You no longer follow Knitting Maniac

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.


You now follow Knitting Maniac

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.


Knitting Maniac

Member Since 2010

  • 3 reviews
  • 3 ratings
  • 277 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2015

  • Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Thomas Sowell
    • Narrated By Brian Emerson

    Basic Economics has been written with the thought that learning economics should be not only a relaxed experience but also an enjoyable one.

    Knitting Maniac says: "Insufferable narrator, clear and interesting book"
    "Insufferable narrator, clear and interesting book"

    I recently started a Master's program in public policy and have become interested in economics. In class, I felt like I was learning the details without understanding the big picture, and I wanted to get more background information about the main schools of economic thought. When I read the reviews for this book, it seemed like conservatives loved it and liberals hated it. I tried finding a book that had more balanced appeal and couldn't find one, so I decided to listen to this one to get a better understanding of the economic orthodoxy and then to listen to Ha-Joon Chang's "23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism" to get the opposing view.

    As for this book, first of all, the narrator is insufferable. He comes off as a pompous know-it-all. He never stopped irritating me, and it is a long book. However, what he was narrating was interesting, so I gritted my teeth and kept going.

    Thomas Sowell has managed to write a very clear and easy to understand book about economics. He is very convincing on some topics. He thoroughly convinced me, for example, that rent control is a bad idea. Also, I work for a nonprofit, and his analysis of the incentives in the nonprofit sector made me chuckle: they sounded very familiar.

    At the same time, his analysis occasionally struck me as oversimplified and biased. The following are a few examples:

    * He makes the claim that economists have concluded that FDR's policies needlessly prolonged the Great Depression but then doesn't back it up at all. I was actually quite curious to hear the reasoning behind this conclusion, but it was never given.

    * He notes that financial markets raised the price of Brazilian debt after the leftwing Luis Inacio Lula da Silva was elected president, implying that a leftist presidency was bound to be an economic disaster (the book was published in 2004). In fact, Lula presided over huge growth, and Brazil has since become a major player in the world economy.

    * He argues that private companies run utilities better than the public sector and gives the example of Argentina as a place where private provision of water was a great success. He does not mention Bolivia, where a private consortium took over water provision, hugely jacked up prices, and caused a widespread public revolt known as "the water war."

    * He blames the California electricity crisis on the policies of state government without mentioning Enron's manipulation of the energy market.

    * He calls into question whether "dumping" can be proved to exist. He cites some examples where it is hard to prove (if I remember correctly, all were in the context of developing nations dumping products on first world markets), but he does not mention the sale of subsidized American agricultural products in Latin American markets, which is widely viewed as dumping. He rails against agricultural subsidies in other parts of the book, so it seems hard to deny that these products are sold below cost.

    Overall, I thought it was a very interesting and well-written book that provides a good primer of mainstream economic thought. It was written before the 2008 crisis, so I'm curious whether any of his thinking has changed since then. At the same time, I'm glad I'm also reading Ha-Joon Chang's book because this one seems oversimplified: examples that don't support his overall thesis are glossed over or ignored.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Elizabeth George Speare
    • Narrated By Mary Beth Hurt

    Orphaned Kit Tyler knows, as she gazes for the first time at the cold, bleak shores of Connecticut Colony, that her new home will never be like the shimmering Caribbean islands she left behind. In her relatives' stern Puritan community, she feels like a tropical bird that has flown to the wrong part of the world, a bird that is now caged and lonely.

    E. Dickson says: "Listen with a friend or relative!!"
    "Disappointing narration"

    I've loved this book since I was a kid and have read it approximately a zillion times. Whenever I'm stressed, I reread it. I named my son after Nathaniel Eaton. You get the idea. Unfortunately, I had a lot of trouble getting over my disappointment with the performance. The narrator was lackluster in general and just plain awful for the male characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bloomsday Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Michael Forsythe is contacted by his former lover, Bridget, a New York Irish Mob boss, whose fiancé he killed. Bridget, calling from Dublin, says that her 11-year-old daughter has been kidnapped. Michael's choice is to fly to Dublin and help her find the girl, or be executed at the hands of Bridget's goons, who are holding him at gunpoint. He agrees to nothing, but is soon on the way to Dublin, leaving the first two of many dead bodies in his wake.

    Johnnie Walker says: "SIX STARS ******"

    I was drawn into this series by the first book and its charming, if reluctantly deadly, protagonist. These books are way more violent then anything I normally read, and I swear the hair on my eyebrows stood on end for parts of the first book. The second book was more gruesome than engaging, but Michael Forsythe still pulled me along. I really only bought the third installment because I have a secret crush on Gerard Doyle, who has that fantastic voice and is presumably not a cold blooded killer. Oh aye. And that's pretty much the only reason to get this one.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.


Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.