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A. Baker

Andy Baker

Amsterdam, Netherlands | Member Since 2008

58
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 26 reviews
  • 32 ratings
  • 350 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
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  • White Oleander

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Janet Fitch
    • Narrated By Oprah Winfrey
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (52)

    Astrid is the only child of a single mother, Ingrid, a brilliant, obsessed poet who wields her luminous beauty to intimidate and manipulate men. Astrid worships her mother and cherishes their private world full of ritual and mystery-but their idyll is shattered when Astrid's mother falls apart over a lover. Deranged by rejection, Ingrid murders the man, and is sentenced to life in prison. White Oleander is the unforgettable story of Astrid's journey through a series of foster homes.

    C. Barnes says: "Not Oprah's gift"
    "Beautiful"
    Overall

    This was a great book and it was beautifully read by Oprah. I remember seeing her talk about the book when it was an Oprah's Book Club selection. She said she'd immediately contacted the author to ask if she could read it. She's great. The writing is great too, of course, but Ophrah does such a fabulous job reading that I've suggested to friends that they listen rather than read it. Lots of nice turns in the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Alcohol Illusion: 7 Secret Reasons to Stop Drinking

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Craig Beck
    • Narrated By Craig Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Alcohol is a drug that has achieved the ultimate illusion. It has managed to convince the western world that it isn’t a drug at all, but rather a harmless social pleasantry. A product that does none of the things that the marketing promises that it does and yet remains unchallenged for such false advertising. A beverage that kills over 63,000 people a year and yet still remains legal in virtually every country around the world. Craig Beck is known as the Stop Drinking Expert because he helps people to see the truth about alcohol, hidden behind the smoke and mirrors of the marketing and our own self-created social conditioning.

    J. Freeman says: "Fantastic mind shifting view"
    "It Was Okay..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend it to a friend with a severe drinking problem. I got it because I really like Craig Beck and his approach to things. I am a social drinker and I was totally open to stopping drinking if it was as bad as he said it was. However, every story was about someone with a huge problem, a life that was falling apart, health that was failing. That's not me. I sort of hoped it would address occasional drinkers like me. It did not. On the other hand, if someone's life was falling apart (and if they were able to listen to logic), this would be a great book.


    Would you recommend The Alcohol Illusion to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. I don't have a lot of friends who drink like the people in this book. Or they do but I am not aware of it.


    What about Craig Beck’s performance did you like?

    He is quite emphatic about his beliefs. He clearly believes what he is talking about. He is an enthusiastic speaker. I felt like some of the stories and metaphors were a little on the cheesy side, but I see where he was going. I wish he had re-written one or two of his analogies.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I would not. It's a little preachy and, as I said before, it didn't convince me that I should quit drinking the occasional glass of wine here and there. I'm addicted to other things. Too much alcohol just gives me a headache and makes me go to sleep, so I rarely overdo it on the drinking. A completely movie of this would get tiring.


    Any additional comments?

    I like Craig Beck a LOT. I've listened to his other books and enjoyed them, and I thought that this would be interesting. It was, but I didn't enjoy it. I was ready for it to be over. It got just a little repetitive towards the end. Probably good for someone who is drowning him or herself in alcohol every night.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Astor Orphan: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Alexandra Aldrich
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Reaching back to the Gilded Age, when that legacy first began to come undone, Alexandra has written an unflinching, mordantly funny account of neglect and class anxiety amid the ruins of a once prominent family. More than an insider's look at a decaying American institution, The Astor Orphan is the debut of a thrilling new voice able to render the secret pains and glories of childhood afresh.

    A. Baker says: "Very Interesting"
    "Very Interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Astor Orphan rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's a strong 6. It was a fun listen. I didn't have to focus on it. I could fold laundry and cook while I listened, which I liked. There are some great characters and a good amount of things happen during the story.


    Which character – as performed by Tavia Gilbert – was your favorite?

    Grandma Clair. He had a great voice. So did the mother. Fun Polish accent.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It had a nice ending. The ending really pulled it all together and left it in a good place.


    Any additional comments?

    I want to say the reader, Ms. Gilbert, sometimes seemed slightly over-the-top with her enunciation. It was sometimes slightly distracting. However, it's possible she was just playing a character, so I'm going to give her a pass on that. And I've listened to clips from a few other books and she's less extreme. She has a great voice. I enjoyed her performance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Switch: The Secret Law of Subconscious Attraction

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Craig Beck
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (110)

    Discover the secret behind The Secret and become a master of manifesting everything and anything you desire using the law of subconscious attraction. In this unique audio series, master hypnotist and best-selling success author Craig Beck reveals the little known techniques required to remove all the problems and obstacles in your life and replace them with the stuff of your dreams.

    Jeanne says: "This one really could change your life"
    "Good Stuff"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this book. I've listened to it a few times so far. It's a good follow up to The Secret and The Power. I will admit that it is sometimes a little thick with advertisements for his other books and products, but he appears to know what he's talking about, he's got a good manner, and he sort of admits to what he's doing - trying to get you to check out his other stuff. He says things in a way that makes me believe him. I love this stuff, and he seems like a very genuine guy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By William Davis
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (2193)
    Performance
    (1868)
    Story
    (1847)

    Since the introduction of dietary guidelines calling for reduced fat intake in the 1970s, a strange phenomenon has occurred: Americans have steadily, inexorably become heavier, less healthy, and more prone to diabetes than ever before. After putting more than two thousand of his at-risk patients on a wheat-free regimen and seeing extraordinary results, cardiologist William Davis has come to the disturbing conclusion that it is not fat, not sugar, not our sedentary lifestyle that is causing America’s obesity epidemic—it is wheat.

