Steven Levy has successfully gathered all the details necessary to tell the story of Google - to the present in early 2011. The most interesting sections deal with Google's experience in China, insights into the Google culture in the US and abroad, and how particular decisions were made from the beginning. The growth of Google is here, conflict along the way is presented, and the ethical and technological challenges covered. The only downside of the book - it is too early to know how Google will adjust to being a a "big company." A benefit of the Audible version is the "extra" interview section at the end. The reading of L. J. Ganser is excellent, the writing is engaging, and the book informative.
Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family doesn’t deal with Bernard L. Madoff. Rather, Laurie Sandell relates the story of how Madoff’s family came to know about his fraud, how they dealt with it, and the fallout for all of them. If you are looking for insight into Madoff you will be disappointed. If you are interested in how the family endured this trauma, you will find this book more valuable. This is not a happy story. This is not an uplifting story. Readers will not be inspired. No one lived happily ever after. This is the gut wrenching story of a dysfunctional family caught up in a mind bending circumstance and dealing with it. The reading of Maggie Hoffman is well done,.
In Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World, Liaquat Ahamed sets out to explain how the decisions of a a handful of central bankers in the US, England, France, and Germany brought us the Great Depression of 1929. An economist for the World Bank, Ahamed presents a story filled with interesting characters, mishandled events, and analysis easily followed by any reader. Front and center, is the Gold Standard which stabilized currencies, but also prolonged the economic malaise. Circumstances beyond anyone’s control propelled the downward economic spiral and magnified the decisions of key bankers making the problems much worse. There is a lot here only applicable and related to the crash of 1929. However, there is also much here which brings a sense of déjà vu to our current economic circumstance. Readers will be encouraged that we have gotten through these times before. Readers may also be reminded that things could be worse. The reading of Stephen Hoye is a plus.
Listening to Janis Ian narrate her autobiography punctuated with her singing her songsfelt like sitting in her living room while she told the story. As she sang, I was transported back to my own youth. If you are a fan, this is a absolute must book to listen to. If you are not yet a fan, listen to this book and you'll become one.