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IceDancingKaren

California
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  • 128
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  • 114
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  • Defending Jacob

  • A Novel
  • By: William Landay
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 12 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9,398
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,314
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,309

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrific!

  • By cristina on 03-12-12

Grabbed me by the throat and didn't let go!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-22-17

One of the best 20 books of the genre that I have read. The plot is absolutely riveting with unexpected twists and turns. The writing is excellent and the mystery is superb. I've recommended this title to anyone who will listen to me. It is part courtroom drama, part police procedural and full of psychological fodder. I loved it!

  • The Shift

  • One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives
  • By: Theresa Brown RN
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
  • Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 916
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 824
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 827

In a book as eye-opening as it is riveting, practicing nurse and New York Times columnist Theresa Brown invites us to experience not just a day in the life of a nurse but all the life that happens in just one day in a hospital's cancer ward. In the span of 12 hours, lives can be lost, life-altering medical treatment decisions made, and dreams fulfilled or irrevocably stolen.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Appreciation

  • By Susan on 03-07-17

Health care as literature

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

Reviewed: 03-05-17

I will begin this review by noting that this book is a work of nonfiction that reads like exceptional literature. It is not surprising to learn that Ms. Brown has a PhD in literature in addition to an RN degree.

I loved - no, more than loved - this book. It is an amazing account of one nurse's (the author) 12 hour shift on a hospital oncology unit. The book is beautiful in her compassion, candid in the nature of nursing, breathtaking in intensity, and not - contrary to what one might expect - filled with medical gore. I was so wrapped up in these 12 hours and how the author presents them, that the treatment aspect was interesting, informative and sometimes very sad.

This is a magnificent read. If one is at all interested in health care, its successes, challenges, failures and sheer unadulterated milk-of-human-kindness present as nurses "push the rock of healthcare up the hill," this is a must read work of staggering beauty, hope, determination, coping strategies and so much more.

The Shift is on my top 10 list of books that transcend description. One simply has to make the journey with Ms. Brown while she shows readers that there are remarkable professionals in hospitals who live for the good they do for their patients.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Kingdom Come

  • The Elizabeth Harris Series 1
  • By: Jane Jensen
  • Narrated by: Rachel Fulginiti
  • Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,893
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,728
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,726

In Kingdom Come, the first in a new mystery series from Jane Jensen, an ex-NYPD detective seeks escape in Amish country and finds darkness instead. When a beautiful, scantily clad "English" girl is found dead in the barn of a prominent Amish family, Detective Elizabeth Harris knows she's uncovered an evil that could shatter the peace of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Kingdom Come - excellent detective story

  • By Brain on 04-02-16

Loved this book!

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

Reviewed: 07-14-16

I have always been a fan of books that take place in Amish communities. Some of them, however, are just a bit too "tame" for my taste. Not so with Kingdom Come. Ms. Jensen has created a great protagonist, has painted a picture of the Amish community that is fascinating and, I believe, pretty darn accurate, although I'm certainly no expert. Through these elements, she weaves an exceptional mystery with characters who are believable, interesting and have real depth.

The story had me from the first few pages. I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys reading about the Amish and likes an engaging mystery. There is some raw language, but it's appropriate for the characters using it.

The narrator was an excellent choice for the book. She was very effective at performing female and male characters.

Great read!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Signature of All Things

  • A Novel
  • By: Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 21 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,491
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,023
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,030

In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the 18th and 19th centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker - a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Don't miss this one

  • By Molly-o on 12-27-13

Simply Magnificent!

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

Reviewed: 10-18-15

Sometimes a historical fiction novel so dazzles a reader that a brief review does not do it justice. Such is the case with The Signature of All Things, but here goes . . .

This book captivating me for myriad reasons: the writing is beautiful - more like poetry than prose; the story is profound, complex, elaborate and spellbinding, in a quiet, sneaks-up-on-you way and the characters are beyond memorable - they wend their way into one's heart and mind. I don't recall a book that I've read in the past 10 years that made me cry for sadness for its characters.

