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Cynthia

Ardent Audible listener with a long commute!

Monrovia, California, United States | Member Since 2012

3331
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 145 reviews
  • 145 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
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  • Objects of My Affection

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Jill Smolinski
    • Narrated By Xe Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (306)
    Performance
    (266)
    Story
    (268)

    In the humorous, heartfelt new novel by the author of The Next Thing on My List, a personal organizer must somehow convince a reclusive artist to give up her hoarding ways and let go of the stuff she’s hung onto for decades.

    Kadgee says: "Hoarders a refreshing view!"
    "Things are NOT People . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a surprising listen for me, since I usually listen to non-fiction. Audible sent one of those e-mails recommending some hidden gems, and this was one of them - so I selected it (along with a book on economics, and one on forensic anthropology). It looked like a pleasant diversion for the long drive I had during the week.

    I expected a bit of chick-lit fluff, and I was surprised to find a thoughtful book with fresh dialogue. It's an unlikely premise - a hoarder and an organizer - but the relationship works, and so does the book. Listening was like listening to a good friend over coffee. Jill Smolinski's characters are real, flawed, unpredictable, graceful and inept, sometimes at the same time.

    I will look for Smolinski's other books.

    Xe Sands, the narrator, was sprightly at times, and despairing at others. I've listened to the Fifty Shades trilogy, and I can't help but wish Sands had narrated those as well.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Seth Mnookin
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (75)

    The Panic Virus is a gripping scientific detective story about how grassroots radicals, snake-oil salesmen, and cynical journalists have perpetrated the biggest health-scare hoax of all time. It explores what happens when the media treats all viewpoints as equally valid, regardless of facts, from parents who are convinced that vaccines caused their children's autism to right-wing radicals who believe that climate change is a myth

    Rachel Dewald says: "Incredible thorough journey"
    "Post hoc ergo propter hoc"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The day after I finished Seth Mnookin's "The Panic Virus" (2011) I heard Paul Krugman's March 30, 2014 New York Times Op-Ed "Jobs and Skills and Zombies." Referring to the 'skills gap', Krugman says, "It’s a prime example of a zombie idea — an idea that should have been killed by evidence, but refuses to die." Mnookin makes the same point about the idea that vaccines cause autism: that theory's long ago disproven, and anti-vaccine/autism activists should let it pass peacefully.

    That isn't to say that vaccines are either entirely safe, or entirely effective. They are neither, and no one should fault actress/activist Jenny McCarthy for demanding an investigation, especially with the recent substantial increase in autism diagnoses. Mnookin discusses some spectacular public health failures, including a MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine campaign in the United Kingdom that killed 19 children in a small community. The vaccine, stored without preservatives at the time, was contaminated with staphylococcus. There have been polio vaccine campaigns that have given people polio, and still do - although it's usually a very mild case. Mnookin's point is that, after careful study, autism isn't a complication - even of the preservative thimerosol. And, by the way - thimerosol hasn't been used in vaccines in the United States for more than a dozen years.

    [Reviewer's commentary: Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011, using (in part) intelligence provided by Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi administering CIA-funded Hepatitis-B vaccines in Abbatobad. The program was dramatized as a polio vaccine program in Kathryn Bigelow's 2012 movie "Zero Dark Thirty." According to a March 27, 2014 Huffington Post article, at least 30 polio health workers have been killed in Pakistan since then. That makes the odds of being killed while administering the polio vaccine substantially higher than the odds of having an adverse reaction to the polio vaccine.]

    The book was well written and engaging, although it was a bit repetitive. That actually means, like Andrew Solomon's "Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity" (2012), various chapters can stand alone without the entire book. Solomon's book, by the way, has a lot of information on autism and disabilities and is a good follow up to "The Panic Virus."

    Mnookin points out a problem for everyone: deciding not to vaccinate, especially against pertussis, or whooping cough, eliminates crowd immunity. As Nancy Shute reported for NPR on September 30. 2013, "Vaccine Refusals Fueled California's Whooping Cough Epidemic." In 2010, 10 babies in California who were too young to be vaccinated died.

    Setting aside the 'good of the many' argument for immunizations, Mnookin drives home - with actual dollar amounts - that money and other resources that could be used to study the actual cause of autism, and to treat those on 'the spectrum' are being used to disprove a zombie theory. Dr. Temple Grandin, a PhD and widely respected scientist with autism recommended iPads for people with autism in her 2013 book "The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum." How many occupational therapists could have been hired, and how many iPads could have been purchased, for what the government has spent repeatedly studying the non-existent autism/vaccine link?

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    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Sherlock Holmes in America

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jon L. Lellenberg (editor), Martin H. Greenberg (editor), Daniel Stashower (editor)
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (116)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (99)

    Just in time for Sherlock Holmes, the major motion picture starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law: the world’s greatest fictional detective and his famous sidekick Dr. Watson are on their first trip across the Atlantic as they solve crimes all over 19th-century America - from the bustling neighborhoods of New York, Boston, and D.C. to fog-shrouded San Francisco. The world’s best-loved British sleuth faces some of the most cunning criminals America has to offer and meets America’s most famous figures.

    Amy says: "Terrific for Sherlockians!"
    "Kinda Fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a Sherlock Holmes/fan, with a little "f" in fan. That translates as 'I know when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was knighted (1902); that he was a medical doctor (University of Edinburgh, 1881); and that he died in 1930. I have all of the Holmes stories and novels in two leather bound books with small print and pages edged in gold. They were probably meant to be decorative, but I've read and reread them so many times, the bindings are coming off.

    I am glad that writers like Robert Pohle, Gillian Linscott, and Lyndsay Faye are Fans with a big "F" for Fanatic. Their admiration of Doyle and his writing style made this an enjoyable collection of "new" Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

    Some plots were more intricate than others. In a few cases, I solved the mystery in a few minutes. I kept listening, hoping I was wrong and was disappointed to be right. The writing was uneven - some language was spot on; other dialogue was wooden, forced and anachronistic. What worked very well was listening to the narrator, Graeme Malcolm because no matter whose writing, it's the same "voice".

    Each story is about 30 to 45 minutes long, which is a good length for my commute.

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    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging, and Postponing, or, Getting Things Done by Putting Them Off

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 48 mins)
    • By John Perry
    • Narrated By Brian Holsopple
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (261)
    Performance
    (232)
    Story
    (231)

    John Perry’s insights and laugh-out-loud humor bring to mind Thurber, Wodehouse, and Harry Frankfurt’s On Bullshit. This charming and accessible audio educates, entertains, and illuminates a universal subject. Procrastinators will be relieved to learn that you can actually accomplish quite a lot while procrastinating. In fact, the book itself is the result of Perry avoiding grading papers, refereeing academic proposals, and reviewing dissertation drafts. It also has a practical side, offering up advice that listeners can put to use.

    G-Man says: "Doing everything except what you should"
    "2011 Ig Nobel-Winning Essay"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    John Perry's "The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging, and Postponing" (2012) is a fun little listen - if you get around to it (Imagine a winking emoticon here).

    Dr. Perry (he has a PhD) is a philosopher and is on the faculty at Stanford and the University of California, Riverside. Unlike a psychologist, Perry takes what is (procrastination, in this essay) and looks at it a different way. A psychologist would take what is (a bad habit) and try to change it. In Perry's philosophy, have something you keep putting off? Put something more daunting on your "to do" list, like learning Ancient Latin; don't do that; and do what you've been putting off instead.

    Perry was awarded a 2011 Ig Nobel for his work in this essay. "To be a high achiever, always work on something important, using it as a way to avoid doing something that's even more important." The Igs are awards for real research that "first make people laugh, and then make them think."

    What I really, really liked was Perry's suggestion to put a "don't do" on the "to do" list. It works like this: Suppose that you normally hit the snooze on the alarm a couple of times. Or six. Put on your "to do" list, "don't hit the snooze button". And when you get out of bed the first time, there's a check mark on the "to do" list. It's a 'Not to Do' To Do List. That works for me.

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    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Stephen Chbosky
    • Narrated By Noah Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1496)
    Performance
    (1368)
    Story
    (1387)

    Most people think 15-year-old Charlie is a freak. But then seniors Patrick and his beautiful stepsister Sam take Charlie under their wings and introduce him to their eclectic, open-minded, hard-partying friends. It is from these older kids that Charlie learns to live and love.

    FanB14 says: "Intelligent, Absorbing Coming of Age Story"
    "Banned Books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There's a couple of sure ways to get me interested in a book by an author I haven't read before. One way: have a bunch of highly paid talking heads argue vehemently about what the book actually says, all using the same quotes to back their arguments. That's how I ended up reading/listening to former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates' memoir, "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War" (2014) earlier this year.

    Another way to grab my attention is to have community members and conservative parents try really hard to ban the book at schools and libraries. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" has been, off-and-on, one of the top 10 banned books since it was published. According to the American Library Association (a non-profit dedicated to NOT letting books be banned), its been taken off the shelf for: offensive language, abortion, drugs/alcohol/smoking, violence, suicide, homosexuality, and it's sexually explicit.

    Now that I've listened to "Wallflower" I can confirm it has all of that - and more. There's also a rape and more than one child molestation. That's a lot for a short book - it's 256 pages in print and a 6 hour 20 minute listen.

    The plot and the subject matter isn't easy to hear, but I think it's important for teens to know life can be very, very difficult - and people go through hard times. That's a little patronizing, but that's a reviewer problem, not the book itself. I'm almost 50, I have high schoolers, and I just can't think of a better way to put it.

    I was a little disappointed with the vocabulary. Sure, Stephen Chbosky used all the right words - there wasn't a silly euphemism to be found. However, the vocabulary level wasn't quite 5th grade. Since the main character spent most of the book reading literature, the juxtaposition was jarring.

    This is 9.0 AR points (source: arbookfind dot com).

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    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Susannah Cahalan
    • Narrated By Heather Henderson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (687)
    Performance
    (615)
    Story
    (619)

    In 2009, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room strapped to a bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records - from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory - reported psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four-year-old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter

    Brian Quaranta says: "For those interested in neurology & psychology"
    "Brain Fever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'd heard of Susannah Cahalan's "Brain on Fire" (2011), but I'd also heard Cahalan's a New York Post reporter. "A tabloid reporter?" I thought. "A writer from the rag famous for headlines like 'Headless Body found in Topless Bar' (April 15, 1983) and 'Weiner's Rise and Fall' (June 17, 2011)?" Clever headlines, sure - but aren't all tabloid writers as nutty as their ledes? "Maybe the job did her in," I thought, mentally dismissing the book.

    My newspaper snobbery almost made me miss a very well written, insightful book based on sound, peer reviewed and published scientific research. In her mid-20's, working a dream job in New York City with a new boyfriend, Cahalan developed Anti-NMDA- (N-methyl D-aspartate) receptor autoimmune encephalitis, At the time - and probably still - people who develop signs and symptoms of that disease are diagnosed with psychosis of unknown origin, or schizo-affective disorder. The only really unexplainable symptom is seizures - others, such as abnormally high blood pressure, can be misdiagnosed as an concurrent, but unrelated problem.

    Cahalan was lucky - she has a well educated family, and her bitterly divorced parents set aside their animosity to aggressively advocate and care for her. In fact, Cahalan's parents' new spouses were admirably supportive, despite Cahalan's paranoia - which had her saying particularly hurtful things to one and all. Even with parents and a boyfriend convinced Cahalan had more than "just a mental illness", pinpointing the cause was long and arduous - and almost didn't happen in time to prevent irreversible physical and mental problems. The treatment was an arduous course of steroids and intravenous immunoglobulins and plasmapheresis. Cahalan's care ended up costing her insurer over $1 mil, although if she had been properly diagnosed to begin with, the bill would have been 25% to 50% less.

    Cahalan did something that was incredibly brave: she carefully researched and wrote about a situation that not only almost killed her, but also had her acting in ways that she later found were incredibly embarrassing. The most courageous admissions were about the hallucinations she knows she had - but are such vivid memories, she still half believes they were true.

    Audible, I blame you for making me a newspaper snob in the first place. (That happens when the monthly subscription includes a 48 to 52 minute every weekday New York Times Audible Digest; your drive is about an hour; and the NY Times writing's usually pretty good.) Audible, I also thank you for knocking me off my literary high horse to find a writer worth the listen. I'm not going to start reading the New York Post, but I will look for other medical/scientific books by Cahalan. And, yeah, maybe I'll actually read a Post article along with an especially "punny" headline.

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    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5750)
    Performance
    (5250)
    Story
    (5283)

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    RaisinNut says: "A story about LIFE, not death..."
    ""Too often scars""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Cancer books seem to fall into IMPORTANT categories, like factual and vaguely or actually scary (Siddhartha Mukharjee's 2010 "The Emperor of All Maladies"); herbs/alternate life style/dietarily inspirational ("A Dietician's Cancer Story" Diana Dyer, 2010); humorously practical (Fran Drescher's "Cancer Schmancer" 2003); or melancholy and ending with the death of a neighborhood curmudgeon and/or a loved one (too many to name) who passes on an Important Life Lesson just before dying. If you're looking for one of these kind of books, then John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars" (2012) isn't for you.

    I had avoided Green's book for a long time because I was afraid it would be one of those latter Inspiring Stories, a saccharine sweet tale that tastes okay going down, but leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. I was wrong.

    "The Fault in Our Stars" was a heartbreaker, but in a clear, unsentimental and pragmatic way. 16 year old Hazel Grace and 17 year old Augustus Waters probably had my fellow commuters wondering just what kind of breakdown I was having. They would have had time to notice: I sobbed through an entire chapter, with traffic stop and stop again.

    Is "The Fault in Our Stars" true to a 16 year old girl? I don't know. I was a 16 year old girl for a year, and I'd like to think I can relate - but I was 16 in a different century. Kind of LATE in a different century, but still - a different century.

    Green's an unobtrusive voice, but he comes through in Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters scared parents. The parents want nothing more than to spend what time is left with their children; and their teens want nothing more than to be normal - you know, embarrassed by hovering moms; sneaking out the window on naive dads; and taking absurd risks and going on adventures. Come to think of it, it was the Mom in me crying with the parents.

    "The Fault in Our Stars" haunts and is haunting. It's a good listen.

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    12 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Girl with Glasses: My Optic History

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Marissa Walsh
    • Narrated By Margie Lenhart
    Overall
    (244)
    Performance
    (207)
    Story
    (211)

    Being a Girl with Glasses isn't just a style choice; it's a way of life. If you've ever had your specs steam up when walking into a bar, squinted into the sun on the soccer field, or laid eyes on a new haircut only after your locks are strewn across the floor, you know what it's like to be a GWG. Marissa Walsh has worn glasses since third grade. Now - 10 pairs of glasses, one pair of prescription sunglasses, and endless pairs of contacts later - she has fully embraced her four-eyed fate.

    Cynthia says: "Through a Lens Clearly"
    "Through a Lens Clearly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm not really sure what Marissa Walsh's "Girl With Glasses: My Optic History" (2006) was. An autobiography? Not really, I don't know where Walsh went to college except that it was probably one of the Seven Sisters, Is Walsh trying to do for glasses what Lisa Birnbach did for dock siders sans socks and polo shirts in "The Official Preppy Handbook" (1980)? Probably not - it wasn't advice l about which glasses work well with plaid skirts and blue blazers.

    I've decided that no matter how Audible or Barnes & Noble categorizes GWG (Walsh's nickname for the type), it's a mildly amusing memoir framed by half a dozen pairs of glasses, interspersed with occasional forays into contact lenses. Walsh, in contacts, is literally a different person. She's aimlessly striving, uncomfortable in her own skin, annoyingly uncertain about clothes, and doesn't fit in no matter where she is. Wearing glasses, Walsh is a clever observer; wry and charmingly self deprecating; becomes a New York hipster; and doesn't care about blending . Walsh writing about being in contacts is forgettable; in glasses, she's got super powers.

    I'm not sure what the text version looked like, but I suspect it has lots of lists, bolding, bullet points and italics. If that's the case, the narration worked fine. GWG was an okay enough way to pass a three hour traffic jam on the 405 South.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Espionage and Covert Operations: A Global History

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (77)

    Step into the real world of the spy with this detailed and unforgettable tour of the millennia-long history and enduring legacy of espionage and covert operations. While most of us associate this top-secret subject with popular fiction and film, its true story is more fascinating, surprising, and important than you could possibly imagine. These 24 thrilling lectures survey how world powers have attempted to work in the shadows to gain secret information or subvert enemies behind the scenes.

    Cynthia says: "The World's Most Versatile Profession"
    "The World's Most Versatile Profession"
    Overall
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    Story

    The joke is that prostitution is the world's oldest profession, and there's a debate about the second. Is it politics? Ronald Reagan joked at a business conference in Los Angeles on March 2, 1977, that "Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first." Is it motherhood, as Erma Bombeck claimed in "Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession" (1983)? Or is it spying - as both Phillip Knightley says in his 1986 book, "The Second Oldest Profession: Spies and Spying in the 20th Century" - and Professor Vejas
    Gabriel Liulevicius in this Great Courses lecture series "Espionage and Covert Operations: A Global History" (2011)?

    Whenever spying started, it is the world's most versatile profession. Liulevicius points out that a spy can be anyone. A 13th Century merchant on the Silk Road might be gathering intelligence for Genghis Khan's Mongol Hoards. A highly respected but deeply in debt American Revolutionary War general, feeling slighted by being passed over for promotion, might sell secrets to the British - as Benedict Arnold and his wife did. An arrogant Southern Confederate Army Command might believe the propaganda that Blacks were subhuman and could not pass on military plans to the forces fighting to free them, and speak improvidently in front of a 15 year old black girl serving dinner. A politically idealistic and unrealistic group of young men might agree to spy for the communists, and rise high in a democratic government before being discovered, but after betraying hundreds (Kim Philby and the Cambridge 5). Spies can be soldiers, mothers (Valerie Plame), prostitutes (Mata Hari, arguably), friends and enemies.

    Liulevicius does discuss the reasons people become spies - including idealism (Jonathan Pollard, a Naval Intelligence Analyst who spied for Israel); money (Aldrich Ames, CIA, for the USSR/Russia), the desire to "get one over" on people who underestimated him (Robert Hanssen, FBI, also for USSR/Russia).

    Liulevicius lectures are fascinating, and emphasize the development of the tools of the profession - the tradecraft - over the last two millennia. He also discusses how tradecraft failures lead to the discovery of spies. Liulevicius doesn't throughly discuss the reasons for the failures, but the situations he mentions appear arise from a combination of hubris, laziness and arrogance of spies themselves and handlers, rather than a lack of technical resources or expertise. That psychology alone warrants another lecture.

    Liulevicius does not discuss the morals and ethics of spying, other than to mention the oft repeated maxim that "Gentlemen don't read each other's mail" which is credited to Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, who disbanded the OSS (Office of Special Services) at the end of World War II. The OSS was reconstituted in fairly short order as the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency).

    Liulevicius mentions Pvt Chelsea Manning (formerly PFC Bradley Manning), an intelligence analyst who stole hundreds of classified communications and gave them to Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Former NSA (National Security Agency) contractor Edwin Snowden's intelligence leaks didn't become public until 2013, two years after this Great Course was published. Liulevicius didn't argue that Manning was a spy, and I'm sure he'd agree Snowden wasn't one either. Both men used brute force spy techniques (they were present with the intelligence and copied it), but neither were employed by any outside entity when they acquired the intelligence. Both sold the information to the "highest bidder", although the goal wasn't money for either man. It was an expression of moral belief, a desire fame, or both.

    In light of these recent revelations, it would be great to hear Liulevicius talk about whether the US government's intrusion into the privacy of its citizens - its spying - is a reflection of paranoid politicians, an insular society, or just business as usual - made unusually transparent. Perhaps an updated course, Audible/Great Courses?

    This is a good course, but like all Audible versions of Great Courses, there's no accompanying course material. I'm fine with that - I wouldn't have read a book along with it anyway. A true Table of Contents would have been nice, and that's available at the Great Courses website.

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    12 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Nerd's Guide to Being Confident

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 54 mins)
    • By Mark Manson
    • Narrated By Fleet Cooper
    Overall
    (359)
    Performance
    (317)
    Story
    (314)

    Everyone knows confidence when they see it; but seemingly no one can actually describe what goes into it or how to get it. The Nerd's Guide to Being Confident is an unconventional way of looking at one of the most basic and obvious human traits and what one can do to gain a little more of it without feeling like a phony. Laughter included.

    Harvey says: "do not wast your time"
    "For under 30 straight men. Maybe."
    Overall
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    Story

    I downloaded Mark Hanson's "The Nerd's Guide to Being Confident" (2013) right before heading off for a day trip to Mt. Baldy. By the time I realized I was so totally NOT the target audience for this book, I had no signal and couldn't download a different book for the drive - so I listened anyway.

    I'm not a recent male college grad with self esteem issues on my second or third real job, trying to get laid by a woman in 3 dates or less, as cheaply as possible. I am a straight woman, and I've dated more than one man who has (intuitively) followed Hanson's advice. Dated them once, and definitely no sex. Maybe a polite peck on the cheek.

    Not that some of Hanson's advice isn't really good, because it is. Have varied interests. Don't compromise ethical or moral beliefs to date a woman. Don't use time worrying about why someone doesn't want to spend time with you or trying to get them interested - find someone who doesn't waste your time. Adjust your language so you don't mistake your (often temporary) feelings for what you are. Good hygiene is a necessity.

    What doesn't work that Hanson advises is being a c**** a** that only talks about himself and his interests. Unless you happen to do something really, really, interesting (maybe you've discovered a brand new energy source that will also solve the drought? You work for JPL/CalTech and just discovered life on another planet?), there has to be give and take. Quite frankly, any girl that doesn't want to share at least a few things about herself is just shining you on to get the date over with, doesn't want you to know anything about her, and will never return your calls; or she has serious self esteem issues of her own. And if some girl does go to bed with you, worry about what she wants, not just what you are going to get out of it. Have some pride in what you do.

    According to Hanson, "Some people think I'm an idiot" (from his website). I don't think he's a COMPLETE idiot, just a partial one.

    23 of 27 people found this review helpful
  • Not a Match: My True Tales of Online Dating Disasters

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Brian Donovan
    • Narrated By Ax Norman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (607)
    Performance
    (530)
    Story
    (534)

    Forty million people in the US have tried Internet dating, which means 40 million people have probably gone on some pretty crappy dates. Not a Match: My True Tales of Online Dating Disasters is about one guy who experienced more than his fair share. Brian Donovan, a writer and comedian whose work has appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, NPR, and Chapelle's Show, has been on over 100 Internet dates in a genuine search for love and happiness.

    Erin - Audible says: "Dating in New York is a Horrible Crapshoot."
    "Diet Coke Out-the-Nose Funny!"
    Overall
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    Story

    Valentine's Day was rough, and not only because I'm not dating right now. I do have a long term, significant relationship with The 57 North. It's steady, reliable, and has very few surprises, good or bad. In fact, sometimes it's delightfully smooth.

    I've tried going out with other freeways, but those evenings usually end in spectacular disaster. The 5 North to The 605 North always promises a wonderful time on Waze (the GPS equivalent of OKCupid - Garmin is more like the staid, conservative Match), but those hopes are usually dashed by a 3 car accident not quite pulled out of the right lane of traffic of the very narrow 5 as it enters Los Angeles County, or a semi tanker carrying something flammable on broken down on a transition.

    This Valentine's Day, every freeway and surface street in OC and LA conspired to make my trip home as drawn out and excruciating as all of Brian Donavan's 100+ internet dates rolled into one. I was so glad to have "Not a Match: My True Tales of Online Dating Disasters" (2013) to laugh at. Donavan's an observant and funny writer, and Ax Norman was a great voice for the story. Turned my Eco-friendly Insight into a little comedy club for a couple of hours and made Valentine's Day memorable - in a good way.

    8 of 15 people found this review helpful

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