This series of books are a good sequel to the movies, and introduces a few new characters that I hope make it into future series. If you loved the movies, I'm fairly sure you will enjoy these books.
A few points that prevent me from giving it a perfect score:
1) The books seem to reference key points in the movies in flashback scenes that are not relevant to this story (Mos Eisley cantina, the battle on Endor, Luke's losing his hand, the Death Star, etc etc etc etc). And they sometimes flashback to the same event more than once. I think the books would have stood on their own fine without so many flashbacks to events that did not happen in this book. But I can see why they did it.
2) The protagonist (Grand Admiral Thrawn) is known as a great strategist, but he's "too" great. Unnaturally great. Given almost no information, he can poke a hole through the Rebel Alliance's strategy and predict their true plan. I wish there were more subtle reasons why he made some of the calls he did. Does he have special powers? Other unmentioned spies? The book just has him diverting troops to the perfect spot at the perfect time for no reason.
3) Meanwhile, the Alliance has the opposite problem. Leia is presented with a fairly obvious hint that something is strange, and she shrugs it off. But Thrawn is told of an inconsequential issue with a passing ship and he chases after it personally.
Other than that, it's very engaging, and I'm looking forward to more from this author.
First, definitely listen to the Sample before purchasing. This is a different style of language instruction, and I imagine it's not for everyone. But if you've tried the drier books on the topic, maybe it's time to try something set to a music track.
The concept is simple. The spoken word is synchronized to the music track playing behind. So the conversation becomes almost like lyrics. There is a nice style of repetition they do here too that also lends itself to learning. They will typically take a sentence ("where would you like to go to eat") and say that a few times along with its translation, and then break up each word/component ("where", "would", "you", etc.) and learn the meaning of individual words. Sometimes they say it slow and sometimes at normal speed.
Again, this style is not for everyone, but I enjoyed it, and will listen to this again a few times to help me brush up on my Portuguese. Worth a credit.
I am part of the generation who worshiped Dilbert. Being an office dweller, I can fondly recall seeing Dilbert cartoons posted on the door's of office colleagues, and sometimes having my own favorite Dilbert cartoons that speak directly to the idiocy of the situation I find myself in.
Thus I am already predisposed to like a serious business book written by the author of Dilbert.
That being said, the book starts off with many many example of where the author has failed in life. The ideas he had before Dilbert that didn't work, the investments he's made in businesses after Dilbert became a success that failed, his personal medical problems that left him unable to speak in public for a long period of time. None of which are particularly funny, but serve the purpose of how he failed much more times than he has succeeded. Yet he's done very well.
The latter half of the book is where the real meat of it is. Concrete advice on how to arrange your life. What subjects to study, where to invest your time, and little tips on how to increase your communication skills, speak in public, topics of small-talk conversations, and the like.
It's not the perfect book. It's not something I recommend in lieu of the classics in the field of business or self-improvement. But it's worth your Audible credit and worth a listen. You'll be thinking of this book for days after you've finished reading it.
I've always enjoyed Aisha as an actress and bought this book without not knowing much about it. It really is about Aisha's life, and focuses on the embarrassing moments in her life. At times I wished the story was more uplifting and didn't focus so much on these funny by negative moments, but all in all it was an interesting book. I enjoyed it.
Interesting to learn what happens to actors/comedians after their Saturday Night Live career is over. Rachel Dratch is pretty funny, and tells good stories.
It's an autobiography.
There were some funny stories about her dating life before she got pregnant.
It's fairly easy to sit to, and so I was able to finish the book in two days. It goes by quick.
This book might not be for everyone. But I enjoyed it. Rachel Dratch is not often in the top 10 lists of SNL actors, but she has a story to tell.
This book was unexpectedly deep. The last chapter has to do with confronting our own mortality. This book aimed to unlock fears we all have and allow us to unleash our success by getting rid of them.
Did I mention this book is deep. It's not something you can ingest in 1 or 2 days. This will take a while to sink in and be digested.
Ha! Well, um, yes. It was very easy to differentiate Robert Greene from Curtis Jackson.
I really should spend time thinking about life, death, and all the things I need to do now and now wait until it's too late. What is the worst that could happen? What IF I lost it all, and had to get it back? Would I work even harder if I had nothing to lose?
I was expecting this to be more about 50 Cent. This book is NOT really about 50 cent. He makes a few cameo appearances here and there, but basically it's only tangentially related to him.
Yes, I will listen to this again in a few years. Daniel Suarez does it again, Couldn't stop listening to this book!
There are two main characters in this book - Odin and Professor McKinney. I'll say I like Odin more, because he's got this "Die Hard" refuses to die even when the odds are stacked 1000-1 against him quality. He does not give up.
I don't want to spoil it. But the climax was pretty good.
No, neither laugh nor cry. But I couldn't stop listening to it. I had to listen to it before going to bed, and listen to it over lunch at work. Went through the book in 3-4 days.
Daniel Suarez is an amazing writer, and Jeff Gurner does a good job bringing the book to life as the narrator. I would buy any book Daniel Suarez writes.
It's in the top 20% of all the personal improvement books I've listened to.
It reinforces the idea of Deliberate Practice, which I first heard about in "Talent is Overrated".
Any time an author is reading his own book, it's going to be hit or miss. Fortunately, Josh Kaufman read it well. Having the author read his own book wasn't a negative at all.
The notion that you don't have to be a black-belt expert at everything. That if you want to learn something, spend 20 hours learning it in an effective manner and then you're good enough to move on to another skill.
I wasn't a huge fan of all the examples - how he learned Go, or to type, or to program, etc. Seemed a bit like filler. But it's worth listening to nonetheless.
Yes. Anyone who is intrigued by the premise would not be disappointed with the adventure that unfolds when reading this.
Yes. Edge of the seat plot for sure. At 15 hours, the book is a little long by some standards. This first half of the book, where the Daemon is really just getting started and establishing itself, is fast paced and exciting. In the second half, its a bit slower but still thrilling with a fantastic finish.
This was a great performance. The narrator did not get in the way of the story. His performance got me into the world of the Daemon. I played it at regular speed (1X) so he did not talk too slow as some narrators do.
Yes. It's 15 hours, so it took me a couple of weeks to get through it, but I did find myself listening every chance I got, and delaying sleep to listen to a little more. Like any good book does.
As some have said, the book doesn't go where you think it would go, but that's what makes it a good book and not a Hollywood movie.
It is in the top 25% of all the audiobooks I have listened to.
It's hard to criticize the book for being too science and fact focused, because that is one of it's most convincing aspects. But there were times, during the "History of Wheat" section, that I thought about skipping ahead. It's interesting that wheat of today is nothing like the wheat of 1000 years ago, but a whole chapter devoted to that was a bit much.
He kept a technical book interesting. That was his primary challenge with this material.
"They say this book could not be turned into a film.... They were wrong!"
This is worth the investment of 7-8 hours to listen to - during your drive, workout, or other time. You will definitely understand the many many ways wheat is bad for you. And hopefully you will eat much less of it as a result. I recommend.
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