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Katie - Audible

Hoboken, NJ
  • 19
  • reviews
  • 450
  • helpful votes
  • 75
  • ratings
  • Love & Luck

  • By: Jenna Evans Welch
  • Narrated by: Lisa Flanagan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 120
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 111

Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken - and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother - and her problems - behind. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Welch broke my listening rut

  • By Katie - Audible on 05-08-18

Welch broke my listening rut

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

Reviewed: 05-08-18

A few weeks ago I was in the midst of a listening rut when an advanced copy of Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch landed on my desk. It reminded me that her debut Love & Gelato had been lingering on my to-listen-to list, so I downloaded it on the spot…and finished it in a day. (I'll spare you the details about the intense wanderlust it sparked...). I then dove right into Love & Luck and devoured it with the same fervor. Welch establishes setting so well and made me want to hop on a plane to the Emerald Isle (the spot-on Irish accent from narrator Lisa Flanagan didn’t hurt either). What’s more, it was incredibly refreshing to have the central relationship in this YA tale be between siblings.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 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 1,086
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,026
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,019

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

A favorite narrator makes her debut as an author

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

Reviewed: 05-08-18

What's better than a book performed by Julia Whelan? One written by her too! This book checked my two major "what makes me love fiction" boxes: it made me laugh, and it made me ugly cry. Oh, the ugly crying. Set in Oxford, the novel centers on Ella Duran as she attempts to balance her master’s degree studies, romance, and an unexpected new job as the education lead on a presidential campaign. The premise and setting lends itself to rich descriptions and plenty of fun literature references for us book nerds, showcasing Whelan's deep knowledge of both the subject and area. The novel really stays with you, and the love story within managed to both break me and make me feel hopeful. Whelan performs and really shows off her depth as a character actress, effortlessly transitioning between Washington lobbyists and British pub owners, making the listening experience all the more enchanting. Trust me…go get this book!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • A Higher Loyalty

  • Truth, Lies, and Leadership
  • By: James Comey
  • Narrated by: James Comey
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 21,486
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 19,602
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 19,514

In his audiobook, A Higher Loyalty, former FBI director James Comey shares his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like and how it drives sound decisions. His journey provides an unprecedented entry into the corridors of powe, and a remarkable lesson in what makes an effective leader.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More Than Trump: All Comey's Life/Working Years--

  • By Gillian on 04-17-18

I'm shocked...

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

Reviewed: 05-04-18

...shocked at how much I loved this book. This was an incredibly human story with a true narrative arc that hooked me the entire time. As the daughter of two trial attorneys I was fascinated by Comey's rise through our justice system, and truly enjoyed the anecdotes he shared about some of the cases that shaped both him as a man and his career. You're more than halfway through the book when you start getting to the "juicier" portions that have been plastered all over the media, but at that point I almost didn't care. I just wanted Comey to keep telling me his story. Nonfiction rarely tops my favorites list, but this is currently the best book I've listened to this year.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • When Dimple Met Rishi

  • By: Sandhya Menon
  • Narrated by: Sneha Mathan, Vikas Adam
  • Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 825
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 763
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 756

Now that Dimple Shah has graduated, she's ready for a break from her family - especially from Mamma's inexplicable obsession with her finding the Ideal Indian Husband. Ugh. But Dimple knows that her mother must respect that she isn't interested in doing that right now - otherwise she wouldn't have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers, right?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Let's say it together...Awe!

  • By Dee on 07-03-17

I Fell in Love with These Characters

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

Reviewed: 05-02-18

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon marries my two favorite genres: YA and romance. Dimple Shah is strong-willed, ambitious, and at 18 years old, not looking for her IIH (Ideal Indian Husband). Her parents, however, have other plans. When they readily agree to her attending a summer program for aspiring web developers, she thinks it’s because they finally understand her goals. But unbeknownst to her, it’s because they’ve been arranging for her to marry Rishi Patel—who also happens to be attending the same program. I was in a listening rut when I stumbled upon this book, and it was exactly what I needed to re-engage. Sneha Mathan and Vikas Adam are perfectly cast as Dimple and Rishi (I’ve already downloaded my next listens from each of them), and I fell in love with these characters as they fell in love with each other. Dimple’s unabashed ambition was refreshing (and sends a strong message to young girls with similar interests), while Rishi’s romanticism was simply endearing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Short History of the Girl Next Door

  • By: Jared Reck
  • Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
  • Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 267
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 248
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 247

Matt Wainwright is constantly sabotaged by the overdramatic movie director in his head. He can't tell his best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her; he implodes on the JV basketball team; and the only place he feels normal is in Mr. Ellis' English class, discussing the greatest fart scenes in literature and writing poems about pissed-off candy-cane lumberjacks. After a tragic accident, Matt finds himself left on the sidelines, on the verge of spiraling out of control and losing everything that matters to him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I'm sitting here bawling my eyes out with my Macaw

  • By Gary on 10-01-17

Move Over John Green

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

Reviewed: 09-27-17

Cue the ugly crying. I first got my hands on this book a month or so ago, and it has continued to stay with me. I was unprepared for the onslaught of tears as I made my way through Jared Reck’s debut novel. Reck is a mega-talent: he had me going from crying to laughing within seconds, and it felt like the most natural progression in the world. As a real-life high school teacher, Reck captures the voice of the characters with such commanding authenticity. It’s so easy to relate to the protagonist Matt, particularly in his most cringe-worthy moments. Narrator Mike Chamberlain is definitely best known for his nonfiction work, but his youthful tone - that at times borders on teenage apathy - lends itself nicely to this production. I have high hopes for this one – I can’t wait to see what other listeners think, and I can’t wait to see what Reck does next."

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Big Magic

  • Creative Living Beyond Fear
  • By: Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Length: 5 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,102
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 14,345
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,262

Readers and listeners of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert's books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Biggest Inspiration In a Long Time

  • By Gillian on 09-23-15

Now an Annual Listen

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

Reviewed: 07-26-17

This book first popped up on my radar when a trusted colleague called Big Magic “the book Elizabeth Gilbert should have been writing all along.” Though I never listened to her cult hit Eat Pray Love, my ears nevertheless perked up. Could Gilbert have really struck gold twice? In short, yes.

Gilbert won me over immediately with her conversational tone and blunt, honest advice. If you want to live a creative life, she says, just do it. Wholeheartedly, and without fear. You don’t need permission. You don’t have to quit your day job. If you truly love what you’re doing, you won’t care who sees it or if you make money off of it. You’re doing it for you, because you need it in your life. Exhilarating, engaging, and yes, magical, Big Magic is the type of book that you want to carry around with you all the time, as a reminder to be open to the world around you, and be your most authentic, creative self.

…I wrote (most) of the above for my Editors Select review in September of 2015. I stumbled upon the write-up recently, and it just amazed me how much it has held true. The audio is always downloaded to my phone, and a physical copy still sits on my bedside table. This has truly become an annual (if not bi-annual) listen for me. I still find it centering and so inspiring.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Stranger in the Woods

  • The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit
  • By: Michael Finkel
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 6 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,058
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,893
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,883

For readers and listeners of Jon Krakauer and The Lost City of Z, a remarkable tale of survival and solitude - the true story of a man who lived alone in a tent in the Maine woods, never talking to another person and surviving by stealing supplies from nearby cabins for 27 years.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Captivating Then Exasperating

  • By Gillian on 03-10-17

Crazy True Story - I Listened in a Single Day

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

Reviewed: 07-10-17

The literal stranger in the woods obviously fascinated author Michael Finkel, and his ode to this stranger created an immediate fascination within me. At age 20, Christopher Knight disappeared into the Maine woods and lived a life of solitude for the next 27 years. Over that time, he committed 1,000 burglaries (a necessity for survival) and only spoke once. Finkel’s portrayal of Knight’s time in the woods, capture, and imprisonment is haunting, heartbreaking, and utterly human. I've shared this book with a few friends, and responses have ranged from, "what a nutter" to "this guy is my idol!" I love stories with that kind of power.

Mark Bramhall’s narration served as a great accompaniment to the story. His lilting delivery evoked the slowed-down life of a hermit, and his characterization of Knight captured the gravelly tone and halted nature of speech that one would expect from someone who has only uttered a single syllable in 27 years. But pro-tip, if you're an east coast speed talker (like myself), there will be times when you'll want to bump this one up to 2x.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Option B

  • Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy
  • By: Sheryl Sandberg, Adam Grant
  • Narrated by: Elisa Donovan
  • Length: 6 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,942
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,482
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,457

After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. "I was in 'the void,'" she writes, "a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe." Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Books is ok but completely misadvertised

  • By Alex Carpenter on 10-08-17

Kicking the Sh*t Out of Option B

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

Reviewed: 04-24-17

It took me several tries to make it out of the introduction of Option B. I lost my father a few weeks after Sheryl Sandberg lost her husband, and her grief – which she bravely chronicles in the intro – was too palpable for me. When she posted on Facebook 30 days after her husband Dave’s passing, her words were the only thing that resonated with my mother, so when I saw this memoir was coming, I knew I had to listen.

