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James L. Fuqua

Jim

Hendersonville, TN United States

ratings
18
REVIEWS
18
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
4
HELPFUL VOTES
58

  • Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Mark Kurlansky
    • Narrated By Richard M. Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (340)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (125)

    Talk about a fish story! New York Times and Harper's columnist Mark Kurlansky offers "history filtered through the gills of the fish trade." David McCullough, the historian behind John Adams, says Kurlansky's "charming tale" of a "seemingly improbable idea" will change the way people think of the fish and the history.

    Karen says: "A great fish story"
    "Cod shaped our history!"
    Overall
    Performance
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    Cod shaped the economic history of North America for several centuries as well as provided a major economic impact in much of Europe. You can't fully understand our history without reading this book.

    The economic impact of cod tapered off as overfishing devastated the economic value of this important resource.

    There are many historical and environmental lessons contained in this book.

    The book is also entertaining and introduces you to real people who's lives have been profoundly altered by the mismanagement of cod fishing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Triple Package: Why Groups Rise and Fall in America

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Amy Chua, Jed Rubenfeld
    • Narrated By Jonathan Todd Ross
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (87)

    It may be taboo to say, but some groups in America do better than others. Mormons have recently risen to astonishing business success. Cubans in Miami climbed from poverty to prosperity in a generation. Nigerians earn doctorates at stunningly high rates. Indian and Chinese Americans have much higher incomes than other Americans; Jews may have the highest of all. Why do some groups rise? Drawing on groundbreaking original research and startling statistics, The Triple Package uncovers the secret to their success.

    CBlox says: "Triple Thumbs Up!!"
    "What brings wealth?"
    Overall
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    This book is about why some groups of people in the USA succeed in obtaining wealth, comfort and status while other groups with similar opportunities fail.

    It has something that will offend everyone. I have not looked at the other reviews, but expect they have a high level of controversy.

    This book is so controversial in many statements that the authors cite multiple scientific and statistical studies to support their arguments.

    The methods which the groups discussed use to achieve success are simple but, difficult. The successful groups work harder than average and demand of their children that the children work harder than average. The authors cite multiple groups and describe their methods.

    Sometimes the truth hurts. We can learn from the groups and individuals who are successful.

    I highly recommend this book even if you don't like the fact that most of it is irrefutably true.

    Jim Fuqua

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Peter Thiel, Blake Masters
    • Narrated By Blake Masters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2566)
    Performance
    (2030)
    Story
    (2021)

    The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won't create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren't learning from them. It's easier to copy a model than to make something new: doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But every time we create something new, we go from 0 to 1.

    Amazon Customer says: "Awesome Content. Hard to listen to."
    "Peter Thiel is a a deep thinker!"
    Overall
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    I was impressed by the depth and uniqueness of many opinions expressed by Peter Thiel in this book. It is very perceptive and analytical. I highly recommend the book although I profoundly disagree with one repeated theme.

    In this book, the author is often writing strictly to investors and the managers of companies. He praises monopolies and advocates that that audience avoid any business venture in which they cannot achieve total or partial monopoly status.

    His reasoning is that only monopolies have spectacular profit margins. That is true, but it is usually at the expense of the consumer. From the perspective of a consumer, monopolies are horrible. The history of Standard Oil shows just how anti-social monopolies can be. Of course, if your perspective is that of the owner of a monopoly, monopolies are great.

    Thiel never seemed to recognize that monopolies hurt consumers and at times argued otherwise citing innovations that derive from reinvestment of monopoly profits. It is true that monopolies have more cash which they may invest in a manner beneficial to innovation and ignores that monopoly power is just as likely to allow the monopoly to sit tight and stifle innovation by others. Just think of how the cable TV companies have coupled high prices with low-quality services when they are the single provider in a market.

    The author had so many other deep insights into business and society that I am glad that I listened to the entire book. I learned many things. A book can deserve five stars even when it occasionally takes a partisan stance that has anti-social implications.

    Jim

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By James W. Pennebaker
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (69)

    We spend our lives communicating. In the last 50 years, we've zoomed through radically different forms of communication, from typewriters to tablet computers, text messages to tweets. We generate more and more words with each passing day. Hiding in that deluge of language are amazing insights into who we are, how we think, and what we feel.

    Nanster says: "Interesting exploration of language subtleties"
    "Great Book!"
    Overall
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    This is an informative book that is a bit difficult to take at one time.

    It would be easy to say that the author could have presented the same material in a much shorter book. That would be possibly true for the general thrust of this book, but there were so many very good bits and pieces that would have been omitted, that I prefer it as written.

    I listened to this book about thirty minutes at a time. When I started thinking I was hearing more that I wanted to know I shifted to another book for the day. In hindsight, I can say that I am glad that I listened to the entire book.

    This author obviously had the help of a large number of graduate students helping or extending his research. He is also extremely knowledgeable about many facets of human behavior.

    This is a book about how we use language and what our choice of words says about how we think, but it is much more. This is as much a book about people and how they behave as it is about pronouns and other simple English words.

