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River Holmes-miller

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  • reviews
  • 262
  • helpful votes
  • 56
  • ratings
  • Inheritance

  • A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love
  • By: Dani Shapiro
  • Narrated by: Dani Shapiro
  • Length: 6 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70

Inheritance is an audiobook about secrets - secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman's urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than 50 years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A spellbinding book

  • By asdasklda on 01-18-19

Author makes too much out of too little...

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-16-19

I have enjoyed Dani Shapiro's books in the past, but I only made it about halfway through this title before turning it off.
I have noticed a tendency in many memoir writers to turn every single thing that happens to them into a full-length book, whether the event merits that sort of attention or not. The first book or two feels fresh, but then it feels like they spend their days mining their lives in search of a story....any story. This was a life twist that was clearly earth-shattering to Ms. Shapiro but feels decidedly less earth-shattering for the reader. She is such a solid writer that I stayed with it for much longer than I might have otherwise, but ultimately her refusal to look past her own nose left me cold.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Amy: My Search for Her Killer

  • Secrets and Suspects in the Unsolved Murder of Amy Mihaljevic
  • By: James Renner
  • Narrated by: James Renner
  • Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59

Ten-year-old Amy Mihaljevic disappeared from the comfortable Cleveland suburb of Bay Village in the fall of 1989. Her picture was everywhere - anyone who watched the local TV news remembers the girl with the sideways ponytail. Tragically, Amy was found dead a few months later. Her killer was never found. Now, 15 years later, journalist James Renner picks up the leads. Filled with mysterious riddles, incredible coincidences, and a cast of unusual but very real characters, his investigation quickly becomes a riveting journey in search of the truth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More than just a true crime story

  • By Dale on 11-28-18

A solid listen...

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-24-18

I loved True Crime Addict and was excited to see this recording of Renner's first book. It is presented in a similar style to True Crime Addict, in that it follows Renner as he blurs the line between investigative journalist and detective. I liked True Crime Addict better, as I enjoyed Renner's deep dive into his own psyche in that book. However, this is also a good listen and definitely worth the credit. This case is a bit more convoluted than the one detailed in True Crime Addict, even as the victim -- a ten-year-old girl -- is understandably less complex of a character because she is so young. That said, this is true crime at its most respectful, in that it is not a salacious rehash of a terrible crime, but an honest attempt at getting to the truth.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Evil Has a Name

  • The Untold Story of the Golden State Killer Investigation
  • By: Paul Holes, Jim Clemente, Peter McDonnell
  • Narrated by: Paul Holes, Jim Clemente
  • Length: 6 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 6,358
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,812
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5,788

For his victims, for their families and for the investigators tasked with finding him, the senselessness and brutality of the Golden State Killer's acts were matched only by the powerlessness they felt at failing to uncover his identity. Then, on April 24, 2018, authorities arrested 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo at his home in Citrus Heights, Calif., based on DNA evidence linked to the crimes. Amazingly, it seemed, evil finally had a name. Please note: This work contains descriptions of violent crime and sexual assault and may not be suitable for all listeners.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bravo!

  • By LeighAna on 11-16-18

Listen...even if you have already read McNamara

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-18-18

This book offered a different perspective on the Golden State Killer because it included the stories of the victims. Well worth a credit even if you feel you know a great deal about the case. I would have liked more information on the killer's personality and life, but it is probably too soon after his capture to know much about him anyway.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Witch Elm

  • A Novel
  • By: Tana French
  • Narrated by: Paul Nugent
  • Length: 22 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,048
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,773
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3,758

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who's dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life - he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family's ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden - and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Yes, the Main Character Comes Off Poorly, But...

  • By Marina on 10-19-18

This book is BORING

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-25-18

Let me preface my review by saying that I am a huge Tana French fan (her book about the boarding school was
cringe-y, but I have loved all the rest). That said, I have officially turned off my listen. I am 10 hours in, and I have no interest in any aspect of the mystery. I don't care about any of the characters or about who did what to whom or why. Bummer...I was really looking forward to this title.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Sober Diaries

  • How One Woman Stopped Drinking and Started Living
  • By: Clare Pooley
  • Narrated by: Karen Cass
  • Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 330
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 289
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 289

Like many women, Clare Pooley found the juggle of a stressful career and family life a struggle, so she left her successful role as a managing partner in one of the world's biggest advertising agencies to look after her family. She knew the change wouldn't be easy, but she never expected to find herself an overweight, depressed, middle-aged mother of three who was drinking more than a bottle of wine a day and spending her evenings Googling 'am I an alcoholic?'

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The performance makes this one worthwhile...

  • By River Holmes-miller on 04-24-18

The performance makes this one worthwhile...

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-24-18

What made the experience of listening to The Sober Diaries the most enjoyable?

