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marcus

indianapolis, indiana, United States

20
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2014
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  • The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Paul Davies
    • Narrated By George K. Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (59)

    Fifty years ago, a young astronomer named Frank Drake pointed a radio telescope at nearby stars in the hope of picking up a signal from an alien civilization. Thus began one of the boldest scientific projects in history, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). But after a half century of scanning the skies, astronomers have little to report but an eerie silence---eerie because many scientists are convinced that the universe is teeming with life.

    Gary says: "I love the topic and I love this book"
    "Carl Sagan, phone home"
    Overall

    There are probably many others like me, who are utterly skeptical about the possiblity of encountering intelligent alien life forms, but deep down wish we would live to see the day...

    Author Davies resets the business of seeking alien life forms on a foundation of sound science. He proposes that the "alien" life form we are most likely to discover is at the bottom of the ocean, or deep inside the earth. The odds of contacting intelligent life through projects such as SETI are so remote, why not look for life forms on this planet that may be traveling along unique evolutionary paths.

    As much as I was inspired by Carl Sagan's Cosmos, I am persuaded that science has not exhausted the search for the origins, nature and prevalence of life right here in our own backyard.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Promise of Sleep

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By William C. Dement
    • Narrated By Jeff McCarthy
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (24)

    Healthful sleep has been proven to be the single most important factor in predicting longevity. And yet we are a sleep-sick society, ignorant of the facts of sleep - and the price of sleep deprivation. Dr. Dement takes us on a fascinating tour of the sleeping body and mind in this eye-opening program.

    Kelly says: "Great things to know"
    "Health Fanatics Take Notice!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    You cannot over estimate the importance of sleep for your health, both physical and mental. That is the message forever etched on my mind after enjoying this book.

    I'm a guy who pays a lot of attention to nutrition and exercise. It was not until I read this book, however, that I seriously considered how sleep is no less important than food and exercise in affecting body fat, muscle mass, heart health, hormone balance and so on.

    The author does a very nice job setting out in non-jargon laden language the science of sleep. Its remarkable to learn how "busy" the brain becomes during sleep. Data is sorted and stored. Nerves are refreshed and energized.

    No longer will I envy the guy who claims he "gets by with just 4 hours of sleep." We learn that even if this person is functioning at what appears to be a "normal" pace, he is actually working at a fraction of his capacity, and probably endangering his long term health.

    I especially liked the closing chapter in which the author gives us his suggestions for bringing on more healthful sleep.

    I highly recommend this book. A fantastic companion piece to this book is the Learning Company's lecture, "Stress", which also addresses sleep and health issues at length.





    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Swim: Why We Love the Water

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Lynn Sherr
    • Narrated By Lynn Sherr
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Swim is a celebration of swimming and the effect it has on our lives. It's an inquiry into why we swim - the lure, the hold, the timeless magic of being in the water. It's a look at how swimming has changed over the millennia, how this ancient activity is becoming more social than solitary today. It's about our relationship with the water, with our fishy forebearers, and with the costumes that we wear. You'll even find a few songs to sing when you push out those next laps.

    marcus says: "Not really for serious swimmers"
    "Not really for serious swimmers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a well written prolonged reflection on the joys of swimming. But if you are a "serious" swimmer looking for the "joys swim training" or competition, this is not for you. Take this book to the pool or beach and read a chapter here and there. Its just OK.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Hank Haney
    • Narrated By Hank Haney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (210)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (190)

    The Big Miss is Hank Haney's candid and surprisingly insightful account of his tumultuous six-year journey with Tiger Woods, during which the supremely gifted golfer collected six major championships and rewrote golf history. Hank was one of the very few people allowed behind the curtain. He was with Tiger 110 days a year, spoke to him over 200 days a year, and stayed at his home up to 30 days a year, observing him in nearly every circumstance....

    E. L. Robertson says: "Very Mixed Feelings"
    "A little disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book kept my attention and interest, but there was a lot of detail about Tiger's golf swing (as well as the author's). If you are not an avid golfer you may leave this book wishing for more of Tiger's story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By A. J. Jacobs
    • Narrated By A. J. Jacobs
    Overall
    (408)
    Performance
    (347)
    Story
    (343)

    A. J. Jacobs tackles his most challenging experiment yet: a yearlong mission to radically improve every element of his body and mind - from his brain to his fingertips to his abs. First, he had to tackle a complicated web of diet and exercise advice, most which is nonsensical, unproven, and contradictory. Second, he had to consult a team of medical advisers. And finally, he had to subject himself, over the course of two years, to a grueling regimen of exercises and a range of diets and nutritional plans.

    Niall says: "A comic tries a little of everything"
    "I have never enjoyed an audio book more"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Woody Allen explores the health craze. That is how I am describing this book to my friends who I am encouraging to read this book. He combines common sense, a sense of adventure, and good humor in exploring the misconceptions, fads and good advice we are bombarded with in the media about good health. You will learn a lot, even if you read the nutrition and fitness press regularly.

    You know you have enjoyed an audio book when at the end you wish you could invite the author to lunch. I hated to see this book end.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex (and How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple)

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Kluger
    • Narrated By Holter Graham, Jeffrey Kluger
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (20)

    Complexity is a slippery idea. Things that seem complicated can be astoundingly simple; things that seem simple can be dizzyingly complex. These and other paradoxes are driving a whole new science - simplexity - that is redefining how we look at the world and using that new view to improve our lives.

    marcus says: "Nuggets here and there..."
    "Nuggets here and there..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a somewhat like a magazne, with interesting articles peppered here and there, but there is no overarching theme which holds the text together. I wish the author had drawn some conclusions about the otherwise interesting observations he makes about such phenomena as traffic patterns, overly complex technology, and human nature.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Christopher Andrew, Vasili Mitrokhin
    • Narrated By Charles Stransky
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (13)

    In 1992 Vasili Mitrokhin defected to England and brought along an extensive archive of military intelligence from the Soviet Union. A career KGB officer who served as chief archivist for its foreign operations, Vasili Mitrokhin became disillusioned with the Soviet system and its constant repression of dissidents at home and abroad. Determined to preserve the truth, he secretly compiled a detailed record of the agency's worldwide espionage network...

    John R. Brown says: "Great History - Great Spy Story"
    "Not A Practiced Story Teller"
    Overall

    There are few topics that would interest me more, but I was so disappointed. I got lost in a fog of details, names, and dates. It "reads" like an encyclopedia on the KGB, which is of interest as far as it goes.

    But, I was hoping for great story telling. As a student of history, I have found that a good historical story tells more than a "reporter's" account of an event.

    No doubt this is an important contribution to our understanding of the KGB. Its back to the cloak and dagger novels for me I suppose.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Freedom: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jonathan Franzen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3408)
    Performance
    (1137)
    Story
    (1140)

    Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul - the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter - environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man - she was doing her small part to build a better world.

    Lawrence says: "Believe the Hype"
    "How many times did I decide to give up?"
    Overall

    Think of making a Grand Marnier Soufflé. It requires concentrated effort, but the payoff is intoxicating........Freedom's achievement is artfully reflecting the foibles of the 21st Century American family, along with the moral dilemmas that seem to creep into our lives. Nearly every scenario and character rang true to my ear. Franzen writes the way a good comedian performs; presenting situations with which we can immediately identify, then revealing the absurdities that may not have occurred to us.......But what annoying people populate Freedom! Several times I stopped the audio book because I couldn't stand another moment of a character's handwringing or braggadocio or self destructive behavior. Time would pass and I would wonder what was happening with these strange people, and then I would continue listening. (I am not one of those people who feel it is their duty to finish a book.) I returned to Freedom after a few breaks because these oddballs were interesting and the issues they were wrestling to the ground are relevant and in a couple of instances, urgent......Then in the final pages Franzon pulled the rug out from under my assumptions about the two central characters. His resolution was so unexpected and moving that my eyes filled with tears. To my surprise, I found myself starting the audio book from the beginning, suspecting that Franzon’s menagerie of characters have depth I might have missed the first time through.... You might consider avoid driving or operating heavy machinery while listening to the last chapter.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tinkers

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Paul Harding
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (245)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (110)

    An old man lies dying. Confined to bed in his living room, he sees the walls around him begin to collapse, the windows come loose from their sashes, and the ceiling plaster fall off in great chunks, showering him with a lifetime of debris: newspaper clippings, old photographs, wool jackets, rusty tools, and the mangled brass works of antique clocks. Soon, the clouds from the sky above plummet down on top of him, followed by the stars, till the black night covers him like a shroud. He is hallucinating.

    marcus says: "Breath Taking"
    "Breath Taking"
    Overall

    I had no preconceptions when I ordered Tinkers. My wife's book club selected it and in my ongoing effort to be a supportive husband I decided to "read" along. (If I had known the book's premise, I wouldn't have touched it with a ten foot pole. A book about a dieing man? Never.)

    I was immediately taken by the poetry laced through out the narrative. The master of the well-turned phrase, John Updike, came to mind in light of the extordinary richness and color of the language in Tinkers.

    Slowly I became increasingly interested in the odd assortment of characters. By the book's conclusion I was swept away by what is certainly the best work of fiction I have "read" in years.

    Whether you have read Tinkers already or not, if you have not listened to it being read you have missed part of its enchantment. Close your eyes and let the stream of beautiful sentences flow over you.

    In case you are wondering, I borrowed my wife's copy of Tinkers after her book club and read it through in one setting. Another wonderful, but less sensual experience.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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