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Scott

Denver, CO, USA | Member Since 2006

111
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 146 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Why People Believe Weird Things

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs)
    • By Michael Shermer
    • Narrated By Michael Shermer
    Overall
    (225)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (60)

    UFO abductions, television psychics, paranormal phenomena, skeptics and believers alike, find themselves debating truths and lies in the strange web of pseudoscience and the occult. Now, director of the Skeptics Society Michael Shermer explores the very human reasons why we find other worldly phenomena, conspiracy theories, and cults so appealing.

    Leilah says: "Smart"
    "No Why, not Know Why"
    Overall

    I was very interested in this topic, as a research psychologist who knows quite a bit about the depth of studies that examine the biases in how people make inferences. I found this book immensely disappointing. It "reads" (listens) much more like a diatribe against specific beliefs some people hold than any reasoned explanation in depth about "why" people believe what they believew when others do not, and when much evidence is to the contrary.

    I did find the section on the holocost deniers interesing, but the book could have just as well been all about that (which is what the author really seemed mostly to want to write about). I could say so much more, but the key is that he focuses on the weird things far far more than anything about the "why," where there could have been so much more depth--which does not seem to exist in his examination.

    16 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • How We Decide

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Jonah Lehrer
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    Overall
    (1708)
    Performance
    (489)
    Story
    (485)

    Jonah Lehrer arms us with the tools we need to figure out how we decide, drawing on cutting-edge research by Daniel Kahneman, Colin Camerer, and others, as well as the real-world experiences of a wide range of "deciders" - from airplane pilots and hedge fund investors to serial killers and poker players. Lehrer shows how people are taking advantage of the new science to make better television shows, win more football games, and improve military intelligence.

    Sarah says: "Summarizes information from several superior books"
    "Pretty Boring for this type of book"
    Overall

    This is a favorite type of book for me. My all-time favorite is Stumbling on Happiness followed closely by Predictably Irrational and The Logic of Life. This book, however, managed to bore me. The ideas are right and the research referenced seems right and sound. But the mix of stories and examples and research here is, somehow, just somewhat more boring than some others in this type of class. I wanted to like this book a lot but I didn't finishe it.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Shelter of Each Other

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Mary Pipher
    • Narrated By Mary Pipher
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Our country is in a profound crisis: a crisis of decency, of civility, of character. And families today are experiencing a new set of realities. Our best instincts are undermined at every turn, and our families, to which we turn in crisis, are feeling the strain. Working parents are harried, tired, and overextended. Mary Pipher understands this. She's a good listener, perhaps the best listener in America. And what she has to say goes straight to the heart.Confronted with today's challenges, parents feel helpless to protect their children from the enemy within their homes: the innapropriate television their kids watch for hours, the computer and virtual reality games that keep them from playing outside, when they should be learning from and about the real world. Compounding this is the fact that our psychological theories don't work anymore. These theories were developed decades ago, when families were tightly knit, relatively monolithic institutions, and they're dated. Pipher argues that such theories are of little help in our violent, sexualized contemporary culture. And while diagnosing the problem is the first step in curing it, Pipher offers ideas for simple actions we can all take to help rebuild our families and strengthen our communities.

    Lori says: "Beautiful book"
    "Excellent book, not great audio quality"
    Overall

    This is a marvelous book about what a family can be and how families can stay close. It raises sobering questions about what is being increasingly lost for families in America. It is a heartfelt story of connection and building strong ties.

    The audio book suffers from relatively poor audio quaility.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Brothers Karamazov

    • ABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    • Narrated By Tim Pigott-Smith
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (16)

    Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a titanic among the world's great authors, and The Brothers Karamazov is often hailed as his finest novel. A masterpiece on many levels, it transcends the boundaries of a gripping murder mystery to become a moving account of the battle between love and hate, faith and despair, compassion and cruelty, good and evil.

    Scott says: "Disappointing abridgement"
    "Disappointing abridgement"
    Overall

    I find two problems with this reading of one of my favoriate books of all time. First, the reader is not to my taste. The voices adopted for Fyodor and Dmitri are particularly childish. Of course their characters are childish, but they are made to sound, by tone and inflection, like grown up children. It's annoying.

    More importantly, while I have not made a detailed comparison, my impression is that the abridgement was generally done at the expense of the best parts of the book: the deep thoughts and reflections of Zossima and Ivan, etc. To me, it's the philosophical thoughts in the mouths of these characters that make the story of the book matter. What seems to be here in the abridgement is mostly the story of this horribly dysfunctional family. Minus a heavior does of the philosophy and arguments about life, the read suffers greatly.

    23 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Steven Pressfield
    • Narrated By Derek Jacobi
    Overall
    (330)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (104)

    Here is a mesmerizing depiction of one man's indoctrination into the Spartan way of life and death, and of the legendary men and women who gave the culture an immortal gravity. Culminating in the electrifying and horrifying epic battle of Thermopylae, Gates of Fire weaves history, mystery, and heartbreaking romance into a literary tale that brings the Homeric tradition into the 21st century.

