Extended Audio Sample

Download No Biking in the House without a Helmet Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample No Biking in the House without a Helmet Audiobook, by Melissa Fay Greene Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,044 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Melissa Fay Greene Narrator: Coleen Marlo Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2011 ISBN: 9781452671888
Regular Price: $21.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

When the two-time National Book Award finalist Melissa Fay Greene confided to friends that she and her husband planned to adopt a four-year-old boy from Bulgaria to add to their four children at home, the news threatened to place her, she writes, “among the greats: the Kennedys, the McCaughey septuplets, the von Trapp family singers, and perhaps even Mrs. Feodor Vassilyev, who, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, gave birth to sixty-nine children in eighteenth-century Russia.”

Greene is best known for her books on the civil rights movement and the African HIV/AIDS pandemic. But Melissa and her husband have also pursued a more private vocation: parenthood. When the number of children hit nine, Greene took a break from reporting. She trained her journalist’s eye upon events at home. Fisseha was riding a bike down the basement stairs; out on the porch, a squirrel was sitting on Jesse’s head; vulgar posters had erupted on bedroom walls; the insult niftam (the Amharic word for “snot”) had led to fistfights; and four non-native-English-speaking teenage boys were researching, on Mom’s computer, the subject of “saxing.”

“At first I thought one of our trombone players was considering a change of instrument,” writes Greene, “Then I remembered: they can’t spell.”

Using the tools of her trade, she uncovered the true subject of the “saxing” investigation, inspiring the chapter “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, but Couldn’t Spell.”

A celebration of parenthood; an ingathering of children, through birth and out of loss and bereavement; a relishing of moments hilarious and enlightening—No Biking in the House Without a Helmet is a loving portrait of a unique twenty first-century family as it wobbles between disaster and joy.

Download and start listening now!

bewo

Quotes & Awards

  • “Love knows no bounds—and no borders—in journalist Greene’s ebullient valentine to her family of nine children.”

    People (four stars)

  • “Moving, enlightening, and surprisingly funny…No Biking in the House without a Helmet…folds an adoption primer into a meditation on family.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Readers…will find plenty of hilarity in this romping account of [Greene’s] boisterous brood…[She] brings her well-honed research and reporting skills to this very personal story…This joy—experiencing it and conveying it to readers—is her greatest success.”

    Washington Post

  • “Joyful and big-hearted…This funny and frankly personal book is a departure for Greene, whose previous work has been sober and measured. The title sounds like a madcap domestic comedy in the tradition of Jean Kerr and Erma Bombeck, which it sometimes is. But Greene’s humor is less acerbic, her persona less addled…Greene is such an open and self-deprecating narrator she makes every addition to her family seem like the most natural and beautiful move in the world, ‘each child—whether homemade or foreign born—a revelation, a treasure.’ The ability to write brilliant books with a houseful of children is clearly the least of Greene’s gifts.”

    NPR

  • “There are funny parenting books and wise parenting books. Rarely a funny and wise parenting book. Melissa Fay Greene really does have nine children, five of whom were adopted from foreign orphanages—but this book isn’t a treacly, multicultural Brady Bunch. Neither moralistic nor preachy, this memoir is about what it’s like to have heart, and grow children with heart. In another writer’s less deft hands, children who herded goats in Ethiopia and then relocated to a big old house in Atlanta could have become a Southern Jewish version of Brad and Angelina. Greene captures the wild vicissitudes of her family’s life and how individual difference enriches them all.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • No Biking in the House without a Helmet is [Melissa Fay Greene’s] sprawling, imperfect, courageous, and joyful account of the adoption process, warts and all…The moral of her story? Just the opposite of the title’s warning. Don’t be afraid to break the rules, to ‘steer by the light of what makes us laugh, what makes us feel good’—especially if it means biking in the house, with or without a helmet. With deep compassion, sparkling humor and an unshakable faith in the power of the whoopee cushion, she leads the way.”

