Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fuku: the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.
Read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao when it first came out.
Decided to revisit it when I saw there was a new audiobook read by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karen Stone at a much faster pace. So happy I did. Their style and timing breaths new life into this multi: tongued, layered and storied novel.
Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At 14, she roams the woods along the Northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous. Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin.
Would like to give My Absolute Darling 41/2 Stars, will go with 5. Gabriel Tallent writes beautifully about the wonderful and awful things his many named character, Julia/Turtle/Kibble, lives through as a teenager on her veteran alcoholic grandfather's rundown yet substantial coastal property on the Medicino Coast bordered by National Parks with her isolated, enraged, firearms-devotee, carpenter, eco-fatalist widowed father, Martin. Tallent takes us digging in the dirt, fishing for ells under coastal rocks, foraging/hunting/cooking dinner and stealthily following two teenage boys who lost their way in the Medicino woods. And thru his strong, nature & tool savvy literal-minded heroine we experience Martin's love and hatred through their daily life.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful
Fifth-generation New Yorker, third-generation bartender, and first-generation author Tara Clancy was raised in three wildly divergent homes: a converted boat shed in working-class Queens; a geriatric commune of feisty, Brooklyn-born Italians; and a sprawling Hamptons estate she visited every other weekend. This childhood triptych comes to life in The Clancys of Queens, an electric, one-of-a-kind memoir.
Tara Clancy tells us her and her family's story as though we were on the next barstool in her favorite Queens tavern. We get to know Tara's: raucous foul mouthed Italian grandmother, lost tennis balls retrieving grandfather, sensitive hard drinking policeman father, independent cleaning lady - college graduate mother, mother's summers in the Hamptons boyfriend, kid and grown-up friends and the wisecracking, fiercely loved and loving girl to woman, herself.
A stranger enters the inner sanctum of the Ashby family posing as Patrick Ashby, the heir to the family’s sizeable fortune. The stranger, Brat Farrar, has been carefully coached on Patrick’s mannerisms, appearance and every significant detail of Patrick’s early life, up to his 13th year when he disappeared and was thought to have drowned himself.
Sometimes one has a need for a traditional 'good read', Brat Farrar is one of those books. The story is well constructed, peopled with interesting characters and placed on a traditional English horse breeding farm. It is is an all-together deeply satisfying story.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Certain works of literature, history, science, philosophy, political theory and religion offer powerful examples of how books can spark revolutions, birth great religions, spur scientific advancements, shape world economies, teach us new ways of thinking, and much more. And with this fascinating collection crafted from our extensive library of courses, you can now get a single course that represents 36 of our best lectures on literary works that changed the world.
The 36 books varied widely. The lecturers did too. For the most part lecturers well structured and interesting. Felt I did learn new things and was reminded of things I used to know.
If you have not had a classic college education this is a very good place to start. If you have these lectures are a good refresher. Or if your education was something in-between these lectures will begin to help you fill in the holes.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
The new audio edition of the self-published hit, offering powerful strategies to end procrastination!
Why do we sabotage our own best intentions? How can we eliminate procrastination from our lives for good? Based on current psychological research and supplemented with clear strategies for change, this concise guide will help listeners finally break free from self-destructive ideas and habits, and move into freedom and accomplishment.
Author longtime expert on helping people - including himself -- deal procrastination in a concise clear way. Key to it all just start and keep going.
0 of 8 people found this review helpful
You'll learn why things are out of control so you can get them back in order and keep them that way. You'll uncover the mental and emotional roots of clutter - guilt, fear, rebellion, habit - so you can get rid of it. Even the best cleaning methods are useless if you can't keep up and soon slip back into old habits. Stop struggling. You can overcome that old, unsuccessful mind-set and discover a new way of thinking that makes messiness a thing of the past.
Sandra Felton a once messy, talks about what her years of dealing with her own and then others' struggled, set-backs and ultimate successes has taught her strive for a nice looking home achieved thru just enough house work.
December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man, the man called only the Giver, he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.
Production decision to augment voice with schmaltzy movie music showed a lack of faith in the strength of the story and the storyteller. A sad decision.
Amy Poehler is hosting a dinner party and you're invited! Welcome to the audiobook edition of Amy Poehler's Yes Please. The guest list is star-studded with vocal appearances from Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy’s parents - Yes Please is the ultimate audiobook extravaganza.
Amy Poehler's autobiography, Yes Please, although seemingly tangential is laser-focused on growing up and becoming a comedic writer and performer who strives to both get laughs and be a decent person. No small feat. I feel she succeeded.
In Tokyo, 16-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century. A diary is Nao's only solace - and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox - possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes, I would recommend this audiobook to people who read a great deal and are open to post modern themes and styles.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Nao who is one of the two narrators. She is a sixteen year old who grew up in California who is now living a humiliating life in Japan since her father an uber-programmer lost his Silicone Valley job. Nao writes a journal for an imaged reader who finds the journal washed up onshore in a kitchen freezer bag. Nao's voice is a unique one -- both a self-loathing cubby Teenager who passively allows herself to be violated in so many ways and a wise-woman who looks at the world and herself with a weary smile and wink.
Which character – as performed by Ruth Ozeki – was your favorite?
I enjoyed all the characters Ozeki brought to life and death especially: the 104 Monk-Great Grandmother, Ruth the middle-aged American with writer's block, Nao's sad Dad and even the self-admiring cat.
If you could rename A Tale for the Time Being, what would you call it?
For The Time Being
Any additional comments?
Hearing the story and sometimes reading along in the Kindle book enhanced my appreciating the story.
Be forewarned some of the material is rough: extreme school bullying, suicide, teenage sex trade and brutal aspects during the training and deployment of Japanese servicemen during WWII.