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theenglishmajor

NJ
  • 21
  • reviews
  • 138
  • helpful votes
  • 96
  • ratings
  • Emma in the Night

  • By: Wendy Walker
  • Narrated by: Therese Plummer, Julia Whelan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,541
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,440
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,431

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: 15-year-old Cass and 17-year-old Emma. Three years later Cass returns without her sister, Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn't add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family, Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Could not stop listening

  • By Pamela (@SpazP) on 08-23-17

Riveting

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

Reviewed: 06-27-18

I'll admit I didn't know what to expect when I started listening to this book. I hadn't read anything about it except for a brief description, but I found the story to be riveting. It isn't often that I am unable to at least come up with a theory regarding the ending, but this one completely stumped me. Plus the author's information regarding Narcissistic Personality Disorder was so interesting. She did an excellent job explaining that which was key to understanding the dynamics of the story. I found the characters to be well developed and the author did an excellent job telling the story from multiple angles....a technique that isn't a favorite of mine.
I usually listen to books in my car but I am not doing as much driving since I retired. I had to put on my earphones in the house to listen to the last 2 hours because I was dying to see how it ended.
Well done!! I will look for other books by this author

  • The Bookshop

  • By: Penelope Fitzgerald, David Nicholls - introduction
  • Narrated by: Eve Karpf, David Nicholls, Stephanie Racine
  • Length: 4 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 22

In a small East Anglian town, Florence Green decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop. Hardborough becomes a battleground. Florence has tried to change the way things have always been done, and as a result she has to take on not only the people who have made themselves important but natural and even supernatural forces, too. Her fate will strike a chord with anyone who knows that life has treated them with less than justice.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • On my to read list for a long time

  • By theenglishmajor on 02-23-18

On my to read list for a long time

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

Reviewed: 02-23-18

I thoroughly enjoyed this short novel. It was exquisitely written and a sometimes gentle, sometimes sad portrayal of the small-mindedness of village folk. The characters, although minimally explored, come into sharp focus. I have no doubt that this is an accurate portrayal of what post War village life was like in England.
I would caution you to skip the commentary at the beginning and return to it after you have finished the book as it provides details better uncovered on your own. The commentary was insightful but might spoil the book for the reader.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Woman on the Orient Express

  • By: Lindsay Jayne Ashford
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,962
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,730
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,729

Hoping to make a clean break from a fractured marriage, Agatha Christie boards the Orient Express in disguise. But unlike her famous detective Hercule Poirot, she can't neatly unravel the mysteries she encounters on this fateful journey. Her cabinmate Katharine Keeling's first marriage ended in tragedy, propelling her toward a second relationship mired in deceit. Nancy Nelson - newly married but carrying another man's child - is desperate to conceal the pregnancy and teeters on the brink of utter despair.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very enjoyable "woman on transportation" book

  • By Ruth on 02-20-17

Loved the book. Hated the narration

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

Reviewed: 01-08-18

In all the years I have been an audible member, and it goes back almost to the beginning, this is the first time I had to turn off the recording and buy the book in order to finish it. The narrator was beyond annoying with a pretentious English accent that made me want to smack her. It was so affected, I just couldn't bear it.
The book however was very well done and very entertaining weaving actual facts from Agatha Christie's life almost seamlessly into this work of fiction. I am a huge Christie fan and was sorry to see the book end. Too bad about the narration.

  • Al Franken, Giant of the Senate

  • By: Al Franken
  • Narrated by: Al Franken
  • Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 14,650
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 13,539
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 13,399

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect. It's a book about what happens when the nation's foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I was reading this when the allegations against Franken came out

  • By Fruitsalad200 on 12-10-17

Wonderful. Made me want to move to Minnesota

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

Reviewed: 07-26-17

I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book. This is definitely a case where listening rather than reading enhanced the experience. The reviewer who took issue with the fact that it wasn't comic enough, must not have been listening too carefully. First, I thought it was very funny. I like humor best when the writer doesn't try too hard to be funny. Al Franken is naturally funny. His humor is subtle but it made me laugh out loud. Secondly, he makes a point of lamenting the fact that as a Senator he is precluded from being as funny as he would like. I loved the descriptions he gave of his staff constantly trying to reel him in. I kept thinking that I would like to drop everything, move to Washington and work for him...for free.

He does rib his Republican cronies but without malice. He makes his case for doing the right thing for country first and Minnesota second should they conflict. There is no doubt in my mind that he is genuine, works hard, and has our best interests at heart. I loved all the little side stories about dealing with his colleagues across the aisle. I especially loved his comments about Ted Cruz which just reinforces everything we (I) suspected. I have a relative who worked on capital hill (a Republican) who has told me many stories about how disruptive Cruz is and how everyone hates him.

But aside from being entertaining, I found this book to be a great civics lesson, an inside look at how things actually work on the Hill and in Washington. Regardless of which side of the aisle you are on, you will find this book a great listen. I was truly sorry when it was over....and although there I many books I really like, I do not say that often.

  • The Outcast Dead

  • Ruth Galloway, Book 6
  • By: Elly Griffiths
  • Narrated by: Clare Corbett
  • Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 457
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 414
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 412

Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway has excavated a body from the grounds of Norwich Castle, a forbidding edifice that was once a prison. She believes the body may be that of infamous Victorian murderess Jemima Green. Called Mother Hook for her claw-like hand, Jemima was hanged in 1867 for the murder of five children in her care. DCI Harry Nelson has no time for long-dead killers. Immersed in the case of three infants found dead, one after the other, in their King’s Lynn home, he’s convinced that a family member is responsible, though others on his team think differently.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You gotta understand, I love this series

  • By C. A. Gelsinger on 09-03-14

One of my favorite authors but the narrator?????

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

Reviewed: 08-05-16

I love this series and have listened to the previous 6 in this series. This is my 6th. The story was great and I love following the exploits of Ruth Galloway and other assorted characters. Always entertaining, they are a great listen.
But......I have to take serious exception to the narrator. During the largest part of the narrative, her voice is so soft I have to turn up the volume...very very annoying when you are listening in the car. It is difficult enough when listening to a foreign accent to begin with. But I could get used to that. She makes the men all sound like complete, stupid dolts. That is not the worst part. All of the children's voices are done at an ear piercing volume. Children do not SCREAM everything they say and yet she reads ALL the children's voices at three times the normal volume.
It totally detracted from the book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Man Called Ove

  • By: Fredrik Backman
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58,736
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53,725
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53,629

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him "the bitter neighbor from hell". But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Laughed and I Cried

  • By Bill on 08-22-15

Wonderful

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

Reviewed: 03-05-16

I was 3/4 of the way thru before I started to cry. This book will stay with you for a long time. A sweet story about a curmudgeonly man will twist your heart and make it cry out. Best book I have listened to in awhile. The narration was perfect.

  • How the Light Gets In

  • A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, Book 9
  • By: Louise Penny
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 15 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,250
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,976
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,978

Shadows are falling on the usually festive Christmas season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone. As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Welcome Home!

  • By Nancy J on 09-06-13

Hoping to retire in Three Pines

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

Reviewed: 10-18-15

I have been a fan of this series since the very beginning. I was hooked after the very first book. I read them first then listen to the audio. This audio series is such a magical blend of fabulous writing and the perfect, perfect narrator. I am so sad that Ralph Cosham is no longer with us. He has personified Armand Gamache for me. He will be missed
I can't think of one single series of books I have enjoyed as much as this one. They aren't just mysteries. These books are so well written and entertaining on so many levels. They have to be some of the best books in the market place today.

  • The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

  • By: Gabrielle Zevin
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,181
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,546
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,546

The irascible A. J. Fikry, owner of Island Books - the only bookstore on Alice Island - has already lost his wife. Now his most prized possession, a rare book, has been stolen from right under his nose in the most embarrassing of circumstances. The store itself, it seems, will be next to go. One night upon closing, he discovers a toddler in his children’s section with a note from her mother pinned to her Elmo doll: I want Maya to grow up in a place with books and among people who care about such kinds of things. I love her very much, but I can no longer take care of her.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Tale for Booksellers

  • By B. Leon on 04-15-14

Sorry to see it end

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

Reviewed: 03-22-15

Someone in an earlier review used the word cozy. That's exactly how I would have described this book. A cozy is a term used to describe a mystery but it is a word appropriate here. This was so well written. I found myself hoping that the author was really as well read as her characters. And I felt the same angst at AJ regarding the whole ebook phenomenon. I feel so guilty about my gigantic ebook library.
This is such a wonderful story. I loved every minute of it. I am a huge Scott Brick fan and unlike a previous reviewer, I thought he was the perfect voice, with a dry sense of humor and a slight amount of condescension for this story. I found the whole experience delightful, loved all the characters, and was sorry to see it end.

1 of 2 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 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 129,708
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114,465
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114,325

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

Wow.

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

Reviewed: 03-04-15

This was a great story coupled with great performances. I think the author did an excellent job keeping it suspenseful until the very end. I am sure people are going to compare it or liken it to Gone Girl. I can see that to some degree. It has the same suspenseful tone; the same manner of keeping the reader in limbo but I am not certain I would draw conclusions in the writing. They are both excellent in their own separate ways. I am not usually a fan of stories that are told from different points of view but this one worked.I truly enjoyed this down to the very last minute. And would wholeheartedly recommend it.

  • The Purity of Vengeance

  • A Department Q Novel
  • By: Jussi Adler-Olsen
  • Narrated by: Graeme Malcolm
  • Length: 14 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,095
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,860
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,872

International superstar Jussi Adler-Olsen, with more than fourteen million copies of his books sold worldwide, returns with the fourth book in his New York Times best-selling Department Q series, about a perplexing cold case with sinister modern-day consequences. In 1987, Nete Hermansen plans revenge on those who abused her in her youth, including Curt Wad, a charismatic surgeon who was part of a movement to sterilize wayward girls in 1950s Denmark.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love the Department Q series!

  • By Lynne F on 01-03-14

Characters that grow on you

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

Reviewed: 12-30-14

I have come to love this series with its quirky, somewhat flawed characters. The author has done such a great job of differentiated each one, and they are beautifully read here especially Karl and his intrepid Syrian sidekick. It took me halfway thru the first book before I began to like either one, but they soon began to grow on me like old friends. The tales can be a bit gruesome at times but the storylines are addictive. Looking forward to the next in the series.