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Andrew

Santa Barbara, CA, United States | Member Since 2016

18
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 69 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2018
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  • Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Gretchen Rubin
    • Narrated By Gretchen Rubin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2077)
    Performance
    (1781)
    Story
    (1743)

    The author of the blockbuster New York Times best sellers The Happiness Project and Happier at Home tackles the critical question: How do we change? Gretchen Rubin's answer: through habits. Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives.

    Debra says: "Loved this book!"
    "Disapppointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I really wanted to like this book but I could not even finish it. It was just the ramblings of a neurotic, over-achiever trying to understand why she acts the way she does. I think she just needed a topic to write about and picked a self help topic/title to entice people to buy her book even though she does not have anything unique to say or add to what has already been written about habits and human behavior. She asks more questions in the book about herself than she can answer. And what answers she does provide are just generalizations and speculation based on her experience and the few other authors she quotes. I grew bored and put it down half way through.


    What could Gretchen Rubin have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Write about the law (she mentions several times she is a lawyer), rather than speculate about human behavior of which she has no more knowledge than any other lay person.


    What character would you cut from Better Than Before?

    Her frequently asked questions "why do I do that?" "what would I do if...?" as if the reader really cares about her internal dialogue and observations about her own habit and behaviors.


    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Mark W. Muesse
    • Narrated By Professor Mark W. Muesse Ph.D. Harvard University
    Overall
    (3019)
    Performance
    (2661)
    Story
    (2604)

    Meditation offers deep and lasting benefits for mental functioning and emotional health, as well as for physical health and well-being. These 24 detailed lectures teach you the principles and techniques of sitting meditation, the related practice of walking meditation, and the highly beneficial use of meditative awareness in many important activities, including eating and driving. You will also learn how to use the skills of meditation in working with thoughts and emotional states.

    Mike says: "Very good lectures on mindfulness!"
    "Excellent "
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not sure this book is an introduction to
    Mediation as much as it is a comprehensive instruction manual on living life to its fullest with resilience to overcome all of it emotional turmoil. I really like he draws on his own life experience to illustrate points. I highly recommend for anyone interested in mindful living.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Source: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (54 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By James A. Michener
    • Narrated By Larry McKeever
    Overall
    (691)
    Performance
    (607)
    Story
    (612)

    In the grand storytelling style that is his signature, James Michener sweeps us back through time to the very beginnings of the Jewish faith, thousands of years ago. Through the predecessors of four modern men and women, we experience the entire colorful history of the Jews, including the life of the early Hebrews and their persecutions, the impact of Christianity, the Crusades, and the Spanish Inquisition, all the way to the founding of present-day Israel and the Middle East conflict.

    GGS Engineering says: "Unlistenable"
    "Wow!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a must listen for all Jews or anyone with Jewish ancestry as well as anyone interested in the origins of religion and faith. It is a long and involved story but brilliant in describing the intricacies and complexity of Jewish heritage.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found a Self-Help That Actually Works

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Dan Harris
    • Narrated By Dan Harris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14622)
    Performance
    (13065)
    Story
    (13006)

    After having a nationally televised panic attack on Good Morning America, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure, involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists.

    Russell says: "You mean that voice can be tamed - Sign me up!"
    "Loved It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about 10% Happier?

    If you are interested in meditation or mindfulness but have a stressful day job, this book is for you. It looks at meditation through the eyes of a typical on-the-go American who, fortunately, confirms there is something to it. It is not Nirvana and the end of suffering but there are benefits for sure. I enjoyed hearing about his journey and the attitudes he encounters. 20 years from now everyone will be meditating and we will look back at this book and laugh at how radical it was at the time.


    What about Dan Harris’s performance did you like?

    He seems sincere. He approached the subject with healthy skepticism which made his acceptance seem very real.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    It Worked for Me


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Scott Anderson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1795)
    Performance
    (1601)
    Story
    (1603)

    Based on four years of intensive primary document research, Lawrence in Arabiadefinitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed. Sweeping in its action, keen in its portraiture, acid in its condemnation of the destruction wrought by European colonial plots, this is a book that brilliantly captures the way in which the folly of the past creates the anguish of the present.

    carolyn says: "A Middle East Built on Lies"
    "Lots of Detail"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Too much detail.


    Was Lawrence in Arabia worth the listening time?

    If you are interested in this topic and the events at this time it is great. If you are looking for an interesting non-fiction story about events that actually occurred, there is just too much unnecessary detail in this book.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Garth Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Evan Welch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13562)
    Performance
    (10820)
    Story
    (10828)

    Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.

    Lora says: "Enzo (because he's so wize) for president."
    "Good Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Art of Racing in the Rain?

    I almost put it down during the first hour or two. I hate books that use obvious personal crisis to stir emotion (e.g. cancer, losing custody of a child). It is easy to make the reader sad or angry when using these elements in a story and, in my opinion, are used by authors that are unable to be more subtle or sophisticated in their story development. However, the author used crisis in this story not so much to elicit emotion but to have something for the primary character to overcome and the author does so in a masterful way.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The author switches from his story to auto racing. I am not an auto racing fan and thought the sections about it were a distraction and a waste of time. However, as the book progressed, I saw how these sections actually make the book work and the larger meaning of what it means to be proficient at racing in the rain.


    Any additional comments?

    Yes. I now talk to my dog much more than I did before. I am not sure she understands me but you never know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Emotional Chaos to Clarity: How to Live More Skillfully, Make Better Decisions, and Find Purpose in Life

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Phillip Moffitt
    • Narrated By Fred Stella
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (115)

    Despite our best-laid plans, life can often be difficult, disappointing, and stressful. Consequently, when things don’t go right, we are often left in a state of emotional chaos, dealing with feelings like anger, anxiety, frustration, and doubt, which can cloud our perspective and negatively affect the way we live our lives. But in this inspiring book, Phillip Moffitt shows us that we need not be at the mercy of our emotions. By cultivating a responsive mind rather than a reactive one, we can achieve a state of emotional clarity.

    Sara says: "You Are Not Your Emotions"
    "Excellent Content"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Emotional Chaos to Clarity again? Why?

    Yes. The author understands human emotion and how emotions affect our lives. He outlines what is happening to you when you are out of emotional balance and what you can do to regain balance. Psychology is Western society's response to overwhelming or troubling emotions but it seeks to explore root causes of the discomfort which can be a long and laborious process. Sometimes, the root cause is just unknown or finding it does little to stop the emotional chaos. Moffit's approach follows the Buddhist tradition of being present with the emotion in the moment. Rather than fear the emotion or try to chase it away, Moffitt teaches one to be aware of it and make peace with it. Once one begins to becomes aware of what they are feeling through mindfulness, they are better able to tolerate the emotions and live more skillfully. Moffit does a good job of explaining this process and also how to reduce emotional chaos by making sure your intentions and your goals are aligned.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The book would have been better if it was read by Moffit himself. The narrator has a stereotypical narrator's voice. I would have much preferred to hear Moffit himself as the messages and stories are powerful but lose something being communicated through a third party who does not necessarily understand these things himself.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from Emotional Chaos to Clarity?

    Emotions are emotions, passing states of mind, but they are not you!


    Any additional comments?

    There is so much information it can be a bit hard to digest. I advise taking it slow, stopping the track frequently to think about what he is saying and how it applies to your life.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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