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Roger Smith

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Orlando, Florida United States | Member Since 2000

ratings
332
REVIEWS
98
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FOLLOWERS
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HELPFUL VOTES
239

  • Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Kluger
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (87)

    Salk became a cultural hero and icon for a whole generation. Now, at the fiftieth anniversary of the first national vaccination program, and as humanity is tantalizingly close to eradicating polio worldwide, comes this unforgettable chronicle. Salk's work was an unparalleled achievement, and it makes for a magnificent listen.

    Tim says: "Excellent book"
    "Awesome!"
    Overall

    This is one of the best books I have listened to in years. The story of Salk and the polio vaccine is really outstanding.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Capital in the Twenty-First Century

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Thomas Piketty, Arthur Goldhammer (translator)
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (283)
    Performance
    (245)
    Story
    (244)

    What are the grand dynamics that drive the accumulation and distribution of capital? Questions about the long-term evolution of inequality, the concentration of wealth, and the prospects for economic growth lie at the heart of political economy. But satisfactory answers have been hard to find for lack of adequate data and clear guiding theories.

    Kazuhiko says: "Audio format still useful to get the gist of it"
    "Sometimes Difficult, Always Enlightening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book has caused quite a stir among business leaders. So I had to read it. It is a difficult book to stick with. But every chapter reveals some facts, analyses, or opinions that are very enlightening. The author is French so you get a very different perspective on history and the objectives of an ideal society. A fair distribution of assets is never possible. I think the author recognizes this. For every possible policy to balance assets, the author provides historical examples of why that will not work in the long-run. In the end I am learning that societies have always been very unbalanced in the distribution of wealth and assets. Only the degree changes, but not the basic fact ... it is almost a law of economics.

    The most striking fact is the comparison of incomes and asset ownership.

    Top 10% of Income Earners, are the owners of 60% of all real assets.
    Middle 40% of Income, owns about 35% of all real assets
    Bottom 50% of Income, own about 5% of assets.

    This is a very big chunk of the population that are really poor. This extreme difference is the norm in many countries and across many time periods. Only the exact numbers change.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Machine Man

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Max Barry
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (85)

    Scientist Charles Neumann loses a leg in an industrial accident. It's not a tragedy. It's an opportunity. Charlie always thought his body could be better. He begins to explore a few ideas. To build parts. Better parts. Prosthetist Lola Shanks loves a good artificial limb. In Charlie, she sees a man on his way to becoming artificial everything. But others see a madman. Or a product. Or a weapon. A story for the age of pervasive technology, Machine Man is a gruesomely funny unraveling of one man's quest for ultimate self-improvement.

    Ken says: "Better living through engineering?"
    "Not the Usual Max"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really like Max Barry's stories. But this one ... not so much. Imagine working on a story and you draw a line down the middle of the paper. You put the exciting parts on the right side and the dull details on the left side. Then you throw away the right side and white the entire story just with dull details. That would be this book.

    He did some interesting development of a couple of characters. But all of them do dull stuff over and over again.

    My thoughts - skip this and go read Lexicon or Jennifer Government. Both much more interesting and they kept the exciting parts in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lexicon

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Max Barry
    • Narrated By Heather Corrigan, Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (590)
    Performance
    (532)
    Story
    (539)

    At an exclusive school somewhere outside of Arlington, Virginia, students aren't taught history, geography, or mathematics - at least not in the usual ways. Instead, they are taught to persuade. Here the art of coercion has been raised to a science. Students harness the hidden power of language to manipulate the mind and learn to break down individuals by psychographic markers in order to take control of their thoughts. The very best will graduate as "poets": adept wielders of language who belong to a nameless organization that is as influential as it is secretive.

    Tango says: "Fasten your seat belt..."
    "Great Again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Love Max Berry's stories. This one has a great, original idea, great characters, adventure, romance, intrigue. Always fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ultramarathon Man: Confession of an All-Night Runner

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Dean Karnazes
    • Narrated By James Yaegashi
    Overall
    (410)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (200)

    Karnazes reveals the mind-boggling adventures of his nonstop treks through the hell of Death Valley, the incomprehensible frigidity of the South Pole, and the breathtaking beauty of the mountains and canyons of the Sierra Nevada.

    Andrea says: "Not as self-congratulating as others have said"
    "Just Keep Running"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book has been an inspiration to stop holding myself back and just run more. Don't worry about working up to something. Just find your limits. Stop worrying about little aches and pains. Most of us have learned to pamper ourselves and avoid discomfort. It is time to seek a different, more rewarding, and more difficult path.

    Some reviewers say the book is too egotistical. Only mildly so. It is an autobiography, what did you expect he was going to write about? It will motivate you out of your comfort zone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace
    • Narrated By Peter Altschuler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (332)
    Performance
    (303)
    Story
    (298)

    Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation - into the meetings, postmortems, and "Braintrust" sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture - but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, "an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible."

    Joe Sparks says: "Bought the instant I saw it."
    "Highs and Lows"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book has some good management ideas from the masters of Pixar. As a computer scientist the author also shares a few (very few) interesting tid-bits about the technology behind their movies. I would like to hear more of these. Then there are diversions into related philosophical ideas which are somewhat interesting. Overall a pretty good book, but not nearly as interesting as a Pixar movie.

    But I cannot listen to this book while driving. It puts me to sleep every time. The cause is equally shared by the style of the writing and the voice of the narrator. Together they are somnambulistic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fitness Confidential

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Vinnie Tortorich
    • Narrated By Vinnie Tortorich
    Overall
    (343)
    Performance
    (322)
    Story
    (325)

    America's Angriest Trainer, Vinnie Tortorich, exposes the nasty underbelly of the fitness industry while getting you into the best shape of your life. For over 20 years, Vinnie has been Hollywood's go-to guy for celebrities and athletes looking to get fit fast. Now, in this hilarious and often R-rated memoir, he holds nothing back. What's the best piece of fitness equipment money can buy? What's the fastest way to lose weight: diet or exercise? Why are health clubs worse than used car lots? In Fitness Confidential, Vinnie tells all.

    Robert says: "The best fitness book I've ever read"
    "Terrible writing, Terrible reading."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    1) Terribly Written. The author just plain cannot write.
    2) Terribly Read. The author/narrator will not stay on script. He ad libs useless, off topic, uninteresting information as he goes along.

    Does he have wisdom to pass along? Most people will never find out because of the terrible delivery of the information. Go find a different book to learn about fitness and health.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A Life Without Limits: A World Champion's Journey

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Chrissie Wellington, Lance Armstrong (foreward)
    • Narrated By Polly Lee, Chrissie Wellington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (247)
    Performance
    (222)
    Story
    (223)

    In 2007, Chrissie Wellington shocked the triathlon world by winning the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. As a newcomer and a complete unknown to the press, Chrissie's win shook up the sport. A Life without Limits is the story of her rise to the top, a journey that has taken her around the world, from a childhood in England, to the mountains of Nepal, to the oceans of New Zealand, to the trails of Argentina, and finally, across the finish line. A Life without Limits reveals the heart behind her success.

    Mona says: "Chrissie winning, on repeat"
    "Totally Inspirational!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a great connection to the inner world of Chrissie Wellington and her development into a tri-athlete champion. Great personal stories that help you understand the person and the sport.

    The narrator was also a perfect fit for the story and author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Scott Jurek, Steve Friedman
    • Narrated By Quincy Dunn-Baker
    Overall
    (702)
    Performance
    (630)
    Story
    (640)

    A dominant force in the sport of ultrarunning, Scott Jurek is a seven-time winner of the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run and a two-time winner of the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon through Death Valley. Eat & Run offers an inspirational account of Jurek’s life as a runner and vegan. Regaling listeners with jaw-dropping tales of endurance, Jurek also delivers sound science and practical advice—as well as his favorite plant-based recipes.

    Andy says: "one of the better ultramarathon books"
    "Human Endurance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A fantastic story of human endurance and what can be accomplished. My favorite line, which I tell myself all the time now is "not all pain is significant". Then I just keep running, or holding that yoga pose, or pumping that weight. It is easy to be a lazy, painless athlete, which leads to mediocre results forever.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Rich Roll
    • Narrated By Rich Roll
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (823)
    Performance
    (748)
    Story
    (741)

    An incredible but true account of achieving one of the most awe-inspiring midlife physical transformations ever

    In October 2006, the night before he was to turn forty, Rich experienced a chilling glimpse of his future. Nearly fifty pounds overweight and unable to climb the stairs without stopping, he saw where his sedentary lifestyle was taking him. Most of us look the other way when granted such a moment of clarity, but not Rich.

    J. Camara says: "Insightful conquering life's challenges"
    "Two Different Books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first half (first file of the download) focuses on the authors struggles with alcohol. The real story of the ultraman begins in the second half. It is a fantastic story of what a person can accomplish and endure at any age. I was inspired to workout harder and eat different. Beginning with vegan dinner and we will see how it goes from there.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (8154)
    Performance
    (6325)
    Story
    (6350)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Shannon says: "Word Thief"
    "Marvelous!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a wonderful story. The authors and events are so rich that you enjoy it from beginning to end.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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