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Lila

Northport, AL, United States

27
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 55 ratings
  • 150 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Angela's Ashes

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Frank McCourt
    • Narrated By Frank McCourt
    Overall
    (2444)
    Performance
    (1234)
    Story
    (1240)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: There’s no gentle way to put this – Frank McCourt’s performance of Angela’s Ashes is just better than the Pulitzer Prize-winning book. Frank McCourt shares his sometimes heartwarming, sometimes heartbreaking story of growing up poor, Irish, and Catholic in the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir Angela's Ashes.

    Karen says: "A classic book *and* a classic audiobook"
    "Supreme"
    Overall

    Be prepared to laugh and cry. Here is the gold standard for the memoir. I don't care what anybody says about the dialogue--that Frank McCourt couldn't possibly have remembered who said what fifty years in the past. So what. The reader (or listener) understands that he has dramatized scenes to make them more vivid, which doesn't make the story ring any less true. He is relating the spirit of what occurred.
    As a narrator, McCourt shines. I doubt anyone could've read his memoir with the same energy he brings to it. The Irish flavor comes through beautifully, including in the occasional song, and especially in his characterizations. What they add to the audiobook makes it even better than the print version. I recommend it highly.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Isabel Wilkerson
    • Narrated By Robin Miles, Ken Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (862)
    Performance
    (683)
    Story
    (684)

    In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to previously untapped data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

    Lila says: "Superior non-fiction"
    "Superior non-fiction"
    Overall

    I can't imagine why a previous reviewer regards this book as poorly written. I beg to differ; it's a masterful work of non-fiction which has been recognized as such by important critics and award committees. If the objection is, I've heard all this before, consider that Isabel Wilkerson isn't necessarily addressing scholars. This book brings a critical component of American history to those of us who have heard little, if anything, about the Great Migration, neglected as it has been in public education. The book is eminently readable, thanks to the novelistic way her three principal characters are brought to life. Their individual stories illustrate the complex motivations, means and outcomes of Great Migration participants. Fascinating, compelling, thought-provoking, and expertly narrated--I can't recommend it highly enough.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Kevin Roose
    • Narrated By Kevin Roose
    Overall
    (154)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (90)

    No drinking, no smoking, no cursing, no dancing, no R-rated movies. Kevin roose wasn't used to rules like these. As a sophomore at Brown University, he spent his days drinking fair-trade coffee, singing in an a cappella group, and fitting right in with Brown's free-spirited, ultra-liberal student body. But when Roose leaves his Ivy League confines to spend a semester at Liberty University, a conservative Baptist school in Lynchburg, Virginia, obedience is no longer optional.

    Timothy says: "A good listen"
    "Impressive work of non-fiction"
    Overall

    Don't read this if you're looking for a cynical exposé of the religious right. Don't read this if you're looking for a sugar-coated story of Christian conversion. The Unlikely Disciple is neither of those. It's a nuanced and non-jaded account of the author's "study abroad" experience inside Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. Along with The Faith Club, this book belongs on reading lists for college courses, book clubs and discussion groups interested in healing our nation's religious and cultural divide. Not only is Kevin Roose a prodigious writer--there's no other explanation for this high a level of achievement at so young an age--he's also a wise person and a corrective role model for those of us prone to judging and stereotyping the "other."

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Widower's Tale: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Julia Glass
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (381)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (140)

    In a historic farmhouse outside Boston, seventy-year-old Percy Darling is settling happily into retirement; his grandson, Robert, has long assumed he will follow in the footsteps of his mother, a prominent physician; Ira, a gay teacher at the preschool in Percy's barn, and Celestino, a Guatemalan gardener who works for Percy’s neighbor, each one striving to overcome a sense of personal exile. Choices made by all four men, collide forcefully on one lovely spring evening, upending everyone’s lives, but none more radically than Percy’s.

    Jon says: "Great performance, great writing, wonderful story"
    "Good, but short of truly satisfactory"
    Overall

    Julia Glass is a master of rendering family dynamics. Her 'Three Junes' is another fine example of this. Although it's skillfully written, I didn't enjoy 'The Widower's Tale' as much as I hoped, due to certain plot elements that seemed implausible to me, especially the behavior of a college-aged character who thoughtlessly involves himself in illegal activities. I don't want to go the spoiler route, so I'll leave it at that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Life

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Keith Richards, James Fox
    • Narrated By Johnny Depp, Joe Hurley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2463)
    Performance
    (1310)
    Story
    (1304)

    Now at last Keith Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades. And what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only to find themselves challenged by authorities everywhere....

    Jesse says: "Ins and outs"
    "What a ride!"
    Overall

    Never a dull moment--not even when he explains guitar riffs, and I don't play the guitar or understand much about the technical aspects of music-making. Stones fans will love the inside scoop on how certain songs were written, and this includes the debunking of quite a few mythical interpretations of lyrics.

    Richards and his co-writer manage a huge amount of material brilliantly. The writing style is conversational, which perfectly suits the first-person account and its subject matter. I feel as if I know Keith Richards now, and for all his wildness, like the guy very much, thank you.

    Johnny Depp does a fine enough job narrating his portion, but Joe Hurley is magnificent. Along with his expressiveness, he has a convincing accent and a similar throatiness in his voice as the author's, who also makes a brief appearance in the narration. Dig it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ben MacIntyre
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (454)
    Performance
    (205)
    Story
    (197)

    Eddie Chapman was a charming criminal, a con man, and a philanderer. He was also one of the most remarkable double agents Britain has ever produced. Inside the traitor was a man of loyalty; inside the villain was a hero. The problem for Chapman, his spymasters, and his lovers was to know where one persona ended and the other began.

    Scott says: "Intrigue and True"
    "Entertaining and educational"
    Overall

    This is a compelling story that humanizes the spy like no other espionage tale I've encountered.
    Nicely narrated, too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba...and Then Lost It to the Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By T. J. English
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (456)
    Performance
    (162)
    Story
    (165)

    Havana Nocturne takes listeners back to Cuba in the years when it was a veritable devil's playground for mob leaders Meyer Lansky and Charles "Lucky" Luciano. Thanks to strong ties with the island's brutal dictator, President Batista, the mob soon owned the biggest luxury hotels and casinos and launched an unprecedented tourist boom. But their dreams collided with those of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and others.

    Paul Abbott says: "Not for reactionaries"
    "Fascinating"
    Overall

    Aficionados of organized-crime history will find familiar names and settings here, but with an exotic twist. The backgrounding on Cuban culture and politics was particularly satisfying for me.I knocked off one star from my rating because this treatment didn't rise to the level of truly riveting non-fiction. But listeners just acquainting themselves with true-life characters of the mob should find it more engaging.

    The narrator was all right, but his lousy pronunciation of Spanish terms irritated me enough to reduce my rating by another star. Couldn't they get a bilingual narrator for a book so steeped in Spanish language?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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