If you are only going to listen to one audiobook on addiction, this is the one I would recommend. The scientific information on the addictive process and brain chemistry is accurate, up-to-date, and explained in a very clear manner without being "dumbed-down." The author, a physician who works with addicts, alternates between stories of the individuals with whom he works and the brain science information, in a way that enhances the educational aspect of the book. The narrator, the author's son, has a pleasant voice that is easy to listen to. I found myself wanting to listen to this one hour after another, which I wouldn't have expected from a book dealing with such an intense subject. I will probably purchase the print version so that I can refer to the information about the brain science, but I'm glad I listened to it first, because I was able to absorb the information in an entertaining manner. I would recommend this book to anyone, even those who think they already know a lot about the subject. There's a lot of misinformation out there about this subject, and this author really knows his stuff.
This audiobook had me hooked from the start, and I listened to it almost nonstop within a day. It is full of laugh-out-loud self-deprecating humor, woven in with the wisdom that comes from living an authentic and principled life. I am decades older than the author, but still paying off student loans and facing various financial nightmares. Like many of my generation, my financial life is far from what I had imagined it would be. This book was a welcome reminder that there are many ways to find meaning and adventure in life, and that financial security is not the only measure of success.
The narrator is excellent; it's easy to imagine that it was actually the author telling the story. He was skilled in altering his voice to portray a variety of people, with great comic effect. I am sure that I will listen to this book again at some point in time.
This audiobook was primarily designed, apparently, for parents and teenagers to listen to together, so that both could learn about the strengths and challenges of the teenage brain. I admire Daniel Siegel's work tremendously, and the content of the book is excellent, but he sounds to me like he is reading to kindergartners. It's definitely not Mister Rogers ("Want to hear about your brain, boys and girls?") but veering too far in that direction for my tastes. I kept listening, but thought about the adolescents with whom I work, and what their reactions might be. Being talked down to is one of their number one hot-button issues, so I'll have to do some research on reactions from a few of them...
I followed the Amanda Knox story avidly as it was unfolding, and was beside myself with frustration at people who believed the media distortions without looking into the situation in greater depth. I have been waiting for this memoir to be released in order to hear the story from the person who lived it, and I am tremendously impressed with every aspect of this book. Some reviewers feel that there is too much detail, but I wanted all the details in order to thoroughly understand the legal situation and what Amanda was dealing with. The story is told in a very coherent manner, with a skilled weaving of factual information about events and Amanda's introspection about how she was affected by what happened. She is unflinchingly honest about the perspective she gained on herself and her behavior, about the challenges of interacting with other inmates while being seen as a "celebrity prisoner," and about her reactions to the abominable injustice of the Italian legal system. I was impressed by Amanda's internal strength throughout the ordeal, particularly at such a young age. I was inspired by the existential decisions she made about how to respond to her grossly unfair situation, displaying a level of maturity and insight that many people never attain. Her voice is very easy to listen to, and she does a good job of bringing emotion to her words in order to deepen our understanding of her experience. I believe that older teenagers and young adults would benefit from listening to this book, both as a cautionary tale, as a source of inspiration, and as an illustration of the relative fairness of the American system of justice, even as flawed as it is. The graphic details of the murder of which Amanda was accused are difficult to hear, however, so this would be my only concern about younger listeners. I would recommend this book to anyone, even those who are not that interested in the situation; the story is so riveting that it pulls you in. Kudos to Amanda Knox for confronting what must have been an exceedingly difficult task, reliving the traumatic situation through writing, so that the rest of us can hear her story.
This is a book I would not have chosen on my own, but it was a selection of the nonfiction book club I attend. I knew almost nothing about James Garfield, and was moved and impressed by his brilliance, his dedication to ethical behavior, and his tremendous strength of character. I learned so much from this book, not only about Garfield, but about many, many aspects of society at this time in history. Listening to this has motivated me to seek out similar books, in order to broaden my understanding of American history.
The narration of this book is absolutely perfect. The ability of the narrator to speak the thoughts of the different individuals in different voices, including women and people with foreign accents, brings the book alive in an amazing way. He is able to do this without lapsing into caricature, as can occur with some narrators. His voicing of Garfield's assassin is perfectly creepy. I am very sensitive to the voices of narrators, and find myself becoming easily irritated by certain voices, to the point where I cannot listen to the book; I had absolutely none of this type of reaction while listening to this book.
Even though the reader knows the basic outcome of the story, the author manages to write the book in a way that creates tremendous suspense. The writing is superb; the historical details are woven in to the story without coming across as didactic or detached from the unfolding events.
I could go on and on about my reactions to this book. I cannot recommend it strongly enough, including to those who are not even remotely interested in the subject. You will be surprised by what you learn, and will likely be inspired by the character of an "obscure" president. I am glad that the author brought his story to light.
Report Inappropriate Content