I was hoping to love this book and it does give an interesting inside look at many aspects of the Mercury and Apollo missions, but what made Gene Kranz a great Nasa mission controller does not make him an engaging author.
The stories are full of interesting facts, but there is little-to-no drama in the writing, even when recounting the most dramatic of events, such as the Apollo 13 mission. All NASA folk seem to be well trained in handling the media. Everything is upbeat, succinct and politically correct. This is very important to NASA's success, but this mind-set has carried in to this book. So it is rather unemotional and dry.
Worth a listen for NASA fans, but certainly not enthralling.
By the way it is clear that Gene Kranz was a vital player in the space program's success and I think we should all be grateful to him.
As a metaphor on the nature of the creative struggle I found it illuminating.
But it wanders off in to magical thinking and ideas such as suggesting the stifling of passions being the possible cause of cancer....
Well I don't think Steve Jobs stifled his passions and alas he is no longer with us.
The author proposes that many of the cultural rifts in modern America (, Mexico and Canada) can be traced back to the collective mindsets of the original European settlers.
I was pretty much convinced by his arguments - in that there is at least a historical influence along the lines of what he describes.
It is at the very least a substantial book with much food for thought.
Walter Dixon's narration is very clear, but a bit dry for my tastes. I understand that the material is academic, but having seen the author speak I think he might have added a bit more color if he had narrated it himself.
For anyone remotely interested in adventure, hiking, the Appalachian Trail or escaping the 9-5, this is an insightful and well-written account of one man's journey.
First off, if I could give 6 stars for Ray Porter's performance I would. He is by far my favorite narrator - his reading of "Ghost in the Wires" was also excellent.
So, is this book a lefty attack on Wall Street and the Well-To-Do and a bleeding heart account of how the Poor are mistreated in this country? You bet yer hind-quarters it is!
But it is NOT just a rehash of political rhetoric and talking points. I found it to be a very valuable juxtaposing of two irreconcilable realities.
The lack of criminal prosecutions for white-collar crimes versus the over prosecution of harmless and sometimes unheard of crimes (holding up pedestrian traffic anyone?).
A purely political book would not call out the Clinton and Obama administrations for poor policy decisions and hyper-politically-sensistive decision making.
A purely political book would not examine arguments from the opposing perspective - perhaps not to the same degree, but counterpoints are raised and generally fairly addressed.
But even if you were to surgically remove the anecdotes that favor the author's positions. Even if you were to toss out the grey areas that are open to debate.
Even then you cannot read/listen to this book and not have to acknowledge that the divide exists, that it is growing, and that to fair minded people it is just plain wrong.
A window in to the Navajo lifestyle and culture at the time. An epic story of a marine in combat during the pacific theater of the second world war. An inside look at the cultural difficulties of a man respected and accepted during his time in the military, but not so on his return to the America he served.
It is certainly an important story and America should be very grateful to these Navajo men who chose to serve their country even as She treated them poorly.
Its brevity (at a little over 3hrs) was appreciated since many self-help books have a few basic concepts, but pages and pages of waffle and repetition.
There is a little waffling here and even some repetition, but the concepts are sound.
I like the mnemonic used to remember the principles (Earth - think deeply, Fire - embrace failure, Air - ask questions and Water - flow of ideas), it proved quite effective for me.
This book was definitely written with the young college student in mind and I found parts of it embarrassingly sophomoric, but I'm not above re-evaluating my approach to thinking and found value in it.
Narration was ok, a bit dry.
Worth a listen.
Masterfully crafted narratives that engage even non-runners in the lives of the most extreme runners in the world.
I had already started down the path of barefoot or at least minimalist running/walking due to realizing that whilst on vacation in Europe, I had walked a marathon in two days in flimsy fashion sneakers with barely any sole - and NO pain!
This book has inspired me to stay on my minimalist journey - a personal one - and continue to be bipedal, especially on the trails in my neighborhood.
Humans were designed to be in motion, in nature, and this book helps me to remember that.
Narration was perfect too.
Lots of good advice. Some of which I have already started to incorporate in to my life.
Slim on narrative and certainly repeats much that has already been said in other books on concepts such as Diet, Exercise, Will Power, Positive Affirmations.
But I found it to be a useful aggregation supplemented with an individuals life experience.
It is indeed like getting advice from a successful friend.
Less humor that I expected, but a good listen.
Patrick Lawlor is a good narrator for slightly playful, fairly simple books like this and iWoz. So he did great.
Fascinating, illuminating and sadly not all that surprising.
Michael Lewis shines another light on the sickness of Wall Street.
Even fans of the Financial Sector should be angry about what is uncovered in this book, since the behaviors of High Frequency Traders undermine the healthy functioning of the market.
As an aside...
Although I recognize that economic models that legislate against greed are doomed to failure, and further acknowledge that a free market is the best known model we have, I'm still waiting for a good book on the incongruence of infinite growth and the finite resources of our only habitable planet. Solutions anyone?
There are some light and accessible descriptions of both financial concepts and math/physics concepts and a history of attempts to marry the two - which is why I gave the book 3 stars.
But there isn't much depth on the concepts and there is little-to-no narrative of interest to engage the reader/listener. Not exactly a nail biter!
The book could have been an engaging story of how a small group of geniuses worked some mathematical magic and became rich, or how some university professor using his economic model saw the impending '08 crash and couldn't get anyone to believe him. But alas apparently no such luck, perhaps because no such tales exist because the results of such attempts to use Math and Physics in finance have proven mixed, at best.
The extent of the success in these models seems to me equivalent to a flea identifying that the prevailing direction of hairs on a dog are to the left. Narrow in scope and highly relative. When the wind changes direction, suddenly said flea's model is broken and is no closer to understanding the shape and motivations of the dog he is on.
Whilst I think Mr. Taleb (Black Swan) is a bit of blowhard, I find this counterpoint to be unconvincing and as a book rather boring.
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