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John

SILVER SPRING, MD, United States | Member Since 2012

31
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 35 ratings
  • 127 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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  • Basic Economics, Fourth Edition: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Thomas Sowell
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (536)
    Performance
    (377)
    Story
    (374)

    The fourth edition of Basic Economics is both expanded and updated. A new chapter on the history of economics itself has been added, and the implications of that history examined. Among other additions throughout the book, a new section on the special role of corporations in the economy has been added to the chapter on government and big business.

    kevin says: "Myth Buster"
    "misleading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    i didn't enjoy this book, but it does give an overview of basic economic concepts. unfortunately, despite its length the book did not teach me anything i didn't already know, and as the book goes on, it becomes increasingly focused on the evils of government intervention, and less so on explaining economic concepts. i could have done without the extensive libertarian diatribes. i'm a believer in free-market economics and the global economy, but the agenda was so clear and tone was often so biased and closed-minded that the experience was simply not fruitful for me. it's a shame because when sowell sticks to economics, he explains things quite effectively, but i'd have rather purchased a less partisan book.

    28 of 42 people found this review helpful
  • I, Robot

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1558)
    Performance
    (534)
    Story
    (551)

    They mustn't harm a human being, they must obey human orders, and they must protect their own existence...but only so long as that doesn't violate rules one and two. With these Three Laws of Robotics, humanity embarked on a bold new era of evolution that would open up enormous possibilities, and unforeseen risks.

    Herb says: "Forget the violence - Read this one for the humor"
    "Great stories."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely recommend. The world Asimov creates is interesting and engrossing. I zipped through this book in less than a week, which is pretty fast for me. The final story really brings the whole collection together. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Brief History of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Stephen Hawking
    • Narrated By Michael Jackson
    Overall
    (1293)
    Performance
    (529)
    Story
    (522)

    This landmark book is for those of us who prefer words to equations; this is the story of the ultimate quest for knowledge, the ongoing search for the secrets at the heart of time and space. Its author, Stephen W. Hawking, is arguably the greatest mind since Einstein. From the vantage point of the wheelchair, where he has spent the last 20 years trapped by Lou Gehrig's disease, Professor Hawking has transformed our view of the universe. A Brief History of Time is Hawking's classic introduction to today's most important scientific ideas.

    Jeff Parent says: "Great book, but...."
    "Background needed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    You really need to have a little background on the topic to understand this book fully. If you have that, I'm sure it's probably a lot more interesting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Down and Out in Paris and London

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By George Orwell
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (48)

    Jessica says: "Good theater"
    "Good."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Generally thought provoking and fascinating. Written like a literary expose of sorts. Seemed totally genuine, and often stated in a painfully matter-of-fact manner. Recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tree of Smoke: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Denis Johnson
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (379)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (115)

    This is the story of William "Skip" Sands, CIA, engaged in Psychological Operations against the Vietcong, and the disasters that befall him. This is also the story of the Houston brothers, Bill and James, young men who drift out of the Arizona desert and into a war in which the line between disinformation and delusion has blurred away. In its vision of human folly, this is a story like nothing in our literature.

    MadMadeleine says: "Moby Redux"
    "not bad, but not my favorite denis johnson book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    the plot meandered a bit for my taste, but i liked the characters, the dialogue and the interactions. i was certainly never bored, but for me the book lacked the charm of jesus' son. i'm basically non-committal when it comes to recommending this book. i'd say if you read the plot summary and it appeals to you, then give it a shot. at the very least, the narrator was good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Post-American World

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Fareed Zakaria
    • Narrated By Fareed Zakaria
    Overall
    (755)
    Performance
    (126)
    Story
    (132)

    For Fareed Zakaria, the great story of our times is not the decline of America but rather the rise of everyone else - the growth of countries such as China, India, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, Kenya, and many, many more. This economic growth is generating a new global landscape where power is shifting and wealth and innovation are bubbling up in unexpected places.

    Gus says: "The Rise of Chindia"
    "interesting read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    this was a thoughtful and relatively objective book. the title can be a bit misleading. the book is not at all about the downfall of america, but instead about the cultural and economic elements that have contributed to successful societies over the years, the extent to which these elements exist in different modern societies. he talks about the merits of the free market and globalization and their positive impacts on societies throughout history, and perhaps most interestingly, compares the evolution of india, china, the uk, and the united states. this is all an overly simplistic summary, but in the end i'd say that zakaria gives a good overview of the past and relates it to current developments in the state of international affairs. perhaps most importantly, it was fairly non-partisan, except for zakaria's obvious preference for free-market-based western economies and political systems. there will always be room for disagreement, but zakaria maintained a calm and respectful tone throughout.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Rob Gifford
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (381)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (142)

    National Public Radio's Beijing correspondent Rob Gifford recounts his travels along Route 312, the Chinese Mother Road, the longest route in the world's most populous nation. Based on his successful NPR radio series, China Road draws on Gifford's 20 years of observing first-hand this rapidly transforming country, as he travels east to west, from Shanghai to China's border with Kazakhstan. As he takes listeners on this journey, he also takes them through China's past and present while he tries to make sense of this complex nation's potential future.

    Roberta says: "An Outstanding Book on China"
    "pretty good."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend China Road to your friends? Why or why not?

    not sure i'd go out of my way to recommend this book, but i wouldn't stop someone from reading it either. gifford is clearly quite knowledgeable about china, and the book is filled with interesting anecdotes, cultural highlights, and historical facts and explanations. there seems to be a bit of a tension within gifford on china. he's clearly fascinated with the place, and has a deep respect for it, but he also has a tendency to make sweeping generalizations about the people as a whole that end up making the chinese people sound like a science project. i think this is mainly a result of his perspective, which is something akin to a close family friend. he knows china very, very well, but as an outsider can never truly understand it. having spend an extended amount of time in china, i can understand that. that said, i also appreciate the objective criticisms that he is able to give as an outsider. in the end, this is a good crash course on modern china. it gives both a historical perspective and a ground-level journalistic perspective, and it is far more interesting than reading a text book.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Fuminori Nakamura, Satoko Izumo (translator)
    • Narrated By Charlie Thurston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (91)

    The Thief is a seasoned pickpocket. Anonymous in his tailored suit, he weaves in and out of Tokyo crowds, stealing wallets from strangers so smoothly that sometimes he doesn't even remember the snatch. Most people are just a blur to him; nameless faces from whom he chooses his victims. He has no family, no friends, no connections.... But he does have a past, which finally catches up with him when Ishikawa, his first partner, reappears in his life and offers him a job he can't refuse.

    Ki says: "Well, it is short."
    "not bad."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Fuminori Nakamura and Satoko Izumo (translator) and/or Charlie Thurston?

    author has writing and storytelling potential. it was not fully realized here, but it was still a decent story. would read another of his books.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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