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Falcon Heights, MN, United States | Member Since 2012

  • 3 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 162 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015

  • Outliers: The Story of Success

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    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"
    "Captivating Anecdotes Loosely Woven Together"
    Where does Outliers rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Toward the top. Sometimes certain audio books get to be a labor for me to get through, but not this book. Compellingly written, and full of great stories (parables, almost) to take with me in my everyday life.

    What about Malcolm Gladwell’s performance did you like?

    Straightforward. Didn't try to make it anything other than what it is.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It's time well-spent. It's fairly rare that I actually suggest others read/ hear the books I listen to on Audible, but I recommended this one to several people.

    Any additional comments?

    The book is full of insightful, thought-provoking stories and analyses. I am not rating this a five-star because the thread(s) that wove the stories together were never really established nor drawn upon.

    There were several common themes, but to say these stories fit some kind of framework set forth by Gladwell would not be accurate. Most of the time, the stories are very, very compelling vignettes that just proces through - and you're on to the next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Original Argument: The Federalists' Case for the Constitution, Adapted for the 21st Century

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Glenn Beck, Pat Gray
    • Narrated By Adam Grupper

    Glenn Beck revisited Thomas Paine’s famous pre-Revolutionary War call to action in his #1 New York Times bestseller Glenn Beck’s Common Sense. Now he brings his historical acumen and political savvy to this fresh, new interpretation of The Federalist Papers.

    Willis McLaughlin says: "Publius made simple"
    "Still a Bit Too Dry"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I thought it was still too technical and dry.

    Also, there were parts that delved deeply into issues that don't have any relevance today.

    What was most disappointing about Glenn Beck and Pat Gray ’s story?

    Could have used more context, background and development of the truly crucial Papers, and could have done without several others.

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Good to have given some time to such important documents.

    Any additional comments?

    Worth a listen, but it might be a labor for you to stick with it and not lose focus.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Candice Millard
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    James A. Garfield may have been the most extraordinary man ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil.

    Mel says: "Marvelous, Magnificent, Millard"
    "Very Good, But Could Use Better Focus"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    While I understand how Alexander Graham Bell influenced the outcome of Garfield's medical care, the chapters-long digressions and long-winded technical details of Bell and his inventions are distracting and unnecessary. It's almost as though there wasn't enough material on Garfield, so his story has to be enhanced through association with Bell.

    And then, one of the most dramatic, history-changing and defining moments in Garfield's life - his shocking nomination as the Republican candidate for Presidency - seems to enjoy relatively poor development in the book. I still don't feel like I have a grasp for why the convention chose Garfield for their nominee.

    That said, the meticulous details about Guiteau's (Garfield's assassin) life and motivations are fascinating and entirely relevant to Garfield's story. Also, the development and detail around Garfield's final months - especially the evocation of the nation awaiting the fate of their beloved leader - are clearly well-researched and compellingly rendered.

    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Author should have written a biography on Alexander Graham Bell and moved some of this content there. Fill the void with more development on details, specifically the compelling forces at work in his Republican nomination.

    Which character – as performed by Paul Michael – was your favorite?

    All well done. Lucretia (Garfield's wife) was probably my fave. Her lilting shyness, almost a whisper, really comes out in the delivery.

    Did Destiny of the Republic inspire you to do anything?

    I am already trying to get through as many POTUS biographies as I can, and although this was a bit of a

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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