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Jane

Jane Chicago, IL, United States Member Since 2010
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  • "Excellent advice and examples for b..."

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    Stein is an author, editor, and publisher. His advice is geared toward fiction, with some thoughts for nonfiction. I am a reader and reviewer of books, not a writer. I have strong likes and dislikes about books I’ve read. I’m reading some “how to write books” to see if I agree with the experts. I’m delighted to say that writers who follow Stein’s advice will very likely make me happy when reading their books. I am more liberal than Stein in two areas: the first three pages of a book and his fifth commandment. Scenes that end prematurely are a subject Stein did not discuss, but I believe he would agree with me.

    ADJECTIVES, ADVERBS, & FLAB:
    For a while now I have been confused when I hear people say “cut adverbs.” I’ve loved some colorful writing that adverbs produce. I made a list of wonderful sentences with adverbs written by J.K. Rowling, John Grisham, and Georgette Heyer. I recently read three Hemingway short stories and noticed a lot of adjectives and adverbs in two of them. That intrigued me because he is famous for concise writing. Stein is the first expert who explains this subject to my satisfaction. Although he recommends cutting most adjectives and adverbs, he gives examples showing when they are valuable. I like his view. Stein and I both like the following paragraph which is full of adjectives and adverbs. Although a novel filled with this should probably be labeled poetry rather than fiction. Still it shows the emotional and sensual ability of adjectives and adverbs. Stein calls it “a nearly perfect paragraph.” It was written by a student of his, Linda Katmarian.

    “Weeds and the low hanging branches of unpruned trees swooshed and thumped against the car while gravel popped loudly under the car’s tires. As the car bumped along, a flock of startled blackbirds exploded out of the brush. For a moment they fluttered and swirled about like pieces of charred paper in the draft of a flame and then were gone. Elizabeth blinked. The mind could play such tricks.”

    Stein says “She’s breaking rules. Adjectives and adverbs which normally should be cut are all over the place. They’re used to wonderful effect because she uses the particular sound of words ‘the low hanging branches swooshed and thumped against the car. Gravel popped. Startled blackbirds exploded out of the brush. They fluttered and swirled.’ We experience the road the car is on because the car ‘bumped’ along. What a wonderful image. ‘The birds fluttered and swirled about like pieces of charred paper in the draft of a flame.’ And it all comes together in the perception of the character ‘Elizabeth blinked. The mind could play such tricks.’ Many published writers would like to have written a paragraph that good. That nearly perfect paragraph was ...”

    Another example. Stein does not like the sentence “What a lovely, colorful garden.” Lovely is too vague. Colorful is specific therefore better; but lovely and colorful don’t draw us in because we expect a garden to be lovely or colorful. There are several curiosity provoking adjectives you might use. If we hear that a garden is curious, strange, eerie, remarkable, or bizarre, we want to know why. An adjective that piques the reader’s curiosity helps move the story along.

    Stein says when you have two adjectives together with one noun, you should almost always delete one of the adjectives. He also recommends eliminating the following words which he calls flab: had, very, quite, poor (unless talking of poverty), however, almost, entire, successive, respective, perhaps, always, and “there is.” Other words can be flab as well.

    PARTICULARITY (attentiveness to detail):
    I love the following comparison. “You have an envelope? He put one down in front of her.” This exchange is void of particularity. Here’s how the transaction was described by John LeCarre. “You have a suitable envelope? Of course you have. Envelopes were in the third drawer of his desk, left side. He selected a yellow one A4 size and guided it across the desk but she let it lie there.” Those particularities ordinary as they seem help make what she is going to put into the envelope important. The extra words are not wasted because they make the experience possible and credible. (My favorite part: “Of course you have.”)

    FLASHBACKS AND SCENES THAT END PREMATURELY:
    Stein discourages flashbacks. He says they break the reading experience. They pull the reader out of the story to tell what happened earlier. Yay! I agree! I don’t like them either.

    I don’t recall Stein discussing “ending scenes prematurely,” but I think (or hope) he would agree with me that they also “break the reading experience.” For example, Mary walks into a room, hears a noise, and is hit. The next sentence is about another character in another place. Many authors do this to create artificial suspense. It makes me angry, and my anger takes me out of the story because I’m thinking about the author instead of the characters. You can have great suspense without doing this. Stein says “The Day of the Jackal” is famous for use of suspense. The scenes in that book have natural endings.

    FIRST THREE PAGES OF A BOOK MAY NOT BE AS CRITICAL AS THEY USED TO BE:
    Stein said a “book must grab the reader in the first three pages or they won’t buy the book.” This was based on studies watching customers in book stores. They looked at the jacket and then the first one to three pages. They either put it back or bought it. I think the internet changed things by providing customer reviews. I buy around 240 books a year. I never buy a book based on the first three pages. My decision to buy is based on customer reviews and/or book jacket summaries. I suppose the first three pages might still be important for customers in physical stores like Barnes & Noble and Walmart. But today we have books that become best sellers as ebooks and subsequently are published in paperback, for example Fifty Shades of Grey. Bloggers and reviewers spread the word, not bookstore visitors.

    STEIN’S TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR WRITERS:
    I’ve edited for brevity and to remove thou shalt’s.

    1. Do not sprinkle characters into a preconceived plot. In the beginning was the character. (I like this, but I also think Stephen King has a good idea - something to try. He creates a “situation” first, then the characters, and last the plot.)

    2. Imbue your heroes with faults and your villains with charm. For it is the faults of the hero that bring forth his life, just as the charm of the villain is the honey with which he lures the innocent.

    3. Your characters should steal, kill, dishonor their parents, bear false witness, and covet their neighbor’s house, wife, man servant, maid servant, and ox. For readers crave such actions and yawn when your characters are meek, innocent, forgiving, and peaceable. (I love this.)

    4. Avoid abstractions, for readers like lovers are attracted by particularity.

    5. Do not mutter, whisper, blurt, bellow, or scream. Stein prefers using “he said.” (I’m not sure about this one. I like hearing these words. Maybe in moderation?)

    6. Infect your reader with anxiety, stress, and tension, for those conditions that he deplores in life, he relishes in fiction.

    7. Language shall be precise, clear, and bear the wings of angels for anything less is the province of businessmen and academics and not of writers. (I assume this includes cutting adjectives, adverbs, and flab - but keep the good ones.)

    8. “Thou shalt have no rest on the sabbath, for thy characters shall live in thy mind and memory now and forever.” (I’m not sure how this is advice to writers.)

    9. Dialogue: directness diminishes, obliqueness sings.

    10. Do not vent your emotions onto the reader. Your duty is to evoke the reader’s emotions.


    OTHER IDEAS:
    Do not write about wimps. People who seem like other people are boring. Ordinary people are boring.

    Cut cliches. Say it new or say it straight.

    If not clear who is speaking put “George said” before the statement. If it is clear, put “George said” after or eliminate “George said.”

    Don’t use strange spellings to convey dialect or accents.

    Book copyright: 1995.
    Genre: nonfiction, how to write.

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    Stein on Writing: A Master Editor Shares His Craft, Techniques, and Strategies

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Sol Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    Overall
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    Performance
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    Story
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    Stein on Writing provides immediately useful advice for writers of fiction and nonfiction, whether newcomers or accomplished professionals. As Sol Stein, renowned editor, author, and instructor, explains, "This is not a book of theory. It is a book of usable solutions, how to fix writing that is flawed, how to improve writing that is good, how to create interesting writing in the first place."

    ddsharper says: "Excellent Content and Listen"
  • "I enjoyed this."

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    The audience is screenwriters, but the ideas are excellent and valuable for novelists.

    Christopher Vogler and Michael Hauge conducted a workshop for writing movie scripts based on Joseph Campbell’s work. This is the recording of that workshop which includes some questions from the audience.

