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Rena Alisa

Los Gatos, CA, US
  • 44
  • reviews
  • 79
  • helpful votes
  • 155
  • ratings
  • Amy and Isabelle

  • A Novel
  • By: Elizabeth Strout
  • Narrated by: Stephanie Roberts
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 268
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 249
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 250

With compassion, humor, and striking insight, Amy and Isabelle explores the secrets of sexuality that jeopardize the love between a mother and her daughter. Amy Goodrow, a shy high school student in a small mill town, falls in love with her math teacher, and together they cross the line between understandable fantasy and disturbing reality. When discovered, this emotional and physical trespass brings disgrace to Amy's mother, Isabelle, and intensifies the shame she feels about her own past.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Honest, tough and absorbing

  • By Catherine on 11-03-14

Mothers and Daughters

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

Reviewed: 09-26-18

Subtle and true.
The emotions of raising a daughter, coming of age and the secret of fulfillment.
That is a lot to ask of one novel, but it is magnificently delivered in this book.
A masterpiece!

  • When We Were Orphans

  • By: Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 570
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 413
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 410

Christopher Banks, an English boy born in early-20th-century Shanghai, is orphaned at age nine when both his mother and father disappear under suspicious circumstances. He grows up to become a renowned detective, and more than 20 years later, returns to Shanghai to solve the mystery of the disappearances.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Just short of 5 stars

  • By Everett Leiter on 05-26-06

Another masterpiece!

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

Reviewed: 09-01-18

The subtle and nuanced emotions of youth becoming adults is the recurrent theme of all Ishiguro’s writing. To follow his characters through their complicated and self-reflective journey is to better understand one’s own life and own journey. A deep and mesmerizing tale, lovingly narrated.

  • Other Minds

  • The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness
  • By: Peter Godfrey-Smith
  • Narrated by: Peter Noble
  • Length: 6 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 968
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 860
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 860

Although mammals and birds are widely regarded as the smartest creatures on earth, it has lately become clear that a very distant branch of the tree of life has also sprouted higher intelligence: the cephalopods, consisting of the squid, the cuttlefish, and above all the octopus. In captivity, octopuses have been known to identify individual human keepers, raid neighboring tanks for food, turn off lightbulbs by spouting jets of water, plug drains, and make daring escapes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Empathy for an Octopus?

  • By Chris Geschwantner on 05-31-17

A delightful book for anyone who loves the sea.

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

Reviewed: 08-04-18

Excellent science by a person who is passionate about intelligence and beauty. This book strikes the perfect balance between a love for the octopus and a love of intelligence. The philosophical sections are explained with great clarity and the biological descriptions with vivid clarity.
I wish there was a DVD or a website so that I could see the vivid color displays and other behavior the author has filmed.

  • Circe

  • By: Madeline Miller
  • Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,043
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 14,074
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,991

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child - not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring, like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power - the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Refined writing with an intimate performance

  • By Michael - Audible Editor on 04-11-18

Delightful

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

Reviewed: 04-20-18

A delightful riff on the common Greek legends. Well crafted and well narrated . Entertaining and enjoyable.

  • The Seventh Bride

  • By: T. Kingfisher
  • Narrated by: Kaylin Heath
  • Length: 6 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 628
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 576
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 574

Young Rhea is a miller's daughter of low birth, so she is understandably surprised when a mysterious nobleman, Lord Crevan, shows up on her doorstep and proposes marriage. Since commoners don't turn down lords - no matter how sinister they may seem - Rhea is forced to agree to the engagement. Lord Crevan demands that Rhea visit his remote manor before their wedding.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Creative Story

  • By Amber on 03-13-16

Teenage drivil

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

Reviewed: 11-17-16

This is not a book. It is garbage sold as a book.
Teens should be reading the classics - books with
content, soul, great characters and great writing.
This is a waste of time!

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Golem and the Jinni

  • A Novel
  • By: Helene Wecker
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 19 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,616
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,662
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,647

Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enchanting Debut Novel - Delicious!

  • By Tango on 04-26-13

Science Fiction or Ethnic Fantasy? Magical!

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

Reviewed: 11-17-16

This is one of the best books I have encountered in a very long time.

My life is full of books - old and new - and this one is unique!
Set in New York - circa 1900 - two mythological beings, A Golem and Jinni
encounter one another. The setting is the world of my immigrant grandparents.
It is depicted in loving and accurate detail - a perfect history.
The Golem is an earthy creation from Jewish Eastern European traditions.
The Jinni is a fire elemental from Arabian Mythology - the Arabian Nights.
How do they interact? This book tells a lovely story. It is a page turner.
As entertainment it is thrilling. Beyond that, it raises questions as to how completely
we arebound to our basic natures.
This is a multi layered, nuanced, entertaining, and magical read.
As soon as I finished it, I had to listen to it all over again.
How I long for a sequel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dark Matter

  • A Novel
  • By: Blake Crouch
  • Narrated by: Jon Lindstrom
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,426
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,017
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,019

"Are you happy with your life?" Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason's never met smiles down at him and says, "Welcome back, my friend."

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Schrödinger's box gets opened. Meh steps out.

  • By Darwin8u on 09-19-16

Science Friday Gave this an Unwarranted Review.

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

Reviewed: 11-17-16

I heard a tantalizing review of this book on Science Friday (NPR).
Unfortunately, the host had probably not even read it.
I adore hard core - realistic - science fiction. I want real science and
exciting fiction bound together in a mesmerizing book. I love
interesting characters, innovation and fascination futuristic situations.
This book provides none of these. Don't waste your time or money.
Just reread a classic.

  • David and Goliath

  • Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
  • By: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Length: 7 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,000
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,170
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,155

In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks. Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Art of (Unconventional) War

  • By Cynthia on 10-04-13

Wonderful!!

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

Reviewed: 10-21-16

This is a unique and unusual book.
It contains many worthwhile lessons expressed in beautiful and simple way. This book is fascinating. I am sorry it isn't longer. It has inspired me to think deeply and perhaps even to become a better person.

  • The Signature of All Things

  • A Novel
  • By: Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 21 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,423
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,957
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,964

In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the 18th and 19th centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker - a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Don't miss this one

  • By Molly-o on 12-27-13

A delightful trip into Life, History and Botany

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

Reviewed: 04-17-15

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was long but I became more engrossed with each new chapter. It contains everything I enjoy listening to:
* Interesting and vivid characters
* Unexpected plot twists
* A background grounded in reality

The narrator has done a masterful job with the many accents -- British, Dutch, French, American, and Tahitian -- and the many ages and character types. This is a very rich book.

I confess to reading it under protest. I did not like Gilbert's "Eat , Pray, Love" . I am glad I was persuaded. This book is fascinating.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Servants' Hall

  • A Real Life Upstairs, Downstairs Romance
  • By: Margaret Powell
  • Narrated by: Susan Lyons
  • Length: 7 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 262
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 232
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 235

Margaret Powell's Below Stairs became a sensation among listeners reveling in the luxury and subtle class warfare of Masterpiece Theatre's hit television series Downton Abbey. Now in the sequel Servants' Hall, Powell tells the true story of Rose, the under-parlourmaid to the Wardham Family at Redlands, who took a shocking step: She eloped with the family's only son, Mr. Gerald.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable Downton Abbey like tale

  • By Robert Iris on 07-22-15

Downstairs Marries Upstairs

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

Reviewed: 04-17-15

If you liked the Upstairs Downstairs series, you will love this book. Its charm
is entirely due to the talents of the narrator, Susan Lyons. She makes every sentence vivid. Unfortunately, the story itself is not very innovative. I felt I had seen all these characters before -- many times. There was no drama or tension to this story. There was nothing new and no surprises. It is a good book to knit by, but the content is hardly new or exciting.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful