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Bios & Memoirs

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glamazon

glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island Member Since 2003

glam

HELPFUL VOTES
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  • "Heroic Story"

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    Performance
    Story

    Another true story from someone who is neither famous nor a player on the world stage, nor the architect of some planet--changing accomplishment. However she DID go through hell and back, and not only survived but thrived, and lived to tell about it.

    This woman has my unconditional admiration. The story has her pushing through obstacle after obstacle, jumping (metaphorically) through hoops and all the while never losing her perspective and sense of humor. Several times I laughed out loud while walking the bike path - other walkers, cyclists, runners must have thought I was nuts.

    The gauntlet was thrown down many many times by her doctors and the rest of the medical establishment and she triumphed over that one too - hilariously naming all the characters and courageously ignoring their "advice" (in quotes for this) in order to follow her own path as an overachiever in the best way possible.

    The narration was perfect. Joyce Bean's tone walked that fine line between sarcasm and honest emotion, and her nuanced characterization of Julia's impaired but gradually improving speech abilities could not have worked out better.

    One more thing, if you've come this far in this review - the book uses the second person throughout, a technique that I am starting to love. Like the airplane pilot in "The Night Strangers" whose story is always a "you" story, 2nd person, this technique makes the narrative sound like an instruction manual, in a good way. After all, books can be, amongst so many other things, instruction manuals for life.

    5 stars all around!

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    Don't Leave Me This Way: Or When I Get Back on My Feet You'll Be Sorry

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Julia Fox Garrison
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (40)

    Julia Fox Garrison refused to listen to the professionals she called Dr. Jerk and Dr. Panic, who - after she suffered a massive, debilitating stroke at age thirty-seven - told her she’d probably die, or to Nurse Doom, who ignored her emergency call button. Instead she heeded the advice of kind, gifted Dr. Neuro, who promised her he would “treat your mind as well as your body.” Julia figured if she could somehow manage to get herself into a wheelchair, at least she’d always find parking. But after many, many months of hospitalization and rehab, Julia not only got into a wheelchair, but she got back out.

    glamazon says: "Heroic Story"
  • "The Title Says It All"

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    I wanted to read this book from the moment I read a review in the New York Times. The title grabbed me by my inner truths and would not let me go, and I relate because my mother had the same philosophy, if she could even be said to have a "philosophy". It's the overall general sense of being "happy" vs being "normal" that got to me - not the specifics of Winterson's life. My mother, too, was big on being "normal" and also felt that being happy was an offshoot of arrogance - like "who are you to deserve happiness?" I am not attempting to define happiness here, just saying the idea was always presented as an unreachable ideal, only given to a privileged few, with the rest of us required to trudge along, suffering and miserable.

    Anyway, the narration took some time getting used to - I initially found Ms. Winterson's voice to be a bit strident, with an accent I couldn't quite place, but I gradually acclimated and found a receptive space where I could listen with more peace. The accent and patterns of speech actually work to help create the ambience of mid-20th century Manchester, England.

    I like that Winterson's description of the renaissance-like evolution and development of Manchester - from its dark days as Britain's foremost manufacturing town into a prosperous arcade of high-end consumer pleasures such as restaurants, art galleries, new housing created from vacated mill buildings - parallels her own journey of self-dicovery and reclamation.

    The memoir proceeds chronologically, but sometimes it's not quite clear where we are in Winterson's life. Not a problem though, as things eventually do clear up, and the surface randomness of the story does not devolve into confusion for the reader; due to the beauty of the writing, sometimes it does not really matter. WInterson herself admits to not writing in a linear style, preferring a less structured way of selecting her scenes.

    Although this is another story about growing up with a mother who is very odd in so many ways, unwilling and unable to show love, perhaps even to feel it, this narrative has its own animus, and I, as a reader, never tire of this subject nor of this genre. Winterson's rise from her very inauspicious and soul-destroying roots into triumph like the Phoenix from the ashes is a story that can be told again and again.

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    Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Jeanette Winterson
    • Narrated By Jeanette Winterson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (161)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (145)

    Jeanette Winterson’s bold and revelatory novels have established her as a major figure in world literature. This memoir is the chronicle of a life’s work to find happiness. It is a book full of stories: about a girl locked out of her home, sitting on the doorstep all night; about a religious zealot disguised as a mother who has two sets of false teeth and a revolver in the dresser drawer; about growing up in a north England industrial town in the 1960s and 1970s; and about the universe as a cosmic dustbin.

    glamazon says: "The Title Says It All"
  • "Breathless!"

    Overall

    Talk about not wanting to turn the car audio player off...this is a minute-by-minute account, not only of a bereavement and of a death, but of a life as lived in each present moment. I'll never know why it is that some writers, and well-known, respected ones at that, can snooze me off with their painstaking detail (oh just get on with it will you?), and someone like Oates can mesmerize me, stun me with literary pleasure with her delicately nuanced accounts of the huge range of emotions encountered by one person, as they happen, moment by moment.

