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Yicheng

Phoenix, AZ, USA

171
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 21 reviews
  • 21 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Mozart's Brain and the Fighter Pilot: Unleashing Your Brain's Potential

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Richard M. Restak
    • Narrated By Richard M. Restak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (477)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (45)

    In Mozart's Brain and the Fighter Pilot, eminent neuropsychiatrist and best-selling author Richard Restak, M.D., combines the latest research in neurology and psychology to show us how to get our brain up to speed for managing every aspect of our busy lives.

    Glenn E. Graham says: "Brain exercises for you"
    "Standard Self-help stuff"
    Overall

    Interesting material about the brain. The approach is a bit bland and unoriginal: "By following these excersizes, you too, can become a mental giant!". A lot of time is spent going over techniques on memorization, writing in a journal, and mental excersizes; pretty much stuff that's in any other "increase your IQ in 21 days!" book. The idea of the brain as a machine, to be optimized to the nth degree, is a bit outdated. Great if you're into that kind of thing, but personally I found nothing truly insightful.

    54 of 65 people found this review helpful
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    Overall
    (1782)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (187)

    Why did crime in New York drop so suddenly in the mid-90s? How does an unknown novelist end up a best-selling author? Why is teenage smoking out of control, when everyone knows smoking kills? What makes TV shows like Sesame Street so good at teaching kids how to read? Why did Paul Revere succeed with his famous warning?

    Zentaro says: "An interesting listen"
    "Provoking"
    Overall

    The idea of a social tipping point is definitely intriguing and Gladwell gives plenty of anecdotal examples. In a nutshell, social phenomena happen because of a complex inter-relationship between social innovators, mavens, and first adopters. It's basically the theory behind viral marketting, and "cool hunting", though the $1M question "What makes something (ex iPods) cool and others not?" remains unanswered beyond the elusive "because the mavens showed it to their friends". Beyond that, why do some crazes stay in a niched and loyal subculture (linux adoption) whlie others become mainstream? And taking into attempts like ilovebees and subservientchicken, I have to wonder if viral marketing even works, or if it's just another unmeasureable gimmick/fad in marketing and advertising.

    It's certainly an interesting theory, full of possibilities, but I suggest reading "Linked" by Alberto-Laszlo Barabasi for what I believe to be a broader look at not only social phenomenae but also the properties of highly connected networks as general model, and how networks apply to other phenomena like computer virii, AIDS epidemiology, power outtages, and computer security. Although I felt that Gladwell did a suitable job covering the subject, having just finished "Linked", the "The Tipping Point" felt like a weaker, more limited, reiteration of network theory.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the New Economy

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Pekka Himanen, Linus Torvalds, Manuel Castells
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (153)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    In the original meaning of the word, hackers are enthusiastic computer programmers who share their work with others; they are not computer criminals. This is the book that cracks the stigma of the hacker and articulates their invaluable role in the information age.

    Craig says: "Enjoyable Discussion"
    "What?!?"
    Overall

    Okay, I'm a little concerned about the other reviews this book's been given. They seemed to be from people that either didn't finish reading the book, don't understand the subject material, or just plain don't know what they're talking about.

    First, despite rampant media mislabelling, hacking is *not* breaking into computers, and this book won't talk about the ethics of computing exploits. There are a number of books and websites for that, and if you can't find them, you probably don't deserve to know about them.

    Second, this is a socio-economic look at a new working ethic, which I doubt any true tinkerer-geek "in the inside" would have had the perspective, time, or the interest to write about. Ethics equals values, not in the sense of whether something is a "good" or "bad" in the moral sense, but the values on which you build your life. Just as historians didn't have to have installed telephone wire in order to comment on the industrial revolution, I don't think the author had to have programmed in Alair BASIC to be able to make a social commentary.

    Third, this book isn't going to tell you how to have more free time if you're working 9-to-5, have 3 kids, and eat your meals in front of a TV. It's a shift in perspective and values. I'm not working to play, I'm playing while I work. I'm not trying to find free time in between my day job and leisure time: *All* of my time is free. I work at a game development company and I see the "hacker" culture all around me. Yes, we wear shorts & sandals, show up at 10am to work, and take breaks at work to have Quake III tourneys, but I dare anyone to walk in at 8pm during crunch time and call us a bunch of "slackers". But I guess such misunderstanding are to be expected when we're talking about a complete shift in social values.

    If you have a mind open enough for it, this is a fascinating read and worth the effort of digging in.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Seabiscuit: An American Legend

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    Overall
    (587)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (65)

    Laura Hillenbrand beautifully renders this breathtaking saga of one horse's journey from also-ran to national luminary. Seabiscuit: An American Legend is an inspiring tale of unlikely heroes, a classic story of three embattled individuals overcoming the odds in the Great Depression.

    Andrew says: "Abridged = Awful"
    "So-so"
    Overall

    I didn't think the book really lived up to the hype. It's a great all-american sports story, and a does a good job of transporting the reader to depression-era america. Probably because I'm not a huge sports or horse-racing fan, I found the subject a bit boring after a while. The plot seems a rehash of any of the Rocky movies: so-and-so champ overcomes untold adversity with guts and heart. In all the narration of the races, is there ever a doubt that the biscuit would pull through and win? Stil a good romp none the less.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Salt: A World History

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Mark Kurlansky
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (883)
    Performance
    (375)
    Story
    (379)

    So much of our human body is made up of salt that we'd be dead without it. The fine balance of nature, the trade of salt as a currency of many nations and empires, the theme of a popular Shakespearean play...Salt is best selling author Mark Kurlansky's story of the only rock we eat.

    Karen says: "More than SALT"
    "Everything you ever wanted to know..."
    Overall

    Who woulda thunk that salt had such an interesting history. Whole empires and economics lived and died by salt. Definitely a great book!!! Read it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fast Food Nation

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Eric Schlosser
    • Narrated By Rick Adamson
    Overall
    (1280)
    Performance
    (153)
    Story
    (152)

    To a degree both engrossing and alarming, the story of fast food is the story of postwar America. Fast Food Nation is a groundbreaking work of investigation and cultural history that may change the way America thinks about the way it eats.

    Bruce says: "Should be required reading for all"
    "Surprisingly good!"
    Overall

    It's definitely a behind the counter look at the clean & polished industry of fast food. There's even a great history overview of the start of the fast food franchise. I found it excellent with just the right mix of informative, intriguing, and entertaining. Just a warning, you may never want to step foot into McDonald's ever again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cryptonomicon (Unabridged Excerpts)

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (268)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (40)

    With this extraordinary first volume in what promises to be an epoch-making masterpiece, Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century.

    Nicholas says: "Unabridged or bust"
    "Awesome"
    Overall

    Awesome book. Loved Neil Stephenson, loved the book version. I found it very well narrated. Great stuff!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Linked: The New Science of Networks

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Albert-Laszlo Barabasi
    • Narrated By Henry Leyva
    Overall
    (846)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (113)

    Albert-Laszlo Barabasi traces the fascinating history of connected systems. Understanding the structure and behavior of networks will forever alter our world, allowing us to design the "perfect" business or stop a disease outbreak before it goes global.

    Alex says: "Network theory for beginners"
    "Great stuff"
    Overall

    This is a great book if you have a mind for math/logic. As a programmer I found great interest in the talk of highly connected networks as a new model of looking at the world. Wonderful listen, and definitely worth a second, third, or fourth time if are into the subject.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Life of Pi

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10311)
    Performance
    (5584)
    Story
    (5614)

    Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

    Theresa says: "Best audio of the year for me"
    "Wonderful Dream"
    Overall

    The story is fanciful but very very well written. The narration is engrossing, and the imagery transports the listener to a reality that (while ultimately dream-like) is rewarding and wonderful. Far from being anti-climactic, I feel that the ending leaves the story openly and asks the reader to make up his own mind regarding the story. Ultimately, I feel that it doesn't really matter which version of the story you believe, the important part that you're willing to put yourself in either perspective.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Time Traveler's Wife

    • ABRIDGED (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Audrey Niffenegger
    • Narrated By Maggi-Meg Reed, Christopher Burns
    Overall
    (2569)
    Performance
    (329)
    Story
    (344)

    Clare and Henry have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six. They were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry was thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future.

    Herve Bronnimann says: "My Favorite Audiobook so far"
    "Absolutely Gorgeous!!"
    Overall

    This is an absolutely gorgeous audio book. The writing is superb: great setup, suspenseful, masterful imagery, and a suprisingly good love story for a sci-fi. One note of warning: this isn't your typical Asimov-esque sci-fi book. Science and futurism only acts as part of the backdrop for the main story. If you're looking for well-thought out sci-fi techno-wizardry, like lases, spaceships, and aliens, this isn't the book or you. The voice acting is also faultless and spot-on.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Band of Brothers

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Stephen E. Ambrose
    • Narrated By Cotter Smith
    Overall
    (523)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (119)

    In the summer of 1942, a band of citizen soldiers were brought together by the desire to be better than the other guy. At its peak, Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army, was as good a rifle company as any in the world. From their rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 through Utah Beach, Market-Garden, the Bulge, and Hitler's Eagle's Nest, WWII historian Stephen Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company.

    A User says: "Band of Brothers"
    "Great Listen"
    Overall

    Wonderful to listen to. Makes me want to read the book and watch the HBO mini-series. Ambrose has a gift for bringing out the horror and humanity of war. Sometimes, the characters (i.e. who was who) were a bit hard to follow.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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