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?

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.

Abridged vs. Unabridged

Have you ever been browsing our library and wondered, “Why is the exact same book – same author, same narrator, same publisher, and same cover art – available twice?” Usually if you look a little closer, you’ll notice that they actually have different lengths. One will be the full-length version, while the other will be shortened, or “abridged”.

For all the benefits audiobooks provide, there is one trade-off: we read with our eyes faster than anyone can read to us with their voice. Some may feel like a novel is taking a while when it otherwise wouldn’t. To abate this, many publishers will offer an abridged version of the audiobook, where the story line remains intact but certain sections are cut to shave a few hours off the recording. The majority of our listeners opt for the full version but others feel that an abridged audiobook is easier to handle. This is especially the case with lengthy classics, which were written back when our patience and attention span were a little longer.

There are certainly pros and cons, and I’m often guilty of finding myself in the middle of a classic waiting for the plot to progress. However, I still prefer the unabridged version; if I’m going to enjoy an author’s work, I want to listen to the whole production!

Plus, with’s variable speed narration tool, it’s easy to change your listening from 1.0 to 1.25, 1.5 or even 1.75 times normal speed. To access this feature, tap the “1x” text at the bottom left corner of the audio player screen in the app.

Are you an abridged or unabridged listener? Tell us your thoughts!

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!