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John

Birder, GIS Specialist, and all-round great guy.

Frostburg, Maryland, United States | Member Since 2011

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 28 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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  • The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (858)
    Performance
    (742)
    Story
    (730)

    Richard Dawkins, the world’s most famous evolutionary biologist, presents a gorgeously lucid, science book examining some of the nature’s most fundamental questions both from a mythical and scientific perspective. Science is our most precise and powerful tool for making sense of the world. Before we developed the scientific method, we created rich mythologies to explain the unknown. The pressing questions that primitive men and women asked are the same ones we ask as children. Who was the first person? What is the sun? Why is there night and day?

    Connie says: "Audio version is superb for us grown-ups"
    "Informative and Fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Probably not for a well-educated adult scientist but definitely a great listen for a young person interested in science. I consider myself the former but I still enjoyed it a lot and I'm sure I learned a few things (about science and mythology) and got a good review of a few things I already knew. Not really deep but just a great broad overview of science and the process we must go through to determine what is real and what is not. The author provides a number of examples of commonly accepted ideas that have been proven wrong through science and opens the reader's mind to the vast possibilities of potential new discoveries in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Gate: Mithermages, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Emily Janice Card
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4410)
    Performance
    (3210)
    Story
    (3230)

    Danny North knew from early childhood that his family was different - and that he was different from them. While his cousins were learning how to create the things that commoners called fairies, ghosts, golems, trolls, werewolves, and other such miracles that were the heritage of the North family, Danny worried that he would never show a talent, never form an "outself"....

    joshua says: "Card doing what he does best."
    "There IS a second book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not a review so much as a point of fact in that I clicked "view series" and only this book showed up when I KNOW there are at least two books in this series (and there should be at least one more because the second book leaves the reader hanging in suspense). This was a great pair of books. I've enjoyed them both. I hope someone fixes the link to include both books and I hope a third book by Orson Scott Card arrives very soon.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Gate Thief: Mithermages, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Emily Rankin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1983)
    Performance
    (1802)
    Story
    (1808)

    Here on Earth, Danny North is still in high school, yet he holds in his heart and mind all the stolen outselves of 13 centuries of gatemages. The Families still want to kill him if they can’t control him - and they can’t control him; he is far too powerful. On Westil, Wad is now nearly powerless - he lost everything to Danny in their struggle. Even if he can survive the revenge of his enemies, he must still somehow make peace with the Gatemage Daniel North, for when Danny took that power from Loki, he also took responsibility for the Great Gates.

    Benjamin says: "Flashes of Great, Ok, and Bad. Overall: Meh."
    "Great Fantasy World"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this as much if not more than the first book. Being about contemporary Norse Gods seems a little odd at first but interesting (got over that in the process of reading the first book). Danny's conflicts are fun and I felt I could relate to him in some ways (even though I'm much older now). His interacting with people in his own age group is fun. I think what I really like is the parts of the story that take place in Westil (sp ?) with characters like Wad (the gate thief ... who lived for 1,000 years inside of a tree), Anonaway (sp ?) and her children, and Queen Bexoy. There is much magic and it is set up in a way that is fairly believable and very enjoyable.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir
    Overall
    (21295)
    Performance
    (12788)
    Story
    (12915)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s easy to say that when it comes to sci-fi you either love it or you hate it. But with Ender’s Game, it seems to be you either love it or you love it.... The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

    Kapila says: "6 titles in the series so far"
    "Classic Sci Fi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm not sure I'm qualified to review this book. I didn't like it as much as I thought I would but I still enjoyed it a lot. Perhaps it didn't live up to its expectations for me since I heard so many good things about it before I downloaded it. I liked the premise of the story with a young boy having way more responsibility than someone of his age should ever have and fighting his way through battle school. Our hero (Ender) goes through lots of soul searching and has to make a lot of tough decisions. He always seems to come out on top but being at the top can have some drawbacks.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Stand

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6005)
    Performance
    (5286)
    Story
    (5332)

    This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides - or are chosen.

    Meaghan says: "My First Completed Stephen King Novel"
    "Classic Stephen King"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This classic Stephen King story pits good vs. evil and takes you on an epic journey that starts with the end of the world as we know it and ends with the ultimate showdown. Do you dream of the old black woman or the man in black ?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pirate Latitudes

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1420)
    Performance
    (529)
    Story
    (540)

    The Caribbean, 1665. A remote colony of the English Crown, the island of Jamaica holds out against the vast supremacy of the Spanish empire. Port Royal, its capital, is a cutthroat town of taverns, grog shops, and bawdy houses. In this steamy climate there's a living to be made, a living that can end swiftly by disease - or by dagger. For Captain Charles Hunter, gold in Spanish hands is gold for the taking, and the law of the land rests with those ruthless enough to make it.

    Eva Gannon says: "Perhaps An Early Work?"
    "Adventure on the High Seas"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a great book. It was fun to listen to and the narrator was animated and engaged making it easy to feel like you are experiencing the story first hand (some of that could be Michael Crichton's doing). It is different from other books by the author but I found it to be very entertaining. It is definitely action packed and never boring with lots of excellent plot twists and some dynamic story lines. Lots of great character traits and emotions ranging from honor, virtue, strategy, duty, and discipline to lust, deception, treachery, resentment, and revenge. If you've liked Michael Crichton's other books, you will enjoy this one as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1776

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By David McCullough
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4425)
    Performance
    (1633)
    Story
    (1640)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: If you ever thought history was boring, David McCullough’s performance of his fascinating book will change your mind. In this stirring audiobook, McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence, when the whole American cause was riding on their success.

    Mark says: "Front Seat on History"
    "Great History of the Year 1776 in American History"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this book of early American history. It covers the siege of Boston and battles in New York and New Jersey in great detail with a lot of good character insights and historical information about the American, British, and Hessian Generals and soldiers. I am just starting to develop an interest in history and this was a good book from my perspective with good balance between analysis and raw information. I'm sure I'll listen and/or read more books by David McCullough though this was my first. I don't think he is the best narrator though as his voice can be somewhat dull, monotone, and nasal at times. That didn't ruin it for me though, and I'm sure I will listen to it and enjoy it again at some point in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • iWoz: How I Invented the Personal Computer and Had Fun Along the Way

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Steve Wozniak, Gina Smith
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    Overall
    (2321)
    Performance
    (1322)
    Story
    (1346)

    Before cell phones that fit in the palm of your hand and slim laptops that fit snugly into briefcases, computers were like strange, alien vending machines. They had cryptic switches, punch cards, and pages of encoded output. But in 1975, a young engineering wizard named Steve Wozniak had an idea: What if you combined computer circuitry with a regular typewriter keyboard and a video screen?

    Anthony says: "Best of the Best"
    "Great Biography (review from a non mac-geek)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed iWoz. It was fun to listen to how a super intelligent kid grows up and achieves greatness. A lot of the book focuses on those younger days but that made it quite interesting to see the various progressions in Steve Wozniak's life (personal and professional). There is a lot of good material on the qualities he developed and maintained that seem to have made a difference in his life. It was very funny and entertaining too. Just trust me on that because I don't want to spoil any of it. I recommend downloading this one and having a listen.

    The reader sounds nerdy which is appropriate for this type of book. He is enthusiastic. I only gave him 4 stars though because I figured 5 should be reserved for the case where Steve Wozniak reads the book (that would have been great).

    I'm not a big Mac geek so I wasn't familiar with a lot of this history. I did recently start using Mac computers and am an iPhone user but that was only within the past couple of years. I vaguely remember some of those early (+/-) Mac computers (ones after the Apple II) from computer labs at school (college). The story is very compelling (and all true !). Overall it was a great read.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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