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Niel

CEDAR HILLS, UT, United States

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 42 ratings
  • 473 titles in library
  • 35 purchased in 2014
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  • In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Gabor Maté
    • Narrated By Daniel Maté
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (220)
    Performance
    (180)
    Story
    (178)

    Best-selling writer and physician Gabor Maté looks at the epidemic of addictions in our society, tells us why we are so prone to them, and details what is needed to liberate ourselves. Starting with a close view of his drug-addicted patients, Dr. Maté looks at his own history of compulsive behavior, weaving a story of real people who struggle with addiction with the latest research on addiction and the brain. In a bold synthesis of clinical experience, insight and cutting edge scientific findings, Dr. Maté sheds light on this most puzzling of human frailties.

    Lynn says: "Don't Overlook this Book Read It Now"
    "Gut Wrenching, Honest, Perspective Changing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Speaking as one who deals with a behavioral addiction, I can not say enough about this book. Gabor's approach to discussing the issues of addiction with openness, honesty, and compassion took my breath away.

    Some have argued that comparing his classical music habit to addiction to heroin is not valid. Yet Gabor's openness in discussing his shame, deception, and inability to stop, combined with the ultimate lack of satisfaction in his "acting out" behavior rings very true, and maps to my own addictive experience.

    More to the point, there is great value in seeing addicts as people, and feeling compassion for their condition. His railing on the drug war strikes home as well, although some of the evidence is a little light. This book is certainly written from a liberal perspective, but removing politics from the book still leaves a heart wrenching tail of abuse, depression, pain, and lives which are out of control. I wish everybody could understand the life of an addict from this perspective.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Eric Blehm
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1075)
    Performance
    (978)
    Story
    (989)

    When Navy SEAL Adam Brown woke up on March 17, 2010, he didn’t know he would die that night in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan - but he was ready: In a letter to his children, not meant to be seen unless the worst happened, he wrote, "I’m not afraid of anything that might happen to me on this earth, because I know no matter what, nothing can take my spirit from me."

    Karen Knabe says: "Truly the story of a Hero"
    "Moving, powerful, Inspiring, Emotional"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    To put it simply, I've listened to over 100 books on audible. This book jumped immediately to my 3-5 favorites. The honesty and emotion with which the story of Adam Brown is told is astonishing, but more than that, Adam Brown is one of the most genuine, flawed, brave, determined subjects of a book you could find. It is his flaws which make the story so powerful.

    His battle with addiction was so moving, that I found myself emotionally drained each time he would fall back into his drugs of choice. I finished this book on the freeway with tears running down my cheeks.

    The author is fantastic because he tells the story with great depth and heartfelt emotion, but doesn't get in the way of the story. It's a story of family, recovery, heroism, bravery, and of real people doing accomplishing amazing tasks.

    I couldn't recommend this book more highly, especially to anyone who has battled through trials in their life (who hasn't).

    I was a better person for having read about Adam Brown, and that's the highest praise I can give a book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Karl Marlantes
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4283)
    Performance
    (2444)
    Story
    (2445)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A performance so poignant, we gave Bronson Pinchot (yes, Balki from Perfect Strangers) our inaugural Narrator of the Year award.... In the monsoon season of 1968-69 at a fire support base called Matterhorn, located in the remote mountains of Vietnam, a young and ambitious Marine lieutenant wants to command a company to further his civilian political ambitions. But two people stand in his way.

    Zachary says: "Matterhorn"
    "Powerful, gritty and personal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It took me a couple of hours for this book to really connect with me. It reads like a history rather than a novel in many ways, and in the end, that is it's power. You can feel the frustration, the brotherhood, and the fear of these men. There is an undercurrent of the political issues of the Vietnam ware, but mostly this is a book about men trying to survive. They are often bitter, angry, and lost, but they come together as men of duty when required.

    My dad was in Vietnam. He shares stories, but really doesn't talk about the details much. This book took me there in a vivid way. I am glad I took the time to immerse myself in it and to feel the heartbreak, courage and fear portrayed in the novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2224)
    Performance
    (1856)
    Story
    (1836)

    Based on Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal's wildly popular course The Science of Willpower, The Willpower Instinct is the first book to explain the new science of self-control and how it can be harnessed to improve our health, happiness, and productivity. Informed by the latest research and combining cutting-edge insights from psychology, economics, neuroscience, and medicine, The Willpower Instinct explains exactly what willpower is, how it works, and why it matters.

    Niv says: "life changing one of the best I read"
    "There is power in here to change lives"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this to be a really remarkable book. I have listened to a lot of "pop psychology" books lately, with varying degrees of usefulness and interest. This one hit high on both accounts for me.

    I for one am in a constant struggle with willpower, and I imagine I'm not the only one. The principles in this book are founded on science and are actionable. For example, the author starts off with research done on the value of meditation in increasing will-power, he then gives some simple examples of how to implement meditation into daily life without shaving your head and buying a seating cushion.

    The book is also a bit counter-intuitive, which I loved. The inefficacy of criticism is discussed at length. Having compassion for and accepting another habits may just be the best way to help them over come them. This is fascinating material, and it is found throughout.

    There is a sense of humor in this book as well, and a touch of self deprecation which can be rare in scientists. I not only enjoyed this book, it has made me a better person.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Grapes of Wrath

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1535)
    Performance
    (1339)
    Story
    (1345)

    At once naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s, The Grapes of Wrath is perhaps the most American of American classics. Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation during the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s, The Grapes of Wrath is also the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, who are forced to travel west to the promised land of California.

    RSolomons says: "Every Character a Gem!"
    "An Eternal Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is a message of family, hope, hard work, and overcoming adversity in the pages of this book that echo through the ages. There are also messages of fear, despair, heart ache and pain that resonate just as much. This is a truly remarkable story, told in stark prose that brings out the characters and the emotions like few authors can.

    Hard to believe that I am 39 and this was my first time reading this book, I never had to read it in High School. I'm glad I picked it up now, I likely would have seen it as a chore as a teenager, but as an adult I didn't want the book to end. I wanted to follow Tom Joad, I pulled for him like I have pulled for very few fictional characters.

    The reading of this book is adequate. Newer recordings seem to contain voice talent which enhances the story. This reader neither enhances or takes away from, he just reads it, and for a book like this, that works fine.

    But it's the story. No it's not even the story, it's the people. It's how real the people feel and how much you can feel both their pain, and their genuine love for each other, that make this book remarkable.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10972)
    Performance
    (9956)
    Story
    (9977)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "Didn't love this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really wanted to love this book. I had heard how great it was, and I loved the fact that it was different. This is unique book with a unique plot, I like authors who take me somewhere I've never been before.

    So I enjoyed the book, I thought it was a solid read, but I just never loved it. The characters are well-developed and some of them really jump off the page. In the end, though, I just didn't care as much as I should have about how things turned out. I felt like I should care, I just didn't.

    Good book, if you've heard great things about it, you won't go wrong by reading it. But it was not the exceptional story I was hoping for when I started.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lonesome Dove

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Larry McMurtry
    • Narrated By Lee Horsley
    Overall
    (3204)
    Performance
    (1671)
    Story
    (1702)

    Larry McMurtry's American epic, set in the late 19th century, tells the story of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana, a drive that represents not only a daring foolhardy adventure, but a part of the American Dream for everyone involved.

    Richard Delman says: "A masterpiece. An epic western story."
    "A Book I Can't Get Enough Of"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I seem to end up either listening to, or reading, this book every couple of years. Every time I read it, it feels new. Augustus McCray may just be my favorite character in all of noveldom (did I make up that word?)

    The performance of this book is not perfect. The narrator makes a valiant attempt to give each character a voice, but it seems a bit forced at times. It's possible my expectation is all messed up by the performances in the Lonesome Dove movie, Deets will always sound like Danny Glover to me. But I would rate the performance as adequate. Doesn't take away from the story, but doesn't add anything to it either.

    But the story...oh the story...it carries me away. It's a story of love and love lost when it comes down to it, which makes it a story about life. Who hasn't seen someone die to young, or had a relationship which never quite lived up to the potential you felt in your heart.

    The characters make the book, and the characters are unforgettable. I will always love this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest's Most Controversial Season

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Nick Heil
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (349)
    Performance
    (203)
    Story
    (201)

    In early May 2006, a young British climber named David Sharp lay dying near the top of Mount Everest while forty other climbers walked past him on their way to the summit. A week later, Lincoln Hall, a seasoned Australian climber, was left for dead near the same spot. Hall's death was reported around the world, but the next day he was found alive after spending the night on the upper mountain with no food and no shelter.

    Don Lance says: "Good summary of the 2006 season"
    "Not Into Thin Air, but still compelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read "Into Thin Air" and was completely caught up in the romance and destruction of Mt. Everest. I was looking for more on the topic, and came across this book. Nick Heil does a good job with the story, there is nothing wrong with this book...but there is nothing magical either.

    Krackauer spoke from first hand experience. He as on the mountain, on the trail, in the middle of the storm, and his account was utterly compelling. Nick Heil researched this book, and did a fine job of it, but you can tell it's missing that personal element of actually experienced these events.

    With that said, if you enjoy Everest stories, and find the commercialization of the mountain a disturbing, if fascinating, subject. This book is worth the listen. The research is excellent, and while the writing won't draw you in the way some do...it won't turn you off either. And in a way, these are stories that tell themselves. The moral dilemma inherent in climbing at 27,000 feet and seeing others who need saving makes for compelling human drama. Just because it doesn't meet the standard of the other book, doesn't mean it's not worth your time.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lords of Discipline

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (871)
    Performance
    (565)
    Story
    (565)

    This powerful and breathtaking novel is the story of four cadets who have become bloodbrothers. Together they will encounter the hell of hazing and the rabid, raunchy and dangerously secretive atmosphere of an arrogant and proud military institute. They will experience the violence. The passion. The rage. The friendship. The loyalty. The betrayal. Together, they will brace themselves for the brutal transition to manhood... and one will not survive.

    P. J. Benyei says: "Amazing book superb narrator"
    "Raw, heartfelt, and a great performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are times I listen to an audiobook, it captures my imagination, and then somewhere in the middle of the book I realize that a real part of my enjoyment is the voices the narrator gives the characters. This was one of those books. The narrator added to what I found to be a fascinating story.

    Life inside a military academy is something I had not given a moments thought to, until I stumbled on this book. Yet I ended up reflecting on philosophical ideas such as 'Does the end justify the means?' and "At what cost self-discipline?'

    The book may feel a bit drawn out to some, there are scenes which feel a bit long, and Conroy always loves to fall into flowery prose. But this book caught me and held me, the characters felt real, the emotions they went through were demonstrated in a way I could feel. It's a raw book, but it also comes from the heart.

    I will admit that for me, the ending was a bit melodramatic, but overall this was a book I truly "experienced" and it caused me to think deeply. Great listen. And I can't say enough about the narrator, really added to the overall effect.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Reveal Lab-Tested Secrets to Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants, and More!

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Garth Sundem
    • Narrated By Garth Sundem
    Overall
    (207)
    Performance
    (179)
    Story
    (175)

    How much better would your life be if you had an army of Nobel Laureates, MacArthur ‘geniuses’ and National Medal of Science winners whispering tips in your ear about your body language, or how to resist that impulse purchase you’ll regret tomorrow, or when to sell your car - or even helping you trick your spouse into doing the dishes?

    Kim says: "Sort of scattered"
    "Interesting, not life changing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book, it held my attention and provided an interesting look into some amazing research. However, interesting is the only word I have for it. I feel like it could have been more. Garth Sundem attempts to explain how the research could affect our daily lives, but the conclusions are so short and so simplified it's almost easy to miss them.

    I could have used a lot more "So...what?" in this book. How should this research affect my approach to life.

    Still, enjoyable book, interesting concepts, far from a waste of time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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