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Ryan

Nepean, Ontario, Canada
  • 26
  • reviews
  • 99
  • helpful votes
  • 161
  • ratings
  • Catalyst (Star Wars)

  • A Rogue One Novel
  • By: James Luceno
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,728
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,119
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,097

The must-have prequel novel to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - the upcoming film, set before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, that reveals the untold story of the rebel effort to steal the plans to the Death Star!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good Setup for Upcoming Movie

  • By dunagrad on 12-15-16

Lacks excitement

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

Reviewed: 02-28-17

I've read two other Lucino Star Wars books and enjoyed them tremendously. He's once of my fav SW authors. The story in book proceeds nicely and I enjoyed getting to know the characters outside of the movie, but on the grand scale of SW books (I've read 30 plus) I'd have to say this is perhaps the least exciting of the bunch.

  • The Charge

  • Activating the 10 Human Drives that Make You Feel Alive
  • By: Brendon Burchard
  • Narrated by: Brendon Burchard
  • Length: 7 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 846
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 733
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 732

From the author of the number-one New York Times and number-one audio bestseller The Millionaire Messenger, an electrifying and inspiring work that provides the keys to motivating yourself to satisfy your highest, most essential creative and intellectual needs. Burchard, a world-renowned motivational speaker and best-selling author, makes a compelling case that it's time for an entirely new approach to understanding what drives human ambition and achievement today.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good info ?

  • By anonymous-86 on 01-06-16

Not top of my list

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

Reviewed: 04-17-16

So at one point during the listen Mr. Burchard lets on that his coaching fee for a one year period is $250,000. So when I heard this, I said this is gonna be fantastic. Rather it was just meh. I’ve listened to several personal development books and while he had several good ideas and recommendations, I did not find his system particularly compelling, nor in many instances practical. There are better listens out there. It could be that his program resonates with hyper successful people but it didn’t resonate with me and he didn’t seem overly genuine. He narrated his own book, which I felt took away from his message as I didn't find him particularly enjoyable to listen to.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • 10% Happier

  • How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found a Self-Help That Actually Works
  • By: Dan Harris
  • Narrated by: Dan Harris
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,617
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,876
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,809

After having a nationally televised panic attack on Good Morning America, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure, involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Inspired me to restart my meditation practice

  • By Julie W. Capell on 12-07-16
  • 10% Happier
  • How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found a Self-Help That Actually Works
  • By: Dan Harris
  • Narrated by: Dan Harris

Best book I've listened to in 2016!

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

Reviewed: 04-17-16

Best book I’ve listened to in some time.

A great listen and highly recommend.

Dan Harris is one ABC’s lead reporters. As I haven’t seriously watched network TV in about 20 years I had no idea who he was, but I grew up watching Peter Jennings (ABC Nightly News) and the first quarter of the book is his own personal history starting as a cub reporter through to covering several US wars and then getting stuck with reporting on religion in the US (Jennings is his boss throughout this period).

That’s where Harris begins to explore Buddhism and mediation and then accounts for his journey toward trying to figure out how employ mindfulness without having to embrace in what he calls all the “woo woo”. Harris is hilarious and is clearly very bright. His writing style, pace and narration (he does his own) had me laughing throughout.

But here’s the best part. I really appreciated the critical eye that he placed on religion, meditation, and mindfulness. If you’re not spiritual or even if you are, he asks all the questions that you yourself may have at the front of your mind when you contemplate these things.

His conclusion – mediation can make you 10% happier. It’s not a panacea, but it’s a really helpful tool in your toolbox to manage today’s stresses. It’s a great listen and would strongly recommend if you have any interest in this topic and/or you want to know how journalism works at the highest level – the walk through he does of his own career is fascinating and funny stuff.

  • Becoming the Boss

  • New Rules for the Next Generation of Leaders
  • By: Lindsey Pollak
  • Narrated by: Coleen Marlo
  • Length: 8 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35

Becoming the Boss is a brisk, tech-savvy success manual filled with real-world, actionable tips from an expert. Lindsey Pollak defines what Millennial generation leadership is and draws on original research, her own experience, and interviews with young managers and entrepreneurs to share the secrets of what makes them successful leaders - and shows young professionals how to rise in their own careers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great read for a new leader trying to get ahead!

