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TM

TJM

ratings
49
REVIEWS
39
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
67

  • Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Jeff Ryan
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (344)
    Performance
    (315)
    Story
    (314)

    Nintendo has continually set the standard for video game innovation in America, starting in 1981 with a plucky hero who jumped over barrels to save a girl from an ape.

    Steve says: "Great read! Very informative."
    "Not Exciting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Ray Porter is my favorite narrator and his reading can make an average book feel great. I think this might be why this book gets such good reviews. Either that, or die-hard Nintendo fans love hearing lists of the gazillions of variations on all the Mario games.

    What I got from this book was that Nintendo found a formula that worked and were careful to not change things too much and milk that baby for all they could get out of it.

    Don't get me wrong - I like Nintendo. I like that their devices and games are usually high quality, family friendly and I especially liked the Wii with its introduction of less sedentary gaming.

    But after the first hour the book, it became less of a personal story and entrepreneurial success story and more like a high level chronology of a corporation's product rollouts.

    Still, Ray Porter can make the ingredients list on a packet of peach rings sound enthralling :-)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Jonathan Haidt
    • Narrated By Jonathan Haidt
    Overall
    (638)
    Performance
    (545)
    Story
    (544)

    In The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding. His starting point is moral intuition - the nearly instantaneous perceptions we all have about other people and the things they do. These intuitions feel like self-evident truths, making us righteously certain that those who see things differently are wrong. Haidt shows us how these intuitions differ across cultures, including the cultures of the political left and right.

    Douglas says: "A Brilliant And Insightful Book!"
    "Impressive Scope"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to a number of evolutionary psychology books including Kahneman's "Thinking Fast and Slow", so I wasn't anticipating many new concepts. I was expecting more of how those well known concepts apply to Political and Religious orientations.

    I was however wrong. For me at least this book broke a lot of new ground by introducing the different dimensions of morality and the concept of 90% chimp and 10% bee. I was convinced by much of it and could apply the concepts from my own personal idiosyncrasies to geo-political history - hows that for breadth!

    One thing that's important to me is how balanced a book is. Whilst I have my own political leanings, I really don't like heavy handedly one-sided books, especially regarding politics. I really felt that Haidt's book speaks to the whole political spectrum and encourages mutual understanding. If only we could get everyone to read it.

    Excellent book - narrated perfectly by the author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs)
    • By Harry Markopolos
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Harry Markopolos, Frank Casey, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1406)
    Performance
    (707)
    Story
    (704)

    No One Would Listen is the exclusive story of the Harry Markopolos-lead investigation into Bernie Madoff and his $65 billion Ponzi scheme. While a lot has been written about Madoff's scam, few actually know how Markopolos and his team - affectionately called "the Fox Hounds" by Markopolos himself - uncovered what Madoff was doing years before this financial disaster reached its pinnacle. Unfortunately, no one listened, until the damage of the world's largest financial fraud ever was irreversible.

    Brendan says: "Shocking, terrific"
    "Could Have Been Half As Long"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is an interesting if lengthy inside account of Markopolos' attempt to take down Madoff's ponzi scheme, but....

    First of all, whilst the main narrator is very good, there are occasional smatterings of other voices, sometimes another reader, sometimes audio clip's from the news or Congressional hearings. I found these quite clumsily applied and feel the book would have benefited from sticking with the main narrator throughout.

    Secondly, Markopolos' account actually helped me understand why he was ignored until it was too late. His initial interest in Madoff was as a struggling competitor. He wasn't a benevolent do-gooder, he was trying to prove to his bosses that the financial product he was being asked to create could never compete with Madoff because Madoff was cheating.

    That fact coupled with his hyperbolic language, abrasive style and to me excessive paranoia would have led me to question Markopolos as a source for sure.

    That's not to say that it wasn't an abundance of incompetence at the SEC that led to the eventual size of the fraud. The SEC should not have even needed Markopolos' research to see that Madoff wasn't actually trading!

    Finally, the list of "tragic" stories at the end of the book made me a bit uncomfortable. First of all most of these people lost some or all of their wealth. That is of course unfair and personally tragic, it is not however tragic on the scale of war and disease, which by the way are prevalent. Plus there were many more people who, during the financial crisis, rather than losing their wealth, lost their livelihoods - everything - jobs, homes, families.

    A book written by a third-party about the case would have been better I think.

    1 of 1 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
    (747)
    Performance
    (673)
    Story
    (683)

    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"
    "Pretty Good - Runners Will Love It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I have been dabbling in trail running and would love to be be fit enough to try endurance running, so there were quite a few useful tips on running style, diet and so on.

    But the if you've read "Born to Run" there really is no comparison.

    This book is more of a one-note auto-biography and whilst I respect Jurek for his amazing athletic accomplishments and for being a great ambassador for ultra-running, his story is interesting, but not thrilling.

    Worth the listen for fans of Jurek and running.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Bryce G. Hoffman
    • Narrated By Pete Larkin
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (163)
    Story
    (161)

    At the end of 2008, Ford Motor Company was just months away from running out of cash. With the auto industry careening toward ruin, Congress offered all three Detroit automakers a bailout. General Motors and Chrysler grabbed the taxpayer lifeline, but Ford decided to save itself. Under the leadership of charismatic CEO Alan Mulally, Ford had already put together a bold plan to unify its divided global operations, transform its lackluster product lineup, and overcome a dys­functional culture of infighting, backstabbing, and excuses.

    Michael says: "The best business book I ever read"
    "A New Medium of Advertising?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Reading this book was my first introduction to Alan Mullaly and what went on with Ford before and after the financial crisis.

    Certainly it is an interesting story, well told and Alan Mullaly comes across as a business genius and a leader I wish I could have had during my time in corporate America.

    My reservations are that the book also reads like a long and rosy telling of "The Ford Story", in the same sense that Ford tries to tell "The Ford Story" in its advertising. It is a one-sided, effusive and unabashedly fawning account of Mullaly and Ford in general.

    The author begins the book with an explanation of how he went to the Ford Executive Leadership, including Mullaly explaining that the a book should be written about "Ford's comeback" and how it would be a "positive story". An investigative journalist should not assure his subjects that the book he is writing will be positive, it removes any opportunity for balance - and in balance is found truth.

    I certainly appreciate the fact that Ford saved itself rather than accept the Detroit bailout and I can see that Mullaly is an exceptional leader, but I want to read truth, not just advertising. And I felt uneasy during much of this book that I was being asked to trust Ford's own perception of itself.

    Questionable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Them: Adventures with Extremists

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Jon Ronson
    • Narrated By Jon Ronson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (514)
    Performance
    (472)
    Story
    (468)

    Them began as a book about different kinds of extremists, but after Jon had got to know some of them - Islamic fundamentalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen - he found that they had one oddly similar belief: that a tiny, shadowy elite rule the world from a secret room. In Them, Jon sets out, with the help of the extremists, to locate that room. The journey is as creepy as it is comic, and along the way Jon is chased by men in dark glasses, unmasked as a Jew in the middle of a Jihad training camp, and more.

    aaron says: "Dated but VERY Good... and FUNNY!"
    "Silly, but Serious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I've been a huge fan of Louis Theroux for many years, and to me Jon Ronson's book strikes the same tone as one of Louis' shows.

    By building a rapport with people who have very extreme beliefs and opinions, they are humanized. One can even empathize to a degree. This is a much more productive policy than simply demonizing or disregarding them.

    In most extremists there is a grain of something real that should be considered and built in to our own thinking. However, that is not to overlook the fact that many of these people are essentially delusional and even dangerous.

    That is the most important aspect of Jon's book and Louis' shows - whilst opening our minds to empathize and relate, they also illuminate where the reasonable become unreasonable and the understandable become outrageous. And best of all this demarkation is often hilarious and self-evident when exposed by a reasonable person repeating the ludicrous words back to the ludicrous people who just spoke them.

    It is genius and a service to the world in my opinion.

    I am sure that Jon's book would have lost much of the humor and nuance had it been read by another narrator, so well done Jon.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1885)
    Performance
    (1557)
    Story
    (1572)

    The tsunami of cheap credit that rolled across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more than a simple financial phenomenon: it was temptation, offering entire societies the chance to reveal aspects of their characters they could not normally afford to indulge. The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a pinata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack at it. The Germans wanted to be even more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish.

    Andy says: "we may not be the most stupid kids on the planet"
    "Classic Michael Lewis"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoy Michael Lewis books. They are a lot of fun to listen to, but I think he has a tendency to exaggerate and use some artistic license in his accounts.

    This is my third book of his and now that I'm familiar with his schtick I listened more for amusement than factual accounts.

    The book takes us to each of the collapsed/collapsing economies around the world and astounds us with the incredible greed, stupidity and chutzpa of those involved.

    Pinch of salt, but the essence is right and if you're like me you'll be well entertained

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Naoki Higashida
    • Narrated By Tom Picasso
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (755)
    Performance
    (673)
    Story
    (675)

    Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, The Reason I Jumpis a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.

    Janice says: "Cracking the code"
    "Valuable to Families of ASD Children"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    A very illuminating insight in to the experience of a child on the Autism Spectrum.

    Very helpful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Einstein's Cosmos: How Albert Einstein's Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time: Great Discoveries

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Michio Kaku
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (535)
    Performance
    (485)
    Story
    (488)

    A dazzling tour of the universe as Einstein saw it. How did Albert Einstein come up with the theories that changed the way we look at the world? By thinking in pictures. Michio Kaku, leading theoretical physicist (a cofounder of string theory) and best-selling science storyteller, shows how Einstein used seemingly simple images to lead a revolution in science. With originality and expertise, Kaku uncovers the surprising beauty that lies at the heart of Einstein's cosmos

    david says: "Relatively Wonderful"
    "Good Balance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Einstein's Cosmos the most enjoyable?

    Ray Porter is my favorite Audible narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a good balance of Einstein's biography and conceptual explanations of some of the big ideas in Physics from Newton up to and including the present.

    I liked that Kaku attempted to demonstrated the value of Einstein's often overlooked and failed attempts at a unified theory.

    Enjoyed this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Nick Bilton
    • Narrated By Daniel May
    Overall
    (530)
    Performance
    (472)
    Story
    (471)

    Twitter seems like a perfect start-up success story. In barely six years, a small group of young, ambitious programmers in Silicon Valley built an $11.5 billion business out of the ashes of a failed podcasting company. Today Twitter boasts more than 200 million active users and has affected business, politics, media, and other fields in innumerable ways.

    Ann Magor says: "A Shakespearean Drama"
    "Shallow on Technology, Deep on Back-Stabbery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoy books about IT entrepreneurship and this was an enjoyable read.

    I was hoping for more insight on the technical accomplishments of the early team, but it seems the author does not have a technical background. For example the term Operation System was used instead of Operating System (nerdy ouch!). But putting that aside there were almost no details on the technologies used, their innovations or how their outage problems were solved.

    There was a lot more detail on the conniving and malevolent shenanigans of the co-founders as they attempted to wrest control of Twitter from each others' hands.

    It seems to me that Twitter was successful despite the fairly inadequate leadership and the apparent lack of vision from any of the co-founders. The kernel of the idea by Jack Dorsey was as far as their "genius" extended. It seemed like the user-base of Twitter knew better than the folks who created it on how best it should be used.

    Well worth a listen, especially if you have an interest in boardroom power games.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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