Santa Cruz, CA, United States | Member Since 2012
This is one of those books everyone should read—but would anyone ever get elected again? Author Joel Best shows you exactly how stats can be manipulated to prove anything.
If every statistic released were to be believed, then the whole country would be sick, pregnant, violent, dead, or addicted to porn. Using examples from the New York Times, the Washington Post, U.S. Census, and other major media outlets, Best unravels the many fascinating examples of the misuse and abuse of statistical information.
There are no innocents.
My stats professor used to quote Mark Twain to every class: “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” It's possible to twist statistics to say virtually anything; for every study out there that makes one claim, there's another that "proves" the exact opposite. How can you know which one is true? Best lets you know how to spot the BS and wade through fraud studies and stats.
This was a fun, light listen, helped along by the narration of Julia Motyka who has a brilliant sense of rhythm and character.
If you're looking for "hard fantasy" with wizarding duels and ultimate struggles between good and evil, you should look elsewhere. What you get here is a pleasant fantasy that sticks to the plausible, but not the real.
"The Accidental Alchemist" has a lot packed into it; fantasy, romance, mystery, —and cooking? Yes, at the heart of the story is the equation of alchemy and herbal vegan cookery which, when you think about it, might be the closest modern equivalent to turning lead into gold (though sometimes the reverse as well).
The characters in this audiobook are what will keep you coming back. The realest and most endearing being the most unlikely—a gargoyle who loves cooking and Agatha Christie mysteries, but is in danger of being trapped in stone. Would that most books had more human characters that charming and sympathetic.
This is a singular, almost unbelievable, story; a Chinese boy is taken by his benefactress to 1800s America to become a missionary, but gets tricked into slavery, escapes and joins the Union Army in the Civil War. It's one of those "against all odds" stories that make you wonder at the resiliency of the human spirit. I was quickly invested in the fate of Ah Yee Way.
Ruthanne McCunn has a stripped-down writing style that makes the action sound like it's being reported rather than made up. James Chen's narration gives brilliant life to the words, his differing characters, accents and voices, create a 3-D world in your ears. Together, you get a harrowing, and vivid experience.
I could read a Duffy novel every week. Detective Sean is an improbable Irish Catholic cop on an all Protestant police force, during “The Troubles.” You wonder how he gets out the door every morning.
Although the character is fictional, McKinty takes his anti-hero and puts him into the most insane real-life historical twists. You start to feel like it MUST have happened.
When you find out the American political twist on what appears to local sectarian murders HOLY SH*T. I screamed.
Gerard has inhabited the Sean Duffy character for quite a while now. We BELIEVE him utterly. I know that real Irish must laugh at what Americans think is an Northern Irish accent, but hey, it WORKS FOR US.
Oh yes. The suspense is insane. The black humor is deadly. My barely suppressed longing for Duffy is never-ending. The political surprise at the end made me holler, and then I wouldn’t tell my partner what happened and we had to wait two weeks to talk about it openly.
I produce a lot of books at Audible, and listen to audio titles of all kinds, constantly. But political mystery fiction is my favorite escape, and John Le Carre’s classics, and Adrian McKinty are my GO TO.
Rosner tells a beautiful tale that connects the threads of history and its effects through generations.
Starting with the harnessing of electricity in Schenectady, she writes of scientific discovery, Dutch settlers, and the Native Americans who already had a relationship with the land. She connects these people and ideas through time to their descendants, teenagers caught in a love triangle, who come to feel like real people.
"Electric City's" rich literary language and attention to historical detail make it feel both etherial and poetic; and vividly worldly.
Sara Benincasa addresses anxiety and depression; suicide and run-of-the-mill high school antipathy from a perspective that lets you know— not that everything will be ok, but that you can cry and laugh at once at the same thing.
Agorafabulous! began as a one woman show. What Sara brings to this audiobook is the skills to enthrall an audience. She can tell a yarn about standing in line for two hours in order to donate blood, and you are ready to hear more. She's spontaneous, genuine, and awkward when it suits.
Richard Brautigan was one of my first literary loves. His novels and poetry inspired me, as a teenager, to become a poet and writer myself. His daughter, Ianthe Brautigan, has her own rich, poetic style and her memoir stands on its own merit.
Ianthe was close to her father, and like many children of alcoholics and divorce, she was put in the role of nurturer at an early age. She speaks from the beginning of being lost at parties and her father's "kid in a candy store" glee when stocking up on alcohol. Even so, her love for and appreciation of her father are clear from the first lines. The grief she feels when he pulls away and ends communication and for his suicide is heartbreaking.
Brautigan relates the oddness and elation of being brought up rootless in the sixties counter-culture, from San Francisco's old-world North Beach, Idaho, Japan, and Hawaii, Ianthe has a crisp memory for detail, and brings the viewpoint of the child she was along with the perspective of time.
This memoir is an exploration of the fault lines in her family going back generations and a navigation of the grief caused by her ailing father. Suicide and alcoholism run right through the audiobook, but somehow, they don't bring it down. Ianthe finds the brightness in all the dark places.
Ryokan, "The Great Fool," is, perhaps, the scruffiest of the great Zen Master poets. His writings, and in particular, Kazuaki Tanahashi's translation, convey the experiences of a breathing person, irreverent and humorous while holding deep sorrow, loneliness, and wisdom. He portrays a universe playing tricks on us all.
Brian Nishii is a fantastic narrator. He is clear, has a good sense of timing and his enthusiasm for the reading is evident.
Action, romance, and gender-bending in medieval England; Scarlet is satisfying in every way.
When my daughter was three, she was swept up in the legend of Robin Hood. She dressed up in green and shot imaginary arrows all through the house. She thought nothing of playing a “boy” character. By the time she was four, she’d learned enough at pre-school to know that the only place in the Robin Hood story for girls, was as Maid Marion: waiting.
But Scarlet is waiting for no one. She's on the run from the malevolent Lord Gisbourne and has joined Robin Hood's Merry Men as a boy. Nobody but Robin and Big John knows her secret.
Scarlet can take care of herself. “Rob and John shot daggers at each other. With their eyes, leastways. I’m the only one who shoots real daggers.”
But that doesn’t preclude some tantalizing romantic tension between her and Robin, “'I’ll keep your heart, Scar,' he whispered. 'If you keep mine.'”
Narrated by the honey-voiced Helen Stern, a veteran romance and erotica reader, she brings just the right amount of swagger and vulnerability to our heroine.
Aasif Mandvi is familiar to me as a correspondent for the Daily Show, and true to expectations, this audiobook is funny all the way though. But Mandvi sneaks in a serious, vulnerable, and loving side of himself too that gets at the heart of his experiences with racism, immigration, and family relationships.
His description of his father's schemes to get a discount at a series of IHoPs on a road trip across the South are a hilarious contrast with going from auditions for "Aladin" and snake charmer type roles to -- after September 11th, Terrorist, terrorist, terrorist.
His performance brings out aspects in the book that I probably would have missed in print. It's a superb performance.
Please Don’t Tickle Me, Ben Franklin, You Crazy Diamond!
If you haven't peed your pants listening to Josh Kornbluth, you haven't LIVED. Kornbluth is a master storyteller and his comic timing is peerless.
After noticing a passing resemblance to Ben Franklin in the mirror, Josh Kornbluth embarks on a journey of—well not exactly SELF-discovery. More like satrical disembowelment.
I laughed til I cried.
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