    I rarely watch movies. My feeling is why watch a movie when I could read a book? Books have more depth. When I see movies based on books I’ve read, I’m disappointed although I do enjoy the visuals. As I listened to this lecture, I felt further reluctance to watch movies. They’re all made with the same formula! (or most of them) The first 10% is seeing the ordinary world and the call to action. Other parts include meeting the mentor, encountering tests, the supreme ordeal, and return with the elixir. These parts were first defined by Joseph Campbell. He studied mythology and found consistency in all myths in all cultures. Apparently all humans always want the same story.

    During the 1970s George Lucas used these ideas when he wrote the first Star Wars movie. During the 1980s Christopher Vogler wrote a memo organizing Campbell’s ideas into guidance for movie making. Vogler worked for Disney at the time. Vogler later turned his memo into a book “The Writer’s Journey.” I was bothered by Vogler’s claim for credit. He talked as if he were “the first one” to consider using Campbell’s ideas for movie making. He never mentioned that Lucas used them earlier. On Vogler’s website (mentioned below) he states “I had discovered the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell a few years earlier while studying cinema at the University of Southern California. I was sure I saw Campbells ideas being put to work in the first of the Star Wars movies and wrote a term paper for a class in which I attempted to identify the mythic patterns that made that film such a huge success.” This rubs me wrong. Lucas clearly stated that he used Campbell’s work when he wrote Star Wars. Vogler’s comments are pompous. My distaste is the reason I did not give this 5 stars. But the subject matter is excellent. Most of the examples are from three films: The Firm, Shrek, and Titanic. I was surprised that the speakers didn’t use Star Wars as an example.

    This audiobook is a good way to learn about Campbell’s ideas. The authors talk about the hero’s outer journey, his inner journey, and major character types. Hauge defines four character types: hero, reflection (friend), nemesis, and romance character (or the object of hero’s pursuit). Vogler’s website (thewritersjourney com) has a helpful summary of the outer journey and eight character types. (My thoughts, not in the lecture: Since all plots are the same, it is critical to have unique, engaging, and fascinating characters. This seminar does not discuss that.)

    A couple of Hauge comments. The inner journey is to find your essence. At the end of the workshop, Hauge summarizes with three arcs that consistently occur in American movies - three transformations the character needs to make.
    1. risk being who you truly are
    2. risk connecting to other people (romantically or other)
    3. stand up and do what is right, the honest thing, to stand up for the truth.
    He says “love encompasses all of these. All great movies are love stories.”

    NARRATORS:
    The narrators are the authors. Their voices were fine.

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    The Hero's 2 Journeys

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Michael Hauge, Christopher Vogler
    • Narrated By Michael Hauge, Christopher Vogler
    Overall
    (194)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (73)

    Make your story the best it can be on two levels. Hear each superstar teacher present his unique approach to story telling.

    Jane says: "I enjoyed this."
  • "3 ½ stars."

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    Might be good for an author just starting out. Might be good for authors who feel stuck and could use a nudge. The best part is you can listen while driving your car. Dwight Swain published a lot of fiction as well as some how-to-write books. This audiobook is two lectures he gave around 1991 for writer workshops.

    Many of his thoughts are simple and obvious. Example: every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. But I could see the following. Someone is writing a book and is kind of stuck, so they listen to this tape. Then they think oh yeah, I could try this, or I should do that. Then they would go back to their writing. I see it as a jog for writers.

    A few thoughts from the lecture:

    Alfred Hitchcock quote: Drama is life with the dull parts left out.

    The strength of your villain is the strength of your story. The bad guy is ruthless to get what he wants, even if it is just the corner office.

    Every chapter needs a climax (disaster, crisis). Authors should stretch out the climax scenes. A disaster could be winning the lottery. Disasters don’t have to be bad.

    The main character wants something. It could be relief from a boss, change in climate, revenge...

    A story is a record of how somebody deals with danger.

    Books on the craft of writing:
    I purchased and started reading Swain’s book “Techniques of the Selling Writer” published in 1965. I couldn’t get into it. It reads like an encyclopedia. But for some, that could be good.

    I loved the following two books that I think would be useful to all fiction writers. “Stein on Writing” by Sol Stein and “On Writing” by Stephen King.

    Genre: nonfiction, how to write.

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    Dwight Swain: Master Writing Teacher

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Dwight Swain
    • Narrated By Dwight Swain
    Overall
    (50)
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    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    One of the best writing teachers in the English language on how to structure your novel & how to build strong story people who will enrich your fiction.

    Tim Byers says: "Pretty solid advice"
  1. Stein on Writing: A Maste...
  2. The Hero's 2 Journeys
  3. Dwight Swain: Master Writ...
  4. .

A Peek at Scott's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
39
 
Scarborough, ON, Canada 50 REVIEWS / 151 ratings Member Since 2006 2 Followers / Following 4
 
Scott's greatest hits:
  • Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson

    "Don't expect a definitive biography"

    Overall
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    Any additional comments?

    Expected a comprehensive bio of the king of pop. Instead, the author emphasizes the final few years of Jackson's life. Lots of details about his finances. Surprisingly, Jackson's early years and his music get a lesser treatment. The whole story has a tabloid feel to it with lots of lurid details.

  • Bruce

    "Rockin bio"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Great bio of the Boss, tracing his roots from NJ to superstardom. Lots of insights into the man and his music. The author relies on both the record and contributions by E Street Band members. He's clearly a fan but also presents Springsteen's warts and all. A nice read without descending into tabloid trashiness.

  • Johnny Carson

    "Pointless"

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

    Not broad enough to be a bio of Johnny nor gossipy enough to be a guilty pleasure, this would have better been titled "Reminiscences of Johnny's lawyer". This really is a collection of anecdotes you might find in a supermarket tabloid. It spans eighteens years through the 70's and 80's and focuses exclusively on Bushkin's involvement with Johnny - mostly business dealings and tidbits of their quasi friendship. Bushkin strives to present both the good and the bad of Johnny but none of it will likely surprise and the overall effect leaves the reader feeling a bit dirty for having been a willing listener. At least the narrator's performance was good.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Henry Bushkin again?

    Probably not


  • Oasis: The Truth - My Life as Oasis's Drummer

    "Insider's view of a rollicking band"

    Overall
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    Any additional comments?

    Insider's account of the rise and fall of Oasis. Lots of details of the bands early days with a lot of emphasis on the genius and hubris of Noel Gallagher. The narrative is compromised by the authors falling out with Noël so don't expect a balanced portrait of the Gallaghers. Still, it was an enjoyable read with lots of interesting tidbits.

A. Garofalo

A. Garofalo boston 02-20-14 Member Since 2013

amandaerin

HELPFUL VOTES
18
ratings
REVIEWS
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20
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4
  • "Amazing, read it twice"

    0 of 0 helpful votes

    couldn't put this book down. Had me from the get go. Such insight and honesty about his life. Became and even bigger fan after listening to this book.

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    Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Graham Nash
    • Narrated By Graham Nash
    Overall
    (128)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (118)

    From Graham Nash - the legendary musician and founding member of the iconic bands Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Hollies - comes a candid and riveting autobiography that belongs on the reading list of every classic rock fan.

    James says: "A Great Story for fans of the Hollies and CSN!"

What's Trending in Arts & Entertainment:

  • 4.8 (158 ratings)

    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Volume 1: The Treason of Isengard

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By J.R.R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (90)

    Frodo and the Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the Ruling Ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord by destroying it in the Cracks of Doom. Now they continue their journey alone down the great River Anduin, alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.

    Catherine says: "third book of the series"
  • 4.8 (44 ratings)

    Bach and the High Baroque

    • ORIGINAL (25 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (40)

    Though unappreciated in his own time, Johann Sebastian Bach has ascended to Olympian heights, the verdict of contemporary audiences long since overruled by succeeding generations of music lovers. But what makes his music great? In this series of 32 lectures, a working composer and musicologist brings his exceptional teaching skills to the task of helping you hear the extraordinary sweep of Bach's music. You'll understand the compositional language that enabled him to compose such extravagant, unbridled music while still maintaining precise control of every aspect - beat, melody, melodic repetition, interaction, and harmony.

    Flapjack says: "Depth and Entertainment"
  • 4.8 (21 ratings)

    Great Masters: Mozart - His Life and Music

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (19)

    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.

    eddie says: "TRUTH ABOUT AMADEUS"
  • 4.8 (21 ratings)

    The Symphonies of Beethoven

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (18)

    Ludwig van Beethoven is justifiably acclaimed as one of the most revered composers in the history of Western music-a genius once characterized as a "Titan, wrestling with the gods." There is no better way for you to understand the full impact of that description than to not only listen to all nine of his magnificent symphonies, but to do so with a full understanding of what this great composer was saying and the circumstances that drove him up to and beyond what had once been considered the limits of musical expression.

    Nezar says: "A Great Course with a Great Caveat"
  •  
  • 5.0 (11 ratings)

    The Concerto

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    The concerto offers a kind of unique excitement no other instrumental music can match. Where a symphony enthralls us with its thematic variations and development, a concerto gives us human drama-the exhilaration of a soloist or group of soloists ringing forth against the mass of the orchestra.In 24 musically rich lectures, Professor Greenberg provides a guided tour of the concerto, from its conception as a child of Renaissance ideals, through its maturation in the Classical age, its metamorphosis in the Romantic era, and its radical transformation in the 20th century and beyond.

    Victoria says: "Better than "How to Listen to...Great Music!""
  • 5.0 (11 ratings)

    The String Quartets of Beethoven

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    In this musically rich 24-lecture series, Professor Greenberg guides you in a deep encounter with these majestic works of art, offering you the rare opportunity to grasp the musical riches and spiritual greatness of the quartets in a clear and accessible way. Each of these lectures is a rare and life-enriching opportunity to know the scope of Beethoven's genius, his most unforgettable music, and the profound humanity and beauty that live through them.

  • 4.8 (10 ratings)

    The Operas of Mozart

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (9)

    When Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in 1791 at the age of just 35, he nonetheless left behind the defining composition in every available musical genre of his time: symphony, chamber music, masses, and above all - opera. Opera was the prestige genre of the era, and the thought of it, Mozart wrote, made him, "beside myself at once." It was a form he loved dearly, depending on it heavily for personal, professional, artistic, and financial reasons of the greatest weight.

    Doggy Bird says: "One of the best values on Audible!"
  • 4.8 (10 ratings)

    Eclipse: Twilight Series, Book 3: The Twilight Saga, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Stephenie Meyer
    • Narrated By Ilyana Kadushin
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob - knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?

  •  
  • 4.4 (2926 ratings)

    Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Rob Lowe
    • Narrated By Rob Lowe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2926)
    Performance
    (2252)
    Story
    (2244)

    A teen idol at 15, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at 20, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences. Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last 25 years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.

    Chris - Audible says: "Believe the hype"
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Mindy Kaling
    • Narrated By Mindy Kaling, Michael Schur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1991)
    Performance
    (1835)
    Story
    (1847)

    Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

    Tabitha says: "Love it!"
  • Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Rob Lowe
    • Narrated By Rob Lowe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2926)
    Performance
    (2252)
    Story
    (2244)

    A teen idol at 15, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at 20, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences. Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last 25 years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.

    Chris - Audible says: "Believe the hype"
  • Seriously...I'm Kidding

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Ellen DeGeneres
    • Narrated By Ellen DeGeneres
    Overall
    (869)
    Performance
    (787)
    Story
    (781)

    "I've experienced a whole lot the last few years and I have a lot to share. So I hope that you'll take a moment to sit back, relax and enjoy the words I've put together for you in this book. I think you'll find I've left no stone unturned, no door unopened, no window unbroken, no rug unvacuumed, no ivories untickled. What I'm saying is, let us begin, shall we?" (Ellen DeGeneres)

    Julie says: "Not so much."
  • Winter is Coming: Symbols and Hidden Meanings in A Game of Thrones

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Valerie Estelle Frankel
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (35)

    Game of Thrones fans watch in delight as the epic battle of Lannister and Stark entangles the Seven Kingdoms. But only the sharpest notice how these houses echo Lancaster and York in the War of the Roses. Druids, Catholics, and even Zoroastrians wander through Westeros, reframing their religions for a new world of fantasy. But how medieval is Westeros? Did lady knights and pirates really battle across Europe? The audiobook Winter is Coming: Symbols and Hidden Meanings in A Game of Thrones explores all this and more, from the echoes of history to the symbols and omens our beloved characters.

    andrew says: "Good short listen, about GOT"
  •  
  • I Don't Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Judy Greer
    • Narrated By Judy Greer
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    You know Judy Greer, right? Wait, what was she in again? The Wedding Planner, 13 Going on 30, 27 Dresses, The Descendants. Yes, you totally recognize her. And, odds are, if you're like most women in America, you feel like she's already your friend. Thankfully, Greer has finally written a book of essays about all the moments, topics, observations, and confessions that you would hope to hear from your best friend.

    Walter says: "Funniest book about Show Biz in A Long Time"
  • How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition

    • ORIGINAL (36 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (219)
    Performance
    (195)
    Story
    (194)

    Great music is a language unto its own, a means of communication of unmatched beauty and genius. And it has an undeniable power to move us in ways that enrich our lives-provided it is understood.If you have ever longed to appreciate great concert music, to learn its glorious language and share in its sublime pleasures, the way is now open to you, through this series of 48 wonderful lectures designed to make music accessible to everyone who yearns to know it, regardless of prior training or knowledge.

    Lee the reader says: "Wonderful, I've wanted this for so long...but..."
  • Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Nick Offerman
    • Narrated By Nick Offerman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (486)
    Performance
    (464)
    Story
    (465)

    Growing a perfect moustache, grilling red meat, wooing a woman - who better to deliver this tutelage than the always charming, always manly Nick Offerman, best known as Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson? Combining his trademark comic voice and very real expertise in woodworking - he runs his own woodshop - Paddle Your Own Canoe features tales from Offerman's childhood in small-town Minooka, Illinois, to his theater days in Chicago, beginnings as a carpenter/actor and the hilarious and magnificent seduction of his now-wife Megan Mullally.

    OpenMindedNotCredulous says: "On the need to acknowledge the role luck plays"
  • Life

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Keith Richards, James Fox
    • Narrated By Johnny Depp, Joe Hurley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2358)
    Performance
    (1211)
    Story
    (1206)

    Now at last Keith Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades. And what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only to find themselves challenged by authorities everywhere....

    Jesse says: "Ins and outs"
  •  
  • Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Bob Saget
    • Narrated By Bob Saget
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Millions of viewers know and love Bob Saget from his role as the sweetly neurotic father on the smash hit Full House, and as the charming wisecracking host of America's Funniest Home Videos. And then there are the legions of fans who can't get enough of his scatological, out-of-his-mind stand-up routines, comedy specials, and outrageously profane performances in such shows as HBO's Entourage and the hit documentary The Aristocrats.

    Autumn says: "Sincere, heartfelt, hilarious."
  • Grace: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Grace Coddington
    • Narrated By Grace Coddington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (51)

    Beautiful. Willful. Charming. Blunt. Grace Coddington’s extraordinary talent and fierce dedication to her work as creative director of Vogue have made her an international icon. Known through much of her career only to those behind the scenes, she might have remained fashion’s best-kept secret were it not for The September Issue, the acclaimed 2009 documentary that turned publicity-averse Grace into a sudden, reluctant celebrity. Grace’s palpable engagement with her work brought a rare insight into the passion that produces many of the magazine’s most memorable shoots.

    Mary says: "Grace a Memoir"
  • An Actor's Life

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 7 mins)
    • By Ken Colley
    • Narrated By Ken Colley
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Famed and acclaimed for his starring role as Admiral Firmus Piett in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Ken Colley, who was born in Manchester, England, in 1937, knew from a very early age that he was already an actor. It was not until he had completed his mandatory two years with the National Service in the UK, when he was based in Cyprus during the Suez Crisis, that Ken, in his mid-20s, became an Assistant Stage Manager with a weekly repertory company in Bromley, Kent, England.

