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  • Far From the Madding Crowd

  • By: Thomas Hardy
  • Narrated by: Jamie Parker
  • Length: 14 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,094
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 999
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 997

In a remote corner of early Victorian England, where traditional practices remain untouched by time, Bathsheba Everdene stands out as a beacon of female independence and self-reliance. However, when confronted with three suitors, among them the dashing Sergeant Troy, she shows a reckless capriciousness that threatens the stability of the whole community. Published in 1874, and an immediate best seller, Far From the Madding Crowd established Thomas Hardy as one of Britain's foremost novelists.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Country tales and voices.

  • By Judyth on 01-07-15

Just amazing

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

Reviewed: 06-26-18

OMG. It's been awhile since I read a book that warmed my cold, complacent heart. I knew what this story was about because I watched the Carey Mulligan movie last year, but just reading this, and getting more in-depth to the characters and their motivations is just kind of mind-blowing.

This is a story of learning about yourself by way of making massive mistakes. About what happens when you lead a person on, when you allow yourself to be led astray, and the people who are with you every step of the way.

If I thought I loved Gabriel Oak, I didn't realize just how steadfast he really was. If I thought Frank Troy was a flashy good-for-nothing, I was right, but he was actually much more evil. If I thought Farmer Boldwood was a poor, used man, the film didn't depict just how creepy and stalkerish he really, truly was.

I love stories about people finding out life truths, and struggling to overcome their failings. Too often people nowadays expect the status quo and don't want to correct themselves or even see that they could be better. Bathsheba discovered this after her life experiences, and after a little trouble, came to the realization that what she wanted was always right in front of her. It's just heartwarming. I loved this. I'm pretty sure I'm a massive Thomas Hardy fan now.

  • Lost in the Light

  • By: Mary Castillo
  • Narrated by: Mary Castillo
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

Drawn to this tough but tender woman, Vicente materializes out of the butler's pantry and asks her to find his lost love, Anna. Dori wonders if she's not only about to lose her badge, but also her sanity. Dori has always been drawn to the mysterious Queen Anne Edwardian house in her hometown. But after a devastating injury that puts her career on the line, Dori isn't sure if she made the right decision purchasing this rundown old mansion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Spellbounding

  • By KateB on 12-10-17

A fun escapist read

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

Reviewed: 03-08-17

Would you try another book from Mary Castillo and/or Mary Castillo?

Yes, I would. I think she's a talented storyteller.

What other book might you compare Lost in the Light to and why?

The mirroring storylines kind of reminded me of "The Longest Ride" by Nicholas Sparks if there'd been bootlegging and prohibition.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Mary Castillo?

Yes, but I think she needs to check her editing a bit closer. Her storytelling ability is wonderful, but the recording had repeats, feedback, and background noises.

Could you see Lost in the Light being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Yes. Justina Machado as Dori and Diego Luna as Vicente.

Any additional comments?

I received this book from the author as part of a blog tour. The opinions are my own.

This was a really fun story. I like the mystery, the characters, and even the two romances. Dori was a fun main character, and I thought her unintentional friendship and kinship with ghost Vicente was fun in a Ghost and Mrs. Muir kind of way. Finding out the truth of what happened to Vicente was heartbreaking. I loved all of Dori's friends and relatives. They were all easy to tell apart and added so much humor to the story.

I got the audiobook via Audible, and it was read by the author. She did a good job telling the story, but the editing of the audiobook left something to be desired. There were moments where she repeated herself, there was background noise, and sometimes weird static that was very jarring. But overall, it was a great read, and I really enjoyed it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Orphan Train

  • A Novel
  • By: Christina Baker Kline
  • Narrated by: Jessica Almasy, Suzanne Toren
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,372
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,360
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,372

Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to "aging out" out of the foster care system. A community-service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Moving story of sharing and transformation.

  • By Kathi on 04-03-13

An interesting perspective of riding the Orphan Tr

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

Reviewed: 04-08-15

What made the experience of listening to Orphan Train the most enjoyable?

I loved the historical part of the story best, told from the perspective of Vivian, formerly Dorothy, formerly Niamh (Neve). I thought her story was a lot more interesting than Molly's, and I found myself perking up when we moved away from present day Maine

Would you be willing to try another book from Christina Baker Kline? Why or why not?

Maybe. There were little inaccuracies that really bugged me (it takes DAYS to make maple syrup, but she wrote how the syrup came straight from a tree. Things like that really annoyed me.)

What does Jessica Almasy and Suzanne Toren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I couldn't tell if there were two different narrators. I thought it all sounded consistent, but whoever did the most speaking did pretty well.

If you could rename Orphan Train, what would you call it?

I wouldn't. It sums up what it is nicely.

Any additional comments?

The author should stay away from stereotypes like the Christian bigot. It's a real turn off. And I realize Molly is a teenager, so she never tried to see things from another perspective, but always projecting Molly as correct all the time was kind of annoying.

  • The Time Traveler's Wife

  • By: Audrey Niffenegger
  • Narrated by: Fred Berman, Phoebe Strole
  • Length: 17 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,909
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,906
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,936

Clare and Henry have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was 36. They were married when Clare was 23 and Henry was 31. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of my favorite books

  • By Joey on 01-13-08

Time Travel to Make a Commute

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

Reviewed: 03-25-15

What made the experience of listening to The Time Traveler's Wife the most enjoyable?

I thought having two readers reading the inner monologues of Henry and Clare was inspired. It really helped differentiate between whose POV I should've been following.

What about Fred Berman and Phoebe Strole ’s performance did you like?

I saw the movie version of this story before reading/listening to the book, and I could easily put the two narrators voices to the actors who played them on screen (despite the film being mediocre).