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Joshua Kim

Joshua Kim Etna, NH, United States Member Since 2005

mostly nonfiction listener

HELPFUL VOTES
570
ratings
REVIEWS
296
154
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FOLLOWING
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8
  • "Driving Towards Traffic"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Traffic" freaked me out. I knew that 40,000 people died each year on our roads. And I knew that a car accident was the most likely way that trauma would encroach into my world. Vanderbilt gives me lots more things to worry about (like Dr's have the 2nd highest accident rate, pick-up trucks are dangerous to everyone else, new cars have higher accident rates then older cars, and intersections are bad news for bikers, runners, and drivers.

    This is a book I'd like my girls to read as a prerequisite to getting their license (and I'll install the driver cam that Vanderbilt writes about being effective in teaching young drivers defensive skills).

    Read the book. Slow down on the roads.

    More

    Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Tom Vanderbilt
    • Narrated By Marc Cashman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (353)
    Performance
    (145)
    Story
    (146)

    Driving is a fact of life. We are all spending more and more time on the road, and traffic is an issue we face everyday. This audiobook will make you think about it in a whole new light.

    Joshua Kim says: "Driving Towards Traffic"
  • "Pros and Cons of "Why Nations F..."

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    I read Why Nations Fail this month while traveling in South Korea. The book was much on my mind as I looked across the DMZ at North Korea on the 38th parallel. South Korea, a country of about 50 million people, enjoys a per capital PPP (purchasing power parity) GDP of around $32,000. (The U.S. is $48,000 by comparison - wealthier but also with a less equally distributed income). In North Korea, the GDP per capita (PPP) is $2,400 - an incredibly low numbers that still probably understates how desperately poor (and hungry) are the people of North Korea.

    Why should North Korea be so poor, and South Korea so rich?

    The two countries share common cultural roots, geography, and access to natural resources. This is the question Acemoglu and Robinson attempt to answer in Why Nations Fail. They look at examples such as North Korea, as well as other natural experiments of societies that share similar exogenous traits (resources, climate, etc.) - such as the twin Nogales's in Mexico and Arizona.

    Acemoglu and Robinson's explanation as to why some nations are poor and others rich has everything to do with the elites. Poor nations are poor because the people who run these countries have made their subjects destitute in service of enriching themselves.

    North Korea can best be understood as being run by a criminal family. Mexico is so much poorer than the U.S. because of its history of being run by elites whose main goal was to extract wealth, and who did not need to redistribute economic production as for most of its history the country lacked pluralistic institutions that could check the power of the rulers.

    This argument, that some countries are poor because the powerful keep them poor, stands in direct opposition to the arguments that Jared Diamond makes in Guns, Germs and Steel. Diamond believes that the wealth distribution was largely pre-determined by immunity to disease (or lack thereof), access to domesticable livestock, and the raw materials and technologies to make advanced weapons.

    I am a huge fan of Diamond's writing, but Why Nations Fail has me thoroughly convinced that more deterministic view of development (as put forward by Diamond and others) is problematic. Why Nations Fail should definitely be on the syllabus in any economic history or development course, and on the bookshelf (physical or virtual) of anyone interested in global inequality, poverty, and why some nations are so much richer than others.

    Should you invest the time to read Why Nations Fail? The book is 544 pages, or almost 18 hours by audiobook (my reading choice). Acemoglu and Robinson would have benefited from a strong-willed editor, one who was willing to push them to provide less historical detail (the book has a ton from around the world across numerous societies), and more analysis of the implications of their arguments for countries like China and India.

    I came away from Why Nations Fail thinking that if the argument is correct then China's long-term economic prospects might not be as good as we assume, and India's may be better. But having spent time time in South Korea, which developed so rapidly at least partly under a repressive military regime, it is hard to square this conclusion with the recent facts of some of our fastest developing countries.

    Perhaps Acemoglu and Robinson next book will take outliers and implications, building on top of the theoretical foundations for development and inequality laid out in Why Nations Fail.


