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Dina

LAKE ZURICH, IL, United States
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  • 518
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  • 145
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  • My Oxford Year

  • A Novel
  • By: Julia Whelan
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,088
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,029
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,022

American Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was 13: study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship when she’s offered an unbelievable position in a rising political star’s presidential campaign. With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful

  • By Karen on 05-03-18

Real Gems Embedded in Chic Lit

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

Reviewed: 10-14-18

What on the surface appeared like chic lit, was really a treatise on making choices. Though the premise had elements that were not ordinary (Rhodes scholarships, jobs with would be presidents and relationships with fabulously rich Englishmen), the circumstances and language were very thought provoking. And, the cast of characters definitely helped to carry the plot along. Julia Whelan as both the writer and the narrator=fabulous.

  • World Enough & Time

  • On Creativity and Slowing Down
  • By: Christian McEwen
  • Narrated by: Christian McEwen
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

McEwen espouses the pleasure to be found in slowing down, both for the ease and comfort of the thing itself (taking time to go for a walk, to write down one's dreams, to read, to talk, to pray), and for its impact on creativity. There are chapters on walking, talking, drawing, dreaming, on "making space", on pausing/praying, on telling stories. World Enough and Time is aimed at the educated general listener, could be used as a creative primer, and will be of interest to creative-writing students and artists in every genre.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Gift of Time

  • By Margo McLoughlin on 04-27-16

A Very Nurturing Experience

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

Reviewed: 09-12-18

So, it took me almost a year and a half to listen to this whole book. But, it wasn't because I didn't like it. In fact, it is a lovely book and I absolutely recommend it. It is read by the author and she reads very slowly and soothingly. The experience is almost meditative. Her stories are beautiful, heart warming, spiritual, and profound. It is the perfect book to read/listen to right before bed or when you need to feel a sense of calm.

  • The Last Watchman of Old Cairo

  • A Novel
  • By: Michael David Lukas
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 7 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 14

Joseph, a literature student at Berkeley, is the son of a Jewish mother and a Muslim father. One day, a mysterious package arrives on his doorstep, pulling him into a mesmerizing adventure to uncover the tangled history that binds the two sides of his family. For generations, the men of the al-Raqb family have served as watchmen of the storied Ibn Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo, built at the site where the infant Moses was taken from the Nile. Joseph learns of his ancestor Ali, a Muslim orphan who became enchanted by the legendary - perhaps magical - Ezra Scroll.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disorganized Hodge Podge

  • By Dina on 08-05-18

Disorganized Hodge Podge

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

Reviewed: 08-05-18

I so wanted to like this book. It sounded so great - Cairo, a mystery surrounding an ancient Torah scroll, etc. Although the plot sounded good, the execution just didn't work. The attempt to go back and forth between 3 different time periods/characters was jarring and confusing. I think this was because there was little feeling of connection between all of the characters. In the end, a good attempt that fell short.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • How to Walk Away

  • A Novel
  • By: Katherine Center
  • Narrated by: Therese Plummer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 838
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 775
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 771

Margaret Jacobsen is just about to step into the bright future she’s worked for so hard and so long: a new dream job, a fiancé she adores, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in a brief, tumultuous moment. In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Maggie must confront the unthinkable. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An Uplifting Story

  • By Tropicalart77 on 05-17-18

Lemons to Lemonade

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

Reviewed: 08-05-18

What I liked about this book most was the message. Continue to look forward despite any dire circumstances that may transpire in your life. Were all of the storylines completely realistic? No. But the plot was a good and entertaining wrapper for the underlying message. Therese Plummer's narration was great and I would have given her 5 stars...but her Scottish brogue was a little off. Chic Lit at its best.

  • This Is Me

  • Loving the Person You are Today
  • By: Chrissy Metz
  • Narrated by: Chrissy Metz
  • Length: 6 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,225
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,047
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,037

In This Is Me, Chrissy Metz shares her story with a raw honesty that will leave listeners both surprised but also inspired. Infused with the same authenticity she brings to her starring role, Chrissy's This Is Me is so much more than your standard Hollywood memoir or collection of personal essays. She embraces the spirit of Shonda Rhimes' Year of Yes and shares how she has applied the lessons she learned from both setbacks and successes. A born entertainer, Chrissy finds light in even her darkest moments and leaves the listener feeling they are spending time with a friend who gets it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent - 1 million stars

  • By Amazon Customer on 03-28-18

Good...But Troubling

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

Reviewed: 05-19-18

I'm a big fan of "This is Us" and I find the character of "Kate" very intriguing. So, I was interested in hearing Chrissy Metz's story. I think the book would have been better if the "self help" piece were left out. I don't think Metz is really the right person to be giving out that kind of advice in a book. Best to stick to the memoir. And, her story is absorbing...but also very troubling. In the era of #MeToo, the excuses she makes for her abusers (mother, father and step-father) - over and over - is extremely sad. She is ripe to be taken advantage of in the rags to riches place she now finds herself. I hope her success continues and that she finds the strength to take care of Chrissy - first.