    I am equally amazed at this "warts and all" presentation of Oates' self-doubts and insecurities, her lack of self-belief, and the meaninglessness to her of all her considerable accomplishments compared to the loss of her husband and soul-mate. That she can get this all down without appearing even mildly self-absorbed is another feat that impresses me.

    Brava!

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    A Widow's Story: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Joyce Carol Oates
    • Narrated By Ellen Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (124)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (84)

    In a work unlike anything she's written before, National Book Award-winner Joyce Carol Oates unveils a poignant, intimate memoir about the unexpected death of her husband of 46 years and its wrenching, surprising aftermath.

    glamazon says: "Breathless!"
  1. Don't Leave Me This Way: ...
  2. Why Be Happy When You Cou...
  3. A Widow's Story: A Memoir
  4. .

A Remarkable Life

Adventures at Sea

What's Trending in Bios & Memoirs:

  • Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Jennifer Worth
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (542)
    Performance
    (486)
    Story
    (492)

    At the age of 22, Jennifer Worth left her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in postwar London’s East End slums. The colorful characters she met while delivering babies all over London - from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lived to the woman with 24 children who couldn't speak English to the prostitutes and dockers of the city’s seedier side - illuminate a fascinating time in history.

    Kathy says: "This is one I didn't want to put down!"
  • A Fighting Chance

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Warren
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Warren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    As a child in small-town Oklahoma, Elizabeth Warren yearned to go to college and then become an elementary school teacher - an ambitious goal, given her family’s modest means. Early marriage and motherhood seemed to put even that dream out of reach, but 15 years later she was a distinguished law professor with a deep understanding of why people go bankrupt. Then came the phone call that changed her life: could she come to Washington, DC, to help advise Congress on rewriting the bankruptcy laws?

  • Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Todd Burpo, Lynn Vincent
    • Narrated By Dean Gallagher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2210)
    Performance
    (1572)
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    (1606)

    When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren’t expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the months that followed—a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy’s trip to heaven and back.

    Jill says: "Heaven is For Real"
  • Bossypants

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Tina Fey
    • Narrated By Tina Fey
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    Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told....

    Warren says: "Tina Fey broke my new SUV"
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  • Everybody's Got Something

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Robin Roberts, Veronica Chambers
    • Narrated By Robin Roberts
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
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    (2)

    "Regardless of how much money you have, your race, where you live, what religion you follow, you are going through something. Or you already have or you will. As momma always said, 'Everybody's got something.'" So begins beloved Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts' new memoir in which she recounts the incredible journey that's been her life so far, and the lessons she's learned along the way.

  • Love Life

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Rob Lowe
    • Narrated By Rob Lowe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
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    Love Life serves up another delicious selection of intimate stories and observations from Rob Lowe's life, told with humor, warmth, and brutal honesty. After writing his acclaimed debut effort, Lowe felt he had more stories to share and many more friends to introduce. The result is a touching memoir about the business and craft of acting, the pitfalls of success, family, love, and much more.

    LESLIE DOHENY-HANKS says: "Insightful, interesting and uplifting"
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
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    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Anastasia Burke says: "Hillenbrand could make even laundry fascinating!"
  • 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
    (2004)
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    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!"
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  • 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
    (2941)
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    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"
  • Steve Jobs

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
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    Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

    Chris says: "Good Biography, Fine narrator"
  • Interesting Discoveries on Dogs & Birds

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Shiv Verma
    • Narrated By Shiv Verma
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    This audioook is designed to take you all through a series of short stories into the lives of most invaluable dogs and birds. A journey full of fun, emotions, separation, loss, anger, laughter, surprises, shocks, jealousy, possessiveness, loyalty, sacrifices, learning and lot more! A wonderfully engaging audiobook for all ages!

  • Do Not Go Gentle: My Search for Miracles in a Cynical Time

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Ann Hood
    • Narrated By Ann Hood
    Overall
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    The day my father was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, I decided to go and find him a miracle. Do Not Go Gentle is a transporting memoir about Ann Hood’s quest to find a cure, if not an outright miracle, that would cure her father’s cancer. Her “spiritual Odyssey, with a secret history all its own” would take her from Rhode Island to El Santuario de Chimayo, New Mexico, in search of dirt reputed to contain astonishing healing powers.

