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Galant

  • 5
  • reviews
  • 17
  • helpful votes
  • 215
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  • The Blue Sweater

  • Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World
  • By: Jacqueline Novogratz
  • Narrated by: Jacqueline Novogratz
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 186

The Blue Sweater is the inspiring story of a woman who left a career in international banking to spend her life on a quest to understand global poverty. It all started back home in Virginia, with the blue sweater, a gift that quickly became her prized possession - until the day she outgrew it and gave it away to Goodwill. Eleven years later in Africa, she spotted a young boy wearing that very sweater, with her name still on the tag inside.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Heartfelt Testament

  • By Galant on 01-23-11

A Heartfelt Testament

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-23-11

While the central tenet is allied with those held by academics like Dambisa Moyo and William Easterly, who argue that development aid (not to be confused with humanitarian aid) is a hindrance more than a service, Jacqueline Novogratz’s ‘The Blue Sweater’ is a personal, reflective and deeply humane testament to the power of economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Partly a heartfelt reflection on her years in Rwanda, before and after the 1994 genocide and partly a lighthearted memoir of a young activist trying to find where she is welcome (and more amusingly, where she is not) in the world around her, this book is a warmly toned, inspiriting guide to making a difference in our communities.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Elephant Vanishes: Stories

  • By: Haruki Murakami
  • Narrated by: John Chancer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 200
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 92
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 96

A collection of off-the-wall short stories by Japan's leading contemporary novelist. An elephant vanishes; hunger drives a couple to rob McDonalds; an insomniac wife wakes in a different world.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful Collection

  • By Jennifer on 09-18-06

Some haunting gems.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-22-11

Two extremely haunting stories, "Sleep" and "Barn Burning", buoyed up this whimsically scattered collection of short stories.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Pandora's Seed

  • The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization
  • By: Spencer Wells
  • Narrated by: Spencer Wells
  • Length: 6 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 159
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 61
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 62

This new book by Spencer Wells, the internationally known geneticist, anthropologist, author, and director of the Genographic Project, focuses on the seminal event in human history: mankind's decision to become farmers rather than hunter-gatherers.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Costs of Civilization

  • By Roy on 08-01-10

Flawed but interesting.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-22-11

Pandora’s Seed, while containing all the essential ingredients to make me giddy - Natufians, evolutionary history, the rise and fall of empires - never quite congealed into a focused or inventive text. Because of its breadth, it skipped quickly between topics without any of the depth and insight that a reader expects from an expert-in-his-field like Spencer Wells. The overall effect of such a scatter-shot tour of the agriculture revolution, is that of a mash-up of the works other more inspired texts of authors such as Jared Diamond, Michael Pollan and Karen Armstrong. Still though - Natufians!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Stasiland

  • Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall
  • By: Anna Funder
  • Narrated by: Denica Fairman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 329
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 262
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 264

In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell; shortly afterwards the two Germanies reunited, and East Germany ceased to exist. Anna Funder tells extraordinary tales from the underbelly of the former East Germany. In a country where the headquarters of the secret police could become a museum literally overnight, and one in 50 East Germans were informing on their fellow citizens, there are thousands of captivating stories.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Important book

  • By Jane on 01-27-10

A stunning achievement.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-22-11

This penetrating look at life in East Germany, seen from the perspective of an outsider, is saturated in heartbreak, courage and a fractured senses of safety.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Atlantic

  • Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms,and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories
  • By: Simon Winchester
  • Narrated by: Simon Winchester
  • Length: 14 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 548
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 394
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 395

Atlantic is a biography of a tremendous space that has been central to the ambitions of explorers, scientists, and warriors, and continues profoundly to affect our character, attitudes, and dreams. Spanning the ocean's story, from its geological origins to the age of exploration, from World War II battles to today's struggles with pollution and overfishing, Winchester's narrative is epic, intimate, and awe inspiring.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another winner from Simon

  • By Paul on 01-01-11

More of, brilliant, same.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-22-11

Simon Winchester once again charms with an inspired framework and ever lilting tongue, wrapping the deep history of the Atlantic Ocean in beautiful language, personal narrative and a sprinkling of Kiplingesque turns of phrase. My only disappointment is that Winchester occasionally speaks with undue authoritative confidence about some ‘facts’ of history and science, without putting them in their rightfully muddied and complex context.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful