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CK1

Urbana, Illinois United States | Member Since 2007

34
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 64 ratings
  • 393 titles in library
  • 63 purchased in 2014
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  • Confessions of a Radical Tax Protestor: An Inside Expose of the Tax Resistance Movement

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Larry R. Williams
    • Narrated By James C. Lewis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Larry Williams has never backed away from authority, especially government authority - the U.S. or any other. This is the story of Larry's war with the IRS and U.S. Dept. of Treasury and an inside view of the world of tax protesters. Larry explains why the tax protest movement exists, where it is dead wrong and why it will most often lead followers to prison. He also weighs in on what can be done to correct the unfairness of the tax codes and why tax rates are so astronomical, and on the "fair share" idea that should be applied to the "fair share" of your income the government is "entitled" to.

    CK1 says: "No Longer a Protester, but Still a Radical Zealot"
    "No Longer a Protester, but Still a Radical Zealot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Larry R. Williams and/or James C. Lewis?

    I was excited to listen to this book as someone of left-leaning persuasion in the hope of understanding how the other half lives. While I enjoyed portions of the book, it was ultimately unsatisfying.

    There are three components to this book: the author's personal experience being prosecuted for tax evasion, some background on 'tax resister' arguments and the author's personal views regarding government and taxation.

    I found the personal experience the most compelling, although I remain skeptical to its honesty. Williams expresses EXTREME paranoia about lawyers, accountants, the IRS, Judges and government. Yet, his trial defense was that he was duped by tax resisters, lawyers, accountants and fraudulent investment schemes. Williams shows his naivety regarding the court system which is particularly evident during discussion of speedy trial rights. Despite my skepticism, I couldn't help wanting to hear what happened next.

    The second topic, background on tax resister arguments and schemes, is ultimately unsatisfying. Williams lays out the various arguments of tax resisters and simply urges listeners to ignore them because they have never successful in court. Williams never says WHY the arguments are wrong (which they objectively are) with the possible exception of the pure trust, which is briefly explained. Are we to infer that Williams agrees with the nonsense he used to espouse and simply discourages the use of these techniques because they have been unsuccessful?

    The final topic, Williams extreme personal views on taxation and government, is downright cringe worthy. It is difficult to listen to so many lies, half-truths and my-opinion-is-fact statements in such rapid sequence. Perhaps this book is intended for an already agreeable audience but it is shockingly wrong if you have not already drank the kool-aid.


    What about James C. Lewis’s performance did you like?

    Narration is generally excellent with only a few gross mispronunciations of words. Dialect, timber and cadence are appropriate to the tone of the material and the author's background.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Yes Please

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Amy Poehler
    • Narrated By Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, and others
    Overall
    (638)
    Performance
    (615)
    Story
    (615)

    Amy Poehler is hosting a dinner party and you're invited! Welcome to the audiobook edition of Amy Poehler's Yes Please. The guest list is star-studded with vocal appearances from Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy’s parents - Yes Please is the ultimate audiobook extravaganza.

    Stacy Harp says: "Honest, Humorous and Coarse"
    "Entertaining. Worthwhile. Some production flaws."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Overall, I enjoyed this audiobook. Completed in under a weekend, but I listen at 2x speed. The author/producers attempt to push the bounds of audiobook production, for better and worse at times, with multiple narrators, including the author's parents. A standard, humorous celebrity autobiography, with a little self-help and creative flights of fancy mixed in.

    I take issue with the final chapter being performed live. For one, live shows always sound terrible, and this is no exception. Two, performance before an audience has no place in audiobooks, I write this sole criticism in the hope that this does not become common. I buy audiobooks to hear the author or talented narrator perform the work. Amy Poehler does an excellent job in this task, and ought not be burdened by poor recording quality and audience interruption. Sorry, sorry, sorry for this lengthy critique of one small aspect of a book I enjoyed and recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • God Bless America: Strange and Unusual Religious Beliefs and Practices in the United States

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Karen Stollznow
    • Narrated By Karen Stollznow
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    God Bless America lifts the veil on strange and unusual religious beliefs and practices in the modern-day United States. Do Satanists really sacrifice babies? Do exorcisms involve swearing and spinning heads? Are the Amish allowed to drive cars and use computers? Offering a close look at snake handling, new age spirituality, Santeria spells, and satanic rituals, this book offers more than mere armchair research.

    CK1 says: "Enjoyable but kind of pointless"
    "Enjoyable but kind of pointless"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An interesting look at lesser known religions and religious practices in the United States. I did not have a good feeling going in because the very first chapter opens with a misquotation ("Two girls for every boy" is mis-attributed to the Beach Boys, when it is in fact a Jan and Dean lyric). Chapters include Voodoo, Fundamental Mormonism, Satanism, Quakers, Scientology, Amish/Mennonite, and New Age. My main problem is, if you are remotely literate in matters of American history, sociology, and religion, none of the content is terribly enlightening, as one already knows the bulk of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
    • Narrated By Stephen J. Dubner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1376)
    Performance
    (1227)
    Story
    (1231)

    The New York Times best-selling Freakonomics changed the way we see the world, exposing the hidden side of just about everything. Now, with Think Like a Freak, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have written their most revolutionary book yet. With their trademark blend of captivating storytelling and unconventional analysis, they take us inside their thought process and offer a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems. The topics range from business to philanthropy to sports to politics, all with the goal of retraining your brain.

    Nancy says: "Only if you don't listen to the podcast....."
    "Very Disapointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved Freakonomics, liked Superfreakonomics and have listened to every podcast they have ever put out. So I was excited for their next offering. Sadly, about 80% of this book is recycled from the podcast.

    Dubner's narration is excellent as always.

    20 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Mary Roach
    • Narrated By Emily Woo Zeller
    Overall
    (1434)
    Performance
    (1268)
    Story
    (1277)

    Best-selling author Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside. Roach takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour. The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain: The questions explored in Gulp are as taboo, in their way, as the cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts?

    Kirstin says: "Mary Roach Does Not Disappoint!"
    "Mary Roach does it again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A fascinating road trip from nose to anus. Mary Roach's unique style of fearless, curious inquiry into unknown aspects of everyday life and extreme empathy for persons in esoteric professions holds the listener's interest.

    The narrator is very pleasant but a bit slow in pace. By adjusting the playback speed, this is a non-issue. Not as good as the performances on Roach's earlier books Stiff and Bonk.

    My only complaint isn't with the work or its audio performance, it's with the audio production. The volume fluctuates greatly, even from word to word, as though the narrator didn't maintain uniform distance from the microphone or poor equipment was used. This could have been easily fixed by running compression, but was not.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Keep the Change: A Clueless Tipper's Quest to Become the Guru of the Gratuity

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Steve Dublanica
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Tipping is huge in America. Almost everyone leaves at least one tip every day. More than five million American workers depend on them, and we spend $66 billion on tips each year. And everyone recognizes that queasy feeling - in bars and restaurants, barbershops and beauty parlors, hotels and strip clubs, and everywhere else - when the check arrives or the tip jar looms. Omnipresent yet poorly understood, tipping has worked its way into almost every part of daily life.

    Joshua Kim says: "'Keep the Change': Tipping and Us"
    "A fun journey, but dodges the difficult questions"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The author's exploration of the various service economy professions is enlightening. The overall thesis of the book is tip more and accept "tip creep." This hardly makes one a tipping guru. The author doesn't address the real tipping quandaries: do you tip on takeout? buffet service? What should one tip a golf caddy? I was expecting a more balanced approach distinguishing proper tipping situations from those where tips are requested without any real work, skill or service being provided.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gun Guys: A Road Trip

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Dan Baum
    • Narrated By Richard Kind
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (27)

    Here is armed America - a land of machine-gun gatherings in the desert, lederhosened German shooting societies, feral-hog hunts in Texas, and Hollywood gun armories. Whether they’re collecting antique weapons, practicing concealed carry, or firing an AR-15 or a Glock at their local range, many Americans love guns - which horrifies and fascinates many other Americans, and much of the rest of the world. This lively, sometimes raucous book explores from the inside the American love affair with firearms.

    CK1 says: "Not 28 hours, only 14:41"
    "Not 28 hours, only 14:41"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Gun Guys?

    I bought this today but have not listened yet. The site says it is 28 hours, but its actually 14:41. I am not complaining as 28 hours seemed a bit excessive for a work of this type.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Not Taco Bell Material

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Adam Carolla
    • Narrated By Adam Carolla
    Overall
    (958)
    Performance
    (876)
    Story
    (870)

    Funnyman Adam Carolla is known for two things: hilarious rants about things that drive him crazy and personal stories about everything from his hardscrabble childhood to his slacker friends to the hypocrisy of Hollywood. He tackled rants in his first book, and now he tells his best stories and debuts some never-before-heard tales as well. Adam Carolla started broke and blue collar and has now been on the Hollywood scene for over 15 years. Yet he never lost his underdog demeanor.

    Brett says: "Not bad but uneven and not revealing."
    "Fantastic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Adam's last book was quite enjoyable, but the best parts were always the biographical portions. Adam's background, stories and successes have always been more enthralling than tired rants about politics.


    7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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