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  • 9
  • helpful votes
  • 87
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  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

  • By: Mindy Kaling
  • Narrated by: Mindy Kaling, Michael Schur, B. J. Novak
  • Length: 4 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,022
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,356
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12,338

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • If you like Mindy, you'll enjoy this listen.

  • By Lisa on 01-04-12

not for the uninitiated

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

Reviewed: 07-04-19

If you know and adore Mindy Kaling, I'm sure you love this audiobook. If, like me, you are vaguely familiar with who she is, but really choose to listen to this audiobook because it fits into your reading challenge, pick a different one. It's not inherently bad in any way, it just strikes me as a kind of fan service with very little to offer outsiders.

  • The Clockmaker's Daughter

  • By: Kate Morton
  • Narrated by: Joanne Froggatt
  • Length: 17 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,917
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,316
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,294

In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor in rural Oxfordshire. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins. Over 150 years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Clockmaker's Daughter

  • By Kimberly on 10-21-18

difficult start but worth figuring out

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

Reviewed: 05-14-19

I had a hard time at first keeping the various characters in the various timelines straight, but I'm glad I stuck with it. Great story! The narrator was excellent also.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Suite Francaise

  • By: Irene Nemirovsky
  • Narrated by: Daniel Oreskes, Barbara Rosenblat
  • Length: 13 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 192
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 176
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 174

By the early 1940s, when Ukrainian-born Irène Némirovsky began working on what would become Suite Française - the first two parts of a planned five-part novel - she was already a highly successful writer living in Paris. But she was also a Jew, and in 1942 she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz: a month later she was dead at the age of 39. Two years earlier, living in a small village in central France - where she, her husband, and their two small daughters had fled in a vain attempt to elude the Nazis - she'd begun her novel, a luminous portrayal of a human drama.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One word: Epic

  • By Erin on 03-23-15

great listen

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

Reviewed: 04-27-19

This was a very intricately woven drama. The narrators were excellent. What a shame that Nemirovsky didn't live to finish it -- we are left to eternally wonder what happens to these characters next.

  • Love and Ruin

  • A Novel
  • By: Paula McLain
  • Narrated by: January LaVoy
  • Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 604
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 558
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 551

In 1937, 28-year-old Martha Gellhorn travels alone to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War and becomes drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in the devastating conflict. It's the adventure she's been looking for and her chance to prove herself a worthy journalist in a field dominated by men. But she also finds herself unexpectedly - and uncontrollably - falling in love with Hemingway, a man on his way to becoming a legend. In the shadow of the impending Second World War, Martha and Ernest's relationship and their professional careers ignite.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A version of the Hemingway/Gelhorn relationship

  • By Kindle Customer' on 07-25-18

my last listen by this author

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

Reviewed: 03-14-19

I hate the way this author writes women. I understand that she is using historical people rather than inventing fictional women, but I'm troubled by the way these women put up with deeply bad behavior by their partners within the context of what the author would have us believe is a passionate love story.

In the epilogue/authors note, it becomes clear that this author reveres the work of Martha Gellhorn, the book's subject. So the big question is, why did this need to be a love story at all? I felt the same way after her story about Marie Curie.

  • A Mind of Her Own

  • By: Paula McLain
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 1 hr and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19,563
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,642
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 17,616

Paris, 1893. Twenty-five-year-old Marie Sklodowska is studying science at the Sorbonne - one of the only universities in the world that has begun to admit women. A thousand miles from her native Poland, with no money and the odds stacked against any woman daring to pursue a career in such a rigorous field, Marie throws herself into her studies. She's certain that to succeed in a man's world, she will have to go it alone. Her meticulous plans get thrown slightly off-course when Marie attracts the attention of an accomplished young physicist, himself on the precipice of greatness.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Based on a true story

  • By Kingsley on 03-01-19

Deeply disappointing

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

Reviewed: 03-07-19

Just another story of a man chasing a woman who has already told him no. But this time, the woman loves science. There was so much opportunity and potential here - and it was squandered for a milquetoast love story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Bel Canto

  • By: Ann Patchett
  • Narrated by: Anna Fields
  • Length: 11 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,919
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,860
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,869

Ann Patchett’s award winning, New York Times best-selling Bel Canto balances themes of love and crisis as disparate characters learn that music is their only common language. As in Pratchett’s other novels, including Truth & Beauty and The Magician’s Assistant, the author’s lyrical prose and lucid imagination make Bel Canto a captivating story of strength and frailty, love and imprisonment, and an inspiring tale of transcendent romance. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Opera Has Charms to Soothe the Savage Guerillas

  • By Mel on 03-01-13

Wonderfully read

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

Reviewed: 01-27-19

Bel Canto has been a favorite novel of mine since our chance meeting in a bookstore in 2008. I'm a classical singer and music teacher by trade, and being engulfed by this novel was like being engulfed by a stunning piece of music. I wasn't sure how I was going to like this narration of it, but I decided I wanted to revisit this story in a bit of a different way.

