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Not My Father's Son
Not My Father's Son: A Family Memoir | Alan Cumming
Alan Cumming grew up in the grip of a man who held his family hostage, someone who meted out violence with a frightening ease, who waged a silent war with himself that sometimes spilled over onto everyone around him. That man was Alan's father, Alex Cumming. Alex was the dark, enigmatic heart of Cumming family life. But he was not the only mystery. Alan's maternal grandfather, Tommy Darling, had disappeared to the Far East after the Second World War. The last time Alan's mother saw her father she was eight years old. When she was thirteen, the family was informed that he had died in an accidental shooting. Curious to explore this second mystery, Alan committed to filming an episode of the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? Then out of the blue, his father, who Alan and his brother had not seen or spoken to for more than a decade, called. He had a secret he had to share, one that would shock his son to his very core and set in motion a journey that would change Alan's life forever. At times suspenseful, at times deeply moving, but always brave and honest, Not My Father's Son is a powerful story about embracing the best aspects of the past and triumphantly pushing the darkness aside.
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BekaReid
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Pickpick

Wow. This was a powerful memoir of Alan Cumming as he recounts the abuse suffered at his father's hands and the impact it had throughout his life. Honest and beautifully written, I definitely recommend.

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BekaReid

"Memory is so subjective. We all remember in a visceral, emotional way, and so even if we agree on the facts—what was said, what happened where and when—what we take away and store from a moment, what we feel about it, can vary radically."

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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

I've been a fan of Alan Cumming since he played a creepy git in Circle of Friends. Loved hearing his story of overcoming a childhood full of an abusive father, and the power of his love for his mother and brother. It's also the story of the secrets of Alan's maternal grandfather and the way both men have shaped his life- by their presence and absence.

Tanisha_A I have seen him in The Good Wife, and think i'd like to read this one 3mo
Birdsong28 @Tanisha_A I saw him in that as well, he has recently done a series called instinct which he leads which was really good. 📚📖 3mo
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Lauram
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Pickpick

I didn‘t know anything about Alan or his book when I decided to check this out from my library. It‘s easily one of my favorite memoirs and probably my favorite book/audiobook of 2019. #LitsyAtoZ

CBee Loved this one so much! I adore him ♥️♥️ 4mo
Lauram @CBee I‘m glad I didn‘t read anything about the book beforehand. I admire his resilience and am glad he had such strong women in his life to support him. 4mo
CBee @Lauram I basically knew of him as an actor and singer, but this book just made me love him more. And I want his mum to be MY mum 😂😂 4mo
Lauram @CBee I was lucky to grow up with strong women in my life. Alan‘s grandmother reminds me of my own gran. She was a wonderful woman. 4mo
SexyCajun I own this book already and still haven't read it yet! 3mo
76 likes3 stack adds5 comments
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Lauram
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I stopped on my way home from work to walk and enjoy the warmer weather. #Litsywalkers @kaye

RachelO Very atmospheric! 5mo
Kaye Beautiful. 5mo
4thhouseontheleft That looks so neat! And a little creepy. 😃 5mo
DarcysMom Amazing picture! 5mo
sudi This looks pretty but it could also be the backdrop for a horror novel 😄 5mo
78 likes5 comments
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Lauram
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I walked the full length of this hall 20x and took the cat for a walk so he could could check out his favorite plants along the driveway. Started the tagged audiobook that I intend to continue on the treadmill later tonight. #LitsyWalkers @kaye

DarcysMom 👍😁 5mo
Kaye 🌟👍🏼 good job 👏🏽 5mo
Crazeedi Your cat will go for a walk? And not run away? That's totally awesome 5mo
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Lauram @Crazeedi Yes, my cat loves to go out on walks. I don‘t let him get too far away from me, he knows he‘s not allowed to eat other animals, and he goes right to the door when I say it‘s time to go in. I‘m convinced time spent outside is good for his mental health. (edited) 5mo
laurenslibrary I tried to walk my cat on a leash once. It was a complete and total failure. 😾 5mo
Crazeedi @laurenslibrary me too, he laid down and I would have had to drag him, 😜 @Lauram that is just amazing and so cool 5mo
Lauram @laurenslibrary @crazeedi we started with a leash and he acted like his world was ending. Fortunately he had an older feline role model who taught him how to behave outside. 5mo
Crazeedi @Lauram that's so neat, I love it 5mo
83 likes8 comments
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CBee
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Pickpick

Finally, FINALLY finished this one. I‘m so glad I decided to keep listening to it via Scribd rather than read it, because Alan‘s beautiful and unique voice/accent really makes the book. His story is painful, but uplifting, then more painful, but inspiring. Highly recommend!

