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Ray Stewart

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  • 111
  • helpful votes
  • 307
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  • A Spark of Light

  • A Novel
  • By: Jodi Picoult
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin, Jodi Picoult
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 528
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 495
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 497

The number-one New York Times best-selling author of Small Great Things returns with a powerful and provocative new novel about ordinary lives that intersect during a heart-stopping crisis. The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center - a women’s reproductive health services clinic. Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage. After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter. Then he finds out that his 15-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • ✫✫ 4 Stars ✫✫

  • By Cyndi on 10-05-18

Pros and Cons on Abortion

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

Reviewed: 10-18-18

Jodi Picoult's books take on current issues and this one was no exception. It starts out with an overwrought father shooting staff and clients at an abortion clinic in Mississippi. Religion, politics and personal opinions, on both sides of the abortion issue, are discussed by the well-developed characters in this present-day novel. I found the back and forth between what was happening at the current moment and what had happened earlier a little hard to follow in the audio version.

  • The Wife

  • A Novel
  • By: Meg Wolitzer
  • Narrated by: Dawn Harvey
  • Length: 8 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 190
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 175
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 174

The moment Joan Castleman decides to leave her husband, they are 35,000 feet above the ocean on a flight to Helsinki. Joan's husband, Joseph, is one of America's preeminent novelists, about to receive a prestigious international award, and Joan, who has spent 40 years subjugating her own literary talents to fan the flames of his career, has finally decided to stop.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A bit of a downer

  • By Jody Cox on 08-01-18

Too Much Whining

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

Reviewed: 10-10-18

The story idea was okay, but oh, my, so much whining - by the author and the narrator. The book has been made into a current motion picture. It will be interesting to see if the movie is any better than the book.

  • In the Midst of Winter

  • A Novel
  • By: Isabel Allende
  • Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Alma Cuervo
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 497
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 452
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 450

In the Midst of Winter begins with a minor traffic accident - which becomes the catalyst for an unexpected and moving love story between two people who thought they were deep into the winter of their lives. Richard Bowmaster - a 60-year-old human rights scholar - hits the car of Evelyn Ortega - a young undocumented immigrant from Guatemala - in the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn. What at first seems just a small inconvenience takes an unforeseen and far more serious turn when Evelyn turns up at the professor's house seeking help.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Typical Allende, rich, warm, enticing.

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-13-17

During the Snow Storm

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

Reviewed: 10-10-18

I have read this author before and liked her previous books better than this one. The character development was good but the present-day interaction of the three main characters seemed unbelievable and a little farcical.

  • Educated

  • A Memoir
  • By: Tara Westover
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 18,278
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16,638
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 16,548

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Other Side of Idaho's Mountains

  • By Darwin8u on 03-28-18

Amazing Woman

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

Reviewed: 10-03-18

It is unbelievable what this woman went through, with her family, to become the educated person that she is. I admire her stamina and bravery.

  • The Angel's Game

  • By: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • Narrated by: Dan Stevens
  • Length: 15 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 885
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 679
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 679

In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martin, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city's underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photographs and letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Favorite Book!

  • By bluebelle on 02-24-12

Beware of What You Wish For

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

Reviewed: 09-23-18

This was the second in the series, The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, and was almost as good as the first, "Shadow of the Wind." Lots of characters to keep track of, some to love and others to hate. The prose are so beautifully written that at times I forgot about the story line and just listened to the wonderful way Zafon put words together.

  • Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy

  • Ernest Hemingway's Secret Adventures, 1935-1961
  • By: Nicholas Reynolds
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders
  • Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 262
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 249
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 247

While he was the curator of the CIA Museum, Nicholas Reynolds, a longtime military intelligence expert, began to discover tantalizing clues that suggested Ernest Hemingway's involvement in the Second World War was much more complex and dangerous than has been previously understood. Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy brings to light for the first time this riveting secret side of Hemingway's life - when he worked closely with both the American OSS and the Soviet NKVD to defeat Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So entertaining you'd think it was fiction

  • By Austin on 03-16-17

New Information About Hemingway

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

Reviewed: 09-17-18

Author, Nicholas Reynolds, is a former CIA Museum historian. His biography of Hemingway's life from 1935 to 1961 is based on documents and extensive research that point to Hemingway's involvement with both American and Soviet espionage. This information adds another layer to the complex life and death of Ernest Hemingway.

