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World

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Gary

Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States Member Since 2001

Letting the rest of the world go by

HELPFUL VOTES
690
ratings
REVIEWS
181
158
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
122
2
  • "Easy to remember all the stories in..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author writes in a straightforward manner and explains the science in a highly entertaining manner. If I ever sit next to somebody in a waffle house who starts talking about his life stories, I can easily pivot into one of the five stories splendidly presented in this book. The writer was that good at telling the stories about the blunders, and having listened to it I can probably relate the whole book and it's major points without missing a beat. That tells me the book was well presented.

    The narrator made the book better than the written book. I found some of his voices a real hoot, particularly Darwin and Einstein. I would definitely recommend the audible version versus the written form of this book.

    For me, this book was a template for having worked in the real world surrounded around very smart people who would fall into the blunders that are illustrated by these five stories. I don't think the author realized how relevant the stories could be for most working stiffs and the kind of people we often have to work with.

    Instead of picking Einstein's blunder as the cosmological constant, he should have picked Einstein's failure to accept quantum mechanics after having co-discovered it and wasting his time on the GUT (grand unified theorem) outside of the context of quantum physics. I know why he picked the cosmological constant. It's a funner story to relate and is more relevant today because of the mystery of Dark Energy, and the word blunder is not usually associated with that for Einstein and the cosmological constant is.

    Overall, the stories are well presented, and it was narrated much better than it was written, but the author missed a great opportunity to make a better book about the foibles of life in general.

    More

    Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein - Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Mario Livio
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (101)

    We all make mistakes. Nobody’s perfect. Not even some of the greatest geniuses in history, as Mario Livio tells us in this marvelous story of scientific error and breakthrough. Charles Darwin, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), Linus Pauling, Fred Hoyle, and Albert Einstein were all brilliant scientists. Each made groundbreaking contributions to his field - but each also stumbled badly. These five scientists expanded our knowledge of life on Earth, the evolution of the Earth itself, and the evolution of the universe, despite and because of their errors. As Mario Livio luminously explains, the scientific process advances through error.

    Gary says: "Easy to remember all the stories in the book"
  • "A path towards wisdom by way of his..."

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    One of the great books on Eastern Civilizations. This book is a perfect listen for those who don't like history with all of its dates since he tells the story functionally not chronologically. The book looks at history by each civilization and by function (philosophy, poetry, prose, people's language, government and so on). The author seems to excel when he's talking about a country's philosophy and uses it to describe the country's culture. The section on Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism are the best I have ever read.

    It's hard to condense 2000 or more years into a digestible understandable format, but the author does it and the listener really gets to understand our place in the universe a little bit better because of it. The author magically takes random events, turns it into information, processes it into knowledge by giving it narrative and then gives the listener wisdom he didn't have before. I did smile out loud when we were told about Akbar the "illiterate intellectual". He would have the great works of his time read aloud to him. After having listened to this work, I too feel like the illiterate intellectual (since reading puts me to sleep and listening does not. Thank you Audible for making this book available!).

    I will give a bit of advice to any potential listener that I know I wouldn't follow myself (my favorite kind of free advice). Don't listen to the first eight hours or so of the book on prehistoric man and early prehistory. He's just wrong and full of prejudices of the time. I did listen to it because I have a linear personality and just can't bring myself to not listen to it all, but the only value I got is that how little they knew about that period of man in 1935 and how they would extrapolate falsely and a boatload of the author's Western prejudices sneaked through.

    I would be amiss to not comment on some of the incredibly absurd statements that permeate the book (meat eaters stink, "the average Japanese man today has the sensitivity and shrewdness of the Jew", Hindus are a superstitious people, and so on). I would recommend just ignore such statements and take the book as the masterpiece it is. I have yet to find any other book that covers Eastern Civilizations better and I definitely will read the other volumes in the series.

    More

    Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (50 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Will Durant
    • Narrated By Robin Field
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (59)

    The first volume of Will Durant's Pulitzer Prize-winning series, Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization, Volume I chronicles the early history of Egypt, the Middle East, and Asia.

    Michael says: "Wonderful"
  • "Exciting, I couldn't wait for the n..."

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    Performance
    Story

    Books like this ruin it for me since they are so much better written (and read) than the average. Each page is exciting and I couldn't wait for the next. How an author can do that about an era which I've avoided because of its dryness is a compliment to the author. What I like best about the book is now I feel like I'm a scholar of the Italian Renaissance and the Epicurean movement! I never knew that something about book binding, Epicurean philosophy, script development and a poem could keep me on the edge of my seat and eagerly awaiting for the next paragraph.

    You don't have to have the faintest interest in the Italian Renaissance or Latin Poetry to appreciate this book. The author is that good of a writer, and he will make you anxiously await the next page.

    More

    The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen Greenblatt
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (845)
    Performance
    (724)
    Story
    (720)

    Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late 30s took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic by Lucretius—a beautiful poem containing the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles.

    Ethan M. says: "Very compelling history, a less compelling thesis"
  1. Brilliant Blunders: From ...
  2. Our Oriental Heritage: Th...
  3. The Swerve: How the World...
  4. .

Cookie

Cookie Anacortes, WA, United States 03-16-12

Cookie

HELPFUL VOTES
349
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REVIEWS
231
52
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
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  • "Oh the joy!"

    26 of 26 helpful votes

    Now this book made sense to me. I love the history, but the story of the language in syntax and context was so much more compelling than just the etymologies,I could have listened to twice this book. I was very interested that this was read by the author, excellent job, the foreign pronunciations in all dialects were astounding and just plain fun to listen to.

    More

    Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By John McWhorter
    • Narrated By John McWhorter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (935)
    Performance
    (692)
    Story
    (691)

    A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar. Why do we say "I am reading a catalog" instead of "I read a catalog"? Why do we say "do" at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history.

    Cookie says: "Oh the joy!"

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UNABRIDGED) by Miyamoto Musashi Narrated by Alan Munro

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    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Miyamoto Musashi
    • Narrated By Alan Munro
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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UNABRIDGED) by Martin Dugard Narrated by John McDonough

    The Last Voyage of Colombus: Being the Epic Tale of the Great Captain's Fourth Expedition

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Martin Dugard
    • Narrated By John McDonough
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
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    New York Times best-selling author Martin Dugard writes the first account of Columbus’s little-known last voyage. Columbus’ famed 1492 expedition wasn’t his last. After tough times, he was given one more chance. But this voyage didn’t have the fortuitous accidents of 1492. Instead it brought a shipwreck and more violence and mutiny than ever before - pushing an aging explorer to his limit.

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UNABRIDGED) by John McCain, Mark Salter Narrated by George Wilson

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    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By John McCain, Mark Salter
    • Narrated By George Wilson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    In this insightful study, John McCain and Mark Salter examine the qualities that define great decisions. They also identify inspiring people who have engaged in difficult decision-making. Ranging from the political judgments made by Abraham Lincoln to the athletic trials faced by swimmer Gertrude Ederle, each chapter of Hard Call illustrates an exceptional choice made in challenging circumstances.

  • The Great Retreat of 1914: From Mons to the Marne (






UNABRIDGED) by Spencer Jones Narrated by Philip Franks

    The Great Retreat of 1914: From Mons to the Marne

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Spencer Jones
    • Narrated By Philip Franks
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    August 1914: In the sweltering heat, the fate of Europe hangs in the balance. Germany is hurling her forces into a carefully planned invasion of Belgium and France. Bound by an 1839 treaty to protect Belgium from any invader, Britain came to its defence. With the British Expeditionary Force numbering just 120,000 men, and dwarfed by the vast manpower of Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm II remains unfazed by this ‘contemptible little army'. But the BEF was, man for man, the best trained army in Europe.

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UNABRIDGED) by Edouard Kayihura, Kerry Zukus Narrated by Mirron Willis, Rosalind Ashford

    Inside the Hotel Rwanda: The Surprising True Story…and Why It Matters Today

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Edouard Kayihura, Kerry Zukus
    • Narrated By Mirron Willis, Rosalind Ashford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
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    For the first time, learn what really happened inside the walls of Hotel des Mille Collines. In Inside the Hotel Rwanda, survivor Edouard Kayihura tells his own personal story of what life was really like during those harrowing days within the walls of that infamous hotel and offers the testimonies of others who survived there, from Hutu and Tutsi to UN peacekeepers. Kayihura writes of a divided society and his journey to the place he believed would be safe from slaughter.

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UNABRIDGED) by Michael Rank Narrated by Kevin Pierce

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    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Michael Rank
    • Narrated By Kevin Pierce
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    An exciting new audiobook on the greatest explorers in history and how their discoveries shaped the modern world. Whether it is Rabban Bar Sauma, the 13th-century Chinese monk commissioned by the Mongols to travel West form a military alliance against the Islam; Marco Polo, who opened a window to the East for Europe; or Captain James Cook, whose maritime voyages of discovery created the global economy of the 21st century, each of these explorers had an indelible impact on the modern world. This audiobook will look at the 11 greatest explorers in history.

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UNABRIDGED) by Toby Wilkinson Narrated by Peter Ganim

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    • By Toby Wilkinson
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim
    Overall
    (0)
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    Renowned Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson leads us through space as much as time: From the river's mystical sources (the Blue Nile which rises in Ethiopia, and the White Nile coursing from majestic Lake Victoria); to Thebes, with its Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, and Luxor Temple; the fertile Delta; Giza, home of the Great Pyramid, the sole surviving Wonder of the Ancient World; and finally, to the pulsating capital city of Cairo, where the Arab Spring erupted on the bridges over the Nile.

  • Struggle without End (






UNABRIDGED) by Ranginui Walker Narrated by Michael Keir Morrissey

    Struggle without End

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Ranginui Walker
    • Narrated By Michael Keir Morrissey
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    This is Dr. Ranginui Walker's best-selling history of Aotearoa, New Zealand, from a Maori perspective. Since the mid-nineteenth century, Maori have been involved in an endless struggle for justice, equality and self-determination. In this book Dr. Walker provides a uniquely Maori view, not only of the events of the past two centuries but beyond to the very origins of Maori people.

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