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Ian Smith

SAN ANTONIO, TX, US
  • 12
  • reviews
  • 1
  • helpful vote
  • 19
  • ratings
  • 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

  • By: Yuval Noah Harari
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,264
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,665
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,634

Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing and visionary investigation into today's most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good stuff, but mostly repeats

  • By Amazon Customer on 09-13-18

Overall Good

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

Reviewed: 03-22-19

I’ve enjoyed all of Dr. Harari’s books. This was a bit scattered and lacked a cohesive narrative compared to the other books, but was still great nonetheless.

As always, there’s some great humor. I’m not sure if he intends it or not, but the no-BS callout of reality in the British accent had me laughing out loud throughout the book.

It was good to get insight into Dr. Harari’s life and opinions vs the other books.

  • The New Strong-Willed Child

  • By: James C. Dobson
  • Narrated by: John Fuller
  • Length: 6 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 478
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 408
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 413

Dr. James Dobson has completely rewritten, updated, and expanded his classic best-seller The Strong-Willed Child for a new generation of parents and teachers. The New Strong-Willed Child follows on the heels of Dr. Dobson's phenomenal best seller Bringing Up Boys. It offers practical how-to advice on raising difficult-to-handle children and incorporates the latest research with Dr. Dobson's legendary wit and wisdom.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Answer to my prayers!

  • By JG on 03-04-16

Decent

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

Reviewed: 01-25-19

It’s confusing and frustrating as a parent to listen to parenting advice. This book (as it admits) is counter to other parenting techniques I’ve read. Specifically around corporal punishment. The story and narration were decent. The podcast type inject toward the beginning was kind of weird. The music was a bit distracting. And the author was often self-congratulatory and self-referencing. But in spite of that, the overall message of respect, love and letting go are solid.

  • The Culture Code

  • The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups
  • By: Daniel Coyle
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 7 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3,752
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,237
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,209

In The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle goes inside some of the world's most successful organizations - including Pixar, the San Antonio Spurs, and the US Navy's SEAL Team Six - and reveals what makes them tick. He demystifies the culture-building process by identifying three key skills that generate cohesion and cooperation and explains how diverse groups learn to function with a single mind.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Anyone in a leadership position should read this

  • By Kimberly on 03-04-18

Informative

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

Reviewed: 01-02-19

Very well done with plenty of concrete, memorable examples. This was full of things I didn’t know I didn’t know. I live in San Antonio and am a long time Spurs fan, but never realized everything Pop did to make the team so successful.

  • Capitalism Without Capital

  • The Rise of the Intangible Economy
  • By: Jonathan Haskel, Stian Westlake
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 329
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 282
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 280

Early in the 21st century, a quiet revolution occurred. For the first time, the major developed economies began to invest more in intangible assets, like design, branding, R&D, or software, than in tangible assets, like machinery, buildings, and computers. For all sorts of businesses, from tech firms and pharma companies to coffee shops and gyms, the ability to deploy assets that one can neither see nor touch is increasingly the main source of long-term success.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • INVESTMENT VALUE

  • By CHET YARBROUGH on 12-17-18

Good info, a bit dry

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

Reviewed: 12-07-18

I did learn a lot like considering IP, organizational structures, processes, etc. that you may not traditionally associate with things like GDP.

Overall good info, but lacks any kind of story and could be abbreviated a bit. Was mainly a blast of academic speak about intangibles.

I read this because of the narrator Derek Perkins on Yuval Harari’s books, but that didn’t help much on this one.

I guess the takeaway is a more educated perspective on how to influence companies and politics to drive a better economy for the future based upon our current economic environment and trajectory.

  • Homo Deus

  • A Brief History of Tomorrow
  • By: Yuval Noah Harari
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 14 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,546
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 12,926
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,820

Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically acclaimed New York Times best seller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity's future and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good, but...

  • By Josh on 07-14-18

Pretty good

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

Reviewed: 09-16-18

Yuval is really bright and writes compelling books. He obviously knows his history among many other things. This is definitely thought-provoking and worth reading.

My main light criticisms are that this book is somewhat repetitive from his last and could use a stronger cohesive narrative. Things feel a bit pieced together.

I suggest Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark if you’re looking to get into something a bit more tangible for AI and future of humanity scenarios.

