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Somebody You Don't Know

Portland, OR, USA
  • 9
  • reviews
  • 15
  • helpful votes
  • 21
  • ratings
  • You Are the Placebo

  • Making Your Mind Matter
  • By: Dr. Joe Dispenza
  • Narrated by: Adam Boyce
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,551
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,327
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,321

Is it possible to heal by thought alone - without drugs or surgery? The truth is that it happens more often than you might expect. In You Are the Placebo, Dr. Joe Dispenza shares numerous documented cases of those who reversed cancer, heart disease, depression, crippling arthritis, and even the tremors of Parkinson's disease by believing in a placebo.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • missing

  • By Claudia DeHaviland on 02-10-17

Religion, not science. A lot of pseudoscience here

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-01-19

The author uses a lot of sciency-sounding words, and makes it seem as if he is a scientific expert. However, I have a scientific background, and I can tell that a lot of the claims that he was making are basically gibberish. Virtually everything he said about physics (and especially quantum mechanics) was false, and indicated a deep lack of understanding of even basic concepts. For instance, "energy" as it is used in the medical field, to mean "general health and vitality", has nothing to do with "energy" as used in the physics community, to mean "the capacity for doing work". From a Physics standpoint, a dead body has just as much energy as a live one, provided they are at the same temperature!. Dispenza acts as if the Physics community uses the medical definition of "energy", which leads him to a variety of wildly wrong conclusions about physics. Likewise, much of what he said about biology was incorrect. (For instance, he repeatedly confused epigenetics with genetics and claimed that people could "create new genes" by mental willpower alone, which is very much at odds with mountains of experimental evidence by actual scientists and doctors.) Overall, Dispenza appears to have deep misunderstandings of the purpose and methodology of science and the scientific process, even as he praises it. (Loving science is not the same as understanding it.)

With that said, much of what he said about neuroplasticity and the placebo effect was somewhat correct, and perhaps quite useful to people who weren't already aware of it. There are certainly some ailments that can be affected positively by mental processes. Not nearly as many as he claims, but some. However, the biggest problem with this book is that ultimately his argument rests on his belief that "an intelligence" guides the body to heal (but only if you do what he tells you to do) in ways that are contrary to both common sense and to observable results. All of the examples that he cites of miraculous healings due to his techniques have the common features that the diseases were ones that were known to be psychologically influenced already (e.g. autoimmune diseases which can be influenced by stress). He is essentially saying that "God heals you, but only if you do what I tell you to", although he seems to dislike the word "God" and only vaguely refers to "an intelligence". This is not science: It is religion (and arguably heresy, from a Christian point of view anyway) since he seems to be claiming that God won't heal you unless you follow Dispenza's practices, thus basically putting himself in the role of a priest whose influence is necessary for God to be wiling to heal you.

He is also fond of asking leading questions ("Could it be that all we need to do to heal ourselves is to think properly...?") and implying that the answer is "yes" without presenting evidence that this is the case. This is a classic flimflam technique known as innuendo. Another of his favorite forms of argument essentially implies that you can get to the moon by climbing successively taller trees.

Overall, although there are many interesting things in this book, I can't recommend it. Too many wild claims, not enough solid evidence, and a poor understanding of what scientific evidence even is or means. If you want to read a book that covers many of the same topics with a solid scientific background (and much more limited claims, but ones that are actually backed by evidence), try "The Body Keeps The Score" by Bessel Van Der Kolk.

  • Oathbringer

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
  • Length: 55 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 32,044
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 30,160
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 30,107

Dalinar Kholin's Alethi armies won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost. The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, which now sweeps the world with destruction and in its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that the newly kindled anger of the parshmen may be wholly justified.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Strong Storytelling, will upset Kaladin fans

  • By Deana on 11-16-17

Best of the series so far

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-15-18

I really enjoyed this one. Great characters, an interesting and complex plotline, and well performed by the voice actors. Looking forwards to the next one!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Windup Girl

  • By: Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 19 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5,674
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,867
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,892

Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen's Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history's lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko...Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Al Gore nightmare meets Blade Runner.

  • By Marius on 01-13-10

Very dark

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-22-17

I can’t say I really enjoyed this book. It was well-written, and obviously very thoughtful, but I had a hard time empathizing with most of the characters (most of whom were quite dislikable in one way or another) and the overall storyline was, in a word, “bleak”. It was interesting in many ways, and at some level I’m glad I read it, but I don’t think I’ll be recommending it to my friends. Too depressing.
The vocal performance was very well done, however.

  • The Emperor's Soul

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Angela Lin
  • Length: 3 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,366
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,845
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,861

When Shai is caught replacing the Moon Scepter with her nearly flawless forgery, she must bargain for her life. An assassin has left the Emperor Ashravan without consciousness, a circumstance concealed only by the death of his wife. If the emperor does not emerge after his hundred-day mourning period, the rule of the Heritage Faction will be forfeit and the empire will fall into chaos.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Great Short Novella that is Long in Story

  • By debbie on 11-02-12

Really enjoyed this!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-27-17

I found this to be one of the most enjoyable short stories I have encountered in recent years. A beautiful, thoughtful piece, and excellently performed. I originally chose it because of its connections to Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere books, and specifically to Elantris, which takes place on the same world. However, there seemed to be very little connection to either in the story itself: the story is essentially self-contained. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed it , and I recommend it highly.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Shardik

  • By: Richard Adams
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 23 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 56
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 50

Shardik is a fantasy of tragic character, centered on the long-awaited reincarnation of the gigantic bear Shardik and his appearance among the half-barbaric Ortelgan people. Mighty, ferocious, and unpredictable, Shardik changes the life of every person in the story. His advent commences a momentous chain of events.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A fantastic journey!

  • By Matthew S. Hill on 03-16-17

Good, but not as good as I hoped.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-23-16

I absolutely loved Watership Down, and I was hoping that I would enjoy this as much (on hearing the author say it was his best work). I was a bit disappointed. It was a very different type of story, and it was missing some of the warmth and camaraderie that characterized Watership Down. The story was quite dark in many places, and there was little lightheartedness to be found anywhere else in it. As an agnostic, I suppose that some of the story's religious allegories were less important to me than they might have been to someone who was deeply religious. I could see the points he was making, but the questions he spent so much time trying to answer were not ones that occupy my mind much. Still, it was a well told story.

I have really liked some of the reader's other work (his reading of China Mieville's work for instance), but his reading of Shardik seemed in some places to be tonally at odds woth the work itself. A bright, clipped, cheerful English accent seems out of place when the subject matter involves depression, battlefields, or other kinds of darkness. I would have liked the reading more if the tone of the reader had more closely tracked the tone of the work as it was read. With that said, I enjoy this reader very much in general, and I think he does a very good job overall.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Final Empire

  • Mistborn Book 1
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 24 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46,975
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 41,660
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41,661

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 2nd to the Storm-light Archives.....

  • By Mitchell on 03-30-18

Enjoyed it more than I expected.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-24-16

There were certainly some aspects of this story that were a bit clunky, such as the heavyhandedness of some characterizations, and the excessively detailed descriptions of the magic system, but I found the plot and universe quite interesting, and the story took some turns I didn't expect. Overall, a fun read. Michael Kramer did an excellent job of narrating.

  • The Brothers Karamazov [Naxos AudioBooks Edition]

  • By: Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Constance Garnett - translator
  • Narrated by: Constantine Gregory
  • Length: 37 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,736
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,548
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,549

Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a titanic figure 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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Spiritual and Philosophical Tour-de-Force

  • By Rich on 02-27-16

Not impressed.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-27-16

I have heard many people say good things about this book, but I have to admit I found myself disappointed. Firstly, I found that it was really very, very slow-moving. There were many points where the author seemed to descend into meaningless details that to me did nor advance either the plot, atmosphere, or characterization, and I eventually found myself listening to it in a grim desire to finish it and be done rather than out of a sense of enjoyment. I had heard people speak highly of the author's insights into human nature, but all too often he seemed to make grand proclamations arbitrarily that seemed to me to have little evidence behind them, as if by declaring them with confidence he somehow made them true beyond question. Also, a great deal of the novel seemed to involve religious people behaving abysmally but then declaring how much better they were than people who were nonreligious and therefore supposedly had no morals at all. This felt more like religious propaganda to me than real observation of human nature. I found that I actively disliked most of the characters other than Alyosha, who was apparently so perfect that he could do no wrong (and hence not really very realistic other than a plot device). Overall, I was disappointed.

The vocal performance was pretty good overall, although some of the dialog and characterization (especially by children and women) seemed artificial and unnatural, although to some degree this was probably the fault of the translation.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Perdido Street Station

  • By: China Mieville
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 24 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,648
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,385
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,373

Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. The air and rivers are thick with factory pollutants and the strange effluents of alchemy, and the ghettos contain a vast mix of workers, artists, spies, junkies, and whores.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Stick with it

  • By Steph on 01-31-13

Really enjoyed this.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-30-15

This was a stunning, strange, original, unpredictable, and beautiful novel, and one of the most original novels I can recall reading. The atmosphere of the city and its denizens, and the many surpsurprising twists and turns of the narrative kidney guessing until the very endI will definitely be reading more by this author.

Also, I found the performance by John Lee to be excellent. His characterization of the voices of the various characters in particular was very well done, and well-suited to the book.

  • Galactic Patrol

  • Lensman Series
  • By: E. E. 'Doc' Smith
  • Narrated by: Reed McColm
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 336
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 225
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227

The Galactic Patrol's Lensmen are the most feared peacekeepers in the galaxy. The "Lens", a telepathic jewel matched to the ego of its wearer, is the ultimate weapon in the war against the merciless pirate Boskone and his forces of lawlessness. The only problem is the Galactic Patrol isn't sure how to capitalize on the Lens' incredible powers. But new graduate Kimball Kinnison is determined to learn.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lensmen Series Is Still Fun

  • By Dennis on 09-25-08

Space opera at its finest

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-19-15

A fine story, full of action. Seems a bit cliched by today's standards, but of course it was groundbreaking for its time, and had a huge influence over the science fiction that followed. Characterization is a bit thin. A few too many shortcuts are taken on description - a lot of "ultra"s and "unimaginables" and "inconceivables" (I don't think that word means what he thinks it means), but overall, fun, and with a nicely credible villain who isn't an idiot.

The vocal performance of this book was OK, but not great. He stumbled over some of the more tortuous phrases, which was distracting, and the consistent cringeworthy mispronunciation of certain words (most notably "Aldebaran") was likewise distracting. I think it's important to read even technobabble smoothly, since the characters speaking it would presumably know what it means, even if the listener doesn't, A few of the character voices were a bit grating. Still, a decent job, and most of the time I didn't really think about the vocal performance, which is good.