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Margaret

SAN JOSE, CA, United States | Member Since 2008

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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  • The Voyage of the Beagle

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Charles Darwin
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (44)

    The Voyage of the Beagle - or, to give it its full title, Journal of researches into the Natural History and Geology of the Countries visited during the Voyage round the World of H.M.S. Beagle under command of Captain FitzRoy, R.N. - is much more than merely an account of Darwin's scientific observations in his 1831 - 36 travels across the globe: it is fine travel writing in its own right.

    Margaret says: "Glimpses of a great mind at 22"
    "Glimpses of a great mind at 22"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is not news to anyone that Charles Darwin was a bright guy. One of the great minds of science, as we all know, and the iconic images of the man, with his bald head, long white beard, and serious expression, leave no one in doubt. But still I was surprised to know how intelligent and sensitive he was at the tender age of 22. The first entries in this selection show how much knowledge he had already mastered in geology, zoology, botany, anthropology. The reader / listener has the privilege of observing him in the act of making the connections that lead ultimately to the elucidation of evolutionary processes, one of the great intellectual feats of science and civilization. Darwin's meticulous natural history of numerous species of plants and animals are as fresh and as fascinating as anything written today. Of particular timely interest is Darwin's experience of an earthquake in Chile, which sounds almost exactly like the news reports of the quake there in February 2010. Professor Dawkins selected these particular passages and brings the exuberance of the young man alive with every sentence in his reading. I recommend this audiobook to anyone interested in Darwin, in evolution, or in Dawkins.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Michael Chabon
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (693)
    Performance
    (607)
    Story
    (616)

    It's 1939, in New York City. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdiniesque escape, has just pulled off his greatest feat: smuggling himself out of Hitler's Prague. He's looking to make big money, fast, so that he can bring his family to freedom. His cousin, Brooklyn's own Sammy Clay, is looking for a partner in creating the heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit the American dreamscape: the comic book. Inspired by their own fantasies, fears, and dreams, they create the Escapist.

    Darwin8u says: "A World I DON'T Ever Want to Escape From."
    "One of the best books I have ever heard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay again? Why?

    I am certain I will listen to The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay again. All of my long reading life, I have thought that, for the most part, a book worth reading is worth rereading.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay?

    The first meeting of the title characters is memorable. Two men in their teens, first cousins but strangers, have an instant rapport with each other and with the reader.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    It's hard to pick one favorite, but the scenes of the early love affair of Joseph Kavalier and Rosa Sachs are beautiful.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and why?

    There are four memorable characters. Three are young adults at the beginning of the story. The fourth is not yet born. He is the offspring of the poignant and powerful relationship among the three.


    Any additional comments?

    Once in a very long while, one finds a novel that settles deeply in the heart and stays there forever. For me, the first one of these was "Little Women." The second was "Huckleberry Finn." As an adult, one such was "Little Big" by John Crowley. Another was "The Children of Violence" series by Doris Lessing. Also the "Canopus in Argos" series by the same writer. I expect "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" will be another one that is with me forever.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Poets' Corner: The One-and-Only Poetry Book for the Whole Family

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By John Lithgow
    • Narrated By Morgan Freeman, Susan Sarandon, Helen Mirren, and others
    Overall
    (156)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (106)

    John Lithgow has compiled an outstanding collection of memorable poems and has gathered his famous friends to read them. The wide variety of carefully selected poetry in this audiobook provides the perfect introduction to reel in those who are new to poetry, and for poetry lovers to experience beloved verses in a fresh, vivid way. Lithgow offers insightful and sometimes poignant commentary to accompany each poem. His essential criterion is that "each poem's light shines more brightly when read aloud".

    Scot says: "Thank You, JL"
    "If you have ever enjoyed poetry ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Poets' Corner again? Why?

    You will enjoy this. I listened all the way through and then started over again.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite "character" is John Lithgow. His intelligence and humor suffuse the collection.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this audiobook. John Lithgow is erudite and funny. The collection is not comprehensive. How could it be? It's Lithgow's personal favorites, arranged in alphabetical order by poet's last name. No theme. No survey of development. Just lovely poems, one after another, with Lithgow's commentary in between.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Stroke of Insight

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jill Bolte Taylor
    • Narrated By Jill Bolte Taylor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (606)
    Performance
    (290)
    Story
    (295)

    In My Stroke of Insight, Taylor shares her unique perspective on the brain and its capacity for recovery, and the sense of omniscient understanding she gained from this unusual and inspiring voyage out of the abyss of a wounded brain. It would take eight years for Taylor to heal completely. Because of her knowledge of how the brain works, her respect for the cells composing her human form, and most of all an amazing mother, Taylor completely repaired her mind and recalibrated her understanding of the world.

    Lisa says: "very, very illuminating!"
    "unique story, grippingly told"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to My Stroke of Insight the most enjoyable?

    Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain anatomist in her 30s and advancing in her academic research career, wakes up one morning in the early stages of a stroke. In the first part of the book, the author and narrator describes minute by minute the dawning realization of what is happening to her and the actions she takes to get help. Even though the listener knows by the fact that she herself is narrating the story that she does eventually get medical attention, the suspense is acute. Minute by minute, her brain function deteriorates and she knows in anatomical detail exactly what is happening to her. The damage is all in the left brain, allowing her (and us) to comprehend from a first-hand account left-brain versus right-brain anatomy and function. The story continues through her long, arduous recovery, with insight into brain structure and function that perhaps the world could never have gotten any other way. In the last part of the book, Taylor shares some profound lessons for all of us from her experience about why we have two brains and how we can benefit from controlling their interaction.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of My Stroke of Insight?

    One of many memorable moments is when she finally makes telephone contact with her office and communicates her situation.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this book to anyone who has had a stroke or who knows someone who has had a stroke. I recommend it also for anyone interested in brain science, neurology, and neuroanatomy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Biology of Belief

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Bruce H. Lipton
    • Narrated By Bruce H. Lipton
    Overall
    (537)
    Performance
    (214)
    Story
    (214)

    Since the publication of The Biology of Belief, Dr. Bruce Lipton has received widespread acclaim as one of the most accessible and knowledgeable voices of "new biology". The science is called epigenetics – a revolutionary field that shows us how the energy of consciousness is as important in shaping life on earth as DNA and chemistry.

    Michelle says: "A Must-read"
    "No science allowed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Bruce H. Lipton and/or Bruce H. Lipton?

    Never.


    What could Bruce H. Lipton have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Learn some science and lose the arrogant attitude.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He's a poor reader. But the content is stupid, too, so it's a good match.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    frustration, impatience, and derision


    Any additional comments?

    This book is for people who already know they hate science and want some reinforcement of that attitude of stupidity.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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