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Mark Patterson

Coppell, TX

ratings
76
REVIEWS
18
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
119

  • The Ghost Map

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Steven Johnson
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (461)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (189)

    This is a thrilling historical account of the worst cholera outbreak in Victorian London and a brilliant exploration of how Dr. John Snow's solution revolutionized the way we think about disease, cities, science, and the modern world.

    D. Littman says: "a entertaining polymath book"
    "Two books-- one great, one not so"
    Overall

    Most of the book is a fascinating mix of Victorian English social history and medical detective story. The last quarter changes gears dramatically to become a paean to urbanization and the power of mapmaking in sociological study. Pretty incongruous. Still, it's worth it-- especially if you need a shorter book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Nerd's Guide to Being Confident

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 54 mins)
    • By Mark Manson
    • Narrated By Fleet Cooper
    Overall
    (561)
    Performance
    (500)
    Story
    (496)

    Everyone knows confidence when they see it; but seemingly no one can actually describe what goes into it or how to get it. The Nerd's Guide to Being Confident is an unconventional way of looking at one of the most basic and obvious human traits and what one can do to gain a little more of it without feeling like a phony. Laughter included.

    Anthony A. says: "A More-Than-Pleasant Surprise"
    "Full of Foul Language"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "F" bombs throughout. Would've liked to finish listening, but couldn't stand the lack of original and intelligent word choices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • PhiLOLZophy: Critical Thinking in Digestible Doses

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Chrissy Stockton, Sarah Heuer
    • Narrated By Theresa McCarthy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (373)
    Performance
    (327)
    Story
    (333)

    A popular question in philosophy is "How do I know I exist?" That seems really boring, though. How about, "How can I use logic to get over my ex?" If you really love wisdom, you love it in all situations - you don't need to be spoon fed unsolved problems in philosophy, because you're already analyzing the US Weekly you’re reading or your kinda significant other. Sarah Heuer and Chrissy Stockton are writers living in Minneapolis who are determined to do something more interesting with their philosophy degrees than talk about dead white guys.

    John B. Hayes says: "The Worst Example of Critical Thinking I've Seen"
    "Philosophy Made Cool by Copious Swearing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After the second "f" bomb in almost as many minutes, I must admit I gave up. I don't buy foul language as the key to critical thinking skills-- and I certainly don't need my kids thinking massive amounts of swearing will make them problem-solvers and critical thinkers. I had high hopes for this book for myself and the kids. Sad denouement.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By A. Lee Martinez
    • Narrated By Scott Aiello
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1079)
    Performance
    (1004)
    Story
    (1006)

    Emperor Mollusk. Intergalactic Menace. Destroyer of Worlds. Conqueror of Other Worlds. Mad Genius. Ex-Warlord of Earth. Not bad for a guy without a spine. But what's a villain to do after he's done... everything. With no new ambitions, he's happy to pitch in and solve the energy crisis or repel aliens invaders should the need arise, but if he had his way, he'd prefer to be left alone to explore the boundaries of dangerous science. Just as a hobby, of course. Retirement isn't easy though.

    Kat Hooper says: "Hilariously wacky!"
    "Light with Enough Depth To Engage"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Emperor Mollusk" is a typical A. Lee Martinez lighthearted comedy performed brilliantly. I understand this was Scott Aiello's rookie outing on Audible. And he made the book for me-- and I'm a tough critic of faux British accents (as much as an American who grew up listening to Monty Python and lived in England can claim to be). He nailed it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pushing Ice

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (1942)
    Performance
    (1616)
    Story
    (1630)

    2057. Humanity has raised exploiting the solar system to an art form. Bella Lind and the crew of her nuclear-powered ship, the Rockhopper, push ice. They mine comets. And they're good at it. The Rockhopper is nearing the end of its current mission cycle, and everyone is desperate for some much-needed R & R, when startling news arrives from Saturn: Janus, one of Saturn's ice moons, has inexplicably left its natural orbit and is now heading out of the solar system at high speed.

    Jesse says: "Proof that a good story doesn't require a trilogy"
    "A 20-Hour Sketch"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked the science and I liked most of the characters. I also liked yeoman reader John Lee; his pacing and voice inflections (though a bit clipped) were easy to follow. But I wouldn't recommend "Pushing Ice." The main problem was that the author just couldn't resist tossing ideas and plot developments out like candy at a Mardi Gras parade. So often, I caught a shell of an idea or a thread of character development only to find that the story moved on without me. The secondary problem (for me at least) was that the decades-long implacable hatred of the character Svetlana for her former best friend Bella Lind seemed unrealistic. Overall, if you like big ideas and don't mind a paucity of development, you'll love this book. Me, I'm afraid I'm going to give Mr. Reynolds a pass in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Darkness Falls

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Kyle Mills
    • Narrated By Erik Steele
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (6)

    Erin Neal has been living in seclusion since his girlfriend's death and he isn't happy when an oil company executive comes calling. Some important Saudi oil wells have stopped producing and Erin is the world's foremost expert in resolving these matters. He quickly finds himself stuck in the Saudi desert, studying a new bacteria with a voracious appetite for oil and an uncanny talent for destroying drilling equipment.

