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Biographies & Memoirs

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M

M Kilwinning, United Kingdom Member Since 2009
HELPFUL VOTES
45
ratings
REVIEWS
79
43
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FOLLOWING
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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.

    More

    Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Jeanette Winterson
    • Narrated By Jeanette Winterson
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (68)

    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.

    More

    Rod: The Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Rod Stewart
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (64)

    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!"
  • "Insights from the author of Schindl..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is an account of how the author, Thomas Keneally, was drawn into writing the story of Oscar Schindler. In itself it is an intriguing and multi-faceted story of a holocaust survivor that felt so indebted to Schindler that he spent his lifetime on the lookout for a writer to immortalize him, on the page and in film. It is also about Thomas Keneally himself and the long journey of writing a book and then getting it filmed. And the impact that such a demanding project had on him and his own family. It involved the vagaries of the publishing industry, the difficulty of the research, the various perspectives of the survivors, not all of whom saw Schindler as a saint. It also touches on the showbiz issues surrounding the film, the locations, the stars, the premieres the legacy. I liked the Spielberg film and so I was interested in how it came about, if you are too then you will enjoy this book, as it is It is well written as well read.

    More

    Searching for Schindler

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Thomas Keneally
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    In 1980, Tom Keneally walked into a store in Beverly Hills owned by Polish Jew Leopold Pfefferberg Page to buy a new briefcase. For the next few years, Tom's life was taken over by this charismatic and driven man, known as Poldek, and the story he wanted shared.

    M says: "Insights from the author of Schindler's List"
  1. Why Be Happy When You Cou...
  2. Rod: The Autobiography
  3. Searching for Schindler
  4. .

Meet Harper Lee

From First Lady to Secretary of State

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    Mary says: "Hours of delighted listening"
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    Jules D says: "Bring on 2016"
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    IAN COULSON says: "Inspriational"
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    John says: "An absolute pleasure from start to finish"
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    Sandra says: "Absolutely Fabulous!!"
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    Well hello to you dear audiobook browser. Now I have your attention it would be rude if I didn't tell you a little about my literary feast. So, here is the thing: is it just me or does anyone else find that adulthood offers no refuge from the unexpected horrors, peculiar lack of physical coordination and sometimes unexplained nudity, that accompanied childhood and adolescence? I am proud to say I have a wealth of awkward experiences - from school days to life as an office temp - and here I offer my 18-year-old self (and I hope you, too, dear listener) some much needed caution and guidance on how to navigate life's rocky path.

    R. says: "The best for a very serious mind"
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    This short piece of nonfiction is important to me. As a writer, I have been influenced by many things, none of which more than "Star Trek".