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lindsaykerr
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Pickpick

What an interesting story! Just when you (and Alan) think you have everything figured out something happens and changes the story again. He narrates it in his thick Scottish accent so it really feels like he's telling you this story. No one is safe from family scandal and drama, not even celebrities whose lives we so often glamourize. Sadly no mention of his role in Spice World 😔

gradcat I so love Alan Cumming!! ❤️💕😍 5mo
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Cinfhen
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Pickpick

I‘ve really enjoyed my last few days with Alan Cumming. While there was a lot of heart break in his story, Alan managed to provide several lighter moments, too. I especially enjoyed his take on Eurovision, wearing female undergarments and dealing with stilettos 👠 This memoir unravels the mystery of his maternal grandfather, Tommy Darling‘s death while detailing his own traumatic childhood. I found his story 💯authentic and admire his fortitude.

Cinfhen I listened via #Hoopla and it was a 5 star audio for me. Just wondering do you guys think this would count as #musician or is Alan Cumming more of an actor?!?! 5mo
CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian Isn't it so fantastic to hear him read it? I love his voice and his accent! 5mo
ofbooksandme Definitely listening to him makes it so much better. 5mo
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Bookzombie @Cinfhen That‘s a hard one. According to Wikipedia, he has released two studio albums of his own. 5mo
Kaye Love the photo of the old cemetery. I‘m be of those odd people who likes walking through centuries to read the headstones. Sorta paying honor to everyone, whether I know them or not. I‘ve got this on audio. Have yet to read it v 5mo
KarenUK I‘d say he totally counts as a musician... 👍he‘s multi talented! I‘ve seen him on stage so many times, and he‘s wonderful. He does a lot of covers but writes his own songs too. 5mo
Cinfhen Just trying to decide how to use this book for challenges @KarenUK @Bookzombie But it honestly doesn‘t matter because I thought this was an excellent audio 🎶Yes!!!! His voice @ofbooksandme @CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian fabulous You really should listen @Kaye 5mo
TrishB @kaye I love walking through cemeteries 💕 5mo
EclecticBookLover I loved this book. I listened to it and lived his narration. 5mo
Cinfhen His narration was therapeutic @EclecticBookLover 5mo
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Cinfhen
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OMG!!! This memoir is heartbreaking 💔💔💔#NonFiction2019 @Riveted_Reader_Melissa

Soubhiville It is, and so well written! 5mo
Hollie I need to move this up the TBR 5mo
Cinfhen I‘m listening through #Hoopla ~ it‘s so good. @Hollie @Soubhiville 5mo
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa Adding this one! 5mo
Cinfhen It‘s really excellent @Riveted_Reader_Melissa 5mo
TheWordJar Ugh! This one broke my heart so many times! But honestly, listening to him all day was not a bad use of my time. Love his voice! 5mo
BibliOphelia I have this on my e-tbr. I think I‘ll bump it up! 🙂 5mo
DGRachel I have this audiobook, I think, and I haven‘t been able to bring myself to listen to it because of the subject matter. 😔 5mo
TrishB Not for me 😔 5mo
Cinfhen It‘s very painful at times, but Alan Cummings is so brilliant to listen to, like @TheWordJar stated 🙌🏻 I‘m glad I‘m listening and not reading because while I feel and hear his pain, I know he‘s good now. But I totally respect how for some this could be a tough subject 😭😭😭 @TrishB @DGRachel @BibliOphelia 5mo
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Cinfhen
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#MusicalNewYear Years ago, I was extremely fortunate to see the incredibly talented Alan Cumming preform on Broadway in #Cabaret ❤️🎭 Yesterday, I was extremely fortunate to find his audio available on Hoopla 😄I‘m told it‘s a moving memoir.

