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John Lewis Needham

jlneedham

Heber, UT, USA | Member Since 2003

ratings
2
REVIEWS
2
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
7

  • The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Alain De Botton
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (7)

    We spend most of our waking lives at work - in occupations often chosen by our unthinking younger selves. And yet we rarely ask ourselves how we got there or what our occupations mean to us. Characteristically lucid, clever, and inventive, de Botton's "song for occupations" is a celebration and exploration of an aspect of life that is all too often ignored and a book that shines a revealing light on the essential meaning of work in our lives.

    John Lewis Needham says: "The private work life of a biscuit brand manager"
    "The private work life of a biscuit brand manager"
    Overall

    Now I know why I'm mostly bored by the celebrated personalities of film, music and art, much less TV culture, but am inexplicably fascinated by what's found in gargantuan container ships, the private work life of a biscuit brand manager, the origins of the pylons that stretch power lines across our urban and rural landscapes, and on down the list of obscure objects and professions that Alain de Botton contemplates in this essay collection. The reason I get bored -- and I imagine others -- is that celebrity culture sucks way more attention than it merits. As this writer-philosopher demonstrates, our civilization creates and transacts and consumes many splendid things that don't happen to make into a museum or get digitized for posterity, but they and the work required to bring them to life have consequences -- both corrupting our souls and giving life meaning. De Botton's style can be dense and his arguments spiral, but this book is studded with humorous accounts and consistently entertains.

    As a riposte to the preceding reviewer, I've also been listening to Audible audiobooks for 10 years and this is the first time that I remember giving five stars.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Partly Cloudy Patriot

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Sarah Vowell
    • Narrated By Sarah Vowell, Conan O'Brien, Seth Green, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1561)
    Performance
    (365)
    Story
    (365)

    Sarah Vowell travels through the American past and investigates the dusty, bumpy roads of her own life. Her essays confront a wide range of subjects, icons, and historical moments: Ike, Teddy Roosevelt, and Bill Clinton; Canadian Mounties and German Filmmakers; Tom Cruise and Buffy the Vampire Slayer; twins and nerds; the Gettysburg Address, the State of the Union, and George W. Bush's inauguration. The result is an engrossing audiobook, capturing Vowell's memorable wit and her keen social commentary.

    Erik says: "A great listen"
    "Politics as Entertainment"
    Overall

    If I were a news channel producer, faced with paying retired politicians and generals unmentionable sums to offer ostensibly credible commentary on this issue or that, I'd shoot the wad instead on Sarah Vowell. Whatever the aspect of American political or private life, she has just the story or angle to lend fresh insight--to leave one pondering the questions, rather than taking sides on the issue. Whether you're a CSPAN devote, or just looking for an original American wit, Vowell is politics as entertainment.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful

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