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Andy

Westport, CT, United States | Member Since 2002

489
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 328 reviews
  • 435 ratings
  • 1351 titles in library
  • 48 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
245

  • The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Susan Casey
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (359)
    Performance
    (161)
    Story
    (157)

    For centuries, mariners have spun tales of gargantuan waves, 100-feet high or taller. Until recently scientists dis­missed these stories - waves that high would seem to violate the laws of physics. But in the past few decades, as a startling number of ships vanished and new evidence has emerged, oceanographers realized something scary was brewing in the planet’s waters. They found their proof in February 2000, when a British research vessel was trapped in a vortex of impossibly mammoth waves in the North Sea - including several that approached 100 feet.

    Roy says: "Do the Wave"
    "nice mix of surfing, science and seafarers"
    Overall

    What is great about this book is how Susan Casey brings the oceans to life through the eyes of great surfers, scientists, and seafarers. Not a dull moment in the book. Kirsten Potter's narration was first rate.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Mark Miodownik
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does a paper clip bend? These are the sorts of questions that Mark Miodownik is constantly asking himself. A globally renowned materials scientist, Miodownik has spent his life exploring objects as ordinary as an envelope and as unexpected as concrete cloth, uncovering the fascinating secrets that hold together our physical world.

    Andy says: "good core material"
    "good core material"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting book about a wide range of materials, there properties and how they do what they do. A few ramblings into the authors personal life are a bit of a distraction, but tolerable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Queen of Thieves: The True Story of "Marm" Mandelbaum and Her Gangs of New York

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By J. North Conway
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Queen of Thieves is the gritty, fast-paced story of Fredericka "Marm" Mandelbaum, a poor Jewish woman who rose to the top of her profession in organized crime during the Gilded Age in New York City. During her more than twenty-five-year reign as the country’s top receiver of stolen goods, she accumulated great wealth and power inconceivable for women engaged in business, legitimate or otherwise.

    Andy says: "a bit repetitive"
    "a bit repetitive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting story of how one immigrant paid her bills. But a bit repetitive in a range of details...especially regarding her height, weight and appearance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Fair Trade Scandal: Marketing Poverty to Benefit the Rich

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Ndongo Sylla
    • Narrated By Don Bratschie
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    This critical account of the fair trade movement explores the vast gap between the rhetoric of fair trade and its practical results for poor countries, particularly those of Africa. In the Global North, fair trade often is described as a revolutionary tool for transforming the lives of millions across the globe. The growth in sales for fair trade products has been dramatic in recent years, but most of the benefit has accrued to the already wealthy merchandisers at the top of the value chain rather than to the poor producers at the bottom.

    Andy says: "strictly a policy analysis"
    "strictly a policy analysis"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If your interest is all about policy, this book is for you. If you want to get a better understanding of the dynamics of fair trade and the producer and consumer levels, the book falls way short.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Liberty's Torch: The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Mitchell
    • Narrated By Andi Ackerman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    The Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable monuments in the world, a powerful symbol of freedom and the American dream. For decades, the myth has persisted that the statue was a grand gift from France, but now Liberty's Torch reveals how she was in fact the pet project of one quixotic and visionary French sculptor, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. Bartholdi not only forged this 151-foot-tall colossus in a workshop in Paris and transported her across the ocean, but battled to raise money for the statue and make her a reality.

    Andy says: "quite a journey"
    "quite a journey"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great story of the long journey involved in getting the Statue of Liberty from the mind of an artist to an island off the southern tip of Manhattan. Lots of interesting detail and a great narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Ari Shavit
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (222)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (198)

    Not since Thomas L. Friedman's groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family's story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts.

    Jan Ziff says: "Great book - unbearable narration"
    "Incredible history, brilliant narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great book for anyone wanting to dive deep into Israeli history and politics. The author does an inspired job of telling the Jewish state's story from it's true, existential beginnings. Not the 1920s or the 1940s, but the late 1800s, and even before that.

    Shavit offers a very nuanced argument for Israeli's current malaise, one which provokes more thought than seeks to convince of anything. And such a thing is rare.

    This is also a rare book which might be better as an audiobook than in paper format. Paul Boehmer's delivery and accent really bring this work to life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Operation Shakespeare: The True Story of an Elite International Sting

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By John Shiffman
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    In Operation Shakespeare, investigative journalist John Shiffman traces a high-risk undercover operation launched by an elite undercover Homeland Security unit created to stop the Iranians, Russians, Chinese, Pakistanis, and North Koreans from acquiring sophisticated American-made electronics capable of guiding missiles, jamming radar, and triggering countless weapons - from wireless IEDs to nuclear bombs.

    Katherine says: "Outstanding!!!"
    "under our noses"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While the core story here is about a sting operation related to arms sales, the author provides additional information about how US defense contractors frequently break American law by knowingly selling arms to the bad guys.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Made in America

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By William Roberts
    Overall
    (322)
    Performance
    (248)
    Story
    (254)

    In Made in America, Bryson de-mythologizes his native land, explaining how a dusty hamlet with neither woods nor holly became Hollywood, how the Wild West wasn't won, why Americans say 'lootenant' and 'Toosday', how Americans were eating junk food long before the word itself was cooked up, as well as exposing the true origins of the G-string, the original $64,000 question, and Dr Kellogg of cornflakes fame.

    Thomas S Kovacs says: "Bryson OK Roberts not so much"
    "just not the same when Billy doesn't narrate"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Chock full of the most amusing trivia about America. Sadly, after getting used to Bryson as narrator, change is tough.
    Not a knock on Will Roberts, who is a great narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee - A Look inside North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Jang Jin-sung
    • Narrated By Daniel York
    Overall
    (148)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (142)

    As North Korea's State Poet Laureate, Jang Jin-sung led a charmed life. With food provisions (even as the country suffered through its great famine), a travel pass, access to strictly censored information, and audiences with Kim Jong-il himself, his life in Pyongyang seemed safe and secure. But this privileged existence was about to be shattered. When a strictly forbidden magazine he lent to a friend goes missing, Jang Jin-sung must flee for his life.

    David says: "Stop browsing and get this Book"
    "richly detailed account of getting out"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A captivating and richly detailed recap of the authors escape from North Korea. Very interesting to hear exactly how it was done.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • C. C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Geoff Williams
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Newspaper and magazine journalist Geoff Williams details this historic event and the colorful cast of characters involved, based on firsthand accounts of those who were there and interviews from many living descendants. C. C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race is a classic American story so astonishing and surreal that you have to hear it to believe it.

    Mr. says: "Good summer read"
    "rollicking story of a very long foot race"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Close up look at the hilarity as well as the blood, sweat and tears of this 1928 foot race across America. You'll get to know the many personalities in the race, including the runners and the promoter. A fun listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Michael Blanding
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (22)

    Maps have long exerted a special fascination on viewers - both as beautiful works of art and as practical tools to navigate the world. But to those who collect them, the map trade can be a cutthroat business, inhabited by quirky and sometimes disreputable characters in search of a finite number of extremely rare objects.

    Once considered a respectable antiquarian map dealer, E. Forbes Smiley spent years doubling as a map thief - until he was finally arrested slipping maps out of books in the Yale University library.

    Andy says: "with a little charm, you can rob almost anyone"
    "with a little charm, you can rob almost anyone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great recap of how Mr. Smiley navigated his way from scholarly research of old maps into stealing them, in an effort to support his lifestyle.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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