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Houston, TX, USA

  • 2 reviews
  • 36 ratings
  • 73 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Intuition

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Allegra Goodman
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Sandy Glass, a charismatic publicity-seeking oncologist, and Marion Mendelssohn, a pure, exacting scientist, are codirectors of a lab at the Philpott Institute dedicated to cancer research and desperately in need of a grant. Both mentors and supervisors of their young postdoctoral proteges, Glass and Mendelssohn demand dedication and obedience in a competitive environment where funding is scarce and results elusive.

    Baby says: "Disappointing"

    I had been looking forward to this book, as I had heard good things about Allegra Goodman. As a former "lab rat", I was especially interested in this story. I had read that even as Goodman got the science right, her strong characterization was the true delight of the book. Unfortunately, that's not my experience with it. The science sounds right, but not much else does. Maybe this book is better read than listened to, but to me the prose sounds flat and mundane. The characters remain 2-dimensional, because too much is explicitly told instead of shown through the characters' actions. In many parts of it I felt that Goodman really belabors her point and used 5 sentences when 1 would do. Maybe my problem with it is that it reminds me too much of my experience in the lab: a lot of slogging through repeated experiments, with not much to show for at the end.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Places in Between

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Rory Stewart
    • Narrated By Rory Stewart

    In January 2002, Rory Stewart walked across Afghanistan, surviving by his wits, his knowledge of Persian dialects and Muslim customs, and the kindness of strangers. By day, he passed through mountains covered in nine feet of snow, hamlets burned and emptied by the Taliban, and communities thriving amid the remains of medieval civilizations. By night he slept on villagers' floors, shared their meals, and listened to their stories of the recent and ancient past.

    James says: "Nice Choice"
    "A Captivating Story"

    This book recounts Rory Stewart's experiences walking across Afghanistan. Stewart has a subtle, understated style, and his reading perfectly matches the tone of his book. I was totally absorbed by the tale, learning of his travails as he traveled from one poor village to another, totally depending on the kindness of strangers. He gives a very even-handed account of Afghans, and a glimpse of the almost alien (to most Westerners) culture the people are steeped in. Along the way he points out that unless actual people are engaged, any effort to introduce Western values and structures are merely another imposition on the people. His story is so engaging that I could almost imagine myself walking along with him, looking at the stark landscape, and encountering the people eking out a living in it. I definitely recommend this book.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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