    Jim Fuqua

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Scientific Secrets for Raising Kids Who Thrive

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Peter M. Vishton
    Overall
    (427)
    Performance
    (369)
    Story
    (356)

    Parenting advice isn't hard to find. There are thousands of books on the subject, as well as a multitude of websites. Much has also been written on the science of child development. What's been lacking, however, are sources of reliable advice that bring together the scientific research and its real-world applications.

    Rich says: "Valuable Information, But Lots of Citations"
    "Every parent should listen to this book!"
    Overall
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    This professor cites data for almost all of his opinions. All in all, it is a great course.

    There are a few inconsistencies or positions taken in one place and hedged in another.

    Grandparents, as well as parents of young children, could profit by listening to these lectures.

    The only place I disagree with the professor is on the degree of pressure to place on children.

    There is a fine line between too little and too much. Another Audible book "The Tripple Package" documents how some groups of people in the USA succeed more than others. The answer is the pressure they put on their children to succeed. This book is a bit more relaxed on that issue, but there are two sides to every issue.

    So much material is covered in these lectures that it would be futile to try to summarize it. Therefore, I won't try. Just suffice it to say, be a critical listener. Probably 95% of what this professor says will stand the test of time.

    Jim Fuqua

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Peter C. Brown
    • Narrated By Qarie Marshall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (464)
    Performance
    (383)
    Story
    (376)

    To most of us, learning something 'the hard way' implies wasted time and effort. Good teaching, we believe, should be creatively tailored to the different learning styles of students and should use strategies that make learning easier. Make It Stick turns fashionable ideas like these on their head and will appeal to all those interested in the challenge of lifelong learning and self-improvement.

    André says: "FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO KNOW HOW TO LEARN"
    "Science vs Anecdotal Evidence"
    Overall
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    Math became quite advanced in the 1600s. Medicine could barely claim a scientific basis until the 1900s. Education? Education is just starting to get there.

    The flip flops between "phonics" being the best method to teach reading and "whole language" being the best method to teach reading go back at least to the 1850s because education establishments depended on anecdotal and not rigorous scientific evidence to establish policy. There have been at least four flip flops regarding reading instruction because science was not used to resolve the issue. Many scientific arguments have been made on the subject but not enough large scale controlled studies.

    This book is not about reading instruction. It is about the use of the scientific method to resolve the effectiveness of competing alternative methods of instruction.

    Some of the discoveries disclosed by scientific inquiry discussed in this book are diametrically opposite to today's teaching methods and many are quite counter intuitive.

    I won't go into detail about the content of this book, but one research project discussed in the book demonstrated how little we know.

    Take two groups of students and allow one group to use computer monitors that display crisp and clear instructional material. The second group gets the same material, but the monitors are sub-standard and the images are blurred but readable with difficulty.

    Who learns more? The answer? Experiments demonstrated that the students using the poor equipment learned more and retained significantly more. Why? They had to struggle. Unbelieveable, but apparently true.

    I think about that when I struggle with some of the more confusingly worded Khan Academy problems. You learn from a struggle and not from spoon feeding.

    This book is not about anecdotal evidence to support educational theories. It is about what has been proven to work in rigorous scientific studies. It was written by educational researchers at universities and not classroom teachers who often hold diametrically opposite views about what works. Take fifty classroom teachers and you may have twenty different opinions on how best to teach any given thing.

    Our big companies such as Google and Amazon use small scale "A/B tests" on a large number of issues daily. They use the results to scientifically tailor the services they deliver to the public.

    Primary and Secondary educational establishments run by governmental entities deal more in tradition. There is a trend toward "evidence based" instruction, but often the "evidence" was not scientifically generated with control groups and the examination of alternative methods.

    This is a wonderful book. Perhaps there will be a day when every educational manager will take it's message to heart and adopt methods that can withstand rigorous scientific examination.



    Jim Fuqua

    38 of 39 people found this review helpful
  • How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Jordan Ellenberg
    • Narrated By Jordan Ellenberg
    Overall
    (202)
    Performance
    (169)
    Story
    (170)

    Ellenberg chases mathematical threads through a vast range of time and space, from the everyday to the cosmic, encountering, among other things, baseball, Reaganomics, daring lottery schemes, Voltaire, the replicability crisis in psychology, Italian Renaissance painting, artificial languages, the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the coming obesity apocalypse, Antonin Scalia's views on crime and punishment, the psychology of slime molds, what Facebook can and can't figure out about you, and the existence of God.

    Bonny says: "Mathematics is the extension of common sense..."
    "Much Good Information"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You must have some background with math to appreciate this book. You don't need to be a mathematician, but you need to have some concept of statistics -- not details -- just a basic idea of how statistics work.

    The last half of the book was more interesting to me than the first half. Don't start there, start at the first so you will understand the last half.

    I found his comments on multi-candidate elections where no candidate gets a majority to be particularly interesting.

    There are parts to this book that drag. Some may drag because you might not be interested in the subject he uses to illustrate a mathematical process or principal. When he talks about sports statistics keep in mind that he is illustrating mathematical principles and not focusing on sports.

    You can and will learn a lot from this book and will enjoy most of the book. You might learn more than you want to know about some mathematical subjects, but math is a tool and each addition to our toolkit strengthens us whether we know it at the time or not.

    Jim Fuqua

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1581)
    Performance
    (1345)
    Story
    (1334)

    Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail?

    Mark says: "A History of the Ancient Geeks"
    "Great Writer - Great Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "The Innovators" starts in the early 1800s and proceeds to this century with minute detail about the people who have shaped the world through computing technology.

    Other reviewers have detailed the content. Even if you think you know the history of the computer age you probably don't. I thought I knew about the people who have shaped the digital revolution, but I did not know half of the detail contained in this book. It is detail that can bring history to life or bog it down.

    Some authors can bore you with details. Others just have the knack for telling a story in detail and making the story enjoyable. I particularly found it interesting how the attitude, motives and methods of the mother of Ada of Lovelace in providing for the education of her daughter laid a foundation for the computer revolution to come more than 100 years later.

    I listened to this book while taking a daily four mile walk. This book is so good that I wanted to keep on walking each day.

    Jim Fuqua

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Economic Facts and Fallacies

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Thomas Sowell
    • Narrated By Jeff Riggenbach
    Overall
    (344)
    Performance
    (126)
    Story
    (128)

    Economic Facts and Fallacies is designed for people who want to understand economic issues without getting bogged down in economic jargon, graphs, or political rhetoric. Writing in a lively manner that does not require any prior knowledge of economics, Thomas Sowell exposes some of the most popular fallacies about economic issues, including many that are widely disseminated in the media and by politicians.

    rob says: "Brilliant"
    "An Excellent Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One characteristic of Thomas Sowell's books, but not necessarily his newspaper columns, is extreme caution and carefulness to say little that cannot be proven by irrefutable supporting data cited in copious footnotes and end notes. This book follows that pattern.

    It is true that he is conservative but he tries to be objective and accurate in his observations.

    His conservatism comes from his life experience. He grew up in Harlem. Dropped out of high school and was a Marine in the Korean War. He returned from the war, got an undergraduate degree in economics from Harvard, a master's degree from Columbia and a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago where some of the conservatism of Milton Friedman undoubtedly influenced him.

    This book has few flaws. It points out many instances where our politicians have done foolish things by not studying and understanding the data upon which their conclusions rested. He sites many instances where the population as a whole has based popular opinion on an inadequate factual foundation.

    I will point out one instance where I think he made one of the mistakes he so ably pointed out in the thinking of others. That mistake is basing decisions on only part of the evidence.

    He seems to think that focused, intelligent hard work can overcome any adversity. In general he may be correct, but there are situations where opportunity is stifled by circumstance. He does not subscribe to the belief that overpopulation causes poverty. He correctly cites the successes of resource poor counties like Singapore and Japan that have overcome their circumstances, but fails to grasp that some poor countries with people with little or no education struggling to survive on a fraction of an acre of arable land per person aren't likely to achieve the same result as Japan or Singapore. The same principles apply to families. Too many children competing for too few resources is a localized version of over population that can stifle opportunity.

    Everyone would profit from reading this book. I rate it at five stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - but Some Don't

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Nate Silver
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1516)
    Performance
    (1266)
    Story
    (1266)

    Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger - all by the time he was 30. The New York Times now publishes FiveThirtyEight.com, where Silver is one of the nation’s most influential political forecasters. Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data.

    Scott Fabel says: "Learn About Statistics Without All The Math"
    "Valuable Information"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book shows how perceptive people have separated relevant data from irrelevant data.

    The author is fond of baseball and baseball statistics. Not being fond of baseball, I had to remind myself from time to time that the book is about data and analyzing data and not about baseball. Sometimes the book moves a little slow, but it is full of good information.

    This is not a mathematical book about statistics so much as a book about judgment calls and how to evaluate relevance.

    The author's view on Bayes's theorem is particularly interesting. I hope he will elaborate on Bayes's theorem with examples in detail in a future book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Appointment in Samarra: Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By John O'Hara, Charles McGrath (introduction)
    • Narrated By Christian Camargo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (32)

    In December 1930, just before Christmas, the Gibbsville, Pennsylvania, social circuit is electrified with parties and dances. At the center of the social elite stand Julian and Caroline English. But in one rash moment born inside a highball glass, Julian breaks with polite society and begins a rapid descent toward self-destruction.

    Michael says: "Quite good, but not a classic"
    "Book is a downer."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is often considered a classic. It has a catchy start and end with a Persian folk tale. Everything in between is depressing.

    The entire story transpires in less than a week as a salesman destroys himself by stupid misbehavior during periods of heavy drinking. Nothing in this book is cheerful. From start to finish it is a downer.

    Pure Schadenfreude. If you get pleasure from the misfortune of others you will enjoy this book.

    I probably should have rated the performance as five star because the reader made a disgusting person seem more disgusting, but also so blind to his faults as to be helpless in a slide to death.

    Jim Fuqua

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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