  • Vanity Fair: January - April 2014 Issue

    • ABRIDGED (21 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Vanity Fair
    • Narrated By Graydon Carter, various narrators
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Vanity Fair is a cultural filter, sparking the global conversation about the people and ideas that matter most. With a dedication to journalistic excellence and powerful storytelling, Vanity Fair is the first choice - often the only choice - for the world's most influential and important audience. From print to social media, the big screen to the smartphone and now on audio, Vanity Fair is the arbiter of our era.

  • Shining Star: Braving the Elements of Earth, Wind & Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Philip Bailey, Keith Zimmerman, Kent Zimmerman
    • Narrated By Philip Bailey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    With more than 90 million records sold and eight Grammy Awards throughout its 40-year history, Earth, Wind & Fire has staked its claim as one of the most successful, influential, and beloved acts in music history. Now, for the first time, its dynamic lead singer, Philip Bailey, chronicles the group's meteoric rise to stardom and his own professional and spiritual journey. Never before had a musical act crossed multiple styles and genres with a quixotic blend of astrology, universalism, and Egyptology as Earth, Wind & Fire (EWF) did when it exploded into the public's conscience during the 1970s.

  • A Broken Hallelujah: Rock and Roll, Redemption, and the Life of Leonard Cohen

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Liel Leibovitz
    • Narrated By Liel Leibovitz
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Why is it that Leonard Cohen receives the sort of reverence we reserve for a precious few living artists? Why are his songs, three or four decades after their original release, suddenly gracing the charts, blockbuster movie sound tracks, and television singing competitions? And why is it that while most of his contemporaries are either long dead or engaged in uninspired nostalgia tours, Cohen is at the peak of his powers and popularity? These are the questions at the heart of A Broken Hallelujah.

  •  
  • I Don't Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Judy Greer
    • Narrated By Judy Greer
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    You know Judy Greer, right? Wait, what was she in again? The Wedding Planner, 13 Going on 30, 27 Dresses, The Descendants. Yes, you totally recognize her. And, odds are, if you're like most women in America, you feel like she's already your friend. Thankfully, Greer has finally written a book of essays about all the moments, topics, observations, and confessions that you would hope to hear from your best friend.

    Walter says: "Funniest book about Show Biz in A Long Time"
  • Creativity Inc.

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Ed Catmull
    • Narrated By Peter Altschuler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: To make the world’s first computer-animated movie. He nurtured that dream first as a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, where many computer science pioneers got their start, and then forged an early partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his founding Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter in 1986. Nine years later and against all odds, Toy Story was released, changing animation forever.

  • Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Bob Saget
    • Narrated By Bob Saget
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Millions of viewers know and love Bob Saget from his role as the sweetly neurotic father on the smash hit Full House, and as the charming wisecracking host of America's Funniest Home Videos. And then there are the legions of fans who can't get enough of his scatological, out-of-his-mind stand-up routines, comedy specials, and outrageously profane performances in such shows as HBO's Entourage and the hit documentary The Aristocrats.

    Autumn says: "Sincere, heartfelt, hilarious."
  • James Gandolfini: The Real Life of the Man Who Made Tony Soprano

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Dan Bischoff
    • Narrated By John Ventimiglia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    James Gandolfini: The Real Life of the Man Who Made Tony Soprano is the first biography of the actor, who died in June 2013 at age 51, widely recognized as one of the best - and most defining - actors of his generation. The audiobook, as performed by Gandolfini's Sopranos co-star John Ventimiglia (Artie Bucco), is informed by fresh interviews with Sopranos actors, HBO executives, the star’s acting teachers and coaches, his childhood friends, buddies from his days as a nightclub bouncer, and Hollywood figures including the directors of his posthumously released films.

    Susie says: "The Moving Story of a Man Who Touched Our Lives"
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