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Austin, TX, United States | Member Since 2005


  • Cheerful Money: Me, My Family, and the Last Days of Wasp Splendor

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Tad Friend
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Tad Friend's family is nothing if not illustrious: his father was president of Swarthmore College, and at Smith his mother came in second in a poetry contest judged by W. H. Auden -- to Sylvia Plath. For centuries, Wasps like his ancestors dominated American life. But then, in the '60s, their fortunes began to fall. As a young man, Friend noticed that his family tree, for all its glories, was full of alcoholics, depressives, and reckless eccentrics.

    Debbie says: "Funny and Candid"
    "Funny and Candid"

    I see why some reviewers couldn't relate to or saw this book as a series of home movies. For me, those home movies were more like my own. Plus, I love home movies in general. I too partially grew up in Swarthmore and later on the Mainline. Although my application was rejected from the Shipley school. To apply, I even gave up my only chance to go to Europe and went to Shipley summer school, to improve my chances of getting in. I saw much of Tad's family in my own WASP family. It's nice to know I wasn't the only one on the Mainline being criticized and ostracized by inadequate table manners - using a knife instead of bread to push my food and lack of ability to take a proper mouthful (meanwhile my two other siblings were getting laid and stoned).

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • In Defense of Food

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Michael Pollan
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These simple words go to the heart of Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food. Humans used to know how to eat well, Pollan argues. But the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused, complicated, and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists-all of whom have much to gain from our dietary confusion.

    Kimberly says: "Good book, but read The Omnivore's Dilemma first"
    "Very Practical"

    I found this book easy and interesting to listen too. It has more practical detail as to how to eat better. And, it puts it in interesting context about the farming and food industry. He explains how to better shop for food. Like stick to the outside edges of the supermarket where the whole foods are, like produce, versus the processed foods in the rest of the store. Eat what your great grandparents ate a hundred years ago, versus processed foods. Added supplements and products with the latest health claims are more for marketing, like the Pom Pom pomegranate drink, etc. It's better just to eat a whole pomegranate. The Omnivore's Dilemma goes into more detail about the modern and traditional farming of food, which I found to be a little boring and less applicable, unless I want to grow my own food, go to a local small farmer, etc.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Don't Get Too Comfortable (Unabridged Selections)

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By David Rakoff
    • Narrated By David Rakoff

    David Rakoff's bestselling collection of autobiographical essays, Fraud, established him as one of today's funniest and most insightful writers. Now, in Don't Get Too Comfortable, Rakoff moves from the personal to the public, journeying into the land of unchecked plenty that is contemporary America. Rarely have greed, vanity, selfishness, and vapidity been so mercilessly and wittily skewered.

    Nell Huntworth says: "More wonderful David Rakoff"
    "Depends on Your Taste"

    Having lived in NYC also, I loved Rakoff's views/writing about NYC and was laughing out loud. Since that was was I heard as a sample, I was hoping/thinking that the whole book would be like that. So, I didn't find his rants/writing about politics such as the Bush administration, homosexuality, etc. as funny - which seems to be a lot more of the book. I bought this looking for humor, like a David Sedaris book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Piece by Piece (Unabridged Selections)

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Calvin Trillin
    • Narrated By Calvin Trillin

    This original recording - his first - features Trillin at his most uproarious, reading from his own articles and books. Wonderfully funny and full of surprises, this is a thoroughly satisfying, eminently entertaining, and beautifully crafted collection.

    Debbie says: "Funny and well written"
    "Funny and well written"

    I was happy to find this as I've already listened to many other greats like David Sedaris, and am always looking for more humor. This didn't disapoint.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Temple Grandin, Catherine Johnson
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    How is Animals in Translation different from every other animal book ever published? Animals in Translation is like no other animal book because of Temple Grandin. As an animal scientist and a person with autism, her professional training and personal history have created a perspective like no other thinker in the field, and this is her exciting, groundbreaking view of the intersection of autism and animal.

    James says: "Perhaps the best non-fiction book on Audible yet!"
    "Very Interesting"

    Fascinating, to better understand animals and their thinking/behavior. And, to also learn more about autistic versus non-autistic people's way of thinking. Very compassionate.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: 30 True Things You Need to Know Now

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Gordon Livingston
    • Narrated By James Jenner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Full of things we may know but have not articulated to ourselves, Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart is a gentle and generous alternative to the trial-and-error learning that makes wisdom such an expensive commodity. For everyone who feels a sense of urgency that the clock ticks and still we aren't the person we'd like to be, it offers solace, guidance, and hope.

    T.L. says: "Not for the"
    "Pointing Out All Peoples' Shortcomings"

    I see what another reviewer meant about this book being "depressing". The author seems to point out all the shortcomings of people - failings, bad habits, unhappy relationships, etc. At first I found it funny. But, then I found it hard to listen to, and it started to sound like whining. I was hoping to hear more insights versus his spending so much time pointing out or whining about all the problems about people that I already know.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Gilbert

    Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned 30, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be. To recover from all this, Gilbert took a radical step. She got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the world, all alone. This is the absorbing chronicle of that year.

    Kerry says: "Witty and Wonderful"

    I tried to keep listening but stopped due to boredom. Seems very self absorbed.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Mark Sanborn
    • Narrated By Mark Sanborn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In The Fred Factor, Mark Sanborn illuminates the simple steps each of us can take to transform our own lives from the ordinary into the extraordinary. Through stories about Fred and others like him, Sanborn reveals four basic "how to" principles that will help us bring fresh energy and creativity to our life and work.

    Donald says: "What we all should strive for"
    "Could be a simple statement of..."

    go above and beyond the call of duty in your job and life, like Fred does.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Go Ask Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Anonymous
    • Narrated By Christina Moore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Life at 15 isn't easy for a girl if she's shy and hates the way she looks. Each day is heaven or hell, depending on who talks to her, or who doesn't. So when she's finally accepted by a group, she doesn't refuse their party games, even if it means taking LSD. Soon she's taking little pills to wake up and others to go to sleep, and the days begin to blur. Based on a 15-year-old's diary, Go Ask Alice is the intimate account of one girl's fatal journey into the world of drug addiction.

    "I couldn't put it down!"

    I couldn't put it down!

    0 of 3 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

    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"

    I loved this memoir and hearing about Martin's challenging upbringing and career path. I don't share Steve Martin's sense of humor. But, I love that he seems like a very kind, honorable human being.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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