn't leave me with much to think about. It's not a bad novel, just not up there with the kind of stuff I usually read as an English professor, which generally has deeper questions and ideas.

  • The Good Lord Bird

  • A Novel
  • By: James McBride
  • Narrated by: Michael Boatman
  • Length: 14 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 798
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 716
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 713

Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry’s master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town - with Brown, who believes he’s a girl. Over the ensuing months, Henry - whom Brown nicknames Little Onion - conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive. Eventually Little Onion finds himself with Brown at the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859 - one of the great catalysts for the Civil War.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Abolition Huck Finn arouses interest in history

  • By A. Hatch on 12-13-13

A very interesting if somewhat preposterous story

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

Reviewed: 11-23-15

Would you consider the audio edition of The Good Lord Bird to be better than the print version?

A very interesting if somewhat preposterous story! But, I loved every minute of it. A cross-dressing escaped slave rides with the legendary John Brown. Not true, of course, but an amazing "what if." Well narrated, beautiful writing, and a funny and entertaining book with many serious themes concerning history, race, and the stories we tell about the past.

  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage

  • A novel
  • By: Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (translator)
  • Narrated by: Bruce Locke
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,097
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 987
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 989

The new novel - a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan - from the internationally acclaimed author, his first since IQ84. Here he gives us the remarkable story of Tsukuru Tazaki, a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. It is a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very unfortunate narration...

  • By Nicholas Szasz on 03-30-15

Production issues and poor translation

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

Reviewed: 09-25-15

Would you listen to Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage again? Why?

First of all, let me say that there were production issues with this Audiobook. Almost every chapter started out with low/no sound, and words that got chopped out. This made for a rocky listening experience. Second, although I liked the book, I think that the translation was bad--the book would be eloquent for awhile and then all of a sudden full of cliches. Last, although I loved the story and the plot and the development of characters, the ending was a little disappointing. I think I would have liked this better overall if the Audiobook didn't have some technical production problems/issues.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • You Are One of Them

  • By: Elliott Holt
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 471
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 418
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 418

In 1982, 10-year-olds Jenny and Sarah are best friends living in an upscale part of Washington D.C. A letter to Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov gets Jenny a visit to the USSR, but she dies in a plane crash. Years later, Sarah gets a letter from Moscow suggesting that Jenny is still alive. You Are One of Them is a taut, moving debut about the ways we define ourselves against others and the secrets we keep. In this insightful forensic of a mourned friendship, Holt illuminates the long-lasting sting of abandonment and the measures we take to bring back those we lost.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • You Are One of Them

  • By BookReader on 08-22-15

Ultimately not convincing as a book

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

Reviewed: 06-20-15

Would you try another book from Elliott Holt and/or Cassandra Campbell?

I found this book intriguing at first but then it just got more and more irritating to me. The ending was unbelievable. I do love Cassandra Campbell's reading voice, however.

What does Cassandra Campbell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Cassandra Campbell is a great reader. Book is so-so.

  • Everything I Never Told You

  • A Novel
  • By: Celeste Ng
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,991
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8,080
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,105

Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet.… So begins the story in this exquisite debut novel about a Chinese American family living in a small town in 1970s Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother's bright blue eyes and her father's jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue When Lydia's body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Character Novel

  • By colprubin on 07-16-14

Interesting but dated . . .

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

Reviewed: 05-18-15

What made the experience of listening to Everything I Never Told You the most enjoyable?

I teach multi-ethnic literature, so I am always interested in reading new works. I liked parts of this book, and it was very well-written. However, I felt that the book was a little bit dated. It is set in 1977, but feels more like the whole thing takes place in the 1950s. I did enjoy it but just wish the plot was a bit more forward-looking.

  • God Help the Child

  • A Novel
  • By: Toni Morrison
  • Narrated by: Toni Morrison
  • Length: 5 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 917
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 834
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 823

Spare and unsparing, God Help the Child - the first novel by Toni Morrison to be set in our current moment - weaves a tale about the way the sufferings of childhood can shape and misshape the life of the adult.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You're a better human for listening

  • By Aperio on 04-27-15

Not her finest . . .

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

Reviewed: 05-15-15

Would you try another book from Toni Morrison and/or Toni Morrison?

I am a HUGE Toni Morrison fan but I thought this book was not her finest. It had some good points, but the ending was weird and implausible.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The least interesting was the central character, Bride. I found the other characters--Booker, Queenie, etc. much more interesting.

What didn’t you like about Toni Morrison’s performance?

She was a little raspy and difficult to hear at times.

Was God Help the Child worth the listening time?

Yes

Any additional comments?

If this is your first Toni Morrison book, start with Beloved, Song of Solomon, A Mercy, or The Bluest Eye. They all brilliant books, in my opinion. I also like Paradise and Jazz. But this book, as I said above, is not her finest.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • The Road

  • By: Cormac McCarthy
  • Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte
  • Length: 6 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13,636
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,648
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,678

America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Yawn

  • By Polyhymnia on 07-14-16

A Great American Novel!

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

Reviewed: 05-15-15

What made the experience of listening to The Road the most enjoyable?

What can I say? I was riveted from start to finish. You must read this book!

What other book might you compare The Road to and why?

I would compare it to Hemingway at his finest, but there is more depth here.

Which character – as performed by Tom Stechschulte – was your favorite?

I didn't like the way he did the boy's voice, but otherwise loved the performance.

Any additional comments?

I truly recommend this exceptional well written and powerful book.

0 of 5 people found this review helpful