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Erin&Merilee DeSpain

Family on the move.

Virginia | Member Since 2001

62
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 302 ratings
  • 558 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Barbara Ehrenreich
    • Narrated By Cristine McMurdo-Wallis
    Overall
    (594)
    Performance
    (157)
    Story
    (153)

    This engrossing piece of undercover reportage has been a fixture on the New York Times best seller list since its publication. With nearly a million copies in print, Nickel and Dimed is a modern classic that deftly portrays the plight of America's working-class poor.

    Melissa says: "of COURSE she has an agenda..."
    "An Experiment in Poverty--Sort of"
    Overall

    This was a rather alarming book to read but I really felt the writer's pain. I thought the ending was a touch Marxist; however, very thought-provoking and defintely worth the read. How do people live in America? Well if you don't make a lot of money not very well. Do we have a Plutocracy? This book takes a slice-of-life view of a cross-section of America at the near-poverty line. An interesting book if you can take feeling pain for those less fortunate.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Freakling

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Lana Krumwiede
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Taemon has always known he’s a bit different. But in the walled city of Deliverance, where everyone possesses a form of telekinesis known as psi, being different is dangerous. Being different can get you labeled a freakling. Or worse, see you banished to the Powerless Colony, where even the simplest tasks, like getting dressed or turning on the lights, must be done by hand.

    Erin&Merilee DeSpain says: "Excellent Book for Young, Inquisitive Readers"
    "Excellent Book for Young, Inquisitive Readers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Freakling again? Why?

    Absolutely. I loved it, but listening with my son was a precious treat he begged me again and again to listen to just 15 more minutes. I relented again and again and was soon halfway through the book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Taemon was definitely one of the best characters and his best friend Moke who isn't very talented but manages to show Taemon how to live without Psi


    What does Nick Podehl bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Nick's accents and personality bring the story to life well. He does a great job narrating for young readers.


    Any additional comments?

    My son loved this book and tried again and again to move things with his mind. Looking for more stories from this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Tim Harford
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (148)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (29)

    Life sometimes seems illogical. Individuals do strange things: take drugs, have unprotected sex, mug each other. Love seems irrational, and so does divorce. On a larger scale, life seems no fairer or easier to fathom - why do some neighborhoods thrive and others become ghettos? Why is racism so persistent? Why is your idiot boss paid a fortune for sitting behind a mahogany altar? Thorny questions, and you might be surprised to hear the answers coming from an economist.

    Rebecca says: "enlightening & good fun"
    "Always Enlightening and Entertaining"
    Overall

    I listened to Hartford's other book, "The Undercover Economist" before this and absolutely loved it. This was just as interesting.

    Hartford explains a lot of why we do some of the seemingly peculiar things we do. It is well presented, clearly written, and will expose most the reader to many of the most currently accepted ideas in economics. I would recommend this book to anyone even remotely interested in markets, people, or economics.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Wealth of Nations

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Adam Smith
    • Narrated By Michael Edwards
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (223)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (51)

    This classic statement of economic liberalism or the policy of laissez-faire was first published in 1776. It is an engrossing analysis of the economic facts of life. Several fundamental principles, many of which are now referred to as axioms, were introduced in this work, the division of labor, supply-and-demand, and free market capitalism being among the most obvious.

    Peter says: "Worth the effort"
    "Economic Scripture, but not an easy read"
    Overall

    This is not a book for the casual reader/listener. This will test the very limits of your endurance when it comes to listening to the many statistics he utters again and again in the listing of prices of various goods and services at various times. That said, this book is still remarkably fresh and useful for being more than 2 centuries old.

    If you are looking for the real deal here it is, if you are looking for an easy-to-read summary of economics history look elsewhere.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7143)
    Performance
    (2929)
    Story
    (2939)

    Bill Bryson has been an enormously popular author both for his travel books and for his books on the English language. Now, this beloved comic genius turns his attention to science. Although he doesn't know anything about the subject (at first), he is eager to learn, and takes information that he gets from the world's leading experts and explains it to us in a way that makes it exciting and relevant.

    Corby says: "Very informative, fun to listen to"
    "Mind-Alteringly Good!"
    Overall

    How truly puny we really are. This book will change your perspective on your place in the universe.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Common Law

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Oliver Wendell Holmes
    • Narrated By Robert Morris
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    This is one of the true classics in world legal literature. Written by a master of law and language, it is a primary source book for anyone interested either in legal theory or political science. For the layman, it serves to clarify the very essence of the common law, the cornerstone of our present legal system.

    PHIL says: "For law geeks; not a light read"
    "For Law Students ONLY"
    Overall

    This book should be labeled, "Excellent Remedy for Insomnia. (Warning: Dangerous to listen to while driving. May cause drowsiness, sleepyness. Do not operate while using any machinery.)

    The book actually isn't that bad, although one must have a enduring attention span to get through the many hours of this audio book. The chapters and content of this audio book could be organized and abreviated much better to make this book more interesting.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • A History of Britain, Volume 1: At the Edge of the World, 3000 B.C. - 1603 A.D.

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Simon Schama
    • Narrated By Timothy West
    Overall
    (228)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (64)

    A History of Britain poses questions that have universal timeless resonance. What makes or breaks a nation? To whom do you give your allegiance and why? Where do the roots of your community lie - in your hearth and home, your village or city, your tribe, your faith? And, finally, what is Britain? Also, listen to A History of Britain, Volume 2.

    Dennis says: "Accessible to the lay-person."
    "Britian As You Never Knew It"
    Overall

    This is a captivating book about Early Britian that makes the hours in your car just melt away. The History of Britian is excellently written and read. The only other thing that would have made the book better is if the author himself would have read it--He has a mezmorizing voice that just sucks you right into these events--That said, this book goes far in illustrating the events of early Britian to the reader. (The video series is also great but discusses everything in much less detail.)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Money Mischief: Episodes in Monetary History

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Milton Friedman
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    Overall
    (201)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (54)

    What kind of mischief can result from misunderstanding the monetary system? The work of 2 obscure Scottish chemists destroyed the presidential prospects of William Jennings Bryan, as well as Franklin D. Roosevelt's decision to appease a few senators from the American West who helped communism triumph in China, are just 2 such mishaps cited in this important work by Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman. This accessible work also provides an in-depth discussion on the creation of value.

    James says: "This book is not unabridged."
    "Money, Money, Money!"
    Overall

    This book delivers a whalloping punch into the art of monetary theory. Going over everything from stone-aged currencies to modern day, this is a guide to understanding how those little things in your pocket work.

    The book is quite dry for the uneconomically inclined. I don't recommend this if you just want to make money either. There aren't any jewels of wisdom here for becoming a millionare just the theory that underpins what makes money work.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Get Anyone to Do Anything and Never Feel Powerless Again

    • ABRIDGED (1 hr and 43 mins)
    • By David J. Lieberman
    • Narrated By Scott Bryce
    Overall
    (450)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (58)

    This revolutionary audiobook explains how to see through people, how to avoid being manipulated, and how to get the upper hand in every situation. Learn how to gain control and influence anyone, anytime.

    Art says: "Good practical advice"
    "How to Manipulate Anyone!"
    Overall

    This book can help anyone willing to practice its principles be a more gregarious personality. It is not just for mouse-hearted individuals seeking to become lions--this book also has some practical advice for the rest of us. While I wouldn't dare to use everything in this book, it is useful knowledge to have.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Hannibal: One Man Against Rome

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Harold Lamb
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (954)
    Performance
    (372)
    Story
    (378)

    This is the breathtaking adventure of the great Carthaginian general who shook the foundations of Rome. In the world's first "global" conflict, Hannibal Barca marched up and down the Italian peninsula for 18 years, appearing well nigh invincible to a Rome which began to doubt itself for the first time in its history.

    Karen says: "Fascinating - not to be missed!"
    "1 of 10 Best Books on Audible!"
    Overall

    If you are a history buff like I am you will find this book spectacularly refreshing. Written and read in a transformingly realistic tone, you can almost envision yourself climbing the Alps with the feared general as he campaigns against Rome! It is a must read for lovers of Ancient History.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Economics in One Lesson

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Henry Hazlitt
    • Narrated By Jeff Riggenbach
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (671)
    Performance
    (274)
    Story
    (277)

    Called by H.L. Mencken, "one of the few economists in history who could really write," Henry Hazlitt achieved lasting fame for his brilliant but concise work. In it, he explains basic truths about economics and the economic fallacies responsible for unemployment, inflation, high taxes, and recession.

    Kenrick says: "Truly an amazing work."
    "Guide to Conservative Economics"
    Overall

    While this book has a hugely conservative bent and doesn't take into account the value of any other economic ideas. It is a very good overview of the major arguments with which macro-economists work. It is quite insightful in some of its analogies and comparisons, and sure to be mind-expanding for those unfamiliar with economics.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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