  • Aristotle for Everybody

  • Difficult Thought Made Easy
  • By: Mortimer J. Adler
  • Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
  • Length: 5 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 85
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 78
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 76

“Almost all of the philosophical truths that I have come to know and understand I have learned from Aristotle,” says Mortimer J. Adler. This easy-to-listen-to exposition of Aristotle’s thoughts about nature, human actions, and the conduct of life confirms convictions that most of us hold, though we may not be fully aware of them. This is because Aristotle’s philosophical insights are grounded in the common experience we all possess and because they illuminate the common sense we all rely on.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Incredibly well read

  • By Gary on 09-13-13

Good content, awful narrator

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

Reviewed: 06-28-18

I really enjoyed the content of this book, but good grief the narrator sounds obnoxious. Luckily the book isn’t too long and I was able to power through it.

I’m a newb on Greek philosophy, so this was a nice intro for a dummy.

  • Why Buddhism Is True

  • The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment
  • By: Robert Wright
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders
  • Length: 10 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,490
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,111
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,072

From one of America's greatest minds, a journey through psychology, philosophy, and lots of meditation to show how Buddhism holds the key to moral clarity and enduring happiness. In Why Buddhism Is True, Wright leads listeners on a journey through psychology, philosophy, and a great many silent retreats to show how and why meditation can serve as the foundation for a spiritual life in a secular age.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More than a beginner's guide...

  • By Rugger Burke on 09-12-17

Good overview of western Buddhism

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

Reviewed: 06-28-18

The book had really good content and was a nice overview of western Buddhism and how it compares and contrasts to various flavors. The book got me to think of essence of people / things and emotions in a new light.

While the narrator was okay, he didn’t match what I’d imagine the author really sounds like. The narrator sounds like someone with a soft, smooth voice facilitating a meditation vs more informative with a little more emotion.

  • Sapiens

  • A Brief History of Humankind
  • By: Yuval Noah Harari
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 15 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,249
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 17,863
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,759

Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Take the Negative Reviews w/ a Grain of Salt

  • By Gabriel on 08-29-18

Thought provoking

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

Reviewed: 04-23-18

Wow - this book is amazing. It takes a lot of bits of information that you already know or kind of know and creates substantial meaning and new perspective. The book is relatively matter of fact and somewhat inherently dark - especially toward the latter portion. Yet there are a few moments where it is quite humorous and made even more funny because the narrator reads it in a matter-of-fact British accent. His re-writing of the US constitution to be more logical and equal had me laughing out loud. The book gets you to realize how beautiful yet horrible we are as human beings. The last sentence of the book was one of the best I’ve heard. I highly recommend this book.

This book IMO would be paired nicely with Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark. They cover very similar content for ethical dilemmas and probing us to decide what we want the fate of humans to be.

  • The Industries of the Future

  • By: Alec Ross
  • Narrated by: Alec Ross
  • Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,277
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,958
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,939

Leading innovation expert Alec Ross explains what's next for the world, mapping out the advances and stumbling blocks that will emerge in the next 10 years - for businesses, governments, and the global community - and how we can navigate them.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Ok review of what is now. Not much future.

  • By Sam on 05-06-16

A little too layman

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

Reviewed: 11-12-17

I read tech news every night and none of this was new to me. I agree with some other reviews stating that this is more of an assessment of landscape and projection of trends vs visionary thinking. Returned the book after 2 hours.

  • No Bad Kids

  • Toddler Discipline Without Shame
  • By: Janet Lansbury
  • Narrated by: Janet Lansbury
  • Length: 3 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,738
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,414
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,399

Janet Lansbury is unique among parenting experts. As a RIE teacher and student of pioneering child specialist Magda Gerber, her advice is not based solely on formal studies and the research of others, but also on her twenty years of hands-on experience guiding hundreds of parents and their toddlers. No Bad Kids is a collection of Janet's most popular and widely read articles pertaining to common toddler behaviors and how respectful parenting practices can be applied to benefit both parents and children.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely worth it!

  • By Jess on 07-16-15

Great content that works - worth reading. But could have been constructed better

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

Reviewed: 11-06-17

This book has fantastic content and advice that I’ve already put into practice and seen great results. Her story examples and “you probably experienced x, did y, and got z” had me nailed to a T. It was extremely relatable.

That being said, it’s (admittedly as advertised) a collection of letters over time, so kind of a cheap way of making a book. There is a ton of repeated content... Which I guess could be useful for memorization. The constant “Dear Janet - I’m a huge fan of yours... Truly...” seemed gloating and unnecessary. A much better version of this book would be to make topics as chapters and thread in bits of real examples without repetition and correspondence fluff.

Her nonstop references to Magda Gerber started to get maddening after a while. I get that she likes and is influenced by her work. But you don’t have to smother attribution. You can take the gist of a teacher and thread your own narrative while giving attribution once or twice.

Flaws aside, I still recommend.