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David Garnand

Member Since 2011

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 93 ratings
  • 211 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015
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  • Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Douglas Hofstadter, Emmanuel Sander
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (47)

    Analogy is the core of all thinking. This is the simple but unorthodox premise that Pulitzer Prize-winning author Douglas Hofstadter and French psychologist Emmanuel Sander defend in their new work. Hofstadter has been grappling with the mysteries of human thought for over 30 years. Now, with his trademark wit and special talent for making complex ideas vivid, he has partnered with Sander to put forth a highly novel perspective on cognition.

    Bryan says: "A dance on the street is worth 2 in the club."
    "Doug, Doug, Doug"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Let's just say that Hofstadter is a fascinating combination of brilliant and boring. If you like the way he thinks, then it's a good book to have around to listen to here and there. He always has something interesting to say, often, though, the executive summary might be sufficient.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Oh good, time to move on to Dennett...


    Any additional comments?

    I am giving Hofstadter a hard time, but I love his mind, he's just, well, you know, tedious...

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The 48 Laws of Power

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Robert Greene
    • Narrated By Don Leslie
    Overall
    (1924)
    Performance
    (1344)
    Story
    (1347)

    Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this piercing work distills 3,000 years of the history of power into 48 well-explicated laws. This bold volume outlines the laws of power in their unvarnished essence, synthesizing the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun-tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, and other great thinkers.

    Ricardo says: "Not a how to guide .."
    "Farce for Posers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I completely misunderstood what I was about to read when I got this book. I foolishly thought it was going to be a strongly researched and thoughtful historical investigation into the nature of power with 48 astute observations similar to Good to Great or other thoughtful research.

    This books is probably written for and is appealing to the shallow and overconfident who seek to take more from the world than they give by using the perpetually infantile "well, they're doing it!."

    If you are committed to understanding the human condition and pushing our socio-evolution to higher and higher levels of mutuality, collaboration, and "peace on earth, good will toward" one another, this book is either comedy, parody, or pathetic. Maybe the author has his tongue in his cheek like Rush Limbaugh who makes bazillions whipping the ignorant into a frenzy. I find that annoying. I find this book annoying.

    More concretely, there are two ways to research or investigate a subject; one is to know already what you believe and then find examples that you can stick into your belief system. A good example of this is Creationism. Another good example of this is this book. The other, more...what shall I say, interesting way is to wonder about something, investigate it, look at your findings and see what what you can make of it - even if you don't like what you find.

    The world, in my view, is moving - slowly - to a more beautiful way to think about power (Read Robert Greenleaf's The Servant Leader for starters, then read something like The Joy of Work by Bakke and, again, Collins' Good to Great where we find great leaders "looking out the window" when things go well and "looking in the mirror" when things go badly).

    You can't talk people out of listening to Rush Limbaugh and those people will love this book. I think I just wandered into the wrong bar. My bad.


    Footnote: The reader really does a perfect job with the text that he's given. He uses an arrogant, pompous style in keeping with the pretentiousness of the book. I didn't like it, but the reader was spot on in his performance. I would have given him 4-stars but he should have had enough integrity not to have read the book!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The End of Men: And the Rise of Women

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Hanna Rosin
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (48)

    Men have been the dominant sex since - well, the dawn of mankind. And yet, as journalist Hanna Rosin discovered, that long-held truth is no longer true. At this unprecedented moment, women are no longer merely gaining on men; they have pulled decisively ahead by almost every measure. Already "the end of men" - the phrase Rosin coined - has entered the lexicon as indelibly as Simone de Beauvoir’s "second sex", Betty Friedan’s "feminine mystique", Susan Faludi’s "backlash", and Naomi Wolf’s "beauty myth" have.

    Darren says: "Great book, don't care for the reader's style"
    "The Story of Women"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I think it was the publisher who came up with the title to be provocative. Rosin tells an excellent story of the current rise of women and the struggle of men to find their place in the latest iteration of the new world order. In fact, the book basically ends with the path ahead for men. I found this to be very informative, well written, well thought out, and absolutely an important reflection and look at our current era. Given the dominance of the males of our species over the course of history, and their oft-times abuse of power, the Rise of Women (as I prefer to think of this book) is an exciting narrative of the human world - and all that it influences - coming into a era which will be better for all; women, men, children, animals, all biological life, the environment. Viva la spiritus feminus and viva a world which blends all the wonderful aspects of both sexes of our species!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Barbara W. Tuchman
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (254)
    Performance
    (127)
    Story
    (125)

    In The March of Folly, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning historian Barbara Tuchman tackles the pervasive presence of folly in governments through the ages. Defining folly as the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests, despite the availability of feasible alternatives, Tuchman details four decisive turning points in history that illustrate the very heights of folly in government.

    peter says: "No stone left unturned"
    "The Insightful Ms. Tuchman"
    Overall

    This is a wonderful foray into varying bits of history with a sharp, well thought out theme. It is easy to be an armchair quarterback with 20-20 hindsight, criticizing leaders and governments for their failures and mistakes, but Tuchman gives us a clear target: leaders who had every bit of information and advice they needed at their disposal to change course, but could not bring themselves to do so. Tuchman never strays from her theme and gives an invaluable lesson for those who can find it in themselves to be introspective. This should be required reading for any modern leader.

    As with any Tuchman book, her writing is brilliant; articulate, witty, and kept me captivated throughout.

    Wanda McCaddon's reading is superb, capturing Tuchman's wonderful writing style perfectly - at least as perfectly as an Brit can capture an American's "voice".

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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