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Bill

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How Fascism Works audiobook cover art

One of those "Everyone should read this" books

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

Reviewed: 05-17-19

The theory us spot on and very insightful, the narrator is excellent and the subject is supremely relevant.

White Trash audiobook cover art

Great information but a little dry

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

Reviewed: 07-21-18

Yeah, the book is well written and researched and provides a pretty solid summary of its subject matter. it is also a little on the dry side. I would pair it with Hilbilly Elegy and A People's History of the United States.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Dungeon Born audiobook cover art

The whole is better than the sum of it's parts

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

Reviewed: 03-15-18

So the writing isn't strong, the reader is good but not the best out there, but the whole concept and execution is just fun all over the place.

Infernal Battalion audiobook cover art

A great ending to a good series

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

Reviewed: 01-28-18

This instalment is engaging and compelling throughout. Moat notably, it actually ends and ends well. my only quibble is that I would have appreciated another chapter or two of denouement.

Turtles All the Way Down audiobook cover art

Yeah you should read this book.

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

Reviewed: 10-15-17

This book is for mental illness what "The Hate U Give" is to race relations.
Also the narrator is excellent.

Whipping Girl audiobook cover art
  • Whipping Girl
  • A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
  • By: Julia Serano
  • Narrated by: Julia Serano

Yeah pretty much everyone should read this book

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

Reviewed: 08-05-17

This is the best book I have read to date on the subject of gender. Wish I had read it years ago.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

The Body Keeps the Score audiobook cover art

This is a Really Important Book

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

Reviewed: 07-29-17

Any additional comments?

We are on the verge of becoming a trauma conscious society
This is the opening line to the epilogue of Bessel Ven der Kolk's The Body Keeps the Score. I think he is right, and I believe we need to shift from "on the verge" to "are" as quickly as possible. Furthermore, I think that the information in this book is going to be critically important for anyone who wants to work with other people. Teachers, pastors, public servants, councilors, and even simple friends of other humans will benefit from what is in here. This book—which I think was first recommended to me in a "Science" Mike McHargue podcast—resonated with me on so many levels. It is, truly, a must-read.

A little under a year ago I was at a small conference of church people who were and are trying to figure out what it means to be the body of Christ to the world both in and beyond Christendom. As a part of that process we heard from Angie Thurston an "Innovative Fellow" at Harvard Divinity who is doing research into the ways in which Millenials seek out and find spiritual community. During the question and answer time, she was asked (quite naturally I suppose) why Millennials are so rarely interested in Church and what churches might do about it. Her answer confirmed a lot of my own suspicions *pause to acknowledge the grain of salt* that it has a lot to do with the Western church's historic marginalization of people who are already oppressed by society. One of the hosts later summed the problem up neatly as "We need to recognized that we live in a society which has been traumatized by the church". I think he was spot on and speaking as a person who wants to see the church work to undo the harm she has caused, not to mention as a teacher who wants to do everything he can to help his students learn, I suspect that The Body Keeps the Score will be a critical resource in that effort.

As a thinker who is becoming more an more interested in developing a theology and discipline of delight in the physical world, this book spoke to me on a philosophical and theological level as well. In contrast to the common stereotypes of psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists as focusing exclusively on the mental world (whether or not that is the mental world as structured in our brains or a mental world understood in less physical terms), Van der Kolk affirms the body as both the subject of, and a potential partner in healing, psychological trauma. He recognizes and affirms the diminished capacity of trauma victims to actually enjoy the exquisite goodness of life a tragedy of trauma and in doing so he makes it clear that the assorted drugs which are often used to treat trauma by "numbing" pain and experience, while sometimes utterly necessary, cannot be understood to provide a solution. Van der Kolk's vision is of a treatment for trauma which brings the traumatized individual back into the full experience of her life.

Van der Kolk organizes the book in a straightforward and accessible fashion. He deals with the causes, effects, and history of treating trauma and then goes on to discuss the various treatments he has used. The language is clear and the writing is compelling; the author mixes anecdote with statistics and research with compelling efficacy. The book does a great job of communicating on a popular level (I never felt beyond my depth while reading it) without seeming to compromise its relevance to professionals. As I am not a mental health professional and have no training in that field beyond a few undergraduate and a single graduate level developmental psychology course, I will not presume to comment on medical/psychological accuracy (here is a link to the professional positive reviews of the book) other than to say that I found his arguments and account compelling.

I would recommend this book to practically anyone, and I sincerely hope that you will read it.

The Fellowship audiobook cover art

The Best work I have encountered on the subject

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

Reviewed: 07-14-17

This is, by a significant margin, the bat book I have encountered on the lives of the Inklings. There may be better books out there on individual Inklings (Alister McGrath's work on Lewis for instance) but this work knows it's goal (to examine the mutual influence and difference of the four most famous Inklings) and accomplishes in masterfully. As a piece of work in itself and as a scholarly treatment of the subject I cannot recommend it enough.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post audiobook cover art

An insightful book, very well read

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

Reviewed: 06-02-17

Thia one is well written (I have only the slightest scruples with the art of the writing) and does an elegant job of working the overlap between coming of age novel, cultural critique, and literary fiction.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

A Hobbit, A Wardrobe and a Great War audiobook cover art
  • A Hobbit, A Wardrobe and a Great War
  • How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918
  • By: Joseph Loconte
  • Narrated by: Dave Hoffman

There some good tidbits and observations but...

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

Reviewed: 05-08-17

I should say that there are some worthwhile bits in this book. The author is at his best when speculating on he impact Tolkien and Lewis' wartime experience might have had on their imagination when writing of struggle in their own books. Unfortunately the author seems far too invested in building a background narrative of Lewis and Tolkien as some sort of prophetic culture warriors to whom contemporary conservativism should look. The result is that he paints a half picture of both authors.
The narration was generally well done except that the narrator had some serious problems with his pronounciation.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful