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Susie

Santa Cruz, CA, United States
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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-22-17

Shame on Church and State

"Few people know anything about the collaboration of church and state to destroy races of people and cultures, genocide in the name of god."

Bev Sellars' often brutal testimony, gives insight into the cycle of poverty of indigenous peoples in Canada and (as she says) the United states, and even into Australia. She shows how dehumanization and cultural obliteration are passed down through generations.

She asks, "Is it possible to make others feel what I once felt?" The answer is yes. Her grandmotherly storyteller voice made me feel like I was hearing personal family history that I needed for my own survival.

Kindnesses shine like stars, but the bleakness is shameful and will be among the list of books that bolster my fight against systematic oppression.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-15-17

Be the Adult your Childhood Self Imagined

Perhaps you've heard the term "adulting," the concept of carrying out the obligations of adulthood that you'd rather not have. Well let's all celebrate the joys of being a Grown Up. The focus here is how to get the most out of life and maximize your fun.

Sure you need to learn how to budget and pay off your debts (and there is excellent advice for it here) but you also get to decide where to go to dinner and how long to stay out.

This book has lots of smart advice— even if you've been doing this for years. Find some joy in your privilege.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-10-17

An excellent new reading.

Danes' performance and the exceptional new post-script, along with the author's illuminating words make this a real and important addition to the history of this remarkable and once again timely tale. Hats off to the author and to Audible.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-26-16

Kick Your Inner Critic to the Curb

This audiobook is funny, full of lots of good advice to get your creative juices flowing, and an excellent means of procrastinating when it's time to be creative.

Who are you creative for? Do we create for an audience or ourselves? Danielle Krysa gives the tools, prompts and advice to get us out there and create for the sake of doing it. Stuck in a rut? Make a macaroni collage-- just get to it.

She gives your inner critic a swift kick in the pants while encouraging you to get on with it. I loved the interviews with working artists that let me know that EVERYONE has doubts about their abilities and can find an excuse to not create.

"Your Inner Critic Is a Big Fat Jerk" is genuinely helpful and is well and sincerely read by the author.

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30 of 33 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-22-16

Masterful Storytelling

This audiobook! I couldn't stop until the end. Whew.

Kane's a genius storyteller and performs this memoir with glee at life's folly, and sympathy for the pain. Shocking moments nestle up against the ridiculous.

When at Jesus camp, he hears that the chorus of Pentecostals speaking in tongues match the the voices that have been frightening him in his head, he dives in deep. He travels the world as pint sized charismatic preacher and faith healer, his own belief at odds with other's belief in him.

When his doubt overtakes his faith, he turns to activism with equal zeal, until he discovers that those voices he'd been hearing can be quieted with lithium. It's a wild ride.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-25-16

Everything There Is to Know

This short audiobook has all the details about the actual experience of being in space, from mundane logistical details to elevated thoughts and emotions.

It's going to get you through the next space-themed cocktail hour and make you queen of the party. When you're done regaling the crowd that has grown around you with the minutia of why there's no soda in space, and whether or not, in space, one can propel oneself by fart-power, people will be one hundred percent convinced you spent a year on the ISS.

Now, whenever a person sneezes in your presence you can tell them that a large part of astronaut training involves learning to direct your sneezes down. And when you go to a resort and are handed a towel you can mention that, in space, a towel is something one must carry at all times to wipe away the sweat and snot that forms in globules on your skin, but does not float away.

Be a space expert. Now!

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-25-16

Love and Hard Truths

Michelle Visage dishes love and hard truths in equal measure. She's a great storyteller, recounting her days on the NYC club scene, and climbing into showbiz on talent, bravado, and determination. She is telling you right now, with love in your heart and a willingness to work your ass off, you can do anything.

I must give a special appreciation for Michelle's narration here. She takes no prisoners, performing this like a one woman show. She's hilarious, inspiring and dare I say? Fabulous!

I loved this frank, positive, self-help manual from a total diva.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-23-16

A fascinating story, gracefully told

"What do we remember? What do we know? Are knowledge and memory the same? Just because we remember something, does that mean we know it? Is memory something we possess, like knowledge, or is it something we do—an act?"

A memoir needn't always hinge on what happened, it can be thought provoking to simply know by what trail a writer came to where he is. In this memoir Peter Selgin is insightful with a gift for description that would have kept me through the whole book. But, WHAT A STORY.

As an adult, Selgin found that the two most influential figures in his life, his father and a mentor teacher, were fabulists. His father was not a lapsed catholic Italian with an accent he'd gained from living in England, and his mentor was not a Native American poet/activist. They were both keeping an invented front for the world. When everything he knows shifts memory, a reckoning is due. I'm glad it happened to this particular writer.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-22-16

Where would we be without Neal Cassady?

Where would we be without Neal Cassady? There would be no "On the Road,” "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Electric Kool Aid Acid Test,” or "Fear and Loathing."

There had never been a muse like Cassady in American literature, never. This is his story. This is his family.

TIP: Start on Audio Chapter #3, the first two chapters are others talking about the book. I like to start right with *his* voice.

Neal Cassady's legendary charisma comes through in every line.This is his only published book. It’s a story of depression era squalor that will stick in the craw of every person shouting "Make America great again," Cassady spins a tale for the ages. If you haven't heard this, your Beat education is incomplete.

By family background, Neal was an Okie before his wild days in Denver, San Francisco, or working the California rails. Luke Daniels' narration captures his Western voice spot-on.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-18-16

Dynamite Hit of Inspiration

Written for young people, and for parents to share with their kids, "Rad American Women” is a dynamite hit of inspiration.

I guarantee there will be at least one woman on this list whose life story is new to you. I thought I was a feminist trivia queen, but the authors came up with life’s little details I had never heard of!

I finished this collection with solid fist pump.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful