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Rowdy L Vinson

Member Since 2010

  • 4 reviews
  • 51 ratings
  • 284 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015

  • Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    • Narrated By Joe Ochman

    In The Black Swan Taleb outlined a problem, and in Antifragile he offers a definitive solution: how to gain from disorder and chaos while being protected from fragilities and adverse events. For what Taleb calls the "antifragile" is actually beyond the robust, because it benefits from shocks, uncertainty, and stressors, just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension. The antifragile needs disorder in order to survive and flourish. Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner.

    Liz says: "big fan but what is up with the bleeps?"
    "Uninteresting perspectives from a sensationalist"

    Taleb has a bone to pick. Apparently, it's with air conditioners, insurance companies, dietitians, economists, and academics (a group in which he, himself, must be included). He thinks that all of these people/things keep us from suffering enough to be strong. Save yourself the time and pick up anything by Gladwell, it'll be a better read with much less hateful navel-gazing.

    15 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Steven Pinker
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey

    We’ve all had the experience of reading about a bloody war or shocking crime and asking, “What is the world coming to?” But we seldom ask, “How bad was the world in the past?” In this startling new book, the best-selling cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shows that the world of the past was much worse. In fact, we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species’ existence.

    Teddy says: "Excellent Book All Over"
    "Long, but worth it"

    Pinker's take on the reduction of violence, backed up with a good statistical backing, is heartening. Understanding the history of violence lets us better interpret the new we receive about the world around us.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Naked Lunch: The Restored Text

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By William S. Burroughs
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall

    Naked Lunch is one of the most important novels of the 20th century, a book that redefined not just literature but American culture. An unnerving tale of a narcotics addict unmoored in New York, Tangiers, and, ultimately, a nightmarish wasteland known as Interzone.

    Chris says: "Delightful rendition"
    "Didn't bother finishing it..."

    So, there really isn't a plot, the language is beautiful (in a grotesque way), the characters bounce around enough as to make them impossible to follow, and the imagery will make your hair stand on end. I read it for Banned Books week, got to the end of the first file and decided I'd had enough.

    Nothing particularly appealing about the book. It gives glimpses into the life of an addict, but never enough to really get a good feel for what the heck is going on.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris, Dylan Baker, Elaine Stritch, and others

    Featuring David Sedaris's unique blend of hilarity and heart, this new collection of keen-eyed animal-themed tales is an utter delight. Though the characters may not be human, the situations in these stories bear an uncanny resemblance to the insanity of everyday life.

    Windy says: "Very Dark"

    Sedaris has written far better books than this. His humor came across, but was blunted and made silly by the odd anthropomorphic characters. The lack of depth in the characters was also a problem for me. Overall, it's not a terrible book, but compared to his previous work, this was a dud to me.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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