If you've ever laughed your way through David Sedaris's cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you're getting with Calypso. You'd be wrong. When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And it's as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realization: it's impossible to take a vacation from yourself. With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation - and dark humor - toward middle age and mortality.
This is classic David Sedaris with his unique take on mundane life events, making fun of himself and fellow humans. But this book shows maturity in his observations that make them even funnier. With the deaths of both parents and his sister, he was finally free to express both the funny and sad aspects of his relationships with them, while expressing with fondness the quirky foibles of the rest of his family.
Energetic, voluptuous, and well past sixty, Queen Mary Purdy opens a smoke-enders clinic in the resort town of Fulton, North Carolina. Her unorthodox approach (aroma therapy? Massage?) provides much grist for the rumor mill.
I read McCorkle's "Tending to Virginia" years ago, and loved it - the small southern town, the quirky characters, and the love story. This book has the same elements, but it just didn't hold my attention.
Unexpectedly widowed Gwen-Laura Schmidt is still mourning her husband when her sister, Margot, invites her to join forces as roommates in Margot's luxurious Village apartment. For Margot, divorced amid scandal, then made Ponzi-poor, it's a chance to shake Gwen out of her grief and help make ends meet. To further this effort she enlists a third boarder, the handsome Anthony. As the three swap money-making schemes and Gwen ventures back out into the dating world, the arrival of Margot's paroled ex in the apartment downstairs creates not just complications but the chance for all sorts of unexpected forgiveness.
As with most of her books, Elinor Lipman has assembled an appealing cast of characters. They are all equally flawed and charming, and in this story, help each other rebuild broken or interrupted lives. Even the minor characters -- including personals ads respondees -- have the Lipman touch, supported by the nuanced reading of Mia Barron. Take a break from your more serious fiction and non-fiction books and just enjoy this easy-going, fun story.
At the age of 22, Jennifer Worth left her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in postwar London’s East End slums. The colorful characters she met while delivering babies all over London - from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lived to the woman with 24 children who couldn't speak English to the prostitutes and dockers of the city’s seedier side - illuminate a fascinating time in history.
The best aspect of this book is the reader. She has an extraordinary capability of capturing accents and personalities. The story is fine, and gives a glimpse of post-war England through the eyes of a young midwife. I found it heavy on the medical/midwifery practices of the time, and I would have preferred more development of the characters and their relationships.
More than 30 years ago, Finn Murphy dropped out of college to become a trucker. Since then he's covered hundreds of thousands of miles packing, loading, and hauling people's belongings all over America. Murphy whisks listeners down the I-95 Powerlane, across the Florida Everglades, in and out of the truck stops of the Midwest, and through the steep grades of the Rocky Mountains.
In the tradition of John McPhee, Finn Murphy takes us into a world most of us know nothing about. The book is an easy listen as he takes you into "shipper's" houses, shipping warehouses, and truck stops. Along the way you will meet cranky dispatchers, nervous and self-important customers, renegade truckers, and very diverse helpers. Take the trip - it's a compelling book.
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With extraordinary access to the West Wing, Michael Wolff reveals what happened behind-the-scenes in the first nine months of the most controversial presidency of our time in Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Since Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, the country—and the world—has witnessed a stormy, outrageous, and absolutely mesmerizing presidential term that reflects the volatility and fierceness of the man elected Commander-in-Chief.
This book provides the details of White House events in Donald J. Trump's first year: the political naivety of most of the senior staffers, extraordinary in-fighting, chaotic decision-making, and multiple firings/resignations. We knew these things were true, but now know more about how and why they happened. This is an easy listen - the stories, quotes, egos, and unbelievable back-stabbing will keep you riveted, with one "yikes!" moment following another. All of it cooks up to what we already knew: "the greatest leader and best deal-maker ever" is neither.
As he settles into an uneasy retirement, Rebus has given up his favorite vices. There's just one habit he can't shake: He can't let go of an unsolved case. It's the only pastime he has left, and up until now it's the only one that wasn't threatening to kill him. But when Rebus starts reexamining the facts behind the long-ago murder of a glamorous woman at a luxurious hotel - on the same night a famous rock star and his entourage were also staying there - the past comes roaring back to life with a vengeance.
Like all of Rankin's Rebus mysteries, this is fun, smart and engaging. The performer makes it more fun with his Scottish accent and excellent voice modulations for each voice.
"This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it." In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race", a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men.
The best book that describes what it it like to be black in a white world that I have ever read. He is a really good writer who uses his words with precision in this letter to his son. It is short but compelling, so make sure you don't have anything else to do -- you will likely listen from beginning to end, deferring other events in your day or evening (as I did).
What begins as a routine journey on the luxurious Orient Express soon unfurls into Agatha Christie's most famous murder mystery. This all-star production features lead performances from Tom Conti ( The Dark Knight Rises, Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence) as Hercule Poirot, Sophie Okonedo ( After Earth, Hotel Rwanda and Ace Ventura) and Eddie Marsan ( Sherlock Holmes, V for Vendetta and Hancock) plus a full supporting cast.
This is a fun listen - Tom Courtenay as Poirot is reason enough - but it is actually more of a radio play than an audible experience of Christie's book. If you want something quick and light, this will work, but if you want the real book, there are other versions you can listen to.
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Genteel society ladies who compare notes on their husbands' suicides. A hilariously foul-mouthed black drag queen. A voodoo priestess who works her roots in the graveyard at midnight. A prominent antiques dealer who hangs a Nazi flag from his window to disrupt the shooting of a movie. And a redneck gigolo whose conquests describe him as a "walking streak of sex".
I read this when it was first released, and again recently in advance of a trip to Savannah. It is as fun now as then - and the characters are equally as charming. Savannah IS different from other equal-sized cities, and John Berendt did a wonderful job of delivering this unique place and its engaging people to the reader. The narrator does an excellent job of bringing a voice to each of the characters.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful