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Diane

United States | Member Since 2008

186
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 59 reviews
  • 174 ratings
  • 434 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
67

  • God Said,'Ha!'

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 48 mins)
    • By Julia Sweeney
    • Narrated By Julia Sweeney
    Overall
    (270)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (110)

    In one year Julia Sweeney got a divorce (amicable), bought a small bungalow in Hollywood, and looked forward to a life that said, "Here dwells a happily single young woman!" But then the axe fell. Her younger brother, Mike, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and moved in with her. Her parents came to be with Mike and moved in with her, too. Julia was now on seriously intimate terms with the people she had spent half a lifetime growing up away from.

    Haley says: "Resonated Big Time"
    "Julia Sweeney is always great!"
    Overall

    I'm a huge fan and was not disappointed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • No Land's Man: A Perilous Journey through Romance, Islam, and Brunch

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Aasif Mandvi
    • Narrated By Aasif Mandvi
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (18)

    If you're an Indo-Muslim-British-American actor who has spent more time in bars than mosques over the past few decades, turns out it's a little tough to explain who you are or where you are from. In No Land's Man Aasif Mandvi explores this and other conundrums through stories about his family, ambition, desire, and culture that range from dealing with his brunch-obsessed father, to being a high-school-age Michael Jackson impersonator, to joining a Bible study group in order to seduce a nice Christian girl, to improbably becoming America's favorite Muslim/Indian/Arab/Brown/Doctor correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

    The Reading Date says: "Witty and Thoughtful"
    "Fun and fast moving"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This an amusing, intelligent, and interesting book about being Aasif Mandvi, well performed by the author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Men Are Stupid...And They Like Big Boobs: A Woman's Guide to Beauty Through Plastic Surgery

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Joan Rivers
    • Narrated By Joan Rivers
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    A social commentary, comedy, memoir, and practical, info-packed journey into beauty treatments including plastic surgery, Men Are Stupid... is for every woman who wants to improve herself, giving the average woman a step-by-step guide on how to look and feel gorgeous, delivered with Joan's signature sense of humor.

    Diane says: "Serious book about plastic surgery"
    "Serious book about plastic surgery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not a book of jokes. Joan Rivers speaks frankly and technically about every kind of cosmetic surgery one can imagine. Her information is well-researched and thorough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Lori Duron
    • Narrated By Lori Duron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (86)

    Raising My Rainbow is Lori Duron’s frank, heartfelt, and brutally funny account of her and her family's adventures of distress and happiness raising a gender-creative son. Whereas her older son, Chase, is a Lego-loving, sports-playing boy's boy, her younger son, C.J., would much rather twirl around in a pink sparkly tutu, with a Disney Princess in each hand while singing Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi".

    Pamela Dale Foster says: "Loving CJ"
    "Recommend"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have little to add to the myriad positive reviews (see Amazon) except to say that, unlike several books I have listened to recently, this one was particularly well edited (with the exception of a couple of obvious glitches). The book flowed quickly – the author provides ample detail yet never lingers too long to make a point, a delicate balance that I especially appreciate in audiobooks. I never found myself wishing to fast-forward or take a break. In fact, I listened to this book almost non-stop.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News - and Divided a Country

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Gabriel Sherman
    • Narrated By Erik Singer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (134)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (118)

    When Rupert Murdoch enlisted Roger Ailes to launch a cable news network in 1996, American politics and media changed forever. Now, with a remarkable level of detail and insight, New York magazine reporter Gabriel Sherman brings Ailes’s unique genius to life, along with the outsize personalities - Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, Sarah Palin, Karl Rove, Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, and others - who have helped Fox News play a defining role in the great social and political controversies of the past two decades.

    Lawrence says: "A Monumental Achievement"
    "Needs better editing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was disappointed in this book (and too bored to finish it). Like him or not, Roger Ailes is a fascinating character. This book, however, was too inclusive of every detail of Ailes career to hold my attention. The relevant bits are diluted in a vast dump of information, which is too bad because this is an important and interesting subject.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Bonobo and the Atheist

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Frans de Waal
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (76)

    In this lively and illuminating discussion of his landmark research, esteemed primatologist Frans de Waal argues that human morality is not imposed from above but instead comes from within. Moral behavior does not begin and end with religion but is in fact a product of evolution. For many years, de Waal has observed chimpanzees soothe distressed neighbors and bonobos share their food. Now he delivers fascinating fresh evidence for the seeds of ethical behavior in primate societies that further cements the case for the biological origins of human fairness.

    Gary says: "Masterful presentation of interesting topic"
    "The parts about primates were great..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    De Waal’s stories about apes, which were weaved throughout his book, were fascinating and enlightening. De Waal is, after all, an expert on the subject. Not as enlightening, however, were his insights about atheists and atheism. He was dismissive of great thinkers such as Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and the late Christopher Hitchens, often quoting them out of context in order to make a point. Yet, I often had trouble understanding what point he was trying to make as his arguments were contradictory: moral norms exist in primates and other mammals and are in inherent in humans, yet human society requires religion to enforce moral behavior; religion is a man-made concept, yet we should continue to pretend that it’s not because it brings comfort and thus is an essential and necessary part of human existence.

    I don’t enjoy this narrator as he comes across as condescending.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Dad Is Fat

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jim Gaffigan
    • Narrated By Jim Gaffigan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1917)
    Performance
    (1782)
    Story
    (1774)

    In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald's, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children - everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to toddlers’ communication skills ("they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news"), to the eating habits of four-year-olds ("there is no difference between a four-year-old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor").

    Sean says: "Good for Gaffigan fans - better for expecting dads"
    "Yawn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a cautionary tale about pro-creating beyond one’s means. The author describes the mundane life of raising five young children. It’s mostly boring, at times depressing, and not funny.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1618)
    Performance
    (1418)
    Story
    (1422)

    Prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial Vincent Bugliosi held a unique insider's position in one of the most baffling and horrifying cases of the 20th century: the cold-blooded Tate-LaBianca murders carried out by Charles Manson and four of his followers. What motivated Manson in his seemingly mindless selection of victims, and what was his hold over the young women who obeyed his orders? Now available for the first time in unabridged audio, the gripping story of this famous and haunting crime is brought to life by acclaimed narrator Scott Brick.

    Larry says: "What a great book."
    "Too much detail"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listening to Helter Skelter was like trying to sip water from a fire hydrant. Too much of a good thing. The reader emerges from this book knowing absolutely everything there is to know about the Manson murders. I quit listening about 75% of the way through and I still feel like an expert on the subject. But the book would be more enjoyable – more of a "page-tuner" – if it had been less detailed and repetitive (especially less repetitive).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Billy Crystal
    • Narrated By Billy Crystal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1936)
    Performance
    (1767)
    Story
    (1760)

    Billy Crystal is 65, and he's not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt. In humorous chapters like ""Buying the Plot"" and ""Nodding Off,"" Crystal not only catalogues his physical gripes, but offers a road map to his 77 million fellow baby boomers who are arriving at this milestone age with him. He also looks back at the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, from entertaining his relatives as a kid in Long Beach, Long Island, and his years doing stand-up in the Village, up through his legendary stint at Saturday Night Live, When Harry Met Sally, and his long run as host of the Academy Awards. Listeners get a front-row seat to his one-day career with the New York Yankees (he was the first player to ever ""test positive for Maalox""), his love affair with Sophia Loren, and his enduring friendships with several of his idols, including Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali. He lends a light touch to more serious topics like religion (""the aging friends I know have turned to the Holy Trinity: Advil, bourbon, and Prozac""); grandparenting; and, of course, dentistry. As wise and poignant as they are funny, Crystal's reflections are an unforgettable look at an extraordinary life well lived.

    Pamela J says: "Growing up with Billy Crystal"
    "I expected more from Billy Crystal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you enjoy the typical celebrity memoire, then this book is for you. It’s bursting with antidotes about Billy Crystal’s charmed life, his rise to celebrity, and lots and lots of name dropping. As a bonus, he includes some stand-up sets performed in front of a live audience, which are okay, but contain mostly reheated jokes about growing old.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Michael Pollan
    • Narrated By Michael Pollan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (739)
    Performance
    (659)
    Story
    (660)

    In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements - fire, water, air, and earth - to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer. In the course of his journey, he discovers that the cook occupies a special place in the world....

    Michael says: "Very enjoyable listen!"
    "Long-winded"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fans of Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” may be disappointed (as I was). “Cooked” contains ample material to justify the purchase of this book, but unfortunately the material is overwhelmed by fluff and repetition. Had an editor slashed about 50% of the text - the excess words between the information - I would have given this book 5 stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Temple Grandin, Richard Panek
    • Narrated By Andrea Gallo
    Overall
    (148)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (131)

    Temple Grandin teaches listeners the science of the autistic brain, and with it the history and sociology of autism. By being autistic--by being able to look from the inside out and from the outside in--the author's insights are not just unique, they're groundbreaking. According to Temple, our understanding of autism has been perhaps fundamentally wrong for the past 70 years.

    Cynthia says: "So Much More than the Title. Listen to this book!"
    "Delivers as promises"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I hesitate to write a critical review because this book is amazingly well researched and written. Temple Grandin is, without doubt, a ground-breaking expert in this area and has invaluable insights to offer, especially for people who have personal experience with autism. I just didn’t find the writing (or reading, which was too slow) all that compelling; I actually fell asleep a few times while listening in the car (as a passenger). I must stress, however, that it’s the writing, not the content, that left me wanting. For comparison, I read her book, “Animals in Translation” and couldn’t put it down, which is why I chose this book to begin with.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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