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Chad

SAN ANTONIO, TX, United States
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  • I Did NOT Give That Spider Superhuman Intelligence!

  • Please Don't Tell My Parents Series, Book 0
  • By: Richard Roberts
  • Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 293
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 281
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 279

Being a superhero should be fun. After all, a world of super powers is a world where Amazonian juggernauts made of candy battle guys in spandex that drive talking cars. Irene loves that weirdness, loves the game of fighting, and loves being a four-foot-tall woman who still gets to drop big heavy objects on villains' heads. In 1980, that fun is in danger. A mad scientist who murders people for his research has everyone afraid. Two of the friendliest super-powered rivals around stop playing and go for the kill.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • As good as, "I'm a super villain"

  • By Michael on 01-31-17

Delightfully entertaining

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

Reviewed: 03-09-19

This story was a blast! I really enjoyed it. The voice actor does a great job of bringing the different characters to life. The only thing off-putting about her was how she pronounced "mishmash" and "rodeo". Not being from California, I didn't realize that "rodeo" in "Rodeo Drive" is pronounced differently than a "rodeo" one attends. That still leaves the odd pronounciation of "mishmash." But other than that, this was a lot of fun to listen to. I definitely recommend this story.

  • The Creator's Code

  • The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs
  • By: Amy Wilkinson, Amy Wilkinson (introduction)
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 384
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 328
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 328

Based on in-depth interviews with more than 200 leading entrepreneurs, a business executive and senior fellow at Harvard's Center for Public Leadership identifies the six essential disciplines needed to transform your ideas into real-world successes, whether you're an innovative manager or an aspiring entrepreneur.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Nothing groundbreaking

  • By Sherry Walling on 03-08-15

Thoroughly average business book

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

Reviewed: 03-06-19

There are some interesting anecdotes from various entrepreneurs in here. The author tries (unsuccessfully, IMHO) to weave them together into an overarching master plan that would-be entrepreneurs can follow to achieve greatness. To me, this overall structure is weak and not terribly helpful. I do appreciate the content on the importance of paying it forward and helping out other people though.

It's not bad, per se... collections of interesting business anecdotes can be helpful to listen to. Just don't expect more from this than that random potpourri.

  • Willpower

  • Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength
  • By: Roy Baumeister, John Tierney
  • Narrated by: Denis O'Hare
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,935
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,610
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,592

For years, our concept of the self and well-being has been dominated by the notion of self-esteem, while the old fashioned value of willpower has been disparaged by psychologists who argued that we’re largely driven by unconscious forces beyond our control. In Willpower Baumeister and Tierney turn this misinformation on its head to reveal self-control as arguably the single most powerful indicator of success. Baumeister discovered that willpower actually has a physical basis to it....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Self-help without the hooey

  • By Arken on 09-12-11

Not bad

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

Reviewed: 02-22-19

Personally I prefer "The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It" but this isn't bad. An interesting look at the science around willpower., with occasional helpful tips. For example, if you are dieting, telling yourself you may not ever have that slice of cheesecake will be worse for you than telling yourself that sometime in the future you will have it--you just have to wait a while.

  • I, Justine

  • An Analog Memoir
  • By: Justine Ezarik
  • Narrated by: Justine Ezarik
  • Length: 5 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 709
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 662
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 664

Justine Ezarik has been tech obsessed since unboxing her family's first Apple computer. By sixth grade she had built her first website. A decade later she became one of the Internet's first - and most popular - "lifecasters", inviting people around the world to watch her every move 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But it was a one-minute video about an itemized AT&T bill that gave Justine her first taste of viral success.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This book is so good!!!!

  • By Ashley on 06-04-15

The saga of iJustine

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

Reviewed: 02-19-19

"I, Justine" is the story of a girl who grows up fascinated with video games and computers and became a woman famous on Twitter and YouTube. She lived for LAN parties and exploring the early days of the Internet. Practically from birth, she's loved Apple products (which is why she eventually identified herself online as "iJustine"). She briefly dabbled in programming, but learned she had more of a desire for the visual--web design, taking pictures, making videos. She eventually had a job with long hours and nothing to do, so she would make silly videos to entertain herself. That became more of a passion, leading to podcasts, all kinds of silly videos, lifecasting, a huge following on various social media sites, and eventually fame and fortune and minor acting roles.

Justine is stunningly beautiful, but always seems surprised that anyone thinks so. She is sweet and charming, but frankly talks about the heavy, scary, and soul-crushing trolling she's endured, somehow continuously bouncing back from it.

It's always a pleasure to hear a book read by the author, as this one is.

What's the value of this book? Who should listen to it, apart from hardcode iJustine fans?
- being a software engineer, it touched my heart to hear of a young girl fascinated with computers and technology growing up. That could be inspiring to young women who could one day grow up to work in the technology field, although the fact that Justine focused on being an Internet celebrity instead of an engineer may make that a less than perfect choice.
- for those of us who don't quite get how anyone could make a living being an Internet star, or how that even happened, this can be an interesting story to better understand that
- for those who want more than anything else to be a YouTube star, this would be worth a listing. It is absolutely not any kind of instruction manual, the online world is a very different place than when iJustine got started, and she admits herself that how she got started is not the most effective method. However, this could provide some perspective on what is necessary, and the pros and cons of going down that path.

  • Lock In (Narrated by Wil Wheaton)

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,996
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,200
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,175

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun! Things you might want to know:

  • By Alexis on 08-29-14

Thought provoking story

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

Reviewed: 02-19-19

When a disease sweeps the world and causes millions of people to be paralyzed ("locked in" their own bodies), technology is developed so "neural nets" can be implanted in their brains, allowing them to interact in a virtual world or control humanoid personal transports ("threeps") to interact with the physical world.

The novel explores interesting characters and the potential business and political ramifications of such a world, but it brings up other interesting notions as well. If you could interact fully in a virtual world, would you want to interact with the physical world? What would it be like to be able to connect to a threep in New York City for a morning meeting, then switch to a threep in Tokyo for lunch with an important business contact, then spend the evening catching a show in France? What if you could try, say, dirtkbike jousting with the knowledge that if you screw up, you'll just need a new threep and you yourself will be unharmed? And how would that affect your sense of ethics? These questions (and dirtbike jousting) are not dealt with directly in the book, but John Scalzi has created an unusual and intriguing world here that should make all of us stop and think.

What it does contain is an entertaining sci-fi police procedural, plus bonus content at the end that I suspect is not in the physical book. A multi-voice "news report" explaining the events that lead to the world of Lock In.

  • Relationship Breakthrough

  • How to Create Outstanding Relationships in Every Area of Your Life
  • By: Cloe Madanes, Anthony Robbins
  • Narrated by: Aimee Jolson
  • Length: 6 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 299
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 259
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260

Everyone faces the challenges of making relationships work. Whether with spouses, family members, friends, lovers, or colleagues, relationships have the power to make one feel happy, frustrated, or miserable. In Relationship Breakthrough, Cloe Madanes - an expert in creating healing, empowering relationships - gives listeners vital tools to transform their relationships and their lives. Madanes's cutting-edge methods produce real results and create rewarding, sustainable relationships.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointed

  • By Dee on 01-10-16

Bland psychobabble

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

Reviewed: 02-11-19

I have a ridiculously long list of books on Audible. I go through podcasts and audiobooks voraciously. I almost never abandon a book before completing it.

I only got about halfway through this book before I stopped. I couldn't deal with it anymore.

The book appears to be random psychobabble where the author makes up unnecessary new terms and concepts, interspersed with stories of how great she is as a therapist. There is no entertainment, no personality, no humility and precious little in terms of practical takeaways listeners can use. The author would be well served by reading better books, such as Non Violent Communication.

I do NOT recommend this book. There are many better works out there, so don't waste your time.

  • The Art of Gathering

  • How We Meet and Why It Matters
  • By: Priya Parker
  • Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
  • Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 310
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 278
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 275

Every day, we find ourselves in gatherings, Priya Parker says in The Art of Gathering. If we can understand what makes these gatherings effective and memorable, then we can reframe and redirect them to benefit everyone, host and guest alike. Parker defines a gathering as three or more people who come together for a specific purpose. When we understand why we gather, she says - to acknowledge, to learn, to challenge, to change - we learn how to organize gatherings that are relevant and memorable.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Would have liked a different narrator

  • By Marta on 08-26-18

An intriguing take on creating events with purpose

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

Reviewed: 02-10-19

The author explicitly tells us that she isn't going to focus on the logistics. You won't find guidelines on "top ten questions to ask your caterer" here.

Instead, this is a higher level approach. Priya Parker challenges us to consider the true purpose of our meeting, conference, dinner party, wedding or funeral. Once you drill down to find something specific and unusual, that can affect many other choices you make, from who to include (or exclude!), how to open and close, and special rules and expectations to set for your event.

It's not mind blowing, but is interesting and is worth a listen for anyone who may end up organizing events, whether formal or informal.

  • The Willpower Instinct

  • How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It
  • By: Kelly McGonigal Ph.D.
  • Narrated by: Walter Dixon
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,191
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,023
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,921

Based on Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal's wildly popular course The Science of Willpower, The Willpower Instinct is the first book to explain the new science of self-control and how it can be harnessed to improve our health, happiness, and productivity. Informed by the latest research and combining cutting-edge insights from psychology, economics, neuroscience, and medicine, The Willpower Instinct explains exactly what willpower is, how it works, and why it matters.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Research based guide to improve willpower

  • By Neuron on 05-27-13

Surprisingly good!

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

Reviewed: 02-08-19

I had fairly low expectations for this book. I expected it to be dry, academic and not very useful, not standing out in a crowded field. I was impressed and pleased as I got further into the book. There is actually a lot of interesting information in here, drawing from our best scientific understanding of how willpower works, what traps to avoid, what common wisdom is faulty, and what we can do. There's a lot of good information here. I think I may need to listen to it again, or get the ebook version so I can refer to it more frequently. I definitely recommend this book.

  • Year of Yes

  • How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person
  • By: Shonda Rhimes
  • Narrated by: Shonda Rhimes
  • Length: 7 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,494
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15,624
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,567

The megatalented creator of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder chronicles how saying yes for one year changed her life - and how it can change yours, too.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best 7 Hours Listening to an Audio Book Ever!

  • By ccreads on 02-20-16

Celebrity biography, not self help book

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

Reviewed: 02-08-19

I heard this book praised on the "By the Book" podcast as an incredible book for those interested in self improvement. It's certainly titled like one. I imagined readers would be challenged to a full year of stepping up their game and making their life better with more confidence.

Instead, it's an autobiography, plain and simple. If you enjoy the author's TV shows and want to learn more about her, then certainly listen to this book.

Apart from that, what is the value here for listeners?
- by listening to her story, perhaps you will feel inspired to take advantage of opportunities that require you to step outside your comfort zone
- the author lost a lot of weight. It's unclear how listeners can gain the same benefit. It appears the lesson is that at some point, something will click, you'll get truly serious about it and will talk to your doctor, ready to do whatever it takes to be healthy.
- parenting is hard. It requires help and compromises. Don't be ashamed.

There are bits and pieces of wisdom in the book, but not a lot to draw in. This book is mainly for entertainment. I certainly wouldn't suggest it as a parenting book or a weight loss book. It could be useful for some people who find fear holding them back from what they want to do in life, or who have social anxiety. Hearing the author's story could be motivational.

It is a treat to listen to an author read their own book. And there's no denying that Shonda Rhimes can be an entertaining writer, so it's definitely not hard to listen to.

In general, it's ok, but not great.

  • The Scarlet Pimpernel

  • By: Baroness Orczy
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,081
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 882
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 887

"Who is this man, this Scarlet Pimpernel?" Each day this question grew more pressing to the leaders of the French Revolution. Only this man and his band of followers threatened their total power. Only this maddeningly elusive figure defied the vast network of fanatics, informers, and secret agents that the Revolution spread out to catch its enemies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good read/good listen

  • By Jaime on 04-25-11

The first superhero?

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

Reviewed: 02-02-19

Society knows him as a wealthy and utterly unintersting man of leisure. Little do they know about how double life, where he uses his financial resources, his exceptional physical condition, and cunning mind to save the innocent from those that would do them harm. His unique symbol ensures that everyone knows to credit the mysterious vigilante for his heroics.

Sound familiar?

The Scarlet Pimpernel is often credited as being the start of the "hero with a secret identity" trope, a banner later carried by Zorro, and then, yes, Batman and many other superheroes.

This is the story of an English nobleman who strives to save French noble families from the guillotine in the French Revolution, outwitting the enemy at every turn.

I try occasionally to delve into works of classic literature. Often I find them utterly boring compared to modern works. I won't say that every second of the Scarlet Pimpernel is utterly gripping, but it holds up well for a story well over a century old. It's a fun excursion for anyone who likes superheroes.

I'll also note that the story is told from a woman's perspective--a character regarded as not just quite lovely, but the keenest mind in France. Although generally just an observer, not making change happen herself, she is nonetheless brave, adventurous and not afraid to get her hands dirty or put herself in harm's way for what she believes in. Not something we always see in books this old.

They could have found a better narrator though.