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  • How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Paul Tough
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The story we usually tell about childhood and success is the one about intelligence: Success comes to those who score highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs. But in How Children Succeed, Paul Tough argues for a very different understanding of what makes a successful child. Drawing on groundbreaking research in neuroscience, economics, and psychology, Tough shows that the qualities that matter most have less to do with IQ and more to do with character: skills like grit, curiosity, conscientiousness, and optimism.

    Gregory says: "Heavy on Anecdotes, light on data"
    "It Takes Grit To Finish This Audiobook!"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I was expecting more of a point by point guide to raising kids to have "grit" rather than an exhaustive explanation of the psychology behind the topic. I experienced it as very technical reading that would perhaps appeal more to people in the field of education or psychology rather than parents. It referred time and again to many of the people one always reads about when reading about the field of positive psychology. While interesting, the stories used as examples were related dryly and were too long.There was a lot of information and clearly a lot of research done here, but it didn't translate well and became laborious to push through. The chapters and sections were randomly defined and erratic in their sequencing which was disorienting in the context of an audiobook.

    Has How Children Succeed turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, but I will hesitate when thinking about picking up another book by this author.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator was sub-par. His affectations of the "voices" and accents of the people from the case studies were presumptive and cloying. He put on what he interpreted as the voice of people in certain socio-economic circumstances while I bet he never met any of the people referred to in the book in order to actually know how they does he know they spoke like that? The affectations were patronizing, and I imagine will offend some. At the very least they detract from the subject matter.

    Any additional comments?

    Was hoping for something more energetic and engaging, after hearing the TED talk by Ms. Duckworth, which was referenced many times in this book. Disappointed.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • This Is How You Lose Her

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Junot Díaz
    • Narrated By Junot Díaz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The stories in This Is How You Lose Her, by turns hilarious and devastating, raucous and tender, lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weaknesses of our all-too-human hearts. They capture the heat of new passion, the recklessness with which we betray what we most treasure, and the torture we go through - "the begging, the crawling over glass, the crying" - to try to mend what we've broken beyond repair. They recall the echoes that intimacy leaves behind, even where we thought we did not care.

    Roy Reiss says: "For narration leave the prose for the pros"
    "Not My Cup of Tea"
    Would you try another book from Junot Díaz and/or Junot Díaz?

    No, there are too many other books out there to read. I gave this a try because I have heard so much about this author but I just didn't respond to the material.

    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Christopher Isherwood's A Single Man.

    What three words best describe Junot Díaz’s voice?

    Gritty. Crass. Machismo.

    What character would you cut from This Is How You Lose Her?

    The first one, the Dominican man with the New Jersey girlfriend.

    Any additional comments?

    I think Diaz is trying to convey sharp voices and characters through the lens of their ethnic identities. While this can be engaging, if I want that I will just read David Foster Wallace, who does the same with more lilting and nuanced voices, a little less raunch and more overall beauty and heart in terms of the actual writing.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Do the Work

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 25 mins)
    • By Steven Pressfield
    • Narrated By Steven Pressfield

    Could you be getting in your way of producing great work? Have you started a project but never finished? Would you like to do work that matters, but don't know where to start?The answer is Do the Work, a manifesto by best-selling author Steven Pressfield, that will show you that it’s not about better ideas, it’s about actually doing the work. Do the Work is a weapon against Resistance - a tool that will help you take action and successfully ship projects out the door.

    Sara says: "Powerhouse of Motivation"
    "An Outstanding Little Book on Art & Fear"
    What made the experience of listening to Do the Work the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed the author's no-nonsense tone as well as the fact that he narrated it himself. It was a short, concise listen which was energizing, motivating and humorous too.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Do the Work?

    The discussion around the concept of "shipping" -- meaning getting the finished product off one's "desk" and out into the world.

    Did Steven Pressfield do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    There were not many characters in the book, while a few external people were referenced, Mr. Pressfield's book was more of a how-to written from his perspective.

    What insight do you think you’ll apply from Do the Work?

    Many of the tenets of his philosophy are indelible and I have already passed them on to friends and find myself referring to them often. This book is like having an artistic cheerleader / coach in your pocket, kicking you to push you toward success and fearlessness.

    Any additional comments?

    A must for anyone taking an idea from scratch to fruition and success.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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