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Michael

Silver Spring, MD, United States

ratings
13
REVIEWS
9
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
26

  • Hitch-22: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Christopher Hitchens
    • Narrated By Christopher Hitchens
    Overall
    (734)
    Performance
    (469)
    Story
    (459)

    Over the course of his 60 years, Christopher Hitchens has been a citizen of both the United States and the United Kingdom. He has been both a socialist opposed to the war in Vietnam and a supporter of the U.S. war against Islamic extremism in Iraq. He has been both a foreign correspondent in some of the world's most dangerous places and a legendary bon vivant with an unquenchable thirst for alcohol and literature.

    Laura says: "Truth, the whole truth and nothing but."
    "Hitchen's own narration is a big bonus"
    Overall

    The only thing I knew about Hitch, as close friends tend to call him, is that he is a master of the written English word. I came to admire his essays on the American political scene during the 2008 elections and found that his scalpel-sharp wit and keen twist of phrase made otherwise mundane subjects exciting. I don't even agree with many of his political or anti-religious views, but his self-effacing intellectual analysis is worth a listen. In this Audible book, Hitchens narrates his own tome, and it adds to the experience. He delivers his written words with deadpan sincerity, as if he were recounting his life over a scotch and some cigs. It is a credit to his writing that he could read his own text and still have it sound almost like a conversation. For American readers, his memoir is also an interesting peek inside the European perspective on the Boomer generation, the Cold War, and the 1960s.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gary Taubes
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    Overall
    (1802)
    Performance
    (1141)
    Story
    (1130)

    Building upon this critical work in Good Calories, Bad Calories and presenting fresh evidence for his claim, Taubes now revisits the urgent question of what’s making us fat—and how we can change—in this exciting new book. Persuasive, straightforward, and practical, Why We Get Fat makes Taubes’s crucial argument newly accessible to a wider audience.

    Igor N. says: "Are you looking for an attachement for the book?"
    "Why Our Waistlines Have Swelled on Low-Fat Diets"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Taubes is a writer for the NY Times who has done in-depth research on the science of obesity for almost 10-years. He wrote a detailed book on the subject in 2007, but this slim volume is especially written for the layman and casual reader. He uses historical fact to prove that "fat" is not man's enemy, but refined "carbs" are.

    Taubes documents how medicine, from the late 1800s up through the 1950s, had correctly identified overconsumption of starches as the principal cause of weight gain. Then, so-called "modern" medicine began to attack dietary fat as the chief cause of heart disease, and carbs (flour and grain products, especially) were pushed as healthful. Over the past 50 years, the campaign against fat has ravaged our nation's health, by unintentionally shifting humans away from even "good" fats to consume more sugar and refined carbohydrates. We now have a nation with obesity rates going from less than 20% in 2000 to more than one-third today, leading to rampant diabetes and other weight-related ailments. Taubes's analysis carries an important message for policymakers, educators, and our loved ones -- in order to stay thin and healthy we need to lose the carbs, not the fat.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Steve Jobs

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (11663)
    Performance
    (10099)
    Story
    (10075)

    Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

    Chris says: "Good Biography, Fine narrator"
    "Best Book and Best Narration of 2011"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Steve Jobs is an enigma that Walter Isaacson skillfully unwraps, and Dylan Baker's masterful narration adds to the experience. Isaacson covers Jobs' genius and his darker elements. He follows Steve's journey from a humble start as an adopted child, through his hippie years as a college dropout who liked to drop acid, and into a driven, persnickety technophile and business mogul who made Apple a business sensation. We may never "figure out" Steve Jobs, but this book helps us appreciate the inner conflicts and quirks that helped Jobs forge a unique marriage between technology and art. It is the kind of well-told story you will want to hear again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Daniel J. Siegel
    • Narrated By Daniel J. Siegel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (817)
    Performance
    (388)
    Story
    (399)

    From everyday stress to severe trauma, many obstacles to a full life can be overcome by developing what Dr. Daniel J. Siegel calls "mindsight," our ability to perceive the mind and literally redirect the flow of energy and information within our brains. Through this powerful capacity for insight and empathy, we can "rewire" crucial connections, create dynamic linkages, and open ourselves to relationships in a new way.

    Annie M. says: "DO NOT MISS THIS BOOK!"
    "Too much time on patient anecdotes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author's intriguing topic gets lost in the thicket of in-depth patient profiles. I didn't want to hear a narrative of his patients' therapy sessions, but to learn about his novel approach to the "science of personal transformation." Sadly, chapter after chapter goes into in-depth patient profiles. Illustrative examples can illuminate a point, but here they smother it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By David Mamet
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (102)
    Story
    (98)

    For the past 30 years, David Mamet has been a controversial and defining force in theater and film, championing the most cherished liberal values along the way. In some of the great movies and plays of our time, his characters have explored the ethics of the business world, embodied the struggles of the oppressed, and faced the flaws of the capitalist system. But in recent years Mamet has had a change of heart.

