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AudreyD

  • 5
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 38
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  • The Beautiful Mystery

  • A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel
  • By: Louise Penny
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,725
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,354
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,338

No outsiders are ever admitted to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec, where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace and prayer. They grow vegetables, they tend chickens, they make chocolate. And they sing. Ironically, for a community that has taken a vow of silence, the monks have become world-famous for their glorious voices, raised in ancient chants whose effect on both singer and listener is so profound it is known as “the beautiful mystery.”

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Engaging, entertaining, and heartbreaking.

  • By Sparkly on 09-04-12

Oh Brother!

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

I love Chief Inspector Gamache and Three Pines and Ralph Cosham's narration, but this installment was dreadfully dull. Being trapped in a remote monastery with 23 monks and three policemen was about as exciting as watching paint dry. And this book definitely didn't pass the Bechdel test. There were only two female characters (at the beginning of the book) and they were the love interests of the detectives. I also didn't appreciate the drama about Jean Guy being drawn out to a future book. The only things about this installment that appealed to me were the chocolate-covered blueberries.

  • One Summer

  • America, 1927
  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: Bill Bryson
  • Length: 17 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,358
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,988
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,978

One of the most admired nonfiction writers of our time retells the story of one truly fabulous year in the life of his native country - a fascinating and gripping narrative featuring such outsized American heroes as Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, and yes Herbert Hoover, and a gallery of criminals (Al Capone), eccentrics (Shipwreck Kelly), and close-mouthed politicians (Calvin Coolidge). It was the year Americans attempted and accomplished outsized things and came of age in a big, brawling manner. What a country. What a summer. And what a writer to bring it all so vividly alive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Why 1927?

  • By Mark on 10-18-13

Great Nonfiction

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

Reviewed: 09-08-17

Any additional comments?

Bryson writes with an entertaining voice, weaving together about a dozen strands of events from the summer of 1927 to tell a wonderful story. He also follows up on every single one, which I really appreciated. I wish I had a print edition of the book so I could catch all the statistics he cites, but the One Summer was fun to listen to and I highly recommend it.

  • A Rather Lovely Inheritance

  • By: CA Belmond
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,274
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,161
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,155

This is your life Penny Nichols...Penny Nichols is a historical researcher working on a big-budget film in the south of France when she gets an urgent call. Her Aunt Penelope has just died, and Penny's presence is required in London for the reading of the will. With only a slim recollection of her eccentric aunt, Penny is astonished to learn that not only is she the bona fide heiress - but she's also been invited to put her research skills to work.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful Story with Excellent Narratation

  • By AnJoMom16 on 01-13-15

Pleasant, but Ultimately Frustrating, Fluff

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

Reviewed: 11-01-16

Would you try another book from CA Belmond and/or Katherine Kellgren?

Definitely not from CA Belmont. Possibly from the narrator.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The narrator seemed a bit more dramatic than the story warranted, as if she was trying to breathe more life into the words.

Any additional comments?

The author used well-known, but antiquated stereotypes, especially regarding women. It seems that the women in this book simply go to pieces when a man walks into the room, no matter how accomplished they are. Even the sharp, efficient female attorney turns out to be a conniving husband hunter. These storylines might have succeeded in the 1950s, but today they seem desperately out of touch.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Unbroken

  • A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
  • By: Laura Hillenbrand
  • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
  • Length: 13 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,591
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 32,399
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 32,474

Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.... 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Indescribable

  • By Janice on 12-01-10

Wonderful Book--and Edward Herrmann!

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

Reviewed: 10-01-16

This is a perfect example of excellent narrative nonfiction and Edward Herrmann did a fantastic job.

  • Title Wave

  • Booktown Mystery Series, Book 10
  • By: Lorna Barrett
  • Narrated by: Karen White
  • Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 202
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 184
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 184

While her bookstore, Haven't Got a Clue, is rebuilt following a devastating fire, Tricia Miles and her sister, Angelica, decide to book a cruise for some much needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays. But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of his fans, or a member of the ship's crew?

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Very Disappointing

  • By AudreyD on 07-10-16

Very Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 07-10-16

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Better writing and a better performer

Has Title Wave turned you off from other books in this genre?

Just from this author

Would you be willing to try another one of Karen White’s performances?

Absolutely not

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

Disappointment for sure. The setting was very promising--a cruise with authors and readers. Heck, I would sign up for that. But the characters were so over the top. I suspect a lot of this was due to the performer--almost every character was delivered in a haughty voice, except for the Italians, who sounded like they'd walked out of 1950s Central Casting. Such heavy accents! But the writing was also very overdone. It's enough to tell me that one character sat at the table with another. I don't need to know that she pulled out the chair, smoothed her dress, and sat down. The whole book is full of these unnecessary details, except when it comes to the mystery, which is only solved after a vital piece of information is revealed in the last few chapters. So disappointing, and frustrating, are the reactions the book sparked.

Any additional comments?

I guess one positive is that I keep listening till the end. And another is that the central characters grew on me a little bit. But not enough to follow their further adventures.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful