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  • Go Ask Ali

  • Half-Baked Advice (and Free Lemonade)
  • By: Ali Wentworth
  • Narrated by: Ali Wentworth
  • Length: 3 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 164
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 162

At once endearing and hilarious, thoughtful and far-fetched, this third collection offers Ali at her wisest and wittiest as she delivers tips, pointers, and quips on a host of life's conundrums and sticky situations, including the funny, sometimes embarrassing yet unforgettable situations that have shaped her inimitable world view as a wife, mother, actress, comedian, and all around bon vivant.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Light and Enjoyable with a Good Message

  • By Brad on 05-04-18

I felt the audio sample misrepresented the book.

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

Reviewed: 06-05-18

Or I misunderstood.

I liked the audio sample about the bride who didn't want to get married and Ali tried to calm her friend down. I thought the book would be about people in similarly difficult situations and the advice Ali gives them, as she proclaims that she is someone people often go to for advice. I thought that premise sounded interesting.

But I am halfway through and turning it off. I can't take it anymore. So far I've heard about an idyllic childhood eating lobster, ice cream, and steam pots in Maine. Interviewing for a fancy co-op in NYC. Having to let go a nanny who'd been with the family for years. Teenage daughters too obsessed with beauty treatments. Not having anything to add to brunch conversations with girlfriends who spend too much time complaining about their husbands or their affairs. How she feels like she has to hide how she and her husband can't keep their hands off each other. That age-old, sage advice to "not hire a hot babysitter!" How trite.

So many of those issues are "nice to have" problems. And while that doesn't make them any less valid for her story or for her intended audience, I found them difficult to relate to and not what I thought the book was going to be about.

I didn't find the book laugh out loud funny, but I did smile a few times.

Ali's life sounds idyllic and wonderful, and though there is absolutely nothing wrong with a lighthearted read (and this book never pretended to be anything besides that), I found it difficult to relate to, not very compelling, and different from what I thought it was when I bought it. This is a rare book where I felt like the book may be hard to enjoy to readers who are not of the same demographic as the author: white, wealthy, woman, mother.







  • Tell Me More

  • Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say
  • By: Kelly Corrigan
  • Narrated by: Kelly Corrigan
  • Length: 4 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 439
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 397
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 398

It's a crazy idea: trying to name the phrases that make love and connection possible. But that's just what Kelly Corrigan has set out to do here. In her New York Times best-selling memoirs, Corrigan distilled our core relationships to their essences, showcasing a warm, easy storytelling style. Now, in Tell Me More, she's back with a deeply personal, unfailingly honest, and often hilarious examination of the essential phrases that turn the wheel of life.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love it

  • By A. Fontenot on 12-03-18

Well Done, but Not What I Expected

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

Reviewed: 03-11-18

The author relays the trials and tribulations of daily life well, but as the opening indicated the book hoped to relate stories of joy, I was surprised by how incredibly depressing, and sometimes gross the stories were. Well done, just not what I expected, or honestly, wanted.

  • What Made Maddy Run

  • The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen
  • By: Kate Fagan
  • Narrated by: Kate Fagan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 413
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 368
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 368

From noted ESPN commentator and journalist Kate Fagan, the heartbreaking and vital story of college athlete Madison Holleran, whose death by suicide rocked the University of Pennsylvania campus and whose life reveals with haunting detail and uncommon understanding the struggle of young people suffering from mental illness today.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good Read for Parents of Stressed Teens

  • By Guitar Guru on 12-03-17

Important Information Left Out

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

Reviewed: 03-11-18

(spoilers only if you do not know the MAIN PREMISE of the book)

When I first started listening to this book, I LOVED it. But as it went on, even though I overall still REALLY enjoyed the book, I found more and more parts that I was dissatisfied with. And I felt there were a lot of pertinent parts that were left out, and I still had questions when the book was over, which is why I give it a 3 star rating.

