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Tom

Hillsboro, OR, USA | Member Since 2001

84
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 73 ratings
  • 1033 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
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  • Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Richard A. Muller
    • Narrated By Pete Larkin
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (72)

    The near-meltdown of Fukushima, the upheavals in the Middle East, the BP oil rig explosion, and the looming reality of global warming have reminded the president and all U.S. citizens that nothing has more impact on our lives than the supply of and demand for energy. Its procurement dominates our economy and foreign policy more than any other factor. But the "energy question" is more confusing, contentious, and complicated than ever before.

    Neuron says: "Excellent overview over current and future energy"
    "Objective summary of current energy science topics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is a very accessible collection of executive summaries of current energy technologies and science. From coal to solar, algae ethanol to fuel cells, and all the other current energy technologies/resources, he provides objective and very interesting analyses of each technology from the viewpoints of science, economics, and the environmental ramifications of each.

    The author includes a very well documented section on global warming that will please neither right wing nor left wing partisans, but which is very enlightening.

    He approaches each topic as a comparative cost benefit analysis, first from a current state of the science standpoint, followed by a global economic analysis.

    What I really appreciate is that he states very clearly his sources for every piece of data in his calculations. So anyone can go and evaluate the data and repeat the same calculations independently.

    I found the level of detail just perfect. It was just enough to keep me very interested and focused, but not so much as to bog down. A high school graduate with basic chemistry and physics classes in his background could easily follow most of the science and everyone can gain great insights into the economic and environmental/political aspects of each topic.

    I highly recommend this to everyone who wants a solid objective understanding of the energy issues that are in our headlines and affecting our lives every day.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    Overall
    (4066)
    Performance
    (2997)
    Story
    (3010)

    Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain and shallow, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.

    Steven says: "Steven Pacey is magnificient."
    "Outstanding new discovery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is my favorite new author (new for me) discovery in a couple of years. Like many audible listeners, I try and either adopt or reject many new authors every year. Fan's of George RR Martin's world and character building will love this series. It has all the gritty realism and character development of GRRM without so much sexual content. Joe has built a wonderfully complex and engaging cast of characters set in a world torn by political strife and war. In addition to the mundane challenges of survival, love, loss, and self discovery faced by the characters, he masterfully intertwined the page-turning elements of uncovering the mysterious magical and political forces that move the world. Highly recommended to fan's of epic fantasy or just outstanding epic story telling!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Memory: A Miles Vorkosigan Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (1137)
    Performance
    (553)
    Story
    (554)

    Dying is easy. Coming back to life is hard. Miles Vorkosigan should know - having done both once already. Thanks to his quick-thinking staff and the artistry of a medical specialist, Miles' first death wasn't his last. But it does take some recovery, a fact he has been reluctant to admit. When he makes the mistake of returning too soon to duty, he finds himself summoned to face the security chief, Simon Illyan. But Miles' worst nightmares about Illyan are nothing compared to Illyan's own nightmares.

    Louis says: "Order of series"
    "Gutsy Move by LMB to add some complexity to Miles"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    While a little more cerebral and less action packed than other installments in the series, this episode adds important dimension and complexity to Mile's character. I enjoyed it and recommend it to Miles Vorkosigan fans.

    It is a major turning point and must-read for series fans!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Matt Ridley
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (377)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (225)

    Life is getting better at an accelerating rate. Food availability, income, and life span are up; disease, child mortality, and violence are down all across the globe. Though the world is far from perfect, necessities and luxuries alike are getting cheaper; population growth is slowing; Africa is following Asia out of poverty; the Internet, the mobile phone, and container shipping are enriching people's lives as never before.

    Darkcoffee says: "Delightful Case for Things Looking Up"
    "Brilliant capture of the human experience."
    Overall

    I am listening to this title for the second time back-to-back. First time I've done that in nearly 300 titles purchased.

    Matt Ridley has beautifully woven together up-to-date dicoveries and insights in biology, genetics, archeology, and anthropology with economic principles and historical narrative, to form a clear picture of how humanity got to where it is today, and what the future might hold for our species. He does so in an easy to understand flow that offers enough specific detail to make it facinating, without bogging down in technical arcana.

    Whether you are trained in any of those foundational dicsiplines or just a curious layman I promise you will find it engrossing, entertaining, and enlightening.

    The narrator, L.J. Ganzer, adds to the experience with a very smooth, well inflected delivery.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Storm Front: The Dresden Files, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11788)
    Performance
    (8636)
    Story
    (8633)

    A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters.

    Tom says: "Excellent Story, Distracting Sound Engineering"
    "Excellent Story, Distracting Sound Engineering"
    Overall

    I loved the story and the narrator voice acting, but, like others, found the excess captured physical noises like breathing, swallowing etc very distracting. The chapter or section transitions were also very abrupt...breaking the flow.

    I am glad I purchased it and would highly recommend it to all, but I hope they fix the sound issues for future books.

    62 of 64 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Until Dark: Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mystery #1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    Overall
    (7539)
    Performance
    (4065)
    Story
    (4099)

    Vampires have officially "come out of the coffin", and Miss Sookie can't wait for one to come her way.

    Pamela says: "That Vampire Said ...."
    "Twighlight Wannabe"
    Overall

    It is nonstop mental meanderings of a young woman falling into a romance with the new vampire in town. Most of the book takes place in this woman's head. I only got through 3 hours before I had to quit. Though I never read Twighlight, based on the way my wife and teenage daughter described it, this is probably right up your alley if you are a fan.

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Steel Remains

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Richard K. Morgan
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (471)
    Performance
    (247)
    Story
    (252)

    In just a few short years, Richard K. Morgan has vaulted to the pinnacle of the science fiction world. Now he turns his iconoclastic talents to epic fantasy, crafting a darkly violent, tautly plotted adventure sure to thrill old fans and captivate new readers.

    Tizroc says: "This isn't your father's gay hero!"
    "Orgy of Sex and Crude Language"
    Overall

    I have listened to more than 100 audible titles and this is the first I have reviewed. The plot moves well whenever it can find room in the story between graphic sex depictions and f-this and f-that in every dialog.

    I kept going several hours past my comfort zone and kept thinking, "the story will move past this soon". There is a graphic sex scene or description at least once per chapter that I listened to.

    I finally gave up after 4 hours. If you want to listen to all the intimate details of the sex life of a strong, gay, hero, and you like dialogues filled with extreme crude language and sex references, then you will love this book.

    10 of 23 people found this review helpful

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