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Joshua Kim

Joshua Kim Etna, NH, United States Member Since 2005

mostly nonfiction listener

HELPFUL VOTES
557
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
    (345)
    Performance
    (139)
    Story
    (140)

    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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (419)
    Performance
    (336)
    Story
    (337)

    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
    (419)
    Performance
    (240)
    Story
    (245)

    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

Stranger Than Fiction

What's Trending in Nonfiction:

  • The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution (






UNABRIDGED) by Francis Fukuyama Narrated by Jonathan Davis

    The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Francis Fukuyama
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (264)
    Performance
    (213)
    Story
    (216)

    Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their constituents. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of today’s developing countries—with often disastrous consequences for the rest of the world.

    Henderson says: "Best Summary of Political History I've Read"
  • A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal (






UNABRIDGED) by Ben Macintyre Narrated by John Le Carre

    A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Ben Macintyre
    • Narrated By John Le Carre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (4)

    Kim Philby was the greatest spy in history, a brilliant and charming man who rose to head Britain's counterintelligence against the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War - while he was secretly working for the enemy. And nobody thought he knew Philby like Nicholas Elliott, Philby's best friend and fellow officer in MI6.

    Diane says: "The narrator is incorrectly identified."
  • America: Imagine a World Without Her (






UNABRIDGED) by Dinesh D'Souza Narrated by Walter Dixon

    America: Imagine a World Without Her

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Dinesh D'Souza
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (103)

    Is America a source of pride, as Americans have long held, or shame, as Progressives allege? Beneath an innocent exterior, are our lives complicit in a national project of theft, expropriation, oppression, and murder? Or is America still the hope of the world? New York Times best-selling author Dinesh D'Souza says these questions are no mere academic exercise.

    Kindle Customer says: "We can think for ourselves"
  • Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain (






UNABRIDGED) by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner Narrated by Stephen J. Dubner

    Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
    • Narrated By Stephen J. Dubner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (682)
    Performance
    (614)
    Story
    (614)

    The New York Times best-selling Freakonomics changed the way we see the world, exposing the hidden side of just about everything. Now, with Think Like a Freak, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have written their most revolutionary book yet. With their trademark blend of captivating storytelling and unconventional analysis, they take us inside their thought process and offer a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems. The topics range from business to philanthropy to sports to politics, all with the goal of retraining your brain.

    Nancy says: "Only if you don't listen to the podcast....."
  •  
  • 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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9581)
    Performance
    (4115)
    Story
    (4126)

    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"
  • Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison (






UNABRIDGED) by Piper Kerman Narrated by Cassandra Campbell

    Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Piper Kerman
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2339)
    Performance
    (2127)
    Story
    (2143)

    With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.

    Mark says: "My favorite book of the year, so far"
  • Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Lewis Narrated by Dylan Baker

    Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (1641)
    Performance
    (1463)
    Story
    (1479)

    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 Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (






UNABRIDGED) by Malcolm Gladwell Narrated by Malcolm Gladwell

    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
    Overall
    (4488)
    Performance
    (2137)
    Story
    (2138)

    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.

    Marian Hanganu says: "Exceptional!"
  •  
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking (






UNABRIDGED) by Susan Cain Narrated by Kathe Mazur

    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
    (3792)
    Performance
    (3265)
    Story
    (3239)

    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++++++++!!!!!"
  • Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices (






UNABRIDGED) by Mosab Hassan Yousef Narrated by Mosab Hassan Yousef

    Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Mosab Hassan Yousef
    • Narrated By Mosab Hassan Yousef
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (84)

    Since he was a small boy, Mosab Hassan Yousef has had an inside view of the deadly terrorist group Hamas. The oldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a founding member of Hamas and its most popular leader, young Mosab assisted his father for years in his political activities while being groomed to assume his legacy, politics, status...and power. But everything changed when Mosab turned away from terror and violence, and embraced instead the teachings of another famous Middle East leader.

    Pamela says: "Absolutely riveting!!!"
  • Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person's Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (






UNABRIDGED) by David Mills Narrated by David Smalley

    Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person's Answer to Christian Fundamentalism

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By David Mills
    • Narrated By David Smalley
    Overall
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    (1)

    Is there really a God? Or does God exist only in our heads? Is the Bible truly God's Word? Or is it a jumble of fanciful myths? Atheist Universe details why God is unnecessary to explain the universe's diversity, organization, and beauty. Using simple, straightforward logic, this audiobook rebuts every argument that claims to "prove" God's existence.

  • When the Hills Ask for Your Blood (






UNABRIDGED) by David Belton Narrated by Jonathan Slinger

    When the Hills Ask for Your Blood

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By David Belton
    • Narrated By Jonathan Slinger
    Overall
    (0)
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    6th April, 1994: In the skies above Rwanda the president's plane is shot down in flames. The mass slaughter that follows is one of the bloodiest chapters in history. Twenty years on, BBC Newsnight producer David Belton, one of the first journalists into Rwanda, tells of the horrors he experienced. He revisits a country still marked with blood, in search of those who survived and the legacy of those who did not.

  • A Murder in Our Town (






UNABRIDGED) by Arthur Herzog III Narrated by Frank Seaborg

    A Murder in Our Town

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Arthur Herzog III
    • Narrated By Frank Seaborg
    Overall
    (0)
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    Feeling oppressed by their economic and social status, the three Duntz brothers seek revenge on the wealthy upper class, and historical Salisbury becomes their target. The brothers set fire to the Salisbury town hall, a 235-year-old symbol of the town's proud heritage. But when Earl Morey confesses to seeing one of the brothers commit the crime, he is found shot to death one early October morning.

  • Missing Wives, Missing Lives: True Stories of Missing Women (






UNABRIDGED) by JJ Slate Narrated by Karen Roman

    Missing Wives, Missing Lives: True Stories of Missing Women

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By JJ Slate
    • Narrated By Karen Roman
    Overall
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    Missing Wives, Missing Lives focuses on 30 unique cases in which the wife has never been found and the undying efforts of her family as they continue the painful search to bring her home. The audiobook covers decades older cases, such as Jeanette Zapata, who has been missing since 1976, to more recent and widely known cases, such as Stacy Peterson, who has been missing since 2007.

  •  
  • Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World's Greatest Wine (






UNABRIDGED) by Maximillian Potter Narrated by Donald Corren

    Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World's Greatest Wine

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Maximillian Potter
    • Narrated By Donald Corren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    In January 2010, Aubert de Villaine, the famed proprietor of the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, the tiny, storied vineyard that produces the most expensive, exquisite wines in the world, received an anonymous note threatening the destruction of his priceless vines by poison - a crime that in the world of high-end wine is akin to murder - unless he paid a one million euro ransom. Villaine believed it to be a sick joke, but that proved a fatal miscalculation and the crime shocked this fabled region of France.

  • A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal (






UNABRIDGED) by Ben Macintyre Narrated by John Le Carre

    A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Ben Macintyre
    • Narrated By John Le Carre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (4)

    Kim Philby was the greatest spy in history, a brilliant and charming man who rose to head Britain's counterintelligence against the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War - while he was secretly working for the enemy. And nobody thought he knew Philby like Nicholas Elliott, Philby's best friend and fellow officer in MI6.

    Diane says: "The narrator is incorrectly identified."
  • The Concept of Anxiety: A Simple Psychologically Oriented Deliberation in View of the Dogmatic Problem of Hereditary Sin (






UNABRIDGED) by Soren Kierkegaard, Alastair Hannay (translator) Narrated by David Rapkin

    The Concept of Anxiety: A Simple Psychologically Oriented Deliberation in View of the Dogmatic Problem of Hereditary Sin

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Soren Kierkegaard, Alastair Hannay (translator)
    • Narrated By David Rapkin
    Overall
    (1)
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    (1)
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    This first new translation of Kierkegaard's masterwork in a generation brings an essential work of modern philosophy to vivid life. While the majority of Kierkegaard's work leading up to The Concept of Anxiety dealt with the intersection of faith and knowledge, here the renowned Danish philosopher turns to the perennial question of sin and guilt. First published in 1844, this concise treatise identified - long before Freud - anxiety as a deep-seated human state, one that embodies the endless struggle with our own spiritual identities.

  • Temptations of Power: Islamists & Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East (






UNABRIDGED) by Shadi Hamid Narrated by Peter Ganim

    Temptations of Power: Islamists & Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Shadi Hamid
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    In 1989, Francis Fukuyama famously announced the "end of history." The Berlin Wall had fallen; liberal democracy had won out. But what of illiberal democracy - the idea that popular majorities, working through the democratic process, might reject gender equality, religious freedoms, and other norms that Western democracies take for granted? Nowhere have such considerations become more relevant than in the Middle East, where the uprisings of 2011 swept the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups to power.

  •  
  • An Open Letter to All Regarding Donald Sterling (






UNABRIDGED) by Bryant T. Jordan Narrated by Bob Angel

    An Open Letter to All Regarding Donald Sterling

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Bryant T. Jordan
    • Narrated By Bob Angel
    Overall
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    Simply put, An Open Letter to ALL Regarding Donald Sterling is a 112 page must-read, thought-provoking audiobook, and one that should inspire a great deal of debate! Author Bryant T. Jordan examines and breaks down, not only the exact words of Donald Sterling as recorded by V. Stiviano in the infamous TMZ and Deadspin recordings, but those of NBA celebrities such as Shaquille O'Neal, Magic Johnson, and Isiah Thomas.