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Biographies & Memoirs

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M

M Kilwinning, United Kingdom
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  • "The biography of a talented outsider"

    Overall

    This was a moving account of an indomitable and spirited individual, whose childhood shaped her for both better and for worse. I have never been drawn to the author's fiction, but this biography is worth reading for several reasons. Firstly, it is well written and well read, by the author. Secondly, it gives poignant insights into a particular northern lifestyle of the fifties and sixties, one where the values and norms of the day seem like a distant history lesson. And, thirdly, it is entertaining. I found the non-linear style different to most autobiographies, but it worked quite well and covered up for omissions of quite large periods of Janette's life. It was a little as if she was pulling jigsaw pieces out of a bag and showing you them. Some pieces of the picture joined up, some bits came together at different times. And in some places there were holes that were never filled in. She has kept some pieces of the jigsaw in the bag, perhaps she will reveal them later.

    If you like reading biographies, then you are likely to like this one.

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    Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Jeanette Winterson
    • Narrated By Jeanette Winterson
    Overall
    (128)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (55)

    When Jeanette Winterson left home at 16 because she was in love with a woman, Mrs. Winterson asked her: "Why be happy when you could be normal?" This book is the story of a life's work to find happiness. It is the story of how the painful past returned to haunt Jeanette's later life, and send her on a journey into madness and out again, in search of her real mother. It is also a book about other people's stories, showing how fiction and poetry can form a string of guiding lights, a life raft which supports us when we are sinking.

    YorkshireTyke says: "Oranges Is Not The Only Book"
  • "A candid insight into a charmed life"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really like Rod Stewart's music and his highly entertaining performances. So, I wanted to read more about his life, beyond what I had read in the tabloids. This autobiography provides a candid insight into the charmed life of a talented, but non-academic artist. It is completely congruent with the tabloid image of a free spirit who has had more than his fair share of fast cars, beautiful women, drugs and immense luck. On the one hand Rod appears to be amoral, self-centred and above the law. On the other hand, his honesty, charm and young at heart approach is hard not to warm to. He was a working class boy who grasped opportunities with both hands and brought joy to the masses, through his music and songs. This is a well told story of Rod’s life so far.

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    Rod: The Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Rod Stewart
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (54)

    The long-awaited autobiography of one of rock's true megastars. Rod Stewart (aka Rod The Mod and to a very select few, Dad) was born the working-class son of a Scottish plumber in North London. He was never, as some stories later had it, a professional footballer or a gravedigger, though he did become a bit of a singer - and a fairly good one at that.

    Alison St Pierre says: "Funny and Fascinating!"
  • "Entertaining"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bill Bryson, has the great knack of writing in a manner that makes you feel as if he is telling the story just for you. His narrative flows smoothly from page to page and he is as comfortable laughing at his own foibles, as he is at pointing out those of others. If you have read Bryson before then you will enjoy this book. If you have never read Bryson then try this book, because it is good, but not his best, so if you enjoy it then you will enjoy exploring his other works. I also like the way that he narrates his own work. The title of this review sums up my feedback, so if you are looking for an entertaining read that is not too " heavy" then this could be for you.

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    A Walk in the Woods

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (14)

    The Appalachian Trail covers 14 states, and over 2,000 miles. It stretches along the East Coast of the United States, from Maine in the north to Georgia in the south. It is famous for being the longest continuous footpath in the world. (Compare this with the Pennine Way, which is a mere 250 miles long.) It snakes through some of the wildest and most spectacular landscapes in America, as well as through some of its most poverty-stricken and primitive backwoods areas.

    John says: "Author Narration"
  1. Why Be Happy When You Cou...
  2. Rod: The Autobiography
  3. A Walk in the Woods
  4. .

A powerful and emotional true story

Behind-the-scenes with a legend

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    Told in a series of letters, this true story of the correspondence between a New York writer and a London bookseller has touched the hearts of thousands.

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    Making Mavericks: The Memoir of a Surfing Legend

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Frosty Hesson, Ian Spiegelman
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    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Robert L Beisner
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    Where the Wind Leads: A Refugee Family's Miraculous Story of Loss, Rescue, and Redemption

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