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drgardner

Leesburg, VA, United States | Member Since 2003

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 107 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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28

  • The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Oliver Burkeman
    • Narrated By Oliver Burkeman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (221)
    Performance
    (196)
    Story
    (195)

    The Antidote is a series of journeys among people who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life. What they have in common is a hunch about human psychology: that it’s our constant effort to eliminate the negative that causes us to feel so anxious, insecure, and unhappy. And that there is an alternative "negative path" to happiness and success that involves embracing the things we spend our lives trying to avoid.

    Whitney says: "Very Insightful - Fresh Perspective"
    "Finally - A Self-Help Book That Actually Helps"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Oliver Burkeman delivers the rarest of commodities -- a self-help book that actually helps you feel better about life. Beginning with an examination of stoicism and aspects of buddhism, Burkeman proceeds to deliver often contrarian information and advice about how to deal with the inevitable setbacks and challenges life presents. Unlike most such books, which are filled with simplistic, wishful thinking, he provides practical and pragmatic advice, backed with anecdotes and solid research data.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    • Narrated By Joe Ochman
    Overall
    (566)
    Performance
    (485)
    Story
    (485)

    In The Black Swan Taleb outlined a problem, and in Antifragile he offers a definitive solution: how to gain from disorder and chaos while being protected from fragilities and adverse events. For what Taleb calls the "antifragile" is actually beyond the robust, because it benefits from shocks, uncertainty, and stressors, just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension. The antifragile needs disorder in order to survive and flourish. Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner.

    PHIL says: "Some good ideas, smart guy, not smart as HE thinks"
    "Tiresome, Angry, and Obvious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm willing to allow the possibility that some life-altering truth might be contained in Mr. Taleb's latest. But I'll never get to it -- at 50 minutes in, I'm throwing in the towel. In a book such as this, within an hour one might hope for some concrete discussion of the author's thesis. What we get here is little more than a screed, a polemic against academics, most of business, government -- actually, pretty much everybody except for Mr. Taleb. We're forced to endure a never-ending stream of straw man arguments and ad hominem attacks, delivered with a ceaseless contempt that is wearying -- and a bit disturbing. On this point, Mr. Ochman shines -- the author's contempt and anger are unflinchingly delivered.

    The thesis that emerges -- to the extent it is allowed to -- seems to be that complex systems behave in unpredictable ways, and that efforts to micromanage said systems will inevitably, over time, produce massive failures. Conversely, left to their own devices, unfettered by the hands of bureaucrats, such dynamic systems will prove successful. Oh, and fragile things tend to be, well, fragile.

    Or something.

    Who do I see about getting my credit back?

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Bourne Legacy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Eric Van Lustbader
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (993)
    Performance
    (309)
    Story
    (313)

    In Robert Ludlum's ground-breaking career, no other character so captured the world's imagination as Jason Bourne. He appeared in three of Robert Ludlum's own best-selling novels, his best-selling works to this day. Now, with the major motion picture adaptation of Ludlum's The Bourne Supremacy, the Ludlum estate has finally acceded to the demands of readers around the world, turning to best-selling writer Eric Van Lustbader to create a brand new Jason Bourne novel, The Bourne Legacy.

    Linda says: "It sure reads like a Ludlum book!"
    "On The Whole, A Disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Scott Brick turns in a strong performance with his narration, working well with the limited material he is provided. The story itself leaves a lot to be desired - many events strain the limits of credulity, even for Jason Bourne. Not to give the ending away, but the situation the DCI finds himself in at the ending of the book seem to have come from his own fevered dreams. Perhaps the conclusion is meant as some sort of ham-fisted commentary on politics and the ability to effectively CYA. Unsatisfying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1968: The Year That Rocked the World

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Mark Kurlansky
    • Narrated By Christopher Cazenove
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (101)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (30)

    In this monumental new book, award-winning author Mark Kurlansky has written his most ambitious work to date: a singular and ultimately definitive look at a pivotal moment in history.

    phineas says: "Great book, terrible reader"
    "Interesting, But Flawed"
    Overall

    Kurlansky offers a detailed history of a truly pivotal period in American - and World - history with 1968. Many of the events we see today, especially political, (Judicial fillibusters, anyone?) can be traced back to this chaotic period. Unfortunately, the book is - for me, at least - somewhat difficult to follow. Much of the blame must be placed with the narrator. As others have noted, phrasings and pronounciations are often unusual, inconsistent, or just plain wrong. In addition, the reader's voice tends toward an odd - and to my ears - unpleasant articulation that becomes grating. But I also wonder about the structure of the book - in general, events are transcribed chronologically, and we end up hearing about individuals at many different points in time. Perhaps a more thematic approach would have produced an easier to follow presentation.

    Bottom Line: You'll learn a lot - but you'll have to work at it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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