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Cynthia

Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States Member Since 2012

Ardent Audible listener with a long commute!

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  • "Five Days in Hell/Years in Purgatory"

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    Sheri Fink, MD, PhD, published "The Deadly Choices at Memorial" in the New York Times on August 30, 2009. I read it on line, and, when I found an abandoned copy at a Starbucks, I read it again. It was a great article, and I wished for more details - why did the hospitals generators fail? - why didn't the hospital's emergency plan have procedures in place for a catastrophic failure? - why didn't the doctors who administered fatal injections wait for rescue that, in hindsight, was just hours away? That article won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting; and this lengthy book (576 pages on paper) answers those questions, and more.

    Fink has the rare gift of understanding how complex systems work and fail, and the ability to explain them in a lively, intriguing narrative that weaves history, culture, engineering, medicine, medical ethics and people and companies together into a compelling story. She doesn't draw conclusions: she gives the conclusions reached by the government; the American Medical Association; the people that survived Memorial and the family members of those who didn't; law enforcement; expert witnesses; criminal attorneys and civil attorneys; and ethicists.

    As a reader/listener, I reached my own conclusions about why Memorial failed as a physical building, and how and why Dr. Anna Pou, did what she did - she apparently euthanized patients, and was arrested for second degree murder. A grand jury declined to indict Dr. Pou or the two nurses that helped her, years after Katrina.

    Would I have made the same kind of decision in an analogous situation? It's easy to pass moral judgment sitting in my comfortable backyard, well rested, enjoying a Sunday croissant and strong, black coffee. I don't think I would have, especially as to patient Emmett Everett, Sr., but I really don't know.

    Fink's epilogue makes a strong recommendation: guidelines need to be in place for medical priorities when medical resources are short, and those decisions need to be made well before natural or man made mass casualty events happen, not in the middle of a catastrophe.

    The book was so well narrated, I realized I was up at 1 a.m., after repeatedly setting the Audible sleep timer, listening. I had to switch to a book I'd already heard so I could sleep.

    [If this helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

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    Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Sheri Fink
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    (364)
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    In the tradition of the best writing on medicine, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the listener into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days.

    Sharon says: "A Must Read"
  • "Rationally liked this book"

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    Fans of Malcolm Gladwell (especially “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference,” 2000 and “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking,” 2005) will appreciate Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman’s “Sway: The Irresistible Power of Irrational Behavior” I have all of Gladwell’s books. In hardback. And I really liked “Sway”. Actually, “Sway” was an easier read/listen. “Sway” has a lot more anecdotal stories to illustrate the points the Brothers Brafman are making.

    My favorite chapter was Eight, “Dissenting Justice.” The Brafmans have the most thorough and easy to understand discussion of how the US Supreme Court reviews cases it decides to hear. The purpose of Supreme Courts conferences is to determine how the Court will rule, and the process – honed over hundreds of years – is to make rational decisions, and to respect the voices of dissent. Very few organizations, business or government, would have the time or discipline to engage in the same process – but a modified procedure, encouraging similar careful consideration of the facts, would be well applied used in corporate decision making processes.

    Chapter Seven, “Cocaine and Compassion” was a close second to Chapter Eight. In “Cocaine and Compassion”, the Brafmans discuss the difference between pleasure center motivation (money, cocaine) and altruistic motivation. The bottom line is that people are more likely to cooperate and perform well for altruistic reasons – and, for biological reasons, the motivation is going to be either pleasure or altruism, but not both at the same time.

    Altruism is discussed extensively in Adam Grant’s 2013 “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success.” “Sway” was easier to understand, and I think I would have had an easier time with “Give and Take” if I’d read/listened to “Sway” first.

    I liked parts of “Sway” so much, I listened to parts of it more than once.

    The narration was good, but I could have done without the random music – I wasn’t sure what sections it was setting apart.

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    Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Rom Brafman, Ori Brafman
    • Narrated By John Apicella
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    A Harvard Business School student pays over $200 for a $20 bill. Washington, D.C., commuters ignore a free subway concert by a violin prodigy. A veteran airline pilot attempts to take off without control-tower clearance and collides with another plane on the runway. Why do we do the wildly irrational things we sometimes do?

    Martin says: "Disappointing book"
  • "How Not to Be the Blind Leading the..."

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    Margaret Heffernan's "Willful Blindness: Why we Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril" (2011) is in Audible's Nonfiction:Science & Technology:Social Science, along with Malcolm Gladwell's books, including "Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking" (2005) and "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference" (2007). Jefferson's "Willful Blindness" is definitely on par with Gladwell's work, but without the publicity Gladwell has, I'm worried that not enough people will find out just how great this book is for people who want to understand what individual and organizational psychological problems can cause monumental failures.

    Heffernan begins with a dramatic description of a tragic British Petroleum disaster - but not the 2010 Deep Water Horizon blow out that killed 11 workers and badly harmed a great deal of the coast of the United Stated. She describes the 2005 Texas City Refinery explosion that killed 15 workers and wreaked havoc on a vital part of the economy. Some of the factors that made the workers blind to the problem that caused the explosion were lack of sleep caused by long shifts with not enough time off; not enough workers; and poor design of equipment. Management at the local level didn't have the power to change the situation, and executives determined to cut costs refused to hear them. What's surprising to Heffernan is that when BP's Deep Water Horizon blew, people were astounded. The management and the corporate culture hadn't changed. Why wouldn't it happen again?

    Heffernan's book is full of similar case studies, some well known - like the federal government's disastrous handling of Hurricane Katrina. Some are not well known - like the installation of pumps that will not work in New Orleans after Katrina.

    Once again, I do wish Audible had a true table of contents. Since it doesn't, here it is (with thanks to Google Books): Introduction; 1. Affinity and Beyond; 2. Love is Blind; 3. Dangerous Convictions; 4 The Limits of Your Mind; 5. The Ostrich Instruction; 6. Just Following Orders; 7. The Cult of Cultures; 8. Bystander; 9. Out of Sight Out of Mind; 10. De-Moralizing Work; 11. Cassandra; 12. See Better. Chapter 11, which starts with the myth of Cassandra, who was gifted with knowing the truth and the future but cursed not to be believed, is a powerful discussion about encouraging those in an organization who know the truth to speak up.

    Heffernan narrates the book herself, and it was hard to get used to her unusual accent. I checked her bio, and she was born in Texas, raised in the Netherlands, and attended college in England. No wonder I couldn't place it.

    I definitely recommend this book for managers and executives who want to strengthen their teams.

    [If you found this review helpful, please let me know by clicking the helpful button. And Audible, how about adding this one to the Business section also???]

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    Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Margaret Heffernan
    • Narrated By Margaret Heffernan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Margaret Heffernan argues that the biggest threats and dangers we face are the ones we don't see - not because they're secret or invisible, but because we're willfully blind. A distinguished businesswoman and writer, she examines the phenomenon and traces its imprint in our private and working lives, and within governments and organizations, and asks: What makes us prefer ignorance? What are we so afraid of? Why do some people see more than others? And how can we change?

    Lynn says: "Why We Ignore What Is About Us"
  1. Five Days at Memorial: Li...
  2. Sway: The Irresistible Pu...
  3. Willful Blindness: Why We...
  4. .

A Major New Account

Stranger Than Fiction

What's Trending in Nonfiction:

  • Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Michael Lewis returns to the financial world to give listeners a ringside seat as the biggest news story in years prepares to hit Wall Street....

    Darwin8u says: "Making the system deliver on its promise."
  • The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Matt Taibbi
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Poverty goes up. Crime goes down. The prison population doubles. Fraud by the rich wipes out 40 percent of the world’s wealth. The rich get massively richer. No one goes to jail. In search of a solution, journalist Matt Taibbi discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where our two most troubling trends - growing wealth inequality and mass incarceration - come together, driven by a dramatic shift in American citizenship: Our basic rights are now determined by our wealth or poverty.

    Ttainabc says: "Must Read!"
  • Outliers: The Story of Success

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
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    In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.

    S Prabhu says: "Excellent book; well adapted for the audio format"
  • The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance - What Women Should Know

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Katty Kay, Claire Shipman
    • Narrated By Sandy Rustin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Working women today are better educated and more well-qualified than ever before. Yet men still predominate in the corporate world. In The Confidence Code, Claire Shipman and Katty Kay argue that the key reason is confidence.

    Combining cutting-edge research in genetics, gender, behavior, and cognition - with examples from their own lives and those of other successful women in politics, media, and business - Kay and Shipman go beyond admonishing women to "lean in".

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  • The 48 Laws of Power

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Robert Greene
    • Narrated By Don Leslie
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    Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this piercing work distills 3,000 years of the history of power into 48 well-explicated laws. This bold volume outlines the laws of power in their unvarnished essence, synthesizing the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun-tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, and other great thinkers.

    Richard Leon says: "Not a how to guide .."
  • Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By John Hagee
    • Narrated By Dean Gallagher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Over the last 500 years, blood-red moons have fallen on the first day of Passover three separate times. These occurrences were connected to some of the most significant days in Jewish history: 1492 (the final year of the Spanish Inquisition when Jews were expelled from Spain), 1948 (statehood for Israel and the War of Independence) and 1967 (the Six-Day War). Every heavenly body is controlled by the unseen hand of God, which signals coming events to humanity. There are no solar or lunar accidents.

    ella says: "I believe"
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    In The Tipping Point, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in society happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.

    David says: "Makes sense to me."
  • Mastery

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Robert Greene
    • Narrated By Fred Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    (584)
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    What did Charles Darwin, middling schoolboy and underachieving second son, do to become one of the earliest and greatest naturalists the world has known? What were the similar choices made by Mozart and by Caesar Rodriguez, the U.S. Air Force's last ace fighter pilot? In Mastery, Robert Greene's fifth book, he mines the biographies of great historical figures for clues about gaining control over our own lives and destinies. Picking up where The 48 Laws of Power left off, Greene culls years of research and original interviews to blend historical anecdote and psychological insight, distilling the universal ingredients of the world's masters.

    John says: "Better if Half the Length"
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  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Susan Cain
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

    Teddy says: "Thought provoking and Uplifting.... A++++++++!!!!!"
  • Hero: The Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Rhonda Byrne
    • Narrated By Rhonda Byrne
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    From Rhonda Byrne, creator of the international bestselling movie and book, The Secret, comes HERO, her latest world-changing project and the most important to date. What is your true calling and why aren't you already living it? Imagine if there was a map that showed you step by step how to get from where you are now to your true calling and the life you were born to live - the most brilliant, rich, fulfilling, and dazzling life you could ever dream of. You are holding in your hands such a map. HERO is the map for your life.

    Shivakumar says: "An Amazing Book from Rhonda Byrne,A Must to Read"
  • Unspeakable: The Story of Junius Wilson

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Susan Burch, Hannah Joyner
    • Narrated By Corey Johnson
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    Junius Wilson (1908-2001) spent 76 years at a state mental hospital in Goldsboro, North Carolina, including 6 in the criminal ward. He had never been declared insane by a medical professional or found guilty of any criminal charge. But he was deaf and black in the Jim Crow South. Unspeakable is the story of his life.

  • Citizens Rising: Independent Journalism and the Spread of Democracy

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By David Hoffman
    • Narrated By Ben Bartolone
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    From the fall of the Soviet Union to the Arab Spring to today’s continuing conflicts, media have played a decisive role in political affairs across the globe—driving the revolutionary changes shaping today’s new world. This is the first book presenting a comprehensive look at the emergence of media as a primary actor, and not merely an observer, of global affairs. With the rise of digital technology, the power of media to intervene in global affairs is in the hands of everyone—including you.

  • The Workings of Energy in the Human Energy Field: A Psychic's Perspective

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 7 mins)
    • By Zorica Gojkovic
    • Narrated By Melanie Avalon
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    The Workings of Energy in the Human Energy Field: A Psychic's Perspective is a short explanation of how energy works in the human energy field, the human aura, as seen by a psychic. Before there is matter, there is energy. The energy in the human energy field is the cause of the reality the person experiences. When a person knows how this energy works, he has an explanation of why his life is the way it is, and he has the key to how to make it different, if he so chooses.

  • Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Brigid Schulte
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
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    According to the Leisure Studies Department at the University of Iowa, true leisure is “that place in which we realize our humanity.” If that’s true, argues Brigid Schulte, then we're doing dangerously little realizing of our humanity. In Overwhelmed, Schulte, a staff writer for The Washington Post, asks: Are our brains, our partners, our culture, and our bosses making it impossible for us to experience anything but “contaminated time”?

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  • Sex and the Founding Fathers: Sexuality Studies

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Thomas A. Foster
    • Narrated By Todd Curless
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    Biographers, journalists, and satirists have long used the subject of sex to define the masculine character and political authority of America's Founding Fathers. Tracing these commentaries on the Revolutionary Era's major political figures in Sex and the Founding Fathers, Thomas Foster shows how continual attempts to reveal the true character of these men instead exposes much more about Americans and American culture than about the Founders themselves.

  • Religion in Public: Locke's Political Theology: Cultural Memory in the Present

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Pritchard
    • Narrated By Tim Lundeen
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    John Locke's theory of toleration is generally seen as advocating the privatization of religion. This interpretation has become conventional wisdom: secularization is widely understood as entailing the privatization of religion, and the separation of religion from power. This audiobook turns that conventional wisdom on its head and argues that Locke secularizes religion, that is, makes it worldly, public, and political. In the name of diverse citizenship, Locke reconstructs religion as persuasion, speech, and fashion.

  • The Illuminati's Greatest Hits: Deception, Conspiracies, Murders, and Assassinations by the World's Most Powerful Secret Society

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Frank White
    • Narrated By Mysti Jording
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    Born through Adam Weishaupt, in 1776, the secret society group known as the Illuminati have been wreaking havoc on the world ever since. They have fomented wars and have manipulated events from behind the shadows to diabolically implement their agenda of a new world order. People have heard of the Illuminati through popular culture, but most brush off their existence as nothing more than some "conspiracy theory" hatched by conspiracy theorists without doing any valid research that would perhaps discount their existence.

  • Jerusalem

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Simon Sebag Montefiore
    • Narrated By John Lee
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    Jerusalem is the universal city, the capital of two peoples, the shrine of three faiths; it is the prize of empires, the site of Judgement Day, and the battlefield of today's clash of civilizations. From King David to Barack Obama, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict, this is the epic history of 3,000 years of faith, slaughter, fanaticism, and coexistence. How did this small, remote town become the Holy City, the 'centre of the world' and now the key to peace in the Middle East?

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  • Haunting Experiences: Ghosts in Contemporary Folklore

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Diane Goldstein, Sylvia Grider, Jeannie Banks Thomas
    • Narrated By Cynthia Wallace
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    Ghosts and other supernatural phenomena are widely represented throughout modern culture. They can be found in any number of entertainment, commercial, and other contexts, but popular media or commodified representations of ghosts can be quite different from the beliefs people hold about them, based on tradition or direct experience. Personal belief and cultural tradition on the one hand, and popular and commercial representation on the other, nevertheless continually feed each other.

  • A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality Among Mankind

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
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    Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men was written in response to a competition run by the Academy of Dijon answering the prompt: What is the origin of inequality among men, and whether such inequality is authorized by natural law? Rousseau puts forth the concept of two types of inequity: natural/physical and moral/political. He focuses on moral inequality and its link to power and wealth. He also covers the areas of self-love, compassion for others, and free-agency.