TiredLibrarian I love Alan Cumming - how wonderful to have seen him as the Emcee! I loved his memoir, and I bet it would be ever better on audio. Enjoy! 5mo
Cinfhen Thanks @TiredLibrarian he‘s a brilliant performer and he narrates his memoir, so that should be amazing. 5mo
Cathythoughts That must have been amazing ... sounds like something you will never forget 👍🏻♥️ 5mo
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KathyWheeler I‘m not a big reader of celebrity memoirs, but I read Not My Father‘s Son and loved it. 5mo
KatieDid927 I got to see him in Cabaret too, incredible. 5mo
Cinfhen I just remember being mesmerized by him @Cathythoughts @KathyWheeler @KatieDid927 truly an experience 5mo
KarenUK Loved this on audio... that voice! 💕👍... and also got to see the lovely Alan in Caberet in the revival a few years ago. He‘s just wonderful. 😍 5mo
CarolynM Fabulous choice. I've loved Alan Cumming ever since Bernard and the Genie (if you haven't seen it go look for it - it was on the BBC's website, not sure if it still is). Caught his cabaret show in Sydney a few years ago (not the musical just him telling stories and singing songs). He's a great writer too. 5mo
nomadreader Loved this on audio! 5mo
readordierachel Love him! 5mo
Cinfhen Hope to start the audio tonight @KarenUK @CarolynM @nomadreader @readordierachel 🎧 5mo
vivastory That's major bragging rights!!! 5mo
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Loved his memoir!! The audio was great. I‘d love to see him someday! 5mo
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Graciouswarriorprincess
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Reading plus wine going on for the rest of the day. My youngest son reading on his Kindle in the background. #readingfamily

tpixie Merry Christmas!! 🎁🎄 6mo
Tamra Love it! 6mo
Graciouswarriorprincess @tpixie Merry Christmas! @Tamra Me too! 6mo
Bookish.SAM Sounds like a lovely way to spend the day!! 🍷📚 6mo
Dragon 🎄💚🐉 6mo
76 likes5 comments
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Ke633
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#HumpDayPost
1. Tape+meme (first thing I saw on my desk)
2. A big door
3. Memoir. It was incredibly sad but very good
4. Maybe a few months ago. I try not to eat fried foods..
5. Absolutely not.
@MinDea

bullbunny Lmao 7mo
Bookjunkie57 😂😂😂 7mo
30 likes2 comments
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Geebee
Pickpick

👍

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OrangeMooseReads
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1. 93
2. 75
3. The tagged book. Did the audio edition read by Alan Cumming and it was fantastic.
4. I‘m not sure. I believe a new Paper Girls vol comes out this fall, and a new Anne Rice Lestat novel as well. Both are on my list to purchase.
#2018checkin

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RealLifeReading
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Pickpick

Wow this book was a brutal one. It details Cumming‘s relationship with his violent father, and how he has tried to deal with his past. Cumming also discusses the filming of a TV show, the kind that digs into your family‘s past, and he reconnects w his father after more than 10 years and learns of a shocking secret. This journey through the past seems to bring some closure to Cumming and his family. And sometimes that‘s just what‘s needed.

RealLifeReading I forgot that this book would work for #booked2018 - LGBTQIA+ MC @Cinfhen @4thhouseontheleft @BarbaraTheBibliophage 10mo
Cinfhen I‘ve heard this book is powerful ~ great choice for prompt (edited) 10mo
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RealLifeReading
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I started this last night as I was trying to go to sleep, thinking at first, oh maybe a nice memoir will calm my brain down and I can fall asleep after a few pages. Well I was wrong. I ended up reading some 50 pages and then reluctantly letting the tablet go and falling asleep. I do wish I could have borrowed the audiobook as I love his voice (I‘ve listened to 3 Alan Cumming-narrated books, all fiction) but alas I just have to read this to myself

MallenNC I liked that one too. Different from most celebrity memoirs. 10mo
Annl His story telling is amazing! If you are on instagram, he does a singing “Saturday night” post. 10mo
RealLifeReading @MallenNC it‘s definitely an interesting read!! 10mo
RealLifeReading @Annl I just followed him on IG! 😀 Thanks! 10mo
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SkeletonKey
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I saw Alan Cumming‘s cabaret-style show Legal Immigrant in DC on Saturday and I gotta tell ya...it was amazing.

