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Norman Richards

...

Austin, TX | Member Since 2010

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 26 ratings
  • 207 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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  • Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Annie Murphy Paul
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (20)

    What makes us the way we are? Some say its the genes we inherit at conception. Others are sure it's the environment we experience in childhood. But could it be that many of our individual characteristicsour health, our intelligence, our temperamentsare influenced by the conditions we encountered before birth? That's the claim of an exciting and provocative field known as fetal origins.

    Melissa says: "Fascinating book"
    "All anecdotes - no science"
    Overall

    Well, I can't say that for sure. I'm less than halfway through. Maybe it picks up. Although I'm extremely compulsive, and I can't stand to leave a book unfinished no matter how slow it may be, I'm afraid this is one of them that I just can't finish.

    Perhaps it's my fault for not looking closely enough, but I thought I would be in for an interesting book on fetal development, most likely focussing on genetic and epigenetic factors, with a little myth busting and some good advice thrown in. Instead the book at least as of month 4, is largely personal anecdotes with vague references to scientific research that just stops short of actually explaining anything.

    As I said, perhaps the later parts of the book turn around. But I'm cutting my losses and moving on.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything... Fast!

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Josh Kaufman
    • Narrated By Josh Kaufman
    Overall
    (437)
    Performance
    (371)
    Story
    (373)

    In The First 20 Hours, Josh Kaufman offers a systematic approach to rapid skill acquisition: how to learn any new skill as quickly as possible. His method shows you how to deconstruct complex skills, maximize productive practice, and remove common learning barriers. By completing just 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice you'll go from knowing absolutely nothing to performing noticeably well. What do you want to learn?

    Grady says: "Finished the thesis early in the book"
    "I just didn't find this book useful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although the book starts off with what looks to be good advice, it just doesn't follow through when it gets to the implementation chapters. I listened to a couple chapters about things I knew nothing about and didn't feel I learned much about the topic or about the process of learning. For comparison, I listened to a chapter about something I knew a LOT about I got even less on both sides of that

    I'm cutting my losses here. The next time I need to learn something new, I'll revisit the first 30 minutes, but that's really all there is to this one...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Moonwalking with Einstein

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Joshua Foer
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1569)
    Performance
    (1080)
    Story
    (1078)

    Foer's unlikely journey from chronically forgetful science journalist to U.S. Memory Champion frames a revelatory exploration of the vast, hidden impact of memory on every aspect of our lives. On average, people squander forty days annually compensating for things they've forgotten. Joshua Foer used to be one of those people. But after a year of memory training, he found himself in the finals of the U.S. Memory Championship. Even more important, Foer found a vital truth we too often forget.

    Christopher says: "Got the Ball Rolling"
    "Makes me want to go memorize things"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think the highest praise you can give a book like this is that I got so wrapped up in the process of learning to memorize things that I wanted to go out and learn the techniques myself. I really enjoyed the look into the memory competition community and the story of the author's path of breaking into it.

    Note - this book does not teach you how to memorize things. It does explain some fundamental techniques in the process of telling the story, but it's not a tutorial. There are many textbooks on memory techniques.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Mike Brown
    • Narrated By Ryan Gesell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (396)
    Performance
    (241)
    Story
    (244)

    The solar system most of us grew up with included nine planets, with Mercury closest to the sun and Pluto at the outer edge. Then, in 2005, astronomer Mike Brown made the discovery of a lifetime: a 10th planet, Eris, slightly bigger than Pluto. But instead of its resulting in one more planet being added to our solar system, Brown's find ignited a firestorm of controversy that riled the usually sedate world of astronomy and launched him into the public eye.

    Rickapolis says: "Informative and fun"
    "Making science personal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a very enjoyable - the science context was approachable (as a non-astronomer) and was presented in a way that captures the spirit and adventure of scientific inquiry. Although I don't normally find personal stories very compelling, in this case, I thought it lent just the right flavor to the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steve Jobs

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (11970)
    Performance
    (10368)
    Story
    (10345)

    Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

    Jeanne says: "Interesting man"
    "A wasted opportunity to interview Steve Jobs"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I couldn't be more mixed in my opinions. If you are interested in Steve Jobs, by all means, get this book. It's entertaining, and the biographer's personal time with Steve does give us some great new insights. That being said, my critique of this book is that the biographer, having no real understanding of the tech industry or Apple, completely wasted his exclusive time with Steve Jobs to ask the deeper questions that Steve Jobs fans really would have liked. As a standalone book on Steve, it's a good value. It's just a shame that nobody else was around for Steve's last days to write the truly insightful definitive biography I would have really liked to have read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Feynman Lectures on Physics: Volume 1, Quantum Mechanics

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Richard P. Feynman
    • Narrated By Richard P. Feynman
    Overall
    (350)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (107)

    For more than 30 years, Richard P. Feynman's three-volume Lectures on Physics has been known worldwide as the classic resource for students and professionals alike. Ranging from the most basic principles of Newtonian physics through such formidable theories as Einstein's general relativity, superconductivity, and quantum mechanics, Feynman's lectures stand as a monument of clear exposition and deep insight.

    Michael says: "The Voice Of A Giant"
    "doesn't translate well to audio"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It might just be targeted at people with a better physics background than me, but I found this recording to be difficult to follow without being able to see the board or follow along with notes. No disrespect to the genius Feynman or his teaching ability. I just don't think this works as an audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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