Wow! what other all-encompassing word can be used to describe George S. Clason's masterpiece, The Richest Man in Babylon. It touches upon every aspect of personal finance in a series of loosely related, riveting tales.
The book's fresh perspective drives home themes from overcoming debt to the wisdom of saving to the path to freedom from the "rat race" and more. The setting in ancient Babylon, in addition to providing romantic flavor and literary style, removes the work from the modern age and Western Civilization, rendering its principles both timeless and universal.
A small critique of grammar: the use of antiquated second person forms (you, thee, ye, and their variants) is inconsistent and incorrect. The powerful content and excellent narration, however, more than compensate for this linguistic flaw.
Talk about falling for a gimmick, hook, line and sinker... Stephen Covey gave a "heart felt" speech for "Aspire" in a promo video which was sent to me by USAirways Dividend Miles program.
I was herded into making a purchase.
Aspire has a totally manufactured feel, and is far too pretentious, from the introduction, to around the middle of the book, where I simply gave up.
I want my money back!
Richard Koch's 80/20 Principle inspires the listener to cut out the meaningless waste of time, energy and activity in their life.
The narration, however, suffers from a rather irritating little problem. Narrator Richard Aspel's rendering of straight text is quite good. Unfortunately, Aspel makes caricatures of the numerous quotations that pepper the book, to the point of distraction, especially after the first listen, when one endeavors to study the material in depth.
Audible currently offers 4 versions of Hermann Hesse's, "Siddhartha". I'd like to help you with your selection.
Derek Jacobi brilliantly breathes life into the current edition. The reading is stellar, making this by far the recommended choice. Caveat: this version is abridged.
As for the unabridged versions:
Fidrous Bamji: If you must choose an unabridged version, this is the best of the lot. The narration is pleasing to the ear, but simply lacks the magic of Jacobi's rendition.
James Langton: TOO FAST. Langton literally speed narrates the story, leaving you with a throbbing headache by the time he's done.
Harish Bhimani: Bhimani sounds too self-indulgent, seems to be in love with his own voice. Pronunciation and inflection are questionable. The translation sounds flat, dead, worn.
This is the first and only book I have ever read by Stephen King. I'm not a fan of the horror-thriller genre of fiction, but I have always been aware of both King's fame... and his great talent as a writer.
In "On Writing," King's literary greatness shines through, for readers of all persuasions and preferences. It reads like a story, a novel in which the protagonist overcomes life's challenges, whilst intimately confiding the secrets of his success to the reader. The author's narration makes the message ever more intimate.
The "Afterword", in which King relates his near fatal accident, reads like a Stephen King short story, stunning in detachment, detail, humor, along with a touch of horror. Through it, we discover that life is about meaningful activity, and love. It's clear that King's compass has always pointed to his deep love for writing, and his deep love for his wife.
Glenn Harrold has a great voice, but unfortunately, the content is entirely flawed. Instead of a pleasant, positive, powerful drift off into the promised relaxing sleep every night, Mr. Harrold quickly launches into a conceptual discourse on the conscious and unconscious mind. Easy to ignore on the first listen, but a sleep-inhibiting mental snare after that.
My advice to Mr. Harrold: Keep working on it! Go back to the drawing board, get rid of the conceptual content and psychological discourse and put us sleepers on the road to positive sleep... every night!
If you come from a lower or middle class background, the principles of dream and goal definition; overcoming fear; elimination of time wasting habits; small business set up and organization; and freedom from wage slavery were probably not part of your education.
Fret no more; The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss provides simplified yet detailed steps that will take you from the bonds of the cubicle dwelling wage slave or workaholic entrepreneur, to time and space freedom: the ability to live where and when you want to while systematically and responsibly assuring you meet or exceed your material and safety needs.
I've been living as a modern nomad most of my adult life, from Latin America to Europe to Asia, but never managed to get a solid financial footing... and I am an Economist by profession. Intense study of Mr. Ferriss' work has saved me from the throes of workaholism, and made me realize the need and method to completely restructure my small business to provide adequate positive cashflow and growth.
Ray Porter more than captures the entrepreneurial spirit of the work in his enthusiastic rendering.
Bravo for yet another superlative Audio presentation from Audible! The Alchemist may be Paulo Coelho's best work, and Jeremy Irons' exquisite voice rendering is no less than impeccable. Throw away your paperback version and download this treasure now!
I normally prefer the complete, unabridged version of most Audiobooks, for maximum reading pleasure. In "The Secret," however, I found the unabridged audio version contrary to the themes and purpose of the book: There's too much negativity. Interviewed experts rant ad nauseum, with far too many examples of how our negativity affects us.
I watched the abridged DVD several months after discarding the present audiobook. The 90-minute DVD format was both tight and focused. The downside of negativity was appropriately presented, without being "dragged out" at the reader's and the book's emotional expense.
This is one of my top ten books of all time for lifelong contemplation.
Key themes of Proactivity; Setting and following priorities; Re-scripting according to principles; Win-Win; Listening to understand others; Synergy; and Renewal are fundamental, timeless and universal.
Dr. Covey's approach is unequalled in breadth and depth, while being entirely accessible to any human being. Everything he writes complements everything I've learned in life, while laboring to uproot any weeds that have grown in my internal garden. Having Dr. Covey read the material to me personally... it's the icing on the cake!
I read "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" when it first appeared decades ago; read it a second time five years later; and now, thanks to Audible, I've begun a profound study and contemplation of the material, that would have otherwise been too tedious to handle, given my other time commitments, as well as the fact that, since my work is about 90% in front of the computer, my eyes tire quickly before printed material in my non-work time.
I organize my listening in two ways: listening in the logical, step by step, chapter by chapter method on the one hand, imagining myself attending a 7 Habits seminar or class; and listening for hours at a time as I lie down to rest/relax/sleep on the other. The result is I end up hearing the material over and over, provoking thoughts and contemplations about where I am in life, where I want to go, and what I need to do to get there. I expect the process to last about six months. My goal from the reading: A complete paradigm re-adjustment for life.
This book has my highest recommendation for any person anywhere.
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