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Lili

  • 82
  • reviews
  • 382
  • helpful votes
  • 109
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  • An Act of God

  • By: David Javerbaum
  • Narrated by: Sean Hayes, Cheyenne Jackson, Colman Domingo, and others
  • Length: 1 hr and 11 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 135
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 124

The One with the first and last word on everything has finally arrived to set the record straight. After many millennia, and in just 90 minutes, God (assisted by his devoted angels) answers some of the deepest questions that have plagued mankind since Creation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining with a side of depressing

  • By JennK on 06-09-19

Performance better than the writing

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

Reviewed: 06-30-19

Sean Hayes does a pretty good job with the fairly uneven material. There are some good moments, I like the general premise and the ending, but this is a very short audio book and I found my attention wandering, a lot. I can’t compare it to the much longer book on Amazon, or the Broadway play that was done with Jim Parsons, but this production felt like it lacked something. It was occasionally funny, but not particularly engaging. So cannot really recommend spending an entire credit on it.

  • Your Dad Stole My Rake

  • And Other Family Dilemmas
  • By: Tom Papa
  • Narrated by: Tom Papa
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 286
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 261
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260

It’s hard being a person, especially in a family, and no one knows that better than stand-up comedian, family man, and Live from Here head writer and performer, Tom Papa. How do you deal with a life filled with a whole host of characters and their bizarre, inescapable behavior? Especially when you’re related to them? Tom Papa is here to help you make sense of it all. Your Dad Stole My Rake is a hilarious and warm audiobook that saws deep into every branch of the family tree and uncovers the most bizarre and surprisingly meaningful aspects of our lives.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great For New Fans

  • By Steve on 06-12-18

So many funny stories!

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

Reviewed: 06-26-19

Tom Papa has quite a large family and he isn’t afraid to tell their secrets. There are many funny pieces in this book, but my favorites were about the arduous nature of a day at Disneyland, the unfortunate creatures your pets drag into your house and bed, and his Italian parents repeatedly trying to convince his vegetarian wife that there is no meat in the meatballs, and no lamb in the lamb chop.

If you have a family, and you need a break and a laugh, pick up this book. The author does an excellent job with the narration.

  • A Gentleman in Moscow

  • A Novel
  • By: Amor Towles
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Guy Smith
  • Length: 17 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,412
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 23,536
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,452

A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in an elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Reprieve Amidst Ugly News, Relentless Negativity

  • By Cathy Lindhorst on 08-27-17

Lush, lyrical, language, beautifully read!

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

Reviewed: 06-08-19

If you enjoy long, lush, leisurely, literature, filled with fascinating characters, extraordinary descriptions, and the expanse of history, do, please, read this book. If you are looking for a fast paced spy thriller a la James Patterson, please read James Patterson.

A huge bunch of reviews criticize this book for being too slow. That’s kind of like criticizing Shakespeare for not being written in modern day English. This book has never been marketed as a thriller, why criticize it for not being something it’s not supposed to be? There are some exciting and suspenseful events near the end of the book, but 95% of this book is historical fiction.

Amor Towles is an extraordinary writer, and Nicholas Guy Smith is the perfect narrator. Together they bring to life Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, and what happens to him after he is sentenced to a lifetime house arrest, inside the Hotel Metropol, in Moscow, starting in 1922, at the age of 33, how he arrived at that circumstance, and what he makes of the situation.

The elegance, optimism, intelligence, and manners, of the Count contrast sharply against the tumultuous history going on outside the hotel, and the one bad intentioned adversary inside the hotel. But make no mistake, inside the world of this hotel is where you will find most of the best moments of this book. The history happening outside its door is a necessary backdrop, but you always are keen to get back inside and find out what the Count, and all the people in his orbit are doing.

The author has excellent powers of description and storytelling....whether he’s writing about oranges trying to escape their fate in a chef’s kitchen, a recalcitrant mattress, or the characters you will come to love as you share their lives over the course of decades.

At 18 hours it is a fairly long audio book, but that is due to the measured, perfect, pace of the narrator, not the actual number of pages. My only criticism of the book are the repeated jumps in time, some as long as eight years. Tho the author will go back occasionally and fill in a smidge of the missing time frame.

What will stay with me most are the relationships. The main character cannot leave the hotel without the risk of losing his life. So essentially all the other characters that don’t actually work, or live, in the hotel have to come to him. And they do, year after year. It’s fascinating. As are the decades long friendships the Count forms with his fellow hotel employees.

If you enjoy historical fiction, amazing characters, and beautiful writing, you will surely enjoy this book.




  • With the Fire on High

  • By: Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 336
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 314
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 312

Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions - doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I felt every word.

  • By Sekai on 05-09-19

Excellent for all ages, not just YA

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

Reviewed: 05-25-19

Though this novel is marketed as YA, I really think anyone who has been a kid, a teen, a parent, or a grandparent will enjoy this book.

Charming and warm in her narration, the author creates a world, and fills it with characters that feel so real, you almost have to remind yourself it’s a novel, not a memoir. And though food is central to the plot, the book feels like it’s much more about family, friends, love, struggle, and big decisions.

The main character, a senior in high school, with a baby daughter, will have you rooting for her every step of the way as she struggles to figure out the best future for her and her daughter after she graduates, and how to make it happen. The love she has for her Babygirl and her ‘Buela, is felt on every page, all under the same roof, it’s impossible to think of one of these characters without the other two. And it’s this family unit that makes it possible for Emoni to get up every day and attend classes, deal with college applications, work at a soulless fast food restaurant, lead the fundraising efforts for a class trip, and cook and clean and raise her daughter. All with very minimal help from her own father, or the father of her daughter. Her life struggles are relatable for every reader, of every age, and every circumstance. Because all of us have set backs, triumphs, people we love, and decisions, big and small, to make, no matter our age, or situation.

I’ve only read a handful of YA books, but this one didn’t feel YA, even tho most of the people in it are teenagers, because it was more about life, and love, and family, than specifically about teen centric issues.

The narration was brilliant, and I was also impressed with the spotlight video Audible did of the author, I would love to see a lot more of those done with authors. Anyway, highly recommend this book for anyone and everyone, over the age of sixteen.

  • Lake of the Ozarks

  • My Surreal Summers in a Vanishing America
  • By: Bill Geist
  • Narrated by: Bill Geist, Allan Robertson
  • Length: 4 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78

Before there was "tourism" and souvenir ashtrays became "kitsch", the Lake of the Ozarks was a Shangri-La for middle-class Midwestern families on vacation, complete with man-made beaches, Hillbilly Mini Golf, and feathered rubber tomahawks. It was there that author Bill Geist spent summers in the '60s during his school and college years working at Arrowhead Lodge - a small resort owned by his bombastic uncle - in all areas of the operation, from cesspool attendant to bellhop.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A look back at a bygone era

  • By Lili on 05-13-19

A look back at a bygone era

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

Reviewed: 05-13-19

I realize it’s unfair to judge an era fifty years in the past by today’s norms. But living now and reading about then, it’s impossible to not draw comparisons. I was expecting kind of a rosy nostalgic memoir but Bill Geist doesn’t shy away from some of the seedy, even a smidge scandalous, details of his summers in the sixties working for his uncle in the Ozarks.

His Uncle Ed made money hand over foot, but paid his mostly teen staff between a dollar and five dollars a day. His uncle spent most of his days barking orders, partying on his boat, and drinking. He always drove new Cadillacs, took yearly trips to Europe, and yet provided rather dismal living quarters for his employees.

But Bill Geist, and the other teen employees returned summer after summer...for the freedom of being away from home, saving hundreds of dollars in tips for college, summer romance, parties, drinking, and maybe doing a bit of growing up between high school and college. And with all his flaws, everyone single one of them seemed to have both fondness and respect for Uncle Ed, a WWII veteran, a man of few words, zero tolerance for self pity, and a huge heart for matchmaking.

Bill Geist credits his summers there for giving him his work ethic, honing his comedic skills, and giving him some much needed practice with just being around girls. The cast of characters from Uncle Ed and Aunt Janet, to the alcoholic chef, to the wealthy married guy who came to party on his boat every weekend, sans his wife, but surrounded by women, are memorable. The tales of cigarette ashes in the salad and the open air septic tank are queasy making. The book overall is a good read, probably geared mostly toward folks that lived at least a few years in that era, I don’t think someone who is 20 today would relate to this book.