I see other reviewers did not appreciate the author's insertion of her personal experiences as a college athlete into the book. I agree with them, but I also see why she left it in. I feel it could have been kept in, but either as a forward or an appendix, so as not to interrupt the flow of Maddy's story.

Questions I have:
- Why did the book not mention information the infamous ESPN article left out? Such as that her dad went with her to her last counseling session in which Maddy admitted to having suicidal thoughts? HOW COULD YOU LEAVE THAT OUT?
- Why did the book not emphasize that from leaving for college to Maddy's suicide, it was only a 4 month time span? Why did it not ask more questions about this incredibly short time span, especially considering she was happy up until she came to college, had a great family life, personal life, etc, and that to go from happy to depressed to suicidal enough to carry it out in such a short time, is (I assume) incredibly rare?
- Why was nothing included about boyfriends and people she dated? I hope it is not seen as inappropriate for me to want to know about that, but, in my opinion it would even more fully complete the picture that Maddy gave off of having her life together, all the boxes checked off.
- Is there anything the counselor can share? If she has mentioned suicide, how is it that (according to the ESPN article - this was also not included in the book) that only anxiety was listed as a possible diagnosis for Maddy?
- I do not feel the author did a great job of framing social media as a cause for Maddy's unhappiness. Aside from one comment to her mother telling her how happy she looked in a photo, and Maddy responding by saying "it's just a photo, Mom" is there any proof whatsoever that social media was a reason for the suicide? I do not think there is, if there is it was left out of the book. It may be a contributing factor but the author really stretched it there imo. Admittedly this is complete conjecture on my part, but I wonder if Maddy's social media was emphasized so much in this book and in the ESPN article, not just because her isntagram was happy, because most people's are (we don't take photos of ourselves crying or studying or stressed) but because she was an incredibly beautiful white women. Again conjecture on my part, but as someone who has at times struggled with depression and how I looke I admit I did sometimes wonder how someone as beautiful as Maddy could do that to herself. Foolish and irrelevant, I know. But my point is just that I think her social media was emphasized so much not *JUST* because of how happy she looks.
- Why not include information about how the family dealt with the tragedy? The beautiful words said at the funeral? The lasting impacts of her decision? Repercussions for how colleges and coaches deal with mental health issues specifically among athletes?

However, one thing I did really appreciate about the book, and something that I think may be the reason my last bullet point was not addressed (and maybe others as well), could be because as the author mentioned, she wrote the book using specific guidelines around suicide, so as not to offend Maddy's family, dishonor Maddy, or glamorize suicide.

Also, I really wish the author went into more detail about ways schools around the country are working to break students of their need for perfectionism and support students' mental health needs. Some of this was included, which I thought was very interesting and which I appreciated.

  • My Sister Milly

  • By: Gemma Dowler
  • Narrated by: Ruby Thomas
  • Length: 22 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 174
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 160
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 157

Everyone thinks they know the story of Milly Dowler. Haunting headlines about the missing schoolgirl splashed across front pages. The family's worst fears realised when her body was found months later. The years of waiting for the truth, only to learn that the killer, known to the police, lived just yards from where Milly had vanished. The parents subjected to horrific psychological torture at a trial orchestrated by the murderer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Shameful Investigation Added to This Family's Pain

  • By Susan on 11-14-17

A worthwhile, yet excruciating listen

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

Reviewed: 10-06-17

Well written. Perfectly narrated. Excruciating to listen to. There was one part that really upset me and I made myself keep listening. The author gives every single detail of the horrible experience she and her family dealt with following her sister's murder. If you are interested in the subject matter, this book will not disappoint you (I hesitate to use the term "enjoy"). A worthwhile, important book. Hard to listen to, but well done.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Miracles & Mayhem in the ER

  • Unbelievable True Stories from an Emergency Room Doctor
  • By: Dr. Brent Rock Russell
  • Narrated by: Al Kessel
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 169
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 158
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 157

In Miracles and Mayhem in the ER, Dr. Brent Russell shares true-life stories of his early days as an emergency room doctor. Contemplative and oftentimes hilarious, Dr. Russell leads the listener through the glass doors and down the narrow halls of the ER where desperate patients, young and old, come to get well. Occasionally heart wrenching and always fast-paced, Miracles and Mayhem in the ER will have listeners holding their breath one second and celebrating the next.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • HIghly Recommended!

  • By KP on 12-22-15

Not what I thought - but still great!

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

Reviewed: 05-10-17

Based on the audio clip, I assumed it would be a book about different weird and strange stories, unbelievable stories that a layperson would have no idea actually happens in ERs. It wasn't just a list of stories of incredible and crazy things patients have done, but it includes several stories, some unbelievable, some heartbreaking, some funny, of what it is really like to work in an ER. It made your ER doctor human and three dimensional. I listened to it in one day.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Scrappy Little Nobody

  • By: Anna Kendrick
  • Narrated by: Anna Kendrick
  • Length: 6 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,220
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 13,068
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,972

Anna Kendrick's autobiographical collection of essays amusingly recounts memorable moments throughout her life, from her middle-class upbringing in New England to the blockbuster movies that have made her one of Hollywood's most popular actresses today. Expanding upon the witty and ironic dispatches for which she is known, Anna Kendrick's essays offer her one-of-a-kind commentary on the absurdities she's experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Anna Kendrick: Scrappy Little... Revelation

  • By Andrew on 01-17-17

I don't get all the five star reviews...

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

Reviewed: 12-19-16

I can see that I am in the minority here in my opinion, but I just do not understand the praise around this book. I really enjoy Anna Kendrick, in general. But this book reminded me of a tweet review I read of the book Brooklyn (which I did enjoy), describing it as the story of "A white girl with no real problems." And I couldn't help but feel the same way about this book. What I mean by that is just that I did not think she shared any stories that were particularly deep, insightful, or heartfelt, they all seemed very superficial. Also, in audiobook format, her voice is grating. I was listening to this book one day when my roommate came home, and as soon as she walked in the door she asked me what the hell I was listening to, because the sound of her voice was so annoying. I do not intend to be rude to AK here, and I am almost always a fan of celebs reading their own work, but this book was one of the few exceptions for me.

  • I'm Not Crazy Just Bipolar

  • By: Wendy K. Williamson
  • Narrated by: Miranda Stewart
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44

Wendy K. Williamson shows the effects of bipolar disorder on the mind, body and soul of those who suffer from it. Despite Wendy's struggles, this is a not a book that brings the listener down, rather a road map for wellness and a vastly informative, yet entertaining, guided tour of bipolar disorder for those who don't understand it. With her perceptive self-awareness, the author is equal parts comedienne and educator, and she tells the unbelievable highs and lows of her story with a clear, grounded candor.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I have a bipolar daughter

  • By Vlw on 08-08-17

Honest, interesting story, but

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

Reviewed: 05-13-16

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend this to a friend who had bipolar disorder, or knew someone who was, but that's it. Sometimes I felt like I was muddling this book. It lacked a high level of detail, the author under explained certain things and over explained others, and used silly metaphors that were often distracting. At times the writing itself felt very juvenile.

0 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Bite Me

  • How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me
  • By: Ally Hilfiger, Tommy Hilfiger - foreword
  • Narrated by: Ally Hilfiger
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90

Ally was at a breaking point when she woke up in a psych ward at the age of 18. She couldn't put a sentence together, let alone take a shower, eat a meal, or pick up a phone. What had gone wrong? In recent years, she had produced a feature film, a popular reality show for a major network, and had acted in an off-Broadway play. But now Ally was pushed to a psychotic break after struggling since she was seven years old with physical symptoms that no doctor could explain - everything from joint pain to night sweats, memory loss, nausea, and brain fog.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • It’s a hard pass for me.

  • By gabriella on 12-08-17

I've heard worse

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

Reviewed: 05-11-16

Any additional comments?

This book was so bad. For a memoir, it's horribly vague. The main character comes off as insipid and self absorbed. It's an interesting topic told in a horribly boring narrative. The writing is choppy and disjointed. Ally Hilfiger makes random statements, such as "I love the big shopping carts at target, they make me feel like a kid" without explaining them. Not often, but a few times, she mispronounces words. Although I have the utmost sympathy for anyone suffering from a disease, this woman blames absolutely every problem in her life on her Lyme disease, including personality flaws/defects. She definitely did suffer a lot, and it is absolutely true that money can't buy happiness (or health) but her storytelling lacked a level of clarity and detail that allowed me to truly empathize with her.

3 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • A Week in Winter

  • By: Maeve Binchy
  • Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
  • Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,451
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,256
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,257

Stoneybridge is a small town on the west coast of Ireland where all the families know one another. When Chicky Starr decides to take an old, decaying mansion set high on the cliffs overlooking the windswept Atlantic Ocean and turn it into a restful place for a holiday by the sea, everyone thinks she is crazy. Helped by Rigger (a bad boy turned good who is handy around the house) and Orla, her niece (a whiz at business), Chicky is finally ready to welcome the first guests to Stone House’s big warm kitchen, log fires, and understated elegant bedrooms.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Didn't want it to end.....

  • By Vicki Unger on 02-26-13

Writing and Narrator good, Storyline eh

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

Reviewed: 03-19-14

Any additional comments?

Each chapter of this book is from a different person's point of view. But they all tell the same damn story. How many times can you beat a person over the head with premarital pregnancy and a relationship that ends not long after? By the time I got to the fifth character that happened to in the book, I had to stop and ask for my money back.

I like the author's writing style and I liked the narrator. But there was just too much of the same things over and over. The same themes, storylines, the same descriptions of how this one house is the best house ever. It was very repetitive.

Also, I appreciate the author's effort in using many separate characters different POVs to show how they were all connected. I didn't finish the book but it seemed like there was a lot of buildup to a lot of nothing. And not exactly tension-creating buildup. More like a bunch of characters meeting up, maybe? I don't know, but it didn't keep my interest very long.

If you like that style of book, it is masterfully done by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout,

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Long Way Down

  • By: Nick Hornby
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick, Simon Vance, Kate Reading
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,184
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 502
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 504

In his eagerly awaited fourth novel, New York Times best-selling author Nick Hornby mines the hearts and psyches of four lost souls who connect just when they've reached the end of the line.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Seems made for audio format

  • By Julia's aunt on 04-11-06

About Suicide but Not Depressing

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

Reviewed: 03-15-14

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character was Maureen, which may not be the first choice for other readers.She wasn't the most fun or multi-faceted character. But I liked her because I related the most to her. She was a good person who did everything you're 'supposed' to do in life, followed all the rules, but in the end she was just dealt a bad hand in life, seemingly all the way around. Her reason for wanting to end it all is simply because her burdens were just top great to bear. I think a lot of people can relate to that, the idea that life is overwhelming sometimes.

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

I think I'll always remember finding this book on a day I didn't feel so far off from suicide myself. It made me feel a lot better. Looking up support online was just depressing. This book was just what I needed at the time.

Any additional comments?

This book is about four people from different walks of life and different ages, who all intend to commit suicide on the same night at the same place. They make a non-suicide pact to stay alive for six more weeks, and the story follows them from the night of their intended suicides and alerternates first person narratives between each of the four main characters. In this way, you are able to get into the head of each character and see what their reasons for depression are, see what their life is like. Although to be honest, some don't seem that depressed at all. This novel is a lighthearted way to read about a not-so-light hearted topic. Depression is just a part of life for most of us at one point or another, and this book reminded me that it's not as lonesome of human experience as I thought.It's about suicide but it's not depressing. Despite the subject matter it's somehow still a fun, light, enjoyable read. I laughed out loud at points. It put a smile on my face. I took one star off of the story just because I wasn't sure how I felt about the ending. I didn't have strong feelings about it one way or the other, but i wanted to.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful