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Nothing really matters

Rob Thomas

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2013

ratings
46
REVIEWS
42
FOLLOWING
12
FOLLOWERS
7
HELPFUL VOTES
57

  • Flowers for Algernon

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Daniel Keyes
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1192)
    Performance
    (954)
    Story
    (964)

    Charlie Gordon knows that he isn't very bright. At 32, he mops floors in a bakery and earns just enough to get by. Three evenings a week, he studies at a center for mentally challenged adults. But all of this is about to change for Charlie. As part of a daring experiment, doctors are going to perform surgery on Charlie's brain. They hope the operation and special medication will increase his intelligence, just as it has for the laboratory mouse, Algernon.

    FanB14 says: "Phenomenal Classic"
    "An interesting and original story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was one of those books I told myself I'd read someday. I'm glad I finally did. It is a nice, though now interestingly dated, story written from an unusual perspective. It gives you a chance to examine your empahy as well. I don't want to spoil the plot for you, so I won't say much more.

    I will say if you enjoyed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, you'll find this somewhat similar and likely will enjoy Flowers for Algernon.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Bee Wilson
    • Narrated By Alison Larkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (212)
    Performance
    (184)
    Story
    (186)

    Since prehistory, humans have braved the business ends of knives, scrapers, and mashers, all in the name of creating something delicious - or at least edible. In Consider the Fork, award-winning food writer and historian Bee Wilson traces the ancient lineage of our modern culinary tools, revealing the startling history of objects we often take for granted. Charting the evolution of technologies from the knife and fork to the gas range and the sous-vide cooker, Wilson offers unprecedented insights.

    Catherine says: "Intriguing history of everyday utensils"
    "For the foodie/science geek/history buff in you"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a fun read if you like
    (1) cooking and being in the kitchen, and
    (2) books that explain the origin of things as well as the science and relevant historical facts.

    I do, so I thoroughly enjoyed it. The narrator's voice is also very pleasant to listen to. She made me laugh when she did her American and French accents.

    Fun book, neat information, and great narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • It Works: The Famous Little Red Book That Makes Your Dreams Come True!

    • UNABRIDGED (22 mins)
    • By R.H. Jarrett
    • Narrated By Steve Blaufelt
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    It Works presents a concise, definite plan for bettering your conditions in life. It shows you how to use the Mighty Power within that is anxious and willing to serve you if you know how to use it. It Works shows you how. All scientific, psychological and theological explanations are eliminated. Three hundred pages are boiled down to ten minutes of interesting facts, a definite plan and three short rules of accomplishment. Don t let your worldly, objective mind keep you from more prosperity and happiness.

    Nothing really matters says: "Meh"
    "Meh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I see a lot of positive reviews for this book on Amazon. But, I read it and was not impressed.

    It did so little for me that now that as I sit down to write this review, I can barely remember what it was about (something along the lines of daily affirmations and writing stuff down). Also, it had a strange unedited feel to it the way some older non-fiction books do.

    Anyway, in my view there are many practical and better written books on the subject of "making one's dreams come true." "The Now Habit", "Eat That Frog", "Getting Things Done", "The Compound Effect", and "No Excuses" are just some I'd recommend.

    I suggest staying away from "The Four Hour Work Week" (snake oil) and "The Secret" (hogwash). If you're a fan of these two books, my apologies. Some very fine folks do think they are very good and helpful. I'm just not in that camp.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • If This Isn't Nice, What Is: Advice for the Young

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Kurt Vonnegut
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins, Scott Brick
    Overall
    (923)
    Performance
    (800)
    Story
    (797)

    Master storyteller and satirist Kurt Vonnegut was one of the most in-demand commencement speakers of his time. For each occasion, Vonnegut’s words were unfailingly unique, insightful, and witty, and they stayed with audience members long after graduation. As edited by Dan Wakefield, this book reads like a narrative in the unique voice that made Vonnegut a hero to readers and listeners of all ages. At times hilarious, razor-sharp, freewheeling, and deeply serious, these reflections are ideal for anyone undergoing what Vonnegut would call their "long-delayed puberty ceremony".

    Joseph Warren says: "Witty Humor and Priceless Insight"
    "Interesting collection of convocation speeches"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listening to this reminded me of why I really liked Kurt Vonnegut's novels back in the day. He's funny and generally makes his points directly and effectively.

    I found his contrasting of the current acceptance of the "eye-for-an-eye" retribution rule In the Code of Hammurabi and rejection the forgiveness and kindness directives in the Sermon on the Mount particularly interesting.

    NOTE: If you are not a fan of Kurt Vonnegut or are very conservative in your thinking, you will not enjoy this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Man's Initiation

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By John Dos Passos
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    Overall
    (458)
    Performance
    (395)
    Story
    (401)

    Springing from the author's first-hand experience as an ambulance driver and Red Cross worker during World War I, this autobiographical first novel is noteworthy for its vivid and colorful evocation of France at that time and for its passionate indictment of war. The author's disillusionment with war for a time turned him toward socialism and against capitalism.

    Sam Motes says: "A gem in the anti war genre."
    "A little disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This semi-autobiographical novella was written by a noteworthy author in relation to his experiences in and views on the First World War. The narrator read it very well. The story, though, was somehow disappointing. I lost interest and stopped reading about two-thirds of the way through.

    This was John Dos Passos' first book and he went on to enjoy critical acclaim for later books. To be fair, then, I'll chalk this book up as a good freshman effort.

    You may find the book more interesting than I did if you are a fan of the author or just can't read enough about WWI.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Old Man and the Sea

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Ernest Hemingway
    • Narrated By Donald Sutherland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1396)
    Performance
    (802)
    Story
    (802)

    The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway's most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal, a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Here Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss.

    Dave says: "Truly a Classic"
    "Lots of story in a small package"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my favourite type of classic. It is an exciting and thoroughly believable story coupled with a great writing style and profound themes that really resonate. It`s full of action, suspense, hope, fear, love, caring, pride, humility, and insight. I was very impressed and my first thought when I finished the book was: `I have got to share this with my sons`.

    I listened to this classic from start to finish uninterrupted on a long airplane flight. Doing that was a mistake, though. I was cheating myself. For a short book, there is a heck of a lot packed in and its messages are presented quite subtly. Without time to reflect on what I'd just read, I (rightly) suspected I'd missed quite a bit. So, the day after finishing it, I undertook a bit of research to see what themes I had missed. I`m glad I did and now have a much better appreciation of this fine novella. I suggest you do the same if you get a similar feeling when you finish it.

    And --no surprise-- Donald Sutherland's narration is thoroughly enjoyable and worthy of this great book. At some points in the book it becomes mesmerizing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Peter and the Secret of Rundoon: The Starcatchers, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (404)
    Performance
    (245)
    Story
    (245)

    Peter and Molly find themselves in the dangerous land of Rundoon, ruled by the evil King Zarboff, who takes great delight in watching his pet snake, Kundalini, consume anyone who displeases him.

    Richard says: "Peter and the Secret of Rundoon"
    "Another great Peter and the Starcatchers book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is number three of four full length books (and some shorter books) in the Peter Pan / Neverland prequel series. They are very well written, very well narrated, and thoroughly entertaining family reading for kids and adults.

    Treat yourself to this excellent series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Peter and the Shadow Thieves: The Starcatchers, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    Overall
    (561)
    Performance
    (340)
    Story
    (337)

    Peter leaves the relative safety of Mollusk Island - along with his trusted companion, Tinker Bell - for the cold, damp, dangerous streets of London. On a difficult journey across the sea, he and Tink discover the dark and deadly slithering part-man/part-creature Lord Ombra, who is intent on recovering the missing starstuff.

    SciFiSurfer says: "My Kids Loved the the Starcatchers Series!"
    "Another great Starcatcher book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Starcatcher series tells the tale of Peter Pan before he was Peter Pan. These books (we just started the third in the four-book series) are so well written, I can't understand why they aren't better known than many other similar but less well written series for kids (I won't name any names).

    They are the kind of books both kids and adults can really enjoy and get into. They are packed with suspense and laughs. The characters are extremely engaging and believable. The stories are fantasy and nevertheless are so convincingly set out that you find yourself completely immersed in them.

    The second book in this series is just as enjoyable as the first was. I highly, highly recommend the Starcatcher series for great family listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Peter and the Starcatchers: The Starcatchers, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1106)
    Performance
    (685)
    Story
    (679)

    In an evocative and fast-paced adventure on the high seas and on a faraway island an orphan boy named Peter and his mysterious new friend, Molly, overcome bands of pirates and thieves in their quest to keep a fantastical secret safe and save the world from evil.

    Deborah says: "A fast paced frolic on the high seas!"
    "Why are these books not better known?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Starcatcher series tells the tale of Peter Pan before he was Peter Pan. These books (we just started the third in the four-book series) are so well written, I can't understand why they aren't better known than many other similar but less well written series for kids (I won't name any names).

    They are the kind of books both kids and adults can really enjoy and get into. They are packed with suspense and laughs. The characters are extremely engaging and believable. The stories are fantasy and nevertheless are so convincingly set out that you find yourself completely immersed in them.

    I highly, highly recommend the Starcatcher series for great family listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Brian Tracy
    • Narrated By Brian Tracy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2276)
    Performance
    (1020)
    Story
    (996)

    There's an old saying: if you eat a live frog first thing each morning, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that it's probably the worst thing you'll do all day. Using "eat that frog" as a metaphor for tackling the most challenging task of your day, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on, but also the one that might have the greatest positive impact on your life, Eat That Frog! shows you how to zero in on these critical tasks and organize your day.

    Bilgin Esme says: "Not only procrastination"
    "Highly recommended, but with a caveat"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is chock-full of useful advice that can really help you in your day-to-day work life and life outside of work. It is one of a handful of books I try to re-read about every two years or so. And, Brian Tracy reads his materials very well. For those reasons, I highly recommend this book.

    So what’s the caveat? Brian Tracy sells the ideas in this book hard, even though they are good enough that the hard sell is not needed. In this and other books, he oversimplifies the problems, and overstates the potential positive effects of the suggested approaches and techniques.

    For example, he likes to throw out statistics (“this technique will boost your productivity 25%!”) that make you go, “Huh!? Where’d he get that from and what’s it based on?” And he makes wild promises like, “Do this, and you’ll triple your income!” This is really unfortunate because it makes him sound like a huckster and I don’t believe he is. It’s also unfortunate because the techniques and approaches are really good, do work, and so don’t require the puffing up. If he could just be more realistic and modest (“This technique can boost your productivity noticeably.” “Do this consistently, and you will increase the odds you’ll get noticed and you may even get a raise.”), the book would read much better.

    All that said, I highly recommend this book.

    Brian Tracy’s “No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline” is a very, very useful as well. But, again, be prepared for a hard sell throughout. That’s a small matter, though, when you realise that you will actually benefit from applying the suggestions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (124)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (97)

    Generations of readers have enjoyed the ingenuous triumphs and feckless mishaps of boyhood days on the Mississippi. This classic of American wit and storytelling introduced Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher, Aunt Polly, the Widow Douglas, and many other characters to the world; including, of course, the boy who "was cordially hated and dreaded by all the mothers of the town, because he was idle and lawless and vulgar and bad - and because all their children admired him so," Huckleberry Finn.

    Rickapolis says: "AVOID THIS VERSION"
    "Never thought I'd read this, but very glad I did"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Tim Sawyer is one of those classics of literature I supposed I should read, but never got very far into. My dad loved Mark Twain and encouraged me to read Tom Sawyer. But, being a strong-willed boy, I typically wanted to do the opposite of whatever my dad recommended. Big mistake.

    This story is really timeless and thoroughly enjoyable. I laughed out loud at many points during Dick Hill's fantastic narration. He does all the characters and accents perfectly. Mark Twain's insights into human nature are dead on and he illustrates them in very entertaining ways in this tale of boyhood adventure.

    Don't pass up the opportunity to enjoy this classic, and Dick Hill's fantastic rendition of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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