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  • The Year of Magical Thinking

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Joan Didion
    • Narrated By Barbara Caruso

    "Life changes fast....You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends." These were among the first words Joan Didion wrote in January 2004. Her daughter was lying unconscious in an intensive care unit, a victim of pneumonia and septic shock. Her husband, John Gregory Dunne, was dead. The night before New Year's Eve, while they were sitting down to dinner, he suffered a massive and fatal coronary. The two had lived and worked side by side for nearly 40 years.

    Darwin8u says: "Sharp, sometimes funny, but always clear & precise"
    "The Puzzle of Grief"

    This book is a tremendous effort to express the complicated grief process that one person went through after the sudden death of their spouse. It is touching, sometimes distressing, and sometimes confusing, much like the grief process itself.

    I felt compelled to write a review since so many reviews here seem to criticism Ms. Didion for not grieving in the correct way or not expressing her grief in the right way. This is a memoir. It is about her life and her experienes. It doesn't follow any rules and I believe that is the point. She is letting you experience her grief experience. She's not talking about everyone's grief experience or how you should grieve.

    Overall it was a very interesting and insightful read. If you don't enjoy memiors, however, you might not enjoy the style. But this is an excellent book.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Crime Beat: A Decade of Covering Cops and Killers

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Howard Samuel

    Before he became a novelist, Michael Connelly was a crime reporter, covering the detectives who worked the homicide beat in Florida and Los Angeles. In vivid, hard-hitting articles, Connelly leads the reader past the yellow police tape as he follows the investigators, the victims, their families and friends, and, of course, the killers, to tell the real stories of murder and its aftermath.

    William says: "Don't confuse with his fiction"
    "not like a Connelly"

    If you are purchasing this to have a good Connelly read, you might think again. This is much slower and dryer than his novels and there is less to keep one engaged as a listener.

    Though some of the stories are interesting, especially ones that have more than one article, overall it just doesn't work. The writing is, of course, very good but collecting what is meant to be read in a newspaper somehow just didn't work as a book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Candice Millard
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt's harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.

    Stephen says: "River of Doubt"

    I do not often read history but my husband told me I should check this out. It was a great read. It's engaging and entertaining both for its historical information and also as a story. You feel as though you are tumbling down the river with everyone just wondering what is around the next bend.

    Good reader.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • My Life

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Bill Clinton
    • Narrated By Bill Clinton

    President Bill Clinton's My Life is the strikingly candid portrait of a global leader who decided early in life to devote his intellectual and political gifts, and his extraordinary capacity for hard work, to serving the public. It is the fullest, most concretely detailed, most nuanced account of a presidency ever written, and a testament to the positive impact on America and on the world of his work and his ideals.

    Drayton says: "Less than I expected"
    "Not a great book but worth the listen"

    I believe, like many other reviewers here, that Bill Clinton is capable of writing a more engaging and insightful book that this one. It is very fact- and time-based but rarely offers the deep personal reflection on events that one hopes for in an autobiography. That said, however, it was interesting to hear all the details about Clinton's career and family in his own words and I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning more about his life.

    A large number of reviewers and people seem to have reduced Clinton's presidency to the Lewinsky affair and wish he would have spent more time on it. I, for one, was delighted that he discussed it in limited detail and tried to keep it a personal matter between him and his family. Don't look here for salacious details and hysterical rants about the affair. For that go to the Starr report or Lewinsky's own book.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Mothman Prophecies

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By John A. Keel
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson

    West Virginia, 1966. For thirteen months the town of Point Pleasant is gripped by a real-life nightmare that culminates in a tragedy that makes headlines around the world. Strange occurrences and sightings, including a bizarre winged apparition that becomes known as the Mothman, trouble this ordinary American community. And journalist John Keel, arriving to investigate the freakish events, soon finds himself an integral part of an eerie and unfathomable mystery.

    Marc says: "Smart, compelling, disturbing"
    "Not really a book"

    This is not really a book but a series of loosely connected anecdotes. They generally start something like this - On June 13, 1961 while Bob Smith was walking down the street he encounter a large bat-like creature.

    The problems with this book are not related to the subject matter but how it is presented. Lots of random sightings that aren't linked together into any kind of narrative and are not supported by much fact.

    I am very interested in this topic but this book was completely unengaging.

    8 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Drowning Ruth

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Christina Schwarz
    • Narrated By Blair Brown
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Deftly written and emotionally powerful, Drowning Ruth is a stunning portrait of the ties that bind sisters together and the forces that tear them apart, of the dangers of keeping secrets and the explosive repercussions when they are exposed. A mesmerizing and achingly beautiful debut.

    Steven says: "Drowning Ruth"
    "Perhaps Overrated"

    I was disappointed with this book, especially after the rave reviews I read here.

    First, it is difficult to follow because the story changes viewpoint character (sometimes from scene to scene) and also changes point of view. It is mostly told in third-person but jumps to first-person for little asides by the two main characters. These feel almost amateurish, as if the author didn't know how to work them into the story. Another problem is that the author choose two nicknames for two different characters that sound and read similarly, Matty and Mandy.

    Second, the story itself lacks focus. There are large sections of story that don't have much to do with anything. One character is off thinking something or doing something but it doesn't have any effect on anyone else nor does it impact the plot.

    Third, though the "suspense" of the story isn't revealed until the ending it did not seem strong enough to this reader to carry the whole book.

    Also, this reader had problems with some of the actions of the main characters. They didn't seem to make sense and were never adequately explained.

    Overall this book was probably worth listening to but was not as good as the reviews here would lead one to expect.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Running with Scissors: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Augusten Burroughs
    • Narrated By Augusten Burroughs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Running with Scissors is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of being Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her psychiatrist, a dead ringer for Santa and a lunatic in the bargain.

    Arthur Held says: "NOT what I was expecting"
    "Great story (but not for everyone)"

    This is a fabulously funny tale of the author's unbelievably wacky up-bringing. Wild beyond belief at times but anyone who has been unfortunate to have met the type of shrink that his family ran into can relate. Some of the lower ratings numbers probably come from the fact that the author openly discusses his own homosexuality and describes some male/male sex scenes.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Middlesex

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By Kristoffer Tabori

    In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry-blonde classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop physically - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

    Christopher Allen walker says: "Great Pulitzer Winning novel!"
    "Engaging, Exciting and utterly memorable"

    I picked out this book without knowing anything about it. It was one of the top books I've experienced with Audible. Completely engaging from start to finish. Never dull. Rich, lush, and unique.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Life of Pi

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

    Theresa says: "Best audio of the year for me"

    A truly surprising tale that on the surface appears to tell one story but really is telling another. The kind of book you could read more than once and kept finding new things to be amazed by. Not for readers without imagination and vision.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris

    David Sedaris' collection of essays - including live recordings! - tells a most unconventional life story. With every clever turn of a phrase, Sedaris brings a view and a voice like no other to every unforgettable encounter. You can also listen to Sedaris in an interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air.

    Amazon Customer says: "You will ROFL"
    "funny and insightful"

    This collection of essays keeps you laughing. The main purpose seems to be humor, but the essays also offer insight into some serious topics. Overall a good listen. My only complaint would be that I wanted more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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