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Jennifer G. Toomey

jinefizzh

Washington, DC | Member Since 2011

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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  • Pity the Billionaire: The Unexpected Resurgence of the American Right

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Thomas Frank
    • Narrated By Thomas Frank
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (87)

    From the best-selling author of What's the Matter with Kansas?, a wonderfully insightful and sardonic look at how the worst economy since the 1930s has brought about the revival of conservatism. Economic catastrophe usually brings social protest and demands for change - or at least it's supposed to. But when Thomas Frank set out in 2009 to look for expressions of American discontent, all he could find were loud demands that the economic system be made even harsher on the recession's victims....

    EC says: "another outstanding book by Thomas Frank"
    "Another important book from Frank"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Pity the Billionaire the most enjoyable?

    The chapter on Ayn Rand was worth the cost of admission.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The book has important insights about how the public has allowed wealth distribution to get so out of whack while doing nothing substantive in order to protect the public.


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

    It's great to hear the author read the book when the author has the charisma that TF has.No one sneers at hyporcrisy so well.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    As with all TF books I found myself simultaneously laughing out loud and wanting to wash my eyeballs.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Gabor Maté
    • Narrated By Daniel Maté
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (206)
    Performance
    (169)
    Story
    (167)

    Best-selling writer and physician Gabor Maté looks at the epidemic of addictions in our society, tells us why we are so prone to them, and details what is needed to liberate ourselves. Starting with a close view of his drug-addicted patients, Dr. Maté looks at his own history of compulsive behavior, weaving a story of real people who struggle with addiction with the latest research on addiction and the brain. In a bold synthesis of clinical experience, insight and cutting edge scientific findings, Dr. Maté sheds light on this most puzzling of human frailties.

    Lynn says: "Don't Overlook this Book Read It Now"
    "Strong work against criminilizing addiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This was a very human, very sad story about the origins and the outcomes of addictive behavior told through the first person perspectives of Gabor Mate's drug addicted clients and through his own personal experience with workaholism and shopaholism. Arguments are backed up with experience, scientific research and a thoughtful narrative which makes a very strong case against the benefits to society of criminalizing the behavior of addicts.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts?

    The section on the psychological and physical origins of addiction was harrowing but also tremendously logical and compelling. I will never again think of these destructive behaviors simply through the lens of choice.


    What aspect of Daniel Maté’s performance would you have changed?

    It was slightly weird to have the son reading the father's confession. While I was sympathetic to Gabor's personal challenges and to his addiction's origin story, there were very real consequences to his family that were an outgrowth of those addictions and it felt strange to hear the voice of the son reading that section...it was too clean, too much of an absolution.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Hearing the first person stories is hands down the best way to understand why drug policy should change from punitive to therapeutic. Gabor backs everything up with science which makes for strong arguments but does make it a bit of slog in some of the more technical chapters. Over all it could have been a smidge shorter but I enjoyed almost every section of the book and have recommended it to many friends. There are few among us who have not been touched by the pain of addiction to food, work, substance, whether the pain is experienced personally or though our connections to friends and lovers. This book is a great companion in approaching these very difficult questions and very tough experiences with hope, pragmatism, and respect for human weakness and human strength.


    Any additional comments?

    Really appreciated that his critique rose beyond the personal to the structural and gave strong arguments for the damage that punitive drug policies inflict on communities already decimated by violence, poverty and powerlessness. His focus on first people's experience was particularly haunting.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (947)
    Performance
    (356)
    Story
    (354)

    At the end of her best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian-born man of Australian citizenship who'd been living in Indonesia when they met. Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal fidelity to each other, but also swore to never, ever, under any circumstances get legally married. But providence intervened one day in the form of the United States government....

    Nancy says: "Perfect timing"
    "A little neurotic in that EG way but thoughtul."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Committed rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    A very nice book to listen to.


    Would you recommend Committed to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would recommend it to folks who are also thinking of getting married.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There is a moment in the book where Elizabeth details to her betrothed all of her neurotic faults and failings. He accepts her. If you can do the same thing and get over her fraught tone and neurotic over-thinking then you will also love this thoughtful book about the benefits and liabilities of conventional and unconventional marriage.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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