Such a good book ! Written and narrated beautifully by Alan Cumming, Scottish brogue and all -- a forthright, heartfelt sharing of his life as the son of an angry, abusive father and a loving mother. Family mysteries come to light, and are painfully and slowly exposed. When he is a featured guest on "Who Do You Think You Are" in 2010, information and answers to the mysteries evolve. This is Alan and his brother's journey, with surprises along the way, as they grow to understand their father and their maternal grandfather, to find peace with difficult, failed, and lost relationships. And, untimately, to honor their grandfather by fundraising for current soldiers of war and traveling to his final resting place, at their abusive father's expense. Very well told, alternating chapters between childhood and the present day.
Addy Baum, 85 year old "Boston Girl," tells the story of her life to her granddaughter, with wit, reflection, and the comfortable honesty that skipping a generation in a relationship can bring out. The story opens with Addy's family. Jewish immigrants, living in The North End, Boston in the early 1900's. Local and world history and the Boston setting were richly woven into the telling of her story along with those of family, friends, co-workers. Kept me engaged from start to finish.. Linda Lavin was the perfect narrator as Addy.
I LOVED listening to this book. I'm in the age range of Amy's parents, never watched SNL much, have watched Parks and Recreation. Amy is thoughtful, funny, honest, reflective -- so real, someone who'd be a great friend. Her guests who share comments/read sections only add to the enjoyable narration. Maybe I'll listen to the book again - it's very possible !
Well narrated, interestingly written. Journalist, Marya Mills respectfully, with humor and affection, shares her observations and the stories she gleans from Nell Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird), and Nell's older sister, Alice -- in their 70's & 90's, respectively, when Mills meets and develops a close friendship with them. It is with their blessing that she documents their stories as well as those shared by friends and others from their Alabama hometown, with the intent that Harper Lee's life is truthfully told.
I'm now going to read To Kill a Mockingbird again!
I started this book with doubt -- from description and reviews it sounded underwhelming; and it was banal for the first part of the book. While on the one hand Stoner seems to let life happen to him rather than at least making people and circumstances meet him halfway; he does make decisions that sometimes improve his life, that reflect his principles, that are sensitive to those arround him, that keep life on an even keel which seems to be his preference. In the grand scheme of things, his life did not leave much of a mark, but then, isn't that true for the majority. For at least the last half of the book, I was drawn to listening to the book whenever I could.
The writing is exquisite and crisp. Stoner's inner thoughts, reactions, wishes, emotions were insightful and felt so real.
Well written. Loved this book; loved the several narrators for the different characters. Spanish immigrants from from several western hemisphere countries come to Wilmington, Delaware and their stories unfold. Their dreams, feelings, goals were like anyone's so that ethnicity and education seemed irrelevant. I could "see" and feel their challenges of being immigrants,their hesitations and questions as they learned about a new country and culture, their successes & failures & frustrations & love & anger & despair. All of this is wrapped in the stories of 2 families who meet in their housing complex, of the son, Mayor, who befriend's the other family's teenage daughter who suffered brain damage after an accident, of the paths their lives take as half truths, events untold, and miscommunications lead to innocent and unintended outcomes.
The author includes immigrants from several Spanish speaking countries-- some for only a chapter -- as a way to share the differences in origins and what it is like to be looked at "as all the same," with, in this case, Americans not trying to get to know and see each person as an individual. Personally, it put a possible identity to the person who delivers our newspaper every morning of the year. This is Maribel's story, too -- of her parents' love and concern since the accident that handicaps their seeing her as she now is and can be; of Mayor's acceptance and caring for who she is now, and the growth that this relationship fosters. Everyone gains insight, but not without cost.
3 1/2 stars, thus gave it a 4. Insightful, sensitive novel,told through teenager, Hazel, as she deals with incurable cancer, manages friendships and family relationships , falls in love, suffers what major and incurable diseases bring to her and those she loves. Hazel is a bright young woman who brings humor and perspective to those she's with, including an author she and her boyfriend travel to Europe to meet and find to be bitter and mean. The author treats all of the characters with respect and understanding of their perspectives, needs, and feelings. Interesting interview with the author at the end of the audio version.
Narrated with an engaging, friendly, bits of humor delivery by Ms. Bacall. Respectful of others, she shares what she admires and loves about others to the extent that they are part of her story. She tells of her humble beginnings in NYC, her loving & supportive mother, of following her passion for acting, traveling widely, meeting and working with what seems all of the greats in theater and movies over her lifetime, losing the love of her life too soon, loving being the mother of 3 children and a friend to many. The forthright style is who she is, I think, but I'm wondering if the nonabridged version might have felt less succinct -- thus the 3 rather than 4 stars for this version.
I thoroughly enjoyed Anna Quindlen's narration of her memoir, as always, beautifully written -- told as reflections on experiences in her life -- the women's movement,the illness and early death of her mother, childrearing, making room for adult children in the working world, being a writer, holidays/family traditions, menopause, exercise, and much more. Liberally sprinkled with humor and insight -- felt as though she was sharing with me personally. I plan to buy a hard copy of the book as there are quips and portions I'd like to reread and share with others.
If I'd been reading the hard copy I would have sat in a chair and not gotten up till I'd finished it. But, I'm glad I chose the audio version -- the two narrators were perfect and I felt as though Sarah & Handful were telling me their stories. Between my iPad and iPhone, I listened to it at home and in the car, once forgetting an errand because I was so into the story. In the last chapter the author narrates the background for her coming to this story -- it's being based on real Charleston sisters, Sarah & Angelina Grimke, who lived in the early-mid 19th century. Ms. Kidd weaves a compelling story of their lives as southern children, daughters, women -- women of conscience, women who evolve, along with a Grimke slave, Handful, who is about Sarah's age. Her mother sets an example for Handful of finding ways no matter one's situation, to value one's self and to take risks that are just and right. An excellent book, an excellent audio book!
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