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Barry

Burnsville, MN, United States | Member Since 2008

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 41 ratings
  • 534 titles in library
  • 91 purchased in 2014
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  • Steve Jobs

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (11983)
    Performance
    (10379)
    Story
    (10356)

    Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

    Jeanne says: "Interesting man"
    "very interesting story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Steve Jobs is not a nice guy. But he's fascinating! This is a well written and well read account. I consider it a business book as well as a bio because there really is much we can learn, both about what to do, and what not to do, in tech business. Some have said they didn't like the narration but I did. My only issue is that some of the stories are a bit repetitive, primarily because Jobs approached everything he did the same way. It's long, but a good read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10604)
    Performance
    (10090)
    Story
    (10107)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Absolutely Amazing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is nothing negative to say about this book. It's compelling, funny and geeky right from the beginning. I can't even imagine how much research the author had to do to speak intelligently about the science. And the narrator nailed it.
    The ending is in question the whole time. And even to the last sentence I wasn't sure if something would change.
    The ingenuity and inventiveness the characters showed really made it a "page turner".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Antonio Mendez, Matt Baglio
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (345)
    Performance
    (310)
    Story
    (312)

    On November 4, 1979, Iranian militants stormed the American embassy in Tehran and captured dozens of American hostages, sparking a 444-day ordeal and a quake in global politics still reverberating today. But there's a little-known footnote to the crisis: six Americans escaped. And a midlevel agent named Antonio Mendez devised an ingenious yet incredibly risky plan to rescue them. Armed with foreign film visas, Mendez and an unlikely team of CIA agents and Hollywood insiders traveled to Tehran....

    Minta says: "I listened to this twice in a row!"
    "Liked the movie better."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an interesting read, but a rare case where the movie is much better than the book. There was some interesting background but not enough focus on the core of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Fleet: Dauntless

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, Jack Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5053)
    Performance
    (3541)
    Story
    (3575)

    Captain John "Black Jack" Geary's legendary exploits are known to every schoolchild. Revered for his heroic "last stand" in the early days of the war, he was presumed dead. But a century later, Geary miraculously returns from survival hibernation and reluctantly takes command of the Alliance fleet as it faces annihilation by the Syndics.

    Appalled by the hero-worship around him, Geary is nevertheless a man who will do his duty. And he knows that bringing the stolen Syndic hypernet key safely home is the Alliance's one chance to win the war. But to do that, Geary will have to live up to the impossibly heroic "Black Jack" legend.

    crazybatcow says: "Perfect example of decent military sci-fi"
    "engaging battles and interesting characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We're thrown right into the action as the hero is revived after a 100 year hibernation and full command structure of the fleet is murdered (no spoiler there... it all happens in the 1st chapter!). Among the things I liked about this book were the character development and the details of the battle tactics. I've downloaded the rest of the series and look forward to more adventures.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Divergent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18865)
    Performance
    (17056)
    Story
    (17201)

    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    Grant says: "It's not for me. Loved it anyway."
    "More than a Hunger Games knock-off"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are many similarities to the Hunger Games, but this story really stands on it's own. I was drawn into the story very quickly. There was great narration. I'm definitely looking forward to the 3rd installment and the future movie(s).

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hobbit

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9838)
    Performance
    (8832)
    Story
    (8996)

    Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all.

    Darwin8u says: "Victory after all, I suppose!"
    "timeless story with a great reading performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Even more fun then when I read it over 30 years ago, and when I re-read it for my kids 15 years ago. I grabbed this one on sale and wanted to re-read the story before seeing the 1st movie (which I still haven't done). Very good performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18440)
    Performance
    (8584)
    Story
    (8626)

    Lisbeth Salander—the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels—lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority.

    B.J. says: "Perfect."
    "Amazing series - I'm sad it's over"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had actually put off reading the last book of this trilogy simply because I didn't want it to end. These are very intense books with violence and intrigue. The book seems to start a bit quicker than the 1st 2, but that might be the familiarity with the characters and circumstances. As always, there are twists along the way. I definitely recommend these books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best... and Learn from the Worst

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Robert I. Sutton
    • Narrated By Bob Walter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (59)

    Stanford Professor Robert Sutton weaves together the best psychological and management research with compelling stories and cases to reveal the mindset and moves of the best (and worst) bosses. This book was inspired by the deluge of emails, research, phone calls, and conversations that Dr. Sutton experienced after publishing his blockbuster best seller The No Asshole Rule. He realized that most of these stories and studies swirled around a central figure in every workplace: THE BOSS.

    Clint says: "Most pragmatic management handbook"
    "Seemed kind of angry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It concerns me that people as described in the book exist. I've had little contact with these types over my career. Overall, the book had a very angry tone which made it harder to take seriously and absorb the material. It certainly outlines plenty of behavior "not to do", but I would hope few people would have gone that route anyway. But, then again, some must or the book wouldn't have been written!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • How We Decide

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Jonah Lehrer
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    Overall
    (1741)
    Performance
    (512)
    Story
    (510)

    Jonah Lehrer arms us with the tools we need to figure out how we decide, drawing on cutting-edge research by Daniel Kahneman, Colin Camerer, and others, as well as the real-world experiences of a wide range of "deciders" - from airplane pilots and hedge fund investors to serial killers and poker players. Lehrer shows how people are taking advantage of the new science to make better television shows, win more football games, and improve military intelligence.

    Sarah says: "Summarizes information from several superior books"
    "Interesting ideas, but nothing new"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a good book with some interesting ideas, but I feel like I've heard most of these before. So I was hoping for new, actionable, knowledge and did not get that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snow Crash

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5695)
    Performance
    (2992)
    Story
    (3051)

    Neal Stephenson is a blazing new force on the sci-fi scene. With the groundbreaking cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, he has "vaulted onto the literary stage." It weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility - in short, it is the gigathriller of the information age.

    A. Tuck says: "Classic Stephenson"
    "Good, but not quite to expectations"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a good book, but it didn't live up to the reviews I had heard. I found it a bit slow at first. In the end, there are some interesting ideas to ponder, but I had hoped for better.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Bill Clinton
    • Narrated By Bill Clinton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (498)
    Performance
    (426)
    Story
    (424)

    President Bill Clinton gives us his views on the challenges facing the United States today and why government matters—presenting his ideas on restoring economic growth, energy, job creation, financial responsibility, resolving the mortgage crisis, and financial responsibility, and offering a plan to get us "back in the future business".

    Christine A. Haimann says: "Great and it all makes sense"
    "Well done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some very compelling ideas are introduced. The information is greatly enhanced by President Clinton's voice and delivery. Some may find some of the ideas partisan, and some definitely are, but there is much to think about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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