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Catherine

  • 190
  • reviews
  • 274
  • helpful votes
  • 982
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  • Educated

  • A Memoir
  • By: Tara Westover
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 17,844
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16,255
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 16,165

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exceptional

  • By Haley on 05-27-18

Fascinating Escape from Idaho

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

Reviewed: 09-27-18

Tara Westover is an excellent writer, evoking the complex world she was brought up in, with a crazy, conspiracy-freak, abusive father in rural Idaho. Similar to Hillbilly Elegy in bringing to life a bizarre subculture within the USA, this time in conservative Mormon northwest, issues of a woman’s place in society are poignantly addressed.

  • Big Little Lies

  • By: Liane Moriarty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43,523
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,100
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,023

Pirriwee Public's annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. The school principal is horrified. As police investigate what appears to have been a tragic accident, signs begin to indicate that this devastating death might have been cold-blooded murder. In this thought-provoking novel, number-one New York Times best-selling author Liane Moriarty deftly explores the reality of parenting and playground politics, ex-husbands and ex-wives, and fractured families.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Oh, Calamity!

  • By L. O. Pardue on 10-07-14

Fantastic comedy on modern parenthood

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

Reviewed: 09-12-18

I’m re-reading this prior to watching the TV dramatization, and just loving the affectionate humorous musing on the human condition as lived in suburbia of both Australia (the book) and America (me). The rivalries and self doubting of the various parents are very astutely described. There is an underlying murder mystery, but it’s just a tiny part of the storyline.

  • Vanishing Girls

  • Detective Josie Quinn
  • By: Lisa Regan
  • Narrated by: Eilidh Beaton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 378
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 331
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 333

Everyone in the small town of Denton is searching for Isabelle Coleman, a missing 17-year-old girl. All they've found so far is her phone and another girl they didn't even know was missing. Mute and completely unresponsive to the world around her, it's clear this mysterious girl has been damaged beyond repair. All Detective Josie Quinn can get from her is a name: Ramona. Currently suspended from the force for misconduct, Josie takes matters into her own hands as the name leads her to evidence linking the two girls.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • I’m not sure I can finish...

  • By Eric J Valenzuela on 02-26-18

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 07-27-18

I enjoy books with strong depictions of place or culture, and while the storyline is relatively compelling, the characters are not very well fleshed out, and there is nothing else of interest in the setting of the series.

  • Great Masters: Mozart - His Life and Music

  • By: Robert Greenberg, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Robert Greenberg
  • Length: 6 hrs and 10 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 503
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 461
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 457

Even from the perspective of time, it is nearly impossible to grasp the full contribution made to music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in his brief and glorious life. He composed his first symphony at the age of 8 and reached full artistic maturity by the time he was only 20. And when he died at the age of 35, he left a legacy of more than 600 works of brilliance - symphonies, chamber music, operas, and more - most composed during an incredibly productive 20-year period.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic summary of this amazing composer.

  • By Paul on 09-23-13

Lots of bluster signifying nothing

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

Reviewed: 07-11-18

Lots of generalizations and bloviating and very slow to get to facts. If you like enthusiastic monologs on beauty and genius, you might like it better than I. I couldn’t stand to listen any longer, and my car companions were complaining as well.
I also downloaded as usual and don’t know if a higher quality download would make the music sound better—it wasn’t good enough to be enjoyable.

  • Magpie Murders

  • A Novel
  • By: Anthony Horowitz
  • Narrated by: Samantha Bond, Allan Corduner
  • Length: 15 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,501
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,986
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,962

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway's latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the best-selling crime writer for years, she's intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan's traditional formula has proved hugely successful.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A British Whodunit

  • By Sara on 07-24-17

Puzzles and deceit

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

Reviewed: 07-09-18

If you read mysteries for the plot and logic puzzles and figuring out whodunnit, this may be for you. I’m more interested in interesting places and characters and cultures. This was too clever and intricate for me, especially since I miss details because of distractions while listening to the audiobook.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Rhythm and Bluegrass

  • By: Molly Harper
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 5 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,599
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,480
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,480

The anticipated follow up to Molly Harper's My Bluegrass Baby, which followed Sadie Hawkins as she jockeyed for the director's position at the Kentucky Tourism Commission with a sophisticated and handsome challenger.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • SO SO SO SO SO GOOD!

  • By Cindy on 10-11-13

Fun and joyful, , like bluegrass!

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

Reviewed: 02-27-18

I love Molly Harper’s funny narrative voice in her romances that don’t feature the paranormal, and Amanda Ronconi is the perfect pairing to perform them!
The storyline isn’t perfectly compelling but that’s not what I read Harper’s books for. The characters are intriguing and fun, and the small town Kentucky location was different and interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Louisiana Longshot

  • A Miss Fortune Mystery, Book 1
  • By: Jana DeLeon
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,758
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,450
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,430

It was a hell of a long shot.... CIA assassin Fortune Redding is about to undertake her most difficult mission ever - in Sinful, Louisiana. With a leak at the CIA and a price placed on her head by one of the world's largest arms dealers, Fortune has to go off-grid, but she never expected to be this far out of her element.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Clever, funny and fun

  • By Pamela on 06-08-16

Disappointed but trying next in series

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

Reviewed: 02-09-18

Mostly fun. Neither as silly and light-hearted as some cozies, nor dark. Miss Fortune is the least interesting character, but because the little old ladies are such fun, I’m going to to check further books in the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Evil Games

  • Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller, Book 2
  • By: Angela Marsons
  • Narrated by: Jan Cramer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,425
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,312
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,312

When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone far more sinister at work.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Dark secrets

  • By bayley milton on 06-28-15

Dark and creepy

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

Reviewed: 12-07-17

The sociopath at the center of this story is very nasty. The writing is very effective. Just be warned.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Puffin of Death

  • A Gunn Zoo Mystery, Book 4
  • By: Betty Webb
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

California zookeeper Theodora Bentley travels to Iceland to pick up an orphaned polar bear cub destined for the Gunn Zoo's newly installed Northern Climes exhibit. The trip is intended to be a combination of work and play. But on day two, while horseback riding near a picturesque seaside village, Teddy discovers a man lying atop a puffin burrow, shot through the head. The victim is identified as American bird watcher Simon Parr, winner of the largest Powerball payout in history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Silly Fun

  • By Catherine on 11-13-17

Silly Fun

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

Reviewed: 11-13-17

Another over-the-top zoo mystery, this time in Iceland. Webb’s writing is often clunky as she fills in information from previous installments, and as she tries to give a tourist’s intro to Iceland. Not my favorite of the series, and not for sticklers for elegant prose, but in the same fun vein as Joan Hess’s mysteries.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck

  • By: Molly Harper
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 3 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,449
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,366
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,355

Molly Harper brings her signature "clever humor, snark, silliness, and endearing protagonists" ( Booklist) to the charming small town of Lake Sackett, Georgia with the new Southern Eclectic series. Carl and Marianne were high school sweethearts, loving the way only teenagers can - with no thought to logic or pride, just a bone-headed, optimistic frenzy of unicorns and hormones. That was all they needed. Or so Carl thought. Scared of being stuck in Lake Sackett, Georgia, like so many of her friends, Marianne panicked and bolted....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not as impressed with the story

  • By SuchetA on 11-07-17

Light and funny

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

Reviewed: 11-11-17

I love Molly Harper’s snarky sense of humor. While I have reservations about some aspects of the story line, and I would have preferred a longer book, this was a really fun read.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful