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Andrew

MA Golfer

Member Since 2013

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 67 ratings
  • 245 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015
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  • Dalai Lama: Introduction to Buddhism

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 20 mins)
    • By His Holiness the Dalai Lama
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (50)

    When the Dalai Lama paid a visit to Emory University, he offered an introductory lecture to Tibetan Buddhism. The lecture is not exactly what you’d normally get in the university classroom. The talk is not entirely linear. And he spends some time speaking in English, then speaks in his native tongue (with the help of an interpreter). But, he can talk about Buddhism with the authority that few authors can, and there’s a reason audiences come to see him in droves.

    Jes says: "A great talk on Buddhism"
    "nearly unintelligible - don't waste your time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I listened to this lecture 3 times. It is only a little over an hour. It is incoherent and unintelligible. I would recommend against a purchase.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Forty Signs of Rain: Science in the Capital, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kim Stanley Robinson
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim, Kim Stanley Robinson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (87)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (43)

    The best-selling author of the classic Mars trilogy and The Years of Rice and Salt returns with a riveting new trilogy of cutting-edge science, international politics, and the real-life ramifications of global warming as they are played out in our nation's capital - and in the daily lives of those at the center of the action. Hauntingly realistic, here is a novel of the near future that is inspired by scientific facts already making headlines. BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction by author Kim Stanley Robinson.

    steve says: "Its all"
    "a book about political intrigue not science"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Kim Stanley Robinson and/or Peter Ganim and Kim Stanley Robinson ?

    Not on your life. I purchased the trilogy because it was supposed to be about science and climate change. After listening to the first 4 chapters of the first book, I am totally disappointed in the naiveté about NSF, international science, biotechnology and climate change. As a world class professional scientist who has reviewed extensively for NSF, has been involved in extensive NATO funded collaborations, and has spent the past 15 years working in biotechnology and reading extensively on climate change, I cannot stomach reading any more of even the first book. The description of what NSF does is superficial as is the near-fantasy about biotechnology companies (e.g., the CEO buying an unproven technology for $51M without the advice of the chief research scientist).


    Has Forty Signs of Rain turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Very dry reading of the material but perhaps the narrator found the book as bad as I did :-)


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    "Didn't love" is the wrong description. The book was bad. Perhaps the only thing to learn from this book is that scientists have to write even popular books about science, e.g., "The eighth day of creation" by Judson. Apparently, it is much harder for a writer to learn enough science to write a believable novel about science than for a scientist to learn to write entertaining prose.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bossypants

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Tina Fey
    • Narrated By Tina Fey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21124)
    Performance
    (16488)
    Story
    (16428)

    Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told....

    Warren says: "Tina Fey broke my new SUV"
    "Boring story narrated with comic timing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Bossypants?

    The entire book was 1 sarcastic comment after another, each delivered without any timing.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Tina Fey again?

    Never!


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The only good part was the brief description of Tina's father. She clearly loved and admired him.


    Any additional comments?

    I had high expectations for this book based upon her work on Saturday Night live and 30 Rock. Afterwards, I had no respect or interest in Tina Fey. Indeed, I think she was so good as portraying Sarah Palin because she is a similar mindless idiot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    Overall
    (5546)
    Performance
    (4862)
    Story
    (4880)

    In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks. Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago.

    Cynthia says: "The Art of (Unconventional) War"
    "Too many fundamental mistakes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The story on "Big Fish" tells about a women who went to a very competitive Ivy League school and found that she did not do well in science, thusly dropping out of science. Gladwell used this to lead into his central premise that doing well at a worse school was better than doing average or poorly at a better school. His example was the successful graduation of good physics majors at Hartwick College even though they were not as well prepared as the worse students at Ivy League schools (many of whom did not graduate in physics). Gladwell believes that the same physics education and materials occur at both schools!

    Gladwell simply does not know what he is talking about. The educational materials used to teach physics at Hartwick and MIT (or Harvard) are far from equivalent. The books used at a weak college will be much easier (less advanced material, less difficult problems) and the professors' expectations of the students will be much lower.

    I speak from experience as I was a physics undergraduate at SUNY Oneonta (entering after scoring in the 99th percentile on the Math SAT) and received all A's in every science and math class at Oneonta. When I took the Advanced Physics GRE for entry to graduate school, I scored in the 34th percentile because I had never been exposed to much of the material that was the topic of the questions! After a year of graduate school at the one university that did not ask for GRE, I scored in the 98th percentile!

    Later, I became a very successful professor of physical chemistry at one of the top 20 universities in the USA (mentoring a number of students to the Phd, receiving many research grants, publishing 100's of papers, giving talks all over the world, etc). I ran in the top circles with all the other professors, most of whom were Harvard, Berkeley, Stanford, MIT, etc graduates, and I learned that their undergraduate education covered more topics, had more advanced material, and required deeper understanding to do the problems. As just one example, the books that they used for senior level quantum mechanics were considered too hard for masters level physics at Oneonta.

    My advice is to attend the best school that you can get into and work as hard as possible to overcome the competition. The top schools will provide the best competition. This is no different than athletics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Eric Klinenberg
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (63)

    A revelatory examination of the most significant demographic shift since the baby boom—the sharp increase in the number of people who live alone—that offers surprising insights on the benefits of this epochal change. With eye-opening statistics, original data, and vivid portraits of people who go solo, Klinenberg upends the conventional wisdom to deliver the definitive take on how the rise of living alone is transforming the American experience.

    Joanie C says: "Interesting content"
    "Redundant but interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Eric Klinenberg and/or Patrick Lawlor?

    This is a very interesting book for the first 2/3. It becomes redundant for the last 1/3. And, it becomes predictable and tedious with its calls for government social programs to aid the people living alone. Ignoring that, the book details the new social phenomena of living alone, both its good and bad points.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Bill Clinton
    • Narrated By Bill Clinton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (503)
    Performance
    (430)
    Story
    (428)

    President Bill Clinton gives us his views on the challenges facing the United States today and why government matters—presenting his ideas on restoring economic growth, energy, job creation, financial responsibility, resolving the mortgage crisis, and financial responsibility, and offering a plan to get us "back in the future business".

    Christine A. Haimann says: "Great and it all makes sense"
    "Good arguments for Democrats but quite repetitive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Back to Work the most enjoyable?

    The descriptions of how the various countries around the world use government to both promote and control business is thorough.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I wished that Bill Clinton was President instead of the well-meaning but incompetent Obama.


    What does Bill Clinton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His wonderful voice.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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