  • Where the Wind Leads: A Refugee Family's Miraculous Story of Loss, Rescue, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Vinh Chung
    • Narrated By Josh Aaron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Through a series of miraculous events, a Chinese family, living in Vietnam, joins the ranks of "boat people" and overcomes oppressive struggles to raise its children in the foreign culture of America. At three years of age Vinh Chung and his family of 10 fled communist oppression in Vietnam. As legendary "boat people" they were attacked twice by Thai pirates and left for dead, adrift on the South China Sea. A World Vision mercy ship stumbled across them and rescued them, eventually relocating them to the tough frontier town of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

  • Making Mavericks: The Memoir of a Surfing Legend

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Frosty Hesson, Ian Spiegelman
    • Narrated By Gary Dikeos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    When Richard “Frosty” Hesson was first approached by a young Jay Moriarty in 1990, the skinny kid with a sparkle in his eye only wanted one thing from the icon: His help in becoming a better surfer. Hesson, one of the first to conquer the huge waves off northern California known as Mavericks, recognized that the kid “had a vision.” Jay quickly demonstrated a resolve that reminded Frosty of his younger self, pursuing his goal with a seriousness far beyond his years. His attitude and work ethic earned Frosty’s respect and, eventually, his friendship.

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  • Dean Acheson: A Life in the Cold War

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Robert L Beisner
    • Narrated By Ben Bartolone
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    Dean Acheson was one of the most influential Secretaries of State in U.S. history, presiding over American foreign policy during a pivotal era - the decade after World War II when the American Century slipped into high gear. During his vastly influential career, Acheson spearheaded the greatest foreign policy achievements in modern times, ranging from the Marshall Plan to the establishment of NATO. In this acclaimed biography, Robert L. Beisner paints an indelible portrait of one of the key figures of the last half-century.

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe

    • UNABRIDGED (22 mins)
    • By Sarah K. Bolton
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
    Overall
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    A biography of the author Abraham Lincoln credited for writing the book that started the Civil War. Uncle Tom's Cabin was a defining piece of literature against slavery, and it was a book that impacted the world. This audio life tour takes you from Harriet's childhood when she ate flower bulbs believing they were onions to a busy adult life in which there was no free time to write, but she felt compelled to write nonetheless. Narrated by Glenn Hascall.

  • Love, Nina: A Nanny Writes Home

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Nina Stibbe
    • Narrated By Nina Stibbe
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    In 1982, 20-year-old Nina Stibbe moved to London to work as a nanny to two opinionated and lively young boys. In frequent letters home to her sister, Nina described her trials and triumphs: There's a cat nobody likes, suppertime visits from a famous local playwright, a mysteriously unpaid milk bill, and repeated misadventures parking the family car. Dinner table discussions cover the gamut, from the greats of English literature, to swearing in German, to sexually transmitted diseases.

  • A Fighting Chance

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Warren
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Warren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    As a child in small-town Oklahoma, Elizabeth Warren yearned to go to college and then become an elementary school teacher - an ambitious goal, given her family’s modest means. Early marriage and motherhood seemed to put even that dream out of reach, but 15 years later she was a distinguished law professor with a deep understanding of why people go bankrupt. Then came the phone call that changed her life: could she come to Washington, DC, to help advise Congress on rewriting the bankruptcy laws?

  •  
  • American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Alex Beam
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
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    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    On June 27, 1844, a mob stormed the jail in the dusty frontier town of Carthage, Illinois. Clamorous and angry, they were hunting down a man they saw as a grave threat to their otherwise quiet lives: The founding prophet of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. They wanted blood. At thirty-nine years old, Smith had already lived an outsized life. In addition to starting the Church of Latter-Day Saints and creating his own "Golden Bible" - the Book of Mormon - he had worked as a water-dowser and treasure hunter.

  • Cold Blooded Killers

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By RJ Parker
    • Narrated By David Gilmore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
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    In this riveting audio, an award-winning Canadian author delves into the gritty, gruesome details of the most notorious spree killers, school shooters, and serial killers the world has ever seen. They will feel that their own lives are over, and aim to take as many people with them as they can. Once their killing spree is over, they most often either commit suicide, or force the police to use deadly force against them, in other words, suicide by cop.

  • Take Me Home: An Autobiography

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By John Denver
    • Narrated By John Denver
    Overall
    (0)
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    In a career that spanned decades, John Denver earned international acclaim as a singer, songwriter, actor, and environmental activist. Songs like "Take Me Home, Country Roads", "Rocky Mountain High", and "Annie's Song" have entered the canon of universal anthems, but at his start John Denver was a young man with little more than a fine voice, a guitar, and a dream. Growing up in a conservative military family, he was not expected to drop out of college and head to Los Angeles, where the music scene was flourishing. Nor was he expected to succeed.

  • If You Survive: From Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge to the End of World War II - One American Officer's Riveting True Story

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By George Wilson
    • Narrated By Brian Keeler
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    George Wilson has garnered much acclaim for this shattering and enlightening memoir. Detailing his odyssey from July, 1944 until the following summer, If You Survive is a startling first-person account of the final year of World War II. Wilson was the only man from his original company to finish the war. As a Second Lieutenant, he went ashore at Utah Beach after the D-Day invasion amidst burned vehicles, sunken landing craft, and broken fortifications.