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Erin - Audible

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  • 104
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  • 59
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  • Happiness: A Memoir

  • The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After
  • By: Heather Harpham
  • Narrated by: Heather Harpham
  • Length: 11 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,850
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,710
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,701

Happiness begins with a charming courtship between hopelessly attracted opposites: Heather, a world-roaming California girl, and Brian, an intellectual, homebody writer, kind and slyly funny, but loath to leave his Upper West Side studio. Their magical interlude ends, full stop, when Heather becomes pregnant - Brian is sure he loves her, only he doesn't want kids. Heather returns to California to deliver their daughter alone, buoyed by family and friends.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Like Being At A Riveting One-Woman Show

  • By Erin - Audible on 08-09-17

Like Being At A Riveting One-Woman Show

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

Reviewed: 08-09-17

As a motherless non-mother, I didn’t expect to identify this much with a memoir about raising a sick child, about the impossible choices parenting requires, about having to hold fear and hope in the same hand. But the writing is so blazingly good, true, and precise, that sentence after sentence had me nodding with recognition: Yes, I know this exactly. Heather Harpham is a writer of such ability and intelligence that her struggle becomes your struggle; her revelation about the true state of happiness becomes your revelation. Hearing it in her own voice only makes that connection more personal.

51 of 53 people found this review helpful

  • Pass Through Panic

  • Freeing Yourself From Anxiety and Fear
  • By: Dr. Claire Weekes
  • Narrated by: Dr. Claire Weekes
  • Length: 1 hr and 55 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 293
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 185
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181

In this eight part radio series, Dr. Weekes speaks with the listener intimately and compassionately about how to overcome anxiety, frustration, phobias, and depression. She coaches the listener on how to pass through panic and reach a place of strength and optimism.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Short and Sweet

  • By Binia on 06-09-13

Like A Xanax In The Storm

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

Reviewed: 07-28-17

In the midst of a panic attack, I just need a medically trained doctor to re-explain panic to me. I say "re-explain" because, historically, my primary self-care during panic attacks has been to Google "panic attacks" and throw money at anyone offering an ebook on the subject. (I would crush a Jeopardy category about panic.) But when you're in the thick of it, you're like, "Just tell me again that this has a known physical cause so I can feel like there's a treatment."

Dr. Claire Weekes is the Australian grandmother I wish upon all my anxiety-suffering brethren and sistren. Her voice has that comforting "knowledgable doctor" thing, but with the sagacious warmth of someone who's pouring you tea from a pot with a cozy around it.

You might find this isn't right for you when you're feeling reasonably well, but I recommend keeping one or more of her short-form books on your phone in case you find yourself in the thick of things. She's like ibuprofen: most effective when administered while in great pain.

  • Writing Down the Bones

  • By: Natalie Goldberg
  • Narrated by: Natalie Goldberg
  • Length: 8 hrs and 50 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 453
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 352
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 346

Here is a new collector's edition of this modern classic as you have never heard it before, read by Natalie Goldberg herself and then infused with her most personal reflections about this "magic manual" for all writers. Try these ingenious, Zen-based exercises to expand your writing skills - or just for fun.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Substance

  • By Krissy D.H. on 07-09-10

A writer's best friend, in need of an update

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

Reviewed: 07-27-17

These books mean the world to me -- they got me writing long before I went to school for it, and they believed in me long before I believed in myself. They're still kinder to me than I am to myself. But the recordings are dinosaurs -- technology has so vastly improved and with a good, solid narrator performing, I could have these books in my ear alongside Anne Lamott's 'Bird By Bird' when the going gets tough.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Feminist Fight Club

  • An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace
  • By: Jessica Bennett
  • Narrated by: Jessica Bennett, Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 6 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 380
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 347
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 349

Part manual, part manifesto, a humorous yet incisive guide to navigating subtle sexism at work - a Lean In for the Buzzfeed generation that provides real-life career advice and humorous reinforcement for a new generation of professional women. Hard hitting and entertaining, Feminist Fight Club blends personal stories with research, statistics, and no-bullsh*t expert advice.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Meh

  • By Julie on 10-22-18

Get past the intro tho

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

Reviewed: 07-27-17

Jessica Bennett wrote a funny, whipsmart, desperately needed book that I related to, bookmarked like crazy, and shared with coworkers and friends. But if, like I did, you find her voice grating in the sample, fear not -- she only reads the introduction. The amazing Bahni Turpin (who should win all the awards ever for her narration of "The Hate U Give," "Underground Railroad", and others) takes over from there.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Behind Her Eyes

  • A Novel
  • By: Sarah Pinborough
  • Narrated by: Anna Bentinck, Josie Dunn, Bea Holland, and others
  • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,382
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,284
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13,283

Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar, and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she's thrilled she finally connected with someone. When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar...who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can't keep his eyes off Louise.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • What the heck...

  • By Allyssa R. on 06-16-17

Yes a #wtfthatending ending, but an earned one

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

Reviewed: 07-27-17

A completely ordinary British-domestic-mystery/suspense made utterly absorbing by the top-notch performances (weeks later I can still hear Adele's voice relishing the name "Louise"). It does begin to drag a bit around the middle, and could do with a good 20% further edit. And it was rather distracting to know the end was notoriously out of the blue, so I was distracted by casting around for guesses: is it Multiple Personality Disorder? Is someone an alien? Are they ALL aliens?

And then, once you have it, you STILL don't have it, the way you think a roller coaster is resolving and then there's one last flip-over you didn't see coming. But I expected to roll my eyes at the revelation, finding something shocking that was disconnected form the rest of the story, something that would be unearned. But, happily, I found this ending natural, well set up, and something like watching a regular person make an improbable half-court basket while facing the opposite direction.

Totally worth the long listen.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Incest Diary

  • By: Anonymous
  • Narrated by: Barbara Rosenblat
  • Length: 3 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 43

Throughout her childhood and adolescence, the anonymous author of The Incest Diary was raped by her father. Beneath a veneer of normal family life, she grew up in and around this all-encompassing secret. Her sexual relationship with her father lasted, off and on, into her 20s. It formed her world, and it formed her deepest fears and desires.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If I Can Bear Witness, I Must

  • By Erin - Audible on 07-27-17

If I Can Bear Witness, I Must

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

Reviewed: 07-27-17

There will be no trigger warning here, for a book called "The Incest Diary" hardly needs one. That said, I speak of this book from the perspective of one who can afford to bear witness to this woman's story. Not all of us will be able to, and that is as far as I probably need to go in the direction of a trigger warning.

When Kathryn Harrison's "The Kiss" came out, about the affair she began with her priest father when she was 20, there was much pearl-clutching over the state of the memoir: had we gone too far? (That book pales in comparison to this one, as far as transgression goes.) But Harrison and other memoirists of this skill level know there is no such thing as too far -- there is only how close you bring your reader to your experience, and how to create distance, and when exactly to do either.

I imagine a good number of people will detest this book, the relentless repetition of the violent acts performed on the author from the age of 3 on, how she coolly reports each atrocity using incendiary, revolting words. But they'd be missing the point, what is being asked of them: how else do you bring a stranger into an experience this vile, this unbearable? Or do they not deserve witnesses?

The language in this book holds your face to the horror show, will not let you look away -- and should we, if she could not?

And by holding us there, as witnesses to every shocking and unbearable thing, the book is an effective condemnation of the rapist, the pedophile. The neglectful parent. The neglectful teacher, neighbor, grandparent. It is a condemnation of victim-blaming, of complicity. It is not a happy story, not a story about overcoming, if that's what you require from memoir; but I'd argue that it is a triumph. Because she told her story at last, and masterfully, giving her control and ownership. Who am I to turn away?

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Exit West

  • A Novel
  • By: Mohsin Hamid
  • Narrated by: Mohsin Hamid
  • Length: 4 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,446
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,248
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,238

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet - sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors - doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Where to Live?

  • By David on 04-04-17

Beautiful, Empathic, And Deeply Important

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

Reviewed: 05-22-17

Would you listen to Exit West again? Why?

I might be too busy listening to his other books that he narrates! I read Exit West first, and later, when I found out Mohsin Hamid also narrated it, I listened to the sample and immediately grabbed it. Not many novelists can read their own work that naturally, and his gentle Pakistani-British accent has the exact transporting effect that the writing itself does.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Exit West?

So many! From the gorgeous sentences, themselves, which I often underlined and read aloud to my husband, to the tense scenes of Saeed and Nadia's home city falling to militia control around them, to the vividly described camps they escape to across the world.

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

I feel a sense of connection to him and this story in a unique way; I sense, in his telling, that he has empathy for me, like he wants me to know this story about people he knew or things he had seen or where perhaps he had come from (although the specific location of Saeed and Nadia's homeland is not given, as it would have distracted from the universality of the refugees' story). It feels ancestral and communal hearing him tell it.

Who was the most memorable character of Exit West and why?

Both Saeed and Nadia are so fully realized, complex, and real, that although our cultures and geographies are worlds apart, I felt we had much in common, that we could connect with each other as friends. And it helped me to understand many facets of being a Middle Eastern Muslim man or woman so much more than news blips or op-eds ever could.

Any additional comments?

I really do think that this should be required reading, as it's more pertinent than many assigned classics in high school, more crucial to inspiring empathy, and with prose that is at the top of its craft.

  • The Hate U Give

  • By: Angie Thomas
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 35,991
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 33,240
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 33,124

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This Book Changed My Entire Perspective

  • By Wendi on 01-14-18

An important book needs not be a chore

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

Reviewed: 05-04-17

Where does The Hate U Give rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is in my top 5 audiobooks. It stayed with me for days, and I raved to anyone who would listen (and they, in turn, raved back to me after listening). I also went and downloaded everything the narrator, Bahni Turpin, has done.

What other book might you compare The Hate U Give to and why?

At the risk of being reductivist, I have to say Ta-Nehisi Coates' "Between the World and Me," but hear me out: Where Coates addresses the listener/reader directly, bringing them into his sphere so that you feel you can better understand what it is to be black in America, the inherent anxieties and dangers and hatred you must face, the positive attitude you try to have in the midst of it all, Angie Thomas has illustrated and dramatized that sphere, made it cinematic, almost virtual reality. Coates' work is critical for understanding, at least somewhat, the black experience in America on an intellectual level; but you feel it -- you sweat, feel afraid, crushed, angry, triumphant, and hopeful -- when you listen to Thomas' book.

Which scene was your favorite?

Of course the beginning, the traffic stop, was incredibly tense and I missed my subway stop and must have looked like I'd been slapped across the face. But also the scene on the street where Starr's father is trying to quiet the tough, old Mr. Lewis, who is endangering himself by railing to a TV camera crew against the local gang and its kingpin. In the midst of their argument, the cops appear and the scene just becomes breathless. I felt intimidated, angry, afraid, and indignant along with Starr's father; as traumatized as Starr. I think it was this scene that made me text several friends. This scene moves mountains.

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

Totally. I hated pausing it.

  • An Abbreviated Life

  • A Memoir
  • By: Ariel Leve
  • Narrated by: Martha Plimpton
  • Length: 5 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 106
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 98

A beautiful, startling, and candid memoir about growing up without boundaries, in which Ariel Leve recalls with candor and sensitivity the turbulent time she endured as the only child of an unstable poet for a mother and a beloved but largely absent father, and explores the consequences of a psychologically harrowing childhood as she seeks refuge from the past and recovers what was lost.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Martha Plimpton, If You're Reading This...

  • By Erin - Audible on 03-28-17

Martha Plimpton, If You're Reading This...

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

Reviewed: 03-28-17

Any additional comments?

Martha Plimpton needs to read all the audiobooks. ALL OF THEM.

I started journalist Ariel Leve’s gorgeous, riveting memoir on a plane and didn’t remove my earbuds once during the five-hour flight and one-hour commute home. Her larger-than-life mother (an unstable poet given to fits of alternating sweetness, uncontrolled rage, and disappearance) is as alluring a character as you’d find in a great novel. As Leve probes her chaotic childhood and subsequent struggle toward trust and stability, the super-talented Martha Plimpton elevates the material with intelligence, humor, and conviction. When I am super rich, I will have her read absolutely everything to me.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Wildflower

  • By: Drew Barrymore
  • Narrated by: Drew Barrymore
  • Length: 7 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,906
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,656
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,639

Wildflower is a portrait of Drew's life in stories as she looks back on the adventures, challenges, and incredible experiences of her earlier years. It includes tales of living on her own at 14 (and how laundry may have saved her life), getting stuck in a gas station overhang on a cross-country road trip, saying good-bye to her father in a way only he could have understood, and many more adventures and lessons that have led her to the successful, happy, and healthy place she is today.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hold the shrieking !

  • By Dawne on 11-27-15

Auditory Jell-O

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

Reviewed: 11-17-15

Would you try another book from Drew Barrymore and/or Drew Barrymore?

Spend your credit elsewhere.

Look, she's sweet and kind and a lovely human being. Her movies are fun and loveable (except Ever After - jeepers, I've heard better English accents at Texas high school theater festivals) and we already covered the juicier ground in her teen memoir, Little Girl Lost.

But this reads as an empty, vanilla hymn to her own good fortune—with little loss, suffering, or pain (save for an uncomfortable hike with Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz -- we've all been there, right?) to cast her life into a complex relief that anyone could identify with or benefit from. And there's an unsurprising lack of self-reflection in some areas ... not what I look to a 40-year-old's memoir/non-memoir-that's-still-a-memoir for.

And the screaming! Why on earth didn't the producers encourage her to not interpret her book's ALL CAPS moments as ear-splitting, constant shrieks?

2 of 4 people found this review helpful