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  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 24
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  • Factfulness

  • Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World - and Why Things Are Better Than You Think
  • By: Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Ola Rosling
  • Narrated by: Richard Harries
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,934
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,709
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,701

Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of carrying only opinions for which you have strong supporting facts. When asked simple questions about global trends - what percentage of the world's population live in poverty; why the world's population is increasing; how many girls finish school - we systematically get the answers wrong. In Factfulness, professor of international health and global TED phenomenon Hans Rosling, together with his two longtime collaborators, Anna and Ola, offers a radical new explanation of why this happens. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great Read not for Listening

  • By carlos gomez on 06-01-18

Myth-busting and eye-opening, fact-based book

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

Reviewed: 09-09-18

Myth-busting and eye-opening book, based on what’s actually “fact”, that corrects the many incorrect beliefs that we have of the world.

The book is eminently accessible, despite being focused on facts :) I flew through it as I wanted to learn more about where I’d previously gone wrong. Focusing on facts, the author challenges us to also focus on facts so we can correctly understand the world as opposed to what’s presented in the media or worse, social media.

The biggest take-away for me from the book is Rosling splitting the world into 4 levels, as opposed to our previous definitions of “developed” and “developing”. Additionally, despite the sensationalism of our media, the world is getting better.....it’s just that many of these changes are small, but overtime this gradual change results in a huge change.

Great read and very educational.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Rework

  • By: Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson
  • Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
  • Length: 2 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,806
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,364
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,367

With its straightforward language and easy-is-better approach, Rework is the perfect playbook for anyone who's ever dreamed of doing it on their own. Hardcore entrepreneurs, small-business owners, people stuck in day jobs who want to get out, and artists who don't want to starve anymore will all find valuable inspiration and guidance in these pages. It's time to rework work.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Simple, Quick, Timely, Contrarian Advice

  • By Paul on 06-18-10

Pragmatic & Actionable advice for a healthy but productive working life

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

Reviewed: 09-08-18

Pragmatic & Actionable advice for a healthy but productive working life.

There was nothing really new or astounding in this book but it’s incredibly useful and practical. If we did half of these things in our working lives, I’ve no doubt we’d achieve more in work and also have healthier relationships with friends and family.

I think this is a good book to dip back into again, especially as it’s easy to read.

I think one thing worth noting is that this book is probably most suited to those working in the tech industry.

  • Own the Day, Own Your Life

  • Optimized Practices for Waking, Working, Learning, Eating, Training, Playing, Sleeping, and Sex
  • By: Aubrey Marcus
  • Narrated by: Aubrey Marcus
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,683
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,149
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,122

Human optimization thought leader Aubrey Marcus's personal and professional mission rests on a single question: How can we get the most out of our body and mind on a daily basis? Marcus answers that question in Own the Day, Own Your Life, an empowering audio handbook that guides listeners to optimize every moment of the day, from waking in the morning, through work and play, until bedtime each night. With small, actionable changes implemented throughout the course of one day, we can feel better, perform more efficiently, and live happier.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect mix of science and advice.

  • By Jaime Morin on 04-18-18

Honest, Practical & Inspirational

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

Reviewed: 08-31-18

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the opinions, thoughts & life experiences of Aubrey Marcus.

The book contained much valuable and practical advice, much of which isn’t new, but the advice is immediately useful and very realistic. It acknowledges that we, as humans, have faults & will often fail to reach our goals but I felt the advice on how to be better, healthier, more caring & ultimately happier was practical.

One of the very few books in this genre that it acknowledges that intoxicants in moderation aren’t a bad thing, in fact their benefits are often worthwhile, as long as it’s in moderation. As the author says:

“Everything in moderation, even moderation itself.”

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Not My Father's Son: A Memoir

  • By: Alan Cumming
  • Narrated by: Alan Cumming
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,810
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,298
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,262

With ribald humor, wit, and incredible insight, Alan seamlessly moves back and forth in time, integrating stories from his childhood in Scotland and his experiences today as the celebrated actor of film, television, and stage. At times suspenseful, at times deeply moving, but always incredibly brave and honest, Not My Father's Son is a powerful story of embracing the best aspects of the past and triumphantly pushing the darkness aside.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Best Part of Saturday

  • By George Knight on 12-16-14

Dark but uplifting

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

Reviewed: 06-22-18

Fascinating book that is both incredibly dark and uplifting.

Cumming had a horrific childhood due to a disturbed and abusive father. In fact, his father seems to have been this dark, brooding figure still in Cumming’s adulthood but mostly in the background.

It’s quite amazing that Cumming, his mother and brother all survived and from the book, seemed to have moved onto happier chapters in their lives post-father, although there were struggles along the way which Cumming details. It’s clearly that the three of them have such a phenomenally strong bond, while Cumming also talks a little about how how he found love with his husband, Grant, who seems a tower of strength.

