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Matt

Parkdale, Australia | Member Since 2004

167
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 27 reviews
  • 38 ratings
  • 203 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
15

  • The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2390)
    Performance
    (1998)
    Story
    (1971)

    Based on Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal's wildly popular course The Science of Willpower, The Willpower Instinct is the first book to explain the new science of self-control and how it can be harnessed to improve our health, happiness, and productivity. Informed by the latest research and combining cutting-edge insights from psychology, economics, neuroscience, and medicine, The Willpower Instinct explains exactly what willpower is, how it works, and why it matters.

    Niv says: "life changing one of the best I read"
    "Outstandingly Helpful - Very Easy to Listen to"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Willpower Instinct rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've read so many self help books, but this is different. It has a certain lucidity and humility to it. Every one of the recommended techniques is backed up by easy to understand, legitimate scientific findings.It's very easy to listen to. It's written for the lay person with an interest in science. It's well read and very accessible. I listened to the second chapter whilst having root canal treatment and hardly missed a word.I've now bought the hard copy too, just so I can dip into it and refresh my memory when needed.I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in any aspect of self improvement.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Most of all I like the new insights into myself that she has given me.It helps me understand the willpower traps I've fallen into throughout my life and given me simple, practical strategies for overcoming them. I've learned all kinds of new, useful and interesting stuff about the way my mind works. She covers a lot of stuff that I've never heard in any other self help book before.Another thing I really like about this book the tone - this writer does not come from the classic high pressure, ra ra "high fives and hype" sales background from which most coaches come . On researching her afterwards, I found out that Willpower is just one of the classes she teaches. First and foremost she's a devoted and highly qualified teacher in the field of health and wellbeing.This book does what most coaches and the writers of most self help books don't seem to understand - it starts from a position that most of us struggle to maintain enthusiasm for longer term goals. It explains what's actually going on when our willpower wanes—that positive thinking alone is not enough. It explains why certain types of positive thinking can actually be harmful.


    What does Walter Dixon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Good voice modulation, pitch, pace and pausing. He kept me listening.I didn't pay much attention to the name of the author when I bought it. Somehow, when you hear the voice of a man reading, you think it's been written by a man. It gave the learning more about the author afterwards experience a certain wow factor.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, absolutely. I zipped through it. Now I am listening to it again and have bought the hard copy.


    Any additional comments?

    I was surprised at how young the author is. I have no doubt that she will become a household name in years to come. She is really good at what she does and clearly a very dedicated and humble person. Check out her one hour author's presentation video given to Google staff after you've read the book. Google doesn't invite just any old author to talk to its staff. This is a mark of real distinction. It's a great summary. It's on youtube.

    54 of 57 people found this review helpful
  • Sterling Point Books: Lawrence of Arabia

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Alistair Maclean
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (15)

    Best-selling author and screenwriter Alistair MacLean follows Lawrence as he breaks with tradition to live with Arabs and, using modern-day guerrilla tactics, helps them defeat the Turks and gain an independent state. In addition to the enthralling details of the campaign, MacLean provides valuable insight into the origins of the Middle East we know today.

    Darwin8u says: "An adventurous hagiography, you know, for kids!"
    "A Fast Paced Look at the Man & His Exploits"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Alistair MacLean was a best selling writer of wartime advernture thrillers and that's basically what he's done here. It's a short action adventure filled with plenty of accurate historical details, with all the key events well dramatised. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    I wanted to start with something quick and simple to get an outline of Lawrence and this turned out to be exactly that.

    I'm currently listening to Lawrence's own book, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and thankful for having started with this.

    Even though Seven Pillars of Wisdom has some wonderful aspects, it lacks a narrative thread that's easy to follow, or much of the kind of character examination books normally rely on to keep readers interested . As such it's hard to keep up with what's happening without leaning on external references such as those provided here. I'm glad to have picked up a good deal of the story from this book before listening to Lawrence's own words.

    Some of the other reviews of this title make a point of stressing that the book was written for kids. That may be so, but don't let that put you off. It's short, uncomplicated, omitting the politics and some gory details, but it's not dumbed down, or childish.

    Alistair MacLean's books used to be very popular with young teenage boys when I was growing up, in part because he has a simple, direct writing style. This book is not so different in style from his adult books.

    The reading is solid and professional.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By David Meerman Scott
    • Narrated By David Meerman Scott, Sean Pratt
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    The benchmark guide to marketing and PR, updated with the latest social media and marketing trends, tools, and real-world examples of success The New Rules of Marketing & PR, 4th Edition is the pioneering guide to the future of marketing, an international best seller with more than 300,000 copies sold in over 25 languages. It offers a step-by-step action plan for harnessing the power of modern marketing and PR to communicate with buyers directly, raise visibility, and increase sales.

    Amazon Customer says: "This is such a great book I'm giving up a Secret"
    "Would buy again with different reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I knew this book was worth reading before I got it. And as far as I managed to get with it I can say it was worth listening to. But two weeks later, I still can't bear to go back to it...

    I don't know if it's just me but I simply can't abide the style and voice of the narrator, Sean Pratt. I know he does a lot of books (i've bought a few now), and in many way's he is a very professional reader, so I doubt I will be causing his career irreparable damage in writing this.

    In any case, people can judge for themselves from the sample whether they'll be able to put up with it or not. I know I've read harsh reviews of narrators only to think they're great - so do have a listen - don't just take my word for it.

    Speaking for myself I've not been able to finish one business book that he's read.

    For me the issue is that he's an actor who seems to feel that he has to read the book in an authoritative tone as if he wrote it. It's so obviously a "performance". Although the writer is a great authority on the subject, you just know he he didn't mean to write it in a preachy, bossy-girl tone - but that's how it sounds to me. It's inappropriate for the content - it's sounds like it's been made up by someone with no experience in explaining stuff to people and persuading them in real life. The reader over acts, animating his voice with far too much of a tone that you just know the writer would not have used if he were reading it himself. In short, the style sounds fake - and in turn, for me at least - that severely detracts from the content. The author sounded absolutely fine reading the intro. I don't know why he used someone else.

    I'm all in favour of lots of expression and voice modulation - it's necessary to bring a book alive, but I just cannot get past this particular style. I will not buy another book that's read by him, no matter how highly the recommendations.

    I know people tend to read their own reviews - so Sean if you read this, sorry to be so harsh. I honestly don't think I'd have a problem if you were doing fiction - but for business books I don't think you've got the right style yet, however many you've done. Tone it down a bit. Look for different ways to put expression into it. You're not reading a modern novel. Business people express themselves differently because they're used to giving advice and instructions to clients and staff without offending them. If you wan't realistic have a listen to Joe Pulizzi who's read his own book on a similar subject, or Daniel Pink, or Seth Godin (hard to immitate). They're all fine with sounding as though they're reading their material rather than giving a performance. They're presenting rather than performing. You can't sound like the author.

    End of rant :)


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Internet Business Shortcuts: Make Decent Money Online Without Taking Years to Get There

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 22 mins)
    • By Buck Flogging
    • Narrated By Matt Stone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Everyone wants to make some money online, and making enough to be able to throw your alarm clock off of a tall building without remorse is the new American dream. But there's a problem that most don't want to face - it can take an eternity. And no one wants to quit their job and travel the world five to ten years from now. You want to do it by no later than yesterday!

    Matt says: "Epic, Excellent & Awesome Work of Genius"
    "Epic, Excellent & Awesome Work of Genius"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a tad, but that's my way of showing appreciation for great little audio book with some valuable tips from a very likeable and genuine author.

    For someone who's interested in internet marketing I can honestly say this is the best couple of bucks I've spent. In fact I've wasted hundreds of dollars on books from big ass, fancy shmancy authors when this was really what I was looking for.

    For a serious business book with great content it has a fun, easy to absorb, engaging style, which is laugh out loud funny at times.

