Audiobook Mini-reviews: The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin; Bossypants by Tina Fey; and Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani

Title: The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb
Author: Melanie Benjamin
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Kim Mai Guest
First line: I suppose it would be fashionable to admit to some reservations as I undertake to write the History of My Life.

Melanie Benjamin has done it again. As she did with Alice Liddell in Alice I Have Been, she has taken a little known historical figure and brought her to life in a novel. In this case, her subject is Lavinia Warren Bump, a proportionate dwarf whose career was launched by P.T. Barnum. Benjamin has taken the facts of Vinnie’s life and given this tiny woman the huge story she deserves. Vinnie is a character who will stay with me for a long time – and Melanie Benjamin now resides firmly on my list of favorite authors of historical fiction. Kim Mai Guest was the perfect narrator to voice Vinnie’s first-person story. She had the tonal quality you would expect from a woman of Vinnie’s diminutive size, but also perfectly captured her gentility and dignity.

Title: Bossypants
Author: Tina Fey
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Tina Fey
First line: My brother is eight years older than I am.

I may not be the typical Tina Fey fan (I’ve never watched an episode of 30 Rock, and I’m more conservative in my politics than she is), but I will be the first to admit that she is a very funny lady. She knows how to write – and in the case of this audiobook, she knows how to read what she has written. One word of warning: do not listen to this book while holding liquid in either your mouth or your bladder, or you’ll be sorry when you start laughing hysterically.

Title: Lucia, Lucia
Author: Adriana Trigiani
Genre: Women’s fiction, contemporary fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Cassandra Campbell
First line: From her window Kit Zanetti can see absolutely everything that happens on Commerce Street.

I owe Kathy at Bermudaonion such a huge thank you for highlighting the work of Adriana Trigiani. It was because of her that I listened to Trigiani’s Valentine series on audio. They were fantastic, and read by the amazing Cassandra Campbell, who pronounces all the Italian words and names as if she were a native. When I discovered that she also read Lucia, Lucia, I downloaded it from our library’s Overdrive site – and ended up loving it even more than the Valentine books. Lucia is a young Italian woman living in Brooklyn in the 1950s, and this is her story, and it is a must-read. Actually, with Campbell reading it, you should listen to it on audio.

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13 Responses to Audiobook Mini-reviews: The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin; Bossypants by Tina Fey; and Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani

  1. Kailana says:

    I really really enjoyed The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Kelly – me, too – that’s two for two with her historical fiction. I can’t wait to read whatever she writes next!

  2. bermudaonion (Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion
    says:

    It looks like you’ve been doing some fabulous listening lately!

    I’m so glad you love Trigiani’s work! Lucia, Lucia is probably my favorite – I sobbed as I read it, but loved it just the same!

  3. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread
    says:

    I loved Tina Fey, and I am a similar fan like you. I don’t watch 30 Rock and rarely watch SNL, but her humor as a mother, a wife and career woman really resounded with me! I also have the Valentine series loaded on my iPod. I just need to get to it! Perhaps I will listen to those next after I finish The Snowman.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Sandy – oh, I also forgot the stories about being a theater geek – I could totally relate – those stories had me cracking up! And I think you will really like the Valentine books.

  4. Stephanie says:

    So glad you loved The Autobiography of Mrs Tom Thumb. I thought it was great! Vinnie was definitely a larger than life character!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Stephanie – yes, she was. I think Vinnie is a character that will stick with me for a long time.

  5. stacybuckeye says:

    I am so looking forward to Bossy Pants, I love Tina! I’m a new Trigiani fan and I think it may have been Kathy that first turned me on to her too!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Stacy – I am looking forward to her other series – I can’t remember the name right now – and I’m hoping that the library has it on audio.

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