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aaron

los angeles, CA, United States

1700
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 110 reviews
  • 357 ratings
  • 585 titles in library
  • 39 purchased in 2018
FOLLOWING
8
FOLLOWERS
168

  • Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Janet Reitman
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1891)
    Performance
    (1617)
    Story
    (1630)

    Scientology, created in 1954 by a prolific sci-fi writer named L. Ron Hubbard, claims to be the world's fastest-growing religion, with millions of members around the world and huge financial holdings. Its celebrity believers keep its profile high, and its teams of "volunteer ministers" offer aid at disaster sites such as Haiti and the World Trade Center. But Scientology is also a notably closed faith, harassing journalists and others through litigation and intimidation, even infiltrating the highest levels of government to further its goals.

    Matt says: "My cup of tea."
    "Just the Fact That Someone Had the Nuts to...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First off, with all the threats of legal action (and allegedly physical threats as well) it's quite an accomplishment that this book was even written. This book was truly revealing, into just how weird these people actually are. When you find out the past of the guy that created the religion, it will shock you that anyone takes it seriously. I wouldn't be surprised if this book brings down the whole house of cards. I mean, how can you possibly read this and NOT think these people are ignorant sheep at the very least, and clinically insane at the worst??

    Just going by what I read in the book, Scientologists. Don't sue me, please.

    This is certainly the most well-researched book out there on this subject. The sections about Tom Cruise were quite interesting. Narrarator is outstanding.

    36 of 39 people found this review helpful
  • Disappointment River: Finding and Losing the Northwest Passage

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Brian Castner
    • Narrated By Brian Castner
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Disappointment River is a dual historical narrative and travel memoir that at once transports listeners back to the heroic age of North American exploration and places them in a still rugged but increasingly fragile Arctic wilderness in the process of profound alteration by the dual forces of energy extraction and climate change.

    aaron says: "A Modernly Historic Adventure Book!"
    "A Modernly Historic Adventure Book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Brian knocked this one out of the park. Something I thought I might have only moderate interest in became something I was absolutely riveted by in his hands. His narration is spot on. If you have even an inkling of curiosity in a modern day Lewis and Clark-like adventure, this is the book for you.

    I would encourage Brian to do more outdoor adventure books like this. He has a real talent for this genre, and there aren't many talented authors out there who are will to put themselves in (relative) danger in order to tell a unique story like this. Most authors who write books like this are dry, dull, and boring. Not Brian!

    Highly recommend.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression - and the Unexpected Solutions

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Johann Hari
    • Narrated By Johann Hari
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (671)
    Performance
    (613)
    Story
    (611)

    From the New York Times best-selling author of Chasing the Scream, a radically new way of thinking about depression and anxiety. What really causes depression and anxiety - and how can we really solve them?

    Elizabeth says: "Must read"
    "A Magnificent Book by a Magnificent Author"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book and Hari's other work, "Chasing the Scream", are tremendous. They are highly compelling, a sheer joy to listen to, and totally unlike any other book in their respective genre/subject. While I wasn't necessarily interested in depression going in to this, Hari's storytelling ability and the fascinating research made this one for the ages.

    I highly recommend it.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Jon Ronson
    • Narrated By Jon Ronson
    Overall
    (11545)
    Performance
    (10381)
    Story
    (10376)

    [Contains explicit content] Hear the story of what happened when the tech industry gave the world what it wanted: free porn. Lives were mangled. Fortunes were made. All for your pleasure. Follow writer and narrator Jon Ronson as he uncovers our web of desire.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "Canada"
    "Jon Ronson is Hunter S. Thompson on Xanax"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jon Ronson is one of the funniest, wittiest, most original voices in investigative journalism today. His style reminds me of a less-coked-up version of Hunter S. Thompson. This works well for him because he puts his subjects at ease, while he extracts the juicy bits.

    Jon is the PERFECT man to explain the evolution of free internet porn, and he knocks this assignment out of the park! I only wish it were maybe 4 times longer. There's so much deeper he could've gone into the seedy underbelly of the porn world, and how it's disintegrating from its base - mutating into something much darker and more dangerous than it already was. That aside, there is NOTHING I would fix about this program (it's not a book, FYI).

    I highly recommend it for anyone who has ever masturbated to free porn.

    29 of 39 people found this review helpful
  • The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Tom Nichols
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    Overall
    (335)
    Performance
    (306)
    Story
    (303)

    People are now exposed to more information than ever before, provided both by technology and by increasing access to every level of education. These societal gains, however, have also helped fuel a surge in narcissistic and misguided intellectual egalitarianism that has crippled informed debates on any number of issues. Today, everyone knows everything and all voices demand to be taken with equal seriousness, and any claim to the contrary is dismissed as undemocratic elitism.

