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Download The Bag Lady Papers: The Priceless Experience of Losing It All Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Bag Lady Papers: The Priceless Experience of Losing It All Audiobook, by Alexandra Penney Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (335 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alexandra Penney Narrator: Marguerite Gavin Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2010 ISBN: 9781400185450
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Throughout her life, Alexandra Penney's worst fear was becoming a bag lady. Even as she worked several jobs while raising a son as a single mother, wrote a multimillion-dollar bestselling advice book, and became editor in chief of Self magazine, she was haunted by the image of herself alone, bankrupt, and living on the street. She even went to therapy in an attempt to alleviate the nagging in her mind that told her that all she had worked for could crumble. And then, one day, that's exactly what happened. Alexandra Penney had taken a friend's advice and invested nearly everything she had ever earned with Bernie Madoff. So one day she was successful and wealthy; the next she had almost nothing. Suddenly, at an age when many Americans retire, Penney saw her worst nightmares coming true. Entertaining and inspiring, The Bag Lady Papers chronicles Penney's struggle to cope with the devastating financial and emotional fallout of being cheated out of her life savings, and traces her journey back to sanity and security. Her outraged blogs about the Madoff scandal in The Daily Beast and her commentary on CNN have generated millions of hits and earned her a loyal following. How do you pick yourself up after your worst nightmare comes true? Penney shows us how. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • [Penney] writes in an appealingly plainspoken way...about gaining a deeper appreciation of life in her reduced post-Madoff circumstances. The Wall Street Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christina | 2/17/2014

    " I listened to the audio book. The voice of the reader and subject content did make the author come off as pretentious at times, but in the end she detailed an adventurous life filled with tidbits of advice on living without regret, being resourceful, and surrounding yourself with great friends. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lisa | 2/7/2014

    " While I was interested in this story and have empathy for what these folks have gone through, I have a hard time drumming up much sympathy for a woman who owns two (small) vacation homes, has Chanel suits, Baccarat crystal, etc. Boo-hoo-hoo. Not sure I will finish this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sally | 1/31/2014

    " This is an interesting little memoir - about an enterprising single woman who lost her next egg to Madoff. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lori Barnes | 1/18/2014

    " So far it's mostly an annoying book, but I will probably finish it anyway. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Shandra | 1/18/2014

    " Read a couple of chapters, and realized that the title was very misleading. Alexandra lost her life savings, but was able to recover. I finished at chapter 8 and would not recommend. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marnie Cushing | 1/15/2014

    " I was listening to this on Overdrive and her voice just about did me in. Couldn't listen to any more of it...and just don't have time to waste listening to someone who "lost everything" through a bad investment/scheme. I hate that it happened to her, but it's just not my kind of read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 1/10/2014

    " OK - I thought this was interesting because Bernie Madoff's impact was felt by so many. The author was rather hard to empathize with. I realize she worked "hard" for her money, but so do so many others. I wonder how she is doing now.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hope | 12/18/2013

    " She's had a very interesting life but the book gets a bit boring in parts. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tauheedah Najee-ullah | 12/16/2013

    " Did not like this book AT ALL! The author herself put it better than I can: "The tale of a spoiled rich white lady who lost her shirt and thought she'd lost it all." Sickening. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 12/8/2013

    " Light read. Pretty funny. A must read for those of us with this syndrome! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phyllis Grey | 11/6/2013

    " This was just an OK read... somewhat self-serving. I skimmed through it, and was not sorry to turn the last page. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 MaryCarol | 10/20/2013

    " A wonderful read. I was so impressed at how the author handled her extraordinary financial loss. Saved many quotes to help me in my life.......not just with losses, but just with life! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenni | 5/27/2013

    " Loved the current time of this book, the Bernie Madoff twist.The great summation of what many of us wonder about how we would handle this situation ! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth Bartholomew-Stitt | 4/18/2013

    " Somewhat interesting. Quick read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 John Behle | 3/15/2013

    " This is the assembled hand wringing, high pitched complaining of a vain woman. She doesn't lose it all. It became work to read through her woe-is-me rants. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ellen | 12/9/2012

    " Penney wrote a column for the Daily Beast last year on what it was like to have lost your entire retirement to Bernie Madoff. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Betsy | 8/3/2012

    " The book title is a bit misleading. I'm not sure what I was supposed to get out of this book, but I didn't get anything. I'm sympathetic to anyone who works their butt off only to lose it all to a crook. Luckily, she was still able to live an upper middle class life even after "losing it all". "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Pam | 7/12/2012

    " Hmmm. Not sure that the writer would have ever ended up as a bag lady, but I am sure her fear was real. A memoir of her life, not so much info about how to live if you lose it all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sylvia | 6/29/2012

    " Interesting story - quick read, kept me going. Liked the "older, wiser" outcome. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 kathi | 6/3/2012

    " This book wasn't what I expected but it was still okay...I just moved on to something else and plan to get back to this book later. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marisa Gutierrez | 1/19/2012

    " Meh. I wanted to like this book, but this lady's idea of "losing it all," is just too hard to relate to. If I had taken it too seriously, I never would have finished it; I would have been too irritated. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 12/30/2011

    " This book was written by someone who suffered financial ruin after the ponzi scheme involving Bernie Maddoff. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenni | 6/17/2011

    " Loved the current time of this book, the Bernie Madoff twist.The great summation of what many of us wonder about how we would handle this situation ! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Virginia | 5/24/2011

    " This reminded me that pulling yourself out of the ashes is possible. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hope | 2/3/2011

    " She's had a very interesting life but the book gets a bit boring in parts. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gaurett | 11/13/2010

    " Easy, fun read about how a rich girl turns poor, but not really poor. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/31/2010

    " the book was a fun easy book to read but it was a bit annoying at times when she talked about loosing it all because even after loosing money she still had hired help and other homes in multiple states..... I had fun though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 10/13/2010

    " I listened to this book. It was really interesting to listen to, I'm not sure how it would be to read. I liked it pretty well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 9/11/2010

    " Much, much better than I anticipated. Definitely worth a read. She tells a great story, writes very well, and has a great sense of humor. I think she shares some very valuable lessons. It's not earthshattering, but definitely thought provoking. "

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About the Author

Alexandra Penney is an artist, bestselling author, and former editor-in-chief of Self magazine. She had a one-person show at Galerie in Berlin, and her work was shown at Miami’s Art Basel. She lives in New York.

About the Narrator

Marguerite Gavin is a seasoned theater veteran, a five-time nominee for the prestigious Audie Award, and the winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones and Publishers Weekly awards. Marguerite has been an actor, director, and audiobook narrator for her entire professional career. With over four hundred titles to her credit, her narration spans nearly every genre, from nonfiction to mystery, science fiction, fantasy, romance, and children’s fiction. AudioFile magazine says, “Marguerite Gavin…has a sonorous voice, rich and full of emotion.”