The research that surely went into writing this book is hard to comprehend. It is detailed in its descriptions of those things botanical included in it (and these are numerous), yet never tedious or boring.

I apologize to Ms. Gilbert, whose book, Eat, Pray, Love I read and enjoyed. However, it never occurred to me that she was a writer of such magnitude to produce this remarkable piece of fiction.

The narration by Juliet Stevenson is perfect! She is beyond gifted in her ability to breathe life into Gilbert's characters.

This is a book of beauty, that unfolds slowly and elegantly, then keeps the reader in its clutches in a completely enchanting way. It is not a read for everyone, to be sure, but was a great treasure for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Amy Snow

  • By: Tracy Rees
  • Narrated by: Melody Grove
  • Length: 15 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,309
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,219
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,219

Winner of the 2014 Richard & Judy Search for a Bestseller competition. Abandoned on a bank of snow as a baby, Amy is taken in at nearby Hatville Court. But the masters and servants of the grand estate prove cold and unwelcoming. Amy's only friend and ally is the sparkling young heiress Aurelia Vennaway. So when Aurelia tragically dies young, Amy is devastated. But Aurelia leaves Amy one last gift. A bundle of letters with a coded key. A treasure hunt that only Amy can follow. A life-changing discovery awaits ... if only she can unlock the secret.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Captivating historical fiction

  • By Olivia on 10-09-15

Could Not Be Better

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

Reviewed: 08-05-15

If you are seeking a read that is part Dickens, part Bronte, part Austen and yet totally original, then Amy Snow is THE novel for you. I don't recall historical fiction that so captivated me (and I have read a good deal of it). The writing is absolutely superb, the narration perfect for the author's brilliant words and the story kept me hungering for more and more. When I finished it, I immediately started to listen again - something I rarely do. But this is a very unique, cherished book in so many ways. Ms. Rees is to be congratulated on writing a novel that is now on my "Top Ten" list - of all times!

You have to be a fan of historical fiction to fully appreciate Amy Snow, but if you are, you will be thrilled if you listen to it. It will stay with you for a long time. It's a gem!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Resurrection Maker

  • A Thriller
  • By: Glenn Cooper
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 92
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 84
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 83

Arthur Malory, a seemingly ordinary Englishman, has a burning interest in the Holy Grail, a passion inherited from his father. Thrust into a life-or-death quest to find the precious artifact, he will discover not only his own amazing heritage but the power that the Grail possesses--a power that informs the resurrection of Christ and explosively merges spiritual and scientific thought.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Cooper and Lee come together well again!

  • By Matthew on 10-08-15

Nothing less than riveting!

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

Reviewed: 07-22-15

If you are looking for a book that will hold you in its spell until the very last word, The Resurrection Maker is it. It's an exceptional read (but not like great literature) that completely surprised me - in a good way). I've read two other Glenn Cooper novels, but this one is a stand-out. It's part Dan Brown mystery (apologies for the comparison as the writing is far superior to Mr. Brown's), part Dark Matter material, part string theory, part travelogue . . . I could go on and on. You have to be 'in the mood' for this type of action story, but if you are, it's well worth the time to listen. As for one reviewer's criticism of the ending, I rather agree. I wanted more closure, but it left me wondering, "What if?" and isn't that part of the magic of storytelling?

The masterful John Lee NEVER disappoints as a performer. I could listen to his voice for a lifetime. His ability to create so many accents and bring myriad characters to life is beyond brilliant.

I'm not sure into what genre this book falls, but whichever it is, that matters less than the sheer enjoyment and edge-of-your-seat emotions that is evokes. Well worth the time and credit spent for it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Rise of the Defender

  • By: Kathryn Le Veque
  • Narrated by: Brian J. Gill
  • Length: 32 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 398
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 368
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 366

AD 1192 - Sir Christopher de Lohr is Richard the Lion Heart's champion, a man the Muslims nicknamed "The Lion's Claw". Blond, battle scarred, and powerful, he is what all men fear. After the fall of Acre, Christopher makes a promise at the deathbed of a dying comrade to marry the man's incorrigible but wealthy daughter. Christopher returns home to marry the woman, but the only thing he is interested in is her substantial dowry. He has no use for a wife and resents being forced into the marriage.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Shame on Audible for not checking the producer's wk

  • By Cam on 08-19-15

What a ride!

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

Reviewed: 07-15-15

Loved every minute of this book. I fear I'm getting hooked on Le Veque novels. Great plot, characters, action and - of course romance. A TERRIFIC read for the pure enjoyment of a fun, fast-paced medieval love story. My second Le Veque (and not my genre at all) and I know there are more of her books in store for me. That said, I just downloaded a Glenn Cooper book (The Resurrection Maker) which shows my rather varied taste in books!

  • Beautiful Ruins

  • By: Jess Walter
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 12 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11,038
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,742
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,735

The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • My mind wandered

  • By Ella on 11-25-12

Hoopla doesn't help

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

Reviewed: 06-28-15

I'm convinced I am the only person who has read or listened to this book and didn't just love it. Given that belief, I hold myself solely responsible for not being able to connect with the style, characters, plot and general premise. I kept asking myself, " What am I missing?" Try as I might, I could not discern what was what, who was whom and what was happening. Bad writing? No, probably a classic case of 'reader error.'

This book was an Audible editor's pick, so smarter people than I think it is a terrific novel. I found it difficult to get into and even more challenging to finish. The 'skipping around' was distracting to me (and I am a great fan of time travel in books, so it is not that I need events to be linear).

I am genuinely interested in why I didn't embrace 'Beautiful Ruins.' I am on a quest to figure this out. My suggestion: read many reviews of this book before purchasing it. Despite its popularity, it is not going to be everyone's cuppa. Let the prospective reader beware.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Fifth Heart

  • By: Dan Simmons
  • Narrated by: David Pittu
  • Length: 23 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 358
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 324
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 327

In 1893 Sherlock Holmes and Henry James come to America together to solve the mystery of the 1885 death of Clover Adams, wife of the esteemed historian Henry Adams--a member of the Adams family that has given the United States two Presidents. Clover's suicide appears to be more than it at first seemed; the suspected foul play may involve matters of national importance.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An Abundance of Patience

  • By IceDancingKaren on 06-01-15

An Abundance of Patience

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

Reviewed: 06-01-15

The concept for this novel is brilliant. The writing is magnificent. The story is engaging, but . . . readers need to settle in and be prepared for details, details, details. If you like Dickens, you might enjoy The Fifth Heart. It is rich in atmosphere and characters but it is a bit of a slog to get through. If you are prepared for that, it is an intriguing novel, worth the commitment to it. Just know what you are getting in to first.

25 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Bryant & May - The Burning Man

  • By: Christopher Fowler
  • Narrated by: Tim Goodman
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 100
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 94
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96

A banking scandal has filled the city with violent protests, and a young homeless man burns to death after being caught between rioters and the police. But all is not as it seems; an opportunistic killer is using the chaos to exact revenge. Arthur Bryant and John May soon find their investigation taking an apocalyptic turn as the case comes to involve the history of mob rule, corruption, punishment, and the legend of Guy Fawkes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Mystery Masterpiece

  • By IceDancingKaren on 05-27-15

A Mystery Masterpiece

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

Reviewed: 05-27-15

Mr. Fowler has done it once again, producing his most intricate and engaging book in this fabulous series. Bryant & May captured my heart and mind from the first novel.These are my favorite books in this genre ever! If you want a read that reaches out from the pages and pulls you into the story, The Burning Man is right up your alley. The characters are hugely multidimensional and interesting - and not only Bryant & May. Their cadre of colleagues, superiors, friends, consulting oddballs and others are never given short shrift by the author: they emerge as the essential glue that holds the plot together. Twists and turns abound - just when I thought I had figured things out, I was surprised. Love this quality about Mr Fowler's writing. I admit to sobbing at the end. Please, please, please don't let this be the last in this brilliant series. I will be truly heartbroken if it is.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful