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Houston, TX, USA

  • 43 reviews
  • 179 ratings
  • 296 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World (Unabridged Selections)

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Noam Chomsky
    • Narrated By Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian

    Timely, urgent, and powerfully elucidating, this important volume of previously unpublished interviews conducted by award-winning radio journalist David Barsamian features Noam Chomsky discussing America's policies in an increasingly unstable world. With his famous insight, lucidity, and redoubtable grasp of history, Chomsky offers his views on the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the doctrine of "preemptive" strikes against so-called rogue states, and the prospects of the second Bush administration...

    S says: "I Must Be A Crying, Anti-American, Groupie"
    "I Must Be A Crying, Anti-American, Groupie"

    The three negative reviews state that Chomsky: 1) "cries" and "bashes" the "civilzed world," "thinks he's cool," and has "hordes of mindless, gullible groupies;" 2) "drones about 'America- the real enemy;" and 3) is an "idiot" and "danger to the civilized world." A mirror image of these people on the left would say they are Right-Wing, Ultra-nationalistic, likely relgious, gun-toting fundamentalists, anti-gay, anti-choice and blindly patriotic.

    I, on the other hand, would just like to point out the kind of vocabulary used by these reviewers compaared to the others who say it was a "great book" because Chomsky "says it as it is." Instead of bashing the Right Wing and the evangelists, these reviewers present clear and logical thoughts of why it is a good book. The others point to 'hordes, idiots, crying, groupies and a repetitive "danger to the civlized world."

    Personally, one of the things I liked about the book is that the questions were good and the answers were better. And it was not read, but live. I have listened to this book twice already - because the information is important and I don't have a memory like Chomsky's. His thoughts and resources are truly unique- gathering and presenting information that is hard to come by in this day and age.

    Now ask yourself: would the world be better off if everyone was like him and the reviewers that thought about what they wrote or would the world be better off if we were all like the others who call names and refer to themselves as civilized in the process?

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Jesse Boggs

    Who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real-estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages? Michael Lewis turns the inquiry on its head to create a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his number-one best-selling Liar’s Poker.

    Jill Pagano says: "Finally, I understand what happened!"
    "Interesting Story Behind the Scenes"

    It might have made more sense if I could have listened straight through or read the book to keep all of the people straight in my head, but overall it was quite good, and gave a good insider's view into part of the story. I thought it might detail more of Goldman's dubious short sales that they are being questioned about now, but it doesn't go into much detail about that.

    What it does cover, and very well at that, is the shorting of the market that some people did, and how they did it, what companies were willing to do it and how there was pretty much zero oversight to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

    The interview at the end of the book with the author is really good, and he covers the most important aspect of the Big Short there: which is that the 'heros' of the book did a pretty wild thing, and made a lot of money, which is to be 'wowed' to some extent, but in the end that money comes straight from the public's purse to cover the losses of these companies that are supposedly too big to fail.

    Basically, it makes you wonder- if these guys weren't all out there banking on the real estate crash, or there were regulations in to prevent the type of trades the big firms made with AIG's money, how bad would the crash have been? And I wish he'd had covered that to some extent rather than making it sound so great that these guys made out like kings by taking the taxpayer's money.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Boys Adrift: Factors Driving the Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Leonard Sax
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Something scary is happening to boys today. From kindergarten to college, they are less resilient and less ambitious than they were a mere 20 years ago. Fully one-third of men ages 22 to 34 are still living at home with their parents, about a 100 percent increase in the past 20 years. Boys nationwide are increasingly dropping out of school; fewer are going to college. Family physician and research psychologist Dr. Leonard Sax presents practical solutions.

    neil says: "A Must Read If You Have A Son Under 30."
    "Important enough to buy the paperback as well"

    We just had a newborn son while I was listening to this book, and even without a lot of sleep, I finished it quickly. It is written and read very well.

    I feel quite well read and am a very involved new father, but the material in this book isn't found in many other places, and I'm glad I came across it, for it taught me a lot about the way things are these days- things have changed since you and I went to school, grew up, dated, and all of that- and this book helps to prepare us for the world our kids are coming into.

    If you have a son (or daughter), particularly a son though under age 5, but any child , I highly recommend this book. It makes many good points and offers suggestions on how to improve the life of your son- or daughter for that matter, because your daughter is probably going to come into contact with a few.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward

    The Greatest Show on Earth is a stunning counterattack on advocates of "Intelligent Design," explaining the evidence for evolution while exposing the absurdities of the creationist "argument". Dawkins sifts through rich layers of scientific evidence: from living examples of natural selection to clues in the fossil record; from natural clocks that mark the vast epochs wherein evolution ran its course to the intricacies of developing embryos; from plate tectonics to molecular genetics.

    Joseph says: "Well read, well explained, scientific."
    "Not what I expected, but good, very good."

    Evolution and Darwin have always made sense to me, but this book goes into exquisite detail (and some way too much to listen to for about half and hour) about things I had no idea about.

    Although I had hoped this book would follow the lines of the God Delusion, whereby he would bring up the arguments for Creationism, which he would then shoot down (and he does from time to time), it is mainly a book about evolution, period.

    He goes into detail about all of the types of dating techniques, and tells you how it's done. I knew you could chart time by counting tree rings, but I didn't know that they have been dated back over 10,000 years. So the Earth IS over 6,000 years old!? How about that. And he does get riled up that 40+% of the US population still believes God created US in his image, as we are now, without evolution, less than 10,000 years ago.
    Good stuff- get it.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Christopher McDougall
    • Narrated By Fred Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Want to join the “superhumans”? Luckily you don’t have to run to catch up with them, thanks to McDougall’s and Sanders’ inspiring (and motivating) journey through history, science, physiology, health, entertaining characters and unlikely friendships. Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure.

    Corey says: "Amazing read - even for non-runners"
    "It's true- you don't need to run to love this book"

    You see all the 5-star ratings because it's a great book. Just get it, and you will be happy. So many angles on so many things, I probably need to read it again. Some parts may be a little lengthy about some of the races for some people, but even as a non-runner, I found these parts rather enjoyable. The depth that the book goes into about evolution, shoes, feet, and endurance are what grabbed me. It made me think about what shoes I wear, and almost made me want to run (although I still don't). And it introduced me to a 'new' sport that makes me wonder- Ultras? And then I found out that a friend of mine runs these 100 mile + races, and I felt I could relate in some way to what he does because I read this book.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jeff Benedict
    • Narrated By Maggi-Meg Reed

    Suzette Kelo was just trying to rebuild her life when she purchased a broken-down Victorian house perched on the waterfront in New London, CT. The house wasn't particularly fancy, but with lots of hard work Suzette was able to turn it into a home that was important to her, a home that represented her new found independence. Little did she know that the City of New London, desperate to revive its flailing economy, wanted to raze her house and the others like it that sat along the waterfront.

    A User says: "essential"
    "Is this China? Almost."

    Great reader, and superb story. If only it were fiction. I had vague recollections of the supreme court ruling this book covers, and I remember being really upset about it. It reminded me of what the Chinese government was doing - taking peoples' homes and putting big malls up in their place. And that's what the US Supreme Court approved of! This story is much more intense, and more disturbing than that. But it is also an education well worth attaining. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Jimmy Carter
    • Narrated By Jimmy Carter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    President Carter has been a student of the biblical Holy Land all his life. For the last three decades, as president of the United States and as founder of The Carter Center, he has studied the complex and interrelated issues of the region's conflicts and has been actively involved in reconciling them. He knows the leaders of all factions in the region who will need to play key roles, and he sees encouraging signs among them.

    R.S. says: "Wisdom Literature"
    "Jimmy should NOT have read this"

    I'd probably get the 'book' rather than the audio version. Jimmy is starting to slur his words too much and it makes listening a little less enticing. The content is pretty good, and the maps are available on Audible it says [although I haven't seen them, nor looked yet], but like Peace or Apartheid it probably makes more sense to get the 'book' with the appendixes to refer to, especially since they are both quick reads.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver, Steven L. Hopp, Camille Kingsolver

    When Barbara Kingsolver and her family move from suburban Arizona to rural Appalachia, they take on a new challenge: to spend a year on a locally-produced diet, paying close attention to the provenance of all they consume. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle follows the family through the first year of their experiment.

    Sydney says: "Eye opening"
    "Hard to get through"

    I read In Defense of Food in about a day, but this is really hard to get through. There is so much detail- about everything. I'm not a hard-core farmer, just a gardener looking for some gems of information for my little yard. She goes into such detail about every little thing that it makes me wonder if it would go quicker as a 'read' rather than a listen, or if I should have looked for an abridged version first.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Ron Suskind
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author Ron Suskind comes a startling look at how America lost its way and at the nation's struggle, day by day, to reclaim the moral authority upon which its survival depends. From the White House to Downing Street, from the fault-line countries of South Asia to the sands of Guantanamo, Suskind offers an astonishing story that connects world leaders to the forces waging today's shadow wars and to the next generation of global citizens

    Kyle says: "Essential Reading, Five Stars"
    "Expected A More Gripping Read"

    I heard the author on an interview with Amy Goodman and thought his book sounded good. The first half went pretty quickly, but then I found myself taking at least another week or two to finish it. There was something missing in this book, but I can't quite place it. It was good enough to recommend, but not good enough to read twice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wherever You Go There You Are

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Jon Kabat-Zinn
    • Narrated By Jon Kabat-Zinn

    Warmth, humor, anecdotes, and poems make up this inspirational guide to a revolutionary new way of being, seeing, and living. Dr. Kabat Zinn has taught this two thousand year old Buddhist method of relaxation to thousands. Let this be your guide to mindfulness meditation in everyday life.

    Richard says: "Spiritual Direction: All 360 Degrees"
    "Very Real; Not New Agey"

    I'm not a Meditation Guru, but I do like to learn about and practice meditation once in a while. And I take deep breaths from time to time to de-stress. If you're kind of like me in that last regard at least, I think you'll enjoy this book. It's very down-to-Earth, and offers nothing more than what the title claims: Wherever you go, there you are. It's a simple truth, and like meditation, he does not make this out to be more than it is. His explanations of meditation are very good and will not lose you in the stars.

    I've listened to parts of it several times, when I want to take my mind off of things and veg out - or fall asleep.

    It's also nice to listen to once in a while to remind myself that this is really it, and we need to take advantage of our days- and sometimes the best way to do that is to sit back, acknowledge we're here and what we're doing, and just breathe.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Botany of Desire

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Pollan
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers' genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship.

    Teddy says: "If you have an open mind... Give it a listen"
    "Don't let the neg. reviews scare you- good book"

    I'm not sure where those negative reviews came from. The book was well written, informative and entertaining. It's really a history of 4 things from our daily lives: apples, tulips, potatoes, and Mary Jane.

    But it's more than just a history of these four; like his other book(s), Botany of Desire makes you question things- in this case the theory that the food chain might actually 'desire' to be what they have evolved into. Although he argues this point seriously enough, and it did make me think about it, I find it difficult to equate evolution to 'desire.'

    Anyhoo, I bought this book because I really like Omnivore's Dilemma. It wasn't quite as good in my opinion, but still very good. And the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because I read OD before and had another of his works to compare this one to.

    In short, if you like apples, tulips, potatoes or wacky tobaccy, you'll like this book.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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