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Dr A

  • 14
  • reviews
  • 30
  • helpful votes
  • 45
  • ratings
  • Lust & Wonder

  • A Memoir
  • By: Augusten Burroughs
  • Narrated by: Augusten Burroughs
  • Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 688
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 629
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 627

With Augusten's unique and singular observations and his own unabashed way of detailing both the horrific and the humorous, Lust and Wonder is a hilariously frank audiobook memoir that his legions of fans have been waiting for. His story began in Running with Scissors, endured through Dry, and continues with this memoir, the capstone to the life of Augusten Burroughs.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Relentlessly Tedious

  • By River Holmes-miller on 03-31-16

Rambling and aimless

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

Reviewed: 10-12-16

I loved Augusten's DRY which had a story and a point, but this latest opus is just stringing on words. He is a gifted wordsmith, but after a while you realize there is nothing there, no story, just a flow of words. Half-way through the book I began skipping forward - first by 30 seconds, then by 5 minutes, then by chapters.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • How to Measure Anything

  • Finding the Value of 'Intangibles' in Business
  • By: Douglas W. Hubbard
  • Narrated by: David Drummond
  • Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 477
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 393
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 385

Anything can be measured. This bold assertion is the key to solving many problems in business and life in general. The myth that certain things can't be measured is a significant drain on our nation's economy, public welfare, the environment, and even national security. In fact, the chances are good that some part of your life or your professional responsibilities is greatly harmed by a lack of measurement---by you, your firm, or even your government.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Let go of "I don't know"

  • By Douglas C. Bates on 03-16-12

Not a book but a promo for his seminars

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

Reviewed: 03-22-16

I was looking for some useful information, ideas or formulae. All I got was how good his seminars were (supposedly). Very thin content. Towards the end i began skipping chapters...

  • SPQR

  • A History of Ancient Rome
  • By: Mary Beard
  • Narrated by: Phyllida Nash
  • Length: 18 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,347
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,133
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,108

In SPQR, world-renowned classicist Mary Beard narrates the unprecedented rise of a civilization that even 2,000 years later still shapes many of our most fundamental assumptions about power, citizenship, responsibility, political violence, empire, luxury, and beauty.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Reexamination of the History of Rome

  • By Christopher on 12-17-15

A rambling mess

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

Reviewed: 12-07-15

This book is to Roman history as McDonalds to gourmet cuisine. Some great histories in The Teaching Company series and of course the incomparable Gibbon...

5 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Five Billion Years of Solitude

  • The Search for Life Among the Stars
  • By: Lee Billings
  • Narrated by: Lee Billings
  • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 44

Since its formation nearly five billion years ago, our planet has been the sole living world in a vast and silent universe. Now, Earth's isolation is coming to an end. Over the past two decades, astronomers have discovered thousands of "exoplanets" orbiting other stars, including some that could be similar to our own world. Studying those distant planets for signs of life will be crucial to understanding life's intricate mysteries right here on Earth. In a firsthand account of this unfolding revolution, Lee Billings draws on interviews with top researchers.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Bloated

  • By Dr A on 01-09-14

Bloated

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

Reviewed: 01-09-14

This book can be easily reduced to two good essays: "The origin and the future of the Earth" and "A search for planets around stars." Tht's what I took away from this book - but only after listening to endless flourishes, personal profiles of various scientists, etc, etc... This book has substance, but is way too long and unpruned,

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Contagious

  • Why Things Catch On
  • By: Jonah Berger
  • Narrated by: Keith Nobbs
  • Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,700
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,174
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,149

Why do some products get more word of mouth than others? Why does some online content go viral? Word of mouth makes products, ideas, and behaviors catch on. It's more influential than advertising and far more effective. Can you create word of mouth for your product or idea? According to Berger, you can. Whether you operate a neighborhood restaurant, a corporation with hundreds of employees, or are running for a local office for the first time, the steps that can help your product or idea become viral are the same.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I will read it again!

  • By ANDRÉ on 04-28-13

Smart, but painfully verbose

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

Reviewed: 09-14-13

The author’s advice on marketing makes sense, but I found his audiobook a stressful listen, as his endless stories, spelled out in a host petty details really distracted from the message. It would have benefited from a much tighter re-write.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Adventure of English

  • The Biography of a Language
  • By: Melvyn Bragg
  • Narrated by: Robert Powell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,726
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,462
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,469

This is the remarkable story of the English language; from its beginnings as a minor guttural Germanic dialect to its position today as a truly established global language. The Adventure of English is not only an enthralling story of power, religion, and trade, but also the story of people, and how their lives continue to change the extraordinary language that is English.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Many Of Course monments

  • By Leigh A on 10-21-05

Powerful and energetic

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

Reviewed: 07-30-12

Listening to this audiobook is like going to a gym for language - the author not only tells a fascinating story of language development but also sets a model of writing that is both muscular and refined - English at its best!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Packing for Mars

  • The Curious Science of Life in the Void
  • By: Mary Roach
  • Narrated by: Sandra Burr
  • Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,700
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,762
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,758

Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? Have sex? Smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know - and More

  • By Roy on 09-22-10

Spinning out of control

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

Reviewed: 07-30-12

The author gets off to a strong start, describing challenges of space travel for humans but quickly runs out of gas and rambles, rambles, rambles. She has a preocculation with bodily functions - yes, defecating in weightlessness is a challenge, but how many chapters can one carp on this topic. Do I really need to know that the author has no body odor - how relevant is that to space travel? This book just spins and spins, like an untethered austronaut.

  • The Receptionist

  • An Education at The New Yorker
  • By: Janet Groth
  • Narrated by: Judith West
  • Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 15

Thanks to a successful interview with the painfully shy E.B. White, a beautiful, 19-year-old, blue-eyed blonde from the cornfields of Iowa lands a job as a receptionist at The New Yorker. There she stays two decades, becoming general all-around factotum - watching and registering the comings and goings, marriages and divorces, scandalous affairs, failures, triumphs, and tragedies of the eccentric inhabitants of the 18th floor. Though she dreamed of becoming a writer, she never advanced at the magazine.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Reader just isn't right

  • By gail on 09-24-12

Rambling & boring

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

Reviewed: 07-30-12

As a long-time reader of The New Yorker, I ordered this book but found it oddly bloodless, even the lengthy chapter on the loss of the cherry. The author is very intelligent and a great connoisseur of literature, but after three chapters i began t skip, and then deleted this ebook from my ipod.

  • Delivering Happiness

  • A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
  • By: Tony Hsieh
  • Narrated by: Tony Hsieh
  • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,847
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,509
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,528

In this, his first audiobook, Tony Hsieh - the widely admired CEO of Zappos, the online shoe retailer -explains how he created a unique culture and commitment to service that aims to improve the lives of its employees, customers, vendors, and backers. Using anecdotes and stories from his own life experiences, and from other companies, Hsieh provides concrete ways that companies can achieve unprecedented success.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Do one thing exceptionally

  • By Ben on 09-07-10

Three unanswered questions

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

Reviewed: 06-07-12

Tony Hsieh is a very smart and very rich man. As an occasional customer of Zappos, I decided to read his book. His focus on quality and building a corporate culture made sense, but in the end I was left with three puzzles:

• His writing is extremely opaque. Any people he mentions are like cardboard figures – father, mother, partner – he never tells anything personal about any person. Once in the book he mentions “my significant other” but nothing who that person might be and what they are like. Seems friendly but tells you nothing
• In describing the sale of Zappos to Amazon he says that announcing a 40% bonus to employees let to a mass celebration by people who would now be able to take their kids to Disneyland or afford a medical procedure. Hello, Mr Benefactor of Humanity and the carrier of happiness – what about health insurance and pay levels? People who work for you have to wait for a once-in-a-decade bonus to afford medical care?
• The bonus chapter in the audiobook contained a long interview. While advertised as spontaneous, major chunks of it were word-for-word repeats of the book, creating an impression that the author has a script that he keeps repeating as he crafts his public image.

Something in that whole story did not fit. While I do not regret having read this book, I’m left puzzled…

  • Poor Economics

  • A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty
  • By: Abhijit V. Banerjee, Esther Duflo
  • Narrated by: Brian Holsopple
  • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 384
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 297
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 297

Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo have pioneered the use of randomized control trials in development economics. Work based on these principles, supervised by the Poverty Action Lab, is being carried out in dozens of countries. Drawing on this and their 15 years of research from Chile to India, Kenya to Indonesia, they have identified wholly new aspects of the behavior of poor people, their needs, and the way that aid or financial investment can affect their lives. Their work defies certain presumptions: that microfinance is a cure-all, that schooling equals learning....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent for non-economists

  • By D. Martin on 07-01-12

Poor Listening

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

Reviewed: 04-20-12

Having grown up surrounded by many poor people and having worked with many of them early in my career, i picked up this book after seeing it recommended by The Economist. After the first few chapters I began skipping forward. I mean this book would be good for someone professionally interested in poverty, but for a regular listener - I kept thinking this would have made a great article in The Wall Street Journal, but do I really need all those details of all those different studies...

7 of 17 people found this review helpful