    More

    Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Daron Acemoglu, James Robinson
    • Narrated By Dan Woren
    Overall
    (445)
    Performance
    (355)
    Story
    (356)

    Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine?

    Ryan says: "Important themes, with blind spots"
  • "5 Concise Reasons to Read"

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    I love short books. Can you recommend any good, but concise, nonfiction? Great reads under 200 pages?

    Here are my 5 concise reasons to read Robert Reich's latest book "Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future"

    Reason #1 - Conciseness: Most books are too long. Aftershock is a blessed 192 pages; 4 hours and 29 minutes short in audiobook format.

    Reason #2 - Originality: Reich's big argument is that out economy is fundamentally unbalanced. That the growth of inequality that has concentrated economic gains among the top 5 percent of the populations has resulted in an inability of most Americans to adequately consume. We cannot afford to buy what we produce (a problem near and dear to the heart of any parent who works in higher education).

    Reason #3 - The Higher Education Plan: Reich actually has a plan for higher education. He would make tuition free (to public institutions), and recoup the costs with a levy on future earnings for anyone who participated. His proposal is more complex than this description, and wildly unlikely to ever be enacted anywhere, but still fun to debate.

    Reason #4 - History: Reich was one of the first academic popularizers that I discovered. Back in 1992, he wrote The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism, in which he argued that economic gains and options would accrue to the "symbolic analysts" - those who manipulate and create information. Reich was ahead of the game in 1992, and if we had listened more carefully to his warnings we might be in better shape today.

    Reason #5 - Narration: Reich narrates his own book - and does it beautifully. Usually reading what you have written does not work out so well. Narration is a skill best left to professional readers. But in this case, Reich is the right person to read his own words

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    Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Robert Reich
    • Narrated By Robert Reich
    Overall
    (432)
    Performance
    (250)
    Story
    (255)

    The author of 12 acclaimed books, Robert B. Reich is a Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and has served in three national administrations. While many blamed Wall Street for the financial meltdown, Aftershock points a finger at a national economy in which wealth is increasingly concentrated at the top - and where a grasping middle class simply does not have the resources to remain viable.

    Chris says: "Very plausible assessment of our economy"
  1. Traffic: Why We Drive the...
  2. Why Nations Fail: The Ori...
  3. Aftershock: The Next Econ...
  4. .

A Major New Account

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What's Trending in Nonfiction:

  • How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens (






UNABRIDGED) by Benedict Carey Narrated by Steve Kramer

    How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Benedict Carey
    • Narrated By Steve Kramer
    Overall
    (3)
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    From an early age, it is drilled into our heads: Restlessness, distraction, and ignorance are the enemies of success. We’re told that learning is all self-discipline, that we must confine ourselves to designated study areas, turn off the music, and maintain a strict ritual if we want to ace that test, memorize that presentation, or nail that piano recital. But what if almost everything we were told about learning is wrong?

  • You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself (






UNABRIDGED) by David McRaney Narrated by Don Hagen

    You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By David McRaney
    • Narrated By Don Hagen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (835)
    Performance
    (724)
    Story
    (724)

    An entertaining illumination of the stupid beliefs that make us feel wise. You believe you are a rational, logical being who sees the world as it really is, but journalist David McRaney is here to tell you that you're as deluded as the rest of us. But that's OK - delusions keep us sane. You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of self-delusion. It's like a psychology class, with all the boring parts taken out, and with no homework. Based on the popular blog of the same name, You Are Not So Smart collects more than 46 of the lies we tell ourselves everyday.

    Sarah Dumoulin says: "Covers a lot of old territory"
  • 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi (






UNABRIDGED) by Mitchell Zuckoff, Annex Security Team Narrated by Mitchell Zuckoff

    13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Mitchell Zuckoff, Annex Security Team
    • Narrated By Mitchell Zuckoff
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (9)

    13 Hours presents, for the first time ever, the true account of the events of September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex in Benghazi, Libya. A team of six American security operators fought to repel the attackers and protect the Americans stationed there. Those men went beyond the call of duty, performing extraordinary acts of courage and heroism, to avert tragedy on a much larger scale.

    Bethany says: "Proud of our Protectors!"
  • Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker (






UNABRIDGED) by Kevin Mitnick, William L. Simon Narrated by Ray Porter

    Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Kevin Mitnick, William L. Simon
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    (3421)
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    (3048)

    Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world’s biggest companies—and however fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. He spent years skipping through cyberspace, always three steps ahead and labeled unstoppable.

    Mikeyxote says: "Great listen for tech fans"
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  • Debt: The First 5,000 Years (






UNABRIDGED) by David Graeber Narrated by Grover Gardner

    Debt: The First 5,000 Years

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By David Graeber
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Every economics textbook says the same thing: Money was invented to replace onerous and complicated barter systems - to relieve ancient people from having to haul their goods to market. The problem with this version of history? There’s not a shred of evidence to support it. Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom. He shows that for more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods - that is, long before the invention of coins or cash.

    E. J. Ford says: "Stands Economics on Its Head"
  • Outliers: The Story of Success (






UNABRIDGED) by Malcolm Gladwell Narrated by Malcolm Gladwell

    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 New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (






UNABRIDGED) by Michelle Alexander Narrated by Karen Chilton

    The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Michelle Alexander
    • Narrated By Karen Chilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    Performance
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    In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. Yet, as legal star Michelle Alexander reveals, today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans.

    Jeremy says: "An essential read. A horrifying reality."
  • Inside Delta Force: The Story of America’s Elite Counterterrorist Unit (






UNABRIDGED) by Eric L. Haney Narrated by Robertson Dean

    Inside Delta Force: The Story of America’s Elite Counterterrorist Unit

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Eric L. Haney
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1259)
    Performance
    (1068)
    Story
    (1079)

    Delta Force—the US Army’s most elite top-secret strike force. They dominate the modern battlefield, but you won’t hear about their heroics on CNN. No headlines can reveal their top-secret missions, and no book has ever taken readers inside—until now. Here, a founding member of Delta Force takes us behind the veil of secrecy and into the action to reveal the never-before-told story of First Special Forces Operational Detachment-D (Delta Force).

    Darwin8u says: "Informative & Entertaining Memoir >|< Myth"
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  • Shadows of the Workhouse: Call the Midwife, Book 2 (






UNABRIDGED) by Jennifer Worth Narrated by Nicola Barber

    Shadows of the Workhouse: Call the Midwife, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Jennifer Worth
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (159)

    When twenty-two-year-old Jennifer Worth, from a comfortable middle-class upbringing, went to work as a midwife in the direst section of postwar London, she not only delivered hundreds of babies and touched many lives, she also became the neighborhood';s most vivid chronicler. Woven into the ongoing tales of her life in the East End are the true stories of the people Worth met who grew up in the dreaded workhouse, a Dickensian institution that limped on into the middle of the twentieth century.

    Jan says: "Nice followup to "Call The Midwife""
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UNABRIDGED) by Jonathan Haidt Narrated by Jonathan Haidt

    The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Jonathan Haidt
    • Narrated By Jonathan Haidt
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    Performance
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    In The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding. His starting point is moral intuition - the nearly instantaneous perceptions we all have about other people and the things they do. These intuitions feel like self-evident truths, making us righteously certain that those who see things differently are wrong. Haidt shows us how these intuitions differ across cultures, including the cultures of the political left and right.

    Douglas says: "A Brilliant And Insightful Book!"
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UNABRIDGED) by Richard Eyre, Linda Eyre Narrated by Benjamin Pacini

    The Turning: Why the State of the Family Matters, and What the World Can Do About It

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Richard Eyre, Linda Eyre
    • Narrated By Benjamin Pacini
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    New York Times #1 best-selling authors Richard and Linda Eyre's new audiobook The Turning: Why the State of the Family Matters and What the World Can Do about It contends that the social and economic challenges faced not only in the United States, but throughout the world, are the direct result of an unprecedented and widespread turning away from family. The negative effects of this turning are apparent in the youth of the world today

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UNABRIDGED) by Bob Cranmer, Erica Manfred Narrated by Michael Prichard

    The Demon of Brownsville Road: A Pittsburgh Family's Battle with Evil in Their Home

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Bob Cranmer, Erica Manfred
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
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    (0)

    As a young boy, Bob had been drawn to the property, and, just when the family decided to move back to Brentwood, it went up for sale. Without a second thought, they purchased the house that Bob had always dreamed of owning. But the family soon began experiencing strange phenomena - objects moving on their own, ghostly footsteps, unsettling moaning sounds - that gradually increased in violence, escalating to physical assaults and, most disturbingly, bleeding walls.

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UNABRIDGED) by R. David Lankes Narrated by R. David Lankes

    Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries for Today's Complex World

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By R. David Lankes
    • Narrated By R. David Lankes
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    Libraries have existed for millennia, but today many question their necessity. In an ever more digital and connected world, do we still need places of books in our towns, colleges, or schools? If libraries aren't about books, what are they about? In Expect More, David Lankes, winner of the 2012 ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature, walks you through what to expect out of your library.

  • Vampires of Great Britain (






UNABRIDGED) by Tom Slemen Narrated by Norman Gilligan

    Vampires of Great Britain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Tom Slemen
    • Narrated By Norman Gilligan
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    Whether writing about the ancient Egyptian vampiress, Sekhmet, or Black Tom the highwayman turned vampire who terrorised the county of Dorset for over three hundred years, Tom Slemen has the unerring ability to seek out tales of the paranormal and retell them with chilling lucidity. If you are genuinely interested in vampires, and are not of a nervous disposition, listen to this book!

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  • Marriage and Civilization: How Monogamy Made Us Human (






UNABRIDGED) by William Tucker Narrated by Patrick S. Korten

    Marriage and Civilization: How Monogamy Made Us Human

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By William Tucker
    • Narrated By Patrick S. Korten
    Overall
    (0)
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    In his stunning new book, Marriage and Civilization,author William Tucker looks at the evidence from biology, evolution, anthropology, history, and culture to come to a remarkable conclusion: it was the monogamous pairing of male and female - unusual among mammals - that led to human evolution.

  • ? (






UNABRIDGED) by Tom Simek Narrated by Tom Simek

    ?

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Tom Simek
    • Narrated By Tom Simek
    Overall
    (0)
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    A series of chance occurrences and unexpected mishaps lead a curious young man to question not only himself and his own identity, but the fundamental nature of the universe and existence. Traveling three continents in pursuit of answers to life's biggest questions, all he seems to find is more questions.

  • Rise to the Top: How Women Leverage Their Professional Persona to Earn More (






UNABRIDGED) by Stacey Hawley Narrated by Lyndsay Vitale

    Rise to the Top: How Women Leverage Their Professional Persona to Earn More

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Stacey Hawley
    • Narrated By Lyndsay Vitale
    Overall
    (0)
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    Rise to the Top discusses how companies approach compensation - the compensation game and its many players plus women's roles in that process. Highlights the integral role that personality type plays in how women are perceived in the workplace, and how their work style affects their paycheck. Reveals the four female "powerhouse personality types", and shares specific strategies on how women can leverage these work styles to earn more money and rewards.

  • A Lost Life: Is This a Lost Generation, a Lost Key to Life, or Can They Be Saved? (






UNABRIDGED) by Cheryline Lawson Narrated by Brady Gonsalves

    A Lost Life: Is This a Lost Generation, a Lost Key to Life, or Can They Be Saved?

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 27 mins)
    • By Cheryline Lawson
    • Narrated By Brady Gonsalves
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    This audiobook is about young people between the ages of 15 to 25, their destructive path, and what we can do to save them! Everyone seems to be accusatory toward the youth and call them a lost generation. However, society may have forgotten that they have contributed to some of the trends that are witnessed among the youth - be it the church, parents, or the politicians. The moral debauchery among the youth cannot be talked about without mention of these things.