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valihugs

Mesa, AZ USA | Member Since 2004

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 66 ratings
  • 396 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2014
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  • 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By John Kralik
    • Narrated By John Kralik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (33)

    One recent December, at age 53, John Kralik found his life at a terrible, frightening low: his law firm was failing; he was struggling through a second divorce; he was living in a tiny apartment where he froze in the winter and baked in the summer. Then, during a walk in the hills on New Year’s Day, John was struck by the belief that his life might become at least tolerable if, instead of focusing on what he didn’t have, he could find some way to be grateful for what he had.

    Denise says: "Loved this book!"
    "Very Uplifting"
    Overall

    The author told and delivered a wonderful story, with just the right mix of letters and story. I'll keep this one on the list for any time my life seems overwhelming.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lawrence Wright
    • Narrated By Morton Sellers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1275)
    Performance
    (1139)
    Story
    (1129)

    A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than 200 personal interviews with both current and former Scientologists - both famous and less well known - and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.

    Chris Reich says: "Scared the Hell Out of Me"
    "Rambling disjointed tromp through LR H's history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was most disappointing about Lawrence Wright’s story?

    I couldn't make it all the way through this book. I got 80% through and had to stop wasting my time. It is a rambling account of things that may or may not have happened to L. Ron Hubbard and which may or may not have shaped Scientology. I was hoping for more and to gain some knowledge about Scientology. What I got was a book filled with facts that didn't go together in any logical manner and don't lead anywhere.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    There are some interesting facts in the book and there are some interesting perspectives on Scientology but it's not worth listening to all the worthless stories to get them.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Man Who Invented the Computer: The Biography of John Atanasoff, Digital Pioneer

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jane Smiley
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (25)

    Why don’t we know the name of John Atanasoff as well as we know those of Alan Turing and John von Neumann? Because he never patented his computing machine, and because the developers of the far-better-known ENIAC almost certainly stole critical ideas from him. Jane Smiley tells the quintessentially American story of John Atanasoff with technical clarity and narrative drive, making the race to develop digital computing as gripping as a real-life techno-thriller.

    valihugs says: "Half Atanasoff biography, half biograph of others"
    "Half Atanasoff biography, half biograph of others"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Overall, I enjoyed the book but the focus was more on the era and the cast of characters involved and less about Atanasoff than I had expected. Still very interesting and, I think, worth while.


    What was most disappointing about Jane Smiley???s story?

    I was hoping for more information about the actual process of invention undertaken by Atanasoff and Berry and perhaps some technical detail. The book was completely non-technical. A LOT of time was spent on biographies of the other people involved in the birth of the computer, which was interesting, just not what I expected in this book.


    What else would you have wanted to know about Jane Smiley???s life?

    I didn't and don't want to know anything about Jane Smiley's life. It wasn't her biography. I would have enjoyed a bit more about Atanasoff''s professional life during the time he spent at Iowa State College (now University). The period in which he was actually creating his invention is, perhaps, the least well covered period of his life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Tim Sanders
    • Narrated By Tim Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (30)

    Tim Sanders, Chief Solutions Officer at Yahoo!, puts forth a wildly original idea: It pays to be nice. Sanders shows how being a "lovecat" will help you accomplish your goals, both in and out of the office.

    Lech says: "Not too much REAL content"
    "Good concepts but needs a technology update"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Love Is the Killer App?

    A lot of the suggestions are quite dated (buy a Palm Pilot, for instance).
    Seems to be a shill for Amazon (buy everyone a hard-cover book)


    What about Tim Sanders???s performance did you like?

    The reader performs the content clearly and at the correct pacing.


    Any additional comments?

    The concepts in the book are timeless and nothing new, really: be compassionate; work in a win-win mode; serve others. Building and sharing a network and being a connector without a vested interest is a valuable lesson and overall the book is worth reading. I'd like to read an updated version dealing with e-books, facebook, twitter, and other forms of electronic network sharing to see how the author has updated his approach to keep pace with technology - especially since the author worked in the technology sector.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Rob Lowe
    • Narrated By Rob Lowe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3468)
    Performance
    (2765)
    Story
    (2753)

    A teen idol at 15, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at 20, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences. Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last 25 years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.

    N. Belle says: "Great Book and Great Story"
    "Genuinely like Rob Lowe now"
    Overall

    I found Rob Lowe's autobiography to be a very enjoyable listen. I found he balanced insider information of the industry nicely with his own progress and experience. And of course he is a wonderful reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Farhad Manjoo
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    Why has punditry overtaken news, with so many media outlets pushing partisan agendas instead of information? Comedian Stephen Colbert's catchword "truthiness" has captured something essential about our age: that people are more comfortable with ideas that feel true, even if the evidence for those beliefs is thin.

    Saud says: "Check Your Perspective"
    "Disturbing but Helpful"
    Overall

    This was a thoughtful book which provided an interesting if frightening review of the shifts in truth in today's society.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Anyone But You

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jennifer Crusie
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (419)
    Performance
    (160)
    Story
    (164)

    Ignoring her insistent best friend, some interfering do-gooders, and the ubiquitous dog Fred - not to mention her suddenly raging hormones - 40-year-old Nina thinks anyone but Alex would be a better bet for a relationship. But the more silver-haired stiffs she dates, the more she suspects it's the young dog-loving doctor she wants to sit and stay!

    Bonnie says: "Jennifer Crusie knows how to have fun"
    "Old Fashioned"
    Overall

    This is an old fashioned romance, reflective likely of the time it was written but disappointing after reading her more current stories.

    0 of 1 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
    Overall
    (4411)
    Performance
    (1876)
    Story
    (1894)

    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!"
    "Fascinating"
    Overall

    I very much appreciated the author's style, providing enough detail to explain without making them overwhelming or frustrating, and the reader was wonderful.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Doug Fine
    • Narrated By Doug Fine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    Vowing to grow all his own food, harness the sun's power for his electrical needs, and consume as little fossil fuel as necessary, Doug Fine faces surprising obstacles at every turn as he discovers that going green is easier said than done.

    Jeff says: "Loved it!"
    "Encouraging"
    Overall

    Nice light, funny reality check on getting off the grid.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jared Diamond
    • Narrated By Christopher Murney
    Overall
    (1140)
    Performance
    (284)
    Story
    (289)

    In his million-copy best seller Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond examined how and why Western civilizations developed the technologies and immunities that allowed them to dominate much of the world. Now in this brilliant companion volume, Diamond probes the other side of the equation: what caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates?

    Rebecca says: "an fascinating book, but better on paper"
    "Pleasantly Surprised"
    Overall

    I greatly feared starting this book. Quite frankly, I was worried I would feel thoroughly hopeless after the reading. I was pleasantly surprised by the author's engaging overview of past cultures, their mistakes and the outcomes.
    I appreciated the manner in which the author built our understanding of current peril while still offering hope for change. It is a galvanizing read.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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