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Scottsdale, AZ, United States | Member Since 2013

  • 6 reviews
  • 154 ratings
  • 258 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2015

  • Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    • Narrated By Joe Ochman

    In The Black Swan Taleb outlined a problem, and in Antifragile he offers a definitive solution: how to gain from disorder and chaos while being protected from fragilities and adverse events. For what Taleb calls the "antifragile" is actually beyond the robust, because it benefits from shocks, uncertainty, and stressors, just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension. The antifragile needs disorder in order to survive and flourish. Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner.

    Liz says: "big fan but what is up with the bleeps?"
    "Rambling and unctuous, self-absorbed and trite"
    What disappointed you about Antifragile?

    Another Taleb book that spends more time talking about how brilliant Nassim is (and how stupid everybody else is and how stupid they are for not realizing how brilliant he is) than anything else.

    Taleb's attempts to construct parables, to stitch together what appears to be an unedited notebook around his central theme is a repetitive morass of endless repetition and the same thing over and over until the very end where he repeats himself again.

    Only he doesn't appear to realize he's doing it...

    Here is the take-away. It is an old one, and one that is not new, and didn't really need a new name (no matter what Taleb seems to think):

    There are things that fall apart when faced with surprises. These things are fragile. Often you can make small gains in the short run by investing in these, but you are exposed to tremendous loss when that surprise comes along. There are also things that make small losses in the short run (under normal circumstances) but that gain from surprises. If you can survive the stream of small losses, the big gains are really big. For this reason, it's always better to be in the second situation than the first.


    Has Antifragile turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, the genre is still strong.

    What about Joe Ochman’s performance did you like?

    He accurately captured the self-absorbed, vitriolic and condescending tone of the book. I grew to hate his voice and speaking style as much as Taleb himself!

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Antifragile?

    You could cut 2/3 of this book without affecting the quality. I'm sure Taleb would fire you as editor and tell you you're too much of a simpleton to understand his genius and that every drop of turd in this book is a pearl of his infinite and misunderstood wisdom.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Neil Peart
    • Narrated By Brian Sutherland

    In less than a year, Neil Peart lost both his 19-year-old daughter, Selena, and his wife, Jackie. Faced with overwhelming sadness and isolated from the world in his home on the lake, Peart was left without direction. That lack of direction lead him on a 55,000 mile journey by motorcycle across much of North America, down through Mexico to Belize, and back again.

    Mr. S. Watson says: "My first Audible book purchase"
    "save yourself and read this review instead"
    What disappointed you about Ghost Rider?

    I was expecting an interesting travelogue and a story of a man overcoming hardship. Instead what I got was a rich man moping and feeling sorry for himself. His travelogue is mostly a list of the birds he saw, the motels he stayed in, what he ate and what he drank. Mostly he complains and complains. I recognize that he had some very rough stuff happen to him, but f*cking come on already. Until that point he had led an incredibly charmed life, the sort of life that anybody would dream of. He seems to have no sense of perspective or awareness of that, just a brooding self-pity that goes on forever.

    The second half of the book is apparently just letters to acquaintances, still brooding and complaining about snowshoeing and x-country skiing and hiking around on his woodland estate. I have about 5 hours of this book left and will not finish it.

    Would you ever listen to anything by Neil Peart again?

    I have heard that his earlier books are good. There are a lot of books out there though, and I doubt I'll come back for more of this.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    He has some good descriptions of interesting places at the very beginning, when he was still in the Yukon and Alaska.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Ghost Rider?

    The last 3/4 of the book.

    Any additional comments?

    I realize I am probably being hard on this book. The narration is good and really captures the self-pitying tone of the book and in fact may have magnified it. I really think this book was for Neal to work through his own grieving process and can't imagine why anybody else would want to read it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Simon Sinek
    • Narrated By Simon Sinek
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their successes over and over? People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why.

    A. Yoshida says: "Inspire to find why you do what you do"
    "watch the TED presentation"
    What disappointed you about Start with Why?

    You can watch his TED presentation and get the entire point of the book (

    Would you be willing to try another one of Simon Sinek’s performances?

    Simon Sinek's style of speaking grates on me as bursting with smugness

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Herman Melville

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Hardwick
    • Narrated By Karen White

    A single novel, an eternal classic, established him as a founding father of American literature. Now, a century after his death, a popular surge of interest in Melville calls for Hardwick's rich analysis of "the whole of Melville's works, uneven as it is, and the challenging shape of his life...a story of the creative history of an extraordinary American genius."

    Andre says: "Felt like a Thesis"
    "Felt like a Thesis"

    It has been a long time since I have read any Melville, so I can't tell if the author simply became so immersed in his prose that she lost track of ordinary language or if she intended this piece to be an homage of sorts to his style, but I found myself rolling my eyes over and over throughout this book. It felt very much like a cocktail conversation with a knowledgable but insecure and overcompensating grad student.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Churchill

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Roy Jenkins
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield

    In this magisterial book, Roy Jenkins' unparalleled command of the political history of Britain and his own high-level government experience combine in a narrative account of Churchill's astounding career that is unmatched in its shrewd insights, its unforgettable anecdotes, the clarity of its overarching themes, and the author's nuanced appreciation of his extraordinary subject.

    Karen says: "Best of British Political Soap Opera"

    The narration in this book was fantastic, and the material -while very lengthy and sometimes a bit prosaic- was insightful and well-researched.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Peter F. Drucker
    • Narrated By Michael Wells
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This is the first book to present innovation and entrepreneurship as a purposeful and systematic discipline. It clearly explains and analyzes the challenges and opportunities of America's new entrepreneurial economy. Peter Drucker, the most influential and widely-read thinker and writer on modern organizations, gives us a superbly practical book that explains what established businesses, public service institutions, and new ventures have to know, have to learn, and have to do in today's economy and marketplace.

    John says: "Great book, poorly read :-("
    "impossible to listen to in the car"

    I listen to audiobooks in my car, during my commute. The sound quality and narration in this one is so poor that it is effectively impossible to listen to.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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