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Christine

Darnestown, MD, USA | Member Since 2007

54
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 126 ratings
  • 324 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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  • Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Neil deGrasse Tyson
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1973)
    Performance
    (1155)
    Story
    (1158)

    Neil deGrasse Tyson has a talent for guiding readers through the mysteries of outer space with stunning clarity and almost childlike enthusiasm. This collection of his essays from Natural History magazine explores a myriad of cosmic topics. Tyson introduces us to the physics of black holes by explaining what would happen to our bodies if we fell into one; he also examines the needless friction between science and religion, and notes Earth's status as "an insignificantly small speck in the cosmos".

    Lind says: "Well written and well read"
    "Hard to put down"
    Overall

    Of the scientific book I listened to lately, this one was probably one of the best. Not just did it provide a comprehensible excursion through astrophysics, it also provided insights into other areas of the physical world and was intellectually quite stimulating...to the point where I had to write an E-mail to the author to ask a question about something I did not understand in the book...and the E-mail was promptly answered by a member of his lab...well worth the read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brother Fish

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (1353)
    Performance
    (665)
    Story
    (664)

    From the author of The Power of One comes an inspiring human drama of three lives brought together and changed forever by the extraordinary events of recent history. Inspired by real events, Bryce Courtenay's new novel tells the story of three people from vastly differing backgrounds. All they have in common is a tough beginning in life.

    Prsilla says: "And a Cast of Thousands!"
    "The best book I have read in many years"
    Overall

    If I could only recommend ONE book for the summer, this would be it! There was not a single minute in this 4 volume story that I did not listen to with interest. Great, engaging story, masterfully read!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • An Assembly Such as This: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Pamela Aidan
    • Narrated By George Holmes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (215)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (96)

    As Darcy spends more time at Netherfield supervising Bingley and fending off Miss Bingley's persistent advances, his unwilling attraction to Elizabeth grows, as does his concern about her relationship with his nemesis, George Wickham.

    Douglas says: "The Spirit of Austen Enchanted"
    "Very nicely done"
    Overall

    A great story about Mr. Darcy that makes one appreciate character from a different light. I just wished the author would have put a bit more effort into the ending of an otherwise very good book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Three Empires on the Nile: The Victorian Jihad, 1869-1899

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Dominic Green
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    Three Empires on the Nile tells of the rise of the first modern Islamic state and its fateful encounter with the British Empire of Queen Victoria. Ever since the self-proclaimed Islamic messiah known as the Mahdi gathered an army in the Sudan and besieged and captured Khartoum under its British overlord Charles Gordon, the dream of a new caliphate has haunted modern Islamists. The 19th-century origins of it all were even more dramatic and strange than today's headlines.

    Sean O'Keefe says: "Astoundingly good"
    "Not bad, a bit dense, though...."
    Overall

    Not a bad book, may have to read it again. If you have time to sit there and just listen, you will learn a lot...breaking the story into smaller listening bits (such as when commuting) makes the story hard to follow.....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Justinian's Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By William Rosen
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    Overall
    (246)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (68)

    The emperor Justinian reunified Rome's fractured empire by defeating the Goths and Vandals. At his capital in Constantinople, he built the world's most beautiful building, married the most powerful empress, and wrote the empire's most enduring legal code, seemingly restoring Rome's fortunes for the next five hundred years. Then, in the summer of 542, he encountered a flea. The ensuing outbreak of bubonic plague killed 5,000 people a day in Constantinople and nearly killed Justinian himself.

    joan says: "More history than Disease"
    "Disappointing..."
    Overall

    I had great expectations of learning anout the history of Europe and the impact of the plague, just as promised in the description..unfortunately, the most interesting connections were made in the short epilogue while the rest of the book was more an endless summary of what roman emperor, general, etc. did what when and how long....maybe I was expecting the wrong thing...this was a tough one to finish, not helped by the reader who has the most monotone voice and did not help convey enthusiasm for the story....

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Einstein: His Life and Universe

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3782)
    Performance
    (1718)
    Story
    (1730)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: You thought he was a stodgy scientist with funny hair, but Isaacson and Hermann reveal an eloquent, intense, and selfless human being who not only shaped science with his theories, but politics and world events in the 20th century as well. Based on the newly released personal letters of Albert Einstein, Walter Isaacson explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos.

