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Anna at a Wondrous Bookshelf

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  • 8
  • reviews
  • 11
  • helpful votes
  • 19
  • ratings
  • In the Woods

  • By: Tana French
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 20 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11,342
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,867
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,852

As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children, unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a 12-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Very mixed feelings (semi-spoilers included)

  • By Dottie B. on 02-14-13

Too long

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

Reviewed: 08-26-16

Great story and great narration but painfully too long for an audiobook. It would have been a 5-stars if it wasn't so long.

  • Salem's Lot

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Ron McLarty, Stephen King
  • Length: 17 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,249
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,431
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,418

Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem's Lot in the hopes that living in an old mansion, long the subject of town lore, will help him cast out his own devils and provide inspiration for his new book. But when two young boys venture into the woods and only one comes out alive Mears begins to realize that there may be something sinister at work and that his hometown is under siege by forces of darkness far beyond his control.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Great Performance of an Excellent Story

  • By Tami on 10-02-12

Outstanding!

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

Reviewed: 05-28-16

I've read this book over 20 years ago and scared the hell out of me. I absolutely loved this audiobook! Superb! Great narration! 5-stars!

  • The Martian

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 155,633
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 143,615
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 143,460

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth it even if you've seen the movie

  • By R. MCRACKAN on 12-08-17

Sublime

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

Reviewed: 06-04-15

WOW! Lots of buzz surrounding this book and I’m telling you it is definitely worth it. I listened to this book as an audiobook and I’m thrilled that I did it. The narration on this book is absolutely perfect. It really helped with the boring, more technical (math equations) parts of the book and the narrator’s voice really matched Mark Watney’s sarcastic personality.

Mark Watney is such a great character! If he were real he would be a really awesome dude. His determination to stay alive no matter what, his fantastic sense of humor, his courage and ingenuity made this book. I loved the writing and the dialogues. Mark is a potty-mouth, but hey, you’d be too if you were stranded in Mars. I have several quotes that I find precious from this book. My favorites are the funny ones. I also can’t ever look at a potato the same way again. The nerd in me was just astounded at all the experiments Watney came up with. And I just loved how he kept on going, even when things didn’t turn-out right.

“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped!”

This book is the best audiobook I’ve listened to so far. I know this is a great story to experience regardless of the format you choose, but this audio version rocks.

  • Take Me With You

  • By: Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • Narrated by: Jeff Cummings
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,159
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,717
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,707

August Shroeder, a burned-out teacher, has been sober since his 19-year-old son died. Every year he’s spent the summer on the road, but making it to Yellowstone this year means everything. The plan had been to travel there with his son, but now August is making the trip with Philip’s ashes instead. An unexpected twist of fate lands August with two extra passengers for his journey, two half-orphans with nowhere else to go. What none of them could have known was how transformative both the trip - and the bonds that develop between them- would prove....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping, brilliantly heartwarming,thoughtful!

  • By Jeffrey on 07-25-14

4-Stars

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

Reviewed: 05-21-15

I absolutely LOVED this book. A beautiful and moving story that really brought tears to my eyes. Although the story is simple, and almost improbable with no intricate plots or twists, it is a warming and emotional story of an alcoholic science teacher who’s been sober for almost two years, and two young boys who live with their single dad in a less than desirable environment.

When August stops at a mechanic shop to get his RV tuned-up for a road trip, he meets Seth–an inquisitive twelve-year-old, and his younger brother Henry. From there, they take off on a transformative journey that none of them were ever expecting. A simple story of love, bonding, recovery, trust and friendship that will remain with you for a long time.

This is another feel-good book by Catherine Ryan Hyde, and definitely worth reading or listening to. The narration by Jeff Cummings was perfect, and added a beautiful tone to this lovely story.

  • Wreckage

  • By: Emily Bleeker
  • Narrated by: Kristin Watson Heintz, Luke Daniels
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,463
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,140
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,151

Lillian Linden is a liar. On the surface, she looks like a brave survivor of a plane crash. But she's been lying to her family, her friends, and the whole world since rescue helicopters scooped her and her fellow survivor, Dave Hall, off a deserted island in the South Pacific. Missing for almost two years, the castaways are thrust into the spotlight after their rescue, becoming media darlings overnight. But they can't tell the real story--so they lie.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • It wasn't a badly written book, but...

  • By T. L. Walker on 03-06-15

2-Stars

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

Reviewed: 05-21-15

This novel follows the story of Lilian Linden and David Hall, survivors of a plane crash that landed in a deserted island in the South Pacific. After spending two miserable years on the island, they are finally rescued and reunited with their families–and so the lies begin…

The plot’s themes of survival, secrecy, tragedy and redemption are well written. The problem with this narrative was that although the characters were believable and complex; the story was quite predictable, and the ending was dull as if the author was too tired to finish the book.

Bleeker managed to keep the book suspenseful for a good part of the story. The descriptions of the crash and life on the island were detailed and interesting—It brought me back memories of the television show Lost.

The narrative structure followed a back-and-forth flow with parts written in present time and flashing back to the past. This structure worked well and explained the lies they had to tell reporters once they were back home.

Unfortunately, this is the first audiobook that I wished I had read the book instead. The narration was absolutely awful. Lucas Daniels and Kristin Watson Heintz were not a good choice for this book, and I felt it really hurt my audio experience. Although Daniels has a distinctive voice, it was more akin to a newscaster than that of an actor. Heintz’s voice was too monotonous, and she had a hard time sounding convincing when narrating male characters.

I do not recommend this book as audiobook. You’d be better off reading it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Last Train to Istanbul

  • A Novel
  • By: Ayse Kulin, John W Baker (translator)
  • Narrated by: Sanjiv Jhaveri
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 522
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 451
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 447

Born into privilege to one of the last Ottoman pashas, beautiful, spirited Selva is the brightest jewel in her father’s household - until she falls in love with Rafael Alfandari. Though Turkey has long been a safe haven for Jews, marriage between a high-ranking Muslim girl and a Jewish boy is strictly forbidden. Yet young love will not be denied, and Selva and Rafael defy their parents and marry, fleeing to Paris in hopes of a better life - only to find themselves trapped in the path of the invading Nazis.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 3-Stars

  • By Anna at a Wondrous Bookshelf on 05-21-15

3-Stars

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

Reviewed: 05-21-15

Last Train To Istanbul is a beautiful work of historical fiction about two privileged Muslim Turkish sisters–Selva and Sabiha. Sabiha marries a prominent Turkish diplomat, and Selva falls in love and marries a Turkish Jew–Rafael Alfandari. Selva and Rafael are shunned by her family, and move to Paris shortly before the Nazi German invasion in World War II.

What I really appreciated about this novel was Ayse Kulin’s extensive research about that period of history, and I loved to learn about WWII from a Turkish perspective. It’s a beautiful story of hope and courage. Many times WWII books are difficult to read due to the horrible accounts of the Holocaust, but this book kept me very interested and the narration by Sanjiv Jhaveri was just perfect. His accent and all the accents portrayed were essential to the atmosphere of this book.

I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook, and I’d recommend it to anyone who is interested in historical fiction and WWII novels.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl on the Train

  • A Novel
  • By: Paula Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130,601
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 115,269
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 115,135

Audie Award, Audiobook of the Year, 2016. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • The Girl on The Train

  • By BookReader on 12-30-15

Fantastic

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

Reviewed: 04-19-15

Great, surprising story! The Girl on the Train will keep you guessing till the end. Wonderful narration, amazing, engrossing plot!

  • The Goldfinch

  • By: Donna Tartt
  • Narrated by: David Pittu
  • Length: 32 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,743
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,456
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 22,481

The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow

  • By kurdis teed on 05-28-17

Lukewarm

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

Reviewed: 04-07-15

What did you like best about The Goldfinch? What did you like least?

I have to say that I was extremely excited about this book. There was so much buzz about it and the synopsis sounded very promising. This was my first audiobook and what I really enjoyed about this book was David Pittu's narration. What an amazing job he did with all the characters. I have to say, with confidence, that had I not listened to this book as an audiobook and instead read the actual book, I probably would not have been able to finish it.

Would you recommend The Goldfinch to your friends? Why or why not?

I would recommend this book despite the fact that this book fell short on my expectations. I would warn them that the book is extremely long and a good 200+ pages of this book could have been removed and probably would have been a more enjoyable book.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes. As I mentioned David Pittu saves this book.

Was The Goldfinch worth the listening time?

It was a little TOO long for my taste.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful