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Troy

Troy DALLAS, TX, United States Member Since 2012

I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.

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  • "A Public Service for Beginners"

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    I write that title with a caveat, which I'll explain. This book is geared to the idea that perhaps you know just a little about the world of opera and feel like maybe you're ready to be dangerous and don't know where to start. Mr. Plotkin offers his credentials as to why he's the right man to be your guide to this strange world, which are impressive, and then he leads you through the basics just as he says he will. He's one part tour guide, one part college professor, and he clearly loves opera. And he hopes you will too.

    The history of opera is offered at Wikipedia speed, broken down for you in sections so you can see how it evolved into what it's become today. He'll even give you pointers on how to attend a performance and get the most out of it, which that alone is invaluable information. Where it gets dicey is that sometimes he forgets he's talking to a beginner when it comes to the actual operas, but he does bring it back down to beginner level sooner or later. A lot of the times, though, you will be expected to rise to the next level up without warning, and where this subject is concerned, that's not a bad thing if you're truly interested. He covers a handful of operas within this tome and explains why he picked them. His insights are well worth it for anyone who wants to dig deep. The thing is, and he'll tell you this up front, he's working from very specific recordings of these works that you will have to hunt down on your own, either in a library or online. Some of his explanation is specific to those recordings. Don't let that disuade you. If you can't find that recording, try another and compare it to what you learn in this book. The point of this entire thing is to help you make the leap from novice to enthusiast with confidence enough to discover more, and where you go from there is up to you. I've heard it said that for some beginners, it's many years - if ever - before they go from hearing an aria or two to listening to an entire opera with anything close to understanding. This book connects the dots if you're willing to meet the author halfway.

    More

    Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs)
    • By Fred Plotkin
    • Narrated By Fred Plotkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Opera is the fastest growing of all the performing arts, attracting audiences of all ages who are enthralled by the gorgeous music, vivid drama, and magnificent production values. If you've decided that the time has finally come to learn about opera and discover for yourself what it is about opera that sends your normally reserved friends into states of ecstatic abandon, this is the book for you.

    Vilas Boas says: "unmissable introduction to the world of operas!"
  • "The Title Says It All"

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    Maybe I'm biased. Like so many others like me, Christopher Reeve has been a role model for me since Superman first hit the big screen. As I grew up, I got to learn about the man behind the Man of Steel, and his "can do" attitude continued to inspire. Between the accident that left him paralyzed and his death years later, Reeve's inner strength proved the title of this book to be true. Nothing is impossible.

    So many years later, it's still heart-wrenching to hear him speak about his experiences in his own words, so it's no surprise this book packs quite the punch. At the same time, this is one of those stories that only he could tell with all of the humanity and personal conviction he could bring to bear. There's nothing sugar-coated here; the tragedy and the optimism are both as genuine as the man himself. This audiobook is written and presented in such a way that he's speaking directly to you.

    Before the end of his life, Reeve was able to walk again, with assistance, and only a few steps at a time. But it did happen. The force of will to do that is unquestioningly great, and it's something few of us can fathom. This book helps to fill in the picture a bit, and to show that this level of commitment to an idea is not only human, it's within us all. Whatever the situation, whatever the misfortune, we are gifted with untold reserves that help us to adapt and to (as Reeve himself has said) "go forward." This is the legacy of Christopher Reeve. It's a message all of us deserve to hear.

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    Nothing Is Impossible: Reflections on a New Life

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Christopher Reeve
    • Narrated By Christopher Reeve
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
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    (7)
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    (7)

    Christopher Reeve has mastered the art of turning the impossible into the inevitable. In Nothing Is Impossible, Reeve shows that we are all capable of overcoming seemingly insurmountable hardships. Published on the eve of both his fiftieth birthday and the seventh anniversary of his spinal cord injury, Nothing Is Impossible reminds us that life is not to be taken for granted but to be lived fully with zeal, curiosity, and gratitude.

    Amazon Customer says: "Book not about"
  • "A Specialized Biography"

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    The author states up front that rather than be the kind of detailed biography you can find anywhere else, this is specifically a look at Elizabeth Taylor's rise to stardom. I think that's a bit disingenuous, as much like any other famous Elizabeth in history, it's impossible to separate the lofty career from the personal life of the woman herself. One defines the other.

    Everything that made Taylor who she was is put under the spotlight for this. Her parents and upbringing within the studio system are detailed, which helps to put her career as an independent actress into proper perspective. Her husbands, friends, colleagues, and even her detractors are all set into her orbit, their worlds revolving around her star. There are a great many quotes, anecdotes, and news clippings within that help round out the basic facts, but at the end of the day, Taylor's star power outshines everything, including the author's attempts to be unbiased. There are some private conversations that are seemingly quoted verbatim, which don't seem to have any supporting documentation, but they are believable and add to the already heightened personality of this story. How much is true? Where a Hollywood legend is concerned, who's to say? There's a great line in the Jimmy Stewart film "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence" that pretty much sums up the nature of this book:

    "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."

    That's not to say there aren't facts here. If anything, Taylor's life sometimes proves that fact is stranger than fiction, such is the nature of living at her level of prestige. Regardless, if you're interested in the glamour of Hollywood, bigger than life personalities, or just really fascinating stories from a world beyond the everyday 9 to 5, this one's a fun read.

    More

    How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By William J. Mann
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
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    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    Acclaimed biographer William Mann follows Elizabeth Taylor publicly as she makes her ascent at MGM, falls into (and out of) marriages, wins Oscars, fights studio feuds, and combats America's conservative values with her decidedly modern love affairs. But he also shines a light on Elizabeth's rich private life, revealing a love for her craft and a loyalty to the underdog that fueled her lifelong battle against the studio system.

    Troy says: "A Specialized Biography"
  1. Opera 101: A Complete Gui...
  2. Nothing Is Impossible: Re...
  3. How to Be a Movie Star: E...
  4. .

A Peek at Trish's Bookshelf

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Virginia 89 REVIEWS / 267 ratings Member Since 2005 58 Followers / Following 5
 
Trish's greatest hits:
  • Jim Henson: The Biography

    "Excellent Biography!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I only had a casual knowledge of Jim Henson--I associated him with Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Sesame Street, and Kermit, Miss Piggy and The Muppet Show characters. I now have a deep understanding and appreciation for this incredibly talented man.

    This book is very well researched and written. There is the same amount of care and detail spent on lesser known projects and events in Mr. Henson's life as there is on how the Sesame Street Muppets came to be. And it was all very interesting. The narrator was excellent as well--sounding very much like Jim Henson and Frank Oz when he was reading direct quotes.

    Jim Henson was a very creative and talented man, who worked very hard and continued to pursue his dream of entertaining people of all ages. He accomplished a lot--a lot more than I ever imagined--before his life was tragically cut short. This is a wonderful way to peek inside his world--Enjoy!!

  • Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son

    "A Very Enjoyable Memoir!!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I put this audiobook into my Wishlist as soon as it was released, having enjoyed both authors’ movie and TV work for many years. However, I recently stumbled upon the movie “The Way”, starring Martin and directed by Emilio, and wondered if the title of the book referred to the movie, or simply to the journey of Life. It was the very next book I chose to listen to--

    This is a very good, dual memoir. It is very well written and narrated. There are more in-depth stories and anecdotes about the early years, and it speeds through the later years, but it was interesting enough to hold my attention throughout. I love how the book progresses with Martin and Emilio writing/reading alternate chapters—and sometimes we have an overlap where both father and son relate the same story, usually from quite different perspectives, of course! It really did keep me interested and amused.

    Anecdotes about the movie “The Way” are included throughout this book. It ties many father/son experiences, philosophies, etc. together at various points. Since I enjoyed this movie so much, I was glad it was a part of the book. I highly recommend this memoir, and even more, the movie “The Way”. I'm very glad I found them both--

  • I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High

    "Very Interesting!!"

    Overall
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    Story

    I really enjoyed this book and was very glad I listened to it. It is not Tony Danza's memoir--it is the story of his one-year experience teaching in Philadelphia's largest high school.

    It is written with humor, and narrated very well by Tony. It was a tougher-than-expected experience for him, and a real eye-opener. Good for him--and thanks for sharing with the rest of us!!

  • All My Life: A Memoir

    "Very Entertaining!"

    Overall
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    Susan Lucci's memoir is a very enjoyable listen!

    I must admit--I am a fan from way back in the beginning years of All My Children, so I certainly knew bits and pieces of her story. But what a well-written and beautifully read book--I was truly surprised! She seems to be a lovely lady with a beautiful family, and I will always remember this memoir fondly and wish her well.

Patrick King

Patrick King Exeter, NH 12-11-12 Member Since 2009
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  • "For the most part, this is what I w..."

    7 of 7 helpful votes

    I've read several other so-called biographies of Bruce Springsteen and was amazed at how little factual information they contained of a living, accessible person. Mr. Carlin pretty well resolved that problem for me in this big biography, Bruce. The story starts with the tragic death at a very young age of Bruce Springsteen's aunt, Virginia. It explores the histories of both sides of his family as they came from Europe. It lightly touches on the unusual circumstances around his maternal grandfather's imprisonment, and his father's manic depression. The events that impacted the artist on his way up are well researched and chronicled. The one exception that I hoped Carlin would realize was important was the acquisition of the Telecaster. Mike Appel famously stated that Bruce still played the same $189 guitar he's always had. Well, Bruce's Telecaster is NOT $189 instrument under any normal circumstances. Perhaps Mr. Carlin does not play guitar but that is a story those of us who do are interested to hear.

    In the introduction Carlin tells us that during his interviews with Springsteen Bruce advised him if he found warts and wrinkles to print them. Carlin followed this advice up to a point. He certainly addresses Springsteen's mercurial temper, his obnoxious behavior toward his band mates, and his jealousy and disregard often in public of his lovers. Where he holds back, however, is in the transition between Springsteen's two marriages. We get plenty of information about who Julianne Phillips is, that is he tells us all the good stuff. Abruptly they divorce and almost instantly Bruce is a couple with Patti Scialfa. I'm not really looking for gossip. I'm looking to understand a series of songs on Bruce Springsteen's two 1992 albums. Human Touch and Lucky Town.

    Carlin explains how these two unusual records were recorded and how slow and how fast the various songs were written. What he leaves out to the distraction of we who follow these things obsessively, is what inspired the specific songs. He offers these insights on other records, so I had hope. On previous albums Springsteen tells stories about plain people, for the most part fictional. On Human Touch and Lucky Town he reveals himself in a much more cathartic way than he ever did before. Songs like Human Touch, Cross My Heart, All or Nothing at All, Man's Job, and I Wish I Were Blind, are not only stunningly beautiful chronicles of heartbreak but for me personally they mirrored real events in my own life and I wondered how "The Boss" could find his psyche in the same place as an underpaid graphic designer. For me buying those two records on the same day was like a Badder-Meinhoff phenomenon. I hoped this long book would give me an inkling. Unfortunately Carlin gives these two brilliant records shorter shift than most. He does point out that they both eventually went platinum.

    The other thing nearly ignored is Springsteen's relationship with his wife, Patti Scialfa, herself a brilliant rock singer and a cathartic song smith. This is not out of any fear of impropriety as Mr. Carlin gives us plenty of info about their sexual activity. I suppose he wants to allow the family a buffer but that's hardly the job of a biographer. Both song writers use their relationships powerfully in their work and it would be interesting to explore the intersection between their records. Scialfa's heartfelt contrition (for want of a better word) in songs like Come Tomorrow, As Long As I Can Be With You, and Lucky Girl, the passion and regret of Romeo and Stumble Into Bethlehem, and her anger on Play Around and Black Ladder. Suffice it to say if any two artists should ever do a "Double Fantasy" style album, their's should be a two CD set.

    All in all, this is a terrific biography much more detailed than both of Dave Marsh's two books put together and far superior to the other fan-ravings long on opinions but short on facts. When you're finished it you will know the details of Springsteen's history. You will not know the specific details about how he taught himself to play guitar or any mention of early guitar instructors if there were any. That said, you do learn how he became the electrifying performer he is and that is certainly valuable information.

    Bobby Cannavale does an excellent job reading and characterizing this book. It would be easy to go too far and he avoids this pitfall elegantly.

    The afterwards is told by Carlin himself and in so doing the listener gets some insight into the books shortcomings.

    In all, this is a valuable addition to the Bruce chronicles. I'm sure it will not be the last entry however.

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    Bruce

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Peter A. Carlin
    • Narrated By Bobby Cannavale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (121)
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    (108)
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    This sweeping biography of Bruce Springsteen features in-depth interviews with family, band members, childhood friends, ex-girlfriends, and a poignant retrospective from the Boss himself. It’s Bruce as his many fans haven’t before seen him - the man behind the myth, describing his life and work in intimate, vivid detail.

    Patrick King says: "For the most part, this is what I was hoping for"

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    marcus says: "It Starts coming Together"
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  • Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination (






UNABRIDGED) by Neal Gabler Narrated by Arthur Morey

    Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Neal Gabler
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (351)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (208)

    Seven years in the making and meticulously researched - Gabler is the first writer to be given complete access to the Disney archives - this is the full story of a man whose work left an ineradicable brand on our culture but whose life has largely been enshrouded in myth.

    Amanda says: "Diane Disney"
  • Open: An Autobiography (






UNABRIDGED) by Andre Agassi Narrated by Erik Davies

    Open: An Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Andre Agassi
    • Narrated By Erik Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (910)
    Performance
    (419)
    Story
    (416)

    From Andre Agassi, one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court, a beautiful, haunting autobiography. Agassi brings a near-photographic memory to every pivotal match and every relationship. Never before has the inner game of tennis and the outer game of fame been so precisely limned.

