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  • reviews
  • 1
  • helpful vote
  • 15
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  • So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y'all Don't Even Know

  • By: Retta
  • Narrated by: Retta
  • Length: 6 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 538
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 496
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 494

In So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y'all Don't Even Know, Parks and Recreation star Retta takes us on her not-so-meteoric rise from roaches to riches (well, rich enough that she can buy $15,000 designer handbags yet scared enough to know she's always a heartbeat away from ramen with American cheese). Throwing her hardworking Liberian parents through a loop, Retta abandons her plan to attend med school after graduating Duke University to move to Hollywood to star in her own sitcom - like her comedy heroes Lucille Ball and Roseanne.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I devoured this audiobook

  • By Tracy Rowan on 05-31-18

I wanted to love it, but I only liked it

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

Reviewed: 08-13-18

I've been on a female-comedian audiobook kick for awhile now and was excited when this book was one of my recommendations. I loved Retta on Parks & Rec and was excited to learn more about her life story. The disappointing thing is that even after listening to this book, I still don't feel like I know much about her. It seems like the details she shared were very surface-level and I got the impression she was very guarded with this book.
The best thing about the book was her performance. Retta is a great performer and I would listen to her read just about anything. I just wish the book's content was a better fit for her dynamic performing ability.
The single most irritating aspect of this book was the amount of time she spent fawning over her Hamilton experience. As someone who has never seen the show and knows it will be years before I have the opportunity, hearing in detail about the 3 times Retta saw the play was grating on my nerves. On the one hand, it was nice to hear her talk passionately about an important experience in her life. However, it felt like she spent 1/4 of the book on that subject, and after awhile it just sounded like bragging. As someone who wants to see Hamilton, it turned me off because of jealousy, and I imagine someone not interested in Hamilton would be bored by this section.

  • We Are Never Meeting in Real Life

  • Essays
  • By: Samantha Irby
  • Narrated by: Samantha Irby
  • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 903
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 829
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 824

Sometimes you just have to laugh, even when life is a Dumpster fire. With We Are Never Meeting in Real Life., "bitches gotta eat" blogger and comedian Samantha Irby turns the serio-comic essay into an art form.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The perfect balance of humour and pathos

  • By Salimah J. Perkins on 07-06-17

Started out strong but lost me

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

Reviewed: 06-29-18

When I first started this book, I really enjoyed it. I'd heard the author in a podcast interview and knew that she was married to a woman who had two kids, so I was intrigued to hear the book begin with her discussing the type of men she'd want as contestants on The Bachelorette. She then told stories about her relationships with men in a mixture of sad and funny anecdotes. Later she talks about going to a wedding with a female friend and being shunned by the local townspeople for being queer, but there was no explanation that she identified as queer. Then she met the woman who is now her wife and I was left feeling like I'd missed a chapter in the story explaining when she realized she liked both women and men, because the Sam we meet in the beginning of the book is all about sex with men.
I also didn't appreciate the graphic sexual details since the book isn't marketed or flagged as sexually explicit.

  • Big Girl

  • How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life
  • By: Kelsey Miller
  • Narrated by: Kelsey Miller
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 548
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 502
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 502

At 29, Kelsey Miller had done it all: crash diets, healthy diets, and nutritionist-prescribed "eating plans", which are diets that you pay more money for. She'd been fighting her un-thin body since early childhood and, after a lifetime of failure, finally hit bottom. No diet could transform her body or her life. There was no shortcut to skinny salvation. She'd dug herself into this hole, and now it was time to climb out of it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Quirky and Oddly Inspiring AutoBio

  • By Gillian on 01-28-16

Enjoyable take-down of diet culture

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

Reviewed: 06-28-18

This book does a great job of explaining what is wrong with diet culture and how intuitive eating is the simple (but not easy, as Kelsey says) way to undo the harm resulting from years of yo-yo dieting.
As someone who is on my own journey to fix my relationship with food, so much of this book deeply resonated with me. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who has struggled or is currently struggling with accepting the body in the state that it currently is in and learning to heal their relationship with food. Kelsey's story is told in a way that people who haven't lived the dieting-NOT dieting-dieting-NOT dieting cycle may learn for the first time how they can best support their friends and family members who are in this struggle.
The tone of the book was a good balance between emotional and serious with some lighthearted moments. Kelsey's voice as the narrator was pleasant and enjoyable.

  • Street Gang

  • The Complete History of Sesame Street
  • By: Michael Davis
  • Narrated by: Caroll Spinney
  • Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 122
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 62

When the first episode aired on Nov. 10, 1969, Sesame Street revolutionized the way education was presented to children on television. It has since become the longest-running children's show in history, and today reaches 8 million pre-schoolers on 350 PBS stations and airs in 120 countries. Street Gang is the compelling and often comical story of the creation and history of this media masterpiece and pop culture landmark.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Overall a great story, but ome dull parts

  • By jamesh-lantern-media on 11-05-15

I can't bring myself to finish this book

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

Reviewed: 06-17-12

Perhaps it is not fair to rate a book that I have not finished, but I want to warn anyone else out there who saw all of the high ratings for this book that it is not nearly as interesting as it appears.

The first problem that I have with the book is the narrator. His voice is a combination of monotony and condescension which I find insulting and hard to listen to. This is the first audio book I have listened to which is not an autobiography read by the author, so maybe that is part of the problem.

The content of the book is also incredibly dull so far. The book opens with Jim Henson's funeral, but keeps cutting from the funeral to describe the thoughts of some other people who helped create Sesame Street. There is a long lament against Henson's decision to license the Muppets with Disney, and it seems like a personal vendetta the author has against Michael Eisner.

The first chapter opens by going in-depth describing some family who originally came up with the idea for Sesame Street, but once again I find myself wondering why the details of these people are so relevant. I'm not sure if the book actually drags on or if it's just the narrator's voice that makes it seem like these details just go on forever, but at this point I do not see myself being able to finish this book.

Perhaps it's the fact that the story opens with a funeral that gives the story such a depressing tone. It would have been better to open up on a livelier note.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Guinea Pig Diaries

  • My Life as an Experiment
  • By: A. J. Jacobs
  • Narrated by: A. J. Jacobs
  • Length: 6 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 176
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 120
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 121

Best-selling author and human guinea pig A. J. Jacobs puts his life to the test and reports on the surprising and entertaining results. He goes undercover as a woman, lives by George Washington’s moral code, and impersonates a movie star. He practices "radical honesty", brushes his teeth with the world’s most rational toothpaste, and outsources every part of his life to India—including reading bedtime stories to his kids.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining but hard to listen to.

  • By Rikki on 09-12-12

Incredibly entertaining anecdotes

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

Reviewed: 06-17-12

My biggest complaint about this book was something that AJ Jacobs mentions himself, which is that his voice has a somewhat nasal tone. When I first heard his voice I thought "That is NOT how I imagined him sounding", since I've read his book "The Year of Living Biblically" and saw many photographs chronicling the growth of his beard. But after awhile I grew used to his voice, and he does a good job of being expressive.

I liked that each chapter of the audiobook was based on a different experiment which AJ tried in his life. My personal favorite was the one about outsourcing. It was really funny to picture AJ's Indian assistants actually finishing his chapter on outsourcing for him.

For anyone who is not familiar with AJ's work, I think the introduction that AJ gives at the beginning of the book does a good job of describing the type of experiments he has done for the purpose of his writing.

Since each chapter is based on a different experiment, this book is good for breaking up over a long amount of time as one chapter does no depend upon the previous chapter for reference.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Guts

  • The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster
  • By: Kristen Johnston
  • Narrated by: Kristen Johnston
  • Length: 4 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,180
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,081
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,077

The two-time Emmy Award-winning actress has written her first book, a surprisingly raw and triumphant memoir that is outrageous, moving, sweet, tragic, and heartbreakingly honest. Guts is a true triumph - a memoir that manages to be as frank and revealing as Augusten Burroughs, yet as hilarious and witty as David Sedaris.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Should win awards for best audiobook performance

  • By Ohjohnny on 03-19-12

A serious, yet humorous look inside addiction

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

Reviewed: 06-17-12

I only planned on listening to this book during my drive to and from work every day, but Kristen's narrative style had me so entranced that I spent my lunch hour listening to the book and would even listen to it once I got home in the evening. I wanted to make the story last forever because she was so entertaining, but I was also impatient to get to the next point in the story.

What I liked the most was that Kristen is very frank. She is not a celebrity that is all over the tabloids so I did not have a preconceived idea of who she was before listening to her book, I was just familiar with her from 3rd Rock. She does a good job of describing part of her childhood and what led her to becoming an actress, but the book does not become a lengthy autobiography. From the beginning, we know the book is about Kristen's battle with addiction and that remains the focal point of the book.

Perhaps it is her training as an actress that allows Kristen to tell a story that is so captivating. I truly enjoyed listening to her voice because she is very expressive. Her impressions of the British doctors and nurses from her stay in a London hospital were great to listen to.

My biggest complaint about the book was it seemed too short. It would be nice to know more about how her life is now as a sober person.