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S. Clay

  • 10
  • reviews
  • 5
  • helpful votes
  • 14
  • ratings
  • Educated

  • A Memoir
  • By: Tara Westover
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 56,693
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 51,163
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 50,959

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. Her quest for knowledge transformed her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Other Side of Idaho's Mountains

  • By Darwin8u on 03-28-18

Good story...

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

Reviewed: 05-28-19

This story gives us a personal perspective of the immediate and longterm effects of mental illness on an entire family, as well as the dramatic illustration of the cost of pretence.

  • The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

  • By: Ayana Mathis
  • Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo, Bahni Turpin, Adam Lazarre-White
  • Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,092
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 945
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 948

A debut of extraordinary distinction: through the trials of one unforgettable family, Ayana Mathis tells the story of the children of the Great Migration, a story of love and bitterness and the promise of a new America. In 1923, 15-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • For me...So So

  • By allison on 12-27-12

Alluring

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

Reviewed: 05-19-19

Impossible to put down once you connect with the main character Hattie. You'll cycle through feelings of impathy, disapproval, victory, and understanding resolution. Great read!

  • Becoming

  • By: Michelle Obama
  • Narrated by: Michelle Obama
  • Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 102,226
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 92,946
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 92,444

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites listeners into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Didn't know what I was getting into

  • By Kenneth Woodward on 12-05-18

So many dimensions

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

Reviewed: 05-07-19

Education, integrity, and relationships are clearly important family values and central to Michelle Obama's upbringing. I admire her tenacity and determination to be true to herself and not lose her voice.

Her writing seems to reflect her approachable and humble spirit. Plus, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Mrs. Obama as she read her book, even though I have a copy.

  • Barracoon

  • The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"
  • By: Zora Neale Hurston
  • Narrated by: Robin Miles
  • Length: 3 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,729
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,569
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,560

In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston went to Plateau, Alabama, just outside Mobile, to interview 86-year-old Cudjo Lewis. Of the millions of men, women, and children transported from Africa to America as slaves, Cudjo was then the only person alive to tell the story of this integral part of the nation's history. Hurston was there to record Cudjo's firsthand account of the raid that led to his capture and bondage 50 years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States. In 1931, Hurston returned to Plateau, the African-centric community three miles from Mobile.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Skip the introduction.

  • By Michael on 06-04-18

Priceless

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

Reviewed: 03-18-19

This memoir is a priceless contribution to the disturbing and regrettable history of kidnapped Africans in the United States. Zora Neale Hurston gives a face to the experience of a real person, not a fictional character. Never romanticizing the life of this displaced African. Priceless!

  • The Darkest Child

  • By: Delores Phillips
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 15 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,006
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,822
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,813

In 1958 Georgia, the shade of a 13-year-old black girl's skin can make the difference in her fate. Tangy Mae is the smartest of her mother's 10 children, but she is also the darkest complected. The Quinns - all different skin shades, all with unknown fathers - live with their charismatic, beautiful, and tyrannical mother, Rozelle, in poverty on the fringes of a Georgia town where Jim Crow rules. Rozelle's children live in fear of her mood swings and her violence, but they are devoted to her. Rozelle pulls her children out of school when they are 12 years old so that they can help support her by going to work.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My heart couldn't take it

  • By NIXX1993 on 03-01-18

Intense!

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

Reviewed: 10-17-18

The author has written a story that has colorful and intense character development, with an intertwined plot compelling one to anxiously continue to the next chapter.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Behold the Dreamers (Oprah's Book Club)

  • A Novel
  • By: Imbolo Mbue
  • Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,257
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,000
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,987

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself; his wife, Neni; and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty - and Jende is eager to please. Clark's wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses' summer home in the Hamptons.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story About Life

  • By A on 01-15-17

Timely.

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

Reviewed: 10-13-18

This is a politically timely and entertaining story. The narration was wonderfully believable. Great read!

  • Before We Were Yours

  • A Novel
  • By: Lisa Wingate
  • Narrated by: Emily Rankin, Catherine Taber
  • Length: 14 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49,738
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45,254
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45,095

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge - until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents - but they quickly realize the dark truth.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I was rivetted, finished in three days.

  • By Lin Cloward on 06-26-17

"The heart never forgets..."

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

Reviewed: 02-09-18

Heartbreaking and triumphant historical fiction. I could not will myself to put this vibrant unpredictable story down. This is a story about sibling love, persistence, perseverance, and hope.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Mustard Seed

  • By: Laila Ibrahim
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,287
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,118
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,111

Oberlin, Ohio, 1868. Lisbeth Johnson was born into privilege in the antebellum South. Jordan Freedman was born a slave to Mattie, Lisbeth's beloved nurse. The women have an unlikely bond deeper than friendship. Three years after the Civil War, Lisbeth and Mattie are tending their homes and families while Jordan, an aspiring suffragette, teaches at an integrated school. When Lisbeth discovers that her father is dying, she's summoned back to the Virginia plantation where she grew up.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Part TWO

  • By Dorothy on 04-16-18

Historically vivid.

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

Reviewed: 11-30-17

Dramatically well narrated. Historically vivid and compellingly enjoyable read. I recommended for those who enjoy historical fiction, especially African-American fiction.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Twelve-Mile Straight

  • A Novel
  • By: Eleanor Henderson
  • Narrated by: Allyson Johnson
  • Length: 17 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 44

Cotton County, Georgia, 1930: In a house full of secrets, two babies - one light-skinned, the other dark - are born to Elma Jesup, a white sharecropper's daughter. Accused of her rape, field hand Genus Jackson is lynched and dragged behind a truck down the Twelve-Mile Straight, the road to the nearby town. In the aftermath, the farm's inhabitants are forced to contend with their complicity in a series of events that left a man dead and a family irrevocably fractured.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great read!

  • By S. Clay on 11-01-17

Great read!

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

Reviewed: 11-01-17

This historical fiction story discerns the complicated intersectionality of race, economics, and class. Written in the vernacular of southern Jim Crow Era. Slowly paced, a few words were mispronounced, nonetheless a great read!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Saint Monkey

  • A Novel
  • By: Jacinda Townsend
  • Narrated by: Allyson Johnson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 21

Fourteen-year-old Audrey Martin, with her Poindexter glasses and her head humming the 3/4 meter of gospel music, knows she'll never get out of Kentucky - but when her fingers touch the piano keys, the whole church trembles. Her best friend, Caroline, daydreams about Hollywood stardom, but both girls feel destined to languish in a slow-moving stopover town in Montgomery County. That is, until chance intervenes and a booking agent offers Audrey a ticket to join the booming jazz scene in Harlem.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • I wanted to like this book, but....

  • By Larena on 08-26-14

Magnetic!

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

Reviewed: 10-16-17

The story was at first difficult to follow, but I was drawn into the plot and eager to learn more about the vivid characters and their complicated relationships.