WASHINGTON, DC, United States | Member Since 2010
This was my first Ayn Rand book or anything. I couldn't put this down but knowing there is a 35-55 hour unabridged version out there I was okay when it was done. The romantic parts and the long philosophical sermons had me either rolling my eyes or snickering, but other than that I really enjoyed listening to this book and I might even consider other Rand audiobooks that can be done in a days time.
The characters do get a little unbelievable as the story goes on, but the story is interesting enough to suspend that reality about what we know about human beings and the diversity of humanity, regardless of each person's personal philosophy. Also around the second half it reminded me of survivalist ITEOTWAWKI lit, minus the stockpiling.
I enjoy listening to the adventures of Georgie, the impoverished royal. Compared to the first book there is a little less sleuthing because she's so busy keeping track of her house guest and keeping up appearances. Regardless, the police are involved as is her grandfather and other fun characters from the first book. Here she seems to fall into or runs into trouble, being at the wrong or right place at the wrong/right time.
At the end there is a preview for another Her Royal Spyness mystery. The little bit I heard doesn't make me rush to buy it. Well I'll wait for a sale.
I've listened to other Scalzi books and maybe the best ones are the books narrated by Wil Wheaton. But even if Wheaton narrated this one, it probably would still be disappointing. There are a few themes in Scalzi books, and not to have any spoilers I won't mention them, but when I encountered one, I could link a similar idea better fleshed out in another of his books. There is also an element of crassness in Scalzi's writing, there just seemed to be a lot of unnecessary crassness that seemed not to develop the characters but just seemed to be there for crassness sake.
I'm not tempted to listen to the rest of this series. This first book is ok, but not great, and doesn't seem to warrant buying the rest of the series.
This was a really fun listen and at times I laughed out loud. This is my first Anthony Bourdain book, so I don't know how it compares to his more famous book.
Did I learn anything? Not really. This book is one where you just sit back and enjoy the ride and it is a fun ride that goes to various parts of the world and US. It is also like sitting at the bar with the world 2nd most interesting man as he spins tales about crazy girlfriends, lucky jobs, and life enjoyably wasted on booze and drugs.
I've seen criticisms about authors reading their own books, this is one of those things where the author does a really good job.
To truly enjoy this book, belly up to the bar, or sit out on the patio with a drink and a nice app.
This is a good intro to economics. The beginning of the book was quite interesting and engaging but towards the end a little less so. I enjoyed the comparison of the life and opportunities of a girl in the West and a girl in the rural undeveloped world. But for some reason the book is not as engaging in the second half of the book.
This will not replace Let's Go New York. There are 26 short segments that sound like something a very informed tour guide would give you for several notable sites like Ellis Island (Staton Island Ferry), the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, Times Square and the like. Depending on your listening device you might be able to get the chapters that relate to the spot you're touring and listen while wandering around. But if your device doesn't break it up into parts, it's just not as useful and you realize books with pages are better.
There was a chance I was not going to finish this book because it was a little dry and there was so much necessary information the author was putting forth. But after listening I believe I am a better and informed Christian and would recommend the book with the caveat that it is a little difficult to really get into the book, in the beginning.
One of the things Peter Brown does well is provide a sense of the culture and environment people lived in for the modern reader. He made me realize my concepts of what was wealth and poverty did not match up to late Roman views of wealth, and the importance of citizenship, and poverty. He translates the past for the modern reader. Unfortunately it take a while to translate and can be a tad uninteresting.
If you have seen the documentary Waiting for Superman and liked it, this is a great followup, featuring one of the people from the movie, Michelle Rhee, who was in charge of the DC Public School system.
The book is a bit more of a biography as her life relates to public education. There is the life of her Korean parents, her upbringing, her college years, working in the Baltimore schools, and then the meat of the book, her role as Chancellor of DCPS. What you get is her point of view, and not an attempt at an unbiased/biased analysis of education reform. You get her views and impression of then Mayor Adrian Fenty and union head Randi Weingarten. You also get her passion for wanting better for inner city kids. The passion and desire come through clearly with the narration.
I am a resident of DC and have lived in the District since the Mayor Williams years. I was very aware of the many challenges Rhee faced. Parts about the sheer amount of waste she found made me very angry, because I know there are parts of DC government that are still that way. I am also very aware that this is just her point of view and she leaves out voices that are not hers, which is understandable. She tries to be inclusive, like with an example of why people wanted to keep a school open for reasons that had more to do with community spirit and nothing to do with education.
I finished the book feeling a sense of gratitude to Mayor Fenty and the changes that he made. I also left with a feeling that too many inner city and poor kids are getting screwed for no good reason and it is up to parents and regular citizens to change things.
This was a bit of a chore to listen to and seemed to push Dicken's political cause at bit too clumsily. I really wanted to like this and hoped it was a good fit with the Christmas Carol. It was okay at the start but then it just seemed to drag. The supernatural parts, which I guess were to be like Scrooge's visit by the 3 ghosts, weren't that great, to me. It just seemed to lack the same magic, which may explain why this book is not as popular as his others.
This is a sympathetic look at hoarders, looking into the details of why they have difficulty getting rid of 'stuff'. There are several individuals and families the authors mention and they are a diverse set of hoarders ranging from well to do hoarders who have piles of antiques and artwork to urban cat hoarders and hoarders who live in squalid falling down homes.
Listening to the book made me look at some of my own bad habits with stuff, material things (and electronic files), which is a different feeling than looking at the cable show "Hoarders". With the TV show I don't engage in self reflection and it's more like a freak show. Because the authors get deep into the 'why' and the struggles the hoarders grapple with, one can see small, but similar motivations in ourselves.
The authors also demonstrate the problem with what most may consider the simple solution of just forced clean ups. They provide examples of failed clean ups and the challenges that are faced. I had to stop listening at one point because I was completely grossed out during one clean up story. If dirt, filth, rats, dead cats, poop, and roaches, lots of roaches disturb you, you may not want to listen.
At the end there are resources mentioned to help people struggling or family members of people struggling with hoarding.
I really like John Scalzi's books, so I got this one. Is it worth $4 or a credit? For 21 minutes, no. I may as well have sought out the text and read it. The narration is good and the story, what little of it that was there, was a fun listen and I wanted more. There is a good wanting more and there is a bad wanting more, this is the bad wanting more, because there isn't.
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