It was everything I wanted to be -- almost. With opera so central to the plot, I wish they'd hired a consultant to help the narrator pronounce some of the words. Most of them were ok, but very early in the book, Rigoletto is discussed repeatedly and the star soprano of this opera is Gilda. The first sound of this name is like jam, not like goose. It was mispronounced each time and really grated on my nerves. Though I didn't notice any other egregious errors like this one, I did feel that the Italian texts were usually anglicanized in a way that opera singers and true enthusiasts would never do. This is probably a non-issue or small issue for most people, but I found it a little awkward.

Otherwise, I thought it a beautiful performance of a wonderful story. Highly recommended.

  • The Winter of the Witch

  • A Novel
  • By: Katherine Arden
  • Narrated by: Kathleen Gati
  • Length: 14 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 906
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 856
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 855

The Winternight Trilogy introduced an unforgettable heroine, Vasilisa Petrovna, a girl determined to forge her own path in a world that would rather lock her away. Her gifts and her courage have drawn the attention of Morozko, the winter-king, but it is too soon to know if this connection will prove a blessing or a curse. Now, Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers - and for someone to blame.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A rare perspective on myth

  • By Benjamin Cook on 03-19-19

Amazing conclusion!

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

Reviewed: 01-11-19

Though not my usual fare, this trilogy captured my imagination and held me in its thrall. What a wild, wonderful, mystical adventure. Vasya is everything I have ever wanted in a heroine, and I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to take this journey with her.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl in the Tower

  • A Novel
  • By: Katherine Arden
  • Narrated by: Kathleen Gati
  • Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,442
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,349
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,347

The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent, and instead flees her home - but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Captivating

  • By Heather Garrison on 01-04-18

Thrilling

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

Reviewed: 01-08-19

Words cannot adequately describe how obsessed I am with this series. Vasya is everything I have ever wanted in a heroine: strong, brave, and smart, and she refuses to fit nicely into the tidy boxes people try to put her in. Unlike the girls in many other stories (who fight courageously only to be rescued by someone else at the last minute), Vasya most often is the one who saves herself and others. The voice acting is on point in this audio book, as the narrator really creates the characters with her voice and makes them come alive. Five stars and two thumbs way, way up.

  • The Alienist

  • By: Caleb Carr
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 20 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,071
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,600
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,594

The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or "alienist." On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan's infamous brothels.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding on several levels.

  • By lyl on 12-30-12

slow start, compelling story

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

Reviewed: 11-17-18

Although the story it told was ultimately compelling and well drawn together, I found it difficult to get into at first. Maybe because I wasn't overly fond of the narrator-protagonist, or maybe because there were a lot of smaller characters that I had a hard time keeping straight. I'm not sure. Either way, once it got going, it was hard to put down. I'm glad I stuck with it.

  • Elizabeth Street

  • By: Laurie Fabiano
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 507
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 432
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 423

Based on true events, Elizabeth Street is a multigenerational saga that opens in an Italian village in the 1900s, and crosses the ocean to New York's Lower East Side. At the heart of the novel is Giovanna, whose family is targeted by the notorious Black Hand - the precursor to the Mafia. Elizabeth Street brings to light a period in history when Italian immigrant neighborhoods lived in fear of Black Hand extortion and violence - a reality that defies the romanticized depiction of the Mafia.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Absorbing

  • By Simone on 05-08-13

Good, except the Italian

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

Reviewed: 08-29-18

This was a really enjoyable story. I enjoyed the way the narrative unfolded. My only real complaint is the pronunciation of the Italian words -- the Italian word for "ma'am" should not be pronounced the same as the Spanish word for "ma'am," for example. The name Giovanna has three syllables, not four. There were so many as to be irritating and distract from an otherwise very good performance.