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Bios & Memoirs > Personal Memoirs

Personal Memoirs

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glamazon

glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island Member Since 2003

glam

HELPFUL VOTES
4348
ratings
REVIEWS
483
310
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
3750
0
  • "Heroic Story"

    Overall
    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!

    More

    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
    (50)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (47)

    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"
  • "Thoroughly Original, Inspiring and ..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to read this as soon as the book appeared in the audible.com inventory. "The Undertaking" attracted my attention as the subject is neither common nor comfortable for many. So I couldn't wait to jump right in.

    Thomas Lynch is both a published poet and the director of a funeral home; perhaps an odd pairing of professions, but each job informs the other and stories of the living (as he cares for and buries the dead) flow poetically through this novel as the Huron River flows through his home town in Michigan. As Lynch anecdotally brings life to those his clients have left behind, the poetry within the prose is musical, nuanced, and sustaining.

    Kevin T. Collins' performance makes a substantial contribution and I am not certain this book will impact readers in quite the same way as hearing it read with such sensitivity, emotion, and grace, and at times I could not tell if I was reading prose or poetry.
    ,

    More

    The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Thomas Lynch
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Ostensibly about death and its attendant rituals, The Undertaking is in the end about life. In each case, he writes, it is the one that gives meaning to the other. A funeral director in Milford, Michigan, Lynch is that strangest of hyphenates, a poet-undertaker, but according to Lynch, all poets share his occupation, "looking for meaning and voices in life and love and death." Looking for meaning takes him to all sorts of unexpected places, both real and imagined. He embalms the body of his own father, celebrates the rebuilt bridge to his town's old cemetery, and more.

    glamazon says: "Thoroughly Original, Inspiring and Mesmerizing!"
  • "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!

    More

    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
    (134)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (94)

    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. The Undertaking: Life Stu...
  3. A Widow's Story: A Memoir
  4. .

Kim

Kim Spokane, WA, United States 03-22-10 Member Since 2009

Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit

HELPFUL VOTES
509
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16
  • "Finally! One for the "Win"..."

    16 of 16 helpful votes

    I have made some really poor choices since joining the huge club of audiophiles. I've downloaded some real stinkers and mediocre titles that made me groan with regret within the first 3 chapters - then force myself to listen to the rest either because I wanted to punish myself or I wanted to hold out hope that it would get better if I just kept going. This book goes in the "win" column - fantastic flow and descriptive enough to really take hold of the imagination without going overboard. The last 4 chapters fell out of the groove a bit - but that doesn't cancel out the enjoyment I experienced listening to the rest. The language is sharp and shocking in some sections - which I really appreciate because it's real and I'm no stranger to sarcasm, satire, and cynical rants - I guffawed glee several times. Thank you Mary Karr - you freakin' rule

    More

    Lit: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Mary Karr
    • Narrated By Mary Karr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (294)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (112)

    Lit follows Mary Karr's descent into the inferno of alcoholism and madness - and her astonishing resurrection. Karr's longing for a solid family seems secure when her marriage to a handsome, Shakespeare-quoting poet produces a son they adore. But she can't outrun her apocalyptic past. She drinks herself into the same numbness that nearly devoured her charismatic but troubled mother, reaching the brink of suicide. A hair-raising stint in "The Mental Marriott" awakens her to the possibility of joy, and leads her to an unlikely faith.

    Kim says: "Finally! One for the "Win" column"

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    This is how wars are fought now by children, hopped up on drugs, and wielding AK-47s. In the more than 50 violent conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But it is rare to find a first-person account from someone who endured this hell and survived. In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now 26 years old, tells a riveting story in his own words: how, at the age of 12, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence.

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    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 36 mins)
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    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

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    • By Jennifer M. Valentine
    • Narrated By Gita Farid
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    (0)
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    (0)

    Words Pressed is a short biography about some of life's issues and dilemmas. It is purposely condensed. That way, it gets straight to the point. Jennifer has had an assorted career competing competitively within the sporting and acting arena from the 1980s-2004, as well as holding positions within the public sector for many years. Surprisingly, it was her 13 years experience serving the local church that tested her the most.

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    • Narrated By Nancy Saltzman
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    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    A life forged in tragedy, but defined by triumph. One of the most inspirational books you will ever read, Radical Survivor is ultimately an uplifting tribute to the human capacity for healing and resilience. With the added richness of letters Nancy received before and after the crash, as well as her sons' journal entries, Radical Survivor traverses the full spectrum of human emotions, offering a gift of hope for anyone faced with healing after loss of any kind.

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  • Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration (






UNABRIDGED) by David Wojnarowicz Narrated by Jay Aaseng

    Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By David Wojnarowicz
    • Narrated By Jay Aaseng
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    David Wojnarowicz's brief but eventful life was not easy. From a suburban adolescence marked by neglect, drugs, prostitution, and abuse to a squalid life on the streets of New York City, to fame - and infamy - as an activist and controversial visual artist whose work was lambasted in the halls of Congress, all before his early death from AIDS at age thirty-seven, Wojnarowicz seemed to be at war with a homophobic "establishment" and the world itself. Yet what emerged from the darkness was a truly extraordinary artist and human being.

  • North to the Night: A Spiritual Odyssey in the Arctic (






UNABRIDGED) by Alvah Simon Narrated by Robert Brown

    North to the Night: A Spiritual Odyssey in the Arctic

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Alvah Simon
    • Narrated By Robert Brown
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    In June 1994, Alvah Simon and his wife, Diana, set off in their 36-foot sailboat to explore the hauntingly beautiful world of icebergs, tundra, and fjords lying high above the Arctic Circle. Four months later, unexpected events would trap Simon alone on his boat, frozen in ice 100 miles from the nearest settlement, with the long polar night stretching into darkness for months to come.

  • Weird War One: The Antihero's Guide to Surviving Everyday Life (






UNABRIDGED) by Mat Devine Narrated by Anthony Haden Salerno

    Weird War One: The Antihero's Guide to Surviving Everyday Life

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Mat Devine
    • Narrated By Anthony Haden Salerno
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    Mat Devine, lead singer of the band Kill Hannah, inadvertently began his own popular advice column after Fuse TV asked him to blog about his life on tour. Mat's humorous and touching column, aptly titled "The Raccoon Society", gained a lot of traction as his fans sought advice on serious issues such as alcoholism, bullying, and self-mutilation, while also touching upon lighter subjects like dealing with siblings, fashion, and going to prom.

  • In the Shadow of the American Dream: The Diaries of David Wojnarowicz (






UNABRIDGED) by David Wojnarowicz, Amy Scholder (editor) Narrated by Eva Kaminsky, Christopher Kipiniak

    In the Shadow of the American Dream: The Diaries of David Wojnarowicz

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By David Wojnarowicz, Amy Scholder (editor)
    • Narrated By Eva Kaminsky, Christopher Kipiniak
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    In the Shadow of the American Dream is a stunning collection of riveting and revealing chapters from Wojnarowicz's extensive personal diaries - 30 volumes' worth of memories and lucid observations, some bitter, some sweet - that the author began writing when he was 17 and continued until his death two decades later. Here is a brilliant chronicle of an artist's emergence - a young man's still achingly fresh memories of his unhappy adolescence and his glorious discovery of self.