So many things resonated and so many things to think about. He‘s just so damn good.

#alancumming #cabaret #lgbtq

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CBee
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“I smelled the roses to try and figure out how I came to be in the garden at all.”
Currently at a rest stop because this QUOTE, y‘all! This quote is everything. It‘s so good that I had to pull over to post 😂😂😂

Dragon 🌹 11mo
36 likes1 comment
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ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled
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I‘m halfway through this book and I want to give him a big hug. Been givin‘ me a lil dose of panic-feelings, but I highly recommend everyone read this. I #blameitonLitsy! I look forward to this every time I get to listen. Get the audio and hear Alan read it!! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

TiredLibrarian I love Alan Cumming & loved the book. Glad you're enjoying it too! 📚❤ 12mo
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled @TiredLibrarian I wanna be his best friend 😀 12mo
LiteraryinLititz I totally agree. I read this one a while back and it made me like and respect him even more. 12mo
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daniwithtea
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Pickpick

This was a such a tough listen. I want to give this guy (and his Darling mother) a hug.

PurpleyPumpkin It was a tough listen, but very good. 💜 12mo
EclecticBookLover I loved this one. Beautiful and heartbreaking, but very powerful. 12mo
25 likes2 comments
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OrangeMooseReads
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My June total. Not bad.

DivineDiana Not bad at all! 😀👏🏻📚 12mo
42 likes1 comment
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Soubhiville
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Pickpick

Wow. This memoir is really really good. It‘s about Alan‘s upbringing in an abusive home, and dealing with the repercussions of that as an adult. Obvious trigger warnings. Also, he has a lovely accent ❤️😊

MirrorMask I need to read this!! Thanks! 12mo
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jenniferw88
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@Annl thank you so much for all the late birthday goodies! I ❤ it all but particularly looking forward to the tagged book! The card is definitely similar to my #gingerbrat. Have sent you an email too!

Annl That was quick! I wanted to sent chocolate but was worried about the heat over here, so double that during the holidays. Another interest we share, Alan Cummings! It is a bittersweet story, but so well written and interesting and gave me even more respect for the man! 12mo
LoveToReadLiveToRead Such a great book! 12mo
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brennahawleycraig
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Pickpick

I‘m usually fairly skeptical of memoirs, but in the words of @Liberty holy cats this was good! There are two stories going on at once here: Alan‘s abusive father claiming to not be his biological father, and Alan‘s journey to finding out how his grandfather died on Who Do You Think You Are. Fascinating, honest and poignant. I will be buying a hard copy of this right now!

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heidisreads
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My third book on my 10 day vacation. I don‘t know who Alan Cumming is 😬 but this is the book that was chosen for book club, so I‘m giving it a whirl! #reading on #audiobook and #kindle

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BkClubCare
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Had a LOT of listening time driving around yesterday. Alan mentions Strawberry Tarts! #iLovePie #litpie

Ruthiella I want to listen to the audio of this! Need to clear some podcast space first!😀 13mo
TiredLibrarian Read this & loved it; love Alan. This is one where I bet the audio is even better! 13mo
BkClubCare @Ruthiella - yep; can‘t get out of this memoir addiction I‘ve acquired! 13mo
See All 8 Comments
BkClubCare @TiredLibrarian - easy listening but sad at times! I love actor memoirs; they know how to narrate. 13mo
BooknerdsLife Love Alan too! Hope my library has this audio book 😍 13mo
BkClubCare @BooknerdsLife - I honestly cannot think of the films/shows I‘ve seen with Alan Cumming but I admire his talent. 13mo
BkClubCare @BooknerdsLife - audiobook is the ONLY way to go, imo 13mo
BooknerdsLife @BkClubCare He‘s such a chameleon of an actor! Seen him in Xmen, Burlesque, Spykid, & the Good Wife and he‘s so talented! Not a big fan of audio book but would love to hear him read the book!! 😍 13mo
23 likes2 stack adds8 comments
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ShookBelf
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First proper attempt at an #audiobook via audible (3 months free with Amazon Prime, so why not?). Am half way though and it's amazing. I can't get much done as my attention wanders but he has such a wonderful voice and such a heartbreaking story that it's no hardship to sit and listen intently.

LoveToReadLiveToRead Oh this is so good. I listened to the audiobook too, loved it! 13mo
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ashesofabookdragon
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Pickpick

This book was an unexpected roller coaster and beautiful work of art. I was enthralled from the beginning and couldn‘t put it down. Highly recommend if you like memoirs. #greatreads #popsugar2018 #memoir #tbrpile #stunningwriting

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Elle_Skeldon
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Pickpick

So I am biased because I adore him, and quite frankly I could listen to him read the ingredients off the back of a cereal box. That being said, I should add that even though I did listen to this on audiobook I absolutely would have enjoyed the book as well.

Such a touching story.
Def. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

JackOBotts Yes! The book was wonderful, but I‘m sure hearing him read it is next level! Will you watch his new show? 1y
Elle_Skeldon @JackOBotts Absolutely! I just hope it will be on Hulu. I don‘t have too much time to watch things when they air. I always end up catching up on things later. 1y
BarbaraTheBibliophage I loved this book on audio! I piicked up another of his on audio but haven‘t listened yet. 1y
See All 6 Comments
Rachbb3 This book killed me! 😢 1y
Elle_Skeldon @BarbaraTheBibliophage I added that one ! Let me know what you think! 1y
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GlassAsDiamonds
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Pickpick

Memoir is working for me at the moment! I‘m a fan of Cumming (but I admit to having the mental image of him as Nightcrawler narrating 😂🤦🏻‍♀️😂) and this was a heartbreaking, wild, staggering and uplifting ride. It‘s structured around the taping of “Who Do You Think You Are” with flashbacks but the format works. In many ways, it‘s a staggering testament to resilience (if we‘re determined, forge on through fear & get help) & highly recommended.😊

LiteraryinLititz Great review! I liked this one as well, and it made me love this actor even more. 1y
Annl His Instagram account is great! Every Saturday he does a little song "it's Saturday night on broadway" from wherever he is. 1y
Annl He is also staring in a new show Instinct on tv. 1y
CarolynM I really enjoyed this one too, but I'm a big fan. Saw his cabaret show at the Sydney festival a couple of years ago - wow! 1y
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Coleen_Nieto
Pickpick

I listened to the audio book and it was amazing! It was like having a talk with a friend. Alan Cumming had a rough childhood but he deals with his experiences with grace and compassion and only a little anger :) which was very justified! Do yourself a favor, listen to the audio book it's fantastic!

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LibrarianRenee
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Such a heartbreaking tale. A fantastic listen.

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ofbooksandme
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Pickpick

Thanks to everyone who recommended me this audiobook. What a ride!
The "Who do you think you are?" TV show takes Alan to a voyage to the past to discover his grandfather's story. His father's untimely return to his life brings back painful memories of abuse and liberation,but also new questions about his identity and mental illness.
Raw, honest, funny and heartwarming. This memoir read in his beautiful Scottish accent must definitely be enjoyed.

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Coleen_Nieto
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Listening to the audio book, so far is very engaging!

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Broke_Girl_Reads
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Pickpick

This was such a joy to read. Alan‘s trip to discover his grandfather‘s history parallels beautifully with his own journey recovering from his father‘s abuse. His empathetic and loving nature shows through so clearly throughout, and I really got the feeling that he wrote this book to show other survivors his path to healing. Also, his relationship with his husband is such #relationshipgoals omg. #queerbooks #bisexualbooks

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BookishMe
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So... I saw raving #Litsy posts for the tagged book and turned to #Overdrive
Instead of the ebook or #audiobook of his memoir, I spotted this narrated by him. Nvm, this title is new to me. I like her writing and of course I have to listen to his narration! #blameitonLitsy
😆😉😄

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No_One
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Pickpick

An emotional roller coaster! It was great but it propelled me from anguish to joy back and forth. Overall, a story of triumph over anger and fear. I loved it. 💙

Also I had no idea he had other books out! As a narrator, Alan Cumming is fantastic. I look forward to more.
#LitsyAtoZ #C @BookishMarginalia

CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian I'm sure he'd be great at reading pretty much anything. The Scottish accent! 1y
LoveToReadLiveToRead I listened to this last year, it was fab. I loved his narration too. 1y
No_One @CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian yes it is partly his great accent! Love it! 😀 1y
No_One @LoveToReadLiveToRead it was the perfect combination of a trained actor talking about his own life experiences in that amazing accent. 💙 1y
93 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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goodbyefrancie

Loved this! Great memoir, one of the best I've read in quite a while. Kept me interested, and I finished this in two days.

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lildeb_8
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Pickpick

I actually alternated between reading and listening to this book because who doesn't want to listen to Alan Cumming reading to you! Poor guy has quite a rough childhood. It's amazing that he was able to forgive bis father.

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lildeb_8
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1. Little Women
2. The Goonies
3. Home Alone
4. Both
#manicmonday @JoScho

SilversReviews I'm not a movie person or I would join in. Have fun. 1y
JoScho The Goonies is my favorite too 1y
CouronneDhiver Home Alone ❤️ 1y
23 likes3 comments
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lildeb_8
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RiotMom Thanks so much for entering! Good luck! 🍀 1y
18 likes1 comment
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EclecticBookLover
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Beautiful, heart wrenching, and powerful. Wonderful book especially since Alan has a wonderful voice and adds so much through his narration. #BookRiot #ReadHarder #TBR

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EclecticBookLover
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I loved this bit. It stuck with me as I went in to work today. Listening to this book has made it all the more powerful because it's read by Allen Cumming. #audiobook #LitsyAtoZ # ReadHarder

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EclecticBookLover
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Some more #audiostitching before work. I have to use a magnifying glass because it's so small! 😵 #LitsyAtoZ

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Heideschrampf
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Saw him talk about it years ago at #edbookfest but now finally got round to hear him tell the full story.

LoveToReadLiveToRead This was so good, I listened to it at the end of last year x 1y
61 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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Redwritinghood
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Pickpick

Very honest memoir about his relationship with his angry, abusive father. Audiobook is the way to go with this one. Not only is his voice great to listen to, but you can also feel the real emotion that motivated him to write this. The story of his father and the struggles to reconcile towards the end of his father‘s life is paired with some discoveries about the mystery behind the death of his maternal grandfather. Well-worth the listen. On Hoopla

mrsa_d Oooh. Been wanting to read this, if it's on hoopla it'll be my next commuting book. Thanks! 1y
ValerieAndBooks I liked this one. Have you read his other memoir, it‘s more lighthearted? 1y
Redwritinghood @mrsa_d No problem! 1y
Redwritinghood @ValerieAndBooks I haven‘t. Will have to check it out. 1y
KellyHunsakerReads I loved this book. 1y
74 likes6 stack adds5 comments
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EclecticBookLover
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Alright time to try some #audiostitching. Let's see how well I can multitask. #LitsyAtoZ #TBR

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TheSleepyCat
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Love this actor. So when I heard he published a memoir, I had to get my hands on it. Started this tonight, I don't think I'll be sleeping anytime soon! 😉

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swishandflick
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I allowed myself two new nonfiction audiobooks from the #audible sale. Excited about them both! #audiobook

(Side note: I saw Alan Cumming live on Broadway with Emma Stone in Cabaret and it was FANTASTIC)

Abby-J Your restraint is admirable. I bought nine 😳 1y
kspenmoll @Abby-J 😂😂😂😂 i was just going to check the sale... 1y
MallenNC I saw Alan Cumming in an earlier production of Cabernet and he was amazing. My friend and I still talk about how he waved at the balcony and said “Hello poor people!” The book is very good and I bet it‘s great in audio. 1y
swishandflick @Abby-J 😂 I don't blame you!! I was mostly trying to be good because I still haven't listened to the audiobooks I bought in the LAST Audible sale. Lol! 1y
AlaMich Love Alan Cumming!! I have to peruse the Audible sale more closely; I only gave it a cursory look this morning. 1y
101 likes5 comments