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BakeretteJen

  • 18
  • reviews
  • 11
  • helpful votes
  • 36
  • ratings
  • Dodge & Twist

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Tony Lee
  • Narrated by: Matt Lucas, Stephen Mangan, Michael Socha, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 56 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,127
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,034
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,034

It’s rumoured that Dickens wanted to return to his classic novel Oliver Twist, to bring him back into a later book as an older character, but he never managed this before he died. However, if Oliver had returned, what would he have been like? Would the scars of his childhood affect the man he would become? And what of ‘Dodger’, sent to a land halfway around the world, his friend, mentor and master dead because of Oliver? Dodge & Twist is that story. The tale of two boys, 12 years later, returning into each other’s lives - for both good and bad.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent performance, pretty dismal story

  • By Kevin on 02-04-19

Two Thumbs Up! Outstanding Cast Performance!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-09-19

This is a delightfully entertaining book. I can't sing enough praises of the cast's performance. Dodge & Twist is engaging with multifaceted characters and a satisfying ending.

Lee kept each of Dicken's characters true to form--Oliver trusting, naive, and enthusiastic; and Dodger being the ever artful Dodger pulling Twist into a world of deception and betrayal. Fagin's ghost is also creatively twisted into the plot as well as other earlier Fagin hooligans. Lee's writing is easy to understand, and he doesn't attempt to emulate Dickens's style, which I appreciate. Who can emulate or outdo Dickens style?

The story takes place 12 years in the future with Dodger out of prison and Oliver being cheated of his inheritance by two crooked lawyers after the death of his adopted father leaving Twist desperate to find a way to gain back his fortune. As fate would have it, Oliver is pulled back into a world where Dodger gives him hope to regain his money and manipulates Twist to meet his own selfish ends. Together they go on an adventure of a lifetime; on a roller coaster of lies and deceit wondering who is foe and who is ally.

Overall, I give it two thumbs up.
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Parental review: TV-PG. One use of Jesus Christ. A couple uses of the word d**m (L). A few mentions of hanging someone on the noose, being shot, hit, and someone being attempted to be hung at the noose (V). No sex nor mention of sex (S). There is drinking and alcohol (D/A).

  • The Power of Positive Living 

  • By: Norman Vincent Peale
  • Narrated by: Kevin Young
  • Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57

Millions of people around the world have changed their lives for the better, thanks to Norman Vincent Peale and his Positive Thinking philosophy. Dr. Peale's groundbreaking program of affirmation and positive visualization is an amazingly effective way to overcome any obstacles that may stand between you and success, happiness, and your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health and well-being.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great!

  • By Amazon Customer on 10-25-17

I Loved It So Much I Had to Buy The Hard Copy

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-08-19

Note: If you are a non-Christian, this book is not for you. It is completely built on Christian beliefs/values. It is the Law of Attraction built on Christian teachings.
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Norman Vincent Peale, phD, (1898-1993) is a preacher who completely and wholly believed in the Law of Attraction built on Christian teachings. Whenever I read his books, I have to stop often to soak in his wisdom and counsel. Although times and circumstances have changed, the gospel of Jesus Christ and His teachings have not and the Power of Positive Living and Christ's teachings can be applied in every aspect of our lives.

The crazy thing is, Dr. Peale's teachings were taught 50 years before "The Secret" and many other self-help and cognitive therapy books. His book began the self-help genre and encouraged readers to live a richer, more rewarding life; to try optimism over pessimism. He was a strong believer that positive thinking brings about positive results and our faith in Jesus Christ (in a higher power, if you will), helps get us there. So many reviews condemned the religiousness of this book, but, hello, the whole point of the book is: 1) he's a preacher; 2) if we look to God, we will be more positive in our everyday lives; 3) positivity attracts positivity.

This is one of those books that you must listen to over and over and if you buy the book, you must highlight passages and go back to read parts of it again and again.

  • The Man on the Mountaintop

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Susan Trott, Libby Spurrier - adaptor
  • Narrated by: Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones, Clare Corbett, and others
  • Length: 5 hrs and 45 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,815
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,904
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,874

The Man on the Mountaintop tells the story of Holy Man Joe, an ageing and unassuming man who lives in a hermitage on top of a mountain. During the summer months, thousands of hopefuls line the path leading to his door, seeking his wisdom. From bombastic, wealthy nobles intent on cheating their way to the top to drunkards who gradually build the physical and mental strength they need to quit their addiction, The Man on the Mountaintop is a rousing tale full of humour, wit and life lessons.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful and full of wisdom

  • By Michele Mattix on 01-06-19

Feel Good Book. Excellent Performance.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-08-19

This is an inspiring, spiritual yet philosophical tale I listened to on Audible that I thoroughly enjoyed where a Holy Man lives in a hermitage on a mountaintop where hordes of people wait in a single line seeking his wisdom and council for his/her life's problems. Some of the issues they bring to him are simple; others are complex. Some council offered is very cliche in which one may already know the answer to but needs reassurance, and other council may be hard to hear but is rebuffed because of pride, or is rebuffed but one later finds wisdom in it.

I loved the book because it is like short stories within the story. The stories shared are powerful life's lessons told with compassion, wit, and humor. There were even times when I wrote down the Holy Man's council because of wisdom offered to some of my life's challenges.

Did I learn anything new? Yes and no. It was introspective. It was inspirational. It was spiritual. It was philosophical. It was a reminder of the goodness I can spread. It was a reminder of the changes I can make in my life. It was a feel good book that you don't get every day. It was good council. It was good wisdom.
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Parental review: TV-PG (Only because topic would be hard for young children to understand). No sex. No violence. No bad language. Reference to alcoholism. Reference to infidelity.

  • Confessions of a Shopaholic

  • By: Sophie Kinsella
  • Narrated by: Emily Gray
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,991
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,070
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,071

Sophie Kinsella's debut is a romp through the perils of shopping and spending, spending, spending! Becky can't resist a sale, and she's only a little overdrawn on her VISA. Readers will laugh aloud at Becky's retail adventures as she finds new and creative ways to relieve her increasingly credit card debt. Emily Gray's narration bounces along with Becky and her buying whims, while delivering a humorous account of what happens when credit goes bad.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • shopaholic fun fun fun

  • By M. on 08-26-03

Sophie You Tried But Disappointed (Emily Didn't!)

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-08-19

The movie is one of my favorites, so I did have expectations going into this book, but it quickly became apparent that the movie and the book were two COMPLETELY different stories with SOME similarities and characters, so I had to erase any expectations and allow the novel to take me where it may, which was anywhere and everywhere with Rebecca Bloomwood's bad case of ADHD (and, of course, shopaholic-ism at every store).

The book spent more time with Becca's racing, dreamy thoughts; shopping escapades; and threatening letters from financial institutions; and less time with the development of other characters important to the storyline making it difficult to bond with Suze, Elly, Luke Brandon, Becca's parents, etc.

(*Spoiler alert*) I found myself having so much anxiety over Becca's spending habits and bills that I found my own nails whittling down with each blunder she made. Most importantly, although she RECOGNIZED she had an addiction, and she TRIED to make changes, she didn't overcome her addiction as she still gave into her impulses even to THE very end.

She recognized early on she had two choices: She could cut back and pay off her debts, or make more money to pay off her debts. She tried cutting back, which didn't work, so she went after making more money. Unfortunately, her money-making schemes didn't work in the beginning and she slipped into dishonesty to cover her shopping addiction. But once she began making more honest choices and came out into the open about her addiction, she miraculously began making more money and everything got better. In the end, however, she slipped right back into shopping. The only difference was, she was making more money to cover her shopping bills and she wasn't covering up her shopping.

Moral of the story is: Sophie gave every shopaholic the false hope that they can pay off their debt by making more money. In reality: Making more money will only keep the shopaholic in debt by feeding their shopping addiction. This novel also gives the shopaholic the false hope that if they can get a rich guy, they can keep up their shopping habit and live happily ever after. Thee end.

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Parental rating: TV-14+ due to explicit use of language and several uses of the F-bomb (L); there is some references to sex but nothing explicit. (less)

  • The Life We Bury

  • By: Allen Eskens
  • Narrated by: Zach Villa
  • Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42,929
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,268
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,183

College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe's life is ever the same. Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran-and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good listen!

  • By Lori on 12-14-15

A Couple of Things I Liked About This Book

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-08-19

A couple of things I liked about this book:

1) I learned a lot about autism that I didn't know about it and I liked the relationship and tenderness between brothers.

2) I had a grandfather who was a recovering alcoholic, so I understand the pull one has on an alcoholic manipulating a child; the parenting role one sibling takes on with another sibling; the codependency of one adult with another. I felt these were all very real scenarios. Even the mentality to "rescue" Carl Iverson was understandable/believable to me because of the alcoholic background.

3) I liked the twist and turns in the book. It held my interest. Kept me guessing.

4) The performance was excellent.

I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 just because of the over-the-top ending and a Hardy Boys meets Nancy Drew moment in breaking a code; but do you expect anything less in these types of thrillers? Probably not.

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Parental review: TV-MA. Explicit sex scene--which I skipped over :-) (S); Language, including use of the F-bomb (L); violence and torture (V)

  • The Spies That Bind

  • A Gallagher Girls Prequel
  • By: Ally Carter
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Soler
  • Length: 2 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,930
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,688
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,665

The first day at a new school is tough for any kid, but it's especially scary when you're going to a school for spies. Cammie Morgan has spent her whole life dreaming of becoming a Gallagher Girl, but she has no idea what she’ll face when she arrives at The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. Secret passages? Check. Lab experiments that might make you lose your eyebrows (and other body parts)? Check. Classmates who are the smartest, strongest, most intimidating girls in the world? Double check. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A fun listen

  • By RThompson on 01-08-19

So Many Things Wrong About It But I Loved It :-)

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-08-19

There were so many things wrong about this YA audio book in soooooo many ways--but I still loved the book. Haha. It was riddled with historical holes and I had to keep going back to make sure I had actually heard the date right that the novel actually took place in 1860 and not in 1960--but yep, it was. However...

- Lincoln wasn't president in 1860, but 1861
- Cars weren't driven in 1861--most certainly limos
- The CIA wasn't created until 1947
- The Russian satellite wasn't created until 1957
- Computers weren't invented until 1940s
- There wasn't a Las Vegas casino until 1946
- World War II? What?

You catch my drift...

But, all that aside, it was a fun novel. Cute. Entertaining. Dramatic. Intriguing. Actionable.

If you're looking for historical accuracy--thumbs down. If you're looking for pure entertainment--thumbs up.
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Parental review: G rating. No language (L). Violence extremely mild (V). No sex (S). Drugs/alcohol none.

  • Can You Keep a Secret?

  • By: Sophie Kinsella
  • Narrated by: Emily Gray
  • Length: 6 hrs and 7 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 134
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72

With the same wicked humor, buoyant charm, and optimism that have made her Shopaholic novels beloved international best sellers, Sophie Kinsella delivers a hilarious new novel and an unforgettable new character. Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Liked this book a lot

  • By Mary Catherine on 03-23-13

Chick-lit at its finest

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-24-18

Chick lit at its finest...This is a delightfully charming, light-hearted, and laugh-out-loud book that I devoured in one day on Audible. The narrator, Emily Gray, is brilliant at breathing life into Emma Corrigan’s character.

The author, Kinsella, is a master of hilarity, awkward situations and heartfelt moments and Can You Keep a Secret? fits those qualities perfectly: A girl who vomits all her deepest, darkest secrets to the handsome man next to her on a plane who later turns out to be the elusive CEO, Jack Harper, at the company she works. Things couldn't possibly get worse--Until they do.

If you’ve read Kinsella’s other novels, you know you could just copy and paste the heroines into each one....They are generally struggling in their career, a bit inept with their friends and family, interested in superficial things, and have a penchant for making huge life mistakes. This might be a problem for some readers but for me it is a non-issue because I simply adore Kinsella’s prose and dialogue. The romance is pretty predictable, but the same is true of any rom-com book.

Some people have issues with chick lit types of books because they’re not “serious literature,” but who cares? Not every book has to change your life and challenge your brain. Reading is supposed to be entertainment and one occasionally needs an escape.

This book is definitely a brainless, guilty pleasure.

———————
Parental guide: Equivalent to TV-MA (L/S) mainly due to language with many uses of the F-word and it’s derivatives, including mild obscenities, scatological words, and religious exclamations (L). The main character is described to be having sex in one brief scene with no explicit details (S).

  • Then She Was Gone

  • A Novel
  • By: Lisa Jewell
  • Narrated by: Helen Duff
  • Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,767
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,738
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,687

Fifteen-year-old Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenage golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her. And then she was gone. Now her mother, Laurel Mack, is trying to put her life back together.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love all Lisa Jewell's books.

  • By Amazon Customer on 04-21-18

Meh...very predictable. Uh-mazing narrator.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-24-18

Then She Was Gone is, first and foremost, a mystery yet many questions are answered quite early on in the book making it quite predictable. Despite the book being predictable, the story was compelling and the smaller reveals along the way were enough to hold my interest.

Told by several characters, we get pieces of the story doled out at the perfect pace. Jewell did an amazing job of gradually unraveling the threads of Ellie Mack’s history through past and present POVs and weaving other strands together to create Laurel Mack’s (protagonist) present-day.

For me this thriller was a little difficult to read at times because the behavior of the psychopath was just so twisted. Without giving too much away, there was a point in the book that was not biologically/realistically explained and once the writer went down that path it didn’t feel credible.

I’ve known two families who’ve had a child disappear without any real answers. The trauma, sorrow, anguish and unknowns is excruciating for these families. Then She Was Gone is a rich study of the ways in which people respond to grief and how past trauma can continue to shape their decision-making and relationships years or decades later.

5-stars to Helen Duff, the narrator. Loved her style of reading and acting.

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Parental guide: Rating is equivalent to TV-MA (L/S/V/D). There are several uses of the F-word and derivatives, mild obscenities, scatological words, and religious exclamations (L). The main character is described to be having sex in two brief scenes with no explicit details. A child is drugged and impregnated with no explicit details (S). There is psychological abuse and mild descriptions of violence to a child and adults (V). A child is drugged twice (D).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Baker's Secret

  • A Novel
  • By: Stephen P. Kiernan
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,723
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,439
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,427

Only 22, Emma learned to bake at the side of a master, Ezra Kuchen, the village baker since before she was born. Apprenticed to Ezra at 13, Emma watched with shame and anger as her kind mentor was forced to wear the six-pointed yellow star on his clothing. She was likewise powerless to help when they pulled Ezra from his shop at gunpoint, the first of many villagers stolen away and never seen again.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very eye-opening!!

  • By James W. Rossiter on 11-15-17

Thanks, but no thanks

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-14-18

I really, really, really wanted to like this book, especially after so many gave it 4-5 stars, but I just couldn’t. I kept asking myself what am I missing that others are not?

If you are looking for a lyrical, rigorously detailed, deeply moving World War II-era novel, this isn’t for you. As a historical fiction book, it is more fiction than historical. It is not a novel about the history of WWII but rather a novel placed during WWII. There was a lack of any real WWII history woven into the book. None of the characters are real and the French village is fictitious.

One learns the identity of the baker—Emmanuelle who goes by Emma—and the nature of her secret by page 5. The secret that is revealed isn’t earth shattering nor seems to have any more bearing on the book than the eggs she secreted.

There’s no sense of connection to the characters who seem flat and underdeveloped without any psychological depth from their encounters with rape and violence.

For a historical fiction novel, there were inaccuracies that ranged from the types of ingredients used in certain bread types (which weren’t used in France during that era), to the unbelievability of a German Kommandant revealing war secrets to Emma.

The story moved slowly except toward the end (which is why it garnered a second star from me) but I was still underwhelmed by it and its unsurprising and predictable ending.

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Parental Guide: Rating is equivalent to TV-MA with depictions of wartime violence and executions (V). There are mild descriptions of sex, fondling, rape, and gang rape (S). Language can be foul at times with the use of f**ck, sh**t, damn, hell, b**ch (L).

  • God's Smuggler

  • By: Brother Andrew
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 966
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 852
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 858

This best seller tells of the young Dutch factory worker's incredible efforts to transport Bibles across closed borders - and the miraculous ways in which God provided for him every step of the way. Brother Andrew's story remains as inspiring today as it was 35 years ago, and with this new release, it will motivate a whole new generation to risk everything to follow God's call.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A True Inspiration... Must-Read Classic!

  • By Joshua on 06-05-12

Uplifting

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-18-18

I found this book an extremely uplifting book, reminding me that God is in control with a world of resources at his fingertips. We are his instruments and through our faith and hands, his purposes are fulfilled. I really enjoyed Simon Vance's performance.

God’s Smuggler is an account of the life of a Dutchman known as Brother Andrew. We meet him first as a thrill-seeking teenager who went off to war during WWII where he loses what little faith he had. After a war injury takes him to hospital, he eventually finds a new faith in God and a desire to help spread God’s word behind the Iron Curtain; first the outer ring and then even the innermost strongholds of Communist Europe in the 1960s.

The writing focuses on Andrew’s new discoveries about God, as well as what he learns about people living in closed countries. What the believers want most are Bibles in their own languages. It was illegal to smuggle Bibles into these countries, but God provided Bro Andrew the way: transportation, funds, and a string of amazing circumstances to fulfill the people’s wishes.

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This book is equivalent to a PG movie, although this rating does not signify the book is designed specifically for children. It contains little or no violence (only reference to wartime killings), no strong language and no sexual dialogue or situations.