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Derek

ratings
7
REVIEWS
6
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
3

  • Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Barry Schwartz, Kenneth Sharpe
    • Narrated By Barry Schwartz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    Most of us want to succeed. And most of us want to do the right thing. But we often forget that the way tosucceed is by doing the right thing, as Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe remind us in Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing. When the institutions that shape our society need to change, the people in them typically either make more rules or offer smarter incentives.

    Daniel says: "Professionalism"
    "Great book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm getting sick of the dysfunction of our government and public discourse... have been forming an idea of what's at the root of it for a while... and this book does a great job of digging down deeper and putting some science and philosophy around it.

    Can't just say I wish all politicians read this... they should LIVE it. But they won't live it unless the people who elect them live it too.

    75% of Americans wouldn't have the seriousness of mind to get through this... which is part of the problem... but if the other 25% reads this or something like it, it might be enough ;-)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life

    • ABRIDGED (1 hr and 24 mins)
    • By Martin E. P. Seligman
    • Narrated By Martin E. P. Seligman
    Overall
    (214)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (86)

    Psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman, one of the world's experts on motivation, shows you how to chart a new approach to living with "flexible optimism." Dr. Seligman's principles of reasoned, flexible optimism will help you rise above pessimism and the depression that accompanies negative thoughts.

    Peter Levius says: "I ve found the test online"
    "Not very Zen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    To be fair, I must say my "poor" review is mostly due to my disagreement with the approach. Mr. Seligman basically does a quick tour of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy... with the key being to "dispute" negative thoughts in your mind with more realistic ones... and since our negative thoughts are usually more negative than "truth", therefore, we become more positive.

    But as that plays out... this is just training people to "rationalize more positively"... but it's still rationalization.

    For many of us weighed down by our thoughts... the tendency was installed by well-meaning parents... and we already have an ongoing dialog in our heads between the angel and devil on the respective shoulders. This book basically says it's okay for the angel to stand up to the devil, and for us to believe the angel more and brush aside the devil more. Well... we already do that to some degree... but maybe it "works" for some people to take it farther.

    For me, personally... I studied Zen for several years and "kinda got it"... then read this book - it didn't make much of an impression on me... then I attended an intensive Zen seminar... then read this book again... the second time through, I could see that encouraging one facet of the ego to dominate another facet of the ego may appear to "work"... but it's better to step back from ALL our thoughts and see that most of them are fluff and distortion. At least then we can laugh about it based on what's REALLY funny. Life. : )

    If you want a quick introduction to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy... which studies have shown to be "effective"... you'll probably like this.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Pride and Prejudice

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1542)
    Performance
    (686)
    Story
    (700)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It is a truth universally acknowledged that anyone looking for a great listen won’t be able to resist Jane Austen’s delightful classic of love and manners in Regency England. Jane Austen's story of Mrs. Bennet's finding husbands for her daughters is told with wit and charm. A must for lovers of good literature. Commuters Library presents Pride and Prejudice read by Kate Reading.

    Victoria says: "loved it."
    "One of the best books I've ever read."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can see why this is a classic, one of the most consistent favorites across all time and place. The characters are very human... and in them, we see the flaws and strengths of ourselves and those around us... the highs... and the lows...

    A good story, definitely should be on (almost) everybody's list.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sterling Biographies: Frederick Douglass

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Frances E. Ruffin
    • Narrated By Cornelius Jones
    Overall
    (225)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (150)

    From slave to freedom fighter: that was the long and hard journey taken by Frederick Douglass. Douglass was America's first great civil rights leader, and he threw off the physical, mental, and legal chains of slavery to become one of Americaï¿¿ï¿¿s greatest champions for human rights. It was said that his life was proof that once black people could read and write about their injustices, they would have the power to end slavery.

    Marsha says: "Great if you're 9 years old"
    "As advertised..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is targeted at a young audience... and like everything targeted at young people, it is very politically correct, and wooden, and one-sided. God forbid young minds be exposed to "just the story".

    With that said... it's worth six dollars and the time spent to gain a little history and perspective if you're on a budget. If you're expecting a read with deep insight and gritty details, this isn't the book for you... this is just the basics, dumbed down and moralized down for grade-schoolers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alexander Hamilton

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1109)
    Performance
    (358)
    Story
    (356)

    Ron Chernow, whom the New York Times called "as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we've seen in decades", now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history, who never attained the presidency, but who had a far more lasting impact than many who did.

    Robert says: "Captivating & Fluid Bio Unique American immigrant"
    "Everybody should read!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If we want to understand how America became America... then we need an accurate picture of how BOTH Hamilton and Jefferson contributed to our current system... and contributed to our current beliefs about America and Americans...

    Most of history and what we've "taken" from Hamilton and Jefferson overlooks some of the flaws in Jefferson's worldview... and assigns a few extra undeserved flaws to Hamilton's worldview... the funny thing is that even today, it is popular for BOTH Democrats and Republicans to build up Jefferson and claim his views as their own... and for BOTH Democrats and Republicans to vilify Hamilton and say we'd have been a better country without him. Jefferson and Hamilton become cardboard cutouts of a good guy and a bad guy. And BOTH of those tendencies are whitewashing the REAL truth... and the real puzzle of how America became America. The funny thing is that we (Republicans, Democrats, and everyone in between...) have a good chunk of BOTH Jefferson and Hamilton in our national DNA... a big chunk of the good of both... and a not un-noticeable chunk of the bad of both. And if we had a better perspective on how this 220 year old battle is STILL playing out... our congress wouldn't behave so much like idiots... and WE wouldn't feed that idiocy like we do.

    This book swings a little bit the other way... but in doing so, it DOES help paint a much more HUMAN picture of Hamilton... and... confirms how vitally important he was to what our country is today, and has been since the beginning. He had as much impact as the top three Presidents... meaning more impact than forty-something Presidents... I've known that for a while... so it was nice to finally associate all that with a real flesh and blood person, and in a way, a very AMERICAN story.

    The narrator... okay... but sometimes his "tone of voice" seems a little... I don't know, can't find the right word... maybe he doesn't like history?... the only emotion he inserts is a little too much sarcasm and mocking in places that it doesn't really fit. But the story is well enough written that it doesn't really distract much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 11 Laws of Likability: Relationship Networking... Because People Do Business with People They Like

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Michelle Tillis Lederman
    • Narrated By Erik Synnestvedt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (15)

    We all know that networking is important, and that forming relationships with others is a vital part of success. But sometimes it seems like networking removes all emotions from the equation and focuses only on immediate goals… whereas the kind of relationships that have true staying power, give us joy, and support us in the long run are founded on simply liking each other. The worst thing we can do when trying to establish a personal bond with someone is to come across as manipulative or self-serving. Authentic connections go much deeper - and feel much easier....

    Larry says: "Annoying speech pattern"
    "Mostly drivel."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The 11 Laws of Likability better?

    In my opinion, this book was mostly just platitudes... so


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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