Engagingly read by Sidney Poitier himself. Poitier relates some of the extraordinary events that led him from poverty to Hollywood, reflecting on racism, the art of acting, and the well-lived life. At times digressive and a bit indulgent in his confessions and self-evaluations. Nonetheless, this is a life to know. Poitier's effort to bring his own racial consciousness to his acting and career choices is most inspiring. An excellent slice of Hollywood history as well.
The other Simone, one could say. A psychologically perceptive portrait of one woman's attempt to live a life of deep contemplation, principle, and action. The author deals well with the multilayered terrain of Weil's life, weaving history, philosophy, and psychology. The bio describes Weil's many shifts, from socialism to Catholicism, to her rejection of body and food, and her hatred of her Jewish roots, her friends, and her family. A truly astonishing life, Weil was one who fought every stricture placed upon her, including her own privilege, brilliance, and success. A woman of tremendous contradiction who lived at once intensely and narrowly, who the world was not ready for, whose mind could not find peace in ordinary things. She wins in the end, I think: as she believed, the accumulated actions of a life is truly one's opus. And indeed, her brief, intense life is, above all of her writings, the most authentic, and the most powerful, work that she left us.
I deeply admire Joan Didion, but I don't quite understand how this book garnered as much attention and praise as it did. It is a memoir about how she survived the tragic death of her husband and the devastating illness (and later death) of her daughter. She survived it, it seems, by writing this diary - by writing her way into and out of it. Particularly lovely is her tribute to her late husband, her description of their life together and her life without him. She does well at capturing some of the moments of disorientation and loneliness that came with all of this. It is not, however, her most literary nor her most intelligent of works; alternatively, it is not a guide to grieving or recovering from loss.
Beautifully read, this memorable bite-size novel will pull you into its little world with its simple characters and vivid landscapes. A taut, wrenching portrayal of striving for meaning, love, and connection among the deeply marginalized and impoverished. An unsparing rendering of the multiple deprivations of rural poverty. An essential American novel, clean and still, with not a word out of place.
Beautifully interpreted by a cast of voices, this Uncle Tom's Cabin makes you appreciate Harriet Beecher Stowe's accomplishment and understand its context and times. A thoughtful, sympathetic rendering of this book. A good primer on one strand of 19th C abolitionism, and some strikingly powerful portrayals of the effects of slavery on human character. The first half is exquisitely crafted and well-paced, the second half sentimental and sappy Christianism - almost as if written by two different people. But I was hooked and waded through the whole 20+ hours. At minimum, listen to the first ten.
The screechy, sighing "nineteenth century" Mark Twain interpreter who reads this audiobook drove me nuts. I could hardly understand what he was saying. And I didn't find it funny. I couldn't get through it.
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