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Eugene, OR, United States | Member Since 2013

  • 5 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 207 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2015

  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By David Allen
    • Narrated By David Allen

    From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done has the potential to transform the way you work - and the way you experience work. At any level of implementation, David Allen's entertaining and thought-provoking advice shows you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.

    Blue Skies Ahead says: "Get the "Paper Book" instead."
    "Finally, GTD in unabridged audio format!"

    I had listened to the earlier, abridged version previously, and this unabridged version is far superior. In fact, I would say it's superior to the printed book too, because a lot of this book is "coaching", where you're expected to be doing something in conjunction with the book. The unabridged version goes into way more depth than the abridged one.

    Plus, Allen is again his own narrator, which adds to the feeling of having a coach guiding one into these new practices.

    Those who claim this is outdated in the 21st century are missing the point. As Allen repeatedly points out in the book, it's not the medium that's important but the principles behind the method. Once you understand the principles, you can apply them in any medium you like. The good news is (as Allen would say), the principles are not at all difficult to understand. And believe it or not, most of the working world is still paper-based and/or document-centric. So, paper-based examples are the most accessible to the greatest number of listeners. I'm using the GTD method, and about 95% of my working world is digital (I'm a web developer).

    53 of 54 people found this review helpful
  • Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Simon Sinek
    • Narrated By Simon Sinek
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their successes over and over? People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why.

    A. Yoshida says: "Inspire to find why you do what you do"
    "Yep, a touch repetitive, but very worthwhile"

    Overall, this is a very good book. In audio form, it's occasionally obnoxious with its repetition. I'm guessing that in written form, there were pull quotes scattered throughout the text. The author just reads those, as if they were part of the text. A bit weird.

    On the other hand, the material is great. On the face of it, "start with why" is practically self-evident. Yet, as Sinek illustrates, many companies (and individuals!) forget their "why" and focus too much on the whats and hows of business.

    If you're not following this material closely, it might sound like just another business book making hay out of the obvious. Don't get stuck too much on his frequent use of Apple as an example -- it's just one that's easily accessible. However, I do think this would make a more compelling book if Sinek had chosen a better example for the corporate part, told their story, and then kept coming back to *that*. The MLK example was pretty good though.

    Other reviewers didn't like Sinek's reading. Aside from reading pullquotes, I think he did quite well. The sound quality isn't superb, but it was perfectly acceptable.

    This book has definitely influenced me personally and professionally. I am rethinking what the heck my business (and life!) is about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I, Claudius

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Robert Graves
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger

    Here is one of the best historical novels ever written. Lame, stammering Claudius, once a major embarrassment to the imperial family and now emperor of Rome, writes an eyewitness account of the reign of the first four Caesars: the noble Augustus and his cunning wife, Livia; the reptilian Tiberius; the monstrous Caligula; and finally old Claudius himself. Filled with poisonings, betrayal, and shocking excesses, I Claudius is history that rivals the most exciting contemporary fiction.

    Chris says: "Unsurpassed, addictive brilliance"
    "A great book, excellent reading"

    I normally listen to audiobooks when doing housework, driving or something similarly menial. But then the dishes would be done, and I'd find myself sitting still, listening to Nelson Runger's reading. Wonderful! The story itself is fiction, but with a fair amount of historicity providing a tremendous reminder of the fascinating and revolting history of the Roman empire. As a bonus, Graves has Claudius end on a sardonic joke. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jim Collins
    • Narrated By Jim Collins

    Built To Last, the defining management study of the 90s, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning. But what about companies that are not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

    CharlieSeymourJr says: "Stick it out even if you don't run a large company"
    "Good info, over-the-top narration"

    Yes, the narrator is the author, so maybe that counts for something. But man, he just goes so far over the top over-weighting his words so often, it's pretty comical at times. The sample is a bit misleading, because Collins is just getting warmed up in that. A few more pages in, and He Is Speaking Like A Triumphant Graduate Student Who Has Just...Found...The...PROOF...That...Discipline -- DISCIPLINE! -- is the Key!

    Narrative comedy aside, there is a lot of worthwhile information here, though when you boil it down there's a lot of the obvious here. Also in late 2010 the discussion of Circuit City and Fannie Mae as "great companies" is a bit ridiculous; and some of the companies discussed as great have attained their greatness in part by less-than-moral means that have come to light in the years of increasingly ubiquitous internet since the book's publication. Still, Collins' articulation is highly accessible and well-ordered, making "the obvious" easier to digest and retain. 4 stars for content, 2 stars for narration = 3 stars.

    29 of 34 people found this review helpful
  • The Smartest Investment Book You'll Ever Read

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Dan Solin
    • Narrated By Craig Wollman

    If your main concern is getting the most out of your money without sacrificing financial security, Dan Solin tells you how to take control of your finances and end up in the top five percent of all professionally managed money.

    March says: "Nothing new. Bitterly boring"
    "Good, slightly infomercially"

    I'm a newcomer to investing and especially to investment books. But the little stock market investing I've done has been lackluster, and Solin's book offers some compelling evidence why. I'd recommend getting a print or ebook copy, as there are some numbers and symbols that would be easier to take in visually.

    Still, overall the book is quite interesting, informative and an easy listen. I'd definitely recommend it, except that it'll take me some time to put this information to the test!

    The reader is just a little over emphatic at times, but generally decent. There are some puzzling repeat references to Vanguard, which make me wonder if Solin is really just selling Vanguard with this book. However he adds in other examples too in the "nuts and bolts" of part 4.

    Also -- the audiobook gives an incorrect URL for the Asset Allocation Questionnaire on the author's website. The correct URL for the site is

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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