    Stacey Crummie says: "The program works, but the listen is technical"
    "Lots of Questions Answered"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this book amazing. I had spoken to a friend about gluten and giving it up. I didn't really know how it applied to me. It is a little bit detailed in the middle. I.e. It sags in the middle with a lot of detail about how things work. But if that's not your thing, you can skip it and listen to the parts that interest you more. I don't think you'll be missing much since if it doesn't interest you, you're just going to be bored by it. You don't have to know how it works for it to work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Al Franken
    • Narrated By Al Franken
    Overall
    (2107)
    Performance
    (335)
    Story
    (348)

    Finding logical inconsistencies, factual errors, and doublespeak wherever he looks, Al Franken takes on and destroys the myth of liberal bias in the media, hoists the Bush White House on its own rhetorical petard, and punctures the mean-spirited sanctimony of such media darlings as Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly. Timely, provocative, unfailingly honest, and always uproarious, Lies is sure to raise hackles and spark hilarity inside the Beltway and from sea to shining sea.

    Peter says: "Franken's One Sided View"
    "Classic Al Franken"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to this twice. It's so good. I'll listen to it again. He's ruthless with those horrible right winger liars. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Unfamiliar Fishes

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Sarah Vowell
    • Narrated By Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, John Hodgman, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (981)
    Performance
    (618)
    Story
    (620)

    In Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell argues that 1898 might be a year just as crucial to our nation's identity, a year when, in an orgy of imperialism, the United States annexed Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam, and invaded Cuba and then the Philippines, becoming a meddling, self-serving, militaristic international superpower practically overnight. Of all the countries the United States invaded or colonized in 1898, Vowell considers the story of the Americanization of Hawaii to be the most intriguing.

    Kat says: "Sarah Vowell does it again!"
    "Love Sarah, but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this less than I wanted to. I wanted to love it like I loved her other books. I've listened to them multiple times. This was good. It was an obscure bit of American history that I've never heard before - namely Hawaiian history. I only knew the basics. There is much more to the story. I am sorry to say that I didn't finish it. I'm not sure why. I think that at some point - 3/4 of the way through - I just didn't feel compelled to keep listening. Her other books are brilliant. I'll give this one another try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Holy Cow!: An Indian Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sarah Macdonald
    • Narrated By Kate Hosking
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (647)
    Performance
    (196)
    Story
    (198)

    After backpacking her way around India, Sarah Macdonald decides she hates the country with a passion. When a beggar at the airport reads her palm and insists she will one day return, and for love, she screams "Never!" and gives the country, and him, the finger.

    Meredith says: "Inspiring and witty"
    "Found All Over India"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got this book in preparation for my trip to India. It was not the best choice. It's a fun story, but what I wanted was some stories about being a tourist in India. What anyone considering buying this book needs to understand is where this woman is coming from. This is the story of when she (an Australian woman) lived in India because her Australian fiance (a journalist) was stationed in India. She is also a writer/journalist. It's an insight into Indian culture, but from a very specific point of view. That said, the reader is amazing with accents. They are all distinct and entertaining. That said, I found the Australian accent tiring after a while. If you're going to India, just buy it there. It's everywhere.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stein on Writing: A Master Editor Shares His Craft, Techniques, and Strategies

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Sol Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    Overall
    (752)
    Performance
    (390)
    Story
    (373)

    Stein on Writing provides immediately useful advice for writers of fiction and nonfiction, whether newcomers or accomplished professionals. As Sol Stein, renowned editor, author, and instructor, explains, "This is not a book of theory. It is a book of usable solutions, how to fix writing that is flawed, how to improve writing that is good, how to create interesting writing in the first place."

    Jane says: "Excellent advice and examples for better writing."
    "Such a Great Read. Made Me Think"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In the first few months after listening to it, I talked about this book all the time. I think Stein's ideas are the kind of ideas that I liked so much that I sort of just adopted them as my own. It's some basic stuff that we all need to hear integrated with some really great ideas and ways of thinking about things that were new to me - and might feel new when I hear them again. It's one of those books people talk about - for a reason.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Story of India

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Michael Wood
    • Narrated By Sam Dastor
    Overall
    (259)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (119)

    Michael Wood weaves a spellbinding narrative out of the 10,000-year history of India. Home today to more than a fifth of the world's population, the subcontinent gave birth to the oldest and most influential civilization on Earth, to four world religions, and to the world's largest democracy. Now, as India bids to become a global giant, Michael sets out to trace the roots of India's present in the incredible riches of her past.

    Susan says: "Fabulous, sweeping journey through India's history"
    "Very Thorough"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is really about the history of India. It's not a travelogue. I bought it in preparation for our trip to India and it was not exactly what I had in mind. But it is a very well written book and it's fun to listen to. I'll probably give it another try (I stopped 3/4 of the way through) now that we're back and I have some context for it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • My Life in France

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme
    • Narrated By Kimberly Farr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (738)
    Performance
    (290)
    Story
    (298)

    This memoir is laced with wonderful stories about the French character, particularly in the world of food, and the way of life that Julia Child embraced so wholeheartedly. Above all, she reveals the kind of spirit and determination, the sheer love of cooking, and the drive to share that with her fellow Americans that made her the extraordinary success she became.

    Sara says: "What a pleasure!"
    "Loved it"
    Overall

    I've listened to this one twice. I loved it both times. I think the writing is great and the reader is incredible. The voices on these audio books don't always match the writing. This is a perfect blend. Child's stories about her time in France took me away. It's very romantic and the stories are beautifully told. I especially love the way she talks about food and the occasional French word thrown in. Very highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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