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Jill

BROOKLYN, NY, United States | Member Since 2012

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 31 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
9

  • Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jenny Lawson
    • Narrated By Jenny Lawson
    Overall
    (1952)
    Performance
    (1784)
    Story
    (1798)

    For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris - Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut. Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives - the ones we'd like to pretend never happened - are in fact the ones that define us. In Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor.

    D. S. Smith says: "How the Bloggess almost made me crash my car!"
    "Should Have Hired a Voice Actor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) better?

    I have read Ms. Lawson's blog and I enjoy a lot of it. But these random stories are not interesting enough to keep me engaged for an entire book. I'll admit: I stopped listening midway.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jenny Lawson again?

    No. Again, I like her blog but her voice and accent are irritating.


    How could the performance have been better?

    It would have been 100% better if she did not weird sing/chant the chapter titles. I think that alone was enough to bias me against her entire performance. Seriously, her singing is the most irritating sound I've ever heard.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Parts of it are funny. Her dad bringing home a dead squirrel puppet? Hilarious and explains so much about who she is. But parts of it are just boring.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Melissa Explains It All: Tales from My Abnormally Normal Life

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Melissa Joan Hart
    • Narrated By Melissa Joan Hart
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (77)

    Thousands of young people consider Melissa Joan Hart an integral part of their childhoods. She played the title roles in the trailblazing Nickelodeon series Clarissa Explains It All and the wildly popular Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, but she never let fame go to her head.

    donna says: "Very Enjoyable listen LOVED IT !!"
    "Engaging Yet Hammy, Like Nickelodeon Acting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Melissa Explains It All? What did you like least?

    I loved hearing about how Melissa got started as a child actor: being brought to auditions by her mom, with her gaggle of siblings; being rewarded with new toys for bagging commercials?! Crazy.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The most interesting aspect is that she seems to have turned out pretty normal (with an expected degree of self-involvement, but then again, it's a memoir).

    The least interesting aspect is her relatively normal life these days: I was semi-interested in her meeting her husband and whatnot but then there's a whole chapter where she describes different types of theme parties she's planned and I'm shouting "Why am I listening to this??" (and I love theme parties).


    Do you think Melissa Explains It All needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No thank you.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • I Remember Me

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Carl Reiner
    • Narrated By Carl Reiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (59)

    For over half a century, millions have appreciated Carl Reiner's work as comedian, actor, director, TV writer and author. Winner of numerous accolades, including 12 Emmy wins and one Grammy award, Carl Reiner once again brandishes his literary talents to tell the story of his life in I Remember Me. Reiner reminisces on 90 years of love and laughter, highs and lows, mistakes and triumphs. Told with a warm heart and an occasional touch of nostalgia, Reiner draws from decades of family, friends and fun to illuminate his life and career as one of America's most loved and memorable figures.

    Teresa says: "Missed seeing the photos"
    "I Couldn't Get Through It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you ever listen to anything by Carl Reiner again?

    Maybe.


    Have you listened to any of Carl Reiner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The only thing I've listened to was his speech at the 92nd St Y and this had a couple of the same anecdotes.


    What character would you cut from I Remember Me?

    I was hoping this would be more of a show biz memoir, especially about how he created the Dick Van Dyke Show, but if it's in there, he took too long getting to it. He mentions early on in the book that he had already written another memoir so maybe it's in that one.


    Any additional comments?

    The part about how he was questioned during McCarthyism was fascinating. And the bit about how he met his wife. I hate to give a bad review to the great Carl Reiner but, truthfully, it was a lot of rambling stories about people I don't know. It's ok, he's doing fine without my rave review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Don't Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Judy Greer
    • Narrated By Judy Greer
    Overall
    (160)
    Performance
    (155)
    Story
    (153)

    You know Judy Greer, right? Wait, what was she in again? The Wedding Planner, 13 Going on 30, 27 Dresses, The Descendants. Yes, you totally recognize her. And, odds are, if you're like most women in America, you feel like she's already your friend. Thankfully, Greer has finally written a book of essays about all the moments, topics, observations, and confessions that you would hope to hear from your best friend.

    karyn says: "Yay!!! Another Audible Favorite!"
    "Engaging and Fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about I Don't Know What You Know Me From?