    Max says: "Good adventure"
    "WARNING: Rated R!"
    Overall

    Perhaps this is a good book, but after being hit with four shots of swearing just 15 minutes into the book, I had to abandon ship. I wish Audible provided a language warning in descriptions, so I wouldn't waste a credit. If you don't like audiobooks swearing into your ears (or into your car or kitchen or family room), stay away!

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Dr. Wasserman's Time Chamber: Preventing Armageddon

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Lee Geiger
    • Narrated By Jim McCabe
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Atlantic City, 1992: Dan Grossman comes across a story that sounds incredible. Did the South really win the Civil War? Did a lone physicist really go back in time and prevent Armageddon? Or is it just the delusional dream of an acknowledged schizophrenic?

    Robert says: "Started out good and the went down hill."
    "A Bit Self-Consciously Anachronistic"
    Overall

    I loved the idea behind this time travel/alt-history story, but I disliked the hero's overheated narrative style. I wish I could quote some of the language, but it was pretty thick to the point of being funny without intending to be.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Michael Brooks
    • Narrated By James Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1607)
    Performance
    (710)
    Story
    (715)

    Science starts to get interesting when things don't make sense. Science's best-kept secret is that there are experimental results and reliable data that the most brilliant scientists can neither explain nor dismiss. If history is any precedent, we should look to today's inexplicable results to forecast the future of science. Michael Brooks heads to the scientific frontier to meet 13 modern-day anomalies and discover tomorrow's breakthroughs.

    Stephen says: "10 interesting chapters-read epiloge first"
    "Loses Steam"
    Overall

    Mr. Brooks starts well but seems to be stretching for some of his "13 Things." I was particularly thrown off by his flat assertion that men do not have "free will" because a couple studies showed that humans are not fully aware of all aspects of their volitional decisionmaking (at least I think that's what he's saying). This assertion seems patently ridiculous; I don't completely understand how an internal combustion engine transfers power to my automobile wheels yet I would be a fool to assert I am not driving the vehicle when I turn the key and move forward.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Killing Rommel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Steven Pressfield
    • Narrated By Alfred Molina
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (332)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (115)

    Autumn 1942. Hitler's legions have swept across Europe; France has fallen; Churchill and the English stand isolated on their island. In North Africa, Rommel and his Panzers have routed the British Eighth Army and stand poised to overrun Egypt, Suez, and the oil fields of the Middle East.

    James says: "Killing Rommel"
    "Humble Hero"
    Overall

    "Killing Rommel" presents a straightforward personal account of one limited-scale special operations campaign in North Africa during WWII, written in the style of a memoir. Mr. Pressfield presents the unassuming courage and emotional conflicts of one man in a way that enlightens without seeming overbearing. He also portrays perfectly the true randomness of armed conflict. The pacing was just right and the Kiwi, British and German characters were believable. This is a great listen if you are looking for inspiration in the face of trying circumstances.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The World Without Us

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Alan Weisman
    • Narrated By Adam Grupper
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (479)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (98)

    In this far-reaching narrative, Weisman explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and vanish without human presence; which everyday items may become immortalized as fossils; why some of our earliest buildings might be the last architecture left; and how plastic, bronze sculpture, and man-made molecules may be our lasting gifts to the universe.

    Chris says: "mixed feelings"
    "A Thinly Disguised Diatribe"
    Overall

    Perhaps I should have listened to the afterword first. In it, Alan Weisman clearly states that his purpose in writing was to convince humans of just how bad we are for the earth. In the afterword, he seems to advocate a voluntary version of China's "one child per couple" policy, not stopping even to consider that a family with brothers and sisters brings value into the world and into individual lives. Admittedly, the research is thorough, and wide-ranging. Often, in the details, it is fascinating. But a morality of hopelessness pervades. "Surely," Mr. Weisman seems to say, "mankind's greed and lust are inevitable, so we must withdraw into ourselves, stretch out with a cup of (nonproductive for humanity) coffee and a bottle of (nonproductive for humanity) booze in front of our (nonproductive for humanity) big screen HDTV and just die." Inarguably, mankind must radically revise its assumptions about how to live well as stewards of this wonderful planet, but to assume that it's not even worth trying-- that the world would be simply better off without us (or at least without so many children) I found teeth-grindingly depressing.

    8 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4442)
    Performance
    (2098)
    Story
    (2096)

    In The Tipping Point, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in society happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.

    Marian Hanganu says: "Exceptional!"
    "Tipped to the Negative"
    Overall

    Although spiced with some tasty nuggets of ideas, the overall texture of Malcolm Gladwell's "The Tipping Point" is "half baked." He repeatedly over-generalizes and oversells his points, disregarding or discounting the impact of individual moral agency. For example, if Gladwell's theory regarding the "power of context" was as powerful as described, crime in New York in the late 90s would not have just dropped precipitously-- it would have stopped. He also stretches epidemiological principles to fit his hypotheses of social epidemics.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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