The photos in the provided PDF are very cool, tho I do not understand why they are in black and white and the photos in the book are in color.

The narration is a bit uneven, Bill Geist narrates the first section, then another, quite good narrator takes over, then Bill Geist returns, then Bill and his son Wille chat after the book ends. There is nothing wrong with Bill’s narration, it’s just that it feels a bit jarring to go from him to the other gentleman, and then back.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Heads Will Roll

  • By: Kate McKinnon, Emily Lynne
  • Narrated by: Kate McKinnon, Emily Lynne, Tim Gunn, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 6 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,784
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,350
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,325

Heads Will Roll is an Audible Original from Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon and her cocreator/costar (and real-life sister) Emily Lynne. Produced by Broadway Video, this is not an audiobook - it’s a 10-episode, star-studded audio comedy that features performances from Meryl Streep, Tim Gunn, Peter Dinklage, Queer Eye’s Fab Five, and so many more.  Please note: This content is not for kids. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More like this please

  • By Anonymous User on 05-03-19

Probably has at least something for everyone

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

Reviewed: 05-04-19

It’s kind of all over the place. There are surely some funny moments to suit different tastes, the songs are entertaining, and the celebrity narrators are fun.

But there are lots of volume issues. It quickly goes from too loud to barely audible in quite a few places. I think I like the idea of the production better than its execution. Kate McKinnon and Tim Gunn did a really good job, but some of the other characters are quite grating. So I enjoyed parts of it, and was disappointed in others. But I think most people who are fans of Kate McKinnon will enjoy at least some of this production, so maybe give it a try if you’re willing to go along on a bumpy ride.

27 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Nanaville

  • Adventures in Grandparenting
  • By: Anna Quindlen
  • Narrated by: Cynthia Farrell
  • Length: 3 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 85
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 75

Mother, mother-in-law, grandmother - the Pulitzer-winning columnist and #1 bestselling author reflects on the roles we play throughout our lives, sharing personal stories and advice on the special joys and complexities of middle age. Before blogs even existed, Anna Quindlen became a go-to writer on the joys and challenges of family, motherhood, and modern life, in her nationally syndicated column. Now she’s taking the next step and going full Nana in this lively, beautiful, and moving book about being a grandmother, and much more.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I loved this so very much!

  • By Kate Kratochvil on 04-27-19

Brilliant moments with her grandson

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

Reviewed: 05-01-19

Any passage specifically about time with her grandson is a joy, whether he’s sleeping, talking about cows and frogs, or sitting in Nana’s lap being read a bedtime story. Arthur is a delightful boy and his Nana loves him unconditionally.

But the author swerves a bit and downplays the significance of grandparents in general, comparing herself in the scheme of things to a piece of fruit, a dog, etc. And she makes lots of suggestions of how to not step on the parents toes, and to always keep the perspective that grandparents are not as important as parents.

To me it’s not a competition. But the author presents the concept like it is a competition and that the grandparents should always let the parents win. I think a lot of this is colored by the fact that the author had a pretty perfunctory relationship with her own grandparents and therefore never experienced the precious singular relationship it could be....from the point of view of the child.

Parents are parents, and always will be. Grandparents are different, not better or worse, different. And the relationship a child can have with a grandparent is a relationship that will teach them unlimited unconditional love that will ultimately survive probably the child’s first big life loss....the passing away of their grandparents. Because of their advanced age most people will have many fewer years with their grandparents than their parents. And sure parents don’t need or appreciate unsolicited advice. But past that love your grandchildren like the precious beings they are, and long, long, after you’re gone, they will still love you. The author underestimates that and seems to think once her grandchildren are teens they will dismiss her. I disagree.

Anyway, I would have enjoyed many more Arthur centric stories, and a bit less advice.

The narration was a bit less than appealing. I think the book would have benefited from being narrated by the author herself, I think it would have given the book more immediacy and warmth.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • American Housewife

  • Stories
  • By: Helen Ellis
  • Narrated by: Kathleen McInerney, Lisa Cordileone, Rebecca Lowman, and others
  • Length: 3 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 195
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 174
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 175

Meet the women of American Housewife: They wear lipstick, pearls, and sunscreen, even when it's cloudy. They casserole. They pinwheel. They pump the salad spinner like it's a CPR dummy. And then they kill a party crasher, carefully stepping around the body to pull cookies out of the oven. These 12 irresistible stories take us from a haunted prewar Manhattan apartment building to the set of a rigged reality television show, from the unique initiation ritual of a book club to the getaway car of a pageant princess on the lam.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Glad I bought it!

  • By Julie Flannagan on 01-14-16

Stephen King meets Erma Bombeck

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

Reviewed: 04-29-19

Twisted, dark, macabre, weird, funny, and oh so Southern Gothic. In every story the author is skewering and nailing to the wall manners, mores, privilege, society, right and wrong, privacy, and so much more. Virtually nothing about humanity is left unscathed or unremarked upon, by the book’s end.

Celebrity, Reality TV and privacy in the age of technology, take a heavy hit, as does the long, complicated, history of the husband and wife relationship. Her privileged and entitled characters will stop at virtually nothing to get that to which they feel entitled. Her underdog or striving characters will go to nearly any length to improve or escape their oppressive circumstances. It’s like The Twilight Zone on steroids. And aside from a couple of stories I honestly kind of loved it. It was like I couldn’t look away as mayhem reigned and the dark underbelly of humanity smiled for the camera.

The cast of narrators did an excellent job voicing the characters, and the author herself narrates one of the shortest pieces.

  • Southern Lady Code

  • Essays
  • By: Helen Ellis
  • Narrated by: Helen Ellis
  • Length: 3 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 71
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 63

The best-selling author of American Housewife is back with a fiercely funny collection of essays on marriage and manners, thank-you notes and three-ways, ghosts, gunshots, gynecology, and the Calgon-scented, onion-dipped, monogrammed art of living as a Southern lady.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Love the sassy, southern, narration!

  • By Lili on 04-25-19

Love the sassy, southern, narration!

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

Reviewed: 04-25-19

Essentially a book of comedic essays written by a long time happily married southern woman now living in Manhattan. Funny, warm, personal, self deprecating, and focused at least in part, on aging. For me the best parts of the book are any of the times she quotes her mother who has spent years instilling good southern manners in her daughter. Each passage begins with her mother yelling...Helen Michelle! And is immediately followed by some tidbit of perfect advice. Her mom should write a book.

There are a couple of very jarring mentions of graphic violence, the worst is the description of a real murder, relevant because the author attended a murder trial to support her friend, the District Attorney. As well as some graphic descriptions of porn on Twitter. Both felt very out of place in a book of comedic essays. But most of the essays are about life, food, friendship, marriage, middle age, and of course manners. And I loved the narration, it was like Reese Witherspoon but turned up to 11 on the southern accent dial.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Evidence of the Affair

  • By: Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan, George Newbern, James Daniels, and others
  • Length: 1 hr and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 892
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 809
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 809

The correspondence between Carrie Allsop and David Mayer reveals, piece by piece, the painful details of a devastating affair between their spouses. With each commiserating scratch of the pen, they confess their fears and bare their souls. They share the bewilderment over how things went so wrong and come to wonder where to go from here. Told entirely through the letters of two comforting strangers and those of two illicit lovers, Evidence of the Affair explores the complex nature of the heart. And ultimately, for one woman, how liberating it can be when it’s broken.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • AN INCREDIBLE EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE!

  • By Jessie on 01-16-19

Daisy Jones gets a shout out in this book

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

Reviewed: 04-14-19

I wanted to try another Taylor Jenkins Reid book narrated by the talented Julia Whelan and this one popped up. It’s quite brief, but the format and premise are intriguing. There are four narrators but honestly I wish Julia Whelan had narrated the whole book, as she always does an excellent job.

Held my interest, but the ending was only a bit surprising, and I wish there an been an epilogue. It ends kind of abruptly making you wish for one last letter from the second main character.

It was kind of fun to hear Daisy Jones’ name pop up in the story, and it’s certainly set in the same time period as Daisy Jones and The Six. I think I will put another of the author’s books on my TBR, probably The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.