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Julie

Round Rock, TX, USA

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 24 ratings
  • 51 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Botany of Desire

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Pollan
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1509)
    Performance
    (782)
    Story
    (784)

    Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers' genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship.

    Teddy says: "If you have an open mind... Give it a listen"
    "a delight"
    Overall

    Although I found the subject matter of this book interesting and appealing, it was Pollan's use of language that kept me coming back to listen more. It has been a long time since I have been exposed to such charming and lyrical prose -- a perfect accompaniment to the author's love of the subject. Or perhaps I should say "subjects" -- the choice of apple, tulip, cannabis, and potato provide a multidimensional view of human-plant interaction (and Pollan's passion for the topic) that would not be easily expressible in a more conventionally focused format.

    Two green thumbs up!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • American Theocracy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Kevin Phillips
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (413)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (72)

    From Ancient Rome to the British Empire, Phillips demonstrates that every world-dominating power has been brought down by a related set of causes: a lethal combination of global over-reach, militant religion, resource problems, and ballooning debt. It is this same axis of ills that has come to define America's political and economic identity in the past decade.

    Miles C. says: "Excellent Work!"
    "terrifying...."
    Overall

    This is perhaps the most frightening book I have ever read -- oops, I mean "listened to".

    With only a few minor slips, the author provides an incredibly well-documented review of the confluence of three disturbing factors in the current United States: (1) a growing dependence on foreign oil that may hit peak production very soon; (2) the convergence of the "religious right" with the Republican party and the associated moves to legislate "traditional morality"; and (3) the skyrocketing levels of personal and government debt, increasingly held by the central banks of countries that may not have the USA's best interests in mind.

    The style is mostly matter-of-fact and academic, with a correspondingly high number of references to both history and commentary. In a few places the author lets slip some unfounded assertions that reveal his emotional involvement in the material, but given the importance of the topic, a bit of emotional involvement is not necessarily a bad thing.

    Of course one can never tell how objective another person is being with the data that they have access to, but this book comes across as an honest, sober and sobering comparison of the current political/economic/religious path of the US in comparison with the declining periods of several previous global economic and military hegemonies.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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