    BioPharmer says: "A defeatist sentimentality"
    "Buy a Copy for your Congressman!!"
    Overall
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    This is probably one of the most important books to be written in the last decade. And yet, the people that SHOULD read it, NEVER WILL!!!

    And such is the conundrum we are in as a society. The idiots that think that science and facts should be spelled "science" and "facts", complete with smug little air quotes and all, will NEVER, EVER read this book. And why would they? It would utterly destroy their precious little fantasy world, where their opinion on particle physics is just as good as the particle physicist, or, much more disturbingly, that their lone opinion on climate change is equally as accurate as a consensus of climate change scientists.

    It disgusts me that this book even needed to be written, but thank the Greek Gods that it was!! This is a truly revolutionary read, and in a perfect society it would be mandatory reading for all politicians and children.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Peter Brannen
    • Narrated By Adam Verner
    Overall
    (207)
    Performance
    (189)
    Story
    (189)

    Our world has ended five times: It has been broiled, frozen, poison gassed, smothered, and pelted by asteroids. In The Ends of the World, Peter Brannen dives into deep time, exploring Earth's past dead ends, and in the process offers us a glimpse of our possible future. Many scientists now believe that the climate shifts of the 21st century have analogs in these five extinctions.

    aaron says: "A Kid's Science Book FOR ADULTS!!"
    "A Kid's Science Book FOR ADULTS!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is about as good as it gets, in terms of appealing to your inner five-year-old child that LOVED dinosaurs, while still making the logical, rational adult side of you happy.

    Brannen tackles the 5 major extinctions that the Earth has experienced with the flare of a Vonnegut, while maintaining the scientific details of a Dawkins. This is a monumentally hard task, but he does it deftly. His research, descriptions, and attention to detail of the plants and animals interspersed between these cataclysms was remarkable.

    After listening to more than a few dry, boring, repetitive science books, this was one I embraced like the warm sun after a cold winter's night.

    The narrator was spot on as well.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Exoplanets: Diamond Worlds, Super Earths, Pulsar Planets, and the New Search for Life Beyond Our Solar System

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Michael Summers
    • Narrated By Jon Bennett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (46)

    Since its 2009 launch, the Kepler satellite has discovered more than 2,000 exoplanets, or planets outside our solar system. More exoplanets are being discovered all the time, remarkable in their variety. Astronomer Michael Summers and physicist James Trefil explore these remarkable recent discoveries: planets revolving around pulsars, planets made of diamond, planets that are mostly water, and numerous rogue planets wandering through the emptiness of space.

    aaron says: "FINALLY, an Attention-Grabbing Planet Book!"
    "FINALLY, an Attention-Grabbing Planet Book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're an adult with an IQ over 90, you can only listen to so many Neil deGrasse Tyson books without finally reaching a point where you chuck your iPhone across the room and say, "I've heard all this stuff before!! It" Nothing against Neil. I LOVE the guy, and think he's doing incredible work for mankind. However, some of his books about the solar system can come across as a bit too... made for kids.

    Not this book.

    This book is definitely written for ADULTS.

    The science is up to date, the research is meticulous, and the theorizing the authors do is second-to-none! Even those without a science background will find the writing compelling and easily understood. I found their speculation on rogue planets to be especially genius.

    I've read many books on the universe, our galaxy, and other solar systems in particular, but this is BY FAR the best book I've come across on planets OUTSIDE our solar system. Nearly every chapter taught me something new and totally unexpected!

    The only (small) criticism I have is that the book is too short. This is a good thing, trust me. Every single chapter ended with me wanting at least 50% more. To me, that's the ultimate win for an author; to have the reader salivating for more.

    If you have any interest at all in Super-Earths, planets made of diamonds, or extra terrestrials(!!!!!), then you need to give this book a listen. You won't be disappointed.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel of North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Adam Johnson
    • Narrated By Tim Kang, Josiah D. Lee, James Kyson Lee, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2928)
    Performance
    (2595)
    Story
    (2603)

    Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother - a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang - and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.

    Lisa says: "The most compelling listen I've ever owned"
    "Our Dear Leader Says This is One of Audible's Best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As I write this, I am totally convinced this is one of the top five best books on Audible.

    I've listened to over 500, so I have at least a fair idea of what's out there. This book is impossible to classify. It's a thriller, but so smart and well-crafted, it almost does it a disservice to paint it with that broad "thriller" brush. It's a thinking-man's tale, but it's for the thinking man that has at least a passing interest in the Land of Oz that is North Korea.

