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Just a guy trying to make sense of it all.....

PLANO, TX, United States | Member Since 2011

  • 2 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 120 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2015

  • May Cause Miracles: A 40-Day Guidebook of Subtle Shifts for Radical Change and Unlimited Happiness

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Gabrielle Bernstein
    • Narrated By Gabrielle Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Are you ready to work miracles? Gabrielle Bernstein believes that simple, consistent shifts in our thinking and actions can lead to the miraculous in all aspects of our daily lives, including our relationships, finances, bodies, and self-image. In this inspiring guide, Gabrielle offers an exciting plan for releasing fear and allowing gratitude, forgiveness, and love to flow through us without fail. All of which, ultimately, will lead to breathtaking lives of abundance, acceptance, appreciation, and happiness.

    Katie says: "I found faith."
    "Does anyone actually LIVE like this?!?!?"

    I probably would not try another book from Gabrielle Bernstein and/or Gabrielle Bernstein. Look, I hate to point out the proverbial turds in the punchbowl but I got about half way through this and couldn't continue. With all the daily affirmations, meditations, special preparations, etc, I started to wonder if anyone actually lives like this? I don't have time to meditate, reflect, pray, and set hourly reminders to say affirmations about the topic of the day. To the best of my knowledge, I don't know anyone that does. Does that mean everyone I know is unhappy? I don't think so. After listening to a couple of these self-help books from different authors, I've come to the conclusion that the only people that DO advocate these types of self-help books are self-help authors/speakers themselves!!! I've seen others walk with this trance-like self-hypnosis going on in the deeply religious and have to say that there are many similarities, but I digress.

    Mainly, I had a hard time getting past the terminology she uses. The first term on the block is EGO. Gabrielle's definition of the EGO is that it is the harbinger of FEAR. Now, it's been a long time since I took philosophy in college, but as I recall Freud's definition was different. Basically, Freud said the EGO comprises psychic functions such as " judgment, tolerance, reality testing, control, planning, defense, synthesis of information, intellectual functioning, and memory." To merely cast the EGO into the role of FEAR-monger is dismissive of the other (ie - good) aspects of the EGO. I would rather Gabrielle would just say that FEAR in your life/mind is what is preventing LOVE from being a part of your life. Let's leave Freud out of it. He has other issues to atone for.
    Next is "ING", which stands for INternal Guide. While it doesn't bother me that she constantly refers to her ING as a female and implies that the reader/listener should too, I was very unclear on what the role/function of the ING really is. Gabrielle defines the ING as "a power greater than you", but is careful not to use the G-word. Some of the meditations/affirmations instruct the reader/listener to thank the ING, while other times the reader/listener is told to write some observations to the ING in a journal. This sounds a lot like a set of thought practices and instructions addressed to your MIND/SELF that are constantly hammered into your psyche in order to elicit change in the way you think about things. So why not just say this? I guess it's easier to have a catchy term to refer to the allusion of a deity-like being within ourselves.... I know that's confusing, but how can the INternal Guide be "a power greater than you"?!?!?

    Lastly is MIRACLES. Admittedly, I probably didn't get far enough into the book to get a clearer picture of her definition of the word. But I did hear one example where she was away from home, deathly ill and had a speaking engagement the following day. After praying for several minutes, a friend called her and told her to ask her doctor for a referral to a local doctor. When she did this, her doctor did refer her to a local doctor (holistic practitioner) who told her to pray over an injection of vitamins. Now maybe we do live in a time of lowered expectations, but that's what passes for a MIRACLE these days?!?!?! Back in the day it was the parting of the Red Sea, and now its the bright idea of a referral?!?!?!? I thought watching Oscar Pistorius run in the Olympics could be called a modern miracle of technology, but evidently that's nothing compared to a vitamin shot. COME ON!!! I have a problem with calling a referral and a vitamin shot MIRACLES. Why doesn't she just say "Look on the bright side!" and be done with it?!?!?!

    Other minor infractions come from the author referring to herself as a "spirit junkie", and "having a rockin' good time throwing down the F-word!" (SPOILER ALERT: the F-word is Forgiveness) I got this picture in my mind that Gabrielle is kind of a self-help cheerleader.

    With all this going on, I think Gabrielle genuinely wants others to be as happy as she purports to being. I think her message is basically two ideas:

    1. Love yourself instead of beating yourself up all the time, and
    2. If you love yourself, others will love you.

    But in all this confusing terminology babble, the message gets a little obscured. Also, the book seems to be geared a little more towards women than men, but I'm getting the feeling that this is built into these types of books, as the same can be said of her mentor's books, Wayne Dyer. If I'd known that, I would not have purchased this book.

    While I was able to discern the message, I must be a natural born cynic. I don't consider myself to be unhappy, but am interested in ways to be happier. (Who isn't?!?!?!) But with these turds in the punchbowl, I can't really drink the kool-aide.

    32 of 55 people found this review helpful
  • Daemon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Really Fast Paced Sci Fi!"
    "Excellent!!! (If you are a techie)"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    As I am interested in the techno-thriller genre and am always on the look out for new talent, I downloaded/listened to this book. Initially, one aspect that grabbed my attention was that the author either is, or used to be, in my field of work! I've always felt that an imaginative and enterprising person writing creatively could lend more street cred to a novel set in their line of work. Suarez's work is true to the genre, as the form and style are set in a comfortable platform to spin the yarn. Obviously, the man wants to sell books by appealing to a large audience and adhering to the tried and true framework of most mystery thrillers is a good way to do that. But apart from that, he dazzles with his technical acumen. While the technology he uses in the book is all real world stuff, the way in which the technology is being used is where the willing suspension of disbelief comes in. But the cool slickness of how the technology is used and portrayed is very intriguing. I think this book would be entertaining for someone who isn't in the industry, but techies will enjoy The Daemon, as well as the second novel from Suarez, Freedom. He raises some very interesting questions about the possible roles some of this technology will play in the coming years.

    What other book might you compare Daemon to and why?

    Jurassic Park/State of Fear - Michael Crichton: Reason being that both authors portray breakthroughs in technology as being both reason for celebration and great concern, and that we need to always look at how this or any technology will affect our lives both now and in the future.

    What about Jeff Gurner’s performance did you like?

    Masterful reading by a true professional! His performance only served to enhance the story and didn't detract from it. This is ideal when listening to audio books.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Technology now has a mind of its own.... 8-)

    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed the production and sounds in between the chapters, as well as the changes in voice quality to emulate speakers! Very creative and well done!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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