I loved Babauta's The Power of Less. I've listened to it three times and bought the ebook. This is a retread of it, only ironically completely unfocused. It's clearly just some blog posts strung together without much effort to make them into a focused whole. The ending features fellow bloggers reading their own "power of less" style essays, and they aren't very good. Aside from being a poor rewrite, Babauta rejects one of the key ideas in "The Power of Less," which could've been interesting but didn't seem convincing to me. (I'll leave the mystery to readers of Focus.) Anyway, I wish I hadn't gotten the book and now I'm leery of getting more by him for fear they'll also be retreads. (Zen to Done is like a first draft of The Power of Less and not recommended either.) Bottom line: Stick with The Power of Less, not this.
It’s basically exactly the same as the movie, but with a little more sex and a little more internal dialogue. For me the interesting part was realizing how the story isn’t only about how people hear what they want to hear and often mold what others say into something unintended. It can also be seen through a race, gender and class lens. So we’ve got the story of a mentally slow man who is white and who is dressed well. His simplistic statements about gardening are misinterpreted as genius symbolism about economics. Soon he’s hanging out with billionaires, ambassadors and the president of the United States. Imagine whether the mentally impaired words of someone not dressed as well, a woman, or a black man or woman would ever be misconstrued in such a way. Thought-provoking still. Not dated at all.
Dustin Hoffman's narration is excellent.
The good news is this book tells what happened to Harry Bosch to make him the man he is today. It has him trying to solve his mother's murder, which happened when he was a boy. The bad news is this is probably the slowest of Connelly’s books. That’s all right if you like Bosch’s character, as I do. But it’s not the place to start if you're somewhat new to the series.
If you want to be the best salesman or corporate climber you can be, maybe — maybe — this short book distilling the basics of other self-improvement books might be of interest. To me, it seemed shallow and money-grubbing, which may be traits that help you get ahead but I prefer my “get more done” books to focus on more than getting ahead at work. And some of the advice made me roll my eyes such as berating yourself repeatedly to “get back to work” or — my favorite — buy every motivational book and attend every motivational seminar you can.
The story is excellent as Krakauer demolishes — but always respectfully — Greg Mortensen's fictions. Krakauer really goes above and beyond with his reporting to the point it's devastating. One great tidbit involves Mortensen's frequent claims of being kidnapped, held at gunpoint and in fear of being executed — and Mortensen even offers a photo of his scary Arab captors surrounding him with guns. Only Krakauer learns the people in the photo were actually his bodyguards and he finds other photos from the same session showing Mortensen clowning around with them.
The narrator is excellent.
I love when (good) Kindle singles are given the Audible treatment, but sometimes the price is too high. That's the case here, but if you wait for a big sale, I think the price better matches the length, but it's so good that the standard price is worth paying.
Ex-FBI agent gets a heart transplant, only it turns out to be from a woman who was murdered and he feels obligated to find her killer. The plot twists right at the very end are common for this kind of story (and in Connelly’s other books), but the twists before then were very good and had me guessing. The book is far better than the Clint Eastwood movie, to which it bares little resemblance. If there’s a problem with the book, it’s that the main character is generic. He’s basically Harry Bosch from Connelly’s other books and has no personality that comes out. Maybe that’s OK because the plot and the feelings of obligation (toward many different things) are what’s key here. Frankly, I loved it and raced through it.
And I think Dick Hill is my preferred narrator for all Michael Connelly books.
I was surprised how much I liked this collection of short stories about a nice-guy hit man who has no qualms about doing his job, even to nice people. It’s supposed to be a novel but each chapter is self-contained and something about the hit man’s introspection is charming. This is not a thriller, you'll never be on the edge of your seat, but it’s consistently compelling with a spare, no-nonsense narrative style.
Part of the reason I loved it so much was Robert Forster's narration. He is The Hit Man. Too bad he wasn't used on future installments.
A social worker who spends more time helping the downtrodden than her own family picks up a suitcase in a travel locker for a friend only to find it contains a little boy. The police aren’t a good choice because of what happens to children in such situations and she sees an angry man who found the locker empty right after she emptied it. She goes off-grid to find out what happened. The book is a little confusing at the beginning with flashbacks and multiple characters at different ages, but soon there’s an action-thriller rhythm culminating in an exciting finale. This book is nothing like “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy plot-wise, in its high-tech setting or with a young heroine, but it does overlap in two areas: it’s a Scandanavian crime novel and it’s written by someone who understands feminism. It’s rare to see female characters handle dangerous situations as typical women would and not as male action heroes would. (It passes the Bechdel test with flying colors.)
There was an exciting moment near the end, but for the most part this was dull, dull, dull. Just a bunch of young people who aren't very smart planning rebellion. The topic could've been so interesting...
A group of average people living in an LA apartment building find strange things and discover the fate of the world lies in their hands. This could've been OK but there are no ideas pondered, no commentary on anything, just occasional action and lightly humorous camaraderie with silly but deadly monsters at the end. It could be a TV episode it’s so lightweight.
For a homicide detective novel, it went on longer than it needed to. And the main character was interesting and funny but then he became a jerk to his partner for literally no reason — he admits this — and the book wasn't as good after that, although I guess it needed to happen for the plot. That said, it held my interest and, for once, in a crime drama, the female characters weren't simply males with the gender changed to give the story broader appeal. The female characters were genuine women and an integral part of the story. Sure wish there'd been some payoff to the opening plot twist. For squeamish readers, it wasn't too graphic. I don't feel the need to immediately buy the second book in the series; I'll wait for it to be on sale.
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