    The closest comparison to this would be something like "A Prayer for Owen Meany" meets "Lolita", with a sprinkling of Donald Ray Pollock. It's gritty, eye-opening, and DARK, in all the right ways.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Chasing Shadows: Sekret Machines Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Tom DeLonge, A. J. Hartley
    • Narrated By Paul Costanzo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (540)
    Performance
    (498)
    Story
    (497)

    The witnesses are legion, scattered across the world and dotted through history, people who looked up and saw something impossible lighting up the night sky. What those objects were, where they came from, and who - or what - might be inside them is the subject of fierce debate and equally fierce mockery, so that most who glimpsed them came to wish they hadn't. Most, but not everyone.

    Matthew says: "Brings it ALL together."
    "PLEASE Let us Know if Your book is for KIDS!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book starts out with an interesting premise. It was just enough to have me convinced that I was in for a real treat. But, then the "fictional story" began. My God, it was juvenile!! I've read CHILDREN'S BOOKS that were more adult-appropriate than this!! I kept wavering back and forth between whether this book was written for mentally disabled adults, or actual pre-teen children, and to be honest, I'm still not sure of the answer to that.

    Everything about this story is silly and adolescent. From the characters to the dialogue to the situations. Even the supposed "action scenes" are utterly unbelievable and totally lack any sort of basis in how the real world actually works or how people in similar situations actually act. it was as though this author read the 3 or 4 worst fiction books from the 1990's and decided that he'd teach himself how to write a novel by copying their crappy techniques.

    Some of the reader comments sold me on this whole schtick of Tom writing this book about "true" events, and to be honest, there MAY actually be some truth in here. However, the (admittedly) fictional story these guys have concocted to get the "truth" to the masses is just plain insulting and not at all entertaining.

    The narrator is good.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Jennifer Wright
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    Overall
    (4250)
    Performance
    (3970)
    Story
    (3952)

    In 1518, in a small town in Alsace, Frau Troffea began dancing and didn't stop. She danced until she was carried away six days later, and soon 34 more villagers joined her. Then more. In a month more than 400 people had been stricken by the mysterious dancing plague. In late-19th-century England an eccentric gentleman founded the No Nose Club in his gracious townhome - a social club for those who had lost their noses, and other body parts, to the plague of syphilis for which there was then no cure.

    Carrie Arnold says: "Didn't know syphilis could be so fascinating."
    "Jennifer, PLEASE Write More NonFiction Books!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had never heard of this writer before. Luckily for me, she just happened to write a book on a subject that I'm very interested in. Well, well, well, what an incredible surprise this was!!

    I had no idea that this was going to be so witty, snarky (in a good way), and clever. It takes a terribly vile, detestable subject (plagues) and makes it thoroughly entertaining! There were many times when I laughed out loud while listening, which is the last response you expect to have when listening to a book about getting sick.

    I looked back at some of the author's previous books and discovered, sadly, NONE of them are even remotely targeted at me as a reader. :-(

    Please Jennifer, PRETTY PLEASE, write more nonfiction books!! THIS is where your strength is; THIS is where you'll make your mark; THIS is where you'll change lives! Let all the untalented writers out there compete in the rat race of cookie-cutter YA vampire novels. YOU NEED TO WRITE NONFICTION!!

    It will make you rich.

    And happy.

    You're welcome.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Invisibility: The World's Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Kevin Mitnick
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    Overall
    (2250)
    Performance
    (2023)
    Story
    (2021)

    Like it or not, your every move is being watched and analyzed. Consumers' identities are being stolen, and a person's every step is being tracked and stored. What once might have been dismissed as paranoia is now a hard truth, and privacy is a luxury few can afford or understand. In this explosive yet practical book, Kevin Mitnick illustrates what is happening without your knowledge - and he teaches you "the art of invisibility".

    Amazon Customer says: "Audio is Not the Right Format"
    "Authors, PLEASE Hire Ray Porter to Read Your Books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first nonfiction book I've listened to Ray Porter read. WOW! What an experience! Mitnick is a fantastic writer to begin with, not boring at all, but Porter takes his words to the next level. I never found myself drifting off, thinking about other things. I was 100% present in the book throughout. This is a rarity, as some readers are an absolute chore to stay tuned in to. Not Ray!

    I encourage ALL nonfiction writers to start hiring Ray Porter to read their books. He adds an excitement to academic tomes that is welcome and refreshing.

    As for the book itself, it's OUTSTANDING. The other reviews praising it are spot on. Mitnick is WAYYYYYYYYYY ahead of the techno-curve, and wants you to be as well. Buy this book for its practical advice. Enjoy the book because of RAY!

    93 of 105 people found this review helpful

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