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Mary Beth Kierstead

Oakland, CA | Member Since 2015

  • 4 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 104 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015

  • Unfinished Desires: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Gail Godwin
    • Narrated By Kimberly Farr

    It is the fall of 1951 at Mount St. Gabriels, an all-girls school tucked away in the mountains of North Carolina. Tildy Stratton, the undisputed queen bee of her class, befriends Chloe Starnes, a new student recently orphaned by the untimely and mysterious death of her mother. Their friendship fills a void for both girls but also sets in motion a chain of events that will profoundly affect the course of many lives, including the girls' young teacher and the school's matriarch.

    J. Sweeney says: "Repetative"
    "Epic novel of friendship, loss and betrayal"
    What did you love best about Unfinished Desires?

    Wonderfully written story, compelling narrative.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Probably Maude. She is trying to find her own way in the world and figure out who she is. She is smart and vulnerable.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    Any scene that focuses on the girls.

    Who was the most memorable character of Unfinished Desires and why?

    Maude. I found myself hoping something would happen for her.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Corrections

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By Jonathan Franzen
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker

    The Corrections is a grandly entertaining novel for the new century - a comic, tragic masterpiece about a family breaking down in an age of easy fixes. Richly realistic, darkly hilarious, deeply humane, it confirms Jonathan Franzen as one of our most brilliant interpreters of American society and the American soul.

    Charles Michael Elmore says: "A memorable book; flawless narration"
    "Story of Life and Death in the Midwest!"
    Where does The Corrections rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of my favorites. Couldn't stop listening. The narrations was amazing and the story was very compelling.

    What other book might you compare The Corrections to and why?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lit: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Mary Karr
    • Narrated By Mary Karr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Lit follows Mary Karr's descent into the inferno of alcoholism and madness - and her astonishing resurrection. Karr's longing for a solid family seems secure when her marriage to a handsome, Shakespeare-quoting poet produces a son they adore. But she can't outrun her apocalyptic past. She drinks herself into the same numbness that nearly devoured her charismatic but troubled mother, reaching the brink of suicide. A hair-raising stint in "The Mental Marriott" awakens her to the possibility of joy, and leads her to an unlikely faith.

    glamazon says: "Compelling."
    "More than just an alcoholic tale"

    I loved Mary Karr's other two memoirs (which I read in print)and was so excited to see this one out and in her own voice. She explores this time using small moments which she captures so well- Her prose are poetically descriptive. She is brutally honest about her alcoholism without dwelling so much on the gore of her drinking. I found myself identifying with her as a modern mother and wife but you don't have to either to appreciate this story. She does talk about finding god which I thought would be annoying but really wasn't.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • When You Are Engulfed in Flames

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris

    Once again, David Sedaris brings together a collection of essays so uproariously funny and profoundly moving that his legions of fans will fall for him all over again. He tests the limits of love when Hugh lances a boil from his backside, and pushes the boundaries of laziness when, finding the water shut off in his house in Normandy, he looks to the water in a vase of fresh cut flowers to fill the coffee machine.

    Kelley says: "Smokin'"
    "Makes Quitting Smoking So Very Funny!!!"

    I love to hear Sedaris read his own work and am always disappointed when others read his stories. No matter how funny they are it's never quite the same. This was my first audiobook and sold me on the service. The stories, all read by the author, are only about twenty minutes long so it is perfect listening while you are on a run, commuting to work or out walking the dog (which is when I listen). The stories include a poignant look at his "boring" relationship with his longtime partner, befriending a child-molester and of course, his move to Japan to quit smoking. Each story has at least one "laugh out loud" moment so be careful where you listen!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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