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Biology

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Cynthia

Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States Member Since 2012

Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!

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  • "No more cheap tequila!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Last night, I realized Amy Stewart’s “The Drunken Botanist: The Plants that Create the World’s Great Drinks” had ruined my uneducated, uncomplicated boring and cheap occasional drink. I wanted a drink to go with my take-out Japanese food last night. I went to a liquor store, found the right aisle and selected a reasonably priced Junmai Ginjo-shu. I knew what I was getting (fairly high grade rice wine) and why I wanted sake labeled Junmai (made with rice only, no added alcohol from other sources). A couple of weeks ago, I wouldn’t have known what to look for.

    - In the future, I’ll ask the pedigree of tequila and avoid mixto.
    - I no longer think Amaretto di Serrano is made from almonds. It might taste of almonds, but it’s made of apricot pits.
    - If I run into anything bottled by Dogfish Head Brewery, I’ll try it. It might be brewed or distilled from a recipe that’s thousands of years old.
    - I’ve never liked a whisky or bourbon I’ve tried, and now I know why – and what I should look for in the future.

    I do wish Audible had a true table of contents. “The Drunken Botanist” has three sections: Part I is devoted to fermentation and distillation, from Agave to wheat. Part II discusses specific fruits, nuts and trees. Part III talks about gardening, and has some great recommendations for selecting plants, and helpful gardening tips.

    Throughout the book, there are fun drink recipes, introduced by the “tap, tap” of a utensil on a glass.

    NPR’s Rene Montagne had a fun interview with Stewart on Morning Edition, and the New York Time’s Steven Kurutz and the Los Angeles Time’s Debra Prinzing liked the book, too. I’ll join them in raising a Champaign mojito in a toast to Stewart and her new book!

    [If you find this review helpful, please let me know by clicking the helpful button. Thanks.]

    More

    The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Amy Stewart
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    Overall
    (156)
    Performance
    (139)
    Story
    (134)

    Every great drink starts with a plant. Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley. Gin was born from a conifer shrub when medieval physicians boiled juniper berries with wine to treat stomach pain. The Drunken Botanist uncovers the surprising botanical history and fascinating science and chemistry of over 150 plants, flowers, trees, and fruits (and even a few fungi).

    Cynthia says: "No more cheap tequila!"
  • "Epstein writes! He scores!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I joined the Army at 17, I only finished my first two mile run because two burly male trainees in my company literally dragged me the last half mile. 18 months later, I was a member of the women's cross country team at an army school that competed in the Garden State Athletic Conference. My endurance was phenomenal, and thanks to a very small team, I earned points for our team at meets. I was so far at the back of the pack, the only advice the coach ever gave me was to wear a better bra. I would have followed his advice, but athletic bras weren't even made at the time.

    David Epstein's "The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance" (2013) gave me an explanation both for why the training was so effective for me (I am a quick responder); why I had and still have endurance; and why - although I cut my two mile time by 32% - the only time I would ever see my astounding teammate (who is still a top ranked Ultra Runner) during a race was at the starting line, where she quickly disappeared from sight.

    Epstein's discussion of the geographic origins and genetic factors that make the right body for a sport is not only understandable, it's fascinating. Epstein adroitly addresses the subject of race and sports performance, a topic most scientists and sociologists avoid because they are afraid of being accused of racial prejudice. He discusses the origins of man,and how migrations of Africa affected the genes and gene mutations that occurred in those populations. Epstein raises, in some detail, the genetic differences between athletes of recent African origin, especially Jamaicans (sprinters) the Kalenjins of Kenya (distance and marathon runners). The discussion of the difference between the congenital traits that give male and female athletes advantages and disadvantages in athletic competition.

    Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hour theory (Outliers: The Story of Success, 2008) argues that practice is the key to athletic success. Epstein points out the statistical flaw in the argument that extraordinary performers need 10,000 hours of practice to be great: the studies Gladwell relied on studies were based on individuals who were already successful, in varying degrees, in athletics - not us average Janes. I could practice basketball 10,000 hours, and I'd be much a much better player - but I would still be 5'5". I probably would have fun in a rec league and there would be lots of health benefits, but no amount of practice would ever make me a world class point guard.

    "The Sports Gene" raises many, many questions. There is the effect of geographic location of birth and training, such as altitude. Culture can make a difference: children who run miles to school every day have an advantage over children who are driven. Endemic disease, like malaria, means there are more people with sickle cell trait, which protects against malaria - and makes someone with more fast twitch muscle. Strong sports programs in schools and early identification of talent make a huge difference. Epstein uses the example of an athlete in Sudan, who, no matter how good she is, has almost no chance of competing internationally because of the country's war.

    Importantly, genetic differences mean what training and practice works for some athletes may make other athletes worse - or, in some cases, kill them. "The Sports Gene" discusses sudden deaths in sports, which, alarming news stories aside, largely isn't unexplained. There have been 10 sudden deaths of Division I college football players since 1974 caused by sickle cell trait. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is another leading cause of sudden athlete death. There are tests for both. Modified training can prevent the former, and an implanted defibrillator can prevent the latter.

    The questions Epstein raises can't be answered yet: DNA sequencing names the gene sequences, but It doesn't tell us what the genes do, or what happens if the genes are in the wrong order. Scientists are finding that out, but we are just starting the exploration of an enormously complex gene world.

    Epstein's answer isn't that genes are everything; or practice is everything. It's a combination, sometimes one much more than the other, plus opportunity.

    As much as I love this book (if only to imagine a whole generation of students suddenly interested in genetics and statistics because this book makes the sciences real, and not an obscure discussion about breeding sweet peas) the narrator annoyed me to no end. No accent is better than really bad accents.

    Finally, I desperately wish Audible had a true table of contents. I couldn't find one on line, so here it is from a relisten to the start of each chapter: Introduction (Audible 1-1) Ch 1 - Beat by an Underhand Girl: The Gene-free Model of Expertise (1-2); Ch 2 - A Tale of Two High Jumpers, or 10,000 Hours , Plus or Minus 10,000 Hours (1-3); Ch 3 - Major League Vision and the Greatest Child Athlete Sample Ever. The Hardware and Software Paradigm (1-4); Ch 4 - Why Men Have Nipples (1-5); Ch 5 -The Talent of Trainability (1-6); Ch 6 - Super Baby, Bully Whyippets, and the Trainability of Muscle (1-7); Ch 7 - The Big Bang of Body Types (1-8); Ch 8 - The Vitruvian NBA Player; Ch 9 - We're All Black. Sort of. Race and Genetic Diversity (2-2); Ch 10 - The Warrior-Slave Theory of Jamaican Sprinting (2-3); Ch 11 - Malaria and Muscle Fiber (2-4); Ch 12 - Can Every Kalenjin Run? (2-5); Ch 13 - The World's GreatestAccidental Altitudinous Talent Sieve (2-6); Ch 14 - Sled Dogs, Ultra Runners, and the Couch Potato Genes (2-7); Ch 15 - The Heartbreak Gene: Death, Injury and Pain on the Field (2-8); Ch 16 - The Gold Medal Mutation (2-9); Epilogue: The Perfect Athlete (2-10).

    [If you are using a smart phone andwould like to refer to this review later for the Table of Contents, press on the title of the review until you get the option to copy, copy the link, and paste it into your Notes..

    If this review helped, please let me know by clicking Helpful. Thanks!]

    More

    The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By David Epstein
    • Narrated By David Epstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (355)
    Performance
    (313)
    Story
    (314)

    Are stars like Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Serena Williams genetic freaks put on Earth to dominate their respective sports? Or are they simply normal people who overcame their biological limits through sheer force of will and obsessive training? In this controversial and engaging exploration of athletic success, Sports Illustrated senior writer David Epstein tackles the great nature vs. nurture debate and traces how far science has come in solving this great riddle.

    Cynthia says: "Epstein writes! He scores!"
  • "So Much More than the Title. Liste..."

    Overall
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    Story

    As I listened to Temple Grandin and Richard Panek’s 2013 “The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum” I realized Grandin’s book is much more than “just” a book on autism. I desperately hope this book it isn’t overlooked or undervalued because of its title.

    In Grandin’s parlance, I am “neuro-typical” (not autistic), and so is my entire family. I do know people with autism and I have friends with autistic children, but I don’t have a particular passionate interest in the disorder. The Amazon reviews I’ve read make it clear that “The Autistic Brain” is an extremely important book for the autistic community who have the passionate interest I lack. I believe “The Autistic Brain” is equally important for “neuro-typicals” - especially parents.

    The seachange in “The Autistic Brain” is Grandin’s hypothesis that people think in at least three different ways: in pictures, or visually, as she does; verbally, or in words, like the majority of people do; or in a new category, patterns. I know I am primarily a verbal thinker, but by concentrating, I can and do think in pictures or in patterns, for short periods of time. When I am able to do that, I often solve problems I can’t solve otherwise. Grandin proposes the idea that an autistic person’s education, skill development, likely abilities and strengths should be tailored to their type of thinking. I agree completely, and it should be taken a step further: it should apply to “neuro-typicals” too.

    For parents, she talks about some important child raising tactics: for example, if you’ve got a kid who really knows math well and the kid’s in “baby math”, the kid may get bored and act out. A lot. Give the kid real math to do, and you may have a model student. And math doesn’t have to go in the order it’s usually taught: basic math; algebra; geometry; calculus . . . and if a kid doesn’t ‘get’ algebra, try geometry, or statistics, or something else. These, and her other education recommendations, apply equally as well to “neuro-typicals.”

    The book starts with a discussion of the genetic, biological and environmental causes of autism – as well as other usually less disruptive neurological conditions, such as migraine and depression. Grandin’s explanation of how and why the brain works, and some of the things that can go wrong, is the most understandable I have ever heard. By analogy, Grandin describes an engine (the brain) misfiring by describing how the engine is supposed to run, but pointing out that the engine is missing a sparkplug, has a clogged hose, or doesn’t have enough gas – or perhaps, all three.

    For those of us who have long been puzzled by the actions of autistics acting out, Grandin discusses the often extreme sensory problems autistics can have. I realized I actually knew what that was like. Twenty years ago, I had a case of the flu so severe that I lost the ability to screen out noises in other apartments in my building, and I could only wear the softest cotton clothing – and that hurt. When the landlord started refinishing the hardwood floor in the next apartment over, the noise was so excruciating all I could do was put my hands over my ears and cry. I was only that sick for a day. Some autistic children were born that way. I will never again wonder, in annoyance, why a parent ‘can’t control’ their autistic child’s sensory tantrum again.

    Grandin’s book also discusses, among so many other things: problems with even peer reviewed and published scientific studies caused by inaccurate assumptions, improper data collection, and bad analysis; the problem with diagnosing hypersensitivity or under sensitivity based on outward behavior; incorrectly applying diagnostic labels to individuals, and how that can hurt their development; how a typographic error erroneously caused a misdiagnosis of autism; why the ‘epidemic’ of autism may not really be an epidemic at all; the tablet/iPad revolution, and why it works so well for autistics; identifying sensory disorders; the number of undiagnosed autistics in Silicon Valley (she estimates 50%); what drugs may help autistics, and why; the upcoming and new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual on Mental Disorders (DSM-V) . . . and so much more.

    The narration was clear and crisp, and Andrea Gallo did a good job with the scientific terms and distinguishing the authors’ voices from discussion; and with quotes.

    More

    The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Temple Grandin, Richard Panek
    • Narrated By Andrea Gallo
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (111)

    Temple Grandin teaches listeners the science of the autistic brain, and with it the history and sociology of autism. By being autistic--by being able to look from the inside out and from the outside in--the author's insights are not just unique, they're groundbreaking. According to Temple, our understanding of autism has been perhaps fundamentally wrong for the past 70 years.

    Cynthia says: "So Much More than the Title. Listen to this book!"
  1. The Drunken Botanist: The...
  2. The Sports Gene: Inside t...
  3. The Autistic Brain: Think...
  4. .

A Peek at Amazon Customer's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
1024
 
Utah 210 REVIEWS / 334 ratings Member Since 2009 257 Followers / Following 0
 
Amazon Customer's greatest hits:
  • The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

    "Love the elephants"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Such an insight into one of the most intelligent animals in the world. I loved learning about this misfit herd, and what Lawrence Anthony was able to do to save them. Just amazing.

  • Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

    "Nasty subject, Great book!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I LOVED this book. As she did in "Stiff," Mary Roach tackles a less than savory subject with intelligent and humor. I learned a lot of great info about the digestive track, and I laughed out loud at many of Roach's vignettes and explanations. Who knew that ingesting someone else's fecal material could restore your probiotic balance and help you heal, for example? If you have any interest in how the body really works, you will love this book. However, if you are a bit squeamish,you may want to pass. This is not nearly as, well, upsetting as "Stiff," but the subject matter is often inappropriate for "polite company." I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Emily Woo Zeller's narration was spot on. Such a fun listen!

  • Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to the True Nature of the Universe

    "Truth is where you find it"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a fascinating book about the idea that life creates the universe, not the other way around. It is interesting to me that scientists can swear to you that such-and-thus theory HAS to be correct because there just is no other way it can be. Then a number of years later, they discover that they didn't know about this or that which makes such-and-thus impossible. I love that! But the thing I loved most about this book was the fact that the theories the author postulates come closer and closer to my understanding of the universe as proposed by an obscure, unlearned boy-prophet in the 1820s and '30s. It stays constant while scientific findings orbit around it, and now and then hits something right on. Wow, my testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ just shot through the roof!

Joshua Kim

Joshua Kim Etna, NH, United States 06-10-12 Member Since 2005

mostly nonfiction listener

HELPFUL VOTES
570
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296
154
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
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8
  • "4 Reasons to Read "Four Fish""

    5 of 5 helpful votes

    Reason 1: You loved Kurlansky's Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, Standage's An Edible History of Humanity and everything by Michael Pollan.

    Reason 2: You are fascinated by the fact that the majority of the fish we eat is farmed, and that aquaculture is the fastest growing food production system on the planet.

    Reason 3: You are torn about eating seafood. You have heard that seafood populations are collapsing, and that many of the fish we enjoy today will not be available to our children due to overfishing. However, you also hear that we need to eat more seafood for our health, and you think it is a good idea to move away from corn fed beef and towards a more sustainable and health diet that contains more fish.

    Reason 4: You like learning about the economics of food, the sociology of food producers, and the psychology of food buyers. You have read Paul Greenberg in the NYTimes magazine and other places, and know that his writing is smart and funny.

    More

    Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Paul Greenberg
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (261)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (143)

    Our relationship with the ocean is undergoing a profound transformation. Just three decades ago nearly everything we ate from the sea was wild. Today rampant overfishing and an unprecedented biotech revolution have brought us to a point where wild and farmed fish occupy equal parts of a complex and confusing marketplace.

    Dan says: "Great listen"

What's Trending in Biology:

  • 4.8 (11 ratings)
    The Darwinian Revolution  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Frederick Gregory

    The Darwinian Revolution

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Frederick Gregory
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Published 150 years ago, Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species - the text that introduced the world to natural selection - is among a handful of books that have changed the world. But the route to that status has been surprisingly circuitous and uncertain. Now, in 24 absorbing lectures by an award-winning teacher, you'll learn the remarkable story of Darwin's ideas, how scientists and religious leaders reacted to them, and the sea change in human thought that resulted.

    wayne says: "very informative"
  • 4.8 (10 ratings)
    Next of Kin: What Chimpanzees Tell Us About Who We Are (






ABRIDGED) by Roger Fouts, Stephen Tukel Mills, Jane Goodall (Introduction and notes) Narrated by Roger Fouts

    Next of Kin: What Chimpanzees Tell Us About Who We Are

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Roger Fouts, Stephen Tukel Mills, Jane Goodall (Introduction and notes)
    • Narrated By Roger Fouts
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Roger Fouts fulfilled humankind's age-old dream of talking to animals by pioneering communication with chimpanzees through sign language. Now, in Next of Kin, Fouts tells the dramatic story of his odyssey from novice researcher to celebrity scientist and caretaker of a family of chimpanzees, to his impassioned awakening as a crusader for the rights of animals.

    Rozsika says: "deeply moving story"
  • 4.3 (4057 ratings)
    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (






UNABRIDGED) by Rebecca Skloot Narrated by Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    Overall
    (4057)
    Performance
    (2605)
    Story
    (2632)

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"
  • 4.3 (2319 ratings)
    A Short History of Nearly Everything (






ABRIDGED) by Bill Bryson Narrated by Bill Bryson

    A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    Overall
    (2319)
    Performance
    (401)
    Story
    (406)

    In A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson takes his ultimate journey - into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer. It's a dazzling quest, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization.

    Brent says: "This audio edition is abridged!"
  •  
  • 4.3 (1706 ratings)
    The Demon Under The Microscope (






UNABRIDGED) by Thomas Hager Narrated by Stephen Hoye

    The Demon Under The Microscope

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Thomas Hager
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1706)
    Performance
    (999)
    Story
    (993)

    The Nazis discovered it. The Allies won the war with it. It conquered diseases, changed laws, and single-handedly launched the era of antibiotics. This incredible discovery was sulfa, the first antibiotic medication. In The Demon Under the Microscope, Thomas Hager chronicles the dramatic history of the drug that shaped modern medicine.

    John Mertus says: "A pleasure in listening"
  • 4.4 (1394 ratings)
    The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution (






UNABRIDGED) by Richard Dawkins Narrated by Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward

    The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    Overall
    (1394)
    Performance
    (618)
    Story
    (609)

    The Greatest Show on Earth is a stunning counterattack on advocates of "Intelligent Design," explaining the evidence for evolution while exposing the absurdities of the creationist "argument". Dawkins sifts through rich layers of scientific evidence: from living examples of natural selection to clues in the fossil record; from natural clocks that mark the vast epochs wherein evolution ran its course to the intricacies of developing embryos; from plate tectonics to molecular genetics.

    Joseph says: "Well read, well explained, scientific."
  • 4.6 (1264 ratings)
    The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild (






UNABRIDGED) by Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence Narrated by Simon Vance

    The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1264)
    Performance
    (1159)
    Story
    (1171)

    >When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.

    Tango says: "Beautiful story, beautifully written"
  • 4.3 (880 ratings)
    The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design (






UNABRIDGED) by Richard Dawkins Narrated by Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward

    The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    Overall
    (880)
    Performance
    (723)
    Story
    (709)

    The Blind Watchmaker, knowledgably narrated by author Richard Dawkins, is as prescient and timely a book as ever. The watchmaker belongs to the 18th-century theologian William Paley, who argued that just as a watch is too complicated and functional to have sprung into existence by accident, so too must all living things, with their far greater complexity, be purposefully designed. Charles Darwin's brilliant discovery challenged the creationist arguments; but only Richard Dawkins could have written this elegant riposte.

    Eric says: "Challenging textbook more than an enjoyable listen"
  • The Selfish Gene (






UNABRIDGED) by Richard Dawkins Narrated by Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward

    The Selfish Gene

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    Overall
    (1539)
    Performance
    (1142)
    Story
    (1124)

    Richard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands to rethink their beliefs about life.

    J. D. May says: "Better than print!"
  • What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions (






UNABRIDGED) by Randall Munroe Narrated by Wil Wheaton

    What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Randall Munroe
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    Millions of people visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. His stick-figure drawings about science, technology, language, and love have a large and passionate following. Fans of xkcd ask Munroe a lot of strange questions. What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent of the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? If there were a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last?

    Dedan says: "Hope You got an A in Math and Physics..."
  • Big History: The Big Bang, Life on Earth, and the Rise of Humanity  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor David Christian

    Big History: The Big Bang, Life on Earth, and the Rise of Humanity

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor David Christian
    Overall
    (167)
    Performance
    (153)
    Story
    (154)

    How is it possible for the disciplines of cosmology, geology, anthropology, biology, and history to fit together? These 48 lectures answer that question by weaving a single story from accounts of the past developed by a variety of scholarly disciplines. The result is a story stretching from the origins of the universe to the present day and beyond, in which human history is seen as part of the history of our Earth and biosphere, and the Earth's history, in turn, is seen as part of the history of the universe.

    harry says: "A Great Lecture Series !"
  • Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution (






UNABRIDGED) by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Donald Goldsmith Narrated by Kevin Kenerly

    Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Neil deGrasse Tyson, Donald Goldsmith
    • Narrated By Kevin Kenerly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Origins explains the soul-stirring leaps in our understanding of the cosmos. From the first image of a galaxy birth to Spirit rover's exploration of Mars, to the discovery of water on one of Jupiter's moons, coauthors Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith conduct a galvanizing tour of the cosmos with clarity and exuberance.

    Jason Deveau says: "Narrated by a computer on speed"
  •  
  • The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild (






UNABRIDGED) by Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence Narrated by Simon Vance

    The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1264)
    Performance
    (1159)
    Story
    (1171)

    >When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.

    Tango says: "Beautiful story, beautifully written"
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (






UNABRIDGED) by Rebecca Skloot Narrated by Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    Overall
    (4057)
    Performance
    (2605)
    Story
    (2632)

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"
  • The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story (






UNABRIDGED) by Richard Preston Narrated by Richard M. Davidson

    The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Richard Preston
    • Narrated By Richard M. Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (400)
    Performance
    (350)
    Story
    (355)

    A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days, 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic "hot" virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.

    aaron says: "If you love viruses and gore and non-fiction..."
  • Einstein's Cosmos: How Albert Einstein's Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time: Great Discoveries (






UNABRIDGED) by Michio Kaku Narrated by Ray Porter

    Einstein's Cosmos: How Albert Einstein's Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time: Great Discoveries

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Michio Kaku
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (477)
    Performance
    (434)
    Story
    (437)

    A dazzling tour of the universe as Einstein saw it. How did Albert Einstein come up with the theories that changed the way we look at the world? By thinking in pictures. Michio Kaku, leading theoretical physicist (a cofounder of string theory) and best-selling science storyteller, shows how Einstein used seemingly simple images to lead a revolution in science. With originality and expertise, Kaku uncovers the surprising beauty that lies at the heart of Einstein's cosmos

    david says: "Relatively Wonderful"
  •  
  • The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance (






UNABRIDGED) by David Epstein Narrated by David Epstein

    The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By David Epstein
    • Narrated By David Epstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (355)
    Performance
    (313)
    Story
    (314)

    Are stars like Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Serena Williams genetic freaks put on Earth to dominate their respective sports? Or are they simply normal people who overcame their biological limits through sheer force of will and obsessive training? In this controversial and engaging exploration of athletic success, Sports Illustrated senior writer David Epstein tackles the great nature vs. nurture debate and traces how far science has come in solving this great riddle.

    Cynthia says: "Epstein writes! He scores!"
  • The Origin and Evolution of Earth: From the Big Bang to the Future of Human Existence  by The Great Courses, Robert M. Hazen Narrated by Professor Robert M. Hazen

    The Origin and Evolution of Earth: From the Big Bang to the Future of Human Existence

    • ORIGINAL (25 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Robert M. Hazen
    • Narrated By Professor Robert M. Hazen
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (51)

    This course chronicles the history of Earth and life on Earth from the point of view of the minerals that made it all happen. A major theme is how minerals and life coevolved, leading to the unprecedented mineral diversity on our world compared to the other planets in the solar system. Professor Hazen tells this epic story in 48 action-packed lectures that take you from the big bang to the formation of the solar system to the major milestones that marked the evolution of Earth and life.

    Blokoe_Geo says: "Utterly Fantastic"
  • Biology: The Science of Life  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Stephen Nowicki

    Biology: The Science of Life

    • ORIGINAL (36 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Stephen Nowicki
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (90)

    One of the greatest scientific feats of our era is the astonishing progress made in understanding biology-the intricate machinery of life-a progress to which the period we are living in right now has contributed the most.As you read these words, researchers are delving ever deeper into the workings of living systems, turning their discoveries into new medical treatments, improved methods of growing food, and innovative products that are already changing the world.

    Eran says: "Great for starters to biology"
  • The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet (






UNABRIDGED) by Nina Teicholz Narrated by Erin Bennett

    The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Nina Teicholz
    • Narrated By Erin Bennett
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (93)

    Dish up the red meat, eggs, and whole milk! In this well-researched and captivating narrative, veteran food writer Nina Teicholz proves how everything we've been told about fat is wrong. For decades, Americans have cut back on red meat and dairy products full of "bad" saturated fats. We obediently complied with nutritional guidelines to eat "heart healthy" fats found in olive oil, fish, and nuts, and followed a Mediterranean diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, and grains. Yet the nation's health has declined. What is going on?

    Brian says: "Good follow-up to Taubes"
  • Brain Rules for Baby (Updated and Expanded): How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five (






UNABRIDGED) by John Medina Narrated by John Medina

    Brain Rules for Baby (Updated and Expanded): How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By John Medina
    • Narrated By John Medina
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In Brain Rules for Baby, Dr. John Medina shares what the latest science says about how to raise smart and happy children from zero to five. This book is destined to revolutionize parenting. Just one of the surprises: The best way to get your children into the college of their choice? Teach them impulse control. Brain Rules for Baby bridges the gap between what scientists know and what parents practice.

  • Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution (






UNABRIDGED) by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Donald Goldsmith Narrated by Kevin Kenerly

    Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Neil deGrasse Tyson, Donald Goldsmith
    • Narrated By Kevin Kenerly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Origins explains the soul-stirring leaps in our understanding of the cosmos. From the first image of a galaxy birth to Spirit rover's exploration of Mars, to the discovery of water on one of Jupiter's moons, coauthors Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith conduct a galvanizing tour of the cosmos with clarity and exuberance.

    Jason Deveau says: "Narrated by a computer on speed"
  • Brain Rules (Updated and Expanded): 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School (






UNABRIDGED) by John Medina Narrated by John Medina

    Brain Rules (Updated and Expanded): 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By John Medina
    • Narrated By John Medina
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In the New York Times bestseller Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina, a molecular biologist, shares his lifelong interest in how the brain sciences might influence the way we teach our children and the way we work. In each chapter, he describes a brain rule - what scientists know for sure about how our brains work - and then offers transformative ideas for our daily lives. Medina’s fascinating stories and infectious sense of humor breathe life into brain science.

  • What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions (






UNABRIDGED) by Randall Munroe Narrated by Wil Wheaton

    What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Randall Munroe
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    Millions of people visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. His stick-figure drawings about science, technology, language, and love have a large and passionate following. Fans of xkcd ask Munroe a lot of strange questions. What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent of the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? If there were a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last?

    Dedan says: "Hope You got an A in Math and Physics..."
  •  
  • The Deadly Air: Genetically Modified Mosquitoes and the Fight against Malaria (






UNABRIDGED) by Christian Jennings Narrated by Matthew Waterson

    The Deadly Air: Genetically Modified Mosquitoes and the Fight against Malaria

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Christian Jennings
    • Narrated By Matthew Waterson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Hundreds of thousands of people die every year from malaria. No one's quite sure of the exact number. It's just too difficult to keep track of the disease as it tears through more than 200 million cases each year, many of them in countries wracked by war and blighted by other problems. In The Deadly Air, Christian Jennings mixes together his own experiences of suffering from malaria with a history of mankind's struggle with the disease.

  • Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow: My Life As a Country Vet (






UNABRIDGED) by David Fisher, Dr. Jan Pol Narrated by Tom Perkins

    Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow: My Life As a Country Vet

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By David Fisher, Dr. Jan Pol
    • Narrated By Tom Perkins
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Dr. Jan Pol is not your typical veterinarian. Born and raised on a dairy farm in the Netherlands, he is the star of Nat Geo Wild's hit show The Incredible Dr. Pol and has been treating animals in rural Michigan since the 1970s. Dr. Pol's 20,000-plus patients have ranged from white mice to 2,600-pound horses and everything in between.

    Shannon says: "Fun book about the day to day life of a vet"
  • Ions, Neurons and the Mind (






UNABRIDGED) by Alan Hall, PhD Narrated by David Winograd

    Ions, Neurons and the Mind

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 38 mins)
    • By Alan Hall, PhD
    • Narrated By David Winograd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    How do we remember things? How does a low voltage current passing through the brain improve our ability to do math? How is brain size and shape related to intelligence? Do smart pills really work? This essay discusses these and other issues relating to brain function.