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Bios & Memoirs > Personal Memoirs

Personal Memoirs

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Jean

Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States

I am an avid eclectic reader.

HELPFUL VOTES
3138
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601
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12
  • "A fight for education"

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    I was not sure what I was going to find reading a memoir of a 16 year old girl, but I am impressed. The fact she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize is what triggered me to read the book. After reading the book I feel she should have received the prize but she does have a life time to achieve it in. The story is not only about her life with her family and friends but she provides the history of the Swat valley all the way back to the Moguls, the Buddhists, as well as the history of Pakistan. She explains that 2500 years ago the Yousafzai clan of Pashtu migrated from Kabul Afghanistan to the Swat Valley. The descriptions she provides of the valley makes one want to visit the area if not for the war. As the Taliban moved into the valley and more so after the earthquake everything changed for the people. Maulana Fazlullak started Radio Mullah. He was a high school dropout and became a radical jihadist. I did notice that Ziauddin Yousafzai, Malala’s father a son of an Imam, went to religious school and was tempted to become a terrorist but as his education continued he started asking question the jihadists could not answer so he quit them. Goes to show with education of the people the fanatic cannot survive. No wonder they are against education. The book covers some dark material but it is presented in a positive way and the enthusiasm of Malala to make changes for children, rights of women, and education come through loud and clear. She wrote a blog for the BBC and gave speeches and interviews fighting for the right for education of girls. I was surprised to learn she speaks three languages. Maybe one day she will be an activist or maybe even the President of Pakistan. Archie Panjabi did a great job narrating the book with all the various languages and accents. If you are interested in current events this is a must read book.

    More

    I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Malala Yousafzai
    • Narrated By Archie Panjabi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (680)
    Performance
    (615)
    Story
    (619)

    When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York.

    Jan says: "So much more than expected..."
  • "A trip to jail"

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    I have read a number of Jeffrey Archer books over the years and also knew he was a member of the House of Lords and a politician but was unaware he was sent to prison. Like many of the other readers I looked up to learn about his crimes. This book is book one of a series of four books in the Prison Diary series. I found it interesting and was surprised at his treatment by the other prisoners and staff. The day to day life of prison was enlightening as well as how many were there because of drugs. I could understand Archers point when he would write attention Mr. Home Secretary even though it could be considered self serving. I also noted how many of the prisoners said they would just take their punishment and get on with life. I am impressed that on his release that Archer is busy campaigning for prison reform. Martin Jarvis did a great job reading this book. Enjoyed the book and learned a lot.

    More

    A Prison Diary

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (203)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (45)

    On July 19, 2001, Jeffrey Archer is sentenced to four years in prison for perjury. He serves the first three weeks of his sentence in a high-prison that houses some of Britain's most violent criminals. Archer contemplates suicide; he is allowed out and followed by 100 reporters on the day of his mother's funeral; he's moved to the Lifer's wing because of the security; and he becomes a trusted confidant for fellow convicts. A Prison Diary is Archer's account of these events.

    Jeffrey says: "A Worthwhile Listen"
  • "Exquisite"

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    This is a beautifully written book and a difficult subject. This is not a sad book instead it is about a family of voracious readers who have a love of books and the story, message within. Will Schwalbe write about his day with his mother, Mary Ann Schwalbe, when he accompanies her for her chemotherapy treatment. Mary Ann had organized this in such a way she got to spend quality time with each of her children and her daughter-in-law. It becomes clear that she discussed books with each of her children and grandchildren. The book will provide you with a great reading list of books. When they discussed books I had read I was delighted to find I got a different insight into the book. The range of books read went from serious to the lighthearted comedy. The parents love of music came through in the story also. Mary Ann must have been a exceptional woman and very intelligent, I wish I had been given the privilege to know her. The way Schwalbe wrote the book I do feel as if I was part of her life for a time. This is book that will stay with you for a long time. This is a must read book for those who love to read.

    More

    The End of Your Life Book Club

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Will Schwalbe
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (399)
    Performance
    (354)
    Story
    (354)

    >"What are you reading?" That's the question Will Schwalbe asks his mother, Mary Anne, as they sit in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2007, Mary Anne returned from a humanitarian trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan suffering from what her doctors believed was a rare type of hepatitis. Months later she was diagnosed with a form of advanced pancreatic cancer, which is almost always fatal, often in six months or less. This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother.

    Mark says: "A good book, but not really for me."
  1. I Am Malala: The Girl Who...
  2. A Prison Diary
  3. The End of Your Life Book...
  4. .

Douglas

Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 09-01-12 Member Since 2008

College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

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  • "Absolute classic!"

    11 of 11 helpful votes

    Sachs does a marvelous job of taking one through the science of "sleepy sickness" and then immersing one in the lives of the poor souls affected by it. We see their "rebirth" into life and how some came to chose the return to total immobility once more. Like so much of Sachs' work, this is a strange and wondrous portrayal of neurology and this bizarre and glorious experience we call human life. (If you saw the movie years ago... be prepared for a rather long--but necessary primer on the science of the illness in the beginning of the book. It is not a novelization. It is first and foremost a science book.)

    More

    Awakenings

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Oliver Sacks
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Oliver Sacks
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (95)

    Awakenings - which inspired the major motion picture - is the remarkable story of a group of patients who contracted sleeping sickness during the great epidemic just after World War I. Frozen for decades in a trance-like state, these men and women were given up as hopeless until 1969, when Dr. Oliver Sacks gave them the then-new drug L-DOPA, which had an astonishing, explosive, "awakening" effect. Dr. Sacks recounts the moving case histories of his patients, their lives, and their extraordinary transformations.

    Douglas says: "Absolute classic!"

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    (0)

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    Wendy Law-Yone was 15 at the time of Burma's military coup in 1962. The daughter of Ed Law-Yone, daredevil proprietor of Rangoon Nation, Burma's leading postwar English-language daily, she experienced firsthand the perils and promises of a newly independent Burma. On the eve of Wendy's studies abroad, Ed Law-Yone was arrested, his newspaper shut down, and Wendy herself was briefly imprisoned. After his release, Ed fled to Thailand with his family, where he formed a government-in-exile.

  • Wolfsong in Georgia: Memoirs of a German Shepherd Dog Family (






UNABRIDGED) by Alice Lovejoy Carnahan Narrated by Kristin James

    Wolfsong in Georgia: Memoirs of a German Shepherd Dog Family

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 58 mins)
    • By Alice Lovejoy Carnahan
    • Narrated By Kristin James
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    Follow Delta and her puppies Oscar, Christmas, Bonnnie, Misha, and Alexandra from the pups' conception throughout their lives, in this memoir of a German Shepherd dog family. The stories highlight their triumphs and tragedies. These dogs comforted dying patients and their families, overcame immense adversity, and never lost their love for life and for people, from newborns to 90-year-olds.

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  • French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules (






UNABRIDGED) by Karen Le Billon Narrated by Cris Dukehart

    French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Karen Le Billon
    • Narrated By Cris Dukehart
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    When she moved her young family to her husband's hometown in northern France, Karen Le Billon expected some cultural adjustment. But she didn't expect to be lectured for slipping her fussing toddler a snack, or to be forbidden from packing her older daughter a school lunch. Karen is intrigued by the fact that French children happily eat everything-from beets to broccoli, from salad to spinach - while French obesity rates are a fraction of what they are in North America.

  • The Cuckoo Pen (






UNABRIDGED) by Fred Archer Narrated by Vincent Brimble

    The Cuckoo Pen

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Fred Archer
    • Narrated By Vincent Brimble
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    When Fred Archer was a boy, men’s voices were deep and mellow as they rang out following the plough, or in church on Sundays; a farmer could make a living with a herd of twenty cows; and each village had its own blacksmith and wheelwright. The Cuckoo Pen recreates those days of the 1920s and ‘30s when life was so different from today. Here was a time when workers enjoyed a mutual rapport, their long days of hard work punctuated only by the turning rhythm of the seasons and the pleasure of a chat.

  • Lad of Evesham Vale (






UNABRIDGED) by Fred Archer Narrated by Vincent Brimble

    Lad of Evesham Vale

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Fred Archer
    • Narrated By Vincent Brimble
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    Fred Archer, the master of the rural tale, has gathered together a fine collection of Worcestershire country folk. From the alluring barmaid Amy Lights – a “rural Venus” – to the Reverend Vernon, who rides a tricycle “religiously” and excels at funerals, all the characters embody earthy warmth and ruddy humour. Central to the tale is Sacco, a builder’s apprentice, who seduces the local girls and startles older folk with his much-prized motorbike. With a witty remark and a quick answer to all of life’s perplexing questions.

  • Hawthorn Farm (






UNABRIDGED) by Fred Archer Narrated by Daniel Philpott

    Hawthorn Farm

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Fred Archer
    • Narrated By Daniel Philpott
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    This is the story of a Worcestershire farm from the 1930s to the 1970s, highlighting the great changes in farming practices and the people who found themselves part of the agricultural and country life. Alongside the story of the owners, Fred Archer provides the listener with rich anecdotes of village life - the pea-picker and his gypsy wife, the excitement caused by the arrival of the land girls and the terrible effects of myxomatosis.

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  • Fred Archer, Farmer's Son (






UNABRIDGED) by Fred Archer Narrated by Brian Hewlett

    Fred Archer, Farmer's Son

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Fred Archer
    • Narrated By Brian Hewlett
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    Fred Archer grew up on his father’s farm in the Vale of Evesham in the 1920s, a time when the horse was supreme and shepherd, dairyman, and carter were kings within their callings. With wit and warmth, he describes local characters, and documents a forgotten rural life - the way an elevator pole was used to build a hayrick, how small boys were sent under cornricks to cut off with scissors hanging straws that mice could use as ladders, and how cottagers kept songbirds in cages.