Author: Peter Clemens

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

What’s it about? Unbroken is the inspiring true story of Louie Zamperini, a man who endured a series of catastrophes almost too incredible to be believed. As a kid growing up in California in the 1920s, Louie was a hellraiser who broke into houses, brawled, and ran away from home to ride the rails. But as a teenager Louie turned his life around by channelling his defiance into running, a talent which would take him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. The heart of the story, however, is Louie’s experiences while serving in the...

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Freakonomics: Revised Edition by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

What’s it about? Freakonomics is a collaboration between Steven D. Levitt, a much-heralded economist at the University of Chicago, and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist, which considers some very unusual – some might even say “freakish” – questions. These include: What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? If drug dealers make so much money, why do they still live with their mothers? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime? The answers Levitt and Dubner reach to these questions show...

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Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

What’s it about? In Memoirs of a Geisha, Nitta Sayuri tells the story of her life as a geisha. Sayuri’s story begins in a poor fishing village in 1929, when, as a nine-year-old with unusual blue-grey eyes, she is taken from her home and sold to a Geisha House in the Gion District of Kyoto. Her fate continually twists, along with Japan’s, before, during and after World War II. Is it any good? Bernadette Dunne does a fine job as narrator. Some reviewers on Audible have complained about her reserved style, but for me the narration was both appropriate...

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Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

What’s it about? At the beginning of Water for Elephants, Jacob Jankowski is 93 (or was it 90… he can’t remember) living out his days in a nursing home, hating every second of it. Through Jacob’s memories we learn his life wasn’t always so dull – in fact, he has led a wild and wonderful life. When he was twenty-one, Jacob ran away and joined a traveling circus, the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. In addition to an assortment of freaks, grifters, and misfits, Jacob meets Marlena, the beautiful star of the equestrian act; August, her charismatic...

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Life by Keith Richards

What’s it about? As lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards has lived life fast and hard. In Life, Keith recalls with unflinching honesty and vivid detail the highs and lows of The Rolling Stones’ meteoric rise to fame and the notorious drug busts, women, drinking, and heroin addiction that made him infamous. His conflicted-albeit-creatively rich relationship with Mick Jagger, the tax exile in France and the recording of Exile on Main Street, marriage to Patti Hansen, the genesis of rock classics such as Satisfaction and Honky Tonk Woman… these are just a few of the stories included in this...

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