Is it possible to write a sidesplitting novel about the breakup of the perfect marriage? If the writer is Nora Ephron, the answer is a resounding yes. For in this inspired confection of adultery, revenge, group therapy, and pot roast, the creator of Sleepless in Seattle reminds us that comedy depends on anguish as surely as a proper gravy depends on flour and butter.
"Just a treasure"
Meryl Streep’s performance of Colm Tóibín's acclaimed portrait of Mary is hailed by the New York Times Book Review as “an ideal audiobook,” presenting the three-time Academy Award-winner in “yet another great role.” Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Colm Tóibín's The Testament of Mary presents Mary as a solitary older woman still seeking to understand the events that become the narrative of the New Testament and the foundation of Christianity. In the ancient town of Ephesus, Mary lives alone, years after her son's crucifixion. She has no interest in collaborating with the authors of the Gospel. They are her keepers, providing her with food and shelter and visiting her regularly. She does not agree that her son is the Son of God; nor that his death was "worth it"; nor that the "group of misfits he gathered around him, men who could not look a woman in the eye," were holy disciples. This woman who we know from centuries of paintings and scripture as the docile, loving, silent, long-suffering, obedient, worshipful mother of Christ becomes a tragic heroine with the relentless eloquence of Electra or Medea or Antigone, in a portrait so vivid and convincing that our image of Mary will be forever transformed.
"from a non believer..."
Here are twelve magnificent stories in which John Cheever celebrates, with unequaled grace and tenderness, the deepest feelings we have.
"All Stars Deliver"
"When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become real." First published in 1922, Margery Williams' enchanting story about a toy rabbit is a classic of children's literature. This gentle rendition comes alive through Meryl Streep's soothing narration and George Winston's beautiful music score. Ages four and up.
From the author of Brooklyn, in a voice that is both tender and filled with rage, The Testament of Mary tells the story of a cataclysmic event which led to an overpowering grief. For Mary, her son has been lost to the world, and now, living in exile and in fear, she tries to piece together the memories of the events that led to her son's brutal death. To her he was a vulnerable figure, surrounded by men who could not be trusted, living in a time of turmoil and change.
Brave Irene is Irene Bobbin, the dressmaker's daughter. Her mother, Mrs. Bobbin, isn't feeling so well and can't possibly deliver the beautiful ball gown she's made for the duchess to wear that very evening. So plucky Irene volunteers to get the gown to the palace on time, in spite of the fierce snowstorm that's brewing - quite an errand for a little girl. But where there's a will, there's a way, as Irene proves in the danger-fraught adventure that follows.
"Perseverance in the Face of Adversity"
Before Shrek made it on the silver screen, there was William Steig's SHREK!, a book about an ordinary ogre who leaves his swampy childhood home to go out and see the world. Ordinary, that is, if a foul and hideous being who ends up marrying the most stunningly ugly princess on the surface of the planet is what you consider ordinary. SHREK! can be found in this collection of six modern classics by Steig, along with stories concerning creatures ordinary and extraordinary.
"Not like the movie...but better!"
Work, love, family, sex, and politics - all of these topics have been grist for the mills of some of this century's finest women writers. On this recording a remarkable company of women deliver individual perspectives on feminine passions.
"Great read aloud"
On January 12, 2010, a major earthquake struck near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Hundreds of thousands of people died, and the greater part of the capital was demolished. Dr. Paul Farmer, U.N. deputy special envoy to Haiti, who had worked in the country for nearly thirty years treating infectious diseases like tuberculosis and AIDS, and former President Bill Clinton, the U.N. special envoy to Haiti, had just begun to work on an extensive development plan to improve living conditions in Haiti.
"If you read one book about Haiti make it this one"
It's a bright and beautiful spring day, and Pearl, a pig, is dawdling on her way home from school. Most unexpectedly, she strikes up an acquaintance with a small bone. Pearl and the bone immediately take a liking to each other, and before you know it she is on her way home with the bone in her purse, left open so they can continue their conversation. Won't her parents be surprised when she introduces her talking bone!
"Best Kids' Book On Audible"
Robert Altman - visionary director, hard-partying hedonist, eccentric family man, Hollywood legend - comes roaring to life in this rollicking cinematic biography, told in a chorus of voices that can only be called Altmanesque.
Elliott Gould, Burt Reynolds, Meryl Streep, and a host of other celebrities read over 100 poems by four of America's greatest poets. Walt Whitman celebrates the brash and rugged individualism of his country in exuberant language. The spare, precise language of Emily Dickinson conveys her penetrating vision of the natural world and an acute understanding of the most profound human truths.
Little Amy watches her parents throw party after party, even as the cook tells her about the tragic consequences of gin. When Amy's attempt to rid their lives of the dangerous drink only brings more problems, she knows she has to run away. A selection from the John Cheever Audio Collection.
"The demoralization and destruction of alcoholism"
Meryl Streep reads this enchanting tale by Beatrix Potter. The curious and disobedient Peter Rabbit learns that indeed he should have listened to his mother's warning about Mr. McGregor's garden. Ages five and up will appreciate why this story has captured the imaginations of children around the world for years. It comes packaged with a second story, The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher, which is also read by Meryl Streep.
She was a perfect baby, and she had a perfect name. Chrysanthemum. When she was old enough to appreciate it, Chrysanthemum loved her name. And then she started school. "I'm named after my grandmother," said Victoria. "You're named after a flower." Chrysanthemum wilted. Life at school didn't improve. In fact, it got worse. Then the students were introduced to their music teacher, Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle. And suddenly, Chrysanthemum blossomed...
"I read this when I was just a young girl, I <3 it."
Dim the lights and gather around the freshly-trimmed tree for a magical Christmas Eve experience that will become a family tradition. The beloved poem from Clement C. Moore captures the true spirit of Christmas.
No thanks to his naughty cat Simpkin, the tailor of Gloucester has no more twisted silk thread to finish the coat he has promised the mayor for his wedding on Christmas day. With the help of some special friends, the tailor finds that a kind favor is returned.
Spinky is convinced that his family hates him and goes off to sulk in his hammock. His brother and sister try to make amends. His mom even brings him a beautiful tray of food. But nothing can get Spinky to stop sulking - not even a circus passing by on his street! Will Spinky ever cheer up?
"Teaches kids to understand their feelings"
The Westcotts, music lovers, buy a new radio. But instead of music, it picks up conversations and sounds in neighboring apartments. A selection from the John Cheever Audio Collection.
"Great Story, Good Performance"
When Caleb finds himself transformed into a dog and is unable to tell his wife his true identity, he decides to become her companion.