    It was a charming book read by a charming author. I enjoyed hearing about her day-to-day life on set, and also during her real life.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. It was cute and not terribly self-indulgent for a celebrity memoir but it's like a sugary snack: good for in between meals but I can only take so much in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish there were more details on how Ms. Greer got into the biz, her first auditions, her first roles (there were some anecdotes but not comprehensive). However, this is just my preferred subject, nothing I was promised. Overall, she seems down to earth and likable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Happy Accidents

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By Jane Lynch, Carol Burnett (foreword)
    • Narrated By Jane Lynch, Carol Burnett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (377)
    Performance
    (346)
    Story
    (347)

    In the summer of 1974, a 14-year-old girl in Dolton, Illinois, had a dream - a dream to become an actress. But it was a long way from the South Side of Chicago to Hollywood, and it didn’t help that she’d recently dropped out of the school play, The Ugly Duckling, or that the Hollywood casting directors she wrote to replied that "professional training was a requirement". But the funny thing is, it all came true....

    La Becket says: "I really wanted to love this"
    "Bravely Honest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Happy Accidents in three words, what would they be?

    funny, fascinating, enlightening


    What other book might you compare Happy Accidents to and why?

    Any other funny lady memoir. It's like a darker Bossy Pants. Or an older Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Probably most similar to Rachel Dratch's A Girl Walks Into A Bar or even Dick Van Dyke's My Lucky Life...


    What does Jane Lynch and Carol Burnett (foreword) bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Obviously you want to hear Jane Lynch's voice when reading her memoir.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    One moment with her step-daughter which I won't spoil for you. Just in general, her struggles with her sexuality and alcoholism were moving and illuminating.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the best memoir I've read since Bossypants. Jane Lynch's life is fascinating, lucky, and at times, embarrassing. Definitely worth a read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Next Best Thing: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Jennifer Weiner
    • Narrated By Olivia Thirlby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (318)
    Performance
    (275)
    Story
    (280)

    At 23, Ruth Saunders headed west with her 70-year-old grandma in tow, hoping to be hired as a television writer. Four years later, she's hit the jackpot when she gets The Call: the sitcom she wrote, The Next Big Thing, has gotten the green light, and Ruthie's going to be the show-runner. But her dreams of Hollywood happiness are threatened by demanding actors, number-crunching executives, an unrequited crush on a boss, and her grandmother's impending nuptials.

    Rebecca says: "Funny Story!"
    "Read the Abridged Version"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The protagonist (Ruth) is too passive and has no confidence. Ok, you have scars on your face. That must be hard. But you're a successful TV writer. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and stop complaining that nobody will ever love you because of your scars. Try online dating or something. She continually gives in to everyone in her professional life and she's even passive in the final resolution of her love life (no spoilers). It's hard to root for someone who can barely root for herself.

    One more thing, which has to be said... the book (unintentionally) has a moral of "It doesn't matter if you don't love yourself. Just find a man to love you and everything will be ok."


    If you’ve listened to books by Jennifer Weiner before, how does this one compare?

    I have not.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration was too slow.


    Was The Next Best Thing worth the listening time?

    Depends how much time you have on your hands. There were a lot of things about this book that made me mad but, as someone interested in TV production, the subject matter was interesting. Ultimately, I did want to know what would happen next and I felt myself getting angry on Ruth's behalf as she got continually screwed in the pilot development process.


    Any additional comments?

    There were so many times that I wanted to yell, "I don't care what everyone in the room is wearing!" "I don't care about every item of food and drink that you served for dinner!" "Why, oh why, are you telling me everything that is contained in your grandmother's purse? Why??"

    This is the problem with audiobooks. If I were reading, I would have just skimmed over these parts. This is why I recommend the abridged version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Dick Van Dyke
    • Narrated By Dick Van Dyke
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (313)
    Performance
    (258)
    Story
    (258)

    Dick Van Dyke, indisputably one of the greats of the golden age of television, is admired and beloved by audiences the world over for his beaming smile, his physical dexterity, his impeccable comic timing, his ridiculous stunts, and his unforgettable screen roles.

    Richard says: "Still Inspires Me and Funny."
    "Fascinating Story of a Fascinating Man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version but I thought Dick Van Dyke's performance was great.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dick Van Dyke is a really interesting, deep thinker. Not only did I enjoy his stories about his shows and movies, but I appreciated his thoughts on religion and the meaning of life. We could all learn a lot from him.


    Have you listened to any of Dick Van Dyke’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Some of the reviews I read implied that DVD was too old to be reading at 85 years old, and that his voice sounded weak. I did not find that at all. I am aware that he is old, but his voice is strong and so is his performance.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It definitely pulls you in. Some parts are slower than others but it kept me engaged throughout.


    Any additional comments?

    Will probably listen to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Warren Littlefield, T. R. Pearson
    • Narrated By Bob Balaban
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (98)
    Story
    (96)

    Warren Littlefield was the NBC President of Entertainment who oversaw the Peacock Network’s rise from also-ran to a division that generated a billion dollars in profits. In this fast-paced and exceptionally entertaining oral history, Littlefield and NBC luminaries including Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Kelsey Grammer, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Julianna Marguiles, Anthony Edwards, Noah Wylie, Debra Messing, Jack Welch, Jimmy Burrows, Helen Hunt, and Dick Wolf vividly recapture the incredible era of Must See TV.

    Simone says: "A Fun Flashback of 90s TV!"
    "Nostalgic Look at NBC in the 90's"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Top of the Rock the most enjoyable?

    Hearing about the exciting events of the time from my favorite writers and stars.


    What other book might you compare Top of the Rock to and why?

    Live From New York (the SNL book). EXCEPT this book is much, much better to listen to because it (a) is not as long and boring, and (b) only has one narrator. The SNL book had too many narrators, which was really distracting.


    What about Bob Balaban’s performance did you like?

    He did a good job of reflecting the meaning of the words behind the quotes, without trying to imitate Seinfeld, for example.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It's not that kind of book. But I guess the most impressive thing was all the moving parts that went into the successful spinoff of Frasier, especially considering how many things could have gone wrong, and how many spinoff disasters there have been before and since.


    Any additional comments?

    Really awesome book for anyone that loves TV.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 'Hello', Lied the Agent: And Other Bullshit You Hear as a Hollywood TV Writer

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Ian Gurvitz
    • Narrated By Ian Gurvitz
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (14)

    Most of us have no concept of what goes into creating a show, getting it on the air, and keeping it on. Perhaps we assume that the people in charge simply decide what amuses them at the moment, make those shows, stick them on, and wait to see if the public responds. Or maybe they just throw darts at a board? The truth, as with most things, is more complicated. In 'Hello', Lied the Agent, Ian Gurvitz has produced a corrosively funny insider's look at what being a television writer is really all about.

    Debbie Richards says: "Interesting"
    "Cynical but Amusing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to 'Hello', Lied the Agent again? Why?

    Yes, I probably will. I'm interested in the television industry and he gave a very detailed account of what it's like to try to get a show (or 5) on the air. It was a unique insight you don't often find, especially since most books are written by people who got lucky and succeeded. This was a more average, win some/lose some perspective.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of 'Hello', Lied the Agent?

    At one point, he was saving the empty water bottle from every meeting he had and throwing it on the passenger side floor of his car. That visual sticks with me. He thought if he could just have a few more meetings, he could make his living on bottle deposits.


    Which character – as performed by Ian Gurvitz – was your favorite?

    It was a memoir, so...


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me laugh often. It was a little too dark and depressing at times, but did not make me cry.


    Any additional comments?

    There were a few slow points, some times when I got tired of his voice, or when it got too cynical. But overall it was funny and worth listening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Here We Go Again: My Life In Television

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Betty White
    • Narrated By Betty White
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (47)

    "Here is Betty White - a woman who has been on television forever!" is generally how Betty White is introduced. And quite accurately, too, since she first appeared in 1949, when both she and television were rank beginners. Since then, she has had one of the most amazing careers in TV, winning five Emmy awards, creating such unforgettable characters as Sue Ann Nivens and Rose Nylund, and appearing in a host of television classics.

    Paul D Jenkins says: "Betty's Life Story Is Amazing!"
    "Interesting Life, Cheerful Stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Here We Go Again again? Why?

    Maybe, in a really long time from now. I'm always interested in hearing how actors got their starts and Betty White is particularly interesting because she started around the same time as TV. However, there are some slow parts.


    What other book might you compare Here We Go Again to and why?

    It's a rather short memoir. While entertaining, not a comedy book. I don't really know what to compare it to.


    Have you listened to any of Betty White’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No it was pretty even throughout. There were some funny and sad parts but Betty kept it pretty light.


    Any additional comments?

    Interesting story, slow at times. Worth the price.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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