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Jonathan Sauder

cincinnati, oh
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Most Likely to Succeed audiobook cover art

Great book, horrible narrator.

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

Reviewed: 10-29-15

Good book as a primer to understanding the state of today's education, with a few strategies for educators as well as parents.

Narrator was very nasally and annoying to listen to. He's what I imagine a hit man would sound like talking about his work under his breath at a dinner party.
Also, I like to listen at 1.25x or 1.5x speeds, but this guy's voice made him unintelligible at anything but 1x speed.

Alone Together audiobook cover art

Important work, but far too long

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

Reviewed: 05-27-15

Sherry Turkle cites in great detail several case studies she's done with people interacting with robots, toys, and social media and then gives her own commentary. For example, while the tech industry is asking "How can we take care of our elderly with robots?", Turkle stubbornly pushes the questions "Should we be doing this? What qualities do human interaction give that can't be replaced by a robot? Are we teaching the robots how to care for the elderly? Or are we teaching people to prefer the care of robots? What is the trade off when you replace a human care-giver with a robot?"

I don't agree with everything Turkle argues, but I still found it insightful. She has gotten a lot of praise AND criticism for this book, and has proven there is a price for raising the question of morality and ethics in tech design. While I understand the objections, I think her findings are important, and should be standard reading for anyone work in the tech field.

After all, shouldn't ALL tech designers approach their work with a conscience?

The "bad" of the book is this: She goes into FAR TOO MUCH explanation to be considered a casual read, and FAR TOO MUCH commentary to be considered an academic work. She really could have made the same point in 4 hours – not 14. This is the first time I'd ever recommend an abridged version (if one exists).

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

The Myths of Creativity audiobook cover art
  • The Myths of Creativity
  • The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas
  • By: David Burkus
  • Narrated by: Stephen Bowlby

Good overview of creativity

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

Reviewed: 05-27-15

Sad admission: I bought this because I've been studying creativity, and I liked the cover. But I'm glad I did. It ended up being a really good chronicle of creative business successes. From the invention of the sticky-note to Edison's light bulb. There are several examples of creativity in the workplace given, and each emphasizes different 'myths' that persist in the language of creativity. By highlighting the fault in those myths, he shows what DOES work. It's a good overview. I really enjoyed it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Ready Player One audiobook cover art

This one died horribly. Ready Player Two?

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

Reviewed: 05-27-15

I'm shocked about all the good reviews this book has gotten.

This book is SO mind-numbingly boring, I couldn't stand it. I made it more than 3/4 of the way through the book before finally giving up in disappointment. The writing is mediocre at best and just plods along from one point to the next with no real grace or beauty.

One of the problems I'm having is this: WHO is this book written for?

Is it written for Gen-Xers (like me) who might like to reminisce about all their favorite pop-influences of the 80s? Because it's obviously written with creepy, obsessive, nerd-love for the 80's but all of it's characters fight like middle-schoolers. There were gripping verbal arguments like, "Oh yeah, well you're the sux!" It made me wonder if I was reading something intended for younger audiences.

Okay, fine. So then maybe it IS written for teen audiences. I can deal with that. I'm not above reading kids' books. ...But then what's the point of an in-depth exposition of the 80s? Is the author is trying SOO hard to force the younger generation care about the cultural references of HIS upbringing, that he needs an exposition to showcase it all? Maybe there are some kids are into obsessing over the same stuff their parents did, but I find the whole thing a bit pathetic. Didn't we all get annoyed when our parents' generation forced us to see things from their perspective?

One other major point: If your novel focuses around an end-all, genre busting, outrageously popular MMORPG game (the Oasis) that encompasses EVERYTHING, it should at least sound enticing to play. I wasn't tempted to go there the entire book. Using a magic spell to shrink a Delorean? Really? At BEST, the Oasis sounds like merely a second reality which has all the same draw-backs that normal life does. Financial limitations, unnecessarily confusing rules, transportation problems. For example: the protagonist spends the first quarter of the book confined to a planet that contains little more than classrooms. Weee... sign me up. I want to play THAT game.

Points for the author's combining unlikely genres, but those are the only points I'll give it. Again, for full disclosure I didn't finish the whole book, because I couldn't possibly imagine an ending that would justify making me read all the rest of that book. I honestly didn't care whether the protagonist died or not by the end.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sweetness #9 audiobook cover art

This diet novel will leave you feeling empty

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

Reviewed: 02-11-15

What did you like best about Sweetness #9? What did you like least?

*Spoiler* Nazis are responsible for our global obesity?! Really? I'm no nationalist, but Is there anything we can't pin on them? People are planting bombs in the cereal aisle of grocery stores just because they're mad about artificial ingredients?! This story was outrageously ridiculous at it's exciting parts and mind-numbingly dull everywhere else. Ultimately, this story is more about the interpersonal and family struggles of a milquetoast than it is a commentary on the flavor industry. I'm so utterly shocked this weak novel received so much critical attention.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful