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E Hempel

Boston, MA
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 22
  • ratings
  • Born with Teeth

  • A Memoir
  • By: Kate Mulgrew
  • Narrated by: Kate Mulgrew
  • Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,111
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,915
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,902

Audie Award, Narration by Author, 2016. Raised by unconventional Irish Catholics who knew "how to drink, how to dance, how to talk, and how to stir up the devil", Kate Mulgrew grew up with poetry and drama in her bones. But in her mother, a would-be artist burdened by the endless arrival of new babies, young Kate saw the consequences of a dream deferred.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful Memoir

  • By Jasmine on 07-23-15

Beautiful, moving, avante garde

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

Reviewed: 02-22-19

This was something I picked up on a whim and absolutely loved.

Kate’s memoir is precise and beautifully written. I was moved by how gracefully she depicted some of the best and worst moments in her life with compassion and whimsy.

Living as an actress who was an empowered woman- even at her lowest points she self advocated and the world met her on some of these that were surprising for the era.

She goes there with vulnerability displaying a kind heart, strong will and fair share of luck in both the details and how she describes them.

For example, in her description of her own rape, there was compassion for the perpetrator. In her description of the nurse who only lets her glimpse her newborn daughter, gratitude. I’m sure she had pain and anger, being human after all, but animosity to which she might be very well entitled is so clearly not the foot with which she chooses to lead.

I aspire to carry myself with such grace.

I would put this on the must read list.

  • If I Loved You Less

  • By: Tamsen Parker
  • Narrated by: Jill Smith
  • Length: 5 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 8

Sunny, striking, and satisfied with her life in paradise, Theodosia Sullivan sees no need for marriage. She does, however, relish serving as matchmaker for everyone who crosses her path. As the manager of her family’s surf shop in Hanalei Bay, that includes locals and tourists alike. One person she won’t be playing cupid for is the equally happy bachelorette down the street. Baker Kini ʻŌpūnui has been the owner of Queen’s Sweet Shop since her parents passed away and her younger brother married Theo’s older sister and moved to Oahu.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun love story that keeps you guessing...

  • By E Hempel on 02-01-19

Fun love story that keeps you guessing...

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

Reviewed: 02-01-19

I really enjoyed Parker’s “If I loved You Less”- it was a fun story where I remained in the state of guessing how it would end right up until the end!

Set in Kauai, the peppy young woman who is the lead character has a settled grace that I found intriguing. Her match making antics made me laugh (and cringe at moments) as she bumbled along through finding her own happily ever after.

The author does a good job dealing with complexities of identify with the characters- they have a variety of life walks and you get the feel for this without feeling over-tangent-laden. I do wish we lived in a world that lacked homophobia to the extent this one did. Nice to visit and escape into.

I won’t give you any spoilers, but this one’s worth the read. :)

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane

  • A Novel
  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 5 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,851
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,541
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,518

A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gaiman delivers an intimate masterpiece

  • By Talia on 08-07-13

Interesting

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

Reviewed: 01-08-19

Interesting story, terrifying at parts. I appreciated the magical elements. Overall, I wanted to know more about the Hempstock world. Clearly the laws of physics didn’t exactly apply, but what modulated them? How were things different? How did they identify? The author didn’t spend enough time with the women of the Hempstock farm to keep me fully engaged and it was a little disappointing to now have any of that filled out in the end. Still, it was enough of a thriller that I kept reading.

  • 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 1,612
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,488
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,478

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

Moving, a visceral visit to parenthood

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

Reviewed: 12-28-18

Truly moving story that made me appreciate my own little one. Harpham’s language was artful, playful, emotional, and true to the depths of complexity of the situations that weaved this story line.

Yes, I had to stop and look up the spoiler of how this story ends before I got too far in. She doesn’t give it away, which keeps you right there in the moment with her and her family.

To answer other reviewers, yes it was a bit long and could have benefited from a medical reviewer, but it was her story of this portion of her life- and I found the imperfection charming on the whole.

I love that the story tells of a family that came to be under their own circumstance- not following a mold. I identify with this in my own life and appreciate stories of others who did life and family making this way.

Overall, I’ll definitely look to see what else she has written (her style and art is one I like) and likely watch for updates on what became of her family from time to time.

Last comment, the question is ask after an memoir: is the way I understand people and the world changed by this persons story? Yes. Emphatically yes. Not dramatically, but subtly in my understanding of what the surface view of folks overlooks and how survival can’t be taken for granted. I am reminded to value my day to day in a much needed way and grateful.

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

  • By: Rebecca Skloot
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 12 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,780
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,575
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,616

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing Story

  • By Prisca on 04-30-10

Excellent science ethics- must read

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

Reviewed: 04-27-18

This book should be a must read for everyone. I say that because I started at scientists (as one) and then expanded to all clinical researchers and staff involved, then to all healthcare workers too, then to all who benefit from that and landed at just everyone.

Moving story of ethical challenges of scientific advancement in a capitalist society (and world) and how progress is often at someone’s expense. It is or duty as we make progress to recognize and respect who has contributed and suffered and minimize suffering wherever possible. We must understand and study stories like this in order to truly be able to minimize suffering and grapple with these ethical challenges.

  • Feedback

  • Newsflesh, Book 4
  • By: Mira Grant
  • Narrated by: Georgia Dolenz
  • Length: 16 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 187
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181

We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we unleashed something horrifying and unstoppable. The infection spread, leaving those afflicted with a single uncontrollable impulse: feed. Now, 20 years after the Rising, a team of scrappy underdog reporters relentlessly pursue the facts while competing against brother-and-sister blog superstars the Masons.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • The worst narration I've ever heard

  • By Nicole Wood on 10-27-16

Spin off with charm and queers!

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

Reviewed: 02-27-18

This was a lovely and creative spin off from the main series. At times it was slightly repetitive, but only because it could be easily read as a stand alone book. The characters were queer community in a way that made me able to imagine what my life in the world created by the full series would be like. I loved it.

Kept me on the edge of my seat with unexpected twists throughout. Characters had complexity and depth, relatable and faced with hard choices. In depth thought about the ethical dilemmas of post apocalyptic science that are still relevant today- just because you can do something, should you? Is there any “going back” post world altering changes?

I’m now going straight for Mira Grants next spin off and then other series. Can’t wait!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful