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Niall

Member Since 2010

248
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 23 reviews
  • 83 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 101 purchased in 2014
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23

  • The Modern Scholar: Ethics: A History of Moral Thought

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Peter Kreeft
    • Narrated By Peter Kreeft
    Overall
    (186)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (97)

    This course addresses some of the eternal questions that man has grappled with since the beginning of time. What is good? What is bad? Why is justice important? Why is it better to be good and just than it is to be bad and unjust? Most human beings have the faculty to discern between right and wrong, good and bad behavior, and to make judgments over what is just and what is unjust. But why are ethics important to us?

    J. Maxwell says: "Surprisingly Good"
    "Modern scholar = Portable Profesor"
    Overall

    If you have ever bought the short lived Barnes and Noble Portable Professor series PLEASE NOTE this is an exact copy except that the cover art is different and the titles are slightly changed. I ended up buy books I already own. That said, Kreefts books are easily the very best I have ever read/heard. His Philosophy of Religion title is worth hearing over and over again.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • A Case For Homeschooling: 95 Theses Against the School System

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Andrew Bushard
    • Narrated By Gerald Frazier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Are you offended by the elitism of the public schools? Do you believe parents not bureaucrats should control children's education? Are you appalled at the school system's abuse of pharmaceutical drugs? Do you feel confined by mandatory curriculum and compulsory education? Are you fed up with the lackluster education the public schools provide our children? Would you consider homeschooling and other alternatives to the public schools? If you answered yes to these questions, then A Case for Homeschooling: 95 Theses Against the School System may be for you!

    Niall says: "I give him an F and a "come see me after class""
    "I give him an F and a "come see me after class""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    95 theses against the school system and I don't think I agree with the author on a single one of them. Pretty impressive since I love the authors he cites, I love the homeschooling and schooling movements, survived some extremely bad school experiences and loved being home schooled. Most of his complaints are that school teachers engage in politics and behind the scenes drama, favoritism, rank based on education with the people who hold the fewest credentials being given the least work and the most demeaning tasks and with the most educated and most powerful staff calling the shots. In that case I guess we should shut down all newspapers, hospitals, grocery stores... just about everything. Most of his examples are very specific to his own work history and how he did not get along with some of his peers. There is a lot of talk about his principal who he constantly refers to as "Chairman Mao" because being unwilling to negotiate with a teachers assistant is just like-- genocide? This is the first and only book about homeschooling that I find to be poorly thought out and grossly harmful to the movement. The reader has a hard time with some words, I cringe every time he says "ask" as he will say "ax a question" At least he has the decency to read quickly. I wish more readers could match his pace. Though his pace is inconsistent- when he is reading fast he goes at what I think is the perfect pace. If he can develop a bit of annunciation and double check how to say key names and big words he could be a great reader in the future

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By William A. Donius
    • Narrated By Fred Stella
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Thought Revolution invites readers to unlock their whole brain to change the way they see themselves and find the truth in whatever challenges them. Encompassing twelve years of research, the book takes readers on an unexpected journey that will set them free - and it all begins with moving the pen from one hand to the other. The technique is called “intuitive,” or “nondominant” hand writing and is the basis for this revolutionary approach to making lasting life changes.

    Niall says: "Write with your non-dominant hand- It's Great!"
    "Write with your non-dominant hand- It's Great!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Write with your non-dominant hand. Why-- dunno. Maybe you will think of something new. What is that good for. Idunno. The example that keeps coming up is "what animal would you want to be?" my dominant right hand says tiger but my non-dominant left says sparrow- what does that mean? I don't know. It is not useful and hearing it over and over for several hours does not shed any light on the topic. This might have been an interesting paragraph but after this book I never want to hear about this topic again until someone somewhere figures out what this is good for

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Steven Novella
    Overall
    (843)
    Performance
    (763)
    Story
    (748)

    No skill is more important in today's world than being able to think about, understand, and act on information in an effective and responsible way. What's more, at no point in human history have we had access to so much information, with such relative ease, as we do in the 21st century. But because misinformation out there has increased as well, critical thinking is more important than ever. These 24 rewarding lectures equip you with the knowledge and techniques you need to become a savvier, sharper critical thinker in your professional and personal life.

    Jason says: "Clear thinking is valuable beyond measure!"
    "As long as it's not your first book in the genre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book moves very fast and covers a lot of topics throwing out logical vocabulary and case studies and clear examples at a super rapid pace. If I did not know all of the stories he was talking about before I read the book I would be very frustrated. He might mention the Orson Wells War of the Worlds Radio Show incident and quickly move on. If you don't already ready know the story than you are out of luck. For us that know this material it is like six books in one. The question might be- why read a book if you know all the material- meh, it's fun, it's healthy to review, it is nice to hear it from a new perspective. But if someone said that he was moving too quickly or not explaining himself enough I would totally understand

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Amanda Ripley
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    Overall
    (384)
    Performance
    (339)
    Story
    (336)

    How do other countries create "smarter" kids? In a handful of nations, virtually all children are learning to make complex arguments and solve problems they've never seen before. They are learning to think, in other words, and to thrive in the modern economy.What is it like to be a child in the world's new education superpowers? In a global quest to find answers for our own children, author and Time magazine journalist Amanda Ripley follows three Americans embed­ded in these countries for one year.

    André says: "Great teachers+ Raise kids' bar+ Don't exaggerate"
    "a Wanna-be fiction writer avoids the subject"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a book about kids who wanted to go to school in Europe and found ways to go. This is NOT a book about how those schools are different. Any discussion about the differences in the school systems is a footnote to the real topic of the book- long overly dramatized mini-novels about kids who want to go to Europe- Why do they want to go? Meh, Not important. Every time the writer comes dangerously close to having to say something substantive about her supposed topic she very suddenly and awkwardly changes the subject. She might have though she was being suspenseful but I don't have a whole lot of patience for writers who want to fill their non-fictions with pointless stories, all of which are overly dramatized to pad her book. Who cares how depressed these kids were about the weather and what they thought about their hair when they wanted to go to school in Europe? How about telling us the differences in the schools? Differences in the administration? Differences in the techniques? Differences in the discipline? Differences in the teachers? Differences in the culture? Differences in the schedules, curriculum, athletics, funding ANYTHING! What about a book about The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way? Would that be too much to ask? I am going to get a refund. This book is nothing like advertised. People who like short novels about kids getting into European schools will find this book entertaining.

    74 of 83 people found this review helpful
  • Improve Personal Problem Solving Skills

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 23 mins)
    • By Frank Natter
    • Narrated By Frank Natter
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Improve personal problem solving skills! Others try! You can succeed! First do no harm! Take responsible action through four-step L-I-F-E/LAW Skills, or do not take responsibility and remain stuck in depressing four-step P-A-I-N/DISORDER Skills. Attorney and Educator, Frank Natter compares four step responsible problem solving, with four steps in effective legal problem solving, offering a series of articles and online continuing education programs for the public and professionals.

    Niall says: "Worst Audio Ever!"
    "Worst Audio Ever!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This sounds worse than if it was recorded on an olde audio cassette player- there seems to be a vacuum or loud air conditioner in the backround. Doors opening and closing. the reader stumbles on his lines, trails off, mumbles and reads slowly with long pauses. I got about twenty minutes in. While I would not be surprised if I had missed some of the content all I got from the book was that it is important to develop personal problem solving skills- not instructions on how to do it. I can't go any further. I hope I can get a refund.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Slimed!: An Oral History of Nickelodeon's Golden Age

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Mathew Klickstein
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    The Behind the scenes Story of the network that Shaped a generation. SLIMED! is the first oral history to chronicle the surprisingly complex, wonderfully nostalgic, and impressively compelling story of Nickelodeon, the first kids’ network. Beginning as a DIY start-up in the late seventies, the network forged ahead through the early eighties with a tiny band of young artists and filmmakers, transforming itself into a cultural force in the late eighties and nineties that would change everything about cable television, television in general, animation, and children’s entertainment.

    Niall says: "Almost- not even a book"
    "Almost- not even a book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is just a long LONG series of seemingly random quotes from people who worked at Nickelodeon in the 80's and 90's. The program gives a name and then a quote- over and over. No attempt is made to link any name to any program or role so if you don't recognize a name then you are out of luck. In fact, many of the quotes mention other names also without explanation and you have to try to figure out who these people are as well. I spent the entire book just trying to figure out who was being quoted and who was being talked about. From what I have pieced together the contributors are mainly directors, executives and actors. Again- all they give you is a name and a few sentences so the extreme majority of the time you have no idea what show or what era the line is related to and there is no pattern. Sometimes there will be a bunch of lines that mostly relate to "Are You Afraid of the Dark" followed by a bunch of lines that mostly relate to "Salute Your Shorts" but even these are not consistent blocks and the transitions are not announced.

    AGAIN, I need to really drive this point home- there is NO commentary except a name and then a quote- and then a name and then a quote. You don't know if this is a child actor or a stage hand and because it is so very scrambled YOU CAN'T KNOW WHAT THE QUOTE IS ABOUT! Waste of time and money.

    A real shame because with just a little effort it could have been fun instead of frustrating

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Dale J. Stephens
    • Narrated By Kyle McCarley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    In Hacking Your Education, Stephens speaks to a new culture of "hackademics" who think college diplomas are antiquated. Stephens shows how he and dozens of others have hacked their education, and how you can, too. You don't need to be a genius or especially motivated to succeed outside school. The real requirements are much simpler: curiosity, confidence, and grit. Hacking Your Education offers valuable advice to current students as well as those who decided to skip college.

    Niall says: "Unschooling for adults"
    "Unschooling for adults"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is an adult variation on the homeschooling movement- more specifically the un-schooling movement which focuses strongly on self guided education. Themes include ways to get into college courses without paying (and without accreditation and sneaking into expensive seminars and getting jobs that utilize a persons skills in spite of education. The idea that a person might not have highly sought after technical skills to begin with seems totally lost on the author. Much of the book focuses on how great it was for hundreds of now successful individual people to have skipped high school and college in preference of their own path- so far less time is really spent on educating ones self. It is however a dandy little guide in making your life more interesting and sparking new ways of thinking but I am not sure how much more marketable it can make someone. I think most people with marketable skills are aware that certification is an outdated hassle and many employers do too. Those people are already looking for loopholes to bypass those requisites. I would recommend this book to people interested in the Homeschool/ unschool movement or to people looking for new ways to learn things- don't expect this one to make you any money or help you to get a job. The ability to acquire new marketable skills (for adults) is hardly discussed

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Radical: Fighting to Put Students First

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michelle Rhee
    • Narrated By Shannon McManus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (28)

    Part memoir, part manifesto, Radical is this fearless advocate's incisive, intensely personal call-to-arms. Rhee combines the story of her own extraordinary experience with dozens of compelling examples from schools she's worked in and studied-from students from unspeakable home lives who have thrived in the classroom to teachers whose radical methods have produced unprecedented leaps in achievement. Radical chronicles Rhee's awakening to the potential of every child, her rage at the special interests blocking badly-needed change, and her recognition that it will take a grassroots movement to create outstanding public schools.

    Marie says: "Good read after seeing Waiting for Superman"
    "Not much new here"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Radical better?

    I would have preferred if she shared her views on what would make schools better or worse. For the most part the criticism for schools is that they are "bad" and should be "good". That the levels of proficiency in math and science are "low" and they should be "high" and the best solution is the get "better" teachers. I wanted her to say what kinds of traits and behaviors make a better teacher or what makes a better atmosphere for learning. She did share her views on the voucher system (she is for it in cases that it allows kids to get better education results) and for strong teacher evaluation including kids ranking the teachers. However, more of this book is on her personal story of growing up, getting jobs, rubbing shoulders with important people and occasionally complaining about the teachers union. for Michelle Rhee's views on the teachers unions watch the big documentaries on education reform today such as The Cartel and Waiting for Superman (starring Michelle Rhee) also on the topic of education reform I recommend The War on Kids


    Any additional comments?

    I still hope that Rhee works to make schools better, the reforms she suggests are too simple to fill a book but are difficult to fill a life's work. she is indeed a hero- When she has something more to say- I hope to listen

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Out There: The In-Depth Story of the Astronaut Love Triangle Case that Shocked America

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Diane Fanning
    • Narrated By Thomas M. Hatting
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    An in-depth story of the astronaut love triangle that shocked America. This captivating account casts light on Lisa Nowak's groundbreaking fall from grace. She was accomplished, successful, and heroic - one of the first astronauts to fly a space shuttle mission after the 2003 Columbia tragedy. Then a primitive attack of jealousy led to a fateful confrontation with her romantic rival that destroyed her reputation, ended her career and left a victim dazed and confused.

    Niall says: "Not about the killer astronaut"
    "Not about the killer astronaut"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Out There?

    There is a lot of detail about how officer school works, there is a lot on the Challenger Disaster and about how hard it is to become an astronaut and a lot in there about various debates on unrelated political issues but aside from the introduction which briefly recants what everyone read in the newspaper there is nothing in here about the famous killer astronaut - it is hours of everything but the "main topic". The book frequently tags the famous lady by saying this must have been what it would have been like for her to go though school, and she had probably heard about this famous challenger disaster and so forth, but there is nothing on her actual story. It is all speculation and guesswork at best- and at worst (and this is what mainly fills the book) it is totally unrelated material.


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

    Everything not related to "The In-Depth Story of the Astronaut Love Triangle Case that Shocked America" but perhaps I am asking too much. Seriously, after the long introduction which revealed very little from what could be found on a very brief look online there is not even an attempt to clarify the real story. I gave up after four and a half hours


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Pamela Druckerman
    • Narrated By Abby Craden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (652)
    Performance
    (571)
    Story
    (565)

    The secret behind France's astonishingly well-behaved children is here. When American journalist Pamela Druckerman has a baby in Paris, she doesn't aspire to become a "French parent". French parenting isn't a known thing, like French fashion or French cheese. Even French parents themselves insist they aren't doing anything special. But French children are far better behaved and more in command of themselves than American kids....

    Emily - Audible says: "Inspiring"
    "A novel about being a woman in france"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People who like novels about women - going to work, meeting people, experiencing culture shock in another country, dieting and so forth might like this book...oh, I'm sorry -- was this supposed to be a book about children? Yes, there is a small bit of informal information about kids- it is not researched, it is always just things she sees and hears from her friends. But there is so very little of that kind of information it seems almost knitpicky to scrutinize its quality. This is a book about this woman living in France and her personal feelings about random stuff- mostly involving getting used to living in France with her daughter Bean- that is not a typo- I listened to her say that name hundreds of times- slow-mo and fast forwards and every single time she says Bean- so either the narrator has it wrong or the cover is a typo

    There is also a strong emphasis on teaching the language and culture of France. These lessons fall equally into two convenient categories: Obvious and Irrelevant

    I can't believe I let myself listen to seven full hours before I decided that she had nothing to say on the actual subject of her book.


    What could Pamela Druckerman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I like books about raising kids- maybe one day she can write one of those and keep her personal life stories out of it- and she should source her material like a grown up professional who writes based on research


    Would you be willing to try another one of Abby Craden’s performances?

    For the most part she was acceptable except the long spans in which she spoke with a thick French accent even if quoting a written article- I think she was just looking for an excuse to sound bad- It was hard enough to get through this book without having to rewind bits to figure out what she's saying


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Bringing Up Bebe?

    I would cut her personal stories but then the book would be ten pages long. Again this is a lot more about her personal stories than it is about education and very little has anything to do with children


    Any additional comments?

    So here is her advice:
    -Let babies cry for five or ten minutes before tending to them- so they might comfort themselves.
    -When children over four demand attention, politely tell them to wait a moment
    -low carb diets work and can make you as pretty as the women in Paris
    -The day cares in France are awesome
    - France is a great place

    The rest is all filler

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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