I enjoyed this book, though I believe a lot of my enjoyment came from the narrator, who is excellent. The author is very chummy in her approach, and this was both charming and, at times, off-putting. The author assumes her readers all spend their holidays thumbing through endless stacks of party invitations and deciding where to go on vacation. This is the author's life, and there is certainly nothing wrong with it. However, she seems oblivious to the fact that very few people actually live as she does. The fact that you don't hate the author by the end of the book is a testament to her skills as a writer.

If you’ve listened to books by Clare Pooley before, how does this one compare?

N/A

What does Karen Cass bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She is an amazing narrator, as she makes the central character seem very likable.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

She described the joys of sobriety very well. The material was consistently encouraging and inspirational and will likely help people who struggle to find meaning in their lives after they stop drinking.

Any additional comments?

A worthwhile listen, despite the author's often myopic worldview.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • This Messy Magnificent Life

  • A Field Guide
  • By: Geneen Roth
  • Narrated by: Geneen Roth
  • Length: 4 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 173
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 149
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148

From the beginning, Geneen Roth was told she was too sensitive, too emotional, too curious, too demanding, too intense, and too big. Yet gaining and losing weight for decades did not improve her self-worth or reduce other people's criticisms. Like most women who struggle with their weight, she believed that if she could resolve what seemed to be the source of her self-hatred - how and what she ate - she would be thin, happy, and free. That belief, she discovered, was false.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Further Along the Path

  • By Nishna-botna on 03-08-18

A rehash of earlier works...nothing new here

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-18-18

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

i am a fan of Geneen Roth, but I felt like 90 percent of the stories in this book involve situations she has written about many times before, in the exact same way. There is always a time when an author who mines his/her own life to the degree that Roth has (I am also thinking of Anne Lamott, Auguster Burroughs, and David Sedariis here), becomes repetitive. This is that book for Geneen Roth.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Her pace is a bit slow and deliberate, a little too theatrical for my taste. She is someone who appears to take herself quite seriously...nothing wrong with that, but she brings the same weight to every subject, which can grow tiresome.

Any additional comments?

If you are new to Roth, there is probably plenty here to chew on. But if, like me, you are familiar with her work, then feel free to skip this one. You won't be missing anything new.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

  • A Memoir
  • By: Sherman Alexie
  • Narrated by: Sherman Alexie
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,430
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,321
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,316

When his mother passed away at the age of 78, Sherman Alexie responded the only way he knew how: He wrote. The result is this stunning memoir. Featuring 78 poems and 78 essays, Alexie shares raw, angry, funny, profane, tender memories of a childhood few can imagine - growing up dirt poor on an Indian reservation, one of four children raised by alcoholic parents. Throughout, a portrait emerges of his mother as a beautiful, mercurial, abusive, intelligent, complicated woman.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • True connection

  • By Tom on 07-20-17

Good...up to a point

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-14-17

Would you try another book from Sherman Alexie and/or Sherman Alexie?

I might try another Sherman Alexie book. He is a solid enough writer, he just needs an editor (and desperately).

Was You Don't Have to Say You Love Me worth the listening time?

I absolutely loved the first 50 chapters of this book. The second 50 chapters really wore on me, as it felt as though the story of his mother's life and death had already been told. The final third of this book sits untouched on my iPod, where it is likely to remain. The author starts out strong, but his work becomes so repetitive that the image of someone beating a dead horse kept popping into my mind. And when I say repetitive, I mean that whole sections involve him actually repeating certain words and phrases over and over, literally verbatim.

Any additional comments?

Alexie is brutal in his honesty, but also seems to have some major blind spots as a writer. For example, he does not appear to understand how off-putting it is for a reader to come across a list of reasons for the author's popularity in high school that include such things as his physical beauty, his amazing athletic prowess, his great personality, and his intellectual superiority. That he counters his narcissism with descriptions of adolescent acne and a growing middle-aged paunch does not make his ego any less apparent. Readers are reminded over and over of Alexie's fame, wealth, and influence, and this grows tiresome as well.
I chose this book because, judging by the glowing reviews, I thought the content would override a general aversion I have to spoken word poetry...and it does in some spots, but not when it feels like the poetry is simply a way for the author to take up as much space as possible on the page. In such moments, it feels like he is a bit too in love with the sound of his own voice, and the poems seem more like a performance than anything that would stand up on their own merit.
If you're debating whether to get this book, get it, listen to the first 50 chapters, and then consider yourself well and truly done.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson

  • By: Jon Ronson
  • Narrated by: Jon Ronson
  • Length: 3 hrs and 25 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12,525
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 11,280
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11,279

[Contains explicit content] Hear the story of what happened when the tech industry gave the world what it wanted: free porn. Lives were mangled. Fortunes were made. All for your pleasure. Follow writer and narrator Jon Ronson as he uncovers our web of desire.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I will never forget it...

  • By Charles Atkinson on 07-31-17

Disturbing (and often funny).

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-13-17

Where does The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Ronson's audiobooks are always worthwhile. I love So You'e Been Publicly Shamed, and I am not sure what will ever top that, but this one is a solid addition to the Ronson library.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Ronson is always the best character in his books.

What about Jon Ronson’s performance did you like?

The author has an odd voice, but he is a good performer, and it is impossible to imagine anyone else reading his work.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I found this particular story/book disturbing. Not because of the sexual content, but because it seemed very sad to me. I guess pornography itself seems sort of sad, and the thought that it is likely causing young men to become so desensitized to the real thing that they can't get an erection is also sad. So while the performance and material were top notch, I would never want to listen to this one again. Actually, I sort of wish I hadn't listened to it at all because it made me feel a little hopeless.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Really Good Day

  • How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life
  • By: Ayelet Waldman
  • Narrated by: Ayelet Waldman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 760
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 687
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 685

When a small vial arrives in her mailbox from "Lewis Carroll", Ayelet Waldman is at a low point. Her mood storms have become intolerably severe; she has tried nearly every medication possible; her husband and children are suffering with her. So she opens the vial, places two drops on her tongue, and joins the ranks of an underground but increasingly vocal group of scientists and civilians successfully using therapeutic microdoses of LSD.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Radically Different Approach to Self-Medication

  • By Ilana on 01-15-17

This should have been a magazine article

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-25-17

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone who was deeply fascinated with this subject AND (more importantly) the daily variations in the author's mood, relationships, and physical sensations

Has A Really Good Day turned you off from other books in this genre?

No. The genre is fine (A good example in this genre is A.J. Jacobs...someone who puts his body and mind to the test in ways that are both enlightening and funny).

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The narration was fine.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Boredom. I love a good character study and am fine with books that take the reader through the small moments of daily life, but this one strained my patience to the breaking point. It felt like this was a magazine article idea stretched WAAAAAAYYYY out to fill an entire book. Too, the author comes by her LSD as if by magic -- this is not a trick the average reader could replicate in his/her own life.

Any additional comments?

After listening to most of this book (I made it about 3/4 of the way through), I had the following realizations: The author is self-absorbed to the extreme, and I would like to try microdosing but have no idea how to go about it, even though I listened to nearly an entire book on the subject. And for what it's worth -- I have enjoyed this author's work in the past and have no opinion at all on her (bold) stance in the Mommy wars. This book just fell flat for me.

  • A Beautiful, Terrible Thing

  • A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal
  • By: Jen Waite
  • Narrated by: Jen Waite
  • Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,032
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 949
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 942

Before: Jen Waite has met the partner of her dreams. A handsome, loving man who becomes part of her family, evolving into her husband, her best friend, and the father of her infant daughter. After: A disturbing email sparks suspicion, leading to an investigation of who this man really is and what was really happening in their marriage. In alternating Before and After chapters, Waite obsessively analyzes her relationship, trying to find a single moment form the past five years that isn't part of the long con of lies and manipulation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • There are people out there waiting for her...

  • By MaryPat on 08-29-17

Privileged princess meets self-absorbed man

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-22-17

Would you try another book from Jen Waite and/or Jen Waite?

No. Beyond feeling very wronged by her husband, the author appears to have very little personal insight into human nature, psychology, motherhood, or anything else. She presents her experience with her husband in alternating "Before" and "After" chapters, a device that could have been interesting, had the "Before" chapters held any insight at all into her husband's real character. Instead, they read like the saccharine journal entries one might expect from a 20-something in love...hours and hours about a love story that feels superficial and pretty, but seems entirely lacking in substance.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jen Waite again?

No. If this is the most interesting thing that has ever happened to her, I can't imagine what else I need to hear.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

She does not sound like a grown mother and grown woman, but more like a college girl who alternates between being in love and having a bone to pick with her disappointing husband. It's a cadence issue (imagine an happy/angry sorority girl and you will have it about right).

What character would you cut from A Beautiful, Terrible Thing?

I would cut the baby our of the story simply because she deserves so much more than a mother who bemoans how her husband is missing out on his own child, when she herself is too self-absorbed to do more than keep the kid clothed and fed.

Any additional comments?

After a few minutes Googling "sociopath" this woman comes to the erroneous conclusion that her husband is one. Sorry, but lying to one's wife about an affair does not make a person a sociopath. Had the author discovered he had lied about EVERY SINGLE THING in his life -- for example, had she found out he had four other families, had spent time in jail, and was not actually from Argentina, she might have made her case. But husbands can lie right to your face and do it for years and not be a sociopath. There was no pattern of deceit or antisocial behavior, beyond trying to cover an affair. Frankly, the publishers should have caught the error in the author's thinking and spared us all from her amateur psychobabble.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful