Michael Duke
Michael loves mind-bending literature that is surreal or speculative and has a strong sense of voice (written and spoken). He's been known to shake up his listening routine with self dev books while sustaining a healthy habit of hoarding oatmeal raisin cookies in his desk.

Michael's Reviews

Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and Domestic

Ms. Perel has an innate understanding of relationship dynamics, and she illustrates them from multiple angles. These aren't the cliched musings of a relationship columnist or self-help guru, but qualified and experienced approaches from someone who has obviously studied relationships in earnest, and lived through their myriad issues in real life. She knows what she's talking about, and many of the things she reveals in Mating in Captivity seem obvious in retrospect only because of how clear and adept they are as observations. I listened to this book before moving in with my girlfriend of a year and a half (it's the first time I've lived with a SO), afraid our relationship would fall apart the moment we signed the lease - and eager to prevent the slow decay that I've heard domesticity brings about. While I can't say this book has saved my marriage (I'm not married and we've only lived together for like 3 weeks now, so no verdict yet lol) it has already helped me shift my approach, and reassured me of the importance of uncertainty, mystery, and communication in any long term romantic exchange.

The Unseen World: A Novel

Liz Moore’s The Unseen World is fascinating on so many levels. It has the depth of character of solid contemporary fiction, the fast pace and intrigue of a good mystery, and the sophisticated concept of refined speculative sci-fi. It follows Ada Sibelius; a girl lab-schooled by her scientist father until his eventual decline into Alzheimer’s. As his memory fades, the mystery of his true identity pushes Ada through a surreal, lifelong quest in search of herself, her father, and the bond they maintain across platforms. More than just a clever story, Moore demonstrates a spectacular knowledge of different eras in American history, and she ties them together immaculately. The end result is an expertly-crafted novel about the nuances of a connected life.

Born to Run

Growing up in New Jersey it’s not too much of a stretch to say that Bruce Springsteen was something of a spiritual force. His voice is synonymous with a powerful sense of place, and it bears a rugged, scrappy idealism that can make you feel patriotic and subversive at the same time. That’s what makes this autobiography, written and performed by The Boss himself, nothing less than magical. It’s not simply a story of his path to success or a philosophy of greatness, but a marathon concert tell-all wherein he confronts demons of mental illness, poverty, and familial strife. It is nostalgic for a simpler time, but urgent in its display of discipline and individuality. Ultimately, Bruce delivers with this audiobook what he has done for nearly five decades with his music: a celebration of the commonplace and the struggles of American life with candor, imagination, and purpose.