Learning to Love

| February 01, 2002

Never Change
Elizabeth Berg
Reviewed by Donna Pierce

Listening Time: 5 hours
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Retail: $26

Myra Lipinsky describes herself as odd-shaped and with an unfortunate face. She has been lonely all her life, even in high school. She had friends who called her for advice but never had time for her. There were no dates for Myra, and when referring to her prom she says, “You know people like me. I’m the one who sat in a folding chair out in the hall selling tickets to the prom but never going, the one everybody liked but no one wanted to be with.”

At age 51, Myra is still lonely, but has a successful career as a home nurse. She drives a Porsche, owns a home and has a dog she loves named Frank. She decided on a nursing career because she knew it would be a way for people to love her.

Myra’s humdrum life changes with the return of Chip Reardon. Unlike Myra, Chip was popular at her high school and had plenty of dates; and like most of the girls, Myra adored Chip. He’s returned home to live with his parents while dying from a brain tumor, and has refused invasive treatment because his illness is incurable. Myra eagerly becomes his nurse and the two immediately become friends.

He accompanies Myra while visiting her patients, and the couple spends their evenings together. Soon Myra discovers that she has deeper feelings for Chip than he does for her, but doesn’t confess these feelings to Chip.

Before returning home, Chip had reunited with Diane, his girlfriend from high school, and they want to spend his remaining days together. Chip’s parents don’t like Diane, so Myra offers to let Diane stay at her house. Myra suffers in silence as Chip and Diane have romantic dinners and sleep together under her roof.

Then one day Chip asks Diane to leave. His condition is worsening, and Diane confesses that it’s difficult for her to watch him deteriorate. Before Diane leaves, she confesses to Myra that Chip likes Myra and wants to spend his remaining time with her.

Chip moves in with Myra, and they grow closer. Chip helps Myra realize her isolation from people is self-induced. Chip wants to die peacefully and makes a decision that affects Myra, making her question her oath as a nurse.
Grade: A-


The Darwin Awards
Wendy Northcutt

The Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it, showing us just how uncommon common sense can be. Marvel at the thief who steals electrical wires before shutting off the current. Gape at the would-be pilot who flies his lawn chair suspended from helium balloons into air-traffic lanes. And learn from the man who peers into a gasoline can using a cigarette lighter. These tales of trial and awe-inspiring error illustrate the ongoing saga of survival of the fittest in all its selective glory!
The Darwin Awards
3.5 hours
Retail: $22.95
Listen & Live Audio


The Corrections
Jonathan Franzen

The Corrections is a novel about a family breaking down in an age of easy fixes. After almost 50 years as a wife and mother, Enid Lambert is ready to have some fun. Unfortunately, her husband, Alfred, is losing his sanity to Parkinson’s disease, and their children have long since flown the family nest to the catastrophes of their own lives. The oldest, Gary, a once-stable portfolio manager and family man, is trying to convince his wife and himself, despite clear signs to the contrary, that he is not clinically depressed. The middle child, Chip, has lost his seemingly secure academic job and is failing spectacularly at his new line of work. And Denise, the youngest, has escaped a disastrous marriage only to pour her youth and beauty down the drain on an affair with a married man – or so her mother fears. Desperate for some pleasure to look forward to, Enid has set her heart on an elusive goal: bringing her family together for one last Christmas at home.
The Corrections
9 hours
Retail: $35
Simon & Schuster Audio


Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars
Greg Cox

Even centuries later, the final decades of the 20th century are still regarded as one of the darkest and most perilous chapters in the history of humanity. Now, as an ancient and forbidden technology tempts mankind once more, Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise must probe deep into the secrets of the past, to discover the true origins of the dreaded Eugenics Wars – and of perhaps the greatest foe he has ever faced.

An international consortium of the world’s top scientists has conspired to create the Chrysalis Project, a top-secret experiment in human genetic engineering. Gary Seven, an undercover operative for an advanced alien species, is alarmed by the project’s objectives; he knows too well the apocalyptic consequences of genetic manipulation. He may be too late. One generation of super-humans has already been conceived.
Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars
3 hours
Retail: $18
Simon & Schuster Audio

Learning to Love

| February 01, 2002

Never Change
Elizabeth Berg
Reviewed by Donna Pierce

Listening Time: 5 hours
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Retail: $26

Myra Lipinsky describes herself as odd-shaped and with an unfortunate face. She has been lonely all her life, even in high school. She had friends who called her for advice but never had time for her. There were no dates for Myra, and when referring to her prom she says, “You know people like me. I’m the one who sat in a folding chair out in the hall selling tickets to the prom but never going, the one everybody liked but no one wanted to be with.”

At age 51, Myra is still lonely, but has a successful career as a home nurse. She drives a Porsche, owns a home and has a dog she loves named Frank. She decided on a nursing career because she knew it would be a way for people to love her.

Myra’s humdrum life changes with the return of Chip Reardon. Unlike Myra, Chip was popular at her high school and had plenty of dates; and like most of the girls, Myra adored Chip. He’s returned home to live with his parents while dying from a brain tumor, and has refused invasive treatment because his illness is incurable. Myra eagerly becomes his nurse and the two immediately become friends.

He accompanies Myra while visiting her patients, and the couple spends their evenings together. Soon Myra discovers that she has deeper feelings for Chip than he does for her, but doesn’t confess these feelings to Chip.

Before returning home, Chip had reunited with Diane, his girlfriend from high school, and they want to spend his remaining days together. Chip’s parents don’t like Diane, so Myra offers to let Diane stay at her house. Myra suffers in silence as Chip and Diane have romantic dinners and sleep together under her roof.

Then one day Chip asks Diane to leave. His condition is worsening, and Diane confesses that it’s difficult for her to watch him deteriorate. Before Diane leaves, she confesses to Myra that Chip likes Myra and wants to spend his remaining time with her.

Chip moves in with Myra, and they grow closer. Chip helps Myra realize her isolation from people is self-induced. Chip wants to die peacefully and makes a decision that affects Myra, making her question her oath as a nurse.
Grade: A-


The Darwin Awards
Wendy Northcutt

The Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it, showing us just how uncommon common sense can be. Marvel at the thief who steals electrical wires before shutting off the current. Gape at the would-be pilot who flies his lawn chair suspended from helium balloons into air-traffic lanes. And learn from the man who peers into a gasoline can using a cigarette lighter. These tales of trial and awe-inspiring error illustrate the ongoing saga of survival of the fittest in all its selective glory!
The Darwin Awards
3.5 hours
Retail: $22.95
Listen & Live Audio


The Corrections
Jonathan Franzen

The Corrections is a novel about a family breaking down in an age of easy fixes. After almost 50 years as a wife and mother, Enid Lambert is ready to have some fun. Unfortunately, her husband, Alfred, is losing his sanity to Parkinson’s disease, and their children have long since flown the family nest to the catastrophes of their own lives. The oldest, Gary, a once-stable portfolio manager and family man, is trying to convince his wife and himself, despite clear signs to the contrary, that he is not clinically depressed. The middle child, Chip, has lost his seemingly secure academic job and is failing spectacularly at his new line of work. And Denise, the youngest, has escaped a disastrous marriage only to pour her youth and beauty down the drain on an affair with a married man – or so her mother fears. Desperate for some pleasure to look forward to, Enid has set her heart on an elusive goal: bringing her family together for one last Christmas at home.
The Corrections
9 hours
Retail: $35
Simon & Schuster Audio


Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars
Greg Cox

Even centuries later, the final decades of the 20th century are still regarded as one of the darkest and most perilous chapters in the history of humanity. Now, as an ancient and forbidden technology tempts mankind once more, Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise must probe deep into the secrets of the past, to discover the true origins of the dreaded Eugenics Wars – and of perhaps the greatest foe he has ever faced.

An international consortium of the world’s top scientists has conspired to create the Chrysalis Project, a top-secret experiment in human genetic engineering. Gary Seven, an undercover operative for an advanced alien species, is alarmed by the project’s objectives; he knows too well the apocalyptic consequences of genetic manipulation. He may be too late. One generation of super-humans has already been conceived.
Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars
3 hours
Retail: $18
Simon & Schuster Audio

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