I just loved this book. I get so tired of hearing people say how bad things have gotten, and how much more violent we are than our wonderful peaceful ancestors. Pinker puts the lie to that idea and backs up his personal observations with extensive documentation. I appreciate that Pinker is trying to make a point here and may have omitted some evidence that didn't back up his claims, so I'd like to read a detailed refutation of his central tenet. The only objection I have to this book is that it is, in my opinion, somewhat longer than it needed to be, as he makes some points over and over again.
Tana French is rapidly becoming my favorite writer of mystery thrillers. Quite possibly in my top 10 favorite writers in any genre. I loved In the Woods and Faithful Place and liked The Likeness very much. I would hardly have thought it possible, but this novel beats her others hands down, both as a whodunit and as an interesting set of psychological character studies. Not only is the novel itself wonderful, but Stephen Hogan's narration is the best in the series too. He does a wonderful job differentiating social classes by varying the Irish dialects they speak. All in all it is one of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to.
Another really interesting book by Dan Ariely. One of the things I like about his books, including this one, is that he goes into great detail explaining how the experiments backing up his claims were conducted; thus allowing the reader/listener some basis for evaluating those claims.
I also really enjoy Simon Jones' posh British accent.
As usual with a King book, you can't put it down once you start. I've read the entire Dark Tower series and this is probably the weakest of the bunch. However, I always enjoy interesting plot devices and this has one of the most unusual King has ever used. I don't think it spoils anything to point it out, but if you want, you can skip to the next paragraph........The book actually tells three stories one inside of another inside of another.
I've gotten used to him, but I really don't care much for King as a narrator, especially since for many of his books he gets some of the best in the business. He has a flat voice and some mildly annoying speech mannerisms (e.g. he swallows his "L's").
Believe me, I am NOT and Apple Fanboi, but I really liked this book. As with his biography of Einstein, Isaacson does a good job of mixing his subject's work with his personal life. The narration is very good, though not outstanding.
I happen to agree with the politics of this book, but if you didn't, you wouldn't find this book very edifying. Short on facts. Long on opinion. This is an author narrated book, and though he does a better job than I would, it is definitely NOT professionally narrated.
I have long been fascinated by Joseph Stalin. However, of the leaders of WWII, he is probably the most mysterious, and for this reason, maybe the most interesting. The book does an excellent job of setting out the facts of Stalin's life. The author does not do a lot of "psychologizing" but manages to paint a picture of an evil person with a very evil personality, quite possibly a true psychopath. He does an excellent job of showing what such a person can do when he has total control of a large country.
The narrator has some odd speech mannerisms, that at first I found irritating, but fairly early into the book, I grew to like. He did an excellent job of differentiating speakers when reading dialogs and I particularly liked the way he imitated Winston Churchill when reading his quotes.
Dr. Kaplan does an excellent job of communicating his passion for this subject. You can tell he just loves talking about parasites. Though he is obviously trying to write a book to make the reader smile and even laugh, he doesn't skimp on hard information. If I were forced to find one shortcoming in the book it would be the author's emphasis on the "ick factor" inherent in the subject, and the only reason I object to that is that as a biology geek my own "ick factor" tolerance is extremely high, so his attempts to entertain by the "gross out" often falls flat for me. However I realize that many of his readers, particularly young ones, this would be a plus. The narrator also does a great job of communicating the author's enthusiasm.
There aren't too many books that I listen to more than once, but this is one of them. I believe I've listened to it three times. Unlike the other excellent book on this subject in my Audible library, Without Conscience by Robert Hare, Dr. Stout illustrates her subject primarily through case histories. And what absolutely fascinating cases they are. Unlike Dr. Hare's book which deals primarily with convicted criminals, this book, as the title indicates, shows us sociopaths in ordinary life, people we may actually know as classmates, co-workers, neighbors, or perhaps even as family members. One of the really interesting things Dr. Stout talks about in this book is an entirely new (for me) class of sociopath, the sociopathic leach. The person who simply attaches him/herself to another person and uses his/her personal charm to parasitise his/her host. I liked everything about this audiobook. The reader is excellent.
I have long been fascinated with the subject of psychopathy, and this book covers the subject well. Dr. Hare obviously knows his subject well, and is able to communicate his knowledge to a lay audience.
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