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Karen

Maple Ridge, BC | Member Since 2014

28
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 30 ratings
  • 300 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
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  • A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By David Foster Wallace
    • Narrated By Paul Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (182)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (157)

    In this exuberantly praised book - a collection of seven pieces on subjects ranging from television to tennis, from the Illinois State Fair to the films of David Lynch, from postmodern literary theory to the supposed fun of traveling aboard a Caribbean luxury cruiseliner - David Foster Wallace brings to nonfiction the same curiosity, hilarity, and exhilarating verbal facility that has delighted readers of his fiction.

    Misha says: "Overdramatic narrator for my taste"
    "Wonderful book, terrible narration!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had read this book but wanted to listen to it as well. The writing is still wonderful, but clearly the narrator doesn't understand the material. He uses sarcasm when the author is not being sarcastic, makes huge reading mistakes (he calls Louise Erdrich "Louis," for example), and changes meanings by emphasizing parts of sentences that don't make sense.

    Fortunately, the writing makes the awful reader less damaging.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Atul Gawande
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (578)
    Performance
    (490)
    Story
    (487)

    In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending. Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit.

    George K. says: "A Walk through the Valley of the Shadow"
    "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved The Checklist Manifesto and bought the hard copy of this book while my dad was in palliative care...then I thought, "You need this NOW!" so I bought the audible version too.

    It helped me to be of service to my father when he needed me. It helped me to ask him how he wanted to die, rather than how I could help him "fight."

    I found myself able to look my father in the eye and say, "Let's just love each other while we can" and now I sleep at night knowing I was there for him in the way he needed me to be.

    Now it is helping me face my own aging and eventual mortality with more courage than I would have thought possible. Buy a copy of this book for everyone you love!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dear Mr. Buffett: What an Investor Learns 1,269 Miles from Wall Street

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Janet M. Tavakoli
    • Narrated By Kelly Birch
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Janet Tavakoli takes you into the world of Warren Buffett by way of the recent mortgage meltdown. In correspondence and discussion with him over two years, they both saw the writing on the wall, made clear by the implosion of Bear Stearns. Tavakoli, in clear and engaging prose, explains how the credit mess happened beginning with the mortgage lending Ponzi schemes funded by investment banks, then moving on to the Fed bailout and its impact on the dollar.

    Karen says: "Insecure Author, Irritating Narrator..."
    "Insecure Author, Irritating Narrator..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ...add up to a book that almost made me scream, until I realized, after 9 (of 14) blather-filled chapters, that I could just turn it off and move on to a real book. This is not a book but a book-length mental masturbation exercise with countless mentions of "Warren," and constant ludicrous claims that Tavakoli (and her "buddy" Warren, of course) was the only person on Earth who saw the 2008 crisis coming.

    Despite her efforts at sounding like the smartest and best connected woman in finance, she just sounds like a pathetic, repetitive social climber with zero emotional intelligence, desperate to show off her list of powerful friends. She left with me an enduring (imaginary) image of Warren Buffett, upon seeing another email from some woman with whom he had one lunch in 2005, rolling his eyes and pressing the delete key.

    I understand Tavakoli is something of an expert in derivatives, and I discovered this piece of junk (well below investment grade) after looking up one of her technical books on the topic when I heard it quoted in "Confidence Man," a terrific book about Bill Ackman. Don't be fooled...there is nothing of value here that cant be gleaned from one of many, much better written books about the subprime crisis.

    And that narrator! She sounds like a low-rent Mary Poppins, in way over her head and trying to sound prissy to cover up the fact that she doesn't understand a word she's reading.

    Run! Run! Run!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Ha-Joon Chang
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (622)
    Performance
    (477)
    Story
    (477)

    If you've wondered how we did not see the economic collapse coming, Ha-Joon Chang knows the answer: We didn't ask what they didn't tell us about capitalism. This is a lighthearted book with a serious purpose: to question the assumptions behind the dogma and sheer hype that the dominant school of neoliberal economists-the apostles of the freemarket-have spun since the Age of Reagan.

    Sean says: "A shallow and destructive book"
    "Balanced and informative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love the fact that I can listen to a capitalist who can distinguish between reality (humans are not necessarily rational and the market will not necessarily create the best outcomes if left alone) and fantasy (free markets are the ultimate moral force). I now have a much clearer understanding of where the economy has gone wrong, and what can be done about it. Excellent!

    12 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Gretchen Rubin
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (139)
    Story
    (136)

    One Sunday afternoon, as she unloaded the dishwasher, Gretchen Rubin felt hit by a wave of homesickness. Homesick - why? She was standing right in her own kitchen. She felt homesick, she realized, with love for home itself. “Of all the elements of a happy life,” she thought, “my home is the most important.” In a flash, she decided to undertake a new happiness project, and this time, to focus on home. And what did she want from her home? A place that calmed her and energized her. A place that, by making her feel safe, would free her to take risks.

    Jamie says: "Worthwhile Follow-Up to The Happiness Project"
    "So useful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is packed with useful ideas, thoughts, suggestions to take responsibility for making our homes happier and healthier. Love it! Now I intend to listen to "The Happiness Project."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gary Taubes
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    Overall
    (1983)
    Performance
    (1300)
    Story
    (1283)

    Building upon this critical work in Good Calories, Bad Calories and presenting fresh evidence for his claim, Taubes now revisits the urgent question of what’s making us fat—and how we can change—in this exciting new book. Persuasive, straightforward, and practical, Why We Get Fat makes Taubes’s crucial argument newly accessible to a wider audience.

    Marsha says: "Eye opening, life changing book!"
    "Awesome!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book bears repeated listening...it's wonderful to find a concise, informed, rational explanation of the stupidity of the low-fat diet and how many people are being hurt by

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Half-life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Samuel Arbesman
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (58)

    New insights from the science of science Facts change all the time. Smoking has gone from doctor recommended to deadly. We used to think the Earth was the center of the universe and that Pluto was a planet. For decades, we were convinced that the brontosaurus was a real dinosaur. In short, what we know about the world is constantly changing. But it turns out there’s an order to the state of knowledge, an explanation for how we know what we know.

    Davin V. Jones says: "Author misrepresents what an actual 'fact' is."
    "Think!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    That is the takeaway message from this book. What we think we know might be more opinion than fact. Try to think critically about EVERYTHING. Facts change. Keep up. Open your mind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Science of Yoga: The Risks and Rewards

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By William J. Broad
    • Narrated By Matthew Boston
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (75)

    Five years in the making, The Science of Yoga draws on more than a century of painstaking research to present the first impartial evaluation of a practice thousands of years old. It celebrates what’s real and shows what’s illusory, describes what’s uplifting and beneficial and what’s flaky and dangerous—and why. Broad illuminates how yoga can lift moods and inspire creativity. He exposes moves that can cripple and kill. As science often does, this groundbreaking book also reveals mysteries.

    Matthew says: "First yoga book you should read."
    "Makes me think and act differently at yoga..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book by an educated yoga practitioner helps to dispel some of the silly claims made by yoga teacher (toxins? really? what are they?) while sharing benefits and dangers so we can make informed choices.

    4 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Jacob Tomsky
    • Narrated By Jacob Tomsky
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (477)
    Performance
    (444)
    Story
    (443)

    Jacob Tomsky has worked in hotels for more than a decade, doing everything from valet parking to manning the front desk. He's checked you in, checked you out, separated your white panties from the white bed sheets, parked your car, tasted your room service, cleaned your toilet, denied you a late check out, given you a wake-up call, eaten M&Ms out of your mini-bar, laughed at your jokes, and taken your money. And in Heads in Beds, he pulls back the curtain on the hospitality business.

    colleen says: "credit worthy"
    "Funny and informative..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a million times better than "Waiter Rant." It's smart, funny, and tells me more than I want to know about the hospitality industry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Them: Adventures with Extremists

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Jon Ronson
    • Narrated By Jon Ronson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (643)
    Performance
    (586)
    Story
    (584)

    Them began as a book about different kinds of extremists, but after Jon had got to know some of them - Islamic fundamentalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen - he found that they had one oddly similar belief: that a tiny, shadowy elite rule the world from a secret room. In Them, Jon sets out, with the help of the extremists, to locate that room. The journey is as creepy as it is comic, and along the way Jon is chased by men in dark glasses, unmasked as a Jew in the middle of a Jihad training camp, and more.

    aaron says: "Dated but VERY Good... and FUNNY!"
    "I love Jon Ronson's work..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book (a series of articles, really) is a fascinating look into the world of extremists and conspiracy theorists. Ronson is funny and a little off-kilter. He makes me laugh out loud, and then makes me shake my head at some of the people in the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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