    Patrick says: "Just an Incredible Story!"
  • Social Media in the Classroom: A Discussion with Dr. Rick Sheridan  by Dr. Rick Sheridan Narrated by Dr. Rick Sheridan

    Social Media in the Classroom: A Discussion with Dr. Rick Sheridan

    • ORIGINAL (34 mins)
    • By Dr. Rick Sheridan
    • Narrated By Dr. Rick Sheridan
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    In this 30-minute interview, Dr. Rick Sheridan, a longtime university professor and author of the book Social Media in the Classroom, helps teachers understand why using social media in the classroom is so important, and the effective ways to use it. Topics include: Why is social media use in the classroom so valuable for both teachers and students. Ways to promote cultural understanding. Developing an online portfolio. What can students and teachers do to protect their privacy online.

  • Comment Installer un Studio de Photographie [How to Install a Photo Studio] (






UNABRIDGED) by Amber Richards Narrated by Anne-Sophie Marie

    Comment Installer un Studio de Photographie [How to Install a Photo Studio]

    • UNABRIDGED (45 mins)
    • By Amber Richards
    • Narrated By Anne-Sophie Marie
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Comment installer un studio photographique est un e-Book qui décrit en détails des sujets liés à l'organisation d'un studio photo dans le confort de votre maison. Il renferme des informations sur la façon d'utiliser l'éclairage continu en studio, comment utiliser la lumière stroboscopique pour la photographie ou encore maîtriser des techniques qui permettent aux utilisateurs de contrôler la lumière comme ils l'entendent.

  • Rose-Marie [Russian Edition] (






UNABRIDGED) by Rudolf Friml Narrated by L. Yudina, D. Dyan, E. Kozyreva, M. Golovnya, V. Otdelenov, S. Anikeyev, A. Tikhonov

    Rose-Marie [Russian Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 42 mins)
    • By Rudolf Friml
    • Narrated By L. Yudina, D. Dyan, E. Kozyreva, and others
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Na ljubov' glavnoj geroini pretendujut dvoe: bogatyj i porochnyj gospodin Avlej, u kotorogo rabotaet ee brat, i molodoj kovboj i zolotoiskatel' Dzhim. Roz-Mari otvechaet vzaimnost'ju Dzhimu, no ego obvinjajut v ubijstve. Chtoby spasti ljubimogo, devushka soglashaetsja na brak s Avleem. Kovboi, indejcy, zlodei, intrigi, ubijstvo, ljubov', vernost', chest' i spravedlivost', a takzhe more krasivoj muzyki.

  • The Gypsy Virtuoso [Russian Edition] (






UNABRIDGED) by Imre Kalman Narrated by G. Ots, E. Kritskaya, A. Oleynikov

    The Gypsy Virtuoso [Russian Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Imre Kalman
    • Narrated By G. Ots, E. Kritskaya, A. Oleynikov
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    Dom Pali Racha, izvestnogo skripacha i rukovoditelja cyganskogo orkestra. Kogda podnimaetsja zanaves, Pali sozhaleet ob ushedshej molodosti, v to vremja kak ego starshaja doch' Sari nakryvaet stol dlja bol'shoj sem'i (u Pali 16 detej). Pali zabotit sud'ba syna Lachi, tozhe skripacha, predpochitajushhego odnako cyganskim melodijam «ser'eznuju» muzyku. Pali opasaetsja, chto synu dlja uspeha nedostaet talanta.

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  • Thomas Steinbeck, Son of Famed Writer John Steinbeck: An Interview About His Life, His Novels, His Father  by Patricia L. Lawrence Narrated by J. D. Streeter

    Thomas Steinbeck, Son of Famed Writer John Steinbeck: An Interview About His Life, His Novels, His Father

    • ORIGINAL (28 mins)
    • By Patricia L. Lawrence
    • Narrated By J. D. Streeter
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    Thomas Steinbeck, son of famed writer and Pulitzer Prize recipient John Steinbeck, sits down with Patricia Lawrence for a casual conversation about his life; his published short stories, Down to a Soundless Sea; fictional accounts of life around Monterey Bay California...and his father!

  • The Hustons (






UNABRIDGED) by Lawrence Grobel Narrated by David Drummond

    The Hustons

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Lawrence Grobel
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
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    When John Huston died at 81 on August 28, 1987, America lost a towering figure in movie history. The director of such classic films as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The African Queen, The Maltese Falcon, Prizzi's Honor, and The Dead, John Huston evoked passionate responses from everyone he encountered. He was at the center of a dynasty, with three generations of Oscar winners (Walter, John and Anjelica).

  • Ghost Light: An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy, Theater in the Americas (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Mark Chemers Narrated by Brian E. Smith

    Ghost Light: An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy, Theater in the Americas

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Mark Chemers
    • Narrated By Brian E. Smith
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
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    Ghost Light: An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy offers useful and entertaining answers to the confounding question: "What, exactly, is dramaturgy, and what does a dramaturg do?" According to Michael Mark Chemers, dramaturgs are the scientists of the theater world - their primary responsibility is to query the creative possibilities in every step of the production process, from play selection to costume design, and then research the various options and find ways to transform that knowledge into useful ideas.

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