    Henrik says: "Surprise: Two books in one!"
    "Excellent read!"
    Overall

    The story of Albert Einstein's life was such an enjoyable read that it was hard to stop listening. The author did an excellent job combining stories of Einsteins personal life with his scientific accomplishments and kept the reader/listener interested and engaged throughout the many hours of the book. Definitely recommendable even for repeat listening.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By various
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (14)

    F. Scott Fitzgerald makes anti-bellum Baltimore his setting for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", a fantastical tale with some Poe-like overtones about a baby born at age 70 who then lives life in reverse, his hair turning "in the dozen years of his life from white to iron-gray, the network of wrinkles on his face becoming less pronounced". This collection also includes "The Lost Decade", "Three Hours between Planes", "The Bridal Party", and "Babylon Revisited".

    Christine says: "Well....."
    "Well....."
    Overall

    I had high expectations about this book, especially because I have not read many of F. Scott Fitzgerald's works. Well, I was a bit disappointed and non of the stories in this book really got me exited and wanting really to listent to them. I am sure he must have better works that made him famous, I am not sure many of the pieces in this book must have been on the list. Not one my most enjoyable reads....

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Kai Bird, Martin J. Sherwin
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (903)
    Performance
    (513)
    Story
    (521)

    J. Robert Oppenheimer was one of the iconic figures of the 20th century, a brilliant physicist who led the effort to build the atomic bomb but later confronted the moral consequences of scientific progress. When he proposed international controls over atomic materials, opposed the development of the hydrogen bomb, and criticized plans for a nuclear war, his ideas were anathema to powerful advocates of a massive nuclear buildup during the anti-Communist hysteria of the early 1950s.

    Christine says: "One of the best books I have read"
    "One of the best books I have read"
    Overall

    Although a true marathon listen, this was a fascinating trip throug the history of the atomic bomb centered on J. Robert Oppenheimer's life with many intricate and brilliant connections to the political agenda of the times. I learned more from this book than I did in high shool and although it took may weeks to finish, I would read this book again and will also recommend it to others for a very enjoyable, extremely well written, complex book. A true pleasure.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • How Doctors Think

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jerome Groopman
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (393)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (99)

    On average, a physician will interrupt a patient describing her symptoms within 12 seconds. In that short time, many doctors decide on the likely diagnosis and best treatment. Often, decisions made this way are correct, but at crucial moments they can also be wrong: with catastrophic consequences. In this myth-shattering book, Jerome Groopman pinpoints the forces and thought processes behind the decisions doctors make.

    Audiophile says: "Disappointing"
    "Very informative"
    Overall

    This book provides a fascinating insight into medical decision making in the absence of hard evidence and lives at stake. At the end of the book, I definitely had a much better feel for what doctors could reasonably know when making diagnoses and decide on treatment and how difficult it must be to recommend paths forward for medical interventions. One thing I definitely took away from this book is that doctors are not all-knowing and when in doubt, do get a second opinion even if it is just to get a sense of how differing opinions about a certain condition really are...
    Great book, I have already recommended it to many of my friends and colleages as a "must read".

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Cell: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    Overall
    (3361)
    Performance
    (1092)
    Story
    (1103)

    The cause of the devastation is a phenomenon that will come to be known as The Pulse, and the delivery method is a cell phone. Everyone's cell phone. Clay and the few desperate survivors who join him suddenly find themselves in the pitch-black night of civilization's darkest age, surrounded by chaos, carnage, and a human horde that has been reduced to its basest nature...and then begins to evolve.

    chris says: "Entertained"
    "An ok Steven King"
    Overall

    This was an enjoyable listen, although nothing that would knock your socks off. In typical Steven King manner, the author had you hooked on the story line within the first 10 minutes and yes, this book had quite a few tense moments that made you finish a chapter in the parking lot in front of the office. The story of bad things happening when cell phone transmissions go nuts was quite entertaining but the real climax of the story never really happened. Also, as is the case with many Stephen King novels (I am an avid fan), the author is much better at starting the story than ending it. Nevertheless, a worthwhile listen but not one of his best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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