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  • Destiny of the Republic

  • A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President
  • By: Candice Millard
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,329
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,873
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,866

James A. Garfield may have been the most extraordinary man ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Marvelous, Magnificent, Millard

  • By Mel on 02-08-12

Lays the stench of medicine wide open

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

Reviewed: 08-15-18

It was horrifying to learn how putrid the practice of medicine was that killed a US President. Utterly shocking and lays bare the arrogance of those, during that time, who “cared” for a US President. Kudos to Candice Millard for offering her readers such a riveting account of a great man with deep integrity and pure admiration. Those were the days.

  • Deep Work

  • Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
  • By: Cal Newport
  • Narrated by: Jeff Bottoms
  • Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,455
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,592
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,534

Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It's a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a superpower in our increasingly competitive 21st-century economy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 1.5x pace

  • By Derek on 05-17-16

Timely and appreciated but Newport is a bore

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

Reviewed: 04-24-18

Would you listen to Deep Work again? Why?

Cal Newport's ideas are not new. Others wiser, more experienced and older have been saying for years what he stated in his book, "Deep Work". Dr Sherry Turkle, for example, delivered a scathing assessment of "online" / internet utilization in a Ted Talk 4 years ago. She got my nod then.

I would not listen to Deep Work a second time because the author comes across arrogant, condescending and like a typical millennial. I am surprised Georgetown U. puts up with him.

Who was your favorite character and why?

None

What insight do you think you’ll apply from Deep Work?

Cal verified what we already came to believe as unassailable at home: we unplugged from the internet years ago, do not use TV at home, no one at home is on social media, and email is checked seldom.

Any additional comments?

Face to face is where it's at. Cal Newport states nothing original. Pope Francis has been stating for a few years "be a culture of encounter". if anything Cal should have given credit to wise teachers that preceded him years ago but failed to do so. he referred to himself constantly and it was a bore

  • Coming Apart

  • The State of White America, 1960–2010
  • By: Charles Murray
  • Narrated by: Traber Burns
  • Length: 12 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 537
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 449
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 444

In Coming Apart, Charles Murray explores the formation of American classes that are different in kind from anything we have ever known, focusing on whites as a way of driving home the fact that the trends he describes do not break along lines of race or ethnicity.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Better read

  • By cati on 07-18-16

True and Necessary but Depressing

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

Reviewed: 02-13-17

Any additional comments?

The book conveys necessary information for people to understand why things are the way they are in the public forum. Charles Murray goes into exquisite detail in reviewing US History, the evolution of the past few decades and super documentation. However, it is extremely depressing to be continually reflecting on how fragmented and dysfunctional our culture is because we already know! Yet, the author provides readers/listeners a very valid explanation. This book is not fake news. What we watch/read on TV/internet "news" sources is 99% fake and has been for a couple of decades. Not so with "Coming Apart". Charles Murray is a scholar and a gentleman.

  • The Emperor of All Maladies

  • A Biography of Cancer
  • By: Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders
  • Length: 22 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,237
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,034
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,021

The Emperor of All Maladies reveals the many faces of an iconic, shape-shifting disease that is the defining plague of our generation. The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance but also of hubris, arrogance, paternalism, and misperception, all leveraged against a disease that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out "war against cancer".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Incredible

  • By S.R.E. on 03-02-16

Masterpiece

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

Reviewed: 02-13-17

Any additional comments?

The narrator is excellent in conveying expressions of thought, the content is gripping and moving, and Dr Sid sets the bar all too high for other physician authors to meet. I especially appreciated how Dr Sid avoids political commentary. I used to enjoy Atul Gawande but I got fed up with his monolithic thinking on all things under the sun. Kudos to Dr Sid for writing a masterpiece. I am already reflecting on how I will make time to tackle his newest book "The Gene". Salut!

  • Extraordinary, Ordinary People

  • A Memoir of Family
  • By: Condoleezza Rice
  • Narrated by: Condoleezza Rice
  • Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 331
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 233
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231

This is the story of Condoleezza Rice that has never been told, not that of an ultra-accomplished world leader, but of a little girl - and a young woman - trying to find her place in a sometimes hostile world, and of two exceptional parents, and an extended family and community, that made all the difference.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fabulous!

  • By Steve on 03-03-11

A true hero

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

Reviewed: 09-19-16

What did you love best about Extraordinary, Ordinary People?

She is incredibly gifted, very insightful, I enjoyed her deliberate attitude about making decisions and a fair balanced assessment of the world.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Extraordinary, Ordinary People?

