Relying on inside access to J.P. Morgan, Gillian Tett provides an in-depth portrait of J.P. Morgan and its conservative lending and capital standards that allowed it to weather the recent storm. It documents how the firm pioneered the use of credit derivatives and how Wall Street left JPM behind to take them to a new extreme in the mortgage lending markets.
The book also looks at the roles of Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and AIG in the financial collapse. Overall it is a balanced and deep portrait that is yet very timely and topical.
I concur that the narration isn't the greatest. I particularly dislike the use of British accents in direct quotations, but you quickly adapt to the idiosyncrasies in order to focus on the content, which is fantastic.
Probably not. The book lacks any academic rigor. The case studies are interesting, but they read like marketing material. The author constantly promotes the companies that illustrate the principles that are advocated in the book. In some cases I am aware of the companies and other factors that probably contributed towards their success. Regarding the content, the reader won't find much here that isn't available elsewhere. In at least one case (demand trigger), the concept is so poorly defined that it is hard for the reader to draw anything useful at all.
It is hard to say, but I will probably steer clear of future book.
The narrator sounds like a cross between a DJ and a commercial announcer. Perhaps it was his contribution that made all the case studies sound simplistic and shallow.
No, I stopped listening after the first of two parts in the download.
Jenny McCarthy has been on a crusade to eliminate vaccinations, despite their success reducing or eliminating dozens of nasty infections (some of which still plague the underdeveloped world) and despite the fact that dozens of studies have disproven any connection with autism. I would argue the modern vaccination system is the greatest achievement of modern medicine and has done more to eliminate death and sickness than any other treatment. Why does Jenny want to eliminate it, despite the benefits and the lack of downside risks? Presumably to sell books. She also advocates vitamins which have no demonstrated affect on autism (or anything else for that matter), and encourages heavy metal chelation, despite its limited benefits and heavy risks. This is a therapy that should only be discussed by medical practitioners in severe cases, and never by pop-healers who confuse gullible parents who are struggling with raising their children in a complex world. Avoid this book at all costs.
This book was as eye-opening as it was shocking. As depressing as it was inspring. I have lived in Asia for 11 years and traveled throughout much of it, including South Korea. I thought I knew a lot. I realize now I knew nothing of North Korea. Good non-fiction is told as fiction, and Demick does an excellent job of weaving facts about North Korea into the lives of several people who lived there through the post-industrial decline and famine of the 90's. I actually didn't want this book to end and when it did I searched for more books on North Korea. Alas there are few. Nothing to Envy makes a huge contribution to understanding that strange and closed place.
I watched Paul Bloom recently on TED Talks and ironically I was in the middle of reading his book, How Pleasure Works. In this TED Talk he touched on many of the same points he covers in the book, with the same penchant for honest scientific assessment and interesting anecdotes.
Bloom advances the idea that essences drive much of human motivation and pleasure. For those science readers on guard for more pseudo-science (for example anything by Jenny McCarthy), Bloom does not imbue the natural world with actual essences but rather claims that humans do imbue natural and artificial things with essences and discusses the natural reasons these tendencies may form.
Overall it is an excellent read by an excellent author and well worth an Audile credit.
An hour into the book, having encountered a lot of clever prose and mystifying surroundings, I started to wonder whether there is a story somewhere in there. A half hour later I gave up. Maybe the book does finally devolve into a story half way into the book, if the listener can wait that long. I tried this Audiobook (audioprose?) on the basis of Atwood's excellent Orix and Crake. The Blind Assassin, however, doesn't work for me. Reading the other reviews, I see I am not alone.
Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that characters are the core of good novels. Good dialog is necessary to develop the characters. While plot elements, such as robots that develop religion or robots that lie, are more important in genre fiction than general fiction, plot alone cannot make the story interesting.
Unfortunately, I, Robot lacks any of these elements that could make this story interesting. If you have read I, Robot already, try to imagine these shallow, 1-dimensional characters in the setting of Dune, and you will understand what I am talking about. This book, more than any others I have read, left me bored enough to wish the story would just end finally. I did get through the whole book, but only after several periods when I almost gave up. Don't misunderstand me, I read a lot of books, some of them bad. None have I ever abandoned. I, Robot gets a couple stars for some interesting plot elements that have been used extensively in his later books.
This was a good book, but not a great one. The is well-targeted toward a juvenile audience under 15 or 16. Any adult should leave the book feeling a little unsatiated. As a fantasy, it covers some familiar territory: magic, witchcraft, fortune-telling, dragons, and sword fighting. Don't expect a lot of innovation in the genre. Character development was good, but not great. Eragon ends up, of course, the victor, and a great hero. But throughout the book we see him time and again passing out (exhaustion, poison, etc.) only to be rescued by someone else on the way, and always surrounded by people more powerful than himself. Not the stuff of a great hero!
Tying Down the Wind suffers from too much poetry, and not enough content. Descriptions are sometimes hard to follow in audible format, such as how tornados, hurricanes, or other weather patterns form. With all the poetic descriptions of his surroundings or the people, I often found my attention drifting to other things; few other non-fiction books have caused me to do this. At the end of the book, I find I didn't learn very much about the weather. Finally the book just never really went anywhere, it didn't build up to anything. For a good example of how a non-fiction book can do this, check out Flu, an excellent, well-researched, well-written book about the Influenza of 1918 and modern day efforts to track it down.
The core of this book is useful. It discusses ways to bring your children back under your control without resorting to threats or violence. It has already helped me to keep my focus when dealing with my son's temper trantrums.
At the core of the book is the idea that it is okay to resist, but mommy and daddy are right. During the resistance, whether your child wants to do something that you disallow, or you want him/her to do something, you must never lose your temper yourself. Rather you use the following 5 step process:
1. Ask politely, using "would you" and "please".
2. Listen, empathize (i.e. I understand that you are mad at me for making you do this, but...) then ask politely again.
3. Offer a reward.
4. Order (i.e. I want you do this this.) Don't get upset, repeat order four or five times.
5. Give him/her a timeout, equal to one minute for each year of age.
Do not make the timeout a punishment with threats, remain on the other side of the door, and do not make the child reflect upon it. Simply let the child cry or fuss. Afterwards do not show any hostility towards the child. After the timeout, the child will be back under your control. I have used this process a couple times and it seems to work.
Like his previous effort, Venus & Mars, this book is highly repetitive. In paper format this is unacceptable, because you can always go back and read the information again. In audible format this isn't such a problem, especially if you listen to this in the car where you are prone to missing a sentence here and there due to distractions.
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