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Whit B

SAINT PAUL, MN, United States | Member Since 2011

  • 3 reviews
  • 30 ratings
  • 291 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2015

  • Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Russell Shorto
    • Narrated By Russell Shorto
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this effortlessly erudite account, Russell Shorto traces the idiosyncratic evolution of Amsterdam, showing how such disparate elements as herring anatomy, naked Anabaptists parading through the streets, and an intimate gathering in a 16th-century wine-tasting room had a profound effect on Dutch - and world - history. Weaving in his own experiences of his adopted home, Shorto provides an ever-surprising, intellectually engaging story of Amsterdam from its golden age to the present.

    Andy says: "your are not in Kansas anymore"
    "Worth Reading - Highly Recommended"
    Any additional comments?

    This book is a fascinating history of Amsterdam and its origins as well as its impact on the world.
    The book was very well structured - there was a fluid and ordered chronological progression from its inception to current day, but it was built on specific and more concise anecdotal clips.
    It covered:
    - The formation of Amsterdam, and its origins as a religious pilgrimage site
    - Its role in the India Trading Companies
    - The first ever stock market
    - Its role as the first colonizers of New York
    - Its prominent artists such as Rembrandt & Van Gogh
    - Its involvement in World War II - Anne Frank's place of birth
    - And of course, first place to legalize gay marriage, prostitution, marijuana etc.

    Overall it did a very good job of highlighting Amsterdam's pioneering of progressive ideas including religious/cultural/racial tolerance, separation of church and state, liberalism (as opposed to a monarchy), and its open minded environment that fostered the development of these concepts.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 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

    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.

    Brett says: "Self help for the real world"
    "Very Insightful - Fresh Perspective"
    Any additional comments?

    I am about 2 / 3 of the way through the book right now, and have enjoyed every minute of it. It delivers on what I would have expected based on the description and the title.
    The book's content is well thought out and supported with evidence, and at the same time it is presented in a pleasant narrative fashion with a series of real-life examples to illustrate his theories.
    The main message I have gotten from the book is NOT that you should throw positive thinking out the window. Rather he investigates possible explanations to the fact that although America may have the most self-help/power-of-positive-thinking books per capita, that does not necessarily result as us being the happiest country.
    Primarily it provides alternative philosophies to consider that I interpreted as ways of stopping to enjoy happiness in the moment, rather than always chasing happiness in a perpetual future moment.
    If you are in an open-minded mood and considering it as a refreshing alternative perspective to mix in with other books you have read about happiness philosophies, I would recommend it.
    If you are in a state of mind in which all of the power of positive thinking models have been working flawlessly for you, and have no reason insert any doubts in your mind about it, then maybe it's not for you.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Tao of Pooh

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Benjamin Hoff
    • Narrated By Simon Vance

    Author Benjamin Hoff shows that the philosophy of Winnie-the-Pooh is amazingly consistent with the principles of Taoism and demonstrates how you can use these principles in your daily life. Is there such thing as a Western Taoist? Benjamin Hoff says there is, and this Taoist's favorite food is honey.

    Gavin says: "Simply Pooh"
    "Quick, Easy Listen"
    What made the experience of listening to The Tao of Pooh the most enjoyable?

    The reader was very good with all of the voices of the characters

    Any additional comments?

    The book goes by quickly. I was done with it in about a week. Very insightful, but entertaining to listen to at the same time. The messages are conveyed well with little stories along the way using the characters from the Pooh books. I would absolutely reccomend it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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