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  • 89
  • reviews
  • 19
  • helpful votes
  • 89
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  • The Little Book of Common Sense Investing

  • By: John C. Bogle
  • Narrated by: Thom Pinto
  • Length: 5 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 20

To learn how to make index investing work for you, there's no better mentor than legendary mutual-fund industry veteran John C. Bogle. Over the course of his long career, Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group and creator of the world's first index mutual-fund, has relied primarily on index investing to help Vanguard's clients build substantial wealth. Now, with The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, he wants to help you do the same.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A strong argument, dragged out for too long.

  • By Mr on 16-01-19

A strong argument, dragged out for too long.

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

Reviewed: 16-01-19

The TLDR of this book is: "Buy index funds, because active management can't outperform the market, and charge large fees that mean they deliver below market-average returns to their investors".

This argument is supported by plenty of strong data, is hard to argue with, and is worth hearing for anyone looking to invest their savings. Unfortunately the one sentence premise is stretched out to over 5 hours, and the message simply doesn't need to be delivered over that much time. This is an article drawn out into a book.

Narrator is fine.

  • The Quants

  • How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It
  • By: Scott Patterson
  • Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
  • Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

Over the past 20 years, this species of math whiz had usurped the testosterone-fueled, kill-or-be-killed risk takers who'd long been the alpha males of the world's largest casino. The quants believed that a cocktail of differential calculus, quantum physics, and advanced geometry held the key to reaping riches from the financial markets. And they helped create a digitized money-trading machine that could shift billions with the click of a mouse - while sowing the seeds of financial disaster.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Decent introduction to the subject.

  • By Mr on 04-01-19

Decent introduction to the subject.

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

Reviewed: 04-01-19

Good introduction to the history of quant funds which revolutionized Wall Street from the 1990s to the 2008 crash, and some interesting insights into the processes which led to the failure of so many of them. It does a great job of illustrating how very, very smart people can be quite stunningly naive. One is left wondering how could a whole room full of PHDs have imagined that a stock market drop of 20% was essentially impossible: the answer was that their elegant and brilliant mathematical equations wouldn't work if it did - and they made so much money in the first few years it was impossible to see beyond the present.

I would have appreciated a little less focus on personalities and a little more on methods, although this does enable to the book to steer clear of the brain-destroying mathematics that are beyond most of us.


Narrator is fine.

  • Millionaire Traders

  • How Everyday People Are Beating Wall Street at Its Own Game
  • By: Kathy Lien, Boris Schlossberg
  • Narrated by: Caroline Shaffer
  • Length: 11 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 31

Trading is a battle between you and the market. And while you might not be a financial professional, that doesn't mean you can't win this battle. Through interviews with twelve ordinary individuals who have worked hard to transform themselves into extraordinary traders, Millionaire Traders reveals how you can beat Wall Street at its own game. Filled with in-depth insights and practical advice, this book introduces you to a dozen successful traders - some who focus on equities, others who deal in futures or foreign exchange - and examines the paths they've taken to capture considerable profits.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very good

  • By G Lindley on 11-10-15

Valuble trading info in a slightly baggy package.

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

Reviewed: 29-12-18

It took me a couple of tries to get into this, but I'm glad I stuck with it. The 12 rules Lien and Schlossberg outline at the beginning of the book, make much more sense after listening to the interviews with the 12 traders. All of them trade in very different styles, time frames and markets, and all of them had some great insights to offer.

It's not as good as the legendary "Market Wizards" books (what is?) but if you have enjoyed those, you will definitely find this worth your time and your considered attention. My only criticisms are that there is a little too much personal story-telling: and I wasn't a huge fan of the narration, which I found a little awkward and stiff.

  • The Rising Sun

  • The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945
  • By: John Toland
  • Narrated by: Tom Weiner
  • Length: 41 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 100
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89

This Pulitzer Prize-winning history of World War II chronicles the dramatic rise and fall of the Japanese empire, from the invasion of Manchuria and China to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Told from the Japanese perspective, The Rising Sun is, in the author’s words, "a factual saga of people caught up in the flood of the most overwhelming war of mankind, told as it happened - muddled, ennobling, disgraceful, frustrating, full of paradox."

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Long but worthy bit of military history

  • By paul on 12-05-15

A classic work of history, exellently told.

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

Reviewed: 17-12-18

It's not hard to see why Toland won a Pulitzer for this book. He is a particularly gifted story-teller, and the book often reads more like a well told novel than a traditional history. I found myself getting so absorbed in the twists and turns of the tale he was telling, I sometimes had to remind myself that I knew how the story ended. I was willing the diplomats trying to avert the war to succeed, though I knew they didn't. And willing the British to hold out at Singapore, knowing that they did not.

The book is divided into two parallel narratives, the first an overview of the broad political and military situation told from the POV of the major figures in the Japanese and American governments, and the other a series of personal accounts of ordinary soldiers and civilians caught up in the nightmare of the war. Both are well researched, and told with compassion and eloquence.

Toland also does an excellent job of explaining to a western audience the very different cultural norms that affected Japanese society and government in the lead up to the war. How that culture led to a nation obsessed with honour to behave with a stunning lack of honour - and how the west's failure to understand Japanese culture led to one diplomatic debacle after another.

My only criticisms are that for some reason 1943 seems to be glossed over much more briefly than other years, and that perhaps one comes away feeling a little too much sympathy for the Japanese actors in this drama, who were responsible for so much needless suffering.

The narrator is notably good, I really felt I was listening to the author.

  • The Little Book of Behavioral Investing

  • How Not to Be Your Own Worst Enemy
  • By: James Montier
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 5 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36

A detailed guide to overcoming the most frequently encountered psychological pitfalls of investing. Bias, emotion, and overconfidence are just three of the many behavioral traits that can lead investors to lose money or achieve lower returns. Behavioral finance, which recognizes that there is a psychological element to all investor decision-making, can help you overcome this obstacle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • helps to better control emotion

  • By steven Buckley on 21-01-13

Good guide to psychological fallacies.

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

Reviewed: 15-12-18

Good read. There's a ton of fascinating information in here on the numerous psychological quirks and fallacies that humans fall pray to, with an emphasis on those relevant to traders. The main actionable point being that we need to have consistent rules and procedures in place to counter our own psychological frailties.

My main criticism of the book was although there is a great deal of good information here, it's not organized in a way that aids memory or allows you to process it very clearly.

Pratt is his usual competent self as the narrator.

  • I'm Sorry, I Love You

  • A History of Professional Wrestling
  • By: Jim Smallman
  • Narrated by: Jim Smallman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 87
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 85

For fans of books from Chris Jericho, Steve Austin, Daniel Bryan, Mick Foley and Jim Ross. Comedian and PROGRESS Wrestling founder Jim Smallman takes us on a wild ride through the history of pro wrestling, from its beginnings at the turn of the 20th century to the pop culture, pay-per-view juggernaut that it is today. Join Jim as he looks at the most defining and iconic moments in wrestling's history and attempts to nail down just why this ludicrous, over the top, compelling quasi sport means so much to so many people.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A Book of Two Halves

  • By waster196 on 12-09-18

Liked it, I think most wrestling fans will too.

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

Reviewed: 30-11-18

This is a great, broad history of the wrestling business over the last 100 years, with an emphasis on the American scene from the 1980s onwards (something to do with a guy called McMahon apparently). There's also briefer but well researched histories of the industry in Mexico, Japan and Britain. It was released in the autumn of 2018, so is bang up to date and feels very fresh. The author is refreshingly free of the lazy fashionable attitudes that plague internet fandom, and there's lots of subjective "Top 10" lists which nerds can enjoy taking issue with.

The author reads his own work ably, and with evident enthusiasm.

  • The Little Book of Currency Trading

  • How to Make Big Profits in the World of Forex
  • By: Kathy Lien
  • Narrated by: Walter Dixon
  • Length: 4 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 46

Once dominated by global banks, hedge funds, and multinational corporations, the foreign exchange market, or forex, is now easily accessible to traders and investors around the world. But in order to make the most of your time in this market, you need to have a firm understanding of how it works. Written by forex expert Kathy Lien, The Little Book of Currency Trading shows you how to effectively trade and invest in today’s biggest market. Page by page, she describes the multitude of opportunities possible in the forex market....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good but could have been better

  • By Mudar Bahri on 15-01-12

Good trading book, little light on forex specifics

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

Reviewed: 18-11-18

I quite liked this one, unlike many trading books, it has an admirably rigorous focus on risk management, and doesn't treat as a minor matter to be briefly dispensed with before going back to telling you about the easy millions to be made, as some trading books do. However for some reason the author thinks this point cannot be made without numerous metaphors, which I don't feel I needed.

It also has a solid grounding in the importance of planning and controlling psychology (which in my experience you can only really learn the hard way). And there's also some specific criteria and advice about the authors own trading which gave me some new material to work on.

I would however have liked a bit more information that was specific to the forex markets, as I already have a grounding in much of the more general material covered. As often with the "little books" series, it could have done with being a bit less little, and a bit more expansive. They are after all written by people who know their subject well.

The narrator does a perfectly adequate job. Although a personal hang-up of mine is audiobooks that have a narrator of the other sex to the author.

  • Brazil

  • The Troubled Rise of a Global Power
  • By: Michael Reid
  • Narrated by: Michael Healy
  • Length: 16 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5

Experts believe that Brazil, the world's fifth largest country and its seventh largest economy, will be one of the most important global powers by the year 2030. Yet far more attention has been paid to the other rising behemoths: Russia, India, and China. Often ignored and underappreciated, Brazil, according to renowned, award-winning journalist Michael Reid, has finally begun to live up to its potential but faces important challenges before it becomes a nation of substantial global significance.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great guide to a fascinating country.

  • By Mr on 15-11-18

Great guide to a fascinating country.

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

Reviewed: 15-11-18

When I started this book, all I knew about Brazil were the cliches of carnival, violent favelas, and rain-forest destruction. Sixteen and a half hours later, I feel I have a much better grounding about this vast, diverse and often contradictory nation: that is so little discussed in the west. The author has an obvious deep interest in the country, has interviewed most of its leading figures in over the past two decades, and does a great job of outlining the historical forces that have shaped it, as well as bringing out the challenges and opportunities it faces going forward.

There is a strong focus in the second half of the book on recent economics, unsurprising when you know the author is a writer for the "Economist" magazine. This suited me just fine as I'm more than usually interested in such things, but it may exhaust the patience of a general reader. I would however have liked a bit more "colour commentary" about Brazil's people and culture. There is precious little about the daily lives of its inhabitants beyond the broad categorizations of different social classes.

The narrator is decent.

  • Reasons to Stay Alive

  • By: Matt Haig
  • Narrated by: Matt Haig
  • Length: 4 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,100
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 976
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 974

What Does it mean to feel truly alive? Aged 24, Matt Haig's world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, Reasons to Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A brave work for which I am so grateful

  • By Camilla Morgan on 26-05-15

Am I allowed to not like this?

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

Reviewed: 24-10-18

I am very interested in mental health and psychology, and I know that everyone has to cope with it in their own individual way. Haig says in his book that writing helped him cope with his depression, and obviously other people have also found it helpful. So the book has served it's purpose.

I however, really struggled to keep listening. The first half came across as a long protracted cry of self-pity, and the second half a long series of self-help cliches culled from various "books wot I ave red". Interspersed with personal anecdotes that go nowhere, and tendentious cod-philosophy, usually without any kind of context.

I *know* that feeling sorry for oneself is an unavoidable part of depression, and is *not* a character weakness. But I found the author's apparent determination to see something heroic in endless misery infuriating. At several points he seems to me to come dangerously close to suggesting that depression and hypochondria are a necessary pre-condition for being able to truly appreciate the finer points of human existence: which I think is balderdash. Depression is not "ennobling" and mental suffering without purpose, has no more virtue than physical suffering without purpose.

Towards the end of the book, Haig writes - "More harm is done by work than by idleness". And this perfectly summed up my problem with the book, it's all about wallowing inside the self, and not about being focused and purposeful. Which IMHO is the only thing that will keep people stable after the sugar-rush of self-help mantras has dissipated.

I'm delighted that Haig found writing this book helped him over-come his demons. And I'm delighted it's helped so many other people too - but I found it exasperating.


I didn't like the narrator either, but that might just be because I found the material he was reading uncompelling.

  • France 1940

  • Defending the Republic
  • By: Philip Nord
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 4 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

In this revisionist account of France's crushing defeat in 1940, Philip Nord argues that the nation's downfall has long been misunderstood. Nord assesses France's diplomatic and military preparations for war with Germany, its conduct of the war once the fighting began, and the political consequences of defeat on the battlefield. Ultimately, he finds that the longstanding view that France's collapse was due to military unpreparedness and a decadent national character is unsupported by fact.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good book, somewhat misleading subtitle.

  • By Mr on 13-10-18

Good book, somewhat misleading subtitle.

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

Reviewed: 13-10-18

In this slim volume, Nord contends that in 1940, the French suffered a simple, operational, military defeat. That they were neither "decadent" nor poorly prepared, and that it was France's lack of geographical barriers rather than any inherent weakness, that made it unable to withstand the same defeats suffered by other large allied nations.

The course of military events is however, dealt with quite briefly in favor of the subject that is obviously the author's real interest - the maneuverings in French politics immediately following the defeat, that resulted in the abolition of the 3rd Republic and establishment of the Vichy regime. The book isn't really about "Defending the Republic", but about the political actors (a strange alliance of appeasers, pacifists and generals) who abolished it for their own reasons.

It's a compelling story, that is often neglected in English language histories, and I enjoyed hearing it. But I would have preferred a longer and more comprehensive work that did not skip over so much ground.

The narrator isn't terrible, but I found him a little slow and monotone.