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Gerardo

Businessman, Technologist, Marketer. Loves to learn and enjoys books. Mostly nonfiction plus historic novels.

Austin, TX, United States | Member Since 2011

62
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 54 reviews
  • 75 ratings
  • 155 titles in library
  • 58 purchased in 2014
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37

  • The Art of War: The Strategy of Sun Tzu

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 50 mins)
    • By Sun Tzu
    • Narrated By Mike Borris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (406)
    Performance
    (361)
    Story
    (360)

    This timeless text is required listening for any business person or athlete interested in strategy. It includes a soundtrack entitled "The Mysterious Sound of Wind In the Bamboo", a 43-minute collection of Zen-inspired Japanese music by the Matsu Take Ensemble.

    Kwinsee says: "Surprise change"
    "Raw Military Advice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sun Tzu's masterpiece is full of strategy wisdom and insight that can be applied to business or even life.

    Yet this book is the raw material from Sun Tzu: there is no context, no summaries, no ideas on how to apply it to modern life. This is a book on military strategy that would be useful to any general building a man-to-man combat plan in a war.

    Unless that fits your profile, then I would recommend looking for another book that applies Sun Tzu's wisdom to your area of work in a way that you will find useful.

    Plus, the second part of the book is just instrumental music - Chinese, I suppose. I don't see how it fits in an audiobook unless you plan to practice some Wu-Shu after being inspired by it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1680)
    Performance
    (1415)
    Story
    (1454)

    On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry. Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war.

    Amazon Customer says: "Beautiful, Heartbreaking, and Informative"
    "Long, boring and a very hard read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After reading all of Walter Isaacson's biographies, I was looking forward to learn about the life of Lincoln. Water has a unique gift in making a long story entertaining, useful, and engaging. This book just shows how hard it is to do it right.

    Listening to Team of Rivals feels more like listening to a researcher that wanted to communicate all the knowledge they have on a subject, rather than walking you through a story, the interesting facts, and the nuggets of wisdom we should learn from it.

    Honestly, I was unable to listen to the entire audiobook. This is not a book for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1669)
    Performance
    (1524)
    Story
    (1534)

    >When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.

    Tango says: "Beautiful story, beautifully written"
    "Deep, Inspirational and Educational"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I usually listen to audiobooks to learn. Sometimes I listen to be entertained. Other times I listen to get inspired. This book does all three.

    I learned about Africa, life in modern day tribes, how a game reserve operates, the challenges they live, etc.

    I was inspired by Lawrence Anthony's story, his humanity, his love for animals, his connection with God's creation. Also inspired by the Elephant's love, loyalty and profound knowledge.

    I was entertained with the stories. This is one of those books where you ant to keep driving or stay in your car to keep listening to the story. The book is long, but it does not feel that way.

    Lawrence (rest in peace) is an example, a great human that leaves us with great legacy in this book and great example with his actions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • George Carlin Reads to You: An Audio Collection Including Grammy Winners 'Braindroppings' and 'Napalm & Silly Putty'

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By George Carlin
    • Narrated By George Carlin
    Overall
    (1224)
    Performance
    (1102)
    Story
    (1091)

    If one George Carlin audio is funny, then two are funnier and three must be funniest, right? That's our thinking behind this new collection. t's a HighBridge library of laugh-out-loud, award-winning recordings featuring George himself performing many of his best bits.

    Rick says: "Like a Cast of Thousands"
    "Not as funny as I expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    George Carlin is a master of stand up comedy. This, however is a book READ by Carlin, and he does not seem to be a good book writer. I listened to about 20% of the audiobook and skipped ahead to other chapters and did not find a single funny bit. It feels like a written rant about life. Buy a Carlin DVD instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • We Are All Weird: The Myth of Mass and the End of Compliance

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Seth Godin
    • Narrated By Seth Godin
    Overall
    (218)
    Performance
    (182)
    Story
    (186)

    We Are All Weird is a celebration of choice, of treating different people differently and of embracing the notion that everyone deserves the dignity and respect that comes from being heard. The book calls for end of "mass" and for the beginning of offering people more choices, more interests, and giving them more authority to operate in ways that reflect their own unique values.

    Steven says: "Nothing new"
    "Not the best of Godin's books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like all marketers, I love Seth Godin. He is an incredible writer and thinker and has some of the best marketing books ever. This is clearly not his best book.

    The whole premise of the book is that the world has evolved from an era of mass products and limited choice to a world of mass customization and uniqueness.

    Seth is right, to an extent. As i write this, the majority of the US population uses the exact same smart phone, and iPhone, most companies run their email on MS Exchange, everyone drinks Starbucks and most women on the street carry LV or MK handbags.

    So the premise is somewhat flawed. We live in a world of mass products AND mass customization. Seth could have spent more time explaining the implications for marketers than making the case for the theory of mass. Try another of Seth's books instead, there are some true gems. My favorite All marketers are Storytellers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Solving the Procrastination Puzzle: A Concise Guide to Strategies for Change

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Timothy A. Pychyl
    • Narrated By Timothy A. Pychyl
    Overall
    (172)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (142)

    The new audio edition of the self-published hit, offering powerful strategies to end procrastination!

    Why do we sabotage our own best intentions? How can we eliminate procrastination from our lives for good? Based on current psychological research and supplemented with clear strategies for change, this concise guide will help listeners finally break free from self-destructive ideas and habits, and move into freedom and accomplishment.

    Gillian says: "A Better One Is—"
    "Hard to read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book is right in the middle of being an academic document on procrastination and a practical guide to help common people deal with it - and it fails at both.

    It is not rich enough to be a scientific or an academic document for psychologists and it is too academic for the layman. Instead of giving practical advice it uses a couple chapters defining, describing and analyzing procrastination itself.

    The content is good, but it needs to be re-written to make it more useful.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Small Big: Small Changes That Spark Big Influence

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Steve J. Martin, Noah Goldstein, Robert Cialdini
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (19)

    In The Small Big, three heavyweights from the world of persuasion science and practice describe how, in today's information overloaded and stimulation saturated world, increasingly it is the small changes that you make that lead to the biggest differences. In the last few years, more research-from fields such as neuroscience, cognitive psychology, social psychology, and behavioral economics-has helped to uncover an even greater understanding of how influence, persuasion, and behavior change happens.

    DMaxx says: "Good ideas with some practical applications"
    "50 nuggets of interesting behavioral facts"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book is organized into 50 chapters - each one includes a small nugget of surprising human behavior followed by a very long description. The nuggets vary from the boring to the interesting, with mostly limited practical value. After a few chapters I decided to listen to the central idea of the chapter and skip to the next.

    Clialdini is the authority on the science of influence but this is not his best book. For behavioral psychology I like Ariely's Predictably Irrational much better

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Bryce G. Hoffman
    • Narrated By Pete Larkin
    Overall
    (233)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (208)

    At the end of 2008, Ford Motor Company was just months away from running out of cash. With the auto industry careening toward ruin, Congress offered all three Detroit automakers a bailout. General Motors and Chrysler grabbed the taxpayer lifeline, but Ford decided to save itself. Under the leadership of charismatic CEO Alan Mulally, Ford had already put together a bold plan to unify its divided global operations, transform its lackluster product lineup, and overcome a dys­functional culture of infighting, backstabbing, and excuses.

    Michael says: "The best business book I ever read"
    "Interesting and Insightful - Must read (listen)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This audiobook is detailed, well researched and very insightful. It tells a story not only of what could be the biggest turnaround in business history but it also paints a picture of the automotive industry and the economic crisis of 2008.

    This is one of those books that should be required reading for anyone pursuing an MBA or anyone considering a business leadership position. It tells so many useful stories on aspects as varied as marketing, finance, building trust, strategy and focus, and so on.

    The narrator is clear and uses proper tone. The story has just enough detail to the point it is not boring. Definitely recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dad Is Fat

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jim Gaffigan
    • Narrated By Jim Gaffigan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1919)
    Performance
    (1783)
    Story
    (1775)

    In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald's, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children - everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to toddlers’ communication skills ("they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news"), to the eating habits of four-year-olds ("there is no difference between a four-year-old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor").

    Sean says: "Good for Gaffigan fans - better for expecting dads"
    "Boring. Not the Gaffigan we know"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jim Gaffifan is one of the best comedians of our time. His stand up comedy is unique and hilarious. This is not it.

    It is intended to be a funny story about Jim's life. It is done completely in a different style. It is read by Jim, but it feels like someone at school asked him to read a book out loud. There is no emotion, and I did not find it funny. After 30 minutes I skipped a couple chapters and fount the rest of the audiobook is the same. Then I closed it and moved to my next book.

    Maybe it was my fault for not listening to a sample. Just be advised.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alexander the Great's Art of Strategy: Timeless Leadership Lessons of History's Greatest Empire Builder

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Partha Bose
    • Narrated By James Langton
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (16)

    Alexander the Great endures as one of the most admired and emulated leaders in world history. In our time, his example of unprecedented and unparalleled success has inspired leaders of business and government, from media mogul Ted Turner (who keeps a bronze bust of Alexander in his office) to Desert Storm commander General Norman Schwarzkopf (who credits Alexander's tactical innovations for his dramatic flanking maneuver against the Iraqi army in the liberation of Kuwait).

    G Barth says: "Fascinating"
    "Insightful and Enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is no doubt Alexander the Great is one of the most important leaders and strategists and that he had tremendous influence in shaping the world where we live today.

    This audio book does a great job of providing a detailed, but always interesting account of his life, accomplishments and legacy. Even though it is audio, the description of the battles and the strategies followed are clear and incredibly interesting.

    The author provides a fantastic summary of Alexander's strategy and legacy. The author's commentary about how it relates to corporate strategy is sparse and not very effective. Which makes this a poor book on strategy but a wonderful book on history and the legacy of Alexander the Great. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Viral: How to Spread your Ideas like a Virus

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By R. L. Adams
    • Narrated By Bill Fike
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    In today's Web 3.0 world, to succeed with an idea, you must learn how to base that idea in the principles and foundational components that offer the highest degree and possibility of nurturing and mutating your idea into a fast moving virus. These viral marketing principles are at the very heart of what makes marketing and innovation in today's economy tick. By learning how to leverage and implement the strategies and principles of viral marketing, you can create your own fast moving virus that launches into a crescendo to infect the world and cause an idea epidemic.

    Gerardo says: "Incomplete and Buzzwordy"
    "Incomplete and Buzzwordy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Surely if you are new to marketing this book will sound fantastic. For anyone who has been studying how ideas spread this book is very simplistic, buzzwordy and incomplete.

    The basic formula of the book is to create things tat are easy to share, simple and pack 'tremendous value'. It's not that this is wrong, but it is incomplete. Many songs, artists, books and marketing campaigns have met these three criteria and failed to succeed.

    Offering 'tremendous value' sounds simple, but it is like saying the secret to eternal life is to 'avoid dying'. There are a lot of examples in the book that are analyzed in a very shallow way.

    I am sure the author is well meaning, so I feel bad about giving a two star review, but I have to be honest. If you are looking for a way to spread ideas and successful marketing there are other much better books out there. Start with Seth Godin and Galdwell.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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