Moorabbin, Australia | Member Since 2006
This is a classic australian underdog story - warts and all.
Bryce Courtnay is probably Australia's greatest author. He is an immigrant and fittingly this story is full of characters both "5 generation aussies" and people who have adopted Australia as their own.
His story tells of Australia as it is in the 50s and 60s. The friction between people who follow different churches. The statement on how aboriginals are considered lower than human beings. Touching glimpses of Auschwitz survivors living in rural Australia. People impacted by various wars and impact on families.
In it all, Bryce's candor and ability to weave an engaging story shines through. The story is about the Moloney family who are the lowest of the low in a rural backwater and practically nobodies. They barely survive working as garbage collectors, the father's a drunk and a convict, the mum's a feisty overweight woman and the 4 kids are all from different fathers - yet the story is not predictable. Through their varied stories Bryce pulls together a mosaic of Australian people that is engaging, brilliant and satisfying.
This is a laudable effort to use a story to convey messages about business. There were some good business insights in there about business.
The problem I found though was that there were too few insights compared to the length of the book, and the story was so cliche - that the business authorship showed.
Eric Greitens yaks on. He's got a good story but an average editor. Great insights into war torn country as he tours them as an aid worker. Some drawn out insights from boxing in his college days. Great travel story about China. Fascinating interactions with war torn refugees.
But, Eric's voice grated a bit. He really should have gone for a narrator other than himself.
He also showed some insight into the bigger issues. To an extent though, it lacked the profoundness that the title suggested. Yes, there are reasons to go to war and Eric's got some - but these were written more plainly than I would have liked. I guess watching Zero Dark 30 gives you some convuluted notion of a high level perspective - and it reduced the impact of Eric's service period.
However, Eric does have a good cause post service, and it is worth applauding.
This is a an above average book, with fascinating insights into Japan's corporate culture. Worth having a listen - as it talks about Olympus's scandal or ie Japan's Enron as dubbed by the author.
But as reviewers externally have questioned - there were some questions that weren't clearly explored, if not answered (possibly due to legal issues), e.g. why Kikukawa et al, did a few things, and more insight into why Michael Woodford (MW) was scared about a threat to his life, but later on went back to Japan.
However, leaving those questions aside, its a unique insight into corporate Japan, particularly in the 2nd half of the book when the wheels start moving.
I guess, I'll have to be satisfied with the unsaid things that NW didn't say due to confidentiality, particularly around his aborted board challenge. In the end, it is the only known case and book about a real life whistleblower who was also the CEO/President of his company.
Let me say this first. The story is interesting and cool. The narrative is engaging.
But I didn't like it and I couldn't finish the novel. Sometimes, a novel can be good, without you liking it, and this is one of them for me. I guess, this is a fantasy novel - so some things are going to be unrealistic - hey, there's gods and kids with strange supernatural powers. But, for me, there is something basically inhuman in this entire narrative.
See, human beings are motivated by a number of motives - love, hate, anger, desire to succeed, desire for fame, power, etc. They all meld together to form us as human beings. These novels are focussed purely and purely on power and control. You know this is going to be a sole focus, when getting eating extra breakfast to be fit becomes a discussion about who has power. It's an interesting perspective to look at from a distance. Love and approval only came up in one scene where parents were involved. The characters otherwise were just focussed on power otherwise.
But somehow, it grated, and eventually it got too much and I gave up. But hey, if you think of books like pop corn and don't want to think about what they are saying, go ahead. But I warn, this book acts very pretentious and logical - but when you get right down to it, it's inhuman and disgusting in an indescribable way.
This is an excellent, smart, at times funny but extremely emotional book. You will need tissue box, I am afraid. Don’t let that dissuade you though. It’s worth it.
There is humor, intellectual stimulation, emotional over stimulation – it’s got it all. The author does tell you that the book is completely fictional, but it’s hard to believe that he could write it so realistically. Overall, a not to be missed book.
This is a great book and I highly recommend buying it. There’s some great knowledge to be had here.
David McRaney is a journalist with a psychology major and carefully dissects our mental quirks and explains how they lay us low. The book is extremely insightful in explaining these mental quirks, the why’s and the how’s. And, David is bloody good on providing a convincing argument.
I think some people might find the title “you are not so smart” confronting. However, the book does make you eat humble pie. The bad thing and the good thing are the same though – the author doesn’t offer detailed solutions for each of the quirks (he does offer some). He does leave it up to people to come up with more detailed strategies. I would have preferred a longer book with more aspects covered on how to deal with these specific issues. Still, this is a great introductory book and a must get. It is smart and has some dry humor. I enjoyed it so much, that I emailed all my friends with to get this book.
Don Hagen does an excellent narration of the book as well.
Dr Davis outlines a number of USA specific diet issues. He opens with aplomb, directness and gets right on to the issue. Wheat is plain bad, and not just “can be in circumstances” – he calls it to be bad, and explains why so. The book comes with a pdf with recipes on food alternatives to wheat – which I thought was great to have.
As a fit person, who maintains weight and nutrition – I am comfortable with eating wheat. However, for an average layman who doesn’t want to go the whole hog, or pay for quality education and monitoring, this is a good book. Clearly, the book is meant for people who eat processed wheat (I don’t eat processed wheat, at all, e.g. breads, etc.). Wheat is quite pervasive and the list that Dr Davis provides proves so.
The book has also motivates (albeit by fear) to get rid of wheat. However, in some minor criticism, Dr Davis at times labours on the same point over and over again. As other reviewers have stated, in the end, Dr Davis comes round to the key point – the big issue is carbs. You need to replace carbs with lean proteins while avoiding grease. I eat a fairly controlled amount of carbs and so should all people – as all processed foods, fast foods these days have enough carbs to give an elephant indigestion. If you are thinking, “Hey, I’ll replace bread with rice.” – well you’ve got another thing coming. Dr Davis advises in the end against rice based, potato based or tapioca based starches as well – i.e. all high carb alternatives.
Losing weight is more than a fad and needs careful dietary and exercise management. This book might help you with the first step but people need more help and support to get further.
As a book, it has its moments, which are great.
I haven't finished this book and may not do so.
This is just another standard procedural in my view. The author tried to put a dog in it to add variety, but its actually worse. You might listen to it because it has dogs. But for me, repeating the same chapter from a man's view and then the dog's view is lame.
Just like any of Harry Bosch procedural - the main character goes on to break all sorts of police procedures to get to the bottom and as usual gets into trouble. Except, it's boring and has no novelty. It appears as if all authors just seem to borrow from the same storyline:-
1. A cop who's "hurting" - divorce, dead kids, dead partner, dead goldfish, drugs, you name the "d" word.
2. An unsolvable case which the hurting cop solves by circumventing rules, breaking laws and deceiving other cops and innocent people.
3. Add a compliant but talented sidekick to solve issues which the "macho" or "dumb" cop cannot have handled in a fit of rage and stupidity. The sidekick in this case is a dog.
Don't bother - unless of course, you love any book with a dog in it.
Firstly, I liked this book.
This is an urban fantasy novel with a lot of action, and a lot of innocent people die - graphically. It's not a horror novel though and it maintains a level of blood splatter throughout - hence, it's more graphic action rather than horror (despite coming very close).
The book is about Ray Lilly who is an ex-crim working for a secret society ruthlessly trying to get rid of people abusing magic.
To that end, Ray and his boss Annalise travel to Hammer Bay to follow a trail. Both are magically endowed and have power granted by spells and tattoos. What follows is a trail of death and destruction which lasts from the start to the end of the book. .
The narration reminded of the Len Cariou (from Harry Bosch) series - not my favourite, but gave a gritty feel.
I wouldn't necessarily listen to it again though, given the gritty feel and the mass killings in the novel. A good thing is that you can finish this book and not listen to the rest of the series. I am 50/50 about listening to this book's sequel.
Great Book! Heavy and graphic in detail (in a good way), the book covers the rise of id software and its highly influential games Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake.
However, the story becomes much more about two people - John Romero and John D Carmack. David Kushner goes into a fascinating level of detail and realistic information or fictionalised narrative to give a sense of really being in the room with these guys.
He does end up clearing a lot of "conspiracy theories" and appears to give an honest account of the rise and then middling of id software.
The book lingers at times on dungeons and dragons too much as well as wolfenstein - but at no time I was bored listening to the book.
Highly entertaining, I would recommend this book to anyone - whether they are interested in computer games or not.
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