    Scott says: "Excellent, but very sad it's abridged"
    "Excellent, but very sad it's abridged"
    Overall

    Gates of Fire is a superb book. It is historical fiction at it's very best. I believe this is the best of Pressfield's works, so it is nice to finally see this book in audio. The reading is terrific. In fact, I have only one minor quibble, in that the voice adopted for Polynikes sounds like a 40 year old man rather than a 23 year old. Narrator should have used that voice for Dienekes. But truly a quibble. A wonderful book and a superb story of the bond between men and between men and women. I give it 4 stars vs. five merely because it is abridged, and there are some truly wonderful insights about characters (especially Suicide, Arete, and Dienekes) that are in the book that are not in this abridged volume. Still, if you like this era of history and you like stories of courage, valor, and frienship, you cannot do better. This book has some of the best quotes I am aware of for sacrifice and friendship. It is a literary achievement.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Pompeii: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1202)
    Performance
    (282)
    Story
    (281)

    All along the Mediterranean coast, the Roman Empire's richest citizens are relaxing in their luxurious villas, enjoying the last days of summer. But the carefree lifestyle and gorgeous weather belie an impending cataclysm, and only one man is worried. The young engineer Marcus Attilius Primus has just taken charge of the Aqua Augusta, the enormous aqueduct that brings fresh water to a quarter of a million people in nine towns around the Bay of Naples. His predecessor has disappeared.

    Marty-Seattle says: "Brought my visit to Pompeii back to life"
    "Superb story, Wonderful Reader"
    Overall

    I really enjoyed this book. I listened to Cicero before it (same author and same narrator). The narrator is phenomenal. One of the best I have encountered. The book is very well written. A very interesting story with elements of mystery well woven around historial details of Roman life of the time and details about the changes in nature leading up to the great volcanic eruption. Robert Harris is a marvelous story teller.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jonathan Haidt
    • Narrated By George K. Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1874)
    Performance
    (1042)
    Story
    (1028)

    This is a book about 10 "Great Ideas". Each chapter is an attempt to savor one idea that has been discovered by several of the world's civilizations - to question it in light of what we now know from scientific research, and to extract from it the lessons that still apply to our modern lives.

    David says: "Exceptional synthesis of psychology and philosophy"
    "Solid content, boring reader."
    Overall

    This book covers solid content on the subject. It seems kind of a cross between a book like Emotional Intelligence and Stumbling on Happiness. Where as Gilbert's Stumbling on Happiness is written and read with whit and insights, this book on research related to Happiness is useful but it's likely a much better book to read than to listen to.

    29 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • Beau Geste

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By P.C. Wren
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Howard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (22)

    A shot rang out. The Arabs surged forward under a savage fusillade of heavy fire. Nearer and nearer they came, shouting with hate and blood-lust. Geste rushed up and down his side of the roof, pausing only long enough to load his rifle and fire into the shrieking mob below, hoping to trick the Arabs into believing the fort was heavily manned.

    Loren D. says: "Definitely a classic."
    "Intriguing, wonderful tale, very well told."
    Overall

    To start off, the narration of this work is among the very best I have heard. It is stellar. The story itself is marvelous. One of those stories that truly transports you to another place and time; in this case, in the hot deserts of African and among the French Foreign Legion. Having never read the novel, it was a total delight to come across such a fine work of story telling. If you like adventure stories and rich prose, you will like this book very much.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Other Boleyn Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Susan Lyons
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (14)

    When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of 14, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family's ambitious plots. The king's interest begins to wane, and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Mary realizes that she must defy her family and her king, and take her fate into her own hands.

    Carol T. Carr says: "The Dangers of Court Life"
    "Fabulous writing, Wonderful Narration"
    Overall

    Having listened to many books on tape, I am careful to report that this is the most amazing narration I have heard yet in any audio book. It's worth the price just for the quality of the narration. The book itself is excellent, interesting, and engaging (if one does not take it too closely for exact history). It's a great story and superbly told and read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Poison Study

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Maria V. Snyder
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2128)
    Performance
    (889)
    Story
    (893)

    About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace, and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster.

    A says: "Fantasy, with a touch of romance."
    "Story could be okay, but Narration is very weak."
    Overall

    I have listened to many books on Audible now. I was prepared to like this book a lot from ratings on Audible and reviews of Text book on Amazon. However, I found the narration so weak that it was hard to complete the first major part of the first book. Two specifics: 1) In contrast to a book marvelously narrated such as the Other Boleyn Sister, the narrator here is competent but not somehow right for this kind of deeper drama. Her voice and inflections seem all too American, and casual American at that (I am an American, so not dissing my own culture). Her voice does not seem believable to me as the voice of the heroine. 2) About the book itself. The writing and depth of details or nuance, and style of self-reflection in comments just did not see believable. So, between the actual words the writer uses and the narrator's voice quality itself, I could not get into the story. Perhaps it's working a lot better for others. I'd listen fully to the sample before buying it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Mind at a Time: America's Top Learning Expert Shows How Every Child Can Succeed

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Mel Levine
    • Narrated By Mel Levine
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Different minds learn differently. We must pay attention to individual learning patterns, to individual minds so that we can maximize children's performance in school and in life. In A Mind at a Time, Dr. Levine shows us how.

    Susan says: "A Mind At a Time"
    "Great content, poor reading"
    Overall

    This is a fantastic book in terms of content. It is , however, too bad that either Mel or the publisher decided it made sense for him to read it. His reading style is so dry and monotonous it makes me think I would do better with the printed book rather than the audio.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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