Austin, TX, United States
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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-13-18

Inspiring. Educational. An incredible book

Her story is unique, very valuable and enlightening. It's a book that touches on many important and controversial personal, religious and social topics. Whether you agree with her views or not, it's a great read.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-13-18

No story, just a bunch of information

I had just finished Mandela's first book, which was inspiring. I eagerly listened to this one, but I was disappointed.
First, the narrator speaks in this low, monotone voice. Maybe he thinks it make him interesting, when it actually makes the read boring and difficult to hear.
Second, there is no story. no drama, no lessons. It seems like somoene collected all the info they had on Mandela and grouped it in a 'book' organized by topics. Sure, there are a couple interesting nuggets, afer all it is Mandela we are talking about. It's just not a good book on which to spend 13 hours.
I fast forwarded maybe half of the chapters.
Get a better book, there are plenty.

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-21-17

I was expecting a lot more

Fun and engaging read. Sir Richard Branson is an incredible person and an accomplished businessman. This book could have been called Sir Richard's incredible list of feats. And that's great, but I felt like there was not enough focus on the person, not many stories of failing and learning, no life lessons. Just stories of success after success. Maybe it's my fault. I wanted to learn more about Richard the human, how he thinks, how he learned, how he matured. My biggest criticism is for the narrator. Especially for a guy who started in the recording industry, for a book about passion and excitement, why would he choose a narrator that sounds like a politician with no emotion? It took away from the book, for sure. At the end, it's an OK read, but there are probably better books in your wish list.

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1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-09-17

A long read on a failed premise

First, this book has an excellent narrator. It's a long book, but it is well written so it is interesting most of the time, except it goes into too much detail into many aspects, as if the author wanted to prove its knowledge by the number of pages.

If you have never read anything about the 15th Century or the Renaissance, you may find all these detail interesting, including long descriptions about how monks were dedicated to copying and maintaining books.

Listening to this audiobook you will probably spend a couple hours learning about the failings of the church during this era, which are well documented, which starts to set the tone for the fundamental point of the book: The poem On the Nature of Things, written in the first century, re-discovered in 1417, an event that is overly over-documented in the book.

The poem’s central idea is that the world is made of random events, the universe was created randomly, by chance. It’s interesting because it accurately describes scientific facts like atoms many centuries before they were scientifically discovered. However, it has an aspect of pseudoscience, which is not surprising coming from a poet in ancient times.

The whole book is centered on the idea that this God-less reality where everything is physical and random will set you free from superstitions and allows humanity to focus on the Epicurean pursuit of pleasure. It’s a very long stretch any way you look at it.

The author claims the poem influenced the modern world, but I find those links very weak. In fact, the while he claims De Rerum Natura influenced Einstein, while he wrote about the invisible architect whose work is evident in how things, from atoms to galaxies, work. Einstein wrote "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." recognizing the matter is not black and white and that science and religion converge.

If you want to learn about the Renaissance, the book The Medici, by Paul Strathern is a much more accurate, much richer account of the Renaissance, including the failings of the Church, and its role in the creation of our modern World.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-26-17

A military history of Venice

I was a little disappointed in that this book covers mostly military history. but it is good. There is a lot of detail of battles and military actions, but it was always entertaining and insightful. The details add context and color to the stories. feels like a well researched book.
It left me wanting more. more stories, especially as it focuses on a somewhat narrow time frame. I was left wanting a book that would cover Venice's art, culture, architecture, and society - most of which are not talked about in this book.

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-05-17

Inspirational entrepreneur- with a caution...

Daymond is a good guy. He is a solid entrepreneur. The book is very personal, very real. It includes some very interesting points about Damond's life and his guerilla marketing tactics, which I loved, along stories for other entrepreneurs including some featured in Shark Tank.

Any Shark Tank fan will find this book entertaining, interesting and useful. Now to the caution...

Like most books on entrepreneurship, this one talks about following your dreams, ignoring critics and the value of persistence. The reality is that more often than not entrepreneurs have failed ideas, or don't have the right business plan, to make a business successful. And they would be better off closing the business than continuing to pursue a dream that will never come.

Entrepreneurs need more financial discipline, need better ways to test the potential of ideas, understand the profit potential of every business, have a financial plan if not a full business plan, and know when to pull the plug.

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26 of 34 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-03-16

Interesting but I wanted more

Hans Von Luck was a good soldier. He fought with Rommel in Poland, Russia, Africa and defended French Territory during D-Day. He had incredible war experience, but very little experience writing, and it shows.

What I mean is that the book has very little in terms of military strategy. It also has very little in terms of explaining the mindset of a German colonel in the context of Hitler's Third Reich. It is not a good story. There is no magic in the story.

It's more of a detailed account of events.That does not mean it is not interesting to understand a little bit of how the war was fought from the other side. While I was tempted to skip a chapter or two, I listened to the entire audiobook.

It also lacks an apology. The battles he lost were because of lack of resources, there is no admitting defeat. Von Luck claims he disagreed with the Third Reich and was not even aware of concentration camps (highly implausible) but he does not give a good reason why he did not give up at Normandy, when he accepted the war was lost, and instead continued to fight a lost war for a year, resulting in destruction and many lost lives on both sides.

Even with all these limitations, it's a book I can recommend.

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1 of 5 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-13-16

A political ad for Bernie's ideas

I love Bernie, He is such an authentic guy, who I believe genuinely fights for what is good for the greater good. We need more politicians like him, more people like him.

Having said this, this is a very one-sided political ad. It's more a recount of how he got there and all the effort to win his senate race, which was honestly a bit boring. I wanted to learn more about his policies, and his thoughts - but they account for a fraction of the book.

Further, while his heart is in the right place, his strategy is flawed. Yes, we need to hold Wall Street accountable, Yes, we need everyone to pay taxes, especially by closing loopholes for the rich. But we can't say that all rich people and all entrepreneurs are bad, they money is unjustly achieved and they should give it all back to everyone else, including people who don't make an effort or a contribution to the community.

Great questions, bad answers in a boring book.

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1 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-13-16

Wonderful,must-read Very entertaining & insightful

There are some audiobooks so good, that often when I arrive to my destination (I listen on the car) I want to stay a bit more in the car to continue listening. It feels like this was the case with She Dog every time.

It's written by the author (surely with the help of a really good professional writer) in a very human, very sincere, very interesting way. It's like watching a movie when you don't want to go to the restroom because you want to see what happens next.

More importantly, it's a story of entrepreneurship and dedication. A an account of the challenges of running a business. It is also story of passion, a quest for a 'crazy idea', a group of men and woman that were dedicated to their cause, their business, and to each other.

On top of that, it is a very human book. I shed at tear at one point, got angry in another, and throughout was rooting for Blue Ribbon shoe company.

Must read

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2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-13-16

Not the best account of Tesla's life & inventions

Nikola Tesla was a genius inventor. But a terrible writer.

This is his autobiography, written directly by him, by a crazy scientist who changed the world, whose mind ran a million miles per hour. It's disorganized, lacks context, lacks a story. I love biographies and science, this was a bad book.

Further, the narrator makes the problem worse. It's like NIkola invented a reading robot and gave him his unfinished manuscript. There is no emotion, no emphasis. Worse, there are no pauses. It goes from one though to the next, soundling like it's the same sentence.It makes this it much harder to follow the audiobook and harder to get any value from it.

Skip this one.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful