I wanted to read OITNB, so that I could watch the series on Netflix. I wasn't sure what I was getting into - if it was a social experiment, a joke, or a scary tale of a woman doing hard time. It was none of those. It is a recollection of the author's experience in Danbury prison for 13 months. Prisoned in Danbury, she clearly could not have had the typical prison experience. I was shocked at how cushioned her time was. It was not how I expected prison to be. Granted, her offense did not warrant maximum security or lockdown, it is a bit unsettling to hear how comfortable she and other prisoners were kept off of my tax dollars.
Kerman not only describes her experience at jail in detail but her offense that led her to prison time as well. Her romance with her friend-turned-boyfriend-turned-fiancee, Larry, is also described heavily in the book. It was amazing the loyalty that people must show when dealing with someone in jail because there are so many obstacles against them. Overall, this novel details all aspects of her prison experience - she even describes having her annual OB/GYN check-up in prison (it did not sound pleasant in the least).
One thing that I did appreciate about Kerman's tale was that she gave her fellow inmates personalities. When I think of female prisoners, I think of a rough around the edges, butch, scary woman - not a tender caretaker personality like Pop or Natalie. It showed me that whatever their offenses are or were, there is still good in them.
Piper Kerman's book is enlightening in the sense that now I have a better idea of what goes on in prison and through the justice system. It was disappointing in the severity of her and her other inmate's punishment (although I don't believe her particular crime justified it anyway). It was frustrating hearing her complain about what she felt entitled to and what she didn't have or was missing. Although, it seemed quite inhumane that she was not granted permission to attend her grandmother's funeral. That was incomprehensible!
If anything, Kerman's description of her experience in jail will open up discussions regarding the prison system. For example, processes like reintegration, that she described as lackluster, should be given attention to. Corruption in the jail system should be eradicated. I know for me, comfortable or not, I never want to share her experience!
All audiobooks should be like this one! Anne Hathaway gave an exquisite performance. There were times that I forgot that it was her reading and not a dozen other people. She truly brought this story to life!
This was such a pleasant listen. At times, it was quite different to how I remember the movie, but nonetheless still entertaining. I greatly appreciated how innocent this story was. It truly seemed like child's play - as if kids were playing "imagination".
This was a great listen and a great investment. When I feel as if life is getting too serious, I will definitely play this again to come back down to earth!
This was by far so much better than I anticipated. I never intended on listening to #GirlBoss because I couldn't get past how cheesy the title was, but Goodreads offered this audiobook for free. So hey, who can say no to free? At only a little over 4 hours long, I expected some boring tale of how some rich girl stayed rich. Well, don't judge a book by it's cover because if that's the kind of book you're looking for...keep looking!
I've never heard of NastyGal or Sophia Amoruso, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear she was just like me - a regular girl. She managed through hard work, diligence, and (she does not believe in luck) a persistent drive, to create a million dollar company - all before the age of 30!
Amoruso's candid advice of how to become a girlboss was not intimidating, unlike other self-help books that can be overwhelming. I think a big part of that was due to the fact that she is just like the average Jane - trying to make it and get by; but she did much more than that. She became it.
I'm definitely encouraged to become a girlboss after reading this. It is more than inspiring - it is encouraging and I feel as if my dreams are within my reach after listening to this book. The narrator also helped in this sentiment - because she sounded like a girl next door. I promise you will finish this book feeling like "If Sophia can do it, I know I can!".
I had so many mixed emotions while listening to this book.
For one, it was a bit slow to begin with, so I struggled to get through the first two hours. I didn't see what everyone was talking about - how great of a story it was. I was more interested in that ill-fated day than her life story and her familial history; however, in hindsight, that background was appropriate. (In case you're wondering, it should be noted that the actual shooting and the events after the shooting probably account for 1/3 of the actual story.)
Secondly, I was amazed that a girl so young was so passionate about education and the rights of her people. As an American, where such freedoms are taken for granted, it was absolutely impressive and commendable. Most 12 year old females (or males) for that instance that I know of could care less if they go to school. She just seemed so much wiser than her age.
Lastly, my eyes were opened to lives of those in the Swat and surrounding regions. It as absolutely terrifying to learn of the constant presence of the Taliban. My heart cried out for Malala and those that still have to live in fear of them.
I'm glad that I read this book - it was very educational for me. It's definitely a book everyone should read - to gain perspective and to appreciate the freedoms that many take for granted.
This was such a boring and predictable listen. The narrator's voice did not help either - I caught myself dozing off on more than one occasion - truly disappointed.
What bothered me the most was how predictable the listen was. I know a lot of romance novels are predictable but maybe this just isn't a good book for audio.
I finished this audiobook in record time - in about three days! It was that good!
I bought this book with the idea that this was another book exploring the challenges of infidelity in marriages but it was so much more than that. The characters in Liane Moriarty's novel faced infidelity, tragedies, and the day to day hustle and bustle we call life. While she details the present day occurrences that her characters deal with, she also employs flashback in between, to describe the actual events of the ill-fated day. My mouth was left on the floor by the time I finished listening!
I'm not sure why there are people who dislike this book so much because it had me from the first word! It was very fast paced and energetic. I definitely say to give it a try!
This was such a moving account of a woman's journey through her diagnosis and day to day life of living with ALS. Before reading this book, I was quite unfamiliar with ALS but Spencer-Wendel does a phenomenal job of explaining how debilitating this disease could be. My mouth dropped to the ground when she described how transculent her hand was right before she started seeking medical care that led up to her diagnosis. I sympathized for her when she detailed her gradual loss of all of her muscles - even her tongue. It was devastating to hear someone go through this - I can't imagine what her family and her had to endure.
With that being said, her title did her story justice. She did in fact live with joy. Little things that healthy women take for granted - such as applying make-up - she became proactive about. For example, she made sure that she wouldn't need to worry about not being able to put on make-up or having someone else do it. She simply had make-up permanently tattooed to her! How ingenious! She discovered (spoiler alert) her birth parents and even traveled to Greece to reconnect with some family. There are healthy people that haven't been able to travel anywhere outside of the States so to hear her travel, not once but twice, to Greece was commending.
I was inspired by her bravery and her refusal to succumb willingly to ALS. Even though she had a definite death sentence, she managed to still live her life. It was amazing - a very inspirational read! Unfortunately, she recently passed but I hope that her legacy continues to live on through her family and children. It's never good-bye Mrs. Spencer-Wendel, but we will see you later!
Cycle of Lies was a true eye opener to not only what Lance Armstrong did but to the history of cycling. Prepare yourself for a jaw opener because it was truly unbelievable what Armstrong and his fellow cyclists put their bodies through in order to win. Blood doping, the use of testosterone and cortisone, as well as EPO were all employed to achieve cycling domination. What was equally astonishing was his arrogance. He vehemently denied doping throughout his career until he was forced into a corner and even then he was anything but remorseful. "If everyone was doing it, then it was not cheating." Never mind the physical consequences that he and others riders put themselves through by taking these toxic drugs - winning was all that mattered.
Besides relating about his cycling career and personal life, there are quite a few mentions of the charity, LiveStrong, that he founded and how it was affected by his "victories" and then ultimate downfall. It is a shame that such a positive cause was diminished by the selfish actions of one person. What's even more discouraging is the fact that he tries to justify his doping and actions by arguing that he helped millions of cancer patients with his charity.
Macur did a great job at writing from a neutral standpoint. She could have been more subjective in her painting of him but the readers can come to a clear understanding and judgment of Lance Armstrong just by listening to the quotes that she offers from him. First hand witness accounts are also provided and they also shed light on the person that Armstrong is. He is a brutal monster that equates himself to some god. It was liberating to finally read that he was held accountable for his actions.
If you're hungry for a good story - don't purchase/read this book! It was an unfortunate disappointment because there was so much potential for it.
Koch details a dinner between two brothers and their respective wives. Through each course of the meal - appetizer, entree, and dessert - you learn about the dynamics between the two brothers and the dilemma that complicates them and their sons. When I say dilemma, I mean catastrophe - someone dies. A big part of my problem with Koch's novel is rather than the vindication of that person's death - which we often look forward to (think Spiderman or any other action movie) - there is a big effort to disguise what happened or prevent it from coming to light. It is absolutely disgusting. I hated the characters. They were all pompous and self-absorbed.
I suppose I am jaded because I am a moralist who wants justice for all - and I didn't get that from Koch's novel. If you can get past that, then you may be able to enjoy the novel. Beyond the plot, the narration was decent. Clive Mantle, the narrator, did a well enough job performing the novel. He could get dry and I would find myself nodding off, until you heard his voice become awfully whimsical as he was personifying one of the wives.
If you're interested in a cheesy story line that involves a group of middle aged women who have nothing better to do than to cheat on their cheating husbands, than be my guest...this is the read for you! A string of infidelities lead to the murders of the French president and his bodyguard. But who was the murderer? Surely, a group of horny, neglected wives couldn't have murdered anyone?
Unfortunately, James Patterson and David Ellis make an attempt at what could have and should have been a great book/read/listen. A huge problem was that there are men writing in a woman's perspective. They got it all wrong. The women were very sterotypical and cliche. What makes this novel terrible is that you endure almost 10 hours of a rather flat plot along with its dry characters. There was no appeal whatsoever.
I have never read a Patterson novel before - I'm not confident that I will read another because I was so turned off by this. The narration helped me get through this listen - January LaVoy was very engaging. Unfortunately, I don't necessarily pay to hear a good narration. I also want a good story! This just did not make the cut!
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