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  • Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Maria Konnikova
    • Narrated By Karen Saltus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    No fictional character is more renowned for his powers of thought and observation than Sherlock Holmes. But is his extraordinary intellect merely a gift of fiction, or can we learn to cultivate these abilities ourselves, to improve our lives at work and at home? We can, says psychologist and journalist Maria Konnikova, and in Mastermind she shows us how. Beginning with the "brain attic", Konnikova unpacks the mental strategies that lead to clearer thinking and deeper insights.

    C says: "Mindless: How to Regurgitate Useless Information"
    "Mindless: How to Regurgitate Useless Information"

    Do you know what I learned in the first hour of this book while I went on my morning 5 mile run before I realized that there are no chapter markers?

    Absolutely nothing. I actually groaned out loud numerous times and yelled "Come ON! Are you serious?" to the running path. The only explanation I can think of is that author must have been paid by the word, because she has reinvented the meaning of taking commonly known ideas and taken the phrase "beating a dead horse" into new heights. To take on the tone of the author, I have crafted a representative paragraph:

    "Sometimes a horse is dead, yet you keep beating it (reads a paragraph from Sherlock Holmes). Do you understand what this means? Have you ever thought of the idea of beating a dead horse? I imagine a thousand My Little Ponies, each a different color, with fabulous mains and tails, hearts and stars, slowly dying and falling to the ground, and tiny little gnomes taking striped bats and hitting them, even after they are dead (reads the exact same paragraph as above that she read before, word for word, from Sherlock Holmes). That said, sometimes people do that. They happen to beat dead horses. Now that phrase is not to be taken literally, but figuratively. When people do that, they tend to over explain or repeat themselves over and over and over again. Did I mention that this happens more than once? It happens over and over. This is called. B.A.D.H. That stands for beating a dead horse (reads the exact same paragraph as above that she read before, word for word, from Sherlock Holmes). Now let's look at some studies where more people tell you how to beat a dead horse. Then I'll tell you again after the study how to beat a dead horse.


    Yes, she actually makes an abbreviation for the words motivation to remember, referring to it as "M.T.R." Guffaw.

    If there were even ONE new, original or helpful idea in that first hour, I would have been so grateful I would have clicked my heels in glee. But alas, they were all useless ridiculous time fillers like, "did you know that we often don't pay attention to things?…our minds are like an attic, it may look funny, it may have a little chimney, but it may not have a chimney…sometimes people remind us of other people…people who try harder on tests do better…sometimes we all have first impressions or prejudices…have you ever had the experience of forgetting something?...and on and on and on and on….with not one helpful hint in sight.

    Also, she reads entire passages from Sherlock Holmes word for word not only twice, but sometimes THREE TIMES in a paragraph! She can't just say, "referring to the paragraph I just mentioned, x y and z", NO, she has to read the ENTIRE THING again and again! I have never seen an editor let an author get away with such ridiculousness, which is why I say she must have been paid by the word.

    And could the narrator sound any more condescending? The only thing she should ever read is something that ends in "And thank you for flying the friendly skies"! It was like listening to a debutante talk down to her toy poodle. I almost expected her to chime in with, "And where does Mimi go poopoo? In the widdle doggie doo box, that's RIGHT my little Angelpie!"

    At the end of my run, I clicked my iPod off, and when I turned if on again, the book went back to the beginning and HAS NO CHAPTER MARKERS! Which means I WOULD HAVE TO LISTEN TO THE BEGINNING OVER AGAIN to hear the entire thing!

    I would rather die a slow death in a sand pit being bitten by snakes while tigers claw out my eyes and vultures pull out my tongue than listen to that again.

    But if anyone has a version with chapter markers I'd love to give the rest of the book a chance to see if there are any actual instructions on how to think like Sherlock Holmes. Maybe my first impression of the book from the first chapter is incongruent with the rest of the book. I would be happy to find this to be the case.

    P.S. I have listened to hundreds of audio books and in case people think I'm just a grump, this is the first scathing review I've ever given.

    36 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell

    In his landmark best seller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant, in the blink of an eye, that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept?

    Rebecca says: "A Blinkin' Good Read"
    "Power Packed with Pertinence!"
    What did you love best about Blink?

    So many "how to think more intelligently" books are just a jumble of overstated and already known tidbits that one learns in elementary school, or from every day life common sense. This is NOT that. This book has new, helpful and sometimes surprising facts, suggestions and tips on how to use, refine, and reign in one's intuition.

    What other book might you compare Blink to and why?

    "How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes" steals a lot of the exact same stories and studies from "Blink", but doesn't actually have any new or useful information like "Blink" does, as far as the first chapter goes, anyway (read my review of the former book).

    What does Malcolm Gladwell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A great way of using personality and emphasis to help one understand the ideas in the book.

    Any additional comments?

    So many books out there are in the category of "not useful". This one is in the "useful" category.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Is How You Lose Her

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Junot Díaz
    • Narrated By Junot Díaz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The stories in This Is How You Lose Her, by turns hilarious and devastating, raucous and tender, lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weaknesses of our all-too-human hearts. They capture the heat of new passion, the recklessness with which we betray what we most treasure, and the torture we go through - "the begging, the crawling over glass, the crying" - to try to mend what we've broken beyond repair. They recall the echoes that intimacy leaves behind, even where we thought we did not care.

    Roy Reiss says: "For narration leave the prose for the pros"
    "This is How You Enter as a Villan & Leave a Hero"
    Would you listen to This Is How You Lose Her again? Why?

    Yes, the author tells heartfelt and penitent tales of love and loss, and honestly depicts his role in each story.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of This Is How You Lose Her?

    The ending paragraph had me in tears.

    What does Junot Díaz bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A tone of integrity.

    Any additional comments?

    Having absolutely no knowledge of Spanish, had I known that a considerable amount of the book is sporadically in Spanish, I might not have purchased it. But I hope this doesn't keep people from listening, because the context in which the Spanish is inserted is written in a way that one can get the gist of what they are saying, and doesn't interfere with the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anticancer: A New Way of Life

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By David Servan-Schrieber
    • Narrated By Robert Fass

    When Dr. David Servan-Schreiber was diagnosed with brain cancer, it changed his life. Confronting what medicine knows about illness, the little known workings of the body's natural cancer-fighting capacities, and his own will to live, Servan-Schreiber found himself on a journey from disease and relapse into scientific exploration, and finally to health.

    Gary says: "Must Read for anyone with cancer concerns"
    "Not able to listen correctly or share"
    Any additional comments?

    Unfortunately, this book and other Audible books do not have chapter markers compatible with older models of iPods, therefore I have been unable to listen to the whole thing because every time I stop my iPod and re-charge, it goes back to Chapter 1 and I have to start all over again. I can't get past chapter 3.

    And like regular books in my paper library, I am unable to lend any of these books to friends or family, which is completely ridiculous. If I'm paying for a book, either paper or digital, it is mine and I should be able to lend it to whomever I please. But Audible prevents any book from being shared on more than one device, even if it is mine! I am considering disabling my account because of this.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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