Betty White’s Life in Television

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audio book, downloads, digital download gift subscriptionA Look at Betty White’s Life in Television

It’s confession time and I have to admit that I have watched (and own) every episode of The Golden Girls. I have spent countless hours watching the lives of Blanche, Dorothy, Sophia and Rose, and I have loved every minute of it! Of course, the next logical step was for me to learn more about these wonderful women, and so I started listening to Betty White’s memoir, Here We Go Again: My Life in Television.

Betty White has had an amazing career in television. She has spent over 50 years on the screen! I had no idea how many shows she had actually been on. From watching special features about the Golden Girls I knew that she had been part of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, but I had no idea about The Betty White Show she hosted or the multitude of game shows that she was part of. After listening to the audio book I watched some old episodes to see Betty in action. My favorite character of hers will always be Rose Nylund though.

This memoir also looks at Betty’s life off camera. Betty tells of her loves and losses and everything in between. Animals play a huge role in her life and Betty has done a lot of work as an Animal Activist. She even had her own show, The Pet Set, where she featured celebrities and their pets!

This is a wonderful audio book for any Betty White fan. You’ll love that she narrates it herself and that her trademark humor is evident throughout.

Even if you haven’t had a chance to listen to the audio book yet, what is your favorite Betty White show or character?

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We’ve been having so much fun talking audiobooks on Twitter that we decided to start a Facebook page as well. We would love if you would like us and tell us a little about the audio books that you like to listen to (and the ones you don’t!). Facebook allows for a bit more fun, voting and pictures and we hope you’ll join us!

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George Lucas Ruined My Life – A Review of Wishful Drinking

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audio book, downloads, digital download gift subscriptionGeorge Lucas Ruined My Life – A Review of Wishful Drinking

Carrie Fisher has had one crazy life. Who wouldn’t with Debbie Reynolds for a mother and your face on everything from posters to Pez dispensers?

I have never seen the original three Star Wars movies (shameful, I know) but I have seen When Harry Met Sally and thought it would be interesting to know more about Carrie Fisher’s life, so I started listening to her autobiography, Wishful Drinking.

Daughter of America’s Sweethearts, Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, Carrie did not grow up in a normal household. Watching TV shows gave her insights into what Hollywood viewed as a normal house and family, but she knew that her life was surreal. How many kids have 3 pools — you know, in case 2 of them break at the same time?

Her most famous role of course was Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, but with her audio books and stand-up comedy she still receives plenty of fan mail and the occasional marriage proposal. If you’ve listened to the audio book, what do you think? Should she accept his proposal?

Carrie narrates the autobiography herself making it feel like you are part of the audience at one of her shows. She speaks as though she is actually telling you the story right now, which makes it a lot more fun than just reading the book.

Let me tell you, this is one wild ride! Carrie will shock and probably even scar you with her tale, but you’ll find yourself laughing with her throughout most of it. Because if what doesn’t kill you also fails to make you stronger, the least you can do is laugh about it.

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Abridged vs. Unabridged

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Abridged vs. Unabridged
Faced with the choice — abridged vs. unabridged — which version of the audio book do you pick? I am in favor of unabridged; I want to hear the whole story! If the author spent the time to write the book, and the narrator spent hours giving a voice to the characters, the least I can do is listen to the whole thing. Sometimes though, you just don’t have 20+ hours of listening time, and I have on occasion listened to an abridged version.

Because I like to keep track of the number of audio books I listen to, I feel guilty about adding an abridged version to my list. If I was reading a physical book and skipped a few chapters, I wouldn’t count that as a book I’d fully read.

What do you think? Am I way off base here? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Philippa Gregory Makes History Come Alive – A Review of The Red Queen

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audio book, downloads, digital download gift subscriptionPhilippa Gregory Makes History Come Alive – A Review of The Red Queen

I’m a big fan of Philippa Gregory’s work but I had never listened to one of her audio books before. I decided to start with The Red Queen narrated by Bianca Amato. Like many of Gregory’s books, this historical fiction audio book is told from the perspective of an important woman and this time it’s Margaret Beaufort, heiress to Lancaster House.

Margaret has always felt that she was special and that she had a calling. She felt that God spoke to her, that her will was God’s will and that she was destined to be an abbess. Unfortunately for her, women in England in the 1400s really did not get a choice of what they wanted to do with their life. Especially since she is cousin to the King, she doesn’t have the option of becoming a nun; she must marry and produce an heir.

The story follows Margaret through her multiple marriages and her journey to see her son become King of England, which she is determined to see happen. Margaret is a very proud and selfish woman and of course does not see these qualities in herself. She is not the most likeable protagonist which could make this audio book frustrating for some listeners. I found the story to be quite good even though I didn’t particularly like Margaret. At points I was laughing because she is so completely determined and self-absorbed she doesn’t really comprehend what is going on around her.

Philippa Gregory does not disappoint with this sequel to The White Queen. I found it very interesting to see the second perspective on the Cousin’s War. This is a great book for Philippa Gregory fans and for Tudor fans who want to know more about Henry VIII’s father and grandmother.

Have you listened to The Red Queen? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

My All Hallows Listen Pick – Coraline

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audio book, downloads, digital download gift subscriptionMy All Hallows Listen Pick – A Review of Coraline

Inspired by Neil Gaiman’s All Hallows Read, I wanted to listen to some spooky audio books during the month of October. I had a quick look on Audiobooks.com and decided to start with Coraline which was written and narrated by Neil Gaiman.

I had already seen the movie so I had a good idea what the story was about. An only child starts exploring the house her family has recently moved to and discovers an alternate world with an Other Mother and Other Father. These other parents are much nicer to and more considerate of Coraline than her real parents. Even though she is enjoying the attention, it doesn’t take long before Coraline starts to feel that something might be wrong. Things just aren’t adding up and Coraline begins to realize that the Other Mother may not be as lovely as she seems.

Even though this was written for a younger audience I still found this audio book to be a great pleasure to listen to. It is short and sweet clocking in just over three and half hours and great to listen to by yourself or with your kids. Neil Gaiman does a wonderful job narrating the audio book and you can hear his enthusiasm for the story. I highly recommend this as an All Hallow Listen pick for young and old!

Have you listened to the audio book or seen the movie? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

What do you do when your audio book isn’t holding your attention?

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What do you do when your audio book isn’t holding your attention?

Imagine this, you’ve got your comfy place to relax, a nice cup of hot tea (or coffee) and you’re ready to sit down and enjoy your latest audio book. You press play and begin listening, the narrator sounds pretty good, their pace is easy to listen to and follow, but the story fails to have you on the edge of your seat. You figure, oh well, some books are slow starters so you keep sipping your hot drink and listening. A few hours in and you realize, you still aren’t involved in the story. It keeps going, there’s nothing wrong with it, but it just doesn’t have you captivated.

This happened to me recently when I started listening to “A Far Cry from Kensington” by Muriel Spark. The book description seemed great, how could a story described as “hilariously portraying love, fraud, death, evil, and transformation” be boring? I’m not sure why; I just know that this audio book was not my cup of tea.

What do you do when this happens? Do you keep on listening, determined that it will get better? Or do you give up and move on to the next audio book on your “To – Listen” list? And an even better question, how long do you give an audio book before you make that decision? Once I start an audio book I want to continue to the end. I hold out hoping that it gets better. Many times I’m left disappointed, but I’m satisfied at the simple fact that at least now I know.

What do you think? Should you stop listening to an audio book that doesn’t capture your interest in the first 10 or 20 minutes?