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  • The Rational Optimist

  • How Prosperity Evolves
  • By: Matt Ridley
  • Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
  • Length: 13 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,381
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,091
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,098

Life is getting better at an accelerating rate. Food availability, income, and life span are up; disease, child mortality, and violence are down all across the globe. Though the world is far from perfect, necessities and luxuries alike are getting cheaper; population growth is slowing; Africa is following Asia out of poverty; the Internet, the mobile phone, and container shipping are enriching people's lives as never before.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful Case for Things Looking Up

  • By Darkcoffee on 06-09-10

Really Good

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-16-10

I was worried that the book would be too simplistic and repetitive, but it's smart and original and full of insight. It convinced me that people's lives in the past were worse than I thought, and the future looks bright, and humanity is on a steady upward trend.

This was one of my favorite listens, and I recommend it to anyone who likes good nonfiction.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Moral Animal

  • Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology
  • By: Robert Wright
  • Narrated by: Greg Thornton
  • Length: 16 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,354
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,120
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,122

Are men literally born to cheat? Does monogamy actually serve women's interests? These are among the questions that have made The Moral Animal one of the most provocative science books in recent years. Wright unveils the genetic strategies behind everything from our sexual preferences to our office politics - as well as their implications for our moral codes and public policies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ridiculously Insightful

  • By Liron on 10-25-10

Ridiculously Insightful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-25-10

The Moral Animal is THE book on evolutionary psychology. Robert Wright applies a straightforward game-theoretic analysis to theorize how natural selection shaped human psychology, and gets remarkably penetrating insights into human nature.

I feel like I am seeing human nature laid bare. I find myself shaking my head in awe, because after I hear Wright's characterization of some social dynamic, it seems so clear obvious in retrospect that I can't believe it's not common knowledge.

I also love the way Wright applies the principles of evolutionary psychology to analyze episodes in Darwin's life. Wright's Darwinian understanding of human nature enriches the book's view into Darwin's life.

This is one of the best books in the entire Audible collection. A must-listen.

49 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • The Brain That Changes Itself

  • Personal Triumphs from the Frontiers of Brain Science
  • By: Norman Doidge M.D.
  • Narrated by: Jim Bond
  • Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,322
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,511
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,502

In this revolutionary look at the brain, best-selling author, psychiatrist, and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge, M.D., introduces both the brilliant scientists championing this new science of neuroplasticity and the astonishing progress of the people whose lives they've transformed.

Introducing principles we can all use, as well as a riveting collection of case histories, The Brain That Changes Itself has "implications for all human beings, not to mention human culture, human learning and human history."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth reading

  • By Jen on 01-12-09

Surprisingly enlightening

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-03-10

I'm very interested in the subject matter, but I was afraid this would be too dumbed-down and oversimplified. I was skeptical that it would enhance my knowledge of the brain.

I was pleasantly surprised by the detailed characterization of mental plasticity. This is definitely one of my favorite audiobooks.

I also think this goes well together with Jeff Hawkins' "On Intelligence" audiobook.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

  • Time-Tested Methods for Conquering Worry
  • By: Dale Carnegie
  • Narrated by: Andrew MacMillan
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,724
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,562
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,550

Through Dale Carnegie's seven-million-copy best seller, recently revised, millions of people have been helped to overcome the worry habit. Dale Carnegie offers a set of practical formulas you can put to work today, formulas that will last a lifetime!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Read

  • By C. M. on 03-08-09

Great listen, but unhelpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-18-09

The How to Win Friends and Influence People audiobook transformed my life, so I thought I would give this one a try. Unfortunately, I can't say I got much out of the book's content.

But Andrew MacMillan reading Dale Carnegie is epic. I've never seen heard such an incredible author/narrator matchup (except maybe Richard Dawkins reading Charles Darwin), and this made it a pretty enjoyable listen.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful