Goodwin has done an incredible job of bringing together a ton of information about the personalities and actions of key "players" in the Lincoln administration (including Lincoln himself). It corrected many misconceptions I had about the history and personalities that I had had about that time. Her writing definitely gets you "up close and personal" with these important historical figures. I finished the book with a much greater appreciation for Lincoln and how important he was in keeping the U.S. together during this time. His unselfish approach to saving the Union was more than the country could have hoped for at this point in history. Plus, he would have been a great guy to have at almost any party.
Even though the story focused considerably on the "team," I still enjoyed hearing about Lincoln's upbringing, his road to the White House, and his treatment of his cabinet, his generals, and others.
She may not have provided much emotion in the reading, but she did a very good job of keeping the story going at a brisk pace.
There were probably many, but it's hard not to be moved by the "end" that's coming for Lincoln.
This is the way to learn history.
Stiglitz presents an overwhelming (and sometimes excessive) case to describe the development of inequality in the US (and elsewhere). There is so much information that it is somewhat tiresome (or at least daunting) at times. He's probably a bit extreme in painting "corporations" or "bankers" as bad guys since sometimes the stockholders of those corporations are many, many "common" folk that either believe in the company and/or rely on the dividends paid by the company. So, not everything is done for the "fat cats" at the top -- some decisions are made because the vast proportion of stockholders "demand" it.
The description of the building inequality over decades.
Stiglitz paints such a dire picture that it's hard to see his suggestions being remotely implemented given the state of political discourse nowadays. Maybe he could have described some reasonable or possible smaller bites at the apple that might at least start us moving in the right direction (or slowing down our momentum of making things worse).
David McCullough writes and reads a good story. There's a tremendous amount of information in the book and much of it at the personal level. There was actually more information on the British perspective and events than I would have expected.
Exposure to a variety of perspectives
The siege on Boston beginning in early 1776
The Hunger Games trilogy certainly was popular, but I found the first book (and the others as I heard recounted by my wife) to just be a weird story with many totally unbelievable events. Plus, the writing was often overly simplistic and inexplicable -- like having Katniss' thoughts and reactions range from mature and well considered to entirely immature and capricious. Sure, she's a teenager and teenagers have wide ranging modes and emotions, but hers (and others) just didn't seem remotely realistic. Sometimes, it just seemed like Katniss' swings in emotions and thoughts were just a way to prolong the story. Much of Collins' writing just seemed like a way to, well, prolong her writing.
Some of Collins' ideas were just too far out to exist in anything but a fairy land or a dream state. Those little parachutes carrying life-saving items that landed in just the right spot at just the right time -- give me a break. Couldn't she have come up with some slightly more realistic way to deliver these little items?
On the plus side, others have said that Carolyn McCormick's performance was bad, but I found it to be OK. She may have overdone some voices, but overall, I thought she was easy to listen to and she provided reasonable emotion into the story.
Yes, mostly just to see how the movie reflects the writing
It's amazing what becomes popular or how "out of the loop" I am with what's popular these days.
I enjoyed Steve Martin's description of his "road" to developing his brand of comedy, but I thought he still didn't provide all that much personal information (albeit the good description of his trouble with his father). I would have preferred to hear more discussion of his interest in music and the people he worked with, but this book was clearly focused on his stand-up career.
It was interesting to learn about how he developed his brand of comedy, but this was a bit difficult to follow at times. After all, his comedy might be one that needs to be seen more so than just heard.
I've heard him live a couple times, and those were very enjoyable and entertaining.
I didn't mind spreading this out over a while.
It seemed short. Maybe that is because I wanted to hear something about his music interests and career, and that wasn't there.
This book was one of the more enjoyable, light listens I've experienced. Bill Bryson is a good writer and his narration is very entertaining and personal. There are numerous humorous parts as well as some good information/statistics about the Park Service, the Appalachian Trail, small towns, bear attacks, etc.
I enjoyed Bill and Stephen's "restart" on the Trail. They seemed to have forgotten their earlier challenges, and just as they were picturing themselves as experienced "mountain men," they discovered otherwise.
I thought Bill did a good job of voicing his own words and those of his partner, Stephen.
An out-of-shape writer tackles the Appalachian Trail, tests his own physical limits, and the limits of close, continual contact with fellow hikers.
Hated to see it end. Would liked to have heard more introspection.
I enjoyed the many myths in the book -- very entertaining. Dawkins uses very good illustrations of distances or time when discussing very small or very large "things." He totally dismisses other ways of viewing reality (through consciousness and thought), so his book is good as a scientific discourse but it may miss the "big picture" (which, granted, is very unknowable with any certainty -- or with any scientific proof). I wish he would have at least tried to delve a bit into this way of looking at reality.
It's such a novel concept to have the dog narrate the entire story. There were more words about racing and racers than I would have expected, but I suppose that was necessary to describe the focus and perception the dog and owner shared. Some aspects took a little too long to develop or resolve for me -- such as the legal case, but that didn't detract too much from the flow of the book. I liked the "life lessons" that came through the book, and I probably wouldn't have minded more -- especially when they're delivered by the dog. I have recommended the book to many others. Probably those with dogs (now or previously) will find it easier to imagine the story-telling by the dog in this case.
As in the "The Big Short," Michael Lewis tells a somewhat technical story through stories about individuals and organizations and, in this case, societies. I enjoyed the combination of the story and Dylan Baker's "can you believe this" type of delivery. Somehow the mostly bad and even depressing news/information is presented in a way that's pretty enjoyable. There are certainly some oversimplifications and broad generalizations based on his personal experiences, but it's a good level of information to add to other information that someone may run across in understanding what's happening to the world's economic and financial system. I would highly recommend the book.
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