  • The Secrets She Keeps

  • A Novel
  • By: Michael Robotham
  • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
  • Length: 11 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,451
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,970
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,895

Agatha is pregnant and works part time stocking shelves at a grocery store in a ritzy London suburb, counting down the days until her baby is due. As the hours of her shifts creep by in increasing discomfort, the one thing she looks forward to at work is catching a glimpse of Meghan, the effortlessly chic customer whose elegant lifestyle dazzles her. Meghan has it all: two perfect children, a handsome husband, a happy marriage, and a stylish group of friends, and she writes perfectly droll confessional posts on her popular parenting blog.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Secrets - but Nothing New here

  • By Marie on 09-09-17

Lots of Secrets

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

Reviewed: 09-07-18

Held my interest to find out all those secrets and more than one person had a secret to hide. The author's descriptions of people, places and actions made the scenes come alive. Good character development.

  • Anything Is Possible

  • A Novel
  • By: Elizabeth Strout
  • Narrated by: Kimberly Farr
  • Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,531
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,399
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,398

Here are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother's happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton, the author's celebrated New York Times best seller) returns to visit her siblings after 17 years of absence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Powerful & Disturbing

  • By Sara on 06-08-17

Minutiae

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

Reviewed: 09-05-18

This is the second Elizabeth Strout book that I have given only two stars. Looking at other people's reviews of this book and her previous book, "My Name is Lucy Barton," I am definitely in the minority for both. Most people have given each four or five stars. The minute detail that didn't lead anywhere was exhausting and the characters were so depressing. Although, I did like "Olive Kitteridge," I might not read any more of Strout's work.

  • Necessary Lies

  • By: Diane Chamberlain
  • Narrated by: Alison Elliott
  • Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,522
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,319
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,321

Best-selling author Diane Chamberlain delivers a breakout book about a small southern town 50 years ago, and the darkest - and most hopeful - places in the human heart. After losing her parents, 15-year-old Ivy Hart is left to care for her grandmother, older sister, and nephew as tenants on a small tobacco farm. As she struggles with her grandmother’s aging, her sister’s mental illness, and her own epilepsy, she realizes they might need more than she can give. When Jane Forrester takes a position as Grace County’s newest social worker, she doesn’t realize just how much her help is needed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Controversial story - great performance

  • By Marie on 05-26-15

Eugenics

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

Reviewed: 08-29-18

A new social worker gets deeply involved in the lives of her clients. I found this story very interesting and didn't want to stop listening. It had lots of complicated twists and turns and I never knew for sure where the next chapter was going. One of the bookshelves I chose was historical-fiction because of discussions of eugenics and its use, specifically in the state of North Carolina. Appalling.

  • The Feather Thief

  • Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century
  • By: Kirk Wallace Johnson
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 467
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 433
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 431

On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London's Royal Academy of Music, 20-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. Home to one of the largest ornithological collections in the world, the Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwin's obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. Once inside the museum, the champion fly-tier grabbed hundreds of bird skins - some collected 150 years earlier.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unusual and true natural history mystery!

  • By Sylvia on 04-28-18

Selling Feathers

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

Reviewed: 08-25-18

A twenty-something steals priceless bird skins from an England museum. Author, Kirk Johnson, plays detective and goes looking for the unrecovered skins. Informative history of species collection, use of feathers as accessories and those people obsessed with fly-tying/fly-fishing. Even though we knew that the feather thief was caught, it was still an interesting story of how it all happened.