Even if you’re not grieving, or if you’ve been blessed to never lose a loved one, this is a book you should listen to. At some point in your life, Option A will not be a possibility, and you will need to accept and own Option B. I wish I’d had this sooner. Like Sandberg, I had friends who didn’t know how to handle me or my grief, and instead of talking to them about it, I shut them out. Thankfully there were people who did know how to talk to me and stood by me, but the numbers in my crew have definitely dropped. If you have a friend who is grieving - don't be afraid to approach them. They're already thinking about their grief every second, so you broaching the topic isn't going to remind them or trigger a sad memory. All of the thoughts and feelings and emotions connected with grief are sitting front and center in their minds. They'll appreciate the gesture, and you not tip-toeing around them.

Sandberg, and her writing partner and friend Adam Grant (a psychologist and professor at UPenn), teach that resilience is something you can build up. When you’re grieving, it can feel like you’ll never have a happy day again. But Sandberg is proof that joy beyond a loss of this magnitude is possible, and her and Grant are here to help you be resilient. I still had to pause a lot while listening – the tears kept coming – but it was worth it. Thank you to Sheryl and Adam for putting my own feelings into words, and gifting me with additional tools to heal and grow.

64 of 71 people found this review helpful

  • The Hate U Give

  • By: Angie Thomas
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 24,323
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 22,610
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 22,525

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

I'm Calling It Now - Best YA Book of 2017

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

Reviewed: 02-28-17

Important feels like too small of a word to describe this debut novel. Transformative. Searing. Stunning. Necessary. Fearless. Authentic. I could go on. The fact that this is Angie Thomas' debut novel still floors me. Her prose is both elegant and deliberate - there is not a wasted word in the near 500 pages / 12 hours of text.

The Hate U Give, which was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, follows Starr Carter as she attempts to balance two very different worlds: the "ghetto" where she lives, and the affluent prep school she attends nearly an hour away. During spring break Starr is in the car with her best friend Khalil driving home from a party when they are pulled over by a cop who ultimately fatally shoots Khalil. He was unarmed. As the sole witness, Starr faces an impossible burden - she wants justice for her friend, but she also wants to protect her family and that means staying out of the public eye. What amazes me about Thomas is her ability to handle this important (and sadly timely) topic with such grace, poignancy, and authenticity, but then seamlessly switch to a less heady topic (like prom dresses and boyfriend drama) with the same level of authenticity. Teachers take note - this book should become required reading.

I'm excited to watch Thomas' career and see what she does next. Bahni Turpin, Audible's 2016 Narrator of the Year, was the perfect choice to perform this novel. She embodies Starr.

Bravo, Angie. Bravo, Bahni. Put this at the top of your listen list.

42 of 66 people found this review helpful

  • Caraval

  • By: Stephanie Garber
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Soler
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,033
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,902
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,906

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful - and cruel - father. Now Scarlett's father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the faraway once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over. But this year Scarlett's long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval's mastermind organizer, Legend.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Even my 8 year old daughter got annoyed.

  • By Mommarose on 04-02-17

A Dazzling Debut

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

Reviewed: 01-31-17

I can’t get Caraval out of my head. It was the first book I listened to this year, and I have the best kind of anxiety that I might not listen to anything better for the rest of 2017. It was just.that.good. I have been pushing it on my coworkers for a few weeks now, and two of them are finally listening and I simply can't wait to have friends to obsess over it with.

Two sisters – Scarlett and Tella – escape the tyranny of their abusive father and join an elaborate performance game hosted by the enigmatic Master Legend. Once at Caraval, Tella is kidnapped and finding her becomes the object of the game – but the lines between reality and the game quickly blur, and Scarlett begins to lose herself as she desperately searches for her sister. Garber’s language is gorgeous, as a listener you experience the rich colors and setting in the same way that Scarlett does, and narrator Rebecca Soler (Cinder) is the optimal companion through the dazzling and twisted world of Caraval.

49 of 72 people found this review helpful