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karstensmom

Columbus, OH
  • 5
  • reviews
  • 5
  • helpful votes
  • 164
  • ratings
  • Mercer Girls

  • By: Libbie Hawker
  • Narrated by: Amy McFadden
  • Length: 15 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,319
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,107
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,105

It's 1864 in downtrodden Lowell, Massachusetts. The Civil War has taken its toll on the town - leaving the economy in ruin and its women in dire straits. That is, until Asa Mercer arrives on a peculiar, but providential, errand: he seeks high-minded women who can exert an elevating influence in Seattle, where there are ten men for every woman. Mail-order brides, yes, but of a certain caliber.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful

  • By Kirsten Balckwell on 02-04-17

Very disappointed

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

Reviewed: 08-20-17

I love historical fiction and I was excited about this story. However - I found the writing to be plodding, repetitive, and uninteresting. I didn't like any of the characters. They bordered on stereotyping and were not "plucky", "courageous", or any of the other terms other reviewers have used to describe them. I found myself yelling at them (thank goodness no one was in the car with me other than my husband!) and the author for the ridiculous thought processes (not related to cultural issues, just poor plot and poor writing).

The narrator did not help with her highly enunciated performance and whiny edge to her voice. But I believe it was the writing that made the narration sound worse.

I stuck with it just because I wanted to learn about this time in history. And I kept hoping it would get better...

  • Killing Lincoln

  • The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever
  • By: Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard
  • Narrated by: Bill O'Reilly
  • Length: 7 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,455
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,509
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,517

The anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American history—how one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of 1865, the bloody saga of America's Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of increasingly harrowing battles. President Abraham Lincoln's generous terms for Robert E. Lee's surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln's dream of healing a divided nation. But one man and his band of murderous accomplices are not appeased....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • History Made Interesting

  • By Daniel on 04-11-12

Was the editor too intimidated by Mr. O'Reilly?

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

Reviewed: 09-21-13

The story was good - I was bothered a bit by colloquialisms and some poor writing choices that my college professors would have never let me get away with. But the details were interesting.

The worst part was listening to Mr. O'Reilly narrate the book mispronouncing names and words like "cavalry". If I had to hear "Calvary" once more time in reference to soldiers who ride horses, I was going to scream!! It took away from the book -so much so that I ended up reading the book myself and erasing the audiobook from my iPod.

  • If You Find Me

  • By: Emily Murdoch
  • Narrated by: Tai Sammons
  • Length: 7 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,456
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,794
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,782

Fourteen-year-old Carey and six-year-old Jenessa have lived in the woods with their mother for as long as they can remember. Now abandoned, they must fend for themselves - until they’re found by Carey’s father and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of comfort. Carey desperately wants to believe in this new reality but is held back by loyalty to her mentally ill mother, who gave Carey her violin and taught her to play the music that helps her survive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best books I have ever listened to!

  • By Diane on 05-11-13

Well-written characters, good story!

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

Reviewed: 04-10-13

Tai Sammons really brings this book to life. I truly enjoyed this book! The author does a beautiful job with the characters and storylines.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Baking Cakes in Kigali

  • A Novel
  • By: Gaile Parkin
  • Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 74
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 58

Once in a great while a debut novelist comes along who dazzles us with rare eloquence and humanity, who takes us to bold new places and into previously unimaginable lives. Gaile Parkin is just such a talent and Baking Cakes in Kilgali is just such a novel. This gloriously written tale, set in modern-day Rwanda, introduces one of the most singular and engaging characters in recent fiction: Angel Tungaraza; mother, cake baker, keeper of secrets, a woman living on the edge of chaos.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • NOT Ladies' Detective--Which is okay!

  • By Rebecca J. Leamon on 04-12-13

Wonderful stories in a beautifully written book!

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

Reviewed: 09-16-12

This book was recommended to me (otherwise, I don't know if I would have found it!) and I am so pleased that it was! It is a hidden gem!

The narration was perfect for this book, which is really like a collection of stories centered around a colorful group of people living in Rwanda. It ended too soon - I wanted to hear more about these people, who feel like friends and neighbors now! The author did a nice job of introducing cultural, societal, and economic ideas - things that can divide us as a society, but Angel is able to unite all those she touches with her wisdom and her cakes!

I hope we hear more from Gaile Parkin!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

In Zanesville audiobook cover art
  • In Zanesville

  • By: Jo Ann Beard
  • Narrated by: Jo Anna Perrin
  • Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 25

The 14-year-old narrator of In Zanesville is a late bloomer; a sidekick, a marching band dropout, a disastrous babysitter, the kind of girl whose Eureka moment is the discovery that "fudge" can't be said with an English accent. Luckily, she has a best friend with whom she shares the everyday adventures of a 1970s American girlhood. In time, their friendship is tested - by their families' claims on them, by a clique of popular girls who stumble upon them, and by the first, startling, subversive intimations of womanhood.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible reader

  • By Kristin on 02-12-12

Very poor narration for a decent story

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

Reviewed: 09-16-12

What did you like best about In Zanesville? What did you like least?

As a pre-teen/teen in the mid to late '70's, I identified with much of the lead character's experiences. However, the narrator spoiled the book for me. She took breaths in the middle of sentences and phrases, sounded like an elderly woman who has had one too many cigarettes (not at all like the teen girl telling the story) - I was very surprised at the choice of narrator for this book. I have younger friends who really enjoyed reading this book (not listening to the audiobook). I wish I had read the book instead of getting the audible version.

What other book might you compare In Zanesville to and why?

Any coming-of age story would be similar to this one. There were no new ideas or takes on lifestories, but I didn't mind that.

Would you be willing to try another one of Jo Anna Perrin’s performances?

NO!

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Probably.

Any additional comments?

Does anyone at Audible listen to the narrators? I can't believe that this one slipped through. Usually I enjoy the narration. And, in the rare cases where I don't, I can at least listen to the book without the narration ruining it for me. In this case, the narrator irritated me so much that it took about 2 months for me to get through the book. I only listened to the whole thing because other friends had such positive things to say about the story.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful