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Arlene Finnigan

  • 45
  • reviews
  • 10
  • helpful votes
  • 74
  • ratings
  • American Housewife

  • By: Helen Ellis
  • Narrated by: Dorothy Dillingham Blue, Lisa Cordileone, Kathleen McInerney, and others
  • Length: 3 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 5

A sharp, funny, delightfully unhinged collection of stories set in the dark world of domesticity, American Housewife features murderous ladies who lunch, celebrity treasure hunters, and the best bra fitter south of the Mason-Dixon line. Meet the women of American Housewife: They wear lipstick, pearls, and sunscreen, even when it's cloudy. They casserole. They pinwheel. They pump the salad spinner like a CPR dummy. And then they kill a party crasher....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great fun

  • By Arlene Finnigan on 29-01-19

Great fun

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-01-19

This book was really good fun, I really enjoyed it. Quirky, dry humour, viciously funny.

  • Letter from Birmingham Jail

  • By: Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5

April 16th, the year is 1963. Birmingham, Alabama, has had a spring of nonviolent protests known as the Birmingham Campaign, seeking to draw attention to the segregation against blacks by the city government and downtown retailers. The organizers longed to create a nonviolent tension so severe that the powers that be would be forced to address the rampant racism head on. Recently arrested was Martin Luther King, Jr.... It is there in that jail cell that he writes this letter; on the margins of a newspaper he pens this defense of nonviolence against segregation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Essential civil rights reading

  • By Arlene Finnigan on 23-01-19

Essential civil rights reading

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

Reviewed: 23-01-19

A vital historical document and a powerful, eloquent argument for non-violent direct action. Essential reading for anyone interested in the history of the civil rights movement. Excellent narration too.

  • First Bite: How We Learn to Eat

  • By: Bee Wilson
  • Narrated by: Karen Cass
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42

We are not born knowing what to eat. We all have to learn it as children sitting expectantly at a table. For our diets to change, we need to relearn the food experiences that first shaped us. Everyone starts drinking milk. After that it's all up for grabs. We are not born knowing what to eat; we each have to figure it out for ourselves. From childhood onwards, we learn how big a portion is and how sweet is too sweet.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating

  • By Arlene Finnigan on 22-01-19

Fascinating

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

Reviewed: 22-01-19

This is a fascinating study of how we form our eating habits, how they are learned rather than 'just how we are', and how they can change. Both well researched and really accessible. (on a side note can I suggest that the epilogue would be even better on audio with the music from the Sunscreen song playing in the background?)

  • Who Moved My Cheese?

  • By: Dr Spencer Johnson
  • Narrated by: Tony Roberts, Karen Ziemba, Kenneth Blanchard
  • Length: 1 hr and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

Who Moved My Cheese? is a simple parable that reveals profound truths. It is the amusing and enlightening story of four characters who live in a maze and look for cheese to nourish them and make them happy. Cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life, for example a good job, a loving relationship, money or possessions, health or spiritual peace of mind. The maze is where you look for what you want, perhaps the organisation you work in or the family or community you live in. The problem is that the cheese keeps moving.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting.....ish

  • By Arlene Finnigan on 02-01-19

Interesting.....ish

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

Reviewed: 02-01-19

This was interesting, if a bit patronising and 'woo woo'. I'm sorry but I'm never going to hear phrases like 'negative energy' and 'let go of your fears' without rolling my eyes. Also, I think people might be entitled to be annoyed about their cheese being taken away. Mmmm. Cheese. Yeah this book also made me quite hungry. A lot of interesting stuff to think about though.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give

  • By: Ada Calhoun
  • Narrated by: Ada Calhoun
  • Length: 3 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

Inspired by her wildly popular New York Times essay "The Wedding Toast I'll Never Give", Ada Calhoun provides a funny (but not flip), smart (but not smug) take on the institution of marriage. Weaving intimate moments from her own married life with frank insight from experts, clergy, and friends, she upends expectations of total marital bliss to present a realistic - but ultimately optimistic - portrait of what marriage is really like.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very honest

  • By Arlene Finnigan on 31-12-18

Very honest

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

Reviewed: 31-12-18

This is a great, honest reflection on the realities of marriage. A lot of it will strike a chord and bring a wry smile, but a lot of good advice too.

  • The Lost Words

  • By: Robert Macfarlane, Jackie Morris
  • Narrated by: Guy Garvey, Edith Bowman, Benjamin Zephaniah, and others
  • Length: 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 15

All over the country, there are words disappearing from children's lives. Words like Dandelion, Otter, Bramble, Acorn and Lark represent the natural world of childhood, a rich landscape of discovery and imagination that is fading from children's minds. The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of the poetry of nature words and the living glory of our distinctive British countryside. With acrostic spell-poems by peerless wordsmith Robert Macfarlane, this enchanting audiobook captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unfolding the old magic ...

  • By Amazon Customer on 19-10-18

Very sweet

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

Reviewed: 28-12-18

This is a lovely bit of whimsy. Very soothing to listen to on audio, and a nice way to get your nature fix in the middle of winter.

  • Letters from Father Christmas

  • By: J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Narrated by: Derek Jacobi, John Moffatt, Christian Rodska
  • Length: 2 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59

Can you imagine writing to Father Christmas and actually getting a reply? Every year, the children of J.R.R. Tolkien would write to Father Christmas, and the letters they received told wonderful stories of his adventures at the North Pole. These humorous tales are brought to life by Derek Jacobi as Father Christmas, John Moffatt as Polar Bear, and Christian Rodska as Ilbereth the Elf, complete with specially composed music.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Seriously irritating music

  • By Sally on 24-12-16

Perfect Christmas reading

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

Reviewed: 24-12-18

Of course Tolkien invented a grouchy polar bear sidekick for Father Christmas. Of course he invented a fictional Arctic language. Of course Father Christmas has to battle hobgoblins.

  • The Girl From Aleppo

  • Nujeen’s Escape From War to Freedom
  • By: Nujeen Mustafa, Christina Lamb
  • Narrated by: Raghad Chaar
  • Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

An inspiring tale of modern migration, overcoming adversity and escaping the hell of war, from a girl struggling to walk for the very first time in her life. Nujeen Mustafa has cerebral palsy. This did not stop her travelling, with her sister, 4,000 miles from Syria to Hungary in a wheelchair.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An amazing story

  • By Arlene Finnigan on 18-12-18

An amazing story

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

Reviewed: 18-12-18

This is a great, eye opening insight into the experience of a refugee - an unimaginably difficult journey for anyone, but even more so for a disabled teenage girl. The author is honest and very engaging. A must read for anyone wanting to know more about Syria and the refugee crisis.

  • On Liberty

  • By: Shami Chakrabarti
  • Narrated by: Shami Chakrabarti
  • Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of On Liberty, written and read by Shami Chakrabarti. On 11 September 2001, our world changed. The West's response to 9/11 has morphed into a period of exception. Governments have decided that the rule of law and human rights are often too costly. In On Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti explores why our fundamental rights and freedoms are indispensable.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great thought provoking read

  • By Arlene Finnigan on 05-12-18

Great thought provoking read

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

Reviewed: 05-12-18

This is a great, thought provoking read. A reminder that we shouldn't take our freedoms and civil liberties for granted.

  • Born Lippy

  • How to Do Female
  • By: Jo Brand
  • Narrated by: Jo Brand
  • Length: 7 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 176
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 174

When Jo Brand hosted Have I Got News For You late last year, her calm explanation of the effects of sexism on women to a bemused all-male cast turned into a viral phenomenon. There has been a whole tradition of books over hundreds of years where a father shares his wisdom with his son - started by Lord Chesterfield in the 18th century - while women have been silent (aka bullied into thinking their advice wasn't worth writing down). This book puts a stop to all that.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A surprisingly emotional experience

  • By Thi Ha Linh Nguyen on 20-10-18

Good thought provoking read

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

Reviewed: 22-11-18

This is a really good read. It's very much a 'this is what life has taught me' memoir rather than a laugh-a-minute comedy book, and obviously I don't agree with her on everything, but it's very honest and thought-provoking. The delivery is strangely flat on the audiobook, though.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful