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mark

abilene, TX, United States | Member Since 2011

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 137 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By A. J. Jacobs
    • Narrated By A. J. Jacobs
    Overall
    (424)
    Performance
    (361)
    Story
    (357)

    A. J. Jacobs tackles his most challenging experiment yet: a yearlong mission to radically improve every element of his body and mind - from his brain to his fingertips to his abs. First, he had to tackle a complicated web of diet and exercise advice, most which is nonsensical, unproven, and contradictory. Second, he had to consult a team of medical advisers. And finally, he had to subject himself, over the course of two years, to a grueling regimen of exercises and a range of diets and nutritional plans.

    Niall says: "A comic tries a little of everything"
    "Not what it claims to be"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from A. J. Jacobs and/or A. J. Jacobs?

    Won't read him again.


    What could A. J. Jacobs have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The book felt lazy. Rather than actually try to live out the various things that might make him "the healthiest man alive" as he claimed to want, he just ran around interviewing people with fringe ideas. In some cases, he tried stuff just to try it: had his teeth whitened BEFORE going home to do a simple Google search that convinced him it was an unhealthy thing to to. As he found things that he was convinced did work, he quickly abandoned them in favor of the next thing on the buffet. It's not a book about trying to be the healthiest man alive--it's a book about trying all the various things that might make you healthier, but with very little effort actually put into becoming more healthy. It's like trying to be healthier by watching the people at the gym or reading a nutrition book.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    First time I've ever gotten back on Audible and looked for a way to get a refund. Reminded me powerfully of Andy Rooney, who started each piece with "Did you ever wonder why..." and went on to ramble around about the topic for several minutes without ever actually saying anything.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    • Narrated By Joe Ochman
    Overall
    (732)
    Performance
    (617)
    Story
    (618)

    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.

    PHIL says: "Some good ideas, smart guy, not smart as HE thinks"
    "Broad generalizations and rants"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Antifragile better?

    The fundamental premise is flawed; he tries to propose a theory that explains numerous phenomena using a single model, which rarely works. The author spends the better part of the first hour skewering academics, economists, doctors, etc. While some of his complaints are legit, I didn't drop $15 to hear someone rant about this stuff.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Transfer of Power: Mitch Rapp Series

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
    Overall
    (2545)
    Performance
    (2108)
    Story
    (2115)

    On a busy Washington morning, the stately calm of the White House is shattered in a deadly terrorist attack on the executive mansion. The president is evacuated to an underground bunker, but not before nearly one hundred hostages are taken. Mitch Rapp, the CIA’s top counterterrorism operative, is sent in to take control of the crisis and determines that the president is not as safe as Washington’s power elite had thought....

    Michael says: "Great Story-Bad Narration"
    "Fast/slow/fast"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    "This audio book has been broken into parts to make the download faster...." But nothing could make the middle of this book any faster. From a good fast start it wallows through a sagging middle where the most minute details seem to be worth lines and lines of discussion. This book goes in my list of "2xers"---those books that you have to bump up to 2x speed in the middle to get to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By David Aaronovitch
    • Narrated By James Langton
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    Our age is obsessed by the idea of conspiracy. We see it everywhere - from Pearl Harbor to 9/11, from the assassination of Kennedy to the death of Diana. In this age of terrorism we live in, the role of conspiracy is a serious one - one that can fuel radical or fringe elements to violence. For award-winning journalist David Aaronovitch, there came a time when he started to see a pattern among these inflammatory theories.

    Ethan M. says: "Excellent, with a few minor flaws"
    "a bit stiff and history-ish"
    Overall

    While the cover shows Marilyn Monroe, JFK, and 9-11, the bulk of the book is devoted to historically important but generally dull conspiracy theories of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The first part of the book seems legit, as it tries to demonstrate that conspiracy theories have been around forever. But soon it bogs down in the long, drawn-out discussions of ones we've never heard of, while the well-known 20th century ones seem to get passing discussion.

    Good if you want history, not so good if you want the curiosity which is modern conspiracy theories. Perhaps the author is out to get us....... ;)

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Gregg Easterbrook
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    In The Progress Paradox, Gregg Easterbrook draws upon three decades of wide-ranging research and thinking to make the persuasive assertion that almost all aspects of Western life have vastly improved in the past century; and yet today, most men and women feel less happy than in previous generations. Why this is so and what we should do about it is the subject of this book.

    Eric says: "Don't let the extremists stop you."
    "Half great read, half political rant"
    Overall

    I rated this 3 stars---the first half was easily 5 stars, a well-researched and written analysis of happiness and what does/does not make it. Part 2 was worth 1 star, a seemingly endless retelling of all the woes of current American society and choices. Ironically some of the prescriptions do not even appear to make economic sense. While I do agree with some of the author's points, if I wanted a political discourse on economics I would have bought another book. Will listen to part 1 again; will delete part 2.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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