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Charger

Charger

Salt Lake City, Utah, United States | Member Since 2009

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 282 titles in library
  • 37 purchased in 2014
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  • Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Mary Roach
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1385)
    Performance
    (773)
    Story
    (782)

    The study of sexual physiology has been a paying career or a diverting sideline for scientists as far-ranging as Leonardo da Vinci and James Watson. The research has taken place behind the closed doors of laboratories, brothels, MRI centers, pig farms, sex-toy R&D labs, and Alfred Kinsey's attic.

    Mary Roach, "The funniest science writer in the country", devoted the past two years to stepping behind those doors. In Bonk, Roach shows us how and why sexual arousal and orgasm can be so hard to achieve and what science is doing to slowly make the bedroom a more satisfying place.

    Gurmukh says: "Absolutely Wonderful!"
    "Educational & Extremely Entertaining"
    Overall
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    Story

    This book is a gem. Five stars all the way! Most other books on the topic are either dry and boring scientific talk or they are too crude and juvenile. This book is a perfect balance of education and entertainment. As someone who is medically trained, I still learned quite a bit from this book, but was entertained as I learned. The author uses appropriate and well-thought out humor that makes the read very enjoyable. The reader can, at one moment, be caught in a state of marvel with the science while at other times giggling uncontrollably from the author's own humanness and wit.

    I think this book is for everyone, young and old. I would even go as far as to recommend it to high school students who want to know more than the standard "birds and bees" talk in sex ed class. It's entertaining enough to keep young folks engaged, yet scholarly enough to be considered a good supplementary textbook. I think back at the boring pamphlets and other materials I got when I went through sex ed as a young adult. I can't imagine how fun class would have been if I would have had this book as additional reading, or even to read on my own since the information I got back then was so abbreviated and boring. Of course this isn't meant as a primary text for sex ed, it would make an excellent complimentary text for those who want to dive a little deeper and laugh while learning.

    I read/listened to the audio book version and would recommend the audio version over the text because the narrator does such an excellent job in timing the humor so perfectly and even doing some voice characterization.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Worst Ideas Ever: A Celebration of Embarrassment

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Daniel Kline, Jason Tomaszewski
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (636)
    Performance
    (579)
    Story
    (579)

    From memorable disasters such as New Coke, the XFL, and Tiger Woods’ marriage to less-remembered failures such as Yugo, Cop Rock, and Microsoft’s BOB, Worst Ideas Ever revisits history’s biggest blunders. Whether it’s a pop culture failure or a political one, Worst Ideas Ever uncovers the ridiculous stories behind mistakes so huge, you’ll have to constantly remind yourself that they actually happened.

    Sara says: "Wears out quickly"
    "Too heavy on entertainment, media and sports"
    Overall
    Performance
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    I got this as a "Daily Deal" for 99 cents, so I can't complain too much. I'm just glad I didn't pay a full credit for it.

    Judging by the description and title, I anticipated this to be about products, services or other ideas that turned out to be bad. I also fell for the cliche of judging a book by it's cover (thinking the cover would represent it's content). While the book does cover some of these topics, a HUGE chunk of the book is about entertainers, media/broadcasting, TV, movies and sports/athletes. This is not what I thought the book would be about so I ended up skipping several chapters.

    If you get this for the price of 99 cents, go for it. But don't pay more than that or especially a full credit.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Tehran Initiative

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Joel C. Rosenberg
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (997)
    Performance
    (861)
    Story
    (877)

    The world is on the brink of disaster. Iran has just conducted its first atomic weapons test. Millions of Muslims around the world are convinced their messiah — known as the Twelfth Imam — has arrived on earth. Israeli leaders fear Tehran, under the Twelfth Imam’s spell, will soon launch a nuclear attack that could bring about a second Holocaust and the annihilation of Israel.

    Susan says: "Rosenberg does it again - couldn't put it down!"
    "Only for Conservative Christians"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While the story is somewhat entertaining, overall the concepts it conveys is terrible (unless of course you're a conservative Christian). About 3/4 of the way through the story, I noticed on the book's cover image that there's an endorsement by Rush Limbaugh. That should be all the explanation necessary. However, I'll point out some of the agenda this book tries to carry:

    Of course in a novel with a conservative spin, the U.S. President is a Democrat who abhors war and seeks Middle East peace. The author portrays him as a weak "peacenik" whose hopes for diplomacy are naive. He's constantly ridiculed by characters for not taking more aggressive action against potential threats, wants to negotiate with the bad guys, putting his ambitions for diplomacy over the safety and security of the nation.

    Religiously, the author slowly starts "preaching the gospel" to you through the characters. The preaching gets thicker and thicker as the story unfolds. It becomes terribly annoying and in some instances, several passages are just characters giving mini-sermons about accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior, quoting and reading scriptures. At times, the pro-Christian theme is downright unbelievable (millions in Iran who are secretly Christian). All of this "follow Jesus" talk ends up ruining the story for the non-Christian or non-Conservative listener.

    The worst part of all however is that the story portrays Islam as the source of the antichrist, with its leaders being demonically possessed. I'm not even Muslim (I'm a mainstream Christian) and I found this idea to be very offensive in that regard...I can hardly guess what a Muslim must feel while listening to this book.

    It's garbage like this that is the cause of so much of the anti-Islamic/Christian-superiority sentiment in our country. It's why people outside of the U.S. tend not to like us. It's the classic conservative Christian "end of days" story of the good and righteous Christians trying to save the world from the evil Muslims who want to destroy the world.

    It's really sad because the story really could have been a good one without all of the conservative Christian agenda bleeding through so heavily.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Rachel Maddow
    • Narrated By Rachel Maddow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1471)
    Performance
    (1337)
    Story
    (1330)

    Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war, with all the financial and human costs that entails. Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seriously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about how, when, and where to apply America's strength and power - and who gets to make those decisions.

    Dolf says: "Half the National Debt?"
    "Entertaining...and disturbing (intentionally)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was a bit skeptical that this book would be non-partisan, but it is! And this was my biggest (and most pleasant) surprise. Maddow is critical of all administrations (Republican and Democrat) and makes good arguments. I certainly hope she continues to stick close to the topic and write another book over time as we progress (regress?) in the way we wage and fight wars in the future. Conservatives, do not fear reading this book. It will not upset you in the sense that the criticism doesn't focus on the right. Where it will disturb everyone (and rightly so) is that it's critical of an overall philosophical move that we've made in our military policy as a nation over time, through Republican and Democratic administrations...the CIA drone strikes ordered by Obama as one of the primary examples.

    My other overall "surprise" is how intelligent Maddow is. I always knew she was smart, but wow, it's really evident in this book that she's quite brilliant. I always consider myself quite astute with geopolitics, but several times I had to stop the book (audiobook) to absorb everything and consider what she was saying. The reader has every right to dispute the arguments or Maddow's opinions, but it would be really hard to dispute her intelligence.

    Finally, I really like the book because it's not dry policy wonk stuff. Maddow uses lots of wit and great lines to make the book entertaining. To get the full effect of this, I would highly recommend the audio version since Maddow narrates her own book, so the timing and inflection is natural and quite funny in some spots (even given the serious nature of the topic).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Hard Target: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Howard Gordon
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (99)

    Gideon Davis has settled into the quiet life of an academic and is weeks away from being married when he discovers evidence of an impending terrorist attack on U.S. soil. He brings his suspicions to his ex-girlfriend, FBI Agent Nancy Clement, but her bosses are leery of Gideon’s source: a meth-head informant affiliated with a white supremacist group. Both Gideon and Nancy become increasingly convinced that a serious plot exists, but their informant is murdered before they can get more details from him.

    Ron says: "Entertaining"
    "So good I listened to it all in less than 2 days"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I couldn't stop listening. Usually I listen to my audibooks while falling asleep but this book is far too exciting than to be a "sleep inducer". In fact, when I had things to do around the house, I kept listening. I usually don't do this (so I can focus on either the story or on my work) but I just couldn't stop listening. Loved it! Will definitely look for more books by this author.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Nancy Gibbs, Michael Duffy
    • Narrated By Bob Walter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (657)
    Performance
    (557)
    Story
    (562)

    The Presidents Club was born at Eisenhower’s inauguration when Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover first conceived the idea. Over the years that followed - and to this day - the presidents relied on, misunderstood, sabotaged, and formed alliances with one another that changed history. The world’s most exclusive fraternity is a complicated place: its members are bound forever because they sat in the Oval Office and know its secrets, yet they are immortal rivals for history’s favor.

    Elicka says: "Inflection of narrator really annoying"
    "Content OK - Narrator is TERRIBLE"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good book overall. The first several sections with Truman and Eishenhower are more political history than relationships within "the club" but this improves as the book goes on and there's more info about the actual relationships and interaction of Presidents.

    The biggest downfall of this audiobook is the narrator. He speaks in the same exact cadence over and over again. It doesn't matter if he's quoting someone or simply narrating, the cadence, emphasis, etc. is irritatingly repetitive. I could actually give you a voice example mocking his style if I could upload a audio sample here...It's would be comical if it weren't so repetitive. He also does almost zero voice characterizations (acting) so unless you're paying close attention, sometimes you don't know if a President is speaking or a staffer or another political figure. The only exception I noticed was in characterizing LBJ's voice with a bit of a Texan accent, but it's very slight.

    Sadly, it's REALLY hard to listen beyond the narrator. He's so distracting that it's hard to listen for very long.

    This is one endorsement that I would NOT recommend the audio version, but would recommend the actual book (read it yourself).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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