    You can't go wrong with this one. Do yourself a favour and get the kindle and the audio.

    Compliments to the narrator too. Perfect tone for the material - sounds like he's actually the author. Probably is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Europe and Western Civilization in the Modern Age

    • ORIGINAL (23 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Thomas Childers
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Only three lifetimes ago, Europe was a farming society ruled by families of monarchs. But with two seismic tremors - capitalism and democracy - Europe's economic and royal foundations were shattered forever and modern European history began.In this series of 48 fascinating lectures, Professor Childers makes the history of Europe from the 1750s to the present - events both horrible and magnificent - as immediate as today's headlines, employing the historian's craft and a storyteller's skill to find the causes of what otherwise could seem to be the march of folly.

    Quaker says: "Oh my, where do I begin? A fantastic listen."
    "Gripping Whistlestop Tour of 200 Years' History"
    Overall
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    I was amazed at how much Prof Childers managed to get into this course whilst maintaining his exciting, virtuosic, easy to absorb pace. It's tremendous value for money.

    I like to listen when I'm doing other stuff, cooking, gym housework, shopping, falling asleep etc - so the material needs to have a strong narrative and a good measure of drama and voice modulation to keep me engaged. This fully lived up to my needs.

    A good lecture delivered to a live audience has a certain compelling energy that's hard to replicate in even the best book reading. This lecture set is a really good example of that kind of energy. I honestly don't recall a boring moment. The quality of his story telling and his involvement with the characters kept me glued to my headset.

    Every 30 minute lecture covers an important aspect of the period. It's all carefully distilled so that you get the essentials without getting lost in detail.

    I came away with an much better understanding of modern politics and how things came to be as they are: Napoleon, Liberalism, Capitalism, Nationalism, Anti Semitism, the conflict between Germany and the allied powers - he fits everything together, piece by piece ending in a magnificent climax soon after the end of WW2.

    This is a first class educational work in every respect. Thoroughly entertaining, too. My only gripe is that Audible does not seem to offer the lecture notes that were published by the original publishers.

    Strongly Recommended. I've listened to quite a few of the Great Courses History series now and this is my favorite so far.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Nicholas Nickleby

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (449)
    Performance
    (213)
    Story
    (217)

    The most gorgeously theatrical of all Dickens's novels, Nicholas Nickleby follows the delightful adventures of a hearty young hero in 19th-century England. Nicholas, a gentleman's son fallen upon hard times, must set out to make his way in the world. His journey is accompanied by some of the most swaggering scoundrels and unforgettable eccentrics in Dickens's pantheon.

    Robert says: "A knockout!"
    "Outstanding Entertainment - Great Story & Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Both the book and the narration are outstanding. The narrator is a one man theatre company, absolutely brilliant. The book itself is a mesmerizing tapestry of gripping and satisfying stories from start to finish. It's riotously funny too - I found myself roaring with laughter over and over again throughout.

    Of course I've seen film and TV dramatisations of Dickens' works before, but I'd struggled with actually reading his books and put them down quite quickly. After this I am a convert.30+ hours of the real thing is so much better than the screen.

    I never realised how much modern British comedy and drama is influenced by him. You can recognise his style in most of the comedy greats of the last 40 years.

    Despite his often flowery Victorian language, his insights into human behavior are spot on. For some reason I find it amazing that people were much the same, and played the same little games 175 years ago as they do today.

    Definitely one of the best audio books I've ever bought and I've been a member of Audible for nearly 10 years now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (71)

    A gripping history of banking and the booms and busts that shaped the world on both sides of the Atlantic, The House of Morgan traces the trajectory of the J. P.Morgan empire from its obscure beginnings in Victorian London to the crash of 1987. Ron Chernow paints a fascinating portrait of the private saga of the Morgans and the rarefied world of the American and British elite in which they moved. Based on extensive interviews and access to the family and business archives, The House of Morgan is an investigative masterpiece.

    Courtney says: "Starts out strong but then fractures"
    "A brilliant book for history or finance buffs"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A genuine masterpiece. Beautifully written and read.

    You might think a book about banking would be dry and boring - not this one! I found it gripping..

    The Morgan dynasty's monopoly of large scale finance on both sides of the Atlantic spanned several generations. They were bankers to all the major world powers and key industrialists in the first half of the century.

    The author does a magnificent job of bringing the characters and all the high dramas to life. It's also a superb chronicle of modern history. Listening to their exploits gave me insights and perspective on history and economics that would be hard to find elsewhere.

    If you don't know anything about finance you may struggle with some of the details about financial instruments, but you'll still get a good sense of the big picture.

    Regardless of your politics or what you think about bankers, if you're at all interested in history or finance this is definitely one to get.

    Ten out of ten!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The History of Money

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jack Weatherford
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (267)
    Performance
    (159)
    Story
    (161)

    From primitive man's cowrie shells to the electronic cash card, from the markets of Timbuktu to the New York Stock Exchange, The History of Money explores how money and the myriad forms of exchange have affected humanity, and how they will continue to shape all aspects of our lives--economic, political, and personal.

    PHIL says: "Wide, deep, thoughtful, colorful"
    "Excellent Explanaition of Money—Very Easy Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Couldn't put it down. It's a fascinating history of mankind and man's power struggles from the viewpoint of money and modes of trade. It gives an excellent insight into what money really is.

    I'm a fairly avid consumer of history books. After reading it, I'd say any study of history is incomplete without a perspective like this.

    It's written by an anthropologist and the content seems quite scholarly. Yet, as an anthropologist the writer is an outsider to the world of economics and so uses everyday terms that are easy for a layman to understand. There were only a few points in the book where I found it difficult to follow

    I worked in the financial markets for years but have never come across an overview like this: I finished the book with a vastly improved understanding of the true nature of money and how inflation occurs. It's an excellent little book.

    It is quite old - published in 1997, so could probably do with some updates. It predates the Euro and the General Financial Crisis which stemmed from the misuse of derivatives. These were big events on the money time line. For all that, the writer does have pretty clear forward vision - he was spot on in anticipating new electronic and non-state regulated currencies such as BitCoin

    My only complaint was with the reader. He's clearly a professional so he was OK I guess, but I found his tone rather affected in parts. Especially towards the beginning.it often sounded as though he's providing commentary on a budget US real life murder mystery TV program. Every now and again he also reads a quote from an English person with an affected English accent. Why he didn't do the Roman, Greek, French , German and other foreign characters in their native accents I don't know. His style just seemed a bit inappropriate for this sort of book. It was definitely distracting at times. Either he dropped it as the book went on or I got used to it. Either way, I'd forgiven him by chapter 15.

    That little niggle aside, there's no getting away from the quality of the book. It's easy enough to listen to that could I drive, or cook wit it or it on sleep and nod off in 15 minutes ( I always rewind the next day). But it's also rich with content and perspective that you will struggle to find anywhere else without reading 10 volumes.

    If you're interested in history or economics and want something light, insightful, informative and entertaining, I'd strongly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (271)
    Performance
    (239)
    Story
    (243)

    Titan is the first full-length biography based on unrestricted access to Rockefeller’s exceptionally rich trove of papers. A landmark publication full of startling revelations, the book indelibly alters our image of this most enigmatic capitalist. Born the son of a flamboyant, bigamous snake-oil salesman and a pious, straitlaced mother, Rockefeller rose from rustic origins to become the world’s richest man by creating America’s most powerful and feared monopoly, Standard Oil. Branded "the Octopus" by legions of muckrakers, the trust refined and marketed nearly 90 percent of the oil produced in America.

    Rick says: "He makes Bill Gates look like a Pauper!"
    "A Great Listen - Fascinating and Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Found it hard to put this down. It's beautifully written and read. A very easy listen too.

    The author tells a great story but is at pains to include important historical details. It's very detailed but well paced. I like the way the chapters are organised into different sections of Rockefeller's life.

    Even though this was written in the 1990s the narrative style has a certain late 19th / early 20th century flavour to it. The reader's style works well with the words, he manages to evoke the age, steeping the listening experience in atmosphere.

    I'd imagine years of painstaking research have gone into creating this book.

    Last week I knew very little about Rockefeller. Now I know a lot about the man, his beginnings, how he built his fortune, his saintly, human, crooked and cunning sides, his mind boggling philanthropy and more besides.

    We humans love to paint others as either one thing or the other, good or bad, saintly or evil. This is a great study how someone can have so many contrasting and contradictory sides to their character. I would have loved to have met Rockefeller, especially in his old age. He was an astoundingly, fine, cunning, complex and brilliant character.

    On balance I'd say the book is quite sympathetic to Rockefeller, but that's not surprising. He was vilified from afar, but close up had a way of winning people over. The book does devote plenty of space to his misdeeds however, and lays responsibility firmly at his door for these.

    Loved it!

    I want to listen to more audio books like this.

    Strongly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • On Writing

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (42)

    In June of 1999, Stephen King was hit by a van while walking along the shoulder of a country road in Maine. Six operations were required to save his life and mend his broken body. When he was finally able to sit up, he immediately started writing. This book - part biography, part a collection of tips for the aspiring writer - is the extraordinary result.

    Karen says: "Part 'How to' part Autobiographical"
    "Not a fan of his genre but this is wonderful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Horror and suspense have never been my thing. I only know Stephen King's work through books that have been turned into movies.

    After reading this, I'm thinking perhaps I'll try one of his stories.

    I bought this book because it seems to be universally recommended by writers I respect.

    Glad I did as I loved it from start to finish.

    The first part, where he tells his early life story is hilarious, intimate and interesting. You get to understand why he writes what he writes. I was also left thinking I'd love to have this guy as a friend.

    He narrates beautifully. As such, I'm glad I got the Audible version first rather than the hard copy or Kindle.

    I found what he has to say about his craft humble, helpful and inspiring. He's at pains to dispel some of the common "thou shallts" of writing fiction, such as plotting out in advance and creating character dossiers in advance.

    I won't spoil it for you by summarising the rest. All I want to say is, if you write, whatever you write, you will find this useful and uplifting. You'll also be entertained.

    I'll most likely buy a hard copy or Kindle version too as there's lots of useful stuff I'd like to refer back to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Classical Mythology

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Elizabeth Vandiver
    Overall
    (515)
    Performance
    (456)
    Story
    (450)

    These 24 lectures are a vibrant introduction to the primary characters and most important stories of classical Greek and Roman mythology. Among those you'll investigate are the accounts of the creation of the world in Hesiod's Theogony and Ovid's Metamorphoses; the gods Zeus, Apollo, Demeter, Persephone, Hermes, Dionysos, and Aphrodite; the Greek heroes, Theseus and Heracles (Hercules in the Roman version); and the most famous of all classical myths, the Trojan War.

    Matt says: "Very Informative and Entertaining"
    "Very Informative and Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Before I make any criticism, I want to say that for me, this was a "Couldn't put it down" audio book. To me this is an example of audio books at their best. I strongly recommended it. I found it entertaining, easy listening, informative and well presented.

    The speaker's delivery was at just the right pace for me and with plenty of colour. I like to listen while doing other things such as exercising and cooking and driving. That means the delivery needs to be good to hold my attention and she hit the spot for me.

    I knew a bit about classical mythology before I started, but I knew a lot more by the time I finished. Great perspective and overview.

    My only criticism is that I would have liked the stories and characters she covered to have been presented as such, rather than descriptions and discussions of the stories. Obviously these are academic style lectures, but I think a few complete stories mixed in would have added to the work. I would love to hear an expanded version where these lectures serve as a companion to properly narrated stories themselves. That would be awesome.

    One very important thing to add - she stimulated an appetite in me to learn more. I bought several other works in the same series after this. (Not all were as good as this). In retrospect, I think this is one of the most valuable things about it.



    43 of 43 people found this review helpful

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