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Douglas

New York, NY, USA

28
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 41 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    • Narrated By David Chandler
    Overall
    (1962)
    Performance
    (845)
    Story
    (840)

    Maverick thinker Nassim Nicholas Taleb had an illustrious career on Wall Street before turning his focus to his black swan theory. Not all swans are white, and not all events, no matter what the experts think, are predictable. Taleb shows that black swans, like 9/11, cannot be foreseen and have an immeasurable impact on the world.

    Kenneth says: "Brilliant, Obnoxious, Narcissistic, Brilliant"
    "Interesting"
    Overall

    I have mixed feelings about the book. It is very repetitive, and approaches its thesis from many angles. Yet, it is a very interesting subject matter.

    The reading of the book is good, although someone who is not familiar with the mathematics may have trouble following the tables read aloud in the final chapters.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Timothy Ferriss
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    Overall
    (2819)
    Performance
    (559)
    Story
    (571)

    The 4 Hour Work Week explains what a lifestyle entrepreneur is and why you should want to become one. It teaches you how to "kill" your job and design a life, the 80/20 rule and how it increases productivity, how to replace your dreams with goals, and more. Listeners can lead a rich life by working only four hours a week, freeing up the rest of their time to spend it living the lives they want.

    Tim says: "Some good ideas but, not so sure. . ."
    "Interminable"
    Overall

    If you want to read this book, do so in print: at least that way you can easily skim it. It has only a few points, which you will most likely get out of any newspaper or magazine review. The key point of the book (and I doubt I'll be able to find the details) is that you should find a job that lets you work remotely. Once you have that, you can be creative to reduce your "work load" to its core, which is only a few hours of real work a week. This can be achieved through entrepreneurship, outsourcing, or just working from home where nobody is watching your hours. You are then free to intersperse your "retirement" throughout your life, doing things you enjoy.

    The rest of the book, as far as I can tell, is platitudes and case studies that are light on details. In the print copy, I'm certain you can skip all that junk, but in the audio version, you'll want to listen to it at 2 or 4x speed, if you can. The only redeeming feature of the audio version is that the narrator does try to add drama to the reading.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Dan Ariely
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    Overall
    (3564)
    Performance
    (1101)
    Story
    (1103)

    In a series of illuminating, often surprising experiments, MIT behavioral economist Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. Blending everyday experience with groundbreaking research, Ariely explains how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities.

    Stephen says: "Well researched, well written, & well read"
    "Fun and thoughtful"
    Overall

    This book offered some entertaining and enlightening studies into how people behave. It is certainly light-hearted, and a pleasant read. In response to people who considered it a series of anecdotes: that it may be, but they have a useful theme. The results offer a way to improve your interpersonal relations and personal behavior by placing less trust in your rationality when presented with temptation.

    Since the presentation is so biographical, I found it a little distracting knowing that the author was Israeli and the narrator British; it caused a minor disconnect. However, the reading is quite good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Michael Pollan
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3440)
    Performance
    (1193)
    Story
    (1192)

    "What should we have for dinner?" To one degree or another, this simple question assails any creature faced with a wide choice of things to eat. Anthropologists call it the omnivore's dilemma. Choosing from among the countless potential foods nature offers, humans have had to learn what is safe, and what isn't. Today, as America confronts what can only be described as a national eating disorder, the omnivore's dilemma has returned with an atavistic vengeance.

    Stephen Redding says: "Great presentation of a moral dilemma"
    "A pretty interesting read"
    Overall

    This book has three distinct parts, only one of which you should listen to: the introduction, the beginning 2/3, and the last 1/3. The introduction is insufferably boring, meandering, repetitive and generally uninteresting. The middle 2/3 are very interesting, well-researched, and quite engrossing. Listen to that twice. The last 1/3 (I believe it is the last "Part" of the four parts) is monotonous, and feels like filler tacked on to give the book sufficient heft. Once he starts discussing his hunting experience (you might enjoy the discussion of the vegetarian movement), it just drags on and on.

    The reading is among the better for audiobooks; it is enunciated and well-paced for the material.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Atonement

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Ian McEwan
    • Narrated By Jill Tanner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1035)
    Performance
    (326)
    Story
    (321)

    In Atonement, three children lose their innocence, as the sweltering summer heat bears down on the hottest day in 1935, and their lives are changed forever. Cecilia Tallis is of England's priviledged class; Robbie Turner is the housekeeper's son. In their moment of intimate surrender, they are interrupted by Cecilia's hyperimaginative and scheming 13-year-old sister, Briony. And as chaos consumes the family, Briony commits a crime, the guilt of which she shall carry throughout her life.

    William R. Creech says: "Well written; well read."
    "Not his best"
    Overall

    The story proceeded a little slowly and did not come to a suspenseful climax as much as a long unwinding. It is not entirely out of character, I believe, since the other book of McEwan's I have read (The Innocent) was also deliberately written, if more exciting.

    The reading is also good, and certainly does not interfere with your enjoyment.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • World Without End

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8799)
    Performance
    (3242)
    Story
    (3275)

    In 1989 Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, set in 12th-century England. Readers and listeners ever since have hoped for a sequel. At last, here it is. Although the two novels may be listened to in any order, World Without End also takes place in Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building their exquisite Gothic cathedral. The cathedral is again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge.

    Laura says: "Repetitive, but still enjoyable"
    "Excellent"
    Overall

    This book is an excellent addition to the Ken Follett collection. It is enthralling, shocking and surprising.

    The reading is also quite good; the narrator often changes voices and accents to depict different characters. He is never too fast or too slow.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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