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David

Fall Branch, TN, United States | Member Since 2011

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 111 ratings
  • 253 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2014
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  • How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By John Cassidy
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (340)
    Performance
    (170)
    Story
    (170)

    Behind the alarming headlines about job losses, bank bailouts, and corporate greed, there is a little-known story of bad ideas. For 50 years or more, economists have been busy developing elegant theories of how markets work - how they facilitate innovation, wealth creation, and an efficient allocation of society's resources. But what about when markets don't work?

    Ben says: "Way more than I expected"
    "Astrology is More of a Science than Economics...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an excellent and entertaining book. The author gives a reasonably unbiased review of the various economic theories, as well as the underlying politics that drives these theories. It was a great review and I found myself constantly wanting to listen to more.

    That said, it was also very disappointing (frightening even) to learn just how poorly developed and "academically inbred" the field of economics really is (particularly given our current economic crisis). To be fair, there were some economists who made real and significant contributions. There are also some concepts and thought experiments that are quite useful. But I was surprised at just how little most of the "big names" in economics had actually contributed.

    I don't know that I learned any new revelations about the current dismal global economy that common sense didn't already dictate. But the book was a gold mine in terms of understanding the relationship between various political movements and their corresponding economic schools of thought.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Miracles Now: 108 Life-Changing Tools for Less Stress, More Flow, and Finding Your True Purpose

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Gabrielle Bernstein
    • Narrated By Gabrielle Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (47)

    Let’s be real for a sec. Most of us don’t have time for an hour of yoga or 30 minutes of meditation every day. We’re overwhelmed as it is. Our spiritual practice shouldn’t add to that. That’s why I’ve handpicked 108 simple techniques to combat our most common problems - stress, burnout, frustration, jealousy, resentment. The stuff we have to deal with on a daily basis. This audiobook is designed so that you can achieve peace and experience miracles now. Inspired by some of the greatest spiritual teachings, Miracles Now uses practical, moment-to-moment tools to help you eliminate blocks and live with more ease.

    Dave says: "I thought it seemed forced"
    "Lost Credibility in the Introduction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would give the book 4 stars for the tips. Most were generally good and a few are true gems. But the author lost my respect when she used the Intro (and almost every section) to recommend that readers should tweet/share these tips with their friends. This wasn't a casual suggestion, but an indication that being more "connected" on social media would somehow lower my stress. Really??? Most people I know are overstressed BECAUSE they are too connected. Ultimately it seemed more like a blatant attempt by the author to get some free advertising and sell more books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • StarFire: Vince Lombard, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Mike Lee
    • Narrated By Jason Brenizer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (100)

    Captain Vince Lombard, G-Marine company commander, is tasked with tracking down a stray ship. The Alliance Military Ship StarFire has gone silent, and previous attempts to locate her have resulted in the loss of more ships. After two previous wars with xenospecies humanity bumped into while expanding into space, no one knows what might be the cause of StarFire's missing in action status.

    Douglas says: "Great Story--Well Read!"
    "One of the Best Books I've Listened to on Audible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a great listen and I would highly recommend to anyone that likes military scifi, JAG or general scifi/mystery type books. It is probably in my top 5 of books from Audible (out of about 75 listened to so far). I liked the way the author approached the topics and kept it VERY interesting from the very beginning. Some of his thoughts and strategies on military action in space were also quite novel, not to mention thought provoking. Only disappointment is that the 2nd book in the series is not available at the time of this review.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By James Wesley Rawles
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1442)
    Performance
    (1089)
    Story
    (1101)

    America faces a full-scale socioeconomic collapse in the near future. The stock market plummets, hyperinflation cripples commerce and the mounting crisis passes the tipping point. Practically overnight, the fragile chains of supply and high-technology infrastructure fall, and wholesale rioting and looting grip every major city.

    Hugh says: "Accidentally Good"
    "Cound not Finish..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was initially intrigued by the author's approach of combining a survivalist manual with a fictional story. But it did not work for me in practice. The detail weaved into the book was just too much, and way too often the author would drone on and on about a subject which really detracted from the story. I ultimately had enough and turned it off after just a few hours of listening.

    A few other nagging issues.....The characters and their behaviors were just too cheesy for my tastes. The way they interacted was just too contrived and I never could relate. I also really became annoyed with the accent and cadence of the narrator, particularly when trying to portray certain voices. Many times during the book I kept thinking he was going to shout out "Da Bears" in a manner similar to the old SNL skits.

    I liked the story concept in general, and was really hoping it would pick up and get interesting. But it didn't happen (at least within the first 3 hrs) and that was all I could stand.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shards of Honor

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1327)
    Performance
    (809)
    Story
    (822)

    I>Shards of Honor is the novel in which Lois McMaster Bujold introduced the science-fiction world to Barrayar and Aral Vorkosigan, Beta Colony and Cordelia Naismith. From this beginning the author has created a multigenerational saga spanning time as well as space. Bujold is generally recognized as the current exemplar of the character-based science-fiction adventure story.

    Lifelong Reader says: "First story in the Miles Vorkosigan series"
    "Avoid this book if you prefer hard sci-fi....."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are a fan of traditional hard science fiction and space opera by the likes of Peter Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds and Iain Banks, then you probably won't like this book. It is basically a love story that happens to be set in a futuristic setting. Not a bad story (if you like this genre), but few if any new ideas were presented and this book could have just as easily be set in modern times.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Blue Remembered Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (303)
    Performance
    (280)
    Story
    (280)

    Critically acclaimed author Alastair Reynolds holds a well-deserved place “among the leaders of the hard-science space opera renaissance." (Publishers Weekly). In Blue Remembered Earth, Geoffrey Akinya wants nothing more than to study the elephants of the Amboseli basin. But when his space-explorer grandmother dies, secrets come to light and Geoffrey is dispatched to the Moon to protect the family name - and prevent an impending catastrophe.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "A surprising and staisfying departure for Reynolds"
    "Reynold's Weakest Novel but Still a Good Read..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read all of AR's work and he is, without a doubt, my favorite author. But this book was a bit disappointing relative to his other novels. It is still a good story (and worth a listen), but just not up to the standard that I have come to expect from Reynolds.

    My biggest complaint.....the book starts off very slowly and I was almost tempted to pull the plug. Fortunately it got better and ended up being a decent story overall.

    Reynolds has also left the story open for a sequel and it still has the potential to be a great series, even if it got off to a shaky start. And yes....despite my negative comments, I am still looking forward to reading the sequel.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Star Fraction: The Fall Revolution 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Ken Macleod
    • Narrated By Stephen Crossley
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    Moh Kohn is a security mercenary, his smart gun and killer reflexes for hire. Janis Taine is a scientist working on memory-enhancing drugs, fleeing the US/UN's technology cops. Jordan Brown is a teenager in the Christian enclave of Beulah City, dealing in theologically-correct software for the world's fundamentalists - and wants out.

    Cascadian says: "The reader makes it work"
    "Too Painful to Finish...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you haven't read MacLeod's books before, be warned that he has strong political views that permeate most of his storylines (somewhere between Trotskyist and anarcho-capitalist). I don't normally mind this (and have thoroughly enjoyed some of the author's other books), but the Star Fraction takes this to an extreme and was simply unbearable. The book amounted to 10+ hrs of dialogue about every twisted/extremist political view imaginable. Some of this was humorous, but most was just plain boring. Ultimately... I gave up about 6 hours into the book. It is a shame as the basic plot had alot of potential.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Reamde

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3679)
    Performance
    (3215)
    Story
    (3253)

    Richard Forthrast created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game. But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe - and Richard is at ground zero.

    ShySusan says: "Not perfect, but worth a listen."
    "Is this Science Fiction?????"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I decided to listen to Reamde after being blown away by Snow Crash. Boy was that a mistake! I only got about 10 hrs into the book before having to abandon it all together. The book is too long for the subject matter, moves way too slowly, and really does not constitute "science fiction" (at least based on what I struggled through ).

    In the interest of full disclosure, I am not normally a fan of cyberpunk novels and tend to prefer hard sci-fi. Snow Crash was amazing because it crossed both genres and did an excellent job with each. Not true with Reamde. I probably won't listen to any more NS novels after this experience....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Fleet: Dauntless

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, Jack Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4823)
    Performance
    (3336)
    Story
    (3371)

    Captain John "Black Jack" Geary's legendary exploits are known to every schoolchild. Revered for his heroic "last stand" in the early days of the war, he was presumed dead. But a century later, Geary miraculously returns from survival hibernation and reluctantly takes command of the Alliance fleet as it faces annihilation by the Syndics.

    Appalled by the hero-worship around him, Geary is nevertheless a man who will do his duty. And he knows that bringing the stolen Syndic hypernet key safely home is the Alliance's one chance to win the war. But to do that, Geary will have to live up to the impossibly heroic "Black Jack" legend.

    Justin says: "Kinda boring, mostly tedious, and frustrating"
    "Great Story with a Great Narrator..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I normally am not that interested in military scifi, but this book is an exception. Of the 20 or so scifi books that I have listened to from Audible so far, this has been the most entertaining (the second book in the series "Fearless", was also at the top of the list). It combines hard science fiction, with military strategy and characters that are very intriguing. I was amazed at just how much naval battle strategy changes when accounting for relativistic speeds. Probably the best narrated book I have listened to so far.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • City of Ruins: Diving Universe, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    Overall
    (204)
    Performance
    (157)
    Story
    (158)

    Boss, a loner, loved to dive derelict spacecraft adrift in the blackness of space...But one day, she found a ship that would change everything - an ancient Dignity Vessel - and aboard the ship, the mysterious and dangerous Stealth Tech. Now, years after discovering that first ship, Boss has put together a large company that finds Dignity Vessels and finds "loose" stealth technology. Following a hunch, Boss and her team come to investigate the city of Vaycehn, where 14 archeologists have died exploring the endless caves below the city.

    David says: "Disappointing...."
    "Disappointing...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to 20+ scifi books on Audible and this is only the second that I could not finish. I'm a big fan of Rusch's other works (particularly the Retrieval Artist series), but this book has been a disappointment . The main character is VERY irritating which is only made worse by the fact that most of the story is written in first person. The narrator actually does a good job of portraying the quirky antisocial characteristics of the protagonist (which in some ways is unfortunate).

    I do like the premise of "archaeology in space" and there is considerable potential for this to be a great series (assuming the protagonist is replaced). If you like this genre, check out Jack McDevitt's books as the concept is similar but the characters are more relatable.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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