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M. Blackstock

Forest Hills,NN
  • 21
  • reviews
  • 40
  • helpful votes
  • 243
  • ratings
  • The Prisoner of Heaven

  • A Novel
  • By: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 7 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 501
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 438
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 441

Internationally acclaimed New York Times best-selling author Carlos Ruiz Zafon takes us into a dark, gothic Barcelona and creates a rich, labyrinthine tale of love, literature, passion, and revenge in which the heroes of The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game must contend with a nemesis that threatens to destroy them. Barcelona, 1957. It is Christmas, and Daniel Sempere and his wife, Bea, have much to celebrate. They have a beautiful new baby son named Julian, and their close friend Fermin Romero de Torres is about to be wed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Brings together the stories from previous 2 books

  • By MissSusie66 on 07-17-12

Amazing story

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

Reviewed: 04-25-16

I am in love with this series, however I found it to be a distraction and in poor taste to use cockney accents to reflect those perceived as rougher characters.

  • The Price of Blood

  • Emma of Normandy, Book 2
  • By: Patricia Bracewell
  • Narrated by: Heather Wilds
  • Length: 14 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 225
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 209
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 208

Unwillingly thrust into marriage to England's King Æthelred, Emma has given the king a son and heir, but theirs has never been a happy marriage. In The Price of Blood, Bracewell returns to 1006 when a beleaguered Æthelred, still haunted by his brother's ghost, governs with an iron fist and a royal policy that embraces murder.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good story, decent writing, annoying narration

  • By yankeeinseattle on 10-12-16

Narrator ruins this story

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

Reviewed: 11-20-15

Book one had an amazing narrator who was not used for book 2 and the pitch changes and emphases in the narrator's interpretation are distracting, irritating and her tone of voice sounds pretentious.

  • Moynihan's Moment

  • America's Fight Against Zionism as Racism
  • By: Gil Troy
  • Narrated by: Clinton Wade
  • Length: 12 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    2.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 3

On November 10, 1975, the General Assembly of United Nations passed Resolution 3379, which declared Zionism a form of racism. Afterward, a tall man with long, graying hair, horned-rim glasses, and a bowtie stood to speak. He pronounced his words with the rounded tones of a Harvard academic, but his voice shook with outrage: "The United States rises to declare, before the General Assembly of the United Nations, and before the world, that it does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act."

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • promising subject, disappointing execution

  • By D. Littman on 01-04-14

Book is amazing, narrator needs to learn pronunciations

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

Reviewed: 11-14-15

This book was brilliant, I just wish it had a better narrator. The mispronunciations of Jewish names and organizations was distracting and irritating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

  • The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
  • By: Marie Kondo
  • Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
  • Length: 4 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,905
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,529
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,294

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you'll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I both love and hate this life changing book

  • By Rebecca on 02-22-15

This is more like an advertisement for the author'

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

Reviewed: 09-17-15

What disappointed you about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up?


When she started going on about the sweet spot for folding clothing, in such a tone that implied clothing has a soul and wants to be folded in a particular way, I had enough and stopped reading. First hour + is self-congratulatory and goes through what doesn't work and why. She references clients who swear by her and her approach and only then does she start discussing what to do. She makes fun of clothing relegated to "loungewear" and insists all decluttering must begin with clothes. Purge loungewear and re-fold everything the way it was meant to be folded. Most things don't need to be hung in closets. ...

She lost me at the folding ritual.

Would you ever listen to anything by Marie Kondo again?

No

How could the performance have been better?

The tone was as condescending as the material

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger that I wasted a credit and my time

  • Go Set a Watchman

  • A Novel
  • By: Harper Lee
  • Narrated by: Reese Witherspoon
  • Length: 6 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 14,319
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,127
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13,094

An historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, best-selling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic To Kill a Mockingbird. Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • To Kill A Mockingbird vs Go Set A Watchman

  • By Sara on 07-15-15

Don't let the negative hype turn you away

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

Reviewed: 07-18-15

Though written first, as an early draft for what Mockingbird eventually became, I thoroughly enjoyed this book based on the relevance it has to discussions and the way of thinking in the Deep South that existed then and still exists today in the rural communities.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Death by Cashmere

  • Seaside Knitters, Book 1
  • By: Sally Goldenbaum
  • Narrated by: Julie McKay
  • Length: 9 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 239
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 219
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 217

Not long after Isabel "Izzy" Chambers opens up a knitting shop in the sleepy fishing town of Sea Harbor, Massachusetts, a diverse group of women begins congregating each week to form the Seaside Knitters. Izzy raises some eyebrows when she rents the apartment above her shop to Angie Archer, whose reputation for loose behavior and a quick temper has made her unpopular with many locals. But could any of them have wanted her dead? Angie's body is discovered drowned in the harbor, her long red hair tangled like seaweed in a lobster trap.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great first book in a new series

  • By Judith on 03-03-16

Predictable but pleasant fluff

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

Reviewed: 07-10-15

I knew who did it long before the big reveal, but it is pleasant fluff for a quick summer read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Tapestry

  • By: Nancy Bilyeau
  • Narrated by: Nicola Barber
  • Length: 13 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 52
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43

In the aftermath of the Protestant Reformation, novice Joanna Stafford is summoned back to London to face King Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell... who have made it their mission to expurge the Catholic faith from England.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A great series, and a fine narrator.

  • By jerelyn on 05-05-15

Could not put down!

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

Reviewed: 03-25-15

Such a compelling close to this trilogy that I couldn't put this down. Stayed up all night to finish! And I got the ending I wanted!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Divorce Papers

  • A Novel
  • By: Susan Rieger
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman, Arthur Morey, Kathe Mazur
  • Length: 13 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 118
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 119

Twenty-nine-year-old Sophie Diehl is happy toiling away as a criminal law associate at an old line New England firm where she very much appreciates that most of her clients are behind bars. Everyone at Traynor, Hand knows she abhors face-to-face contact, but one weekend, with all the big partners away, Sophie must handle the intake interview for the daughter of the firm's most important client....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Singularly unsuited for audio.

  • By Susan C. S. on 03-23-14

Delightful!

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

Reviewed: 03-22-15

As an attorney, a single/divorced mother, a child of divorced parents and an attorney, I related to this book. Also, the self-deprecating humor was just what I needed! Great "fluff" when you want something more substantial than commercial fluff.

  • The Dinner

  • A Novel
  • By: Herman Koch, Sam Garrett (translator)
  • Narrated by: Clive Mantle
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2,655
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,381
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2,390

It's a summer's evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse - the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened. Each couple has a 15-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Dinner To Remember!

  • By L. O. Pardue on 02-23-13

Not a single likable or sympathetic character

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

Reviewed: 03-06-15

The story was increasingly depressing, the characters increasingly unlikable and theme presented selfishness taken to a whole new level. Each layer of the story onion became more and more unbearable.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

  • The Definitive Edition
  • By: Anne Frank
  • Narrated by: Selma Blair
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,042
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,702
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,688

More than 50 years after its first publication, Doubleday's definitive edition of Anne Frank's famous diary generated an extraordinary amount of excitement when it was published in early 1995. Enthusiastically received by critics and readers alike, it reigned for nine weeks on The New York Times best seller list and will remain for all time the version that millions of readers will cherish.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • First review I've written - Had to write it

  • By Cynthianna on 12-21-10

Should be required reading for everyone

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

Reviewed: 03-02-15

I love Anne's positive outlook on life in the face of so much hatred. Her last few entries are the most moving for me. So glad her diary survived to tell her story

1 of 1 people found this review helpful