I wept when she recounted the death of her mother and then father.

Which character – as performed by Condoleezza Rice – was your favorite?

Herself

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No

Any additional comments?

Must read/listen book. Life changing. I love her.

  • Dreams from My Father

  • A Story of Race and Inheritance
  • By: Barack Obama
  • Narrated by: Barack Obama
  • Length: 7 hrs and 13 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,717
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,143
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,141

In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father, a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man, has been killed in a car accident.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Amazing Storyteller

  • By Eric V Ross on 03-05-09

CONDESCENDING

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

Reviewed: 09-19-16

What was most disappointing about Barack Obama’s story?

He has such a condescending attitude towards everyone. He was born in Hawaii, raised in Hawaii mostly though a couple of childhood years were spent with his mother and step-father in Jakarta, but then returned to Hawaii for high school and lived with his maternal grandparents. Barack is clueless about the Black American plight. Condaleezza Rice writes extremely well and candidly about the Black plight because she lived it in Birmingham during George Wallace, MLK and Bull Connor. Barack knows nothing of it, as well as being mostly White himself, with an absent father he never knew from Kenya.

How could the performance have been better?

Had he been honest and transparent he would have sold me

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Good to know the facts about his childhood. He was very troubled and it is very unfortunate what he endured because of his mother's mental instability. She chose poor men to father her children and it shows in her son, Barack. I am glad to become familiar with the facts

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • When Breath Becomes Air

  • By: Paul Kalanithi, Abraham Verghese - foreword
  • Narrated by: Sunil Malhotra, Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 5 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,823
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,756
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,704

At the age of 36, on the verge of completing a decade's worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Phenomenal book!

  • By A. Potter on 01-16-16

Just OK

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

Reviewed: 05-20-16

Is there anything you would change about this book?

No

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Predictable

What does Sunil Malhotra and Cassandra Campbell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Good readers, animated, engaging. Otherwise the story itself was predictable

Any additional comments?

Tragic story that we all have heard in others. The author came to a very late realization that there is more to life than his career, his story, his being. There really is nothing new in this story that we haven't already read/heard in St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Thomas Aquinas, the great mystics, Early Church Fathers, Jewish writers and many lay authors. I do not recommend this book. It was simply "OK'

  • Alpha Docs

  • The Making of a Cardiologist
  • By: James M. Dale, Daniel Muñoz MD
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
  • Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 28

It takes drive, persistence, and plenty of stamina to practice cardiology at the highest level. The competition for training fellowship spots is intense. Hundreds of applicants from all over the world compete to be accepted into the Cardiovascular Disease Training Fellowship at Johns Hopkins. Only nine are chosen each year. This is the story of one of those fellows.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • WANT WISPSYNC

  • By Christopher Caldwell on 07-09-16

Poor representation of the field

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

Reviewed: 01-16-16

I worked with cardiothoracic surgeons for 9 years as a member of the OR Heart Team and I found this book awful in describing the field of Cardiology

The narrator's voice was irritating and obnoxious
The author comes across as arrogant, a primadona to the n-th degree.

We were reminded dozens of time the prestige and exclusiveness of being at John Hopkins. The author was from Colombja but might as well have come from Beverly Hills with a silver spoon

I hated the book and returned it

I'm currently finishing my MD-MBA Dual Degree Program and interface with countless physicians , medical students and patients. This books isn't anything close to reality.

  • The Triple Package

  • Why Groups Rise and Fall in America
  • By: Amy Chua, Jed Rubenfeld
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Todd Ross
  • Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 240
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 205
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 207

It may be taboo to say, but some groups in America do better than others. Mormons have recently risen to astonishing business success. Cubans in Miami climbed from poverty to prosperity in a generation. Nigerians earn doctorates at stunningly high rates. Indian and Chinese Americans have much higher incomes than other Americans; Jews may have the highest of all. Why do some groups rise? Drawing on groundbreaking original research and startling statistics, The Triple Package uncovers the secret to their success.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Triple Thumbs Up!!

  • By CBlox on 02-07-14

Eye opening

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

Reviewed: 10-18-15

What did you like best about this story?

very motivating and uplifting.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. i savor listening to it over 1 week's time in the gym, driving and grocery shopping.

Any additional comments?

The last chapter confirmed many of the ideas I have formed in my head about the decline of America and how Americans have participated / cooperated in giving their lives away to sloth. I am glad I heard this book. It was very applicable to my own immigrant family and have recommended it highly to many individuals