  • By S. O. on 03-18-17

Solid for newbie leaders or vets

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

Reviewed: 04-17-16

Picked this up on sale. I was interested in it both for my own leadership development but also to get a sense of the challenges or recommendations that are being given to new leaders who are Millennials. It’s a good book, worth listening to. The book isn’t meant to get in depth on every leadership topic but it does do a good job of touching on the key areas at the surface level. Importantly, she explicitly lets you know where to get more information should want you want more detail. In fact, at the beginning of the book, she lists the top 15 or so business/leadership books of all time (in her opinion) and she makes reference to these books or concepts throughout. I found this very helpful.

I would recommend for new leaders and more seasoned alike.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Passive Aggressive Behavior

  • How to Deal with Passive Aggressive People
  • By: Carl Oren
  • Narrated by: Joe Casanova
  • Length: 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 10

This book contains proven steps and strategies on how to overcome passive aggression in your own life and how to deal with it in others. Passive aggression is an expression of hostility towards others, whether direct or indirect. It can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Passive aggressive behaviors can occur in all types of relationships, from personal to work. There is a quiz that will tell you if you or someone you know is expressing passive aggressive behavior.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Info decent...

  • By Ryan on 04-17-16

Info decent...

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

Reviewed: 04-17-16

Got this because it was on sale and it was a very brief 59 minutes and it’s something I was interested in knowing more about (tell: I also wanted assess myself to better gauge my own passive aggressive tendencies). The info in the book is helpful and helps you understand what passive aggressive behaviour is, how to mitigate it or manage it (yours or someone else’s). That said, the narration is by someone who is a complete amateur and there is very little editing. The reading is so poor compared to professionally read books, it's actually kinda cute. The young man is clearly trying his best and the book is less than 60 minutes so it's manageable. Not sure I could have went one minute longer though.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Superintelligence

  • Paths, Dangers, Strategies
  • By: Nick Bostrom
  • Narrated by: Napoleon Ryan
  • Length: 14 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,739
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,418
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,394

Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life. The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful - possibly beyond our control.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Colossus: The Forbin Project is coming

  • By Gary on 09-12-14

Challenging for the layman

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

Reviewed: 11-06-15

This is a very interesting book. It is an exploration of super intelligence, which I came to find out is not just about machine intelligence. It's one part science, one part philosophy. While interesting the amount of detail in the book and the lengths of exploration that the author undertakes makes if quite daunting. I listened to the first third but ended up skipping parts and then whole chapters as it moved along as I just didn't have the intellectual firepower/stamina. That said, at a high level and in some areas, the ideas and concepts are fascinating and I ended up learning a great deal. This book could be exceptional if it were bumped up one or two levels on accessibility scale and was cut down by 3 or 4 hours. Nevertheless, clearly the author is a very smart man and this book is a credit to him trying to write something that is for the general population. Not easy, but enough of it works and therefore deserves props for the effort. As an aside, if your a sci-fi fan of any kind there a cornucopia of ideas in here that you will reflected in movies or books you've seen or read. That's actually pretty cool.

  • Money Management Skills

  • By: Michael Finke, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Michael Finke
  • Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,268
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,977
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,936

The goal of money management is to maximize our happiness at every stage of our lives. Whether you are a novice investor or a seasoned pro, starting your first job or contemplating retirement, these 24 straightforward lectures are an excellent primer for making successful financial decisions at every stage of your life. Professor Finke takes you on a tour of some of the most widely available financial products and tools, from mutual funds to life insurance to college savings accounts.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Completely Irresponsible Advice

  • By Christopher on 01-12-18

Should be mandatory class for all

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

Reviewed: 05-03-15

While basic, this course does a very good job of outlining the basics of personal finances. And while American, the vast majority of the principles and recommendations are universal. If you have a young adult or teen living with you, get them to listen to this book. It should be a mandatory course in all grade 12 students across North America. Narration was solid and there's humour throughout, so it the 6-plus hours goes by quickly. Highly recommend.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Why There Is No God

  • Simple Responses to 20 Common Arguments for the Existence of God
  • By: Armin Navabi
  • Narrated by: Dave Richards
  • Length: 2 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 711
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 651
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 644

Why There Is No God provides simple, easy-to-understand counterpoints to the most popular arguments made for the existence of God. Each chapter presents a concise explanation of the argument, followed by a response illustrating the problems and fallacies inherent in it. Whether you're an atheist, a believer, or undecided, this book offers a solid foundation for building your own inquiry about the concept of God.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An excellent overview of atheism.

  • By Jeffrey Schwartz on 01-19-15

Entertaining listen. Loved the narration.

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

Reviewed: 05-03-15

Loved the length of this book. Nothing was drawn out. Very efficient at making its many important points. And funny! The narrator was perfect for the topic. He did incredulity quite well and at several points I had a good laugh. Highly recommend for anyone.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Lucifer's Hammer

  • By: Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
  • Narrated by: Marc Vietor
  • Length: 24 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,968
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,386
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,404

The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. It was the beginning of a new Ice Age and the end of civilization. But for the terrified men and women chance had saved, it was also the dawn of a new struggle for survival--a struggle more dangerous and challenging than any they had ever known....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good story from front to back

  • By DJM on 07-30-09

Great story. Still resonates!

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

Reviewed: 03-31-15

Despite being written in the late 70's, this story is still very relevant. I mean what's changed since the 70's. The internet and yoga pants. The technologies and social-political issues remain the same but instead of referring to Vietnam, we refer to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The story is great. While I concede that the first third is a tad trying as it sets up characters for the final 2/3rds of apocalyptic-goodness, it's important investment. I loved the science and all the hypotheticals around what would happen if a massive asteroid hit the earth and really enjoyed the pace and atmosphere of the first few days following the strike. Pretty riveting stuff. And all throughout you're having a real debate with yourself regarding whether or not one particular act or decision is what you would have done to survive the end of the world. This is opposed to my usual status of gobsmacked as some idiot main character clearly makes the most stupid decision you've ever read in the history of (zombie apocalypse) literature. I mean ever.

IMO: This story is about 50 times as good as the glut of end of world zombie tripe that is out there right now (then why do you listen to it if it's so bad....don't ask). Granted it's a bit long, but on the whole, it's worth it.

Finally - props to the narrator. A very nice job. Does a good job selling different voices, including the female ones and gets the right tone and deliver throughout.

  • War and Remembrance

  • By: Herman Wouk
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pariseau
  • Length: 56 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,255
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,801
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,784

Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II, which begins with The Winds of War and continues here in War and Remembrance, stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What can I say that hasn't already been said??

  • By aaron on 01-31-12

Tremendous in every way!

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

Reviewed: 12-06-14

Would you consider the audio edition of War and Remembrance to be better than the print version?

Didn't read the book, but what I can say is that the narrator was superb. As many others have indicated, his accents, the way he did female voices and overall pacing is the simply best I've heard.

What other book might you compare War and Remembrance to and why?

That's tough. I've only read a few stories that are as epic as this one. While it's a different genre, I guess Lord of Rings might qualify due to is expansiveness, its rich character development, the writing (his use of English language is first class) and for its sheer ambition. Whether you're a history buff or have any interest in WW II this book really must be listened to. It is compelling in every way and I came out having learned more about this period of history than all my readings and learning combined. In everyway it's something special.

Which character – as performed by Kevin Pariseau – was your favorite?

He was a perfect match for the book. He nailed all the accents. He did a great job across the board and unlike many narrators, he can portray female voices very well. But if I had to pick, he really hit a home run with the German SS officers, particularly when they were enraged. Gripping really.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I don't think you can listen to this book and not have a strong reaction to the Jews and how they were treated. Wouk does an incredible job of describing all of the sad and very maddening details. Like the allied populations, even now it seems unbelievable that a modern country could collectively enact this despicable program. It explains and informs many of today's world events. Very sad and terribly frustrating stuff.

Any additional comments?

I stumbled across this book. I'd never heard of it and hadn't heard of the author. Perhaps it's because I'm Gen X'er. I'm not an expert, but I feel this book deserves to discussed and talked about by my generation, those younger than me. It's a compelling and approachable story that touches on some truisms and realties that should never be forgotten. I guess its length would be part of the problem, but that aside, it really something more of us should be reading.