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Kate M.

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  • reviews
  • 117
  • helpful votes
  • 302
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  • My Mother Was Nuts

  • A Memoir
  • By: Penny Marshall
  • Narrated by: Penny Marshall
  • Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,915
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,700
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,701

her life story going her humble roots in the Bronx to one of the most liked and respected figures in the entertainment business, also covering her marriage to Rob Reiner and relationships with Art Garfunkel, Carrie Fisher, and John Belushi, and her bout with lung and brain cancer in 2009, to Julia Cheiffetz

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Listen up - not to be read!

  • By GaylM on 10-17-12

Loved this life story!

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

Reviewed: 08-28-17

If you could sum up My Mother Was Nuts in three words, what would they be?

Penny is amazing! I had no idea what an interesting life she had. And she seemed to love every minute of it.

What other book might you compare My Mother Was Nuts to and why?

"Digging up Mother" by Doug Stanhope. It is a humorous memoir about a life with a crazy mother in the middle.

What about Penny Marshall’s performance did you like?

I generally do not like people reading their own books, but understand that they want to read stories about themselves. However, there are some who should not (Anjelica Huston for one) but I really enjoyed listening to her. I could hear the joy in her voice when she was describing certain events.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

This book was written before her best friend of 35 years, Carrie Fisher, and her brother Garry died. I could not help but feel sad at how she must have felt when these two people died.

Any additional comments?

One of the better Hollywood memoirs. She knew so many people and has lots of great stories.

  • Toni Tennille

  • A Memoir
  • By: Toni Tennille, Caroline Tennille St. Clair
  • Narrated by: Toni Tennille
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 547
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 494
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 494

Since bursting onto the scene in the mid '70s, the pop duo Captain and Tennille have long defined the sparkling, optimistic idea of everlasting love, both in their music and through their image as a happy and, seemingly, unbreakable couple. They were an irresistible pair to millions of fans all over the world, further underscored by the rousing "yes, we can!" gospel of their biggest hit, "Love Will Keep Us Together". But underneath the image was an entirely different story that the fans never saw.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it for several reasons

  • By Jennifer on 05-28-16

A huge disappointment

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

Reviewed: 08-28-17

Would you try another book from Toni Tennille and Caroline Tennille St. Clair and/or Toni Tennille?

No

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The overall story of her upbringing, emerging career and career success was interesting because I remember her but did not know much about her career or personal life.
However, I got tired of listening to her paint herself as a victim of both her husband and those who helped her in her career. Not once did she take responsibility for what happened to her--she was married to her husband for 39 years before divorcing him and constantly complained about how he treated her. Not once did she ever discuss it with him (even back to when they were dating and he had a crazy restricted diet and she never said I am gong to eat something else). She never displayed any backbone and constantly complained about how she was treated, never once (apparently) seriously considering that she could have done something about it. Even when she went on tour in Victor Victoria (this was interesting) and signed a yearlong contract, she was once again the "victim" because she did not understand all the traveling she would have to do in a touring show! She should have read the contract more carefully.

What three words best describe Toni Tennille’s performance?

She was OK but I was distracted by her breathy voice. Annoying.

Any additional comments?

This could have been better edited. It seemed like they took Tenille's fairly boring life and tried to make it better by adding too much detail. Too many stories, too much detail.

  • Scores

  • How I Opened the Hottest Strip Club in New York City, Was Extorted out of Millions by the Gambino Family, and Became One of the Most Successful Mafia Informants in FBI History
  • By: Michael D. Blutrich
  • Narrated by: Michael D. Blutrich
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,159
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,002
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,995

Meet Michael Blutrich, mild-mannered New York lawyer and founder of Scores, the hottest strip club in New York City history, funded by the proceeds of an insurance embezzlement scheme. All Blutrich wanted was to lay low, make the club a success, and put his criminal acts behind him. But the Mafia got involved, and soon the FBI came knocking. Scores became wildly popular, in part thanks to Blutrich's ability to successfully bend the rules of adult entertainment. Unfortunately for Blutrich, it would all soon implode.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Seductive narration about fortunes and betrayals

  • By Greeny on 02-06-17
  • Scores
  • How I Opened the Hottest Strip Club in New York City, Was Extorted out of Millions by the Gambino Family, and Became One of the Most Successful Mafia Informants in FBI History
  • By: Michael D. Blutrich
  • Narrated by: Michael D. Blutrich

Reads like thriller fiction

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

Reviewed: 08-28-17

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes--I was sucked in from the beginning to this almost unbelievable story. It was fast-paced and detailed, but was never boring.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Blutrich, the author, was my favorite. He was smart, crazy and very likable. I found myself rooting for him in spite of his running a strip club and being involved in fraud. His redemption more than makes up for any of his questionable behavior.

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

I was so disgusted at how Blutrich and his business partner were treated by both the FBI and the Florida legal system. It was truly amazing at how government employees, including lawyers and judges, can get away with being immoral and deceitful and keep their jobs (and maybe even being rewarded for that behavior).

Any additional comments?

Conspiracy theorists--this is the book for you. If you aren't one yet, you may have second thoughts about joining the club.

  • Chaos Monkeys

  • Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley
  • By: Antonio Garcia Martinez
  • Narrated by: Dan John Miller
  • Length: 15 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,446
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,190
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,187

Imagine a chimpanzee rampaging through a data center powering everything from Google to Facebook. Infrastructure engineers use a software version of this "chaos monkey" to test online services' robustness - their ability to survive random failure and correct mistakes before they actually occur. Tech entrepreneurs are society's chaos monkeys, disruptors testing and transforming every aspect of our lives from transportation (Uber) and lodging (AirBnB) to television (Netflix) and dating (Tinder).

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Wanna Save 14hrs of Your Life??? Read This.

  • By John J. on 05-21-17

Get this man a condom!

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

Reviewed: 04-30-17

What would have made Chaos Monkeys better?

This was poorly written (and apparently, edited). The author's constant analogies were awful--sometimes I wasn't sure whether he was telling his story or giving us an analogy.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The author is annoying and narcissistic --by the end of the book I really disliked him.

Which scene was your favorite?

When he lost his job.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The reviews I read mostly talked about how there was important info from the author's experiences in creating/selling a tech company--and there was that. Unfamiliar with that business, I was interested in learning about it from an insider. The only reason I listened to the whole book (as annoying as it was) I did want to find out what happened.

Any additional comments?

I did not need to hear about his tryst in the closet with a co-worker during an office party. His sexual escapades, which included having 2 children with a woman with whom he did not really have a relationship, showed how stupid he really is.

28 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • League of Denial

  • The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth
  • By: Mark Fainaru-Wada, Steve Fainaru
  • Narrated by: David H. Lawrence XVII
  • Length: 14 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 261
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 246
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 243

So concluded the National Football League in a December 2005 scientific paper on concussions in America's most popular sport. That judgment, implausible even to a casual fan, also contradicted the opinion of a growing cadre of neuroscientists who worked in vain to convince the NFL that it was facing a deadly new scourge: A chronic brain disease that was driving an alarming number of players - including some of the all-time greats - to madness.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Overall, well worth the credit

  • By David P. McGivern on 03-07-14

Transcends the sport of football--amazing story

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

Reviewed: 06-13-16

What did you love best about League of Denial?

It was well-researched, well-written and fascinating. I learned so much about concussions and brain injury, and how it is the accumulation of such injuries, when not given time to heal, lead to serious consequences.
I do not watch football or care about the sport, but I was totally engrossed in the stories of the individual players who were affected, and how the NFL spent its resources in denying the truth.

What was one of the most memorable moments of League of Denial?

The first life story, that of Mike Webster. It was such a compelling case for how his livelihood eventually ruined his life and the lives of those close to him.

In addition, the story about the female pathologist, a lifelong Packers fan, who worked on several player's brains. She became frustrated over the NFL's repeated denials and while she still loved the game, came to see the NFL as the villain.

Which character – as performed by David H. Lawrence XVII – was your favorite?

Not sure.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Same as the book--perfect title.

Any additional comments?

I was engrossed in this book from the very beginning. It is as much a story about individuals as it is about football and the NFL.

  • Billion Dollar Painter

  • The Triumph and Tragedy of Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light
  • By: G. Eric Kuskey
  • Narrated by: Jim Meskimen
  • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56

G. Eric Kuskey, former colleague of Thomas Kinkade and close friend until the artist's death in 2012, tells Kinkade's story for the first time, from his art's humble beginnings on a sidewalk in Carmel, California, to his five-house compound in Monte Sereno. It's a tale of addiction and grief, of losing control, and ultimately, of the price of our dreams.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very enlightening - pun intended

  • By Julie B on 11-12-14

Fantastic book about this iconic figure

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

Reviewed: 02-28-16

What did you love best about Billion Dollar Painter?

I had no idea about the story of Kinkade but was somewhat familiar with his legacy as the "Painter of Light". His story is complicated and compelling, and I was shocked to learn how truly successful and revered he was. I never knew about his religious connection/background to his business interests.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Kinkade--what an interesting guy. He was truly dedicated to his art, and the rest of his success came from others who were able to exploit his talents. His personal life denigrated as his success increased, mostly due to his alcoholism.

Any additional comments?

This really is done well and is fascinating. This is one of those topics I had no interest in (but I love biographies and autobiographies) but found to be engaging.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Disaster Artist

  • My Life inside 'The Room', the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made
  • By: Greg Sestero, Tom Bissell
  • Narrated by: Greg Sestero
  • Length: 11 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,937
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,449
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,424

Nineteen-year-old Greg Sestero met Tommy Wiseau at an acting school in San Francisco. Wiseau's scenes were rivetingly wrong, yet Sestero, hypnotized by such uninhibited acting, thought, "I have to do a scene with this guy." That impulse changed both of their lives. The Disaster Artist is Greg Sestero's laugh-out-loud funny account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and friendship to make "the Citizen Kane of bad movies" ( Entertainment Weekly), which is now an international phenomenon.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You Have to Listen to This Book!

  • By Henry Strickler on 08-28-14

Seth Rogan bought the rights to the movie version!

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

Reviewed: 02-28-16

Would you listen to The Disaster Artist again? Why?

I only listen to books once because I have so many.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Disaster Artist?

There are so many--it is an almost unbelievable story. The author's description of some of the behind-the-scenes drama and pretty much any discussion of the actions of Tommy Wiseau, the writer/producer/director of "The Room" (no, not the current Oscar-nominated movie!) were memorable.

Which character – as performed by Greg Sestero – was your favorite?

Tommy Wiseau because he is such an enigma--his apparent obliviousness to what is going on around him and his single-mindedness to get his movie made is fantastic. I would love to meet him.
IMPORTANT--rent and watch "The Room", which this book is about. Read the book, then watch the movie because it is fantastic to see the real Tommy Wiseau and his horrible (yet compelling) movie.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Maybe.

Any additional comments?

I have a comment about the author narrating his own book--I usually think it is a bad idea because there are such great professional performers who can really bring a book to life. I understand why this very attractive author (I saw the movie) is not successful actor--he does not have a great voice. However, he did a great job of imitating Tommy's voice and I loved that, so he is forgiven for reading his own book.

  • The Spy's Son

  • The True Story of the Highest-Ranking CIA Officer Ever Convicted of Espionage and the Son He Trained to Spy for Russia
  • By: Bryan Denson
  • Narrated by: Jason Culp
  • Length: 12 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,315
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,204
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,199

Jim Nicholson was one of the CIA's top veteran case officers. By day he taught spycraft at the CIA's clandestine training center, The Farm. By night he was a minivan-driving single father racing home to have dinner with his kids. But Nicholson led a double life. For more than two years, he had met covertly with agents of Russia's foreign intelligence service and turned over troves of classified documents. In 1997 Nicholson became the highest-ranking CIA officer ever convicted of espionage.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • True story that's as exciting as fiction

  • By AudioAddict on 12-05-15
  • The Spy's Son
  • The True Story of the Highest-Ranking CIA Officer Ever Convicted of Espionage and the Son He Trained to Spy for Russia
  • By: Bryan Denson
  • Narrated by: Jason Culp

Fascinating Story-You root for the young spy

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

Reviewed: 02-28-16

What did you love best about The Spy's Son?

Interesting, compelling story where the characters create the drama that unfolds.

What other book might you compare The Spy's Son to and why?

It is a cross between a spy story and the drama behind a dysfunctional family, so it is not comparable to any other book I have read.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this book--I love true spy stories, but this is made better by the family drama. It is incredible how narcissistic the father/spy character is, and how he led his son into crime.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Legacy of Ashes

  • The History of the CIA
  • By: Tim Weiner
  • Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
  • Length: 21 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,087
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,564
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,553

This is the book the CIA does not want you to read. For the last 60 years, the CIA has maintained a formidable reputation in spite of its terrible record, never disclosing its blunders to the American public. It spun its own truth to the nation while reality lay buried in classified archives. Now, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Tim Weiner offers a stunning indictment of the CIA, a deeply flawed organization that has never deserved America's confidence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Must Read/Listen

  • By Jim on 08-23-07

I loved this book (not anticipated!)

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

Reviewed: 11-13-15

Would you listen to Legacy of Ashes again? Why?

No I only listen once to a book.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

A clear, concise history of the CIA that is both fascinating and compelling. I realized how much I did not know about the CIA and also how important it is to our country.
And how messed up the institution has been.

What about Stefan Rudnicki’s performance did you like?

Excellent narrator.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Too many frustrating stories to identify one in particular. It was so frustrating to hear about how messed up this agency has been for so long, and that our tax dollars have been wasted and misdirected.

  • Primates of Park Avenue

  • Adventures Inside the Secret Sisterhood of Manhattan Moms
  • By: Wednesday Martin Ph.D.
  • Narrated by: Madeleine Maby
  • Length: 8 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 862
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 768
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 764

Like an urban Dian Fossey, Wednesday Martin decodes the primate social behaviors of Upper East Side mothers in a brilliantly original and witty memoir about her adventures assimilating into that most secretive and elite tribe. After marrying a man from the Upper East Side and moving to the neighborhood, Wednesday Martin struggled to fit in. Drawing on her background in anthropology and primatology, she tried looking at her new world through that lens, and suddenly things fell into place.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Lord, Someone Help These People

  • By Elizabeth on 06-04-15

If you like the "Housewives of xxx" franchise

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

Reviewed: 11-13-15

Is there anything you would change about this book?

She tried to make it sound like "research" by dropping in anthropological jargon and comparisons. It was a bit annoying, especially in the beginning.
Also, I was not satisfied because she made such a big deal about buying a house on the West Side so her kids could go to a particular PUBLIC school. Then they moved to the East Side to be close to her kids PRIVATE school.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

She became one of "them". She sort of recognized and acknowledged this but it seemed she tried to make herself a bit better than the "primates" she was "researching". A woman who has a separate closet for handbags seems more like them than not.

I could not recognize most of the lifestyle/behavior written about in the book--very foreign to me. Like needing a certain handbag that was expensive but important because it was a significant status symbol. This is why I do NOT watch any "Housewives" shows. Who cares?

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

She was fine and helped me listen to it.

Could you see Primates of Park Avenue being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

This seems so much the the "Housewives" franchise that you don't need a different show or movie.

Any additional comments?

I can't believe I actually listened to this.