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Leonard silberman

Member Since 2014

  • 10 reviews
  • 42 ratings
  • 861 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2015

  • On Intelligence

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Jeff Hawkins, Sandra Blakeslee
    • Narrated By Jeff Hawkins, Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Jeff Hawkins, the man who created the PalmPilot, Treo smart phone, and other handheld devices, has reshaped our relationship to computers. Now he stands ready to revolutionize both neuroscience and computing in one stroke, with a new understanding of intelligence itself.

    James says: "Epiphany"
    "A sixth level book"

    My husband and I have altered our language. "That didn't make it to the fourth level," we say to each other when there's an automatic reaction to an event. Or "Maybe you need to engage the sixth level..." when facing a problem. And: "Intelligence is the ability to predict..." when my husband's keys are still in his pocket as he approaches the door of the car...

    This book was sometimes redundant-- but repetition leads to retention and I needed it sometimes.

    I have a Ph.D. in applied behavior analysis because learning theory has always intrigued me. This was the closest I've ever come to feeling like someone has united the nature-nurture issue. I often think of the question he asks: What would a brain do with an eternity of learning?
    What would happen if each generation did not have to re-learn the same things?

    There were some areas I felt were incompletely developed. I want to know how emotions interact with the learning process. I want to know to enhance the generalizations which lead to creative thinking. How do we Brain Train in a general fashion?? And how do we untrain the brain?

    A book that leaves me with the desire to know more is definitely a book I'd recommend to friends.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This audiobook is about luck, or more precisely, how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. It is already a landmark work, and its title has entered our vocabulary. In its second edition, Fooled by Randomness is now a cornerstone for anyone interested in random outcomes.

    Amazon Customer says: "An Excellent and Worthwhile Book"
    "This author is wonderful -- just ask him"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The author's arrogance, generalities, name-calling, and overall attitude towards everyone is unbearable to listen to. I recognize the need in the first chapter to explain why we should listen to the author. But his self-congratulations never ends. I listened to two chapters before turning it off and I think there might have been one useful fact in the two hours. We learn why he is better than scientists, journalists, accountants, historians, his prior bosses, his colleages and, of course, all other traders. I even found AM radio more acceptable than this book.

    What was most disappointing about Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s story?

    There are no facts and nothing new to learn from him.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator was fine. He just needed something worthwhile to say.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with All the Gifts

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By M. R. Carey
    • Narrated By Finty Williams

    Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

    Amazon Customer says: "Spoiler-free review below - Amazing book!"
    "Great story well-told"
    Any additional comments?

    I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. It truly is a great story, well-told. There's little praise better than that. I hated getting out of the car and couldn't fall asleep while listening to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Every Last One

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Anna Quindlen
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this breathtaking and beautiful novel, the #1 New York Times best-selling author Anna Quindlen creates an unforgettable portrait of a mother, a father, a family, and the explosive, violent consequences of what seem like inconsequential actions.

    Kimberly says: "Almost Unbearably Sad, Completely Wonderful"
    "I listened to it twice!"

    Since I didn't have a book jacket, I had no idea what was coming. I have never read such an authentic picture of a family and I was completely entrenched in the ongoing stresses of a family with teenagers. I did not find it depressing -- just very real. Excellent book Excellent narrator.

    And I've never listened to a book twice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bone Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Tess Gerritsen
    • Narrated By Susan Denaker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Julia Hamill has made a horrifying discovery on the grounds of her new home in rural Massachusetts: a skull buried in the rocky soil � human, female, and, according to the trained eye of Boston medical examiner Maura Isles, scarred with the unmistakable marks of murder.

    Book and Movie Lover says: "Back and forth through time"

    I liked the story -- good mystery and lots of historical detail. I was very interested in the medical history discussed in detail. But the writing style -- and the narrator -- drove me crazy. It was a romance novel disguised as a mystery. The characters were simple stereotypes, with obvious outcomes. The villian was barely developed with a simple motive. Each character had to tell us directly every feeling and how much that charcter admired the other character, etc. If the story hadn't been so good, I would never have finished it.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Lay of the Land: Frank Bascombe, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Richard Ford
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    With The Sportswriter, in 1986, Richard Ford commenced a cycle of novels that, 10 years later, after Independence Day won both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award, was hailed by The Times of London as "an extraordinary epic [that] is nothing less than the story of the 20th century itself." Now, a decade later, Frank Bascombe returns, with a new lease on life (and real estate), and more acutely in thrall to life's endless complexities than ever before.

    Daniel says: "Richard Ford, get out of my mind!"
    "Interesting at first..."

    This is one of two books I've never finished. I listened to probably 80% of it but there was nothing holding me to the end. The author and the narrator seemed to drone on and on. I'm not saying that there was nothing good -- I still have the feeling of the beach setting and it was interesting seeing things from the perspective of the realtor. It was a picture of a person and a place... The picture just didn't move enough for me.... Maybe I'll go back finally and listen to the end of it....

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Confessions of an Economic Hitman

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By John Perkins
    • Narrated By Brian Emerson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    "Economic hit men," John Perkins writes, "are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder."

    Robert P. says: "Excellent Story for people have traveled"
    "Frightening... Disturbing..."

    A first-person nonfiction book always requires a balance between the experiences of the individual and the importance of the experience. In this case, I think sometimes the author was too involved in his own confession. I grew tired of hearing how bad he was and how terrible his motivations were...

    The perspective was very interesting and I have thought frequently about his perspective on the World Bank and charity. The U.S. lifestyle is not the only option. But there is something to be said for clean water and food distribution.

    And a bill is only valuable if someone actually pays it....

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Lincoln Lawyer

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Adam Grupper
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense pro who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, to defend clients at the bottom of the legal food chain. It's no wonder that he is despised by cops, prosecutors, and even some of his own clients. But an investigator is murdered for getting too close to the truth and Haller quickly discovers that his search for innocence has taken him face to face with a kind of evil as pure as a flame.

    Steven says: "Great Legal Thriller, Great Reader"
    "Realistic and dramatic"

    This was an entertaining book. I enjoyed the character and found him very realistic. I thought the story was well-developed.

    The end, discovering the perpetrator, was a little disappointing. There seemed to be inadequate hints and the ultimate master villain was not developed well. I tend to feel cheated when I'm not given enough hints to have figured out the plot.

    That said, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to other readers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil in the White City

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In a thrilling narrative showcasing his gifts as storyteller and researcher, Erik Larson recounts the spellbinding tale of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Also available abridged.

    D says: "A Rich Read!"
    "Well-researched and interesting"

    I like books where I learn something true and new. This book certainly provided that opportunity -- from the first Ferris Wheel to Columbus Day to forensics in the late 1800's to Frank Lloyd Wright's beginnings to the perspective of a landscape architect... I loved the details. I could see, smell, and hear the city. I felt the drama of the World's Fair and the horror of the murders. The book was very detailed -- but not excessively so and it was rarely redundant.

    On the other hand, this was a difficult book in an auditory format. There were many characters and it would be helpful sometimes to be able to look back to remember who people were.

    I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Diane Setterfield
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato, Jill Tanner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    All children mythologize their birth... So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's beloved collection of stories, long famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale. The enigmatic Winter has always kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she summons a biographer to tell the truth about her extraordinary life: Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth remains an ever-present pain.

    PA Law says: "Haunting and beautiful tale"
    "Jane Eyre Revisited with a twist..."

    I looked for reasons to drive and cheered traffic jams... The style and the characters are obviously modelled after the characters' favorite books by the Bronte sisters and, at first, I feared that I had slipped into a romance novel. As in the earlier works, there is a sense of unreality about the exaggerated characters. Each one is too much of a stereotype. Still, that was part of the pleasure of the story. While the characters play their assigned parts, the mystery remains a thread that pulled me into their world. The author has a wonderful ability to find creative and unique analogies to enhance descriptive text. The only regret was that I couldn't flip back the pages to see when the author tricked me and where I should have recognized the underlying mystery. I was very sorry when this book was over.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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