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S

104
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 24 ratings
  • 206 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Millionaire Mind

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danko
    • Narrated By Cotter Smith
    Overall
    (555)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (185)

    To become a millionaire, you have to think like one. The Millionaire Mind shows you how. Also available: The Millionaire Next Door.

    Sean says: "No Millionaire Next Door"
    "Like football commentary"
    Overall

    Once, while listening to Monday Night Football, I heard the announcer state that a certain team was in trouble because "only 50%" of teams in that situation had ever recovered from such a point deficit/yard loss/injury etc. Such statistics are nonsense because the announcer could have just as easily said that the team had a great shot because a full 50% of teams in the same situation had turned things around.

    Dr. Stanely does the same here. He takes a statistic and shoves it at you without telling the whole story. On several occassions he spoke of how a percentage of his survey takers reported activity X was important to their success. The percentage would be less than 50%. Dr. Stanley, however, would not bother to explain how the majority accomplished their success without performing activity X.

    Dr. Stanley also contradicts himself at many points in the book. In one chapter, he explains that integrity is absolutely key to success. If you want to be a millionaire in one generation, you should make it a point to be honest with everyone. A chapter later, Dr. Stanley holds up a man as an example of the type of success he's talking about. This man beat the odds by becoming a top executive in the carpet business without having completed college, let alone graduating from a top ranked school. How did he do it? Dr. Stanley makes a point of the fact that the man had a special gift for sales. He also mentions, hurriedly and in passing, that the man LIED to his company about his education level. He informed this company on his application and in his interview that he was a college graduate. Hardly a man of integrity but undoubtedly successful. Dr. Stanley does not elaborate how one example reconciles with the other.

    This book was a waste of time. Nothing is here that isn't common sense (work hard, love your job, invest wisely) or that isn't contradicted later (be honest, unless it pays to lie). Give this one a pass.

    20 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • The Final Empire: Mistborn Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8176)
    Performance
    (5630)
    Story
    (5665)

    For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison.

    Aaron Brown says: "Unique Magic system, good plot twists."
    "Home run."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Final Empire to be better than the print version?

    I never read the print version, but if I had, I doubt that my imagination could do much better than Michael Kramer. He's an amazing narrator.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Final Empire?

    The first time that the main characters sparred. It was such a complex but well-thought out mixture of magic and physics that I remember really trying to place everything in my imagination just so. Normally, I listen to my books on my long commute and the story just eases into my ear, but that scene required concentration. It was a nice mental jolt in an otherwise boring drive.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I had an answer here, but the question asks for a bit of a spoiler, so I'll pass.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Same answer here as before. Seems like a spoiler question, so I'll just tell those considering the book that there are several.


    Any additional comments?

    It's easy to see why Robert Jordan picked Brandon Sanderson to finish his Wheel of Time series. Although I noticed some distinct similarities in characters between Mistborn and Elantris (another great listen by Sanderson), he has so much imagination in how to make a world unique. It's not just another dwarves/elves/orcs storyline and magic doesn't just "exist". There's a thought process behind where it comes from and how to use it and the dangers and consequences of doing so. I'm already about halfway through the next book in the series, The Well of Ascension, and it's fun to see how Sanderson left threads for the series to follow yet at the end of Mistborn, there didn't feel like there was anything unfinished. As a post-script, I'll add that I enjoy the level of romance that Sanderson includes. It's enough without making a good fantasy story into a romance novel. A little goes a long way and Sanderson doesn't overindulge.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Victory Conditions: Vatta's War, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Moon
    • Narrated By Cynthia Holloway
    Overall
    (386)
    Performance
    (218)
    Story
    (217)

    Now, as Turek readies an all-out attack on the Nexus system - a key conquest that could seal the rest of the galaxy's doom - Ky must rally to the challenge, draw upon every last reserve of her strategic skills, and reach deep if she is to tear from the ashes of tragedy her most decisive victory.

    Jean says: "The last book in the series"
    "Disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Elizabeth Moon and/or Cynthia Holloway?

    I've read the Deed of Paksenarrion by Moon a couple times and enjoyed it immensely. I then tracked down The Legacy of Gird series and thought it was hit and miss When I found this series, I was eager to buy it. Having finished it, I'd say her record is one, one and one.Cynthia wasn't the best narrator I've listened to, but she wasn't horrible either. I wouldn't track down other performances just to listen but I also wouldn't give a book a pass just because she narrated it.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The most interesting aspect of the story and the series as a whole was the thought Elizabeth Moon put into the logistics of space travel and the battle scenes. These were by far the best parts of the story. I wish there had been more of them.The least interesting, and actually fairly annoying aspect, was Elizabeth Moon made all the characters actually explain things to each other that had happened in the other's absence. In most stories, you have a narrative... let's say a descent into a cave and an exciting run-in with a bear... and then a character not involved in the scene comes along. The character involved in the exciting part fills the newcomer in and it usually plays out like "Newbie asked 'why are you all out of breath and where'd you get this bearskin?' Hero then proceeded to fill Newbie in on the descent and the rest." Moon doesn't do this. Every character gets a fully detailed explanation of what they've missed and if someone else calls later and asks for an update, they get essentially the same several minutes of story regurgitated. By this, the fifth book, new characters were treated to long reports of everything that had happened so far not only in this installment but also the previous four books! It was as if she was trying to fill pages to reach a contractual obligation for five books. If you left these parts out and some of the other minutiae (I'd swear there was more time spent explaining the inside of some of the shops the main character visits than there was describing multi-ship space battles), this five-part series could have easily been a trilogy.


    Any additional comments?

    I liked the series enough to look forward to each installment. The writing was good with a strong lead female hero, although there are enough parallels between the internal struggles and backgrounds of Ky Vatta and Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter that it felt like the same narrative at times. By the end of the series, I got the impression if I broke into Moon's therapist's office and read her file, I wouldn't be much surprised. I'm not sorry I made the purchase to see how things wrapped up, but this final book was a let-down as far as the series goes and the ending was especially awful. If had bought the physical book, I would have thrown it across the room after reading the last few pages. It was such a betrayal of the character.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Neil Strauss
    • Narrated By Neil Strauss
    Overall
    (974)
    Performance
    (597)
    Story
    (601)

    Hidden somewhere, in nearly every major city in the world, is an underground seduction lair. And in these lairs, men trade the most devastatingly effective techniques ever invented to charm women. This is not fiction. These men really exist. They live together in houses known as Projects. And Neil Strauss, the best-selling author, spent two years living among them, using the pseudonym Style to protect his real-life identity. The result is one of the most explosive and controversial books of the year.

    Stephen says: "A Must Read For All Men"
    "Really entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Game rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    As a performance, it was very average, but the story was really well written and intriguing.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Game?

    There were several moments where the main character reveals his own failings and somehow makes the story more interesting because of them. His encounters with what most men would fantasize about and the honesty about the fear and social paralysis that comes along with them. Great stuff.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I'm not sure. The author read the book. I suppose a pro could have done a smoother job of it, but the times where he was awkward in real life in the book came across that way in his narration. It just wouldn't have sounded believable coming from some silver-throated voice actor.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    It's a great "the grass is greener" example. I thought it was a fascinating view into a world where I would never want to tread but probably would have envied those who made the trip. Now, that's not the case.


    Any additional comments?

    Great character development and, despite what most would think given the subject matter, very deep throughout.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snow Crash

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (5404)
    Performance
    (2740)
    Story
    (2795)

    Neal Stephenson is a blazing new force on the sci-fi scene. With the groundbreaking cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, he has "vaulted onto the literary stage." It weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility - in short, it is the gigathriller of the information age.

    A. Tuck says: "Classic Stephenson"
    "Typical Stephenson"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Snow Crash to be better than the print version?

    No idea. Are you trying to get me to stop buying audiobooks and start killing trees again?


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Y.T. She was edgy and had most of the good one-liners.


    Which character – as performed by Jonathan Davis – was your favorite?

    Raven. He did a nice job of mixing his accents when several characters were involved in a scene. I thought his portrayal of Raven really gave the character life. I bet he does a mean Charles Bronson impression.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I could think of worse things.


    Any additional comments?

    This is my second Neal Stephenson book and I'm already starting to see a pattern. He does a great job in plot development and scene description, but he has a tendency to do significant character development on character who end up being less than important to the story or its end. Juanita is an example. Additionally, this story, as opposed to Reamde (which was very good, btw), seemed to wrap up like it hit a brick wall. There's a climax and then it's just over. In that way it's like a one-night stand without the awkward coyote morning. Speaking of climaxes, the story could've done without the graphic statutory rape scene, but otherwise it wasn't a waste of time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Reamde

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3610)
    Performance
    (3155)
    Story
    (3191)

    Richard Forthrast created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game. But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe - and Richard is at ground zero.

    ShySusan says: "Not perfect, but worth a listen."
    "Not what I expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Reamde in three words, what would they be?

    i can't say


    What other book might you compare Reamde to and why?

    Like Snow Crash but with more realism and less online stuff.


    Have you listened to any of Malcolm Hillgartner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Couldn't say.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Perhaps. It's a little long, but if I was made to stay still for that amount of time, I could think of worse things to do.


    Any additional comments?

    Picked this up after listening to Ready Player One, which is a great book. This one was recommended as similar, which it isn't really. I thin perhaps that Stephenson's other book Snow Crash is more along the line of Ready Player One and this one got tagged as being alike because it also involves computer games in a small way. That's what got me, I think. I was ready for a completely different story than what I got, but, rather than being disappointed in my mistake, I felt carried along by the plot. The only criticism I have is that the author took the time to develop certain characters and storylines for those characters that ended up not resolving or being that important to the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Succeed with NLP: Go from Good to Great at Work

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Anne Watson
    • Narrated By Erik Synnestvedt
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (16)

    So you want to be a star at work? NLP is your ticket to excellence in every situation. With NLP you can aim higher, do more, and stand out from the crowd. How to Succeed with NLP tells you how. NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming)is the art and science of personal excellence.

    John says: "Kind of Interesting"
    "Useless"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    coma patients


    Has How to Succeed with NLP turned you off from other books in this genre?

    possibly


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Erik Synnestvedt?

    I don't think the narrator was the issue here.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Frustration.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was like listening to the song that never ends. Despite its title, the book professes at the beginning that it will not teach the concepts of NLP necessary to understand what it's trying to accomplish. For the rest of what I could actually stand to listen to, the book talks in circles, never actually getting to the meat of the matter. My guess is the author had about 3 paragraphs worth of stuff and figured no one would buy something that short, so he added hours of padding. I bet in school, his essays had the words "very, very, very, very... " in a lot of sentences. I bought it with a subscription credit, which means that I spent $11 on what was essentially a poorly written pamphlet.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The White Plague

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (63)

    A warm day in Dublin, a crowded street corner. Suddenly, a car-bomb explodes, killing and injuring scores of innocent people.From the second-floor window of a building across the street, a visiting American watches, helpless, as his beloved wife and children are sacrificed in the heat and fire of someone else's cause.

    DJM says: "Good story once through"
    "Great concept; horrible execution."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    Great voice and passable acting. He can't quite pull off female characters but his narration is top notch.


    Any additional comments?

    Only the very beginning and the very end were compelling. Everything in between was as if the author decided to follow irrelevant portions of the storylines of the relevant characters. It would be as if I told you the story of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf but focused mainly on the construction of their houses and glossed over that whole

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10467)
    Performance
    (9751)
    Story
    (9751)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "Like reading a video game"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Ready Player One?

    This was a great story. The title obviously gives away the subject matter but I've never come so close to feeling like I was reading a video game.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character, Parzival. He was a great protagonist. Really believable. The author didn't make him wildly heroic one moment and then monkey-brained the next in an attempt to create dramatic situations.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    His acting history serves him well. He reads with proper tone and inflection. He's no Michael Kramer, but he's not annoying either.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. I usually listen to book during my commute (1 hour each way) and found myself wanting to stay in my driveway and listen to the next chapter.


    Any additional comments?

    It's on my re-read/listen list. It's rare that I'll listen to a story more than once, but this one made the top of the list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • State of Fear

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By George Wilson
    Overall
    (2066)
    Performance
    (490)
    Story
    (495)

    Once again Michael Crichton gives us his trademark combination of page-turning suspense, cutting-edge technology, and extraordinary research. State of Fear is a superb blend of edge-of-your-seat suspense and thought provoking commentary on how information is manipulated in the modern world.

    F says: "Did I read the same book as some of you?"
    "Pro or Con.... doesn't matter"
    Overall

    Let's forget for a moment the stance the author is taking on the environmental issues. It won't matter whether you agree with Mr. Crichton's theories or not, this book just isn't worth your time. The narration is awful. And following the plotline is like watching someone try to run through oatmeal. I tried to blame the story's inability to catch my interest on the narrator. I went and bought the hardcopy book. Am I glutton for punishment or what? I discovered it's not the narrator's fault. He's definitely a contributing factor, but the story is awful all by itself. It's not anywhere close to the standard of writing I've come to expect from Mr. Crichton since I first picked up Andromeda strain many years ago. Either Mr. Crichton didn't actually pen this book, or the UV rays have passed unhindered through the hole in the ozone layer and melted his talent.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Purpose-Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Rick Warren
    • Narrated By Rick Warren
    Overall
    (1076)
    Performance
    (200)
    Story
    (204)

    The Purpose-Driven Life will help you understand God's amazing plan for you. Rick Warren will guide you through a spiritual journey that will transform your answer to the important question: What am I here for? Knowing God's purpose will reduce your stress, focus your energy, and give meaning to your life. In the tradition of Oswald Chambers, Rick Warren offers distilled wisdom on the essence of what life is all about. This book will be a classic treasured by generations to come.

    Felix says: "Great book... but only for believers.."
    "Who has made it all the way through? Not I."
    Overall

    I know literally dozens of people who have recommended this book to me. I own a hardcover copy of it actually. It was a Christmas gift. When I visit friends and relatives, the same book is usually somewhere in their homes, waiting to be found like Where's Waldo. I found the paper copy to be inspiring but not very hard to put down and forget to pick back up again. I thought perhaps the trick would be to get the audio book in order to stick it out during my drive time. Captive audience and all that....

    Nope. Didn't work. This is the first audio book that I've failed to complete. When the third CD faded out, I just couldn't force myself to put the fourth one in. Perhaps part of the problem is that the author chose to narrate it himself. Or perhaps it's because the message is akin to someone who states an easily understood maxim, but then continues to elaborate it to death with analogy and anecdotes. I confessed my failure to my friends and relatives and discovered that I am not alone. Although this book sits in almost every home I know, I can't find a single reader, or listener, who had completed the journey.

    I wish I could recommend this book, but I can't.

    30 of 37 people found this review helpful

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