    Michael says: "A Consevative Milestone"
    "David Mamet Exposes the Left for What It Is"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mamet's trademark writing style adds punch to this personal expose about how the Liberal Left's blind devotion to moral and cultural relativism has frayed the very fabric of this country by abandoning the fundamental Truths on which America was founded. The narrator does such an excellent job with Mamet's manuscript, that you'll think the author is there sharing these important life lessons. Every citizen, especially educators and politicians, should read this book; it offers major food for thought that transcends our present problems to pose important questions about the important role of morality in a free society.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1: The Complete and Authoritative Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (525)
    Performance
    (230)
    Story
    (234)

    The year 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Twain’s death. In celebration of this important milestone, here, for the first time, is Mark Twain’s uncensored autobiography, in its entirety, exactly as he left it. This major literary event offers the first of three volumes and presents Mark Twain’s authentic and unsuppressed voice, brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions, and speaking clearly from the grave, as he intended.

    Susan Holland says: "Not what I was expecting..."
    "Disappointing. Twain Needs an Editor"
    Overall

    This sprawling autobiography is a long, rambling assortment of Samuel Clemens' observations and recollections on his life. What I didn't know going in was that this huge volume is an academic attempt to connect all of the author's autobiographical essays into a multi-volume edition. I learned this from an interview with one of the editors on NPR. The editor explained that a reader could open to any chapter of the tome and have a cohesive read. Of course, that is harder to do on audio, and perhaps that's why the book seems so disjointed and rambling here. There are definitely sparks of that old Twain charm, especially when he writes about his youth. But the way the book meanders about, it is more of a chore to audit, and not as satisfying as I expected. I think the editors would do everyone a favor if they actually do some editing and give us a more cogent, concise picture of the man rather than the kitchen sink.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Life

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Keith Richards, James Fox
    • Narrated By Johnny Depp, Joe Hurley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2559)
    Performance
    (1398)
    Story
    (1390)

    Now at last Keith Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades. And what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only to find themselves challenged by authorities everywhere....

    Jesse says: "Ins and outs"
    "Awesome Autobio with Best Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have loved the Stones almost since the moment I first heard them on a friend's LP (remember those?). Richards proves to be an incredible storyteller, painting vivid pictures of his modest boyhood and love of music, and growing up in post-war England in the 50s and 60s. His account of his discovery of the Blues and his own, mostly self-taught education in music is mesmerizing. Johnny Depp's narration is fantastic; you never feel that you are being read to, instead you a there in the moment, such as when Richards is first approached by Mick Jagger on a train ride into London one day. The two teens bond instantly over their love of Check Berry, Muddy Waters and others, spawning a friendship that will a few years later upend the rock world and lead to the "Greatest Band in the World." His "Life" is articulate, honest, and enthralling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Oprah: A Biography

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Kitty Kelley
    • Narrated By Kitty Kelley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (43)

    Based on three years of research and reporting, as well as 850 interviews with sources, many of whom have never before spoken for publication, Oprah is the first comprehensive biography of one of the most influential, powerful, and admired public figures of our time, by the most widely read biographer of our era.

    gingerpenny95 says: "Boring Droning Voice"
    "Entertaining and surprisingly balanced"
    Overall

    This is high pop pulp, well executed. If you accept the book at this level, as a guilty pleasure, this is an lengthy and mostly entertaining read about late-20th Century society in America and one of its top media stars. Given Oprah's tight circle and heavy use of nondisclosure terms in contracts with everyone who works for her, Kelley's thoroughness is impressive. (Kelley's forward offers a persuasive defense for the unauthorized biography as an important genre, which is worth a read by itself.) The book is a long unvarnished portrait of the gutsy poor girl whose immense drive and talent propelled her to worldwide fame and a billion-dollar fortune. Kelley narrates the book herself, delivering an extra level of catty admiration in the audio edition that makes this an entertaining listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Steve Martin
    • Narrated By Steve Martin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2608)
    Performance
    (1216)
    Story
    (1210)

    In the mid-70s, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. Born Standing Up is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away".

    Andrew says: "Fantastic"
    "The Unexamined Life is. . . lacking"
    Overall

    Being a fan of Martin's joyful comedic talent ever since he put an arrow through his head on SNL, I hoped to learn how this creative genius honed his talents to become such a standout stand-up comic. This book is well-written and crisp in presentation, but it is really no more than a colorful chronology of events in his life. Martin's memoir discloses little of the "how" or "why" in his art. The lack of reflection and insight on his art leaves the book more hollow than fulfilling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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