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • AudioFile Earphones Award winner

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda Kier | 2/19/2014

    " I selected this book because of it's 4+ rating and catchy title. I learned a lot about a foreign adoptions, a topic I am not familiar with and was not particularly interested in. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book and I learned as well. As a mother of 4 children, I could relate to the chaos in the household and laughed along with the family. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandra | 1/30/2014

    " I'd recommend this book to any of my fellow adoptive parents of kids from other countries. Just the right mix of reality and humor and told in wonderful narrative. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 1/14/2014

    " Very, very funny. I don't usually read this kind of thing, but I was captivated by Greene's interview on NPR. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rose Mary Achey | 1/3/2014

    " Jewish family in Atlanta adopts 5 children from developing countries. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Charissa | 12/23/2013

    " can's waste any more time on this book -- snoozer "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Audra | 12/19/2013

    " Love, love, love. Highly recommend for its hilarious factor alone. Truly touching story about the many different ways we create families. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Denise | 11/10/2013

    " Delightful read! I love her writing style and their story is amazing. I was sad to finish it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tanya | 10/30/2013

    " Liked this book but ended to soon. Would of liked to have known what happened to them as they got older. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicki | 10/26/2013

    " LOVED THIS BOOK! It had me laughing and crying and wanting to read more! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 10/1/2013

    " My only complaint is that I kept expecting it to be more cohesive, when really, it's a bunch of essays on related topics. Her writing style is engaging and witty, and her story is compelling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan Dwoskin | 8/26/2013

    " I loved this book! Her stories of adopting older children from a variety of countries made me laugh nd cry - sometimes within the same page. Well written and inspiring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zahir | 8/2/2013

    " A fun read. Greene tells a very human and witty story simply about family, and what that means to her. Great stories about the good and bad emotions that come with adoption, and a very beautiful story about the ups and downs of being part of a large family. Entertaining and worthwile read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzette | 7/13/2013

    " Melissa Fay Greene is an amazing woman. Her story is poignant and at times I laughed out loud while empathizing with her. She has a big heart and has created a wonderful family. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 3/11/2013

    " Was a good, funny, uplifting read. As I will never have children, I can live vicariously through others. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 2/20/2013

    " I loved this book. Its a story about the authors family. Four biological children and five adopted from other countries. She states the raw true scary story of adoption and common fears. LOVE IT!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrea | 1/27/2013

    " So well written. I wasn't sure about the plot - empty nesters decide to adopt internationally - but I gave it a try at 10:30pm and couldn't put it down til I was done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeandabell | 8/5/2012

    " I enjoyed her true account of blending her biological children with 5 adopted children from Bulgaria, Ethiopia, and others. Melissa's jewish faith and humor add twists and turns with each page. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shaunna | 4/12/2012

    " Excellent! Great audio as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mom | 3/26/2012

    " Unbelievably funny, uplifting and inspiring! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margaret | 11/20/2011

    " I read this for my LJ book club. It's an interesting memoir about a family who adopted five children from around the world. Greene is a journalist who records their changing lives with humor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/17/2011

    " More than just a fun family memoir, Greene's book also reveals much about the mechanics of international adoption and how to make a cohesive family out of disparate parts---it has a lot to do with humor! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Staci | 5/23/2011

    " Amazing book, loved it!!! I really admire this family. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrea | 5/12/2011

    " So well written. I wasn't sure about the plot - empty nesters decide to adopt internationally - but I gave it a try at 10:30pm and couldn't put it down til I was done. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maggie | 5/6/2011

    " Very funny and engaging account of how the author built her family... by birth and adoption. Loved every page, didn't want it to end! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nance | 5/2/2011

    " This book had me laughing and crying. It is a heart warming tale about what is family and how acceptance and understanding is at the heart of a family.

    Loved it! A must read for all! "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Melissa Fay Greene

Melissa Fay Greene is the author of Praying for Sheetrock; The Temple Bombing; Last Man Out; There Is No Me Without You: One Woman’s Odyssey to Rescue her Country’s Children; and No Biking in the House Without A Helmet. Her honors include two National Book Award nominations, a National Book Critics Circle Award nomination, the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, the Southern Book Critics Circle Award, the ACLU National Civil Liberties Award, the Hadassah Myrtle Wreath Award, the Salon Book Award, Elle Magazine’s Readers’ Prize, the Georgia Author Award, and a Dog Writers of America Award. She is a current Guggenheim Fellow.

About the Narrator

Coleen Marlo is an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator who has been nominated for an Audie Award twice, winning in 2011. She has been awarded three Listen-Up Awards from Publishers Weekly and an AudioFile Audiobook of the Year Award in 2011 and was named Audiobook Narrator of the Year for 2010 by Publishers Weekly. She is a member of the prestigious Actors Studio and taught acting for ten years at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. Marlo is a proud founding member of Deyan Institute of Voice Artistry and Technology.