Cumming is a wonderful narrator, absolutely superb.

  • The Everything Store

  • Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
  • By: Brad Stone
  • Narrated by: Pete Larkin
  • Length: 13 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,879
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,489
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,508

Amazon.com started off delivering books through the mail. But its visionary founder, Jeff Bezos, wasn't content with being a bookseller. He wanted Amazon to become the everything store, offering limitless selection and seductive convenience at disruptively low prices. To do so, he developed a corporate culture of relentless ambition and secrecy that's never been cracked. Until now.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved the honesty!

  • By Paul on 01-29-14

Gladiator

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

Reviewed: 12-31-17

Revealing book about the history of Amazon and a fascinating insight into Jeff Bezos, who has to be up there with Steve Jobs in “visionary” terms.

The book clearly shows Bezos to be an incredibly motivated genius who has revolutionised several industries, though Amazon’s culture (unsurprisingly) isn’t painted in the most complimentary or collaborative fashion with many examples of Bezos ripping Amazon employees apart though it seems that he’s quite prepared to take the feedback in return, though a confrontational culture isn’t for everyone. The sheer focus on the customer and customer trust is blindingly obvious throughout and without doubt, a huge reason for their success.

It was incredibly interesting to read about Amazon’s various challenges with:

- fulfilment centres
- tech debt & growth
- dot com bubble and burst
- smaller competitors
- affiliate partners
- customer trust

The folk at Amazon are clearly smart, ambitious and like to challenge (described as a “gladiator environment”).

The author (Brad Stone) walks through anecdotes about the Amazon culture such as Jeffbots, nutters and 6-page narratives, while Stone also walks through how Amazon treats other companies or competitors, mostly with contempt. I couldn’t help but laughing at the description of issues within Amazon with the ultimate being a “Sev-B”, i.e. an email from Bezos with a “?”.

Amazon is constantly mentioned with Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Netflix though its culture seems quite different with huge customer frugality; various tenets & rules; a hugely competitive & intimidating work environment; constant desire to serve the customer; and huge motivation to win.

I admire Bezos, particularly his vision and his ability to understand and make incredible insights on topics he has no prior knowledge of, though the culture at Amazon doesn’t seem to be for everyone. On top of Amazon, Bezos has many successful interests outside interested from his foundation to the Washington Post to Blue Origin to his Clock.

Throughout this book, you realise how much you rely on Amazon and how much it’s part of your everyday life.

  • Antifragile

  • Things That Gain from Disorder
  • By: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Narrated by: Joe Ochman
  • Length: 16 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,763
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,200
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,189

In The Black Swan Taleb outlined a problem, and in Antifragile he offers a definitive solution: how to gain from disorder and chaos while being protected from fragilities and adverse events. For what Taleb calls the "antifragile" is actually beyond the robust, because it benefits from shocks, uncertainty, and stressors, just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension. The antifragile needs disorder in order to survive and flourish. Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • How to focus on impact instead of risk

  • By E. Smakman on 05-03-13

Thought-provoking, contrarian, excellent.

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

Reviewed: 08-19-17

Taleb is most definitely not for everyone and I can appreciate that many find him too "full of his own shit" to stomach but I can't get enough of his books and writings. He comes across as angry and is definitely contrarian but he cuts through the bullshit. Taleb calls mistaken beliefs and biases out while, more importantly, providing solutions and better ways of thinking and living.

Key takeaways for me were:

1) Subtraction over addition, which I've not thought of before, but makes so much sense, especially on health. Interestingly the concept of subtraction and eschewing intervention had a lot of overlap with Gawande's "Mortal" book, e.g. on many occasions, medical intervention makes the patient live a worse life than what would've happened if nature had been left alone.
2) Don't trust/believe others with no "skin in the game". Many of the so-called experts have no skin and are guilty of transferring fragility to others so they never have a downside.
3) If you need more than one reason to do something, then you probably shouldn't do it as you're simply looking for justification.
4) Invest in people (h/t VCs I guess :) ).

Overall, Antifragile made me think about multiple aspects of my life from investments to work to family, even regarding workouts, in new ways while reassuring me on some changes I've made to both diversify and move out of my comfort circle.

Loved this book :)

  • Essentialism

  • The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
  • By: Greg McKeown
  • Narrated by: Greg McKeown
  • Length: 6 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,808
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,634
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,519

By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy - instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us. Essentialism is not one more thing - it’s a whole new way of doing everything. It’s about doing less, but better, in every area of our lives. Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Paring Down...

  • By Molly Helm on 06-08-14

Essential Reading

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

Reviewed: 04-04-17

Absolutely loved this book. Ive been thinking about "what's truly important" for some time so this book probably came along at the right time in my life but the message of "is this the most important thing I could be doing right now" truly hit home - how do you want to be remembered and by whom?