LISTENER

Muggle Mom

Layton, UT USA
  • 63
  • reviews
  • 87
  • helpful votes
  • 220
  • ratings
  • Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

  • By: Emily Carpenter
  • Narrated by: Kate Orsini
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,372
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,117
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,110

Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother's tragic, premature death - and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea's ear: Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She'll find you, I think, but if she doesn't, you find her. Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Alabama, determined to reconnect with her estranged, ailing father.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • over-dramatic & awful

  • By "lfind" on 09-07-16

Sweet but deadly

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

Reviewed: 04-15-19

The narrator is the key to this great audiobook. Her voice brings southern comfort with southern creepy vibes.

The story is good but I’ve read her later books and this author got better each time.

This book has the elements of a good mystery but the twists and turns are just ok, for me.

Still recommend as it’s a good story and the characters are bona fide well developed.

  • Until the Day I Die

  • A Novel
  • By: Emily Carpenter
  • Narrated by: Jess Nahikian, Kate Orsini, Patrick Lawlor
  • Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 136
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118

If there’s a healthy way to grieve, Erin Gaines hasn’t found it. After her husband’s sudden death, the runaway success of the tech company they built with their best friends has become overwhelming. Her nerves are frayed, she’s disengaged, and her frustrated daughter, Shorie, is pulling away from her. Maybe Erin’s friends and family are right. Maybe a few weeks at a spa resort in the Caribbean islands is just what she needs to hit the reset button… 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Horrible

  • By Sheila Ali on 04-15-19

That last 5min ending!

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

Reviewed: 04-14-19

This one is the best I’ve read of Carpenters books so far. She is really good at her hooks and twists. Her characters are believable and I was able to connect to them pretty early on in the story.
There is a format to her style; southern women, island settings, lost books and lack of a father with a stand in type dad in the wings.
I’m glad I picked the up from Kindle unlimited with free audiobook. Paid for the monthly fee in 2 audiobooks.

  • The Weight of Lies

  • A Novel
  • By: Emily Carpenter
  • Narrated by: Kate Orsini
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,836
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,686
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,684

Reformed party girl Meg Ashley leads a life of privilege, thanks to a bestselling horror novel her mother wrote decades ago. But Meg knows that the glow of their very public life hides a darker reality of lies, manipulation, and the heartbreak of her own solitary childhood. Desperate to break free of her mother, Meg accepts a proposal to write a scandalous, tell-all memoir.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Wow. That was pretty bad.

  • By Meg on 07-21-17

Excellent narrator for this thriller

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

Reviewed: 04-12-19

Excellent narrator~ new favorite to add.

That said, the narrator really gave this story a punch for realism. Not told in diary format, it felt like an invasion into the privacy of a neglected life but a cunning person. It was fast paced and it’s a story within a novel -the main character uses her mother’s “fictional crime” story to discover pretty sneaky secrets.

BUT, I had some problems with connecting to the main character, Meg, especially her sometimes gullible nature when she’s supposing to be a harden, snarky, world-weary, adult. Some of the other characters were a bit punchy also but Frances the Mom, she’s the character that’s consistent throughout the story.

Tho the book is set as “current” if you have a vacation resort with spotty internet or satellite connections and only limited transportation access (infrequent ferry rides), there’d definitely be landlines – so making some of the suspenseful scenes in the book questionable in my eyes. And when the story hits a plot hole, it won’t let go and colors my reception of new material constantly. Which thankfully didn’t happen for me until I got to Chapter 30.

That said, there are good twists and the book stays interesting until the end – which was appealing but I didn’t care for it too much. It worked but there was something “too convenient” about the ending.

I still Recommend.

  • A Discovery of Witches

  • A Novel
  • By: Deborah Harkness
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Ikeda
  • Length: 23 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,427
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,566
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,598

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Started out intriguing, devolved into Twilight 2.0

  • By Elina on 11-13-17

Don't waster your time & Save Your $$/Credits

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

Reviewed: 04-09-19

GOT PLAYED BY BOOK CLUB SELECTION AGAIN! 800 pages / 24hrs audio – pure torture. I gave it one star after 8 chapters but its YA fluff so it’s really 2 stars. Just did not work for me as an adult… This book is so laughable but not hateable.

Yoga studio for vampires, witches and demons. Really? Really happened in this book. People want to trash Twilight but they haven’t read this shite….the Cullen vampires were only 100yrs old. Matthew is 1,500 (one comma five hundred) yrs old (born 500AD) and he’s just a notable Oxford professor. Really again, that’s the best the author or vampire could do…well, how creative (insert a sick eye roll)!

Romance – I’d rather drink Chernobyl nuclear power plant public feces water

Alternate History – Did not need to even go there. It was like jogging w/out any support – painful as hell

Constantly talking about tea – ok but this book almost made me consider throwing out my PG tips -gasp!

I can’t even begin to spell out how lackluster & boring this book & the characters are…I would ‘ghost’ friends if they said they gave 3 stars …LOL, I’m kidding

Here’s some classic doozy for the main character – I had loads of material, but these were especially FETCH:

Ch 22 she screams “I know you’re keeping secrets. I’m a history professor, I’m good at solving mysteries.” Yet, chapters 1-21 she couldn’t figure out stuff such as how her parents died and ch 22-43 – remains even more clueless (like how her Aunt had a huge secret about her life)! Way to go Cher Horowitz (snicker, snicker)

Ch 24 – says “I don’t ride a horse I haven’t checked out first.” You’re joking right as she ‘barely check outs anything’ the entire book and does a bunch of pointless stuff. Go get on that unicorn/horse Witchy poo.

Ch 29 – “witches can’t lie to each other, we’re sisters” but they can kill Diana’s parents. Their code of conduct is so honorable?

**Bella, you are way better than this phony Diana jump-up. At least Bella didn’t try to do anything but be in love…***

Refund yeah! I can get my $$ back from Audible for this icky poo. I’m hope the TV series will be better..it’s got Matthew Goode & Alex Kingston in it for fudge sakes!!!

I’m going to go on Audible& Amazon and give a bunch of twats the “thumbs down” for their “fake, glow up” reviews. Like Angela who gave 5 stars and only has one review, ever!

  • The Ragged Edge of Night

  • By: Olivia Hawker
  • Narrated by: Nick Sandys, Olivia Hawker
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,174
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,033
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,027

Germany, 1942. Franciscan friar Anton Starzmann is stripped of his place in the world when his school is seized by the Nazis. He relocates to a small German hamlet to wed Elisabeth Herter, a widow who seeks a marriage - in name only - to a man who can help raise her three children. Anton seeks something too - atonement for failing to protect his young students from the wrath of the Nazis. But neither he nor Elisabeth expects their lives to be shaken once again by the inescapable rumble of war. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Ragged Edge of Night must be made into a movie

  • By M. King on 10-04-18

When your genealogy research turns up a winner!!

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

Reviewed: 04-08-19

As I was reading the book, I just kept thinking I wanted this story to be real – and lo and behold, there was enough true story memoir in it to make me so happy to have read this novel. This novel has the [feel] of “The Book Thief”. By that I mean to say the characters were everyday people, in a bad situation, or just underdogs who used their guts to be their moral compass of right & wrong.

I thought it was diligent of the author to show that not all German’s were sheep, not all German’s were willing contributors in the Nazi machine and that some brave souls did chip away with their true self at the inhumane crimes being committed in WWII. I was elated at the author's familial discoveries and clever fictional prose to come up with a truly great book that could almost pass as a memoir.

  • Paper Wife

  • A Novel
  • By: Laila Ibrahim
  • Narrated by: Nancy Wu
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 611
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 530
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 531

Southern China, 1923. Desperate to secure her future, Mei Ling’s parents arrange a marriage to a widower in California. To enter the country, she must pretend to be her husband’s first wife - a paper wife. On the perilous voyage, Mei Ling takes an orphan girl named Siew under her wing. Dreams of a better life in America give Mei Ling the strength to endure the treacherous journey and detainment on Angel Island. But when she finally reaches San Francisco, she’s met with a surprise. Her husband, Chinn Kai Li, is a houseboy, not the successful merchant he led her to believe.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Not my cuppa...

  • By Muggle Mom on 03-14-19

Not my cuppa...

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

Reviewed: 03-14-19

Picked this up because Nancy Wu is one of my favorite narrators…BUT

DNF- I can’t deal with how this author makes her historical characters have contemporary ideas, values, morals, and other traits. The concept is great & the story interesting but sadly, this is my last attempt to read this author works.

She may work for kids/teens as a gateway to upper-level reading.

71 of 73 people found this review helpful

  • The Road Beyond Ruin

  • By: Gemma Liviero
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld, Angelo Di Loreto
  • Length: 13 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 325
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 285
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 283

August 1945. As Stefano, an Italian POW, heads toward home across war-ravaged Germany, he encounters a young child beside his dead mother. Unable to leave him to an unknown fate, Stefano takes the boy with him, finding refuge in a seemingly abandoned house in a secluded woodland. But the house is far from vacant. Stefano wakes at the arrival of its owner, Erich, a former German soldier, who invites the travelers to stay until they can find safe passage home. Stefano cautiously agrees, intrigued by the disarming German, his reclusive neighbor Rosalind, and her traumatized husband.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A German, an Italian and a Russian. . .

  • By Liz on 01-11-19

A Story within A Story

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

Reviewed: 03-14-19

Excellent multi-layered story. I was sucked in and I had to sit down because I was spellbound by the dynamics of the characters and the storytelling. Whenever I thought I had the story figured out, a new twist would come along and down another rabbit hole I would go. I’m not sure if I liked the ending but I can live with it.

Will definitely check out more novels by this rising author.

5 stars for narration – both the narrators nailed their characters!

Highly recommend.

  • The Library Book

  • By: Susan Orlean
  • Narrated by: Susan Orlean
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,598
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,459
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,453

On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual false alarm. As one fireman recounted later, “Once that first stack got going, it was good-bye, Charlie.” The fire was disastrous: It reached 2,000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed 400,000 books and damaged 700,000 more. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Needs a new narrator

  • By Jessica on 01-17-19

Biblio great read!

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

Reviewed: 01-22-19

I GOT THIS BOOK – figurately, cerebrally, electronically and then physically. I felt like Susan was the Pied Piper and steered me like a gullible child. By that I mean, I initially checked out this ebook via the library (OverDrive) because I wanted to see if the hype was worth the price of admission. Real quickly, a few chapters in, I knew this book had meaning to me. I then purchased the audiobook version, but I couldn’t handle not owing this book on my kindle, so I purchased the e-book too. After I frenziedly read/listen to the books, I drove to the brick and mortar bookstore and picked up my “flesh & blood” paper novel. Cycle complete.

Susan Orlean encapsulates so much history and knowledge about books, the creation of libraries, the development of librarians as a profession, the LA Central Library, California, arson... She seamless wove me from one connection to another –like clear bubbles that touch each other – you can see through each bubble/point she made was connected to the last bubble/point.

Gush, gush, I don’t even know where to start with this book. I loved how it conjured up my own ‘like feelings’/memories of libraries. I love how she added the “card catalog” of certain books at the beginning of each chapter – as if she was walking down a library aisle and gazing at the novels on the shelves as she strolled by. “On a library bookshelf, thought progresses in a way that is logical but also dumbfounding, mysterious, irresistible.”

And the story of Harry Peak, his chapters were spliced into the narrative much like his confessions to the fire…disconnected yet connected in all the same. I never knew how the book would end but damn, I loved the journey.
“Even the oddest, most particular book was written with that kind of crazy courage—the writer’s belief that someone would find his or her book important to read.”

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Dark Heart

  • A True Story of Greed, Murder, and an Unlikely Investigator
  • By: Joakim Palmkvist, Agnes Broomé - translator
  • Narrated by: Ulf Bjorklund
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 107
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 78
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 81

In late summer of 2012, millionaire landowner Göran Lundblad went missing from his farm in Sweden. When a search yielded nothing, and all physical evidence had seemingly disappeared, authorities had little to go on - except a disturbing phone call five weeks later from Göran’s daughter Maria. She was sure that her sister, Sara, was somehow involved. At the heart of the alleged crime: Sara’s greed, her father’s land holdings, and his bitter feud with Sara’s idler boyfriend. With no body, there was no crime - and the case went as cold and dark as the forests of southern Sweden.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Swedish Millionaire Murder

  • By Muggle Mom on 01-22-19

Swedish Millionaire Murder

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

Reviewed: 01-22-19

Highly recommend the audio version because of the Swedish names/locations – knowing the exact pronunciation made the story more impactful for my reading experience.

A detailed character portrayal of the killers and for anyone who does not live in Sweden nor has visited Sweden, details about the “lay of the land” (hence the title of the book).

As a true crime reader, I always appreciate the nuances of details – isn’t that the point of solving crimes/murders – knowing all & getting the detail correct?!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Age of Innocence (AmazonClassics Edition)

  • By: Edith Wharton
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

Revised edition: Previously published as The Age of Innocence, this edition of The Age of Innocence (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • "Clever vs fashionable people"

  • By Muggle Mom on 01-22-19

"Clever vs fashionable people"

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

Reviewed: 01-22-19

I enjoyed slight of hand jabs at the “clever vs fashionable” early 19th century New York people Edith Wharton throws shade at in this book.

But the story slogs quite a bit with descriptions of the mundane. Mostly, I couldn't related to the romance/conflict which I felt was over dramatic - but maybe that was the intention when the author wrote it 99 years ( written in 1920).