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T Shurland

  • 12
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 67
  • ratings
  • The Rules Do Not Apply

  • A Memoir
  • By: Ariel Levy
  • Narrated by: Ariel Levy
  • Length: 4 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 679
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 613
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 610

A gorgeous, darkly humorous memoir for listeners of Cheryl Strayed about a woman overcoming dramatic loss and finding reinvention, based on this award-winning writer's New Yorker article "Thanksgiving in Mongolia".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Empathy

  • By meredith on 06-27-17

Worth Your Time

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

Reviewed: 03-05-19

This book was very well written, full of authenticity. Extraordinarily colourful but not because of strange metaphors, and affected speech. Rather because the author’s life experience was so diverse and interesting. It was easy to understand and yet rich and complicated. Which I believe is the best kind of writing. There were great cameos Nora Ephron, Maureen Dowd. Great travel Paris, South Africa, Mongolia.

I didn’t love the narration. the author is a bit rough and scrappy sounding, not my taste. But it was autobiographical so I suppose she has the right to sound anyway she wants.

The book did sort of taper into a melancholic ending. Which is honestly something we (the big we, humanity) can never afford to do. The best life can only come from the best interpretation of life. I’m only mentioning this because the whole book is about life: love (parental and romantic), lesbianism, an affair, a miscarriage - and the lessons we learn both hard and easy.

  • The Accidental Beauty Queen

  • By: Teri Wilson
  • Narrated by: Joy Osmanski
  • Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 64
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 59

Charlotte Gorman loves her job as an elementary school librarian and is content to experience life through the pages of her books. That couldn’t be more opposite from her identical twin sister. Ginny, an Instagram-famous beauty-pageant contestant, has been chasing a crown since she was old enough to enunciate the words world peace, and she’s not giving up until she gets the title of Miss American Treasure. And Ginny’s refusing to do it alone this time. She drags Charlotte to the pageant as a good luck charm, but the winning plan quickly goes awry....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • delightful

  • By ravidreader on 12-06-18

Hmmm

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

Reviewed: 03-01-19

This had the potential to be a fun and frivolous read. And it’s not a bad offering for this genre. But honestly, some things were just a bridge too far, like a librarian who only knows Rowling, Bronte, Austen, Alcott and Shakespeare? Give me a break.

Also there was too much repetition. There were the entire chapters dedicated to needless secrets and self-flagellation. Come on! The protagonist was in an absurdly farcical situation. No one supporting her had the moral high ground why did she continually punish herself. I wish she’d been less self condemning, less superficial and more confident.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • I Heart Hollywood

  • By: Lindsey Kelk
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Harwood
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35

I Heart series book two. Celebs, sunshine, and beautiful boys...enough to lead a girl astray? Angela Clark can't believe her luck.... She's an English girl living in New York with a dream job at hip magazine The Look and a sexy boyfriend. Her latest assignment takes her to Hollywood to interview hot actor and fellow Brit James Jacobs. Thrown in at the deep end, she heads west with best friend Jenny, dreaming of Rodeo Drive and Malibu Beach. Soon Angela discovers that celebrity life in Hollywood is not all glamour, gloss, and sunshine.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • There was an hour left...

  • By T Shurland on 08-19-18

There was an hour left...

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

Reviewed: 08-19-18

And I just couldn't. What a piece of... You fill in the blank. The person who wrote this has the mental development of a spoiled tween girl. Let me sum it up for you:

UGGs UGGs UGGs

"oh my God everybody in LA is like so beautiful and I'm like such a cow"

"I should call Alex"

"James Jacobs is so hot"

"Come on girlfriend let's buy clothes, get drunk and be vile to everybody we meet"

"New York is like really cold in the winter"

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  • Can You Keep a Secret?

  • By: Sophie Kinsella
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,844
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,911
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,913

Emma Corrigan has a long list of secrets, one of which is that she is afraid of flying. Coming back from a thoroughly ruinous sales trip to Glasgow, the plane she is on encounters some air turbulence, and she ends up spilling her guts to the handsome American sitting next to her. He gets to hear that she fibbed to get her current job and that she has never been able to satisfactorily find her G-spot. Then, the plane lands...and the American turns up in her life again. He's the CEO of her company....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable Chick Lit

  • By A on 02-04-08

SMH

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

Reviewed: 05-29-17

Is this snivelling pathetic type of woman a British thing? The main character in this story, Emma, was the worst example of feminine weakness ever. And it was made worse by mediocre writing and lame humour. Over and over this woman had the moral and situational high ground, then subordinated herself like a LOSER. A millionnaire would never fall in love with such a liability. It was a tortuous read that I fast forwarded many times.

  • The Goldfinch

  • By: Donna Tartt
  • Narrated by: David Pittu
  • Length: 32 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26,666
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,256
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 24,282

The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow

  • By j phillips on 05-28-17

Very good, very long

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

Reviewed: 05-25-17

This work deserves a complete 5 stars but something about the intangible nature of the main character Theo, prevents me from saying that the story is perfection. I have no real critique. This is the definition of a masterwork. Human observation turned to literature really doesn't get any better than this.

  • You Had Me at Hello

  • By: Mhairi McFarlane
  • Narrated by: Julie Hesmondhalgh
  • Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 95
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 85
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 84

What happens when the one that got away comes back? Find out in this sparkling debut from Mhairi McFarlane. Rachel and Ben. Ben and Rachel. It was them against the world. Until it all fell apart. It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away. They’d been partners in crime and the best of friends. But life has moved on: Ben is married. Rachel is not. Yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator ruins it

  • By sparkerart on 09-07-16

Good (vague spoilers)

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

Reviewed: 04-13-17

Any additional comments?

The accent was there, deal with it. Yes it was heavy and a little garbled at first but you can acclimatize. I found it disappeared after a few chapters.

I think this author is a bit of a star. I've listen to other British chick lit (Kinsella, Keyes, etc) and this one is the best easily. Very sharp, funny analogies and a gifted ability to observe the world, which is what the best kind of author does. If you're going to tell us about things we see every day for God sake make it fun.

The only reason I didn't give it top stars was the ending. Yes it was happy, as these things have to be, but it was VERY rushed a bit incongruous when you compared it to the rest of the story, which was extraordinarily slow and quite values driven. There was a lot of angst in this book about extramarital/extra-relationship affairs. I'm not very moralistic about these things. I can quite happily read a book about an affair. But given the outspokenness of all the characters about the wrongness of infidelity, the final union of Rachel and Ben - even though a divorce was in the works - didn't ring quite right. I think the author wanted to skirt a controversial line but didn't want to commit to it. She should have committed.

  • The Woman Who Stole My Life

  • By: Marian Keyes
  • Narrated by: Aoife McMahon 
  • Length: 15 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 484
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 435
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 434

In her own words, Stella Sweeney is just "an ordinary woman living an ordinary life with her husband and two teenage kids", working for her sister in their neighborhood beauty salon. Then one day she is struck by a serious illness that lands her in the hospital for months.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Just Couldn't Finish It

  • By Deborah on 01-16-16

Ugh

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

Reviewed: 04-10-17

I kept wondering why people reviewed that they couldn't finish this book. It was plodding and simplistic, but easy, kind of like eating oatmeal. But then the last hour came along and it was absolutely infuriating. The lead character Stella was a complete and utter idiot. I started to wonder if she was brain damaged the way she took insult after insult, injustice after injustice like a pod person.

And even with the happy ending I don't think Stella Sweeney did ANYTHING over the course of the entire novel except respond badly to incursions into her life. She had no drive, no talent, no vision for her future. And everything good that came her way including her relationship with Mannix was a head scratcher. She treated him like crap throughout, though he was only one that even remotely liked her. He was a very two dimensional character we could've gotten his dialogue by shaking a magic 8 ball.

I think the author meant to show this as an exploration of karma. But this novel was about fatalistism and inertia and low self esteem.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Neanderthal Seeks Human

  • A Smart Romance, Knitting in the City, Volume 1
  • By: Penny Reid
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Grace
  • Length: 14 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,015
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,846
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,842

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can't help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can't afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn - the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies - to make her an offer she can't refuse.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun, funny and very entertaining

  • By SIMARA on 11-21-17

Yuck

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

Reviewed: 02-23-17

Here are my beefs about this novel, I don't have any praise.

1. We all know about EQ and IQ. I assume the female lead in this book is supposed to have a high IQ. Unfortunately she's a social and emotional idiot. Since romance is about emotional exchange. There was no romance in this book.

2. A romance novelist with access to Wikipedia is a dangerous thing. Genius is not the recitation of meaningless facts. The lead character was NOTHING BUT meaningless facts.

3. There is a !WTF! level obsession with the physical body. Ask yourself how many ways can movement, breathing, the size/colour of eyes, the redness of skin, and unruly hair, be described? And prepare to be astounded.

4. Writing in first person is a skill Penny Reid has not grasped. It is very difficult not to make the 1st person perspective sound redundant and simplistic (which it was in this book), and not to make all the other characters characterless (which they were in this book).

5. There was no sexual description in this book, we wait some 20 chapters to have Janey and Quinn 'wake up together'. The ending Was slapstick comedy mixed with mortal danger and it was extremely silly.

My search for a good romance novel continues.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Hating Game

  • A Novel
  • By: Sally Thorne
  • Narrated by: Katie Schorr
  • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,601
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,348
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,346

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She's charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Slow Burn!

  • By Cyndi on 04-07-17

Hmmm...

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

Reviewed: 02-07-17

This story had real potential. Who doesn't like love forged from 'hate'? But I found the writing style distracting. Flowery analogies were about 70% of the text. Descriptions of body parts and bodily functions another 20%. Which left a meagre 10% for plot and movement and character. I just wanted more REAL. More striped conversation. Anyway the narrator's voice was good, it really suited the female lead, so that was something.

  • Gabriel's Inferno

  • By: Sylvain Reynard
  • Narrated by: John Morgan
  • Length: 20 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,784
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,599
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,620

Enigmatic and sexy, Professor Gabriel Emerson is a well-respected Dante specialist by day, but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. He uses his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm to gratify his every whim, but is secretly tortured by his dark past and consumed by the profound belief that he is beyond all hope of redemption. When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, his attraction and mysterious connection to her not only jeopardizes his career, but sends him on a journey in which his past and his present collide.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Souls Too Tortured for My Taste

  • By Lulu on 10-03-12

Slow

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

Reviewed: 11-26-16

By romance/erotica standards this was stellar writing. But I couldn't give it a top rating because it was sooooooo plodding. The characters, I understand, were that old Twilight template (the irritatingly stereotypical: weak woman, strong man) so that much was unavoidable. But WHY did they need to talk every single step in their journey to death. They talked me right out of arousal during almost every intimate scene. Not cool. This is the first book EVER where I fast forwarded through protracted passages of redundant personal conversation. And yet, sadly, I will probably seek the author out again because good, creative, DEEP writing in this genre is so hard to find. This work was VERY culturally rich. Historically, literarily, musically and that was worth a lot to me.