  • I'll Be Your Blue Sky

  • A Novel
  • By: Marisa de los Santos
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe, Erin Bennett
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 243
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 220
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 222

On the weekend of her wedding, Clare Hobbes meets an elderly woman named Edith Herron. During the course of a single conversation, Edith gives Clare the courage to do what she should have done months earlier: break off her engagement to her charming - yet overly possessive - fiancé. Three weeks later Clare learns that Edith has died - and has given her another gift. Nestled in crepe myrtle and hydrangea and perched at the marshy edge of a bay in a small seaside town in Delaware, Blue Sky House now belongs to Clare.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Well-Built Novel with an Inspiring Heroine

  • By Karissa on 04-20-18

Redeemed itself in last quarter

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

Reviewed: 05-19-18

I really liked Marisa De Los Santo's first couple of books, but haven't really gotten into the most recent ones. This took a very long time to get into and I had a hard time relating to the main character and her relationship with an abusive guy. The storyline from 50 years previous was actually more interesting and the character was more inttiguing and really proved to be the better part of the book. The author should have spent more time on that character...OR made the younger one more likable. The last 25% of the book picked up in pace and the ending had a nice twist. As for the audio performance, the narrators were good, but their voices were much too similar. It would have been better to have the voices of the two female characters be more distinguishable.

  • Educated

  • A Memoir
  • By: Tara Westover
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 18,269
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16,631
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 16,541

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Other Side of Idaho's Mountains

  • By Darwin8u on 03-28-18

Unchecked Mental Illness + Abuse + Guns = TROUBLE

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

Reviewed: 04-21-18

We wonder why terrible tragedies happen with guns in America and then you read a memoir like this and it confirms that we are a breeding ground for disaster. Ignored mental illness plus guns equals, at best, really damaged children, and, at worst, occurrences like Parkland. Tara Westover is an unlikely escapee. Her ability to go from a seriously abusive home and barely home schooled to Brigham Young at 16 to a PhD at Cambridge makes her extraordinary However, it leads one to wonder how many kids like her are out there that are not so lucky. Julia Whelan's performance of the audiobook was outstanding.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • How to Stop Time

  • By: Matt Haig
  • Narrated by: Mark Meadows
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 653
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 614
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 613

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he's been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history - performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life. So Tom moves back his to London, his old home, to become a high school history teacher - the perfect job for someone who has witnessed the city's history first hand. Better yet, a captivating French teacher at his school seems fascinated by him.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I really wanted to like this

  • By Shauna on 02-20-18

Didn't Stop Time For Me

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

Reviewed: 03-25-18

I really wanted to love this book, but I didn't. Always like the premise of time travel, past lives, etc., and the idea of having a "condition" that slows down aging seemed interesting. While the book was an easy ready, it just was a bit base. Maybe it didn't go deep enough for me. The narration of the audiobook was, however, quite good.

  • The Hate U Give

  • By: Angie Thomas
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 24,409
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 22,689
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 22,604

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This Book Changed My Entire Perspective

  • By Wendi on 01-14-18

Move Over Harper Lee...

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

Reviewed: 02-24-18

Great writing, compelling story, amazing narration on the audiobook. The author really made you feel as if you were right there with the main character, Star, living in Garden Heights. From the close knit family life to the extremely frightening and dire experiences of living as an African American in the inner city, this book is definitely a modern rendition of To Kill a Mockingbird. Should be required reading in high school.

  • The Conspiracy of Us

  • By: Maggie Hall
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 857
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 789
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 790

Avery West's newfound family can shut down Prada when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. Part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle, they believe Avery is the key to an ancient prophecy. Some want to use her as a pawn. Some want her dead. To unravel the mystery putting her life in danger, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the monuments of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul with two boys who work for the Circle.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hooked on Julia Whelan

  • By Katie - Audible on 06-04-15

Da Vinci Code for Teens

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

Reviewed: 11-02-16

An Audible editor recommended this book as a fun, young adult find. The narration and accents by Julia Whelan were excellent. And, I really liked the characters and the different cities featured. The mystery is a bit convoluted and at times hard to follow, but the story picked up speed toward the end...just in time for the cliff hanger. Trying to decide if I